Op-ed: Patriotism vs. nationalism in a Mormon context

10 Oct , 2017 World

Editor’s note: This essay is part of an ongoing Deseret News opinion series exploring ideas and issues at the intersection of faith and thought.

Patriotism is affection for country. In the United States, it’s about fireworks and Fourth of July, serving one’s country, participating meaningfully in politics, and valuing liberty and justice for all. Nationalism, on the other hand, is the zealous identification with a cultural group, and it often devolves into an unrighteous sense of superiority over others and breeds a desire for dominance.

At the October general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “We need to embrace God’s children compassionately and eliminate any prejudice, including racism, sexism and nationalism.” Elder Quentin L. Cook also of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “Anyone who claims superiority under the Father’s plan because of characteristics like race, sex,nationality, language, or economic circumstances is morally wrong and does not understand the Lord’s true purpose for all of our Father’s children.”

The last time an LDS apostle expressly condemned nationalism was in 1993 when, at the Parliament of World Religions, President Russell M. Nelson said, “We see evidences of …read more

Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News


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