Strict Mormon Leaders Shock with Never Before Heard of Call on Guns
It is a scary world we live in when we have to take our guns to church for fear and protection of our own lives. In today’s society, we need protection everywhere we go. The Second Amendment upholds those rights for every individual, but many places do not allow firearms. One of those places was The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The only exception to the rule was for law enforcement. Now their policies have changed due to the shooting on July 2018 inside the Latter-day Saints Church which turned fatal in Fallon, Nevada.
The previous policy said it was “inappropriate” for any weapons to be on the church grounds. One year later, the church leaders have held meetings and talked up ideas and suggestions on how they should handle the situation. The best way to handle every situation for anyone who has been threatened by gun violence is to utilize Second Amendment rights. Protection is the key to providing safety to the innocent. Unfortunately, gun violence has led to places of worship where everyone should feel safe.
The new policy went into effect this month and will coincide with the new law coming out in Texas where the code will become more apparent to all. People who carry and are licensed will be able to bring their guns into synagogues and churches. There is a letter which was sent out to all the churches, and the local leaders will be the ones to carry out the messages to the public. The revised policy states, “Churches are dedicated for the worship of God and as havens from the cares and concerns of the world. With the exception of current law enforcement officers, the carrying of lethal weapons on church property, concealed or otherwise, is prohibited.”
Many of the church leaders would have put the new policy in the handbooks and left it alone. They all agreed no one would read the new policy thoroughly to understand the new system in place. If someone saw a man or woman with a gun, everyone would have panicked. With the new law coming out in Texas, the church wanted to put the new policy in place to let the congregations know they will be protected. If a law enforcement agent is dressed in street clothes, they can carry the concealed weapon. It would make the people inside the church feel safer knowing they may stand a chance of surviving a shooting. It may also deter anyone who has plans to shoot up a church, to let the criminals know they will be shot in self-defense. What was once “inappropriate” is now becoming apparent and necessary for survival.
Matthew Bowman is an associate professor of history and religion and Howard W. Hunter Chair in Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University in California. He stated, “The handbook where the language was changed isn’t commonly read by church members so how this is disseminated will affect how much impact it has at the congregational level.” Bowman felt the move was in place to raise the awareness of gun violence and that it can happen anywhere, especially in churches. The Mormon Churches wanted to stay away from the “Old West” style where everyone had a gun and make it more modern. In the process of the new policy, even the Mormons understand someone has to have guns for protection. Bowman explained, “It is illustrative of the church’s slow evolution away from being a largely Western rural church which it has been for a long, long time toward a more cosmopolitan, international organization.”
The president of FairMormon, Scott Gordon, feels differently about the new policy revisions. He said people mostly want to rely on their faith, and it is rare anyone would want to bring a weapon to church. “In any organization, you have people who might desire to protect or take the law into their own hands, and I think the church in this policy is saying, ‘Please don’t. [The] Church is a place of peace.'”
It is challenging to agree with “Church is a place of peace” in a world today where violence entered. The 2018 shooting which happened in Nevada was during a Sunday service where one man was killed, and the victim’s brother was wounded along with others. Over two dozen were killed in 2017 at the First Baptist Church. More have been killed throughout the years. The church is a place of prayer, but hatred entered it.