Do we really need a standing army?


I thought I’d try my hand at a short post, for once.  I was looking over Jacob’s sermon in 2 Nephi and was struck by this verse in chapter 10:

And I will fortify this land against all other nations.  (2 Ne. 10:12)

If the Lord has already stated that He Himself will fortify the promised land—which the singular Gentile nation will occupy, and this singular Gentile nation is obviously the United States of America—against all other nations, then why are there latter-day saints who support and promote a standing army?  This seems to me to be a lack of faith in the promises of the Lord.  Surely the U.S. military cannot be the fulfillment of this prophecy of the Lord fortifying the land, for the Lord works by miraculous power, not by the arm of flesh.

Shouldn’t we be living our lives peaceably in this land and simply trust that the Lord will do as He promised to do?  Shouldn’t the Mormon Gentiles be encouraging the other Gentiles on this land to put their trust in the Lord and lay down their weapons of war, unless He commands them to take them, as explained in D&C 98?  And shouldn’t we be preaching against the “support our troops” fervor, since none of these troops have been commanded to go to war by the Lord?  Or am I being naïve?

From my reading of the scriptures, it does not appear that the ancient people of the Lord ever had a standing army.  They only had temporary armies, which were raised from the civilian population only during a war and disbanded once the war was over.  So why aren’t we following this same pattern?

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