There is a continuing unease about the subject of opposing wickedness through violence. So I thought I would add this additional explanation:
I do not foresee that a gun will be effective against radioactivity; nor against weaponized anthrax. I read the plagues that are coming and the descriptions in D&C 29: 15-21 and I do not foresee a handgun doing me any good under those circumstances. I see wicked being killed, but no role for me and a sidearm to join in the fray.
I do not foresee any need for Zion to be protected by armed machine-gun nests around a perimeter when a pillar of smoke by day and fire by night hangs over them. (D&C 45: 65-71.) In the description, it does not say they go up with songs of joy, interrupted by occasional gunfire and all hell breaking loose. It says they proceed quite peacefully, singing songs of everlasting joy. (verse 71.)
When sickness and scourge are poured out, there will be widespread death and destruction. But there is no need for me to join in the killing. In fact, all those who take up the sword are included within the ranks of the wicked scheduled to die. (D&C 45: 30-33.)
I think the “power” we need in the Priesthood of God will be necessary to protect us from plagues. To stay the disease which will be poured out. To keep at bay the effects of the illnesses caused by the wickedness and evil of men who, killing one another and leaving the unburied dead to rot, will spread cholera, diphtheria and other illness.
I do not foresee the need to take up arms. The violence of nature will be responsible for killing many. In fact, the depopulation of the earth will be as a result of the following, as I understand it:
Pestilence incident to war
Famine (incident to war and pestilence)
Drought (incident to wickedness)
Hail (to destroy what few crops remain)
Earthquakes and Tempests (targeting those who remain alive but who are wicked and threaten Zion)
Nowhere on my list is there an entry for a Zion-based sniper unit. (I’m just trying to let a little humor into this, not mocking this idea. It is a serious idea to be sure, deserving serious thought and pondering.)
What we are going to face is global genocide. A handgun won’t do much good against the things that are prophesied. There may be isolated opportunities to shoot a bad guy. But there may also be the same isolated bad guy who, in his fear and cowardice, may be vulnerable to conversion to the Gospel if we don’t shoot him. What is coming will intimidate mankind so fearfully that men’s hearts will fail them. I think preaching to them while they are in such a stupor rather than shooting them may work. And if not, well then I haven’t taken my brother’s life.