Deseret News, June 9, 1880, p. 280; “David prayed that God would send his enemies to hell quickly. Jesus, when he was being crucified suffering the pain of a cruel death, said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”. I like that prayer much better than the other one. Father forgive them for they know not what they do. They are thy children though in the dark. Thou hast enlightened our minds for which we feel thankful; but, Oh Lord, forgive them and lead them, if thou canst, in the way of life. This is the feeling we ought to have…” – John Taylor (LDS Prophet)
Encyclopedia of Joseph Smith’s Teachings, pg. 219; “The Lord once told me that what I asked for I should have. I have been afraid to ask God to kill my enemies, lest some of them should, peradventure, repent.”
Matthew 5:43-46; “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?”
As I’ve stated before, Smith’s comment isn’t remotely funny.
Questions we have today:
Should they be part of a NT Christian’s life, or should they be eliminated/ignored because we live on this side of the cross? Does it matter?
Are Mr. Taylor’s comments about praying congruent with Joe Smith’s model of prayer, or contradictory?
The reason we’re focusing on this today stems from the LDS quotes we’ve used. As you can see, Mr. Taylor believed that King David shouldn’t have prayed for his enemies to be killed, instead, he preferred the prayer Jesus offered while hanging on the cross.
The problem in this collection of LDS quotes we’ve used is twofold. 1. We must ask why Mormons are using the Bible when they denounce it. 2. Mr. Taylor’s interpretation of King David’s prayer is wrong.
Taylor obviously believed King David was praying out of his own self interests, making it a vengeful gainsaying prayer for himself. However, David’s prayer was a petition for God to intercede and protect him from his enemies.
Things to keep in mind when we read Psalm 109:1-5 –
David’s heart was right with God. When petitioning the Lord with this type of prayer (Imprecatory), he made sure that he had confessed his own shortcomings and sin. He also made sure he acknowledged God is the only righteous Judge. After these things, David then went into his reasons why he prayed this way.
Ps. 109:1-5 is the model we should all use for this type of prayer, and it should only be done so from those who are innocent. A great sermon on this subject can be found on Bible.org. that explicitly lays out why and when it’s okay for a Christian to pray in this manner.
Mr. Taylor should have looked at the evidence of why David prayed this way before he jumped to conclusions and condemned him for it. Furthermore, was Smith’s comment a godly thing to say?
Do you believe he really prayed for his enemies? Looking at Smith’s past, it’s hard to believe he’d put the interest of others before himself.