Grace and Peace, Part 1

Monday, March 10

Mountenay and Stoever, Civil disobedience protest

Mountenay and Stoever, Peaceful protest

By Lu Mountenay of Independence, Missouri, USA

Above all else, strive to be faithful to Christ’s vision of the peaceable Kingdom of God on earth. Courageously challenge cultural, political, and religious trends that are contrary to the reconciling and restoring purposes of God. Pursue peace.

—Doctrine and Covenants 163:3b

I started to have second thoughts—fearful thoughts. Do I really want to do this? The other peaceful protesters extended grace to me even before the imminent event.

“Now if you change your mind at the last minute, Lu, no one will hold it against you…no one will think any less of you.” It must be like that with the grace of God, who loves unconditionally. God forgives, even if we fail to do what we know we must.

As I faced the line of “peace” officers, I felt my knees go weak. I said a fast and silent prayer for courage. Immediately a peaceful spirit washed over me. So I declined to step back across the private-property line marked by the forbidding sign. After the third warning, the police arrested me and three others for criminal trespass.

Having a nuclear weapons parts plant in Kansas City was unthinkable to us. Thirty-five people came to protest with much forethought. We trained in non-violent resistance with Pace e Bene (Peace and Doing Good). They came from White Rose Catholic Worker House in Chicago, Illinois. We committed to the stance.

The officers were respectful and seemed sympathetic to our cause. They cuffed my wrists behind my back loosely. I guess they didn’t think of me as a flight risk (smile). Steel mesh separated me from my compatriots in the police van.

So many unknowns lay ahead of me. At the police station they took mug shots. “Face front, face right, face left.” Next step: fingerprinting. They emptied my pockets and removed the laces from my shoes. They took the cross from around my neck! The officer said, “Follow me,” and before I knew it, the steel doors closed behind me.

How did I come to make this choice? I had thought about the weapons plant—unwise, I thought—to assemble even more nuclear weapons. I read about how dangerous it was. I wrote about it for the PeaceWorks—KC newsletter, and yes, prayed about it. Now it was time to work toward peace physically. Time to act on it!

I knew this would mean a new police record, but if my grandchildren understood I was doing it for them, which they did, I knew my community would, too. If I chose to pursue peace, I had to choose this action. I felt the assurance by God’s presence.

Prayer for Peace
Thank you, God, for your grace, your presence, and challenges to share your peace.

Spiritual Practice: Pursue Peace on Earth
Read and reflect on Doctrine and Covenants 161:2a. Reflect on how you can “see violence but proclaim peace…feel conflict, yet extend the hand of reconciliation…encounter broken spirits and find pathways for healing.” Pray about what action you might make for peace.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will peacefully resist threats to Christ’s peace.

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  1. keijo

     /  16 June 2014

    Yes and amen for grace with peace who pass over all our understanding with joy in thankgiving and be bless today again and share my opinion with you in pleasure of heaven with christ thanks and bless and pray,keijo sweden

  2. Tamara Taylor-Hillyer

     /  14 March 2014

    You are an inspiration. You have “walked the talk” and I have great respect for that! I will try to do the same.

  3. Dick Hahn

     /  10 March 2014

    Thanks Lu for having the courage to act for peace, and also to put your experience in writing to encourage all of us. God’s rule on earth will never come by espousing our beliefs, – there must also be actions and demonstrations to make our beliefs come true.

  4. Marcia Plumb

     /  10 March 2014

    This story inspired me to listen and look more actively for where I’m called to take a stand and pursue peace. Thank you for acting and then for sharing with us.

  5. A voice for sanity and national policies of caring and compassion for the earth and all its forms of life is what I see in this story. I look forward to experiencing more of this same voice in however many parts this story takes to revive my sometimes tired, old spirit into action. The future of our planet is at stake, nothing less. Thanks, thanks, for your courage and far-sighted vision!

  6. Barbara Miller

     /  10 March 2014

    Proud of this brother who made a stand for peace, wanted to share it with you.

    Love Mom


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