The Lord has said that in the last days there will be “wars and rumors of wars, and the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men’s hearts shall fail them” (Doctrine and Covenants 45:26). As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are a people of peace. We follow the Savior, who is the Prince of Peace. We look forward to His millennial reign, when wars will end and peace will be restored to the earth (see Isaiah 2:4). However, we recognize that in this world, government leaders sometimes send military troops to war to defend their nations and ideals.
Latter-day Saints in the military do not need to feel torn between their country and their God. In the Church, “we believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law” (Articles of Faith 1:12). Military service shows dedication to this principle.
If Latter-day Saints are called upon to go into battle, they can look to the example of Captain Moroni, the great military leader in the Book of Mormon. Although he was a mighty warrior, he “did not delight in bloodshed” (Alma 48:11). He was “firm in the faith of Christ,” and his only reason for fighting was to “defend his people, his rights, and his country, and his religion” (Alma 48:13). If Latter-day Saints must go to war, they should go in a spirit of truth and righteousness, with a desire to do good. They should go with love in their hearts for all God’s children, including those on the opposing side. Then, if they are required to shed another’s blood, their action will not be counted as a sin.
“War,” True to the Faith
“‘Charity Never Faileth,’” Daughters in My Kingdom, chapter 5
“War and Peace,” Encyclopedia of Mormonism
“How Disciples of Christ Live in Times of War and Violence,” Ensign, September 2012
“The Lord Was Always There,” Ensign, August 2011
“Torpedoes, Typhoons, and War Stories,” New Era, July 2006
“Peace Amidst War,” Ensign, April 1989
“‘A Valiant Little Band’: LDS Soldiers in the Crimean War,” Ensign, January 1981
“The Church’s Years in Vietnam,” Ensign, August 1980
“My Souvenirs from World War II,” Ensign, July 1978
“War and Peace and Dutch Potatoes,” Ensign, July 1978
“Moroni and His Captains: Men of Peace in a Time of War,” Ensign, September 1977
“New BYU Exhibit Chronicles World War I,” Church News
“Military Service,” LDS Newsroom
“Mormon Battalion Fact Sheet,” LDS Newsroom
“Revolutionary War Records to Go Online,” LDS Newsroom
“Until We Meet Again”
“Sierra Leone—Civil War Response”
“Life after War and Overcoming Post-Traumatic Stress”
“Erick Lund: Counting His Blessings”
“I’m a Mormon and Wife of a Fallen Soldier”