In this pilot episode, Russell Stevenson and Kate Harline discuss the historical undergirdings for the Mormon position on war. Drawing on Mormon scripture and various episodes of Mormon armed conflict, they show that the Saints’ views on war have been more ambivalent than contemporary Mormon assumptions might suggest. Stay tuned for more.
For Hosea Stout’s 1846 response to the Mexican-American war, see here.
For the First Presidency’s 1942 statement on war, see here.
For Spencer W. Kimball’s 1976 condemnation of the military-industrial complex, see here.
The Huffington Post recently took a stab this morning at how Mormonism would influence his views on war and peace. I’ve seen it done worse. Ask a Mormon how Mormonism see war. If they gush on about Captain Moroni without mentioning the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, just smile. You’re talking to a Mormon who has embraced American nationalism. As Patrick Mason has argued, Mormonism offers “no consistent message” on matters of war and peace. The broader question, of course, is: how patriotic is Mormonism? On July 24th, 2011, the Latter-day Saints celebrated Pioneer Day with a tribute to veterans of the armed services. That Brigham Young had spoken (in typical Brigham Young fashion–with tremendous hyperbole) of cutting American soldiers’ throats only a block away shows how dramatic the Saints’ embrace of American nationalism has been.