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by Charles D. Tate, Jr.
While any member of the Church is free to object to military combat service because of conscience, simply holding membership in the Church in and of itself is not a justification. Church leaders have discouraged conscientious objection in every conflict of the twentieth century. Although it is opposed to war and recognizes that going to war is a very poor alternative means of resolving conflicts, the Church considers it the loyal duty of citizenship for members to answer the call of their various countries for military service. (See Civic Duties)
At the same time, it recognizes the right of individual members to determine for themselves whether their deep, spiritual consciences will allow them to serve in combat or require them to request assignment to alternate service. The Church will not support a member in that request until he or she has consulted with the appropriate bishop and stake president and has spiritual confirmation that the way decided upon by the member concerned is acceptable to the Lord.
(See Basic Beliefs home page; Doctrines of the Gospel home page; Military and the Church home page)
Boone, Joseph F. "The Roles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Relation to the United States Military, 1900-1975." Ph.D. diss., Brigham Young University, 1975.
Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, Conscientious Objection
Copyright © 1992 by Macmillan Publishing Company
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