LDS doctrine establishes three courses of action in conflict resolution: a) selective pacifism, b) action as proxy for God as prescribed under the doctrine of continuous revelation and c) absolute pacifism. Of these three, only absolute and selective pacifism are of practical use to the modern member of the LDS Church. Of the remaining two, government political decisions and technological momentum have moved current U.S. defense strategy and weaponry away from a defensive to an offense posture, thus invalidating the case of the selective pacifist and leaving only the absolutist's stand. Despite this development, however, the number of vocal pacifists within the Church remains conspicuously small. This can be attributed to: a) the confusion over the role of authority and obedience in the Church, b) the appearance of Church and Mormon cultural endorsement for militarism, c) the influence of "Just War" theory, d) the effects of fatalism and the "Armageddon" complex, e) disregard for the doctrines of stewardships, f) the lessening of personal responsibility and g) influence from the Utah military/industrial/university complex.
College and Department
David M. Kennedy Center
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Ballow, Michael Henry, "Mormons, LDS Theology and the Nuclear Dilemma" (1985). Theses and Dissertations. 4498.
Pacifism, War, Religious aspects, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints