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Latter-day Saints (LDS) have had a complicated relationship with war from the church’s founding in 1830. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints denounces war as a cause of supreme evil, but supports its members who join the armed forces of all nations. Church doctrine states that “we believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law” (Articles of Faith 1:12), and this includes military service. Latter-day Saint scripture is full of prophecies on war—both general and specific—and Mormons expect the world to be full of violence in the days leading up to the Second Coming of Christ. Early church leaders Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, while usually denouncing war, encouraged military service at times (especially ...

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