9And now the design of the Nephites was to support their lands, and their houses, and their wives, and their children, that they might preserve them from the hands of their enemies; and also that they might preserve their rights and their privileges, yea, and also their liberty, that they might worship God according to their desires.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka “Mormons” by friends of other faiths whom we welcome here), dislike bloodshed as much as any other people. Mormon doctrine, Mormon belief espouses that engaging in the shedding of blood for one’s own retaliation is not acceptable to God or man. In the words of President Charles W. Penrose, who was a member of the First Presidency:
It is not right for us to engage in the shedding of human blood, for vengeance or retaliation. But when the Lord commands or inspires his servants to counsel the sons and daughters of Israel to lend their aid in the work of righteous warfare, that is different. … We are to arise in our might and in our strength and go forth to victory; not with a desire to shed blood, not with the desire to destroy our fellow creatures, but in self defense and because we do want to maintain and hand down to our posterity those sacred principles of liberty that have been revealed from on high” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1917, 21).
Another Mormon apostle–more correctly, apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, states it this way:
Self-defense is as justifiable where war is concerned as where one man seeks to take the life of another. . . . Righteous men are entitled, expected, and obligated to defend themselves; they must engage in battle when there is no other way to preserve their rights and freedoms and to protect their families, homes, land, and the truths of salvation which they have espoused (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 826).
God directs us individually, and as a people, as he did the armies of his people who were once in ancient America. Those who took on battles unaided by Him and not condoned by Him, and motivated by wicked desires of gain and priestcraft, also perished in full as a civilization.