The Lord’s Commandments concerning War
45 Nevertheless, the Nephites were inspired by a better cause, for they were not fighting for monarchy nor power but they were fighting for their homes and their liberties, their wives and their children, and their all, yea, for their rites of worship and their church.
46 And they were doing that which they felt was the duty which they owed to their God; for the Lord had said unto them, and also unto their fathers, that: Inasmuch as ye are not guilty of the first offense, neither the second, ye shall not suffer yourselves to be slain by the hands of your enemies.
47 And again, the Lord has said that: Ye shall defend your families even unto bloodshed. Therefore for this cause were the Nephites contending with the Lamanites, to defend themselves, and their families, and their lands, their country, and their rights, and their religion.
President Charles W. Penrose said:
“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.)