The LDS Church posted a new essay to its website Monday detailing conflicts between members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their neighbors in the 1800s.
The article, titled "Peace and Violence Among 19-Century Latter-day Saints," is divided into nine sections that provide historical context for events from the 1838 Extermination Order to the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre.
The essay notes that historical context does not provide justification for acts of violence, and it emphasizes the importance of peace, citing a quote from Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
"The hope of the world is the Prince of Peace. … Now, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, what does the Lord expect of us? As a church, we must ‘renounce war and proclaim peace.’ As individuals, we should ‘follow after the things which make for peace.’ We should be personal peacemakers," Elder Nelson said.
The article is housed in the Gospel Topics section of lds.org, where the church has been adding articles about the more delicate issues of church history, including "Race and the Priesthood" and "Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah," since last December.