As a Mormon and someone who considers themselves to be pretty familiar with Mormon doctrine, Mormon history, and Mormon scripture, it’s disheartening to hear such stories. And frankly, completely unjustifiable to justify this kind of violence using the Book of Mormon.
Mormons are generally known as law-abiding, patriotic, and hard working citizens. In fact, one of the articles of faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints states “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”
Church leaders also have warned against excess, all-consuming patriotism.
“Love of country is surely a strength, but carried to excess it can become the cause of spiritual downfall,” said Elder Dallin H. Oaks, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in a talk to BYU students in 1992. “There are some citizens whose patriotism is so intense and so all-consuming that it seems to override every other responsibility, including family and church. I caution those patriots who are participating in or provisioning private armies and making private preparations for armed conflict. Their excessive zeal for one aspect of patriotism is causing them to risk spiritual downfall as they withdraw from the society of the church and from the governance of those civil authorities to whom our twelfth article of faith makes all of us subject.”
Thankfully, the Hammond brothers are turning themselves in.