Mormon Church Takes Anti-War Stance

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Mormon church issued a strong anti-war message at its semiannual General Conference, clearly referring to current hostilities in the Middle East, advocating patience and negotiation, and urging the faithful to be peacemakers.

"As a church, we must renounce war and proclaim peace," said Russell M. Nelson, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, which acts under the direction of church President Gordon B. Hinckley.

Nelson never directly referred to Iraq or current moves toward war, but he mentioned the conflict in the Middle East and said "resolution of present political problems will require much patience and negotiation."

The Golden Rule's prohibition of one interfering with the rights of others was equally binding on nations and associations and left no room for retaliatory reactions, Nelson said at the meeting Saturday.

Descendants of Abraham — Christians, Jews and Muslims — "are in a pivotal position to emerge as peacemakers," he said.