“They Buried the Weapons of War, for Peace”

Joseph F. McConkie, Robert L. Millet

This inspired covenant of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies to bury their weapons and never again shed man’s blood with them was rewarded with great blessings, notwithstanding, as we shall read, one thousand and five of their number were later slain by the Lamanites.

Some have attempted to extrapolate from this instance that this is the course-a course of conscientious objection-that ought to be followed by those of the household of faith in all instances in which their lives and liberties are threatened by evil forces.

But the larger context of this instance does not justify such an idea. As the story yet unfolds, it will be necessary for the Anti-Nephi-Lehies to abandon their lands and move in a body to that land of Jershon, where they can be protected by the Nephites (see Alma 27:20-24).

It will also be necessary for their sons, who have not entered into the covenant that the Anti-Nephi-Lehies have made, to take up arms “to protect the Nephites and themselves from bondage” (see Alma 53:16-17.)

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 3