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Serving in the line of duty

Published: Monday, Nov. 8 2010 6:00 a.m. MST

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are generally fascinated to hear stories from the lives of the general authorities. Their lives are seemingly loaded with captivating and compelling accounts.

Several general authorities served in the military during times of war and calamity. As they faithfully served their country, these future church leaders had life-changing experiences and made defining decisions that shaped the rest of their lives. In honor of Veterans Day, Mormon Times has compiled several military accounts from current, emeritus and deceased general authorities who served during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

Many of these accounts were taken from the "Saints at War" project headed by Robert C. Freeman and Dennis A. Wright, church history professors at Brigham Young University. Their chief objective is to preserve the legacy of Latter-day Saint service during times of war by establishing a permanent archive of written histories, oral histories, letters, journals, images and other documents that will be maintained at the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library at BYU. To date, hundreds of Latter-day Saint war veterans and their families have contributed to the project.


The LDS Church during World War II

860,000 members worldwide

Membership of the LDS Church in Germany ranked third.

Approximately 100,000 Latter-day Saints served

More than 5,000 Latter-day Saints died

The SS Joseph Smith and the SS Brigham Young were World War II Liberty ships named for Latter-day prophets.

Latter-day Saint soldiers often wrote or painted gospel terms or symbols on planes, vehicles or equipment in an effort to meet other Mormons.


'Saints At War'

The "Saints At War" project invites veterans and civilians to share wartime accounts from any of the modern conflicts. To make a submission, visit Saintsatwar.org or call 801-422-2484. 

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