Mike Stiles
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I recently reread A Study in Scarlet, which rabbitholed into why Doyle was so down on Mormons in that book -- It led to me reading a refresher on the "Mountain Meadows Massacre", which as we know, is where the Mormon settlers dressed up as indians and mass murdered an immigrant train passing through.

It's an ugly moment from ugly times, but so I'm curious how it's presented in LDS circles.
 
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Junior McSpiffy
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Honestly, it isn't. I mean, the only time it ever comes up is when people from the outside mention it to cite that one violent incident somehow disparages an entire faith from here until the end of time. As much apologetics as I do on here, this is one of the incidents on which I am not well-versed.
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Slavery, Japanese Internment, the kill off of the Native Americans, Salem Witch trials, Mustard gasing US soldiers...All that stuff happened so long ago. How long will all this stuff haunt us? Isn't there a expiration date? Maybe if we just stop thinking about it. As we know nothing good from talking about our history.
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Mike Stiles
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Well what makes it interesting to me is that it's far enough away from me that I don't have a personal stake in it, but from a culture close enough to mine that I can probably get a grip on how it's handled.

 
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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“What was done here long ago by members of our Church represents a terrible and inexcusable departure from Christian teaching and conduct. We cannot change what happened, but we can remember and honor those who were killed here.

“We express profound regret for the massacre carried out in this valley 150 years ago today and for the undue and untold suffering experienced by the victims then and by their relatives to the present time.

“A separate expression of regret is owed to the Paiute people who have unjustly borne for too long the principal blame for what occurred during the massacre. Although the extent of their involvement is disputed, it is believed they would not have participated without the direction and stimulus provided by local Church leaders and members”

(Henry B. Eyring, in “Expressing Regrets for 1857 Massacre,” Church News, Sept. 15, 2007).
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The act is repudiated. But at church it's hardly talked about because it's not considered to have much religious relevance.

Among Mormon historical enthusiasts the facts around the massacre itself are accepted as elsewhere.

In general Mormons will grant more room to discussing the historical context (i.e. the US Government had just declared war on Mormons so there existed a heightened sense of paranoia among Mormons who had just been violently kicked out of Missouri and Illinois) such that the perpetrators are viewed as normal people that cracked under pressure rather than the pawns of a violent ideology.

Mormons are quick to point out the evidence supporting the fact that Brigham Young told the Cedar City Mormons to leave the settlers alone, while it's a fairly common out side the Church to ignore the evidence and assume that there was some kind of conspiracy to kill all non-Mormon settlers.

There is some discussion regarding how much of a cover up Brigham Young was involved in after the fact and how long it was before he received reliable information on the extent of the massacre. Some argue that it may have been years before he got the whole story. Due to the extreme hostility of the non-Mormon government appointees in the Utah territory--some of whom were actively trying to provoke a war with the Mormons so they could justify using the US army to wipe them out--Brigham Young considered non-Mormon sources unreliable. And the perpetrators themselves tried to cover it up.

Brigham Young's ability to put off a trial until emotions had calmed down, keep the US army from violently falling on Mormons in general, and finally appeasing the federal government is considered a brilliant bit of political maneuvering that minimized retaliatory bloodshed. While the non-Mormon version is that he's an evil mastermind that got away with murder.

The biggest difference for me is that it feels personal, as though I found out my brother had killed someone. I find it hard to fathom how my fellow Mormons could have engaged in such behavior. There's nothing Mormon about it. Their actions are inconsistent with how Mormons have responded to provocation before and since.
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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And the general understanding is that these were a people who were extremely high strung after being driven from state to state and ultimately across the wilderness into the Salt Lake valley. The governor of Missouri had issued an extermination order against all Mormons. Mobs and various nasty individuals had stolen from, tarred and feathered, raped, murdered and generally harassed the Mormons all through this process of being driven out. They'd lost everything (multiple times in some cases) and then literally walked with the clothes on their back and not much more, thousands of miles to the west. Many of them suffered and died along the way.

Then finally, when they think they've found a place of their own, in the middle of nowhere, that was unclaimed by civilization, here come more people right on their heels. People who were, in their eyes, going to continue the same pattern of taking and harassing.

That was the context and motivation at any rate. However, as Eyeing said, terrible and inexcusable.
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I don't think I've ever heard it mentioned in church meetings. I think many Mormons know about it, and if they do think of it it's as a very regrettable tragedy that happened a couple centuries ago.

As has been said, it was done by a rogue group of Mormons acting against direction from church headquarters. You also have to consider the context, which was high tensions during the Utah War, and in light of decades of violent (even state-sanctioned) persecution of Mormons before they came to Utah. Also, the people in the wagon train were apparently provoking the Mormons with words and actions.

But there was no excuse for it. It was contrary to everything the church teaches. It appears it was cold blooded mass murder, which is about the worse sin there is. I am deeply ashamed it happened. It feels personal to me, like rayito said, and makes me ashamed and sick and sad.
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casey r lowe
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MWChapel wrote:
Slavery, Japanese Internment, the kill off of the Native Americans, Salem Witch trials, Mustard gasing US soldiers...All that stuff happened so long ago. How long will all this stuff haunt us? Isn't there a expiration date? Maybe if we just stop thinking about it. As we know nothing good from talking about our history.

 
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GameCrossing wrote:
Honestly, it isn't. I mean, the only time it ever comes up is when people from the outside mention it to cite that one violent incident somehow disparages an entire faith from here until the end of time...

Is there not (or at least was there not at one time) a display at the church's visitor center in Salt Lake City telling the official LDS account of the incident? I'm almost certain a former Mormon aquaintence showed it to me in the late seventies...
 
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lelandpike wrote:
Is there not (or at least was there not at one time) a display at the church's visitor center in Salt Lake City telling the official LDS account of the incident? I'm almost certain a former Mormon aquaintence showed it to me in the late seventies...

I've never seen one. Maybe it was a temporary exhibit.

While looking for information I found this 2007 article from the Church's official magazine:
https://www.lds.org/ensign/2007/09/the-mountain-meadows-mass...
 
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