New book to make you uncomfortable!

A new book is coming out next month about the Mountain Meadows Massacre which happened in the southwest corner of Utah circa 1857. The Mountain Meadows massacre involved a mass slaughter of the Fancher-Baker emigrant wagon train at Mountain Meadows in the Utah Territory by the local Mormon militia in September 1857. It began as an attack, quickly turned into a siege, and eventually culminated on September 11, 1857, in the execution of the unarmed emigrants after their surrender.

Here is the movie poster about the Massacre starting Jon Voight as John D. Lee. I heard it was massively lame (You know Jack likes to include pictures on his blog).

This is a very uncomfortable topic for Mormons, if you read the whole Wiki account of the Mountain Meadows Massacre you see some very crazy and disturbing shit, specifically to Parley P. Pratt getting shot by the legal husband of one of his plural “wives” who doubled as a mistress. Nutty. P3 was and still is a beloved leader but he should have stayed away from wife stealing. To the naked eye this incident looks like murder in the 1st and it is apparent the leadership of the church knew about this from the bottom up. It’s a blight on the system, the topic is far too big to discuss on this blog but wanted to see if you were interested cause this book is getting serious run.



31 Responses to New book to make you uncomfortable!

  1. measure76 says:

    Heh. I wonder why I never heard about Mountain Meadows in Sunday School…

  2. Ryan says:

    You never heard about it in Sunday School for a number of reasons. For one thing, it has nothing to do with church doctrine. The massacre was not ordered by God, or by revelation, and there is not conclusive evidence that Brigham Young ordered it (despite what NON-HISTORIANS like the makers of the film September Dawn want you to believe). That means that what a group of people did 151 years ago has no bearing on you, your relationship with Deity, and the truthfulness of the church.

    Not to say that it wasn’t a terrible tragedy – IT WAS. But people try to draw correlations between the MMM and the church as a whole that just aren’t there.

    The other reason that you don’t hear about it in Sunday School is that it is a very sensitive subject that has to be presented in the proper context. People need to be ready to hear it, and ready to understand the facts and whether or not it matters to them. The problem is, too many people DO NOT understand it, and they tend to overreact and make rash decisions. It also leaves us with hundreds upon hundreds of books, films, blogs, and opinions that take lies and half-truths and then off in all different directions with them and only cause confusion.

    Consider this: The founding Fathers of this country were not perfect men, and we are not led by one today. But that doesn’t mean that the country, the constitution, the bill of rights, and every person living here are bad by association.

  3. jackmormon says:

    I actually don’t see the parallel between the Founding Father’s Constitution and this incident, that’s a quantum leap. It is a fact that the regional leaders sent an emissary to Brigham Young for guidence in the matter, whether or not they ultimately got direction from him is a matter of debate but there is no parallel here.

  4. Ryan says:

    The connection was between the Founding Fathers and the leadership of the LDS church. The men, themselves, are not perfect, but we should still remain true to the ideals, laws, and beliefs established through them. I don’t see that as a quantum leap at all. My main point is that, when it comes to tricky issues like this, a person needs to ask themselves two questions: Is it true, and does it matter? The truth is up for debate, but whether or not the MMM matters to someone’s membership in the church is without question. It doesn’t.

    They asked for guidance, and his response was to let them pass. The response did not arrive in time. That is a fact. The more likely explanation was that Brigham Young’s aggressive nature had an influence on these men. That, coupled with the isolation of Southern Utah, poor local leadership, belligerance on the part of the travelers, and fear of persecution and murder by outsiders (AGAIN!) culminated in this tragedy.

    You should read the book you’re pimping. The authors don’t believe BY did it, either.

  5. JLFuller says:

    The MMM. Isn’t that where a 17 Mormon boys and men surrendered to the mobs but were butchered anyway and their families were turned out in mid winter somewhere in Missouri or was that part of the 20,000 Mormons who died after being forced out of the homes in mid winter by the Missouri and Illinois mobs? There are so many anti-Mormon atrocities that I have lost count.

  6. JLFuller says:

    Mountain Meadows Massacre – I know I have heard of it. Maybe it was Winter Quarters where the sick and dieing were laid in the freezing rain, snow and mud without shelter or even blankets some with out coats or even shoes. Or was it the children who froze to death or died of starvation while their dieing parents watched.

  7. JLFuller says:

    Oh I know. Wasn’t that in Utah where some rengade Mormons killed a few dozen of the Missouri/Arkansas mobbers who were passing through bragging about killing all those Mormons and threatenening to do it again? I think there were 120 or so. Let’s see here – according to the scoreboard the losses are: Them 120 and Mormons 20,000.

  8. measure76 says:

    I think I get what you’re trying to say, JL… So many mormons were killed by persecution and/or Brigham Young’s poor choices in mountain transportation…

    That it was perfectly justifiable for the mormons to strike back by killing an innocent party of immigrants.

    AND it was pefectly justifiable for Brigham to try to cover it up, even if it can’t be proven that he authorized it. It can be proven that he tried to hide the fact that it ever happneed.

    But like you said, it was perfectly justifiable cold-blooded murder.

  9. Ryan says:


    No one is saying the MMM was justified. There is just a glaring double standard in play here.

    But, what else is new? Welcome to the world of anti-Mormon idiocy.

  10. JLFuller says:

    I know what it is like to be discriminated against by so called “good Christians”. Many of us have close relatives who have been killed or brutalized by these “Christians”( aka Evangelicals) because they felt some special dispensation from God to do so. So when I read about someone who claims Mormons have somehow disenfranchised others, for whatever reason, I have to take it as something less than an honest point for discussion. This goes for the MMM too. When there is the same attention paid to the atrocities perpetrated against Mormons in the name of the States of Illinois and Missouri and Federal governments, I will have a bit more sympathy for the MMM relatives claims of injustice.

  11. JLFuller says:

    Recently, another ex-Mormon I spoke with commented how I was attacking Christians when I commented about some very unsavory things being done in the name of God. (Read this to mean Mormon Research Ministries.) He wondered how I could do somethng like that. But the part he and just about every one else overlooks is that my comments are based on behavior not theology. I have never and will never make comments that denegrate another persons religious convictions. But their behavior is another matter. BEHAVIOR is fair game.

  12. JLFuller says:

    Let me put this in current terms. Suppose someone just murdered your parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, grandparents and several of your closest friends. and suppose a few of them come around to your neighborhood and bragged about how it was done and that maybe it ought to happen again with your surviving family and friends. Now suppose there is no such thing as an expectation that law enforcement or the state will intervene to protect you or arrrest and prosecute the pertprators of theses crimes. Who are you going to call and what are you going to do?

  13. measure76 says:

    Well, JL, obviously I should follow the mormon example. I should go find a travelling caravan, kll all the adults and some of the older children, and then go on with my life. That’ll make it all better.

  14. Ryan says:


    Yet again, you oversimplify and pass judgment from the comfort of your own recliner, 150 years removed and without a shred of objectivity.

    As long as we’re talking about the “Mormon example”, then what is the example of the members of the Illinois and Missouri mobs set before the MMM? Kill Mormons any time and any place you find them? In numbers far greater than those of the caravan? And how does history judge them? Meh. The Mormons “had it coming”, right? You can’t judge one without the other. An extermination order in the state of Missouri?? Are you freaking kidding me?

    Heaven forbid you should ever be placed in a similar situation of fear and doubt, only to have your decisions scrutinized and judged by fools in another 150 years. I doubt you would come out smelling any cleaner.

  15. Jack Fuller says:

    The mark of a responsible adult is the ability to see beyond their own narrow self interest. Neither I nor anyone I know espouses violence against anyone else except in self defense. The Church certainly does not. What happened at MMM was punished under the law. In that case, more justice was provided to the dead and their families than the aggrieved Mormons ever got. You seem slow to acknowledge that. But that is typical of anti-Mormons. That is why we call them anti-Mormons rather than critics. The term critic is reserved for honest people who consider all sides in a legitimate peer review where accuracy is considered the standard.

  16. measure76 says:

    Name calling, eh? That’s a good mormon way to settle an argument.

  17. measure76 says:

    But hey, maybe you’re right. maybe I shouldn’t pass judgement on the mormons 150 years ago. Perhaps back then it was perfectly acceptable to kill innocent travelling caravans, and I just don’t understand the culture.

  18. Jack Fuller says:

    I am not sure just what name you refer to but if it is anti-Mormon, you have been drinking the MRM Kool Aid. Anti-Mormon is only a slur according to one of the most deliberately offensive of the anti-Mormons who is obviously trying to find some legitimacy to cover his anti-Mormon campaign. Like I have said before about those who think anti-Mormon is a slur, no matter what kind of flower you put behind that pig’s ear it is still just another porker. Anti-Mormon refers to one’s behavior not his theology.

  19. Ryan says:


    Perhaps, then, instead of “name-calling” (which is not what was happening, by the way), we should just adopt your preferred method of settling an argument: By ignoring all valid points being made, continuing to parrot silly lines and phrases, and looking very foolish in the process.

  20. measure76 says:

    I’m sorry, Ryan, I’ve re-read the entire thread again, and I have again failed to see any valid point that makes what the mormons did at mountain meadows excusable.

    Understandable from a cultural and historical perspective, perhaps. I mean, bad deeds run deep throughout the history of the mormon church going back to Joseph Smith… It’s understandable that mormons bred in the Joseph Smith / Brigham Young church would do something like this.

    But Excusable? No. I don’t see any valid points that make the action excusable.

  21. Jack Fuller says:

    Who said anything about excusable? The point is about excusable actions it is about how important the whole thing is today? The issue isn’t about right or wrong. It is about whether it is an appropriate subject of discussion given its remoteness in time. Those who bring up the bad deeds committed by people who have been dead for over a hundred years in attempt to smear the living by association have an uphill battle to make their point relavant. In this case it isn’t. So why are we going down this road anyway? What is it you people want? The Chjurch has already appologized even though the Church had nothing to do with the event. I can see why they did given how important public perception is. I for one would not have do so but then no one put me in charge.

  22. Jack Fuller says:

    This whole thing just smacks of childishness and bigotry. It really is nothing more than “I don’t like you Mormons because of …(pick something) and therefore I am going to say and do whatever I like because you all have it coming because… (pick something else)”. You sound like a bunch of 2 year olds.

  23. measure76 says:

    I don’t hate mormons. I’m married to one, and I was a fine mormon myself up until last year.

    I am frustrated that the mormon church tends to cover up and sweeten up it’s history. Just try to get a non-LDS researcher unfettered access into the church archives. This is in contrast to say, the Catholics, that allow their embarrassing history to be viewed by non-catholic scholars. The Catholic church, historically one of the worst oppressing churches in the world, is now honest about it’s history.

    But really, it’s not hate that I have towards the church, as much as it is passion I have for the truth. I understand my truth is different than yours. But when it comes to church history issues, you will side with the official church line, while I will side with actual historical accuracy.

  24. JLFuller says:

    I am sure there is a bit of siege mentality down at Church HQ. It is not because there isn’t good reason. If this was an ordinary run-of-the-mill denomination we would just make something up or fire a broadside back at our attackers. But this is the restored Church of Jesus Christ and He is at the helm. We have to live with the humanness of our predecessors. But given we don’t have all the facts and people’s privacy and reputations are considered critically sensitive, I am satisfied that the Church’s approach is what the Savior wants. If it was your reputation at stake how would you want others to deal with it? Would you want your sinful behaviors spread all out in front of the world for your detractors slice dice and serve it up in any way they chose? Sometimes bits are released. I for one am OK with knowing that if it was necessary for everyone to know the Church would make it available.

  25. JLFuller says:

    One more thing 76. How do you know what the Catholic archives hold? They are not open to the public. How do you know that some original text of written by Paul doesn’t exist in there somewhere and that his writng supports the LDS view in some way and challenges the Catholic thinking?

  26. measure76 says:

    If the Mormon church is God’s true and living church, then the reputations of the church founders would hold up just fine under close scrutiny. There would be no reason to deny access to church history to outside scholars, and apparently, only limited access to in-the-church scholars.

  27. Jack Fuller says:

    I don’t think it is the leadership that would be scrutiized. It would be people who had limited dealings with them of an unflatering nature and their families. Do you want your grandkids to know about your misdeeds? What about if you repented for them afterewards and became the poster child for good living after a rough and rocky life? When you open up these files one never knows what will flop out. If the president of the church really is a prophet then he is the bst person to make such decisions as to who sees what. Rember, the Chruch didn’t keep as good of records back then that they keep now. They were not all that complete and were not systemized like they are now.

  28. measure76 says:

    I don’t care what people think of me after I’m dead. I’ll still be dead no matter what they think.

  29. Ryan says:


    How much do we know about the original 12 Apostles from Christ’s time?
    We know one thing – Paul was a Pharisee. One of the “bad guys” from the Bible. Does that mean that Christ made a mistake in choosing him? Is the original church tainted because some of its leaders made mistakes in their lives? There is absolutely no case to be made for the leadership of God’s true church to be spotless.

    It’s a mistake to compare the Catholic church to the LDS church. The Catholics claim to be the one true church, as well, yet they are not held to the same standard as the LDS church. They get a free pass, for some reason. People just seem to have it in for us, for some reason. Could it be… Satan?? 🙂

    Your first mistake, friend, was to base your faith in the church in the things of the world. Had you looked to Jesus Christ first, you would have understood that the things of the world are corruptible – changable. The church changes because people change. The history of the church is imperfect because people are imperfect. But the purpose of the church is to bring people to Jesus Christ. We believe in an organized religion because we believe in sticking together and helping each other out. If you were to look at it with an open mind, and an unbiased mind, you might recognize what an incredible and unlikely success it has been, in spite of the opposition and difficulties along the way.

    May God bless you, and your family.

  30. measure76 says:

    No, my first mistake was to adopt a belief in an invisible God. A God who refuses to provide evidence for his existence. A God, who according to Helaman 12:3, is clearly evil. He wants us to suffer, apparently. I’m glad he’s imaginary, because the world is bad enough without him making things worse.

  31. baccusss says:

    Yawn. Get over it. God doesn’t give a shit what you believe or what you do.

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