July 30, 2008
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.
July 18, 2008
Me??? Little ole Jack Mormon?? Ummm, yeah, not really but last week there was this crazy news story about Chad Hardy’s excommunication from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (otherwise known as the Mormon Church). He put hot chest-baring male return missionaries in a calendar, put it on the market and made a killing. Unfortunately for Chad, the male leaders of his local congregation didn’t like it (I’m sure the Relief Society didn’t mind) and took action. I had numerous requests to blog on this story but as I read it became clear it wasn’t really a story. Chad was pretty happy he got shit-canned, he got serious publicity for his next calendar, and since he wasn’t living a Mormon lifestyle he simply didn’t care. The funniest thing about the story is the fact that Brandon Flowers is from the same congregation and he wears make up. Personally I think a church should be able to tell people to get out if they want to. They make the rules, they’re speaking for God, general membership isn’t supposed to understand its inner workings; it’s a church for Crissakes!
Chad’s excommunication did get me thinking about the process because growing up I recall there being a terrible stigma attached to the word. You’d hear about someone getting Ex’d (until the 1970s*, decisions of excommunication and disfellowshipment were announced openly in ward Melchizedek Priesthood meetings, although the nature of the transgression was usually not announced) and then you’d wonder what transgression was committed or who had sex with who. Members would heap initial pity on the family then withdraw leaving them isolated as the family with an excommunicated member. Most never quite recovered and the whole process seemed very extreme. I remember this being the case in several instances in my Ward growing up.
Bruce C. Hafen (who is a current General Authority and I believe somewhat Liberal) formalized the reasoning behind excommunication. I think it’s a pretty good read but on the disciplinary end it seems far reaching and harsh especially since most acts of discipline are handled at the local level and open to interpretation. Chad Hardy’s excommunication does seem a little senseless but for those who really have issues but want to remain inside the church, why not just lie? I’d still lie if they had pictures of me with my pants around my ankles while my secretary’s legs where on my shoulders. No, I have no idea who writes this blog! No, that isn’t my email address! See, that’s not so hard, is it? For the serious Mormon is it really worth the heart ache?
*I believe announcements continued until the late 80s, talk about harsh.