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Article Published Today (9/10) By Richard E. Turley, Jr.


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For a century and a half, the Mountain Meadows Massacre has shocked and distressed those who have learned of it. The tragedy has deeply grieved the victimsâ?? relatives, burdened the perpetratorsâ?? descendants and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints generally with sorrow and feelings of collective guilt, and heaped unjust suffering upon the Paiute people.

With the 150th anniversary of the tragic event today, what can be done to bring about healing and reconciliation among those still affected by it?

I suggest four things.

First, face the truth. We cannot change the past, but we can choose how we will react to it. Despite efforts made over 150 to rationalize the massacre, the fact remains that nothing the victims purportedly did or said, even if all of it were true, came close to justifying their deaths. Though it occurred in the context of the Utah War, what happened at the Mountain Meadows on September 11, 1857, was not a battle: it was a massacre, a mass killing of some 120 defenseless men, women, and children who had been promised protection.

Second, honor the dead. Those whose remains lie at the Mountain Meadows never had a proper burial. Partial skeletons unearthed during the construction of the 1999 monument were respectfully re-interred before the monumentâ??s dedication, but other bones from even those victims may still lie scattered below the surface of the Meadows. The events of the next few days, including the memorial service today, provide an opportunity to remember the lives of the people whose earthly remains hallow the ground that now covers them.

Third, continue the dialogue. What occurred at Mountain Meadows in 1857 was in many ways unspeakable. For over a century in some quarters, especially parts of southern Utah, the massacre was largely unmentioned and unexplored, a subject whispered in corners and off limits to open discussion. In recent decades, people with a wide spectrum of viewpoints have felt free to express them openly.

A dialogue has begun between the descendants of the victims and the perpetrators, representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Paiute leaders. The discussion has at times been halting and emotional. But in the past, it was often nonexistent. Though healing takes time, continuing the dialogue offers hope for understanding among those who may approach the subject from divergent points of view.

Fourth and finally, be tolerant of othersâ?? viewpoints. A failure to respect other human beings led to the massacre. The recent and welcome discussion about the massacre has at times threatened to devolve into acrimony. Being tolerant does not mean quashing all emotion. The killing of 120 people and the untold suffering of the survivors is a highly emotional matter. So is the burden carried by the descendants of those whose ancestors perpetrated the massacre and those who were blamed for it unfairly. But it is possible to voice opinions and express emotion in an attitude of respect for both the living and the dead.

The Mountain Meadows Massacre was arguably the worst event in the history of the state of Utah, the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and certainly in the history of the victimsâ?? families.

One hundred and fifty years later, let us honor the dead by cultivating an attitude of tolerance, which, if it had reigned in 1857, may have prevented the massacre that we remember with deep regret in 2007.

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Very good counsel.

One hundred and fifty years later, let us honor the dead by cultivating an attitude of tolerance, which, if it had reigned in 1857, may have prevented the massacre that we remember with deep regret in 2007.

I think brother Turley hits it square on the head with this statement. In 1857, there was a high level of intolerance on both sides. Not everyone subscribed to it, but it was there in critical mass.

Have we learned the lesson today? Or is there just as high a level of intolerance in our day? And could it lead to a repeat of history, keeping in mind not only Mountain Meadows, but Haun's Mill, the extermination order, disenfranchisement of Church members over polygamy, and other events of the past?

Bitterness still exists and does come to the surface at times.

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Here:

"...One hundred and fifty years later, let us honor the dead by cultivating an attitude of tolerance,

which, if it had reigned in 1857, may have prevented the massacre that we remember with deep

regret in 2007."

Not merely "tolerance," I hope -- but also our seeking God's will.

In retrospect we all can see that the God of Israel had no part in the tragedy -- and certainly did

not command nor condone the lining up of little child survivors, measuring their height according to

a short stick, and then murdering all the helpless little survivors who stood even an inch taller.

No, God was not there in the hearts of His Saints that day -- and had our ancestors (yes I had

ancestors in the Utah militia in 1857) prayed to God for guidance, none of this would have ever

happened.

So, "tolerance?" -- certainly so.

And our God's lovingkindness as well.

Uncle Dale

.

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Not merely "tolerance," I hope -- but also our seeking God's will.

In retrospect we all can see that the God of Israel had no part in the tragedy -- and certainly did

not command nor condone the lining up of little child survivors, measuring their height according to

a short stick, and then murdering all the helpless little survivors who stood even an inch taller.

No, God was not there in the hearts of His Saints that day -- and had our ancestors (yes I had

ancestors in the Utah militia in 1857) prayed to God for guidance, none of this would have ever

happened.

So, "tolerance?" -- certainly so.

And our God's lovingkindness as well.

Uncle Dale

.

God might have been there, maybe this was his will from the get go? maybe he had a much

bigger purpose in it all? maybe because of todays technology and instant communication,

,

now this tragedy, alongside other unexplained trgadies over time, can now be of use for all of us

thru his will,purpose and divine plan?

:P

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God might have been there, maybe this was his will from the get go? maybe he had a much

bigger purpose in it all? maybe because of todays technology and instant communication,

,

now this tragedy, alongside other unexplained trgadies over time, can now be of use for all of us

thru his will,purpose and divine plan?

:P

Well, to my way of thinking, this is not the thread for pondering God's greater influence in the world, etc.

We can simply say "Well done, Elder Turley," and "Thank-you, leaders of the LDS Church," and leave

it at that for now.

Once people are on the proper track, good results generally follow.

Uncle Dale

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Well, to my way of thinking, this is not the thread for pondering God's greater influence in the world, etc.

Uncle Dale

.........................................................................................................................................................

In retrospect we all can see that the God of Israel had no part in the tragedy -- and certainly did

not command nor condone the lining up of little child survivors, measuring their height according to

a short stick, and then murdering all the helpless little survivors who stood even an inch taller.

No, God was not there in the hearts of His Saints that day -- and had our ancestors (yes I had

ancestors in the Utah militia in 1857) prayed to God for guidance, none of this would have ever

happened

Uncle dale.

:P

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Third, continue the dialogue.
I disagree, the time for dialouge is way past, there is not a single living person that was there and I suspect no children of people that were there still live and the grandchildren of people there are probably getting up there in years also. Its time to stop living in the past, especially 150 years in the past. Consign it to the history books and get on with life.
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I disagree, the time for dialouge is way past, there is not a single living person that was there and I suspect no children of people that were there still live and the grandchildren of people there are probably getting up there in years also. Its time to stop living in the past, especially 150 years in the past. Consign it to the history books and get on with life.

Grouch!

:P

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I disagree, the time for dialouge is way past, there is not a single living person that was there and I suspect no children of people that were there still live and the grandchildren of people there are probably getting up there in years also. Its time to stop living in the past, especially 150 years in the past. Consign it to the history books and get on with life.

I don't know that a time for dialogue ever passes. It's still a point of contention, and it is still out there and evidently not ready to be "consign[ed] into the history books" so people can "get on with life." And I doubt it will reach that point unless dialogue occurs. I think it might be a lack of dialogue that has polarized the subject to the pulpit it currently resides upon.

People evidently feel something about this topic, and those feelings (whether valid in our eyes or not) may not ever be resolved without some form of open and continuing dialogue.

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I disagree, the time for dialouge is way past, there is not a single living person that was there and I suspect no children of people that were there still live and the grandchildren of people there are probably getting up there in years also. Its time to stop living in the past, especially 150 years in the past. Consign it to the history books and get on with life.

Did you ever wonder why places or people are "haunted"? Why some places won't allow it's present occupants to forget--to ignore the long dead past and "get on with life"? I think it's when there is unfinished business. Mountain Meadows is unfinished business and in my opinion, that's why the church has been "haunted" by it for 150 years.

The truth was never fully known or even faced. Even when Juanita Brooks tried to get the church to look at it, the leadership and most of the membership wouldn't. There was a refusal to even look at her book and clear disapproval for her having written it. Most weren't able to look at it honestly then.

Now is the time for the truth to be confronted, accepted and learned from. When we, as a church can do this, we will be able to exorcise the ghosts of Mountain Meadows which still haunt us.

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Did you ever wonder why places or people are "haunted"? Why some places won't allow it's present occupants to forget--to ignore the long dead past and "get on with life"? I think it's when there is unfinished business. Mountain Meadows is unfinished business and in my opinion, that's why the church has been "haunted" by it for 150 years.

The truth was never fully known or even faced. Even when Juanita Brooks tried to get the church to look at it, the leadership and most of the membership wouldn't. There was a refusal to even look at her book and clear disapproval for her having written it. Most weren't able to look at it honestly then.

Now is the time for the truth to be confronted, accepted and learned from. When we, as a church can do this, we will be able to exorcise the ghosts of Mountain Meadows which still haunt us.

You are absolutely right. but it also seems you are implicating the church to be guilty?

The truth needs to come forth if it is still possible, but the truth does not mean it was the churchs fault.

It would be wonderfull to be able to find it, whomever was responsible.

irregardless its good for people to discuss and vent.

:P

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I disagree, the time for dialouge is way past, there is not a single living person that was there and I suspect no children of people that were there still live and the grandchildren of people there are probably getting up there in years also. Its time to stop living in the past, especially 150 years in the past. Consign it to the history books and get on with life.

These are exactly the feelings I had from reading the article. What is there to Dialogue about?

Critics are demanding the Church admit its mistake in it. Which of course is impossible because the Church did nothing wrong. Those individuals that did were punished well over a century ago. The people involved are long dead on both sides of the issue.

The only reason this is still an issue is because anti mormons can use it to try to attack the Church and convince people who dont know the actual history that somehow Brigham Young was responsible for it.

If we face the truth of the situation and honor the dead, then there is no need for dialogue. But if we want to keep rehashing things again and again and let people continue to deny the truth, open up a dialogue. One that will never satisfy the blood thirsty critics who want to see us destroyed.

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The truth was never fully known or even faced.

The truth, or what you want to hear?

Federal judges (non-LDS)at the time decided Truth, too bad its not what some people wanted the outcome to be. 99.99999% of the world knows nothing about MMM and if they did could care less, its time for the other .00001% to get over it - it was decided in Ferderal court almost 150 years ago.

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The truth, or what you want to hear?

Federal judges (non-LDS)at the time decided Truth, too bad its not what some people wanted the outcome to be. 99.99999% of the world knows nothing about MMM and if they did could care less, its time for the other .00001% to get over it - it was decided in Ferderal court almost 150 years ago.

What was decided 150 years ago? Do you mean that the case was settled 130 years ago when John D. Lee was found guilty and executed? Because if that's what you mean, then you are satisfied with an outcome where "truth" was disregarded so that the past could be closed and the rest of the guilty parties could go on with their lives--such as they were.

Those two trials did not bring out the facts of the case and it did not bring all the perpetrators of a horrible crime to justice.

Jadmas, I think I will take your question to me and start a new thread, thanks. I'll answer it there.

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