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Roundup Of Reactions To The Church's Apology


smac97

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Here's what I've found so far:

Here:

Historian Will Bagley, who wrote Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows, appreciated the expression of contrition to the Paiutes, but he felt the church - as an institution - fell short in owning up to its culpability.

''I don't think shoving it off on local [Mormon] leadership is an apology,'' he said. ''Did you hear an 'I'm sorry?' ''

Here (same link):

Added Priscilla ****son, 60, of St. George, a descendant of the Tackett family, which was among the emigrants, ''Simply saying 'I'm sorry,' would go a long way.' "

Here (same link):

Patty Norris of the Arkansas-based Mountain Meadows Massacre Descendants organization referred to the statement as an ''almost apology.''

''I don't think they came right out and apologized, but I did feel like it was an apology,'' said Norris, whose organization represents descendants of child survivors of the massacre. ''It's closer than anything we've ever had, and I appreciated at least, the effort.''

Here (same link):

The scars of that time have been long-lasting for the Paiutes, said Lora Tom, a representative of the Paiute Nation.

"For 150 years no one asked for our account," she said.

Tom, whose remarks elicited a standing ovation, said long-perpetuated lies faulting her ancestors have hurt Paiute youth who've grown up reading about this in history books. She said her ancestors had remained silent because they were trying to survive. They feared speaking up because they relied on local Mormons.

''That was a time not to confront this story, but now is the time," she said. The Paiutes "have kept to themselves for too long . . . This is the beginning for us. Let us begin together."

Here:

Doris Peavler from Muskogee, Okla., said this is her second time to visit the site where her great grandmother left as a 3-year-old survivor.

The memorial served as a good chance to meet other descendents of both the victims' and perpetrators' families, Peavler said.

"It is time its been acknowledged," she said.

Here (same link):

Another direct descendent of John D. Lee, Glen E. Lee, said he and his wife Kaylee decided to go to the memorial service because it felt like the right thing to do although they were not planning to attend.

"History has to be continually revised until we get as close to the truth as we can get," Kaylee Lee said. "It was hidden for so long."

In an effort to learn more about the truth of the massacre, Kaylee Lee and her husband have read many books and information about the event.

"We are trying to get closer to the truth and are trying to express our deep sorrow that this thing ever happened," she said.

Glen Lee said the focus should now be on forgiveness and the future.

"After all, we are all children of God and there is no room for hate or resentment," he said. "We need to forget the past and live for the future and recognize that these people deserve every honor we can possibly pay them."

Here (sort of):

Will Bagley, author of "Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows," said he doesn't feel that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will ever get past the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

As far as making steps toward healing, Bagley said he believes first, the LDS Church needs to step up and seek forgiveness from the Paiutes and the descendants, but said he is not optimistic that this will happen

This was published yesterday, so perhaps Bagley made these comments prior to Elder Eyring's remarks.

Here:

"He seemed to genuinely regret what happened â?? and that's more than we have gotten in the past," Patty Norris, president of the group Mountain Meadows Massacre Descendants. "This is as close as we've ever gotten to an apology, so for the time being, we'll take it."

...

Eyring cited research by church historians that put the responsibility on local leaders and others acting under their direction. He said that Brigham Young tried to convey an order of protection for the wagon train, but that the message didn't arrive in time by horseback.

"He did point out church leaders were involved in the massacre â?? certainly people involved in the church. That's probably as far as he could go with it, and it's the first time the church admitted that," Norris said.

Here (same link):

Church leaders were adamant that the statement should not be construed as an apology. "We don't use the word 'apology.' We used 'profound regret,'" church spokesman Mark Tuttle told The Associated Press.

Bro. Turley apparently didn't get the memo. (See also here.)

Here:

Eyring expressed -- quote -- "profound regret" for the massacre -- and descendants of the pioneers say that's as close to an apology as they've gotten from the church.

...

Eyring's statement stopped short of making an apology -- a word he didn't use.

Instead, he blamed "local leaders" of the church in Cedar City, Utah, for taking matters in their own hands.

Here:

The Mormon Church has apologized now, 150 years later, for their part in the massacre.

...

Well good, glad that's over with. This marks the first time that the Mormon Church has ever dealt with historical facts. I can think of a whole list of other things they should apologize for, starting with, sorry we've lead so many people to hell, etc. etc

Here:

And They Call Themselves A "Church of Jesus Christ"?

I just read a story by Paul Foy of the Associated Press about a statement released by a ranking Mormon official that expressed "profound regret" over a massacre of 120 people crossing Utah in an attempt to reach California back in 1857. However, the church leadership was quick to point out that they were not "apologizing" - only expressing "profound regret" that some church members were involved in the massacre. Well, "isn't that special?" - as the SNL "church lady" would say. Mormons call themselves "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." Jesus? Saints? huh? where? HOW? ONE HUNDRED FIFTY FREAKING YEARS have passed, and the leadership of this so-called "church" cannot bring itself to APOLOGIZE for the church's part in the slaying of 120 INNOCENT, UNARMED people 150 years ago!! This is as bad as the Catholics not apologizing for the Crusades. Who is the Jesus that these people are following? Really - I want to know, because it certainly cannot be the Jesus born among farm animals in Bethlehem and raised as a carpenter's son in Nazareth. It cannot be that Jesus. It cannot be the Jesus who spoke the words, "love your neighbor as yourself" and "what you do to the least of these, my brothers, you do to me." They cannot possibly claim to be following that Jesus. THAT JESUS must be weeping at the words and behavior of these so-called "church leaders." Surely the harsh words that he spoke to the Jewish leaders of His time must be coming from His lips once again.

Here:

Eyring's statement stopped short of making an apology - a word he didn't use, a church spokesman said. Nor did Eyring take responsibility on behalf of the church for the massacre. Instead, he blamed "local leaders" of the church in Cedar City, Utah, for taking matters into their own hands.

Here (same link):

Eyring also expressed regret to Paiute Indians, "who have unjustly borne for too long the principal blame for what occurred during the massacre," he said. "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."

Local Mormon leaders managed to enlist only a few Paiutes for the massacre, said Forest Cuch, executive director of the Utah Division of Indian Affairs.

"The LDS Church has got to stop making that association. They're constantly associating the Mormon militia with the Indians. Instead, say there were 60 members of the Mormon militia and two Paiute Indians," he told the Deseret Morning News.

-Smac

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Does this surprise anyone? Satan will never be happy until the Church is destroyed. THAT IS WHAT THIS GARBAGE IS ALL ABOUT! They do not care one whit about anyone who died 150 years ago, they just want another reason to deny the truth and fight against God. It started in the sacred grove when Satan tried to destroy Joseph before he was able to pray and it has not stopped and will not stop until the wicked on this earth are burned as stubble at the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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These reactions are sad, but not unexpected.

As has already been said-most of the people who are so concerned with MMM do not want an apology from the church-they want the church to admit it is a fraud and anything less than that admission is going to get the kinds of responses we have seen in this thread.

Their responses to the words of Eyring simply unveil their true agenda and also show that they have no knowledge of Eyring either. He is such a great man, very humble and very Christ-like. I don't know how anyone could have heard him speak these words and not feel it came from the very depths of his soul.

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"He did point out church leaders were involved in the massacre â?? certainly people involved in the church. That's probably as far as he could go with it, and it's the first time the church admitted that," Norris said.
???
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Has anyone outside the Church said outright what they think the Church should do? Has Bagley? Or is it just easier to sit on the sidelines and shoot at everything the Church does, without giving any input about what they want the Church to do?

And has anyone outside the Church said they would consider the case closed if the Church did do what they suggest?

From my perspective, and I certainly welcome correction if I'm wrong, I just see a bunch of people who want to extract their pound of flesh, some of them over and over and over again.

Please note that not everyone outside the Church is thinking this way; some have been gracious and more than willing to work this out. But what about the others?

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Has anyone outside the Church said outright what they think the Church should do? Has Bagley? Or is it just easier to sit on the sidelines and shoot at everything the Church does, without giving any input about what they want the Church to do?

And has anyone outside the Church said they would consider the case closed if the Church did do what they suggest?

From my perspective, and I certainly welcome correction if I'm wrong, I just see a bunch of people who want to extract their pound of flesh, some of them over and over and over again.

Please note that not everyone outside the Church is thinking this way; some have been gracious and more than willing to work this out. But what about the others?

Look here:

"What we've felt would put this resentment to rest would be an official apology from the church," says Scott Fancher of the Mountain Meadows Monument Foundation in Arkansas, a group of direct descendants of the victims. "Not an admission of guilt, but an acknowledgement of neglect and of intentional obscuring of the truth."

This same link also gives a good explanation as to why anti-Mormons like Bagley are so unwilling to accept anything other than a complete mea culpa by the Church:

Noted Mormon writer Levi Peterson has tried to explain the difficulty that Mormons and their church face in confronting the atrocity of Mountain Meadows.

"If good Mormons committed the massacre, if prayerful leaders ordered it, if apostles and a prophet knew about it and later sacrificed John D. Lee, then the sainthood of even the modern church seems tainted," he has written.. "Where is the moral superiority of Mormonism, where is the assurance that God has made Mormons his new chosen people?"

I don't agree with Peterson's ruminations about the consequences of the MMM, but I think many of our critics do, and I think they are salivating at the prospect of undermining the truth claims of the Church by using the MMM (and the Church's apology for it).

-Smac

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i agree with them. It wasnt an apology. it was a show of regret that any followers of Christ could participate in such a horrid act. As well it should be because the Church wasnt responsible.

But they dont care about the truth. They just want the Church on a soundbite that makes it sound evil so they can attack it.

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Another response:

It never ceases to amaze me how "choked up" the Mormons get over their indiscretions and sins, yet never seem to ever get so "choked up" as to actually admit anything of substance.

I'm unaware the Elder Eyring had "indiscretions and sins" that need to be divulged.

It is almost as if there is this air of psychopathology that runs rampant throughout its ranks. Oh, they talk a big game when it comes to living right, and how that the Mormon Church is the "only true and living church upon the face of the earth" (D&C 1:30), but when the rubber really meets the road, and actually confession of serious wrong-doing is in order, then far be it that the Mormons and the Mormon Church will do it. The "crime" is either mitigated, it's someone else's fault (e. g., the Fancher-Baker party, the Paiutes, or John D. Lee), or the one bringing the charges just don't understand.

The Mormon hierarchy just doesn't "get it" though. The more it engages in denial, the more it loses credibility, as if it really has any to begin with to those who knows of its dealings cognitively and intimately.

-Smac

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"What we've felt would put this resentment to rest would be an official apology from the church," says Scott Fancher of the Mountain Meadows Monument Foundation in Arkansas, a group of direct descendants of the victims. "Not an admission of guilt, but an acknowledgement of neglect and of intentional obscuring of the truth."

Smac:

I've pondered this a little bit and something just doesn't seem right with an apology, either as an admission of guilt, or as an acknowledgement as described above.

The Church as an institution is not guilty, and so an apology for being guilty is inappropriate, as I think Scott Fancher understands.

But an apology of neglect and obscuring of the truth? How much of that request might be due to applying a certain amount of presentism to the situation? If the Church intentionally obscured the event, they certainly didn't do a very good job of it; evidently there was quite a bit in the Church archives about the event. And neglect is certainly something whose definition is in the eyes of the beholder.

I think that what it comes down to is really trying to understand the context of the whole event (if enough information is available), and then determining what the real motivations were. Until that understanding occurs, then it is premature to make any judgment on negligence or motivations by the Church. Perhaps it is only at this time that we have the ability reach that understanding; many things occur in history that are only understood long after the event has occurred. And certainly, research to find that understanding is now going on.

If the Church did not make an appropriate and balanced effort (in its critics judgment) to come to an understanding of the situation, then neither have non-LDS made any better effort. I suggest that previous books written about the MMM have not been balanced; while they may have contributed at some level to some impetus for understanding, they were, in and of themselves, poor conclusions as to understanding what really occurred. That is probably due to the biases of the authors involved.

We'll see what Turley comes out with and how it helps. However, it may well be that as long as there is disagreement on both sides of what the expectations of resolution are, final resolution to the major parties involved may not occur.

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Bill McKeever weighs in:

In an Associated Press article that has been circulating in several major media outlets, it stated quite clearly that â??Church leaders were adamant that the statement should not be construed as an apology.â? Said LDS Church spokesman, Mark Tuttle, â??We donâ??t use the word â??apology.â?? We used â??profound regret.â??â?

Such a comment speaks volumes. It not only confirms in the minds of many that the leadership continues to display a type of infallible arrogance, but it will also be understood by many that the LDS Church is not sorry for what happened under Brigham Youngâ??s watch. For me that is the big issue. I fully understand that there is no one currently living who was personally responsible for the MMM. However, there is a corporate responsibility that the LDS leadership wants to continue to deny. Brigham Young was the â??prophet, seer, and revelatorâ? of the LDS Church and he was also the ultimate head of every LDS militia in the Utah territory. True leaders understand that when things go wrong, the â??buckâ? has to stop somewhere, and in a real world it usually stops with those who are in charge. The LDS Church must certainly understand this concept given the huge monetary settlements paid by the LDS Church regarding child abuse cases perpetrated by Church personnel.

Furthermore, are we really expected to believe that Youngâ??s fiery reformation speeches on blood atonement and absolute loyalty to the leadership had no affect on those same leaders? It is difficult for me to believe that his sermons were given with the intent that they should be understood only as â??revival rhetoric.â? Respected historian Juanita Brooks noted on page 219 of her book, The Mountain Meadows Massacre,

â??while Young and George A. Smith, the church authorities chiefly responsible, did not specifically order the massacre, they did preach sermons and set up social conditions which made it possible.â?

Young may not have pulled a trigger or bludgeoned a small child with a gun butt, but I find it very difficult to side with Mormons who insist that he did not play any role in this awful event.

-Smac

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I asked before and don't remember seeing an answer:

Does anyone have the source/direct citation for this alleged comment by Tuttle?

It's in an AP article by Paul Foy.

Here:

Church leaders were adamant that the statement should not be construed as an apology. "We don't use the word 'apology.' We used 'profound regret,'" church spokesman Mark Tuttle told The Associated Press.

-Smac

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Intresting response from the Schafster...

Zak, I’m not going to spend much time entertaining your parallel. Telling people to buy weapons for self-defense and to fulfill prophecy hardly seems akin to fostering many of the conditions that led to the murder of 120 innocent people.

So then according to you and Bill[, Christ is directly] responsible for the Military actions of his men.

And according to you, Zak, the skin-whitening Lamanite Placement Program was the greatest thing since sliced bread, and China has a great democracy. Come on man, if you simply want to put words in our mouth, we’re going to delete your comments.

Apparently... JS was justified in using the pepper boxes. We'll see what Aarons reply is.

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