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Bloody Brigham


Zakuska

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Critics often paint Brigham Young as some blood thirsty tyrant... who lived out west and ruled with an Iron fist. (eg ONUG)

Here is a good quote for them:

I am a human beeing and I have the care of human beings. I wish to save life and have no desire to destroy life. If I had my wish, I should entirely stop the shedding of human blood The people abroad do not generally understand this but they will. Like Paul they do that they would not do and leave undone that they would do because of the sin that reigns in their members The nations of the world may apply this same text to their own case. They want to do something, but what to do rightly they do not find.

(Journal of Discourses 10, 108)

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Critics often paint Brigham Young as some blood thirsty tyrant... who lived out west with an Iron fist.

And stemming from that presumption, they are just so certain that Brigham engineered and orchestrated the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

Reading Great Expectations, D-i-c-kens's classic novel, I ran across this passage the other day that seems to fit the arguments of the Brigham-arranged-it critics pertaining to Mountain Meadows. They try "to fit the cirumstances to [their] ideas instead of trying to extract ideas from the circumstances."

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The remarkable thing about the myth of "Bloody Brigham" is that the accusers (Greek, diaboloi) actually have no evidence, and they quite obviously know it. This is because, when called upon to furnish evidence of Brigham's bloodthirsty deeds, they immediately fall back upon tendentious misinterpretations of his words.

Quite apart from the fact that there is not a shred of evidence that Brigham even owned a javelin, let alone seriously contemplated using one, there is a valid contemporary non-Mormon witness who reported that Brigham was fond of hyperbole in his sermons, and regularly substituted "the terrors of a scolding" for any actual punishment. Sir Richard Burton was an English explorer, and a shrewd judge of character. I rather think he knew what he was talking about.

Regards,

Pahoran

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...actually have no evidence, and they quite obviously know it. This is because, when called upon to furnish evidence ... they immediately fall back upon tendentious misinterpretations of his words.

Quite apart from the fact that there is not a shred of evidence ...

Regards,

Pahoran

Interesting.

Regards,

John

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Critics often paint Brigham Young as some blood thirsty tyrant... who lived out west with an Iron fist. (eg ONUG) Here is a good quote for them:

. . .

(Journal of Discourses 10, 108)

Note, however, that the Journal of Discourses contains statements by BY that contradict--or at least call into question--the one you cite as being representative of BY's position re. blood atonement; i.e.:

"Suppose you found your brother in bed with your wife, and put a javelin through both of them, you would be justified, and they would atone for their sins and be received into the kingdom of God. I would at once do so in such a case; and under such circumstances, I have no wife whom I love so well that I would not put a javelin through her heart, and I would do it with clean hands." (Journal of Discourses, 3:247)

"I could refer you to plenty of instances [underlining added] where men have been righteously slain, in order to atone for their sins. I have seen scores and hundreds of people for whom there would have been a chance (in the last resurrection there will be) if their lives had been taken and their blood spilled on the ground as a smoking incense to the Almighty, but who are now angels to the devil. . . . I have known a great many men who have left this Church for whom there is no chance whatever for exaltation, but if their blood had been spilled, it would have been better for them" [underlining added]. (Journal of Discourses, 4:220)

Note the following from Wilford Woodruff's journal (May 25, 1861): "We visited the Mt. Meadows Monument put up at the burial place of 120 persons killed by Indians [hmmm] in 1857. The pile of stone was about twelve feet high but beginning to tumble down. A wooden cross is [sic] placed on top with the following words, 'Vengeance is mine and I will repay saith the Lord.' Pres. Young said it should be 'Vengeance is mine and I have taken a little.'" Dudley Leavitt was present when BY visited the site. Dudley gave his three sons the following account: "I was with the group of elders that went out with President Young to visit the spot in the spring of '61. . . .on top [of a wooden cross were the words] 'Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, I will repay.' Brother Brigham read that to himself and studied it for a while and then he read it out loud, 'Vengeance is mine saith the Lord, I HAVE repaid. He didn't say another word. He didn't give an order. He just lifted his right arm to the square, and in five minutes there wasn't one stone left upon another. He didn't have to tell us what he wanted done. We understood.'" (Brooks, Mountain Meadows Massacre, p. 183)

Some will be quick to discount Brooks' report, but what about Wilford Woodruff's journal?

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Note, however, that the Journal of Discourses contains statements by BY that contradict--or at least call into question--the one you cite as being representative of BY's position re. blood atonement; i.e.:

"Suppose you found your brother in bed with your wife, and put a javelin through both of them, you would be justified, and they would atone for their sins and be received into the kingdom of God. I would at once do so in such a case; and under such circumstances, I have no wife whom I love so well that I would not put a javelin through her heart, and I would do it with clean hands." (Journal of Discourses, 3:247)

"I could refer you to plenty of instances [underlining added] where men have been righteously slain, in order to atone for their sins. I have seen scores and hundreds of people for whom there would have been a chance (in the last resurrection there will be) if their lives had been taken and their blood spilled on the ground as a smoking incense to the Almighty, but who are now angels to the devil. . . . I have known a great many men who have left this Church for whom there is no chance whatever for exaltation, but if their blood had been spilled, it would have been better for them" [underlining added]. (Journal of Discourses, 4:220)

Note the following from Wilford Woodruff's journal (May 25, 1861): "We visited the Mt. Meadows Monument put up at the burial place of 120 persons killed by Indians [hmmm] in 1857. The pile of stone was about twelve feet high but beginning to tumble down. A wooden cross is [sic] placed on top with the following words, 'Vengeance is mine and I will repay saith the Lord.' Pres. Young said it should be 'Vengeance is mine and I have taken a little.'" Dudley Leavitt was present when BY visited the site. Dudley gave his three sons the following account: "I was with the group of elders that went out with President Young to visit the spot in the spring of '61. . . .on top [of a wooden cross were the words] 'Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, I will repay.' Brother Brigham read that to himself and studied it for a while and then he read it out loud, 'Vengeance is mine saith the Lord, I HAVE repaid. He didn't say another word. He didn't give an order. He just lifted his right arm to the square, and in five minutes there wasn't one stone left upon another. He didn't have to tell us what he wanted done. We understood.'" (Brooks, Mountain Meadows Massacre, p. 183)

Some will be quick to discount Brooks' report, but what about Wilford Woodruff's journal?

The one that contradicts Leavitt's account in crucial ways?

Thank you, Paul, for so obligingly providing a textbook example of what I was talking about.

Ask yourself where Brigham was going to get a javelin from, and a little light may begin to dawn.

Regards,

Pahoran

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The custom of the time was to speak dramatically and with hyperbole. Brigham was a man of his times. That men today get offended at his words is a reflection on them and their feminization. But what is offensive to me is that they take his words out of the context of his audience, his time and the totality of his life.

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The custom of the time was to speak dramatically and with hyperbole. Brigham was a man of his times. That men today get offended at his words is a reflection on them and their feminization. But what is offensive to me is that they take his words out of the context of his audience, his time and the totality of his life.

I don't think Porters "well" in Lehi would be considered hyperbole

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[W]hat is offensive to me is that they take his words out of the context of his audience, his time and the totality of his life.

Not only that, but out of the context of the rhetorical point being made in the particular address. The javelin incident, for example, is a paraphrase of scripture . . . and the point of his address is that we don't go around imposing private, bloody vengeance.

Now, as to paulpatter having employed the snippet from BY's address as he did and for the purpose he did: one of two things necessarily obtain. Either he knew he was mis-citing BY's words for the purpose he cited them; or he did so negligently and in ignorance.

Quaere: Shall we charitably impute ignorance, given his posting history, or shall we call him on this?

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Not only that, but out of the context of the rhetorical point being made in the particular address. The javelin incident, for example, is a paraphrase of scripture . . . and the point of his address is that we don't go around imposing private, bloody vengeance.

That was not the point of his address [underlining is mine], it being a paraphrase of scripture notwithstanding. And oh, BTW, is it better to impose public vengeance? rolleyes.gif

: Now, as to paulpatter having employed the snippet from BY's address as he did and for the purpose he did: one of two things necessarily obtain. Either he knew he was mis-citing BY's words for the purpose he cited them; or he did so negligently and in ignorance.

You don't bring much argumentive weight to bear here, USU, writing in vague generalities as you have. Perhaps you can be a tad more specific; i.e., how did I "mis-cite" BYU's words?

: Quaere: Shall we charitably impute ignorance, given his posting history, or shall we call him on this?

Last time you addressed me (locked MMM thread), you went ad hominem, and I reported you for it. Itching for an encore, are you?

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Last time you addressed me (locked MMM thread), you went ad hominem, and I reported you for it. Itching for an encore, are you?

Not at all....merely wishing for something from you other than pre-digested anti-Mormon talking points that flatly deceive.

Are you up to the challenge?

Or are intellectual cowardice and character assassination your only virtues?

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Not at all....merely wishing for something from you other than pre-digested anti-Mormon talking points that flatly deceive.

I am a life-long Latter-day Saint (sent three sons on missions, served in a bishopric and on a high council, etc.). My sole interest is to distinguish fact from fiction/myth. I love the Church, despite what you imagine. Unfortunately, some LDS have a difficult time confronting certain elements of their historicity. They manifest a knee-jerk defensive reaction to anything that suggests the Church has been error free from Joseph Smith to President Monson. The "out of context" argument re. BY's statements doesn't quite cut it; he said what he said, and he didn't back away from it in any way. Moreover, there's that little incident at the MMM site. . .something about "vengeance."

: Are you up to the challenge?

Ah, gee, I'll really have to think about that. Hmmm. . .oh, what the heck, give it your best shot (I'm all a-tremble).

: Or are intellectual cowardice and character assassination your only virtues?

"Intellectual cowardice": Seems to me that amounts to "character assassination." Eh?

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Unfortunately, some LDS have a difficult time confronting certain elements of their historicity.

They manifest a knee-jerk defensive reaction to anything that suggests the Church has been error free from Joseph Smith to President Monson.
The "out of context" argument re. BY's statements doesn't quite cut it; he said what he said, and he didn't back away from it in any way.
Moreover, there's that little incident at the MMM site. . .something about "vengeance."
Ah, gee, I'll really have to think about that. Hmmm. . .oh, what the heck, give it your best shot (I'm all a-tremble).

No, sweetie-pie. You're the one who needs to take the shot- back up your unsubstantiated allegations...without resorting to predigest propaganda..IF you can.

"Intellectual cowardice": Seems to me that amounts to "character assassination." Eh?

Interesting. Accusing and challenging you to your face is character assassination, but unsubstantiated rumor-mongering and slander (such as the examples cited above) are not.

Clearly, Alice- you've taken one too many hits from the hooka.

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selek,

Whats your take on the BY/Rockwell association?

Can you be a little more specific?

I'm "associated" with a lot of people for good or ill.

Why should Brigham Young be any different?

Indeed, given his calling, why should he be any less?

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Can you be a little more specific?

I'm "associated" with a lot of people for good or ill.

Sure, BY's personal body guard, the one known as the Destroying Angle, the one with JS's blessing/promise coming from the original Danites and moving on to Utah after his jail stint for the attempted murder of Boggs etc.

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Sure, BY's personal body guard, the one known as the Destroying Angle, the one with JS's blessing/promise coming from the original Danites and moving on to Utah after his jail stint for the attempted murder of Boggs etc.

"Destroying Angle" is so terribly vague. Please be more specific. Was that an obtuse angle, a right-angle, or an acute angle?

The Danites, like "the honest politician" are largely a fabrication of partisans with over-active imaginations, and all of the hysteria and hyperbole surrounding them relies almost exclusively on the testimony of ex-Mormon partisans of extremely dubious character who 1) had axes to grind, and 2) were more worried about excusing thier own sin than with the truth.

As to the "jail stint for the attempted murder of Boggs", that was a trumped-up charge by bigots and lynchers who later took up wearing sheets in order to terrorize them uppity ex-slaves.

There is no credible evidence- none- linking Rockwell to the attempted assasination of Boggs, who was corrupt and had made quite a few other enemies besides the Mormons.

Given the horrors those men and their immediate progeny inflicted on Missouri, Illinois and surrounding areas over the next fifty years, the idea that Rockwell was on their short list is hardly a damning condemnation.

Porter, like Young was (as Deborah pointed out earlier) a product of his time.

Unless the limp-wrist, lace-panty crowd can come up with something factual, substantive, and truly damning, I've yet to see any reason to consider the association embarassing to either party- let alone that the association somehow proved Young to have been a murderous tyrant.

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Porter, like Young was (as Deborah pointed out earlier) a product of his time.

Yep, and it was a very violent time, in a totally untamed wilderness. Not sure why it's so damning and worthy of such defensive efforts.

I simply stated, originally, that the "Bloody BY" title seemed to me to be more from the Rockwell/blood atonement stories than the mmm. I made no judgment, simply noted in what context I'd ever heard the reference.

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That was not the point of his address [underlining is mine], it being a paraphrase of scripture notwithstanding. {snip}

I call on paulpatter to find the next 60 words in BY's address that contained the javelin quotation, if he can, and put them forth here so that the viewing public can get the full context. If paulpatter cannot, we can assume he pulled this snippet from the typical antiMormon quotemined sources.

You don't bring much argumentive weight to bear here, USU, writing in vague generalities as you have. Perhaps you can be a tad more specific; i.e., how did I "mis-cite" BYU's words?

By failing to provide the relevant context. The next 60 words of the address will do. Is paulpatter capable of finding primary sources instead of culling quotemined antiMormon sources? Me doubts he can, but will be both surprised and not a little pleased if he will research in someplace other than quotemined antiMormon sources.

Last time you addressed me (locked MMM thread), you went ad hominem, and I reported you for it. Itching for an encore, are you?

Congrats for getting the thread locked. You should be proud. Oh, and so you can feel even more justified in taking such a cowardly and loser approach to public discourse, I'll even namecall:

What

A

Maroon

USU "That's All, Folks!" 78

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Yep, and it was a very violent time, in a totally untamed wilderness.

And yet, outside of salacious stories, yellow journalism, and rank fear-mongering, the Utah/Deseret territory was notably more peaceful and peaceable than many of its neighbors in the same era.

http://en.fairmormon.org/Crime_and_violence_in_Utah

Hardly the work of a blood-thirsty tyrant bent on mischief, that.

Not sure why it's so damning and worthy of such defensive efforts.

I simply stated, originally, that the "Bloody BY" title seemed to me to be more from the Rockwell/blood atonement stories than the mmm. I made no judgment, simply noted in what context I'd ever heard the reference.

Uh-huh.

No, thank you.

I don't need to buy any bridges tonight.

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Joseph Smith did not believe Porter Rockwell tried to kill Boggs. As he said if he tried he would have succeeded. In any case nothing was ever proven on that point. Porter was a rough man but very loyal and the prophet Joseph loved him. I think we ought to not judge where there is no evidence and only rumor.

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No, sweetie-pie.

Put-down name-calling is typically an early indicator of desperation. It's OK, I understand.

: You're the one who needs to take the shot- back up your unsubstantiated allegations...without resorting to predigest propaganda..IF you can.

"Unsubstantiated allegations"? Fascinating. You haven't answered Wilford Woodruff's journal entry. . .haven't answered eyewitness accounts of what BY said when he visited the MMM site. . .haven't answered what is recorded in the Journal of Discourses. Are you prepared to denigrate President Woodruff's account? How about the Journal of Discourses? The best you have managed to this point is to accuse me of "predigest[ed] propaganda," sans any particulars.

: Interesting. Accusing and challenging you to your face is character assassination, but unsubstantiated rumor-mongering and slander (such as the examples cited above) are not.

So, it's your position that Wilford Woodruff engaged in "rumor mongering" in his journal--right? It's also your position that BY's speeches/writings as recorded in the Journal of Discourses constituted "rumor mongering"--right? Really? How astonishing coming from one such as you.

: Clearly, Alice- you've taken one too many hits from the hooka.

My name isn't Alice; and I don't know what "the hooka" is, but apparently you're familiar with it.

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