Mountain Meadows Massacre

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    Mountain Meadows Massacre

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints responds to these questions

"Mountain Meadows Massacre," Gospel Topics on LDS.org


“On September 11, 1857, some 50 to 60 local militiamen in southern Utah, aided by some American indian[s], massacred about 120 emigrants who were traveling by wagon to California. The horrific crime, which spared only 17 children age six and under, occurred in a highland valley called the Mountain Meadows, roughly 35 miles southwest of Cedar City. The victims, most of them from Arkansas, were on their way to California with dreams of a bright future“ (Richard E. Turley Jr., ”The Mountain Meadows Massacre,“ Ensign, Sept. 2007).


“What was done here long ago by members of our Church represents a terrible and inexcusable departure from Christian teaching and conduct. We cannot change what happened, but we can remember and honor those who were killed here.
“We express profound regret for the massacre carried out in this valley 150 years ago today and for the undue and untold suffering experienced by the victims then and by their relatives to the present time.

“A separate expression of regret is owed to the Paiute people who have unjustly borne for too long the principal blame for what occurred during the massacre. 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” (Henry B. Eyring, in “Expressing Regrets for 1857 Massacre,” Church News, Sept. 15, 2007).

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Topics


Mountain Meadows Massacre

In September 1857 a group of Mormons in southern Utah killed all adult members of an Arkansas wagon train that was headed for California. Critics charge that the massacre was typical of Mormon "culture of violence," and claim that Church leaders—possibly as high as Brigham Young—approved of, or even ordered the killing. (Click here for full article)

    • Summary
      Brief Summary: In September 1857 a group of Mormons in southern Utah killed all adult members of an Arkansas wagon train that was headed for California. Critics charge that the massacre was typical of Mormon "culture of violence," and claim that Church leaders—possibly as high as Brigham Young—approved of, or even ordered the killing. (Click here for full article)
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    • Brigham Young
      Brief Summary: Critics make numerous charges and claims against Brigham Young in relation to the Massacre. Most of these are ill-founded or misrepresented. (Click here for full article)
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    • Prosecution
      Brief Summary: Critics charge that Brigham Young blocked prosecution of those who committed the Mountain Meadows Massacre. (Click here for full article)
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    • Thomas Kane
      Brief Summary: Some who use the Mountain Meadows Massacre to attack the Church often mention non-LDS Col. Thomas Kane. Kane was a good friend to the Mormons prior to Joseph Smith's death, and he was also briefly involved in the Massacre issue. There are two issues raised by critics in conjunction with Kane: 1) some blame Kane for helping Brigham Young to cover up the Massacre, 2) some paint Kane as ridiculous, vain, or foolish—this is apparently done on the theory that anyone who likes or helps the Mormons must either be evil or a dupe. (Click here for full article)
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    • Other personalities involved in Mountain Meadows
      Brief Summary: A variety of charges or claims are made about other observers or participants in the events at Mountain Meadows. (Click here for full article)
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