What was the actual reason for the Mountain Meadows Massacre?

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Hagoth
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Re: What was the actual reason for the Mountain Meadows Massacre?

Post by Hagoth » Tue Jun 07, 2022 4:35 pm

AllieOop wrote:
Tue Jun 07, 2022 2:24 pm
I never had the privilege of meeting him in person...
I worked with Will when we were both young men. Unfortunately I had no idea of his interests (or maybe they hadn't blossomed yet) and I was too concerned with trying to be a faithful Latter-Day Saint at the time to have allowed myself to take the plunge anyway. I did talk to him a couple of times later in life and he even gave me a pre-publication copy of his handcart article - which was quite an eyeopener. One of my great regrets is the opportunity I missed. Will was also a singer/songwriter and recorded a pretty impressive Country Western album once upon a time.

Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge, Allie!
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Re: What was the actual reason for the Mountain Meadows Massacre?

Post by stealthbishop » Wed Jun 08, 2022 7:16 am

Thanks so much for these posts Allie. This is really important to try to get a clear picture of this atrocity.

I've learned a lot. Those statements by BY look like they needed more scrutiny by me in retrospect. I was naive about his motives. I can now see that they contain plausible deniability and were designed to frame Native Americans. So sickening. Wow.
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Re: What was the actual reason for the Mountain Meadows Massacre?

Post by AllieOop » Wed Jun 08, 2022 8:17 am

Hagoth wrote:
Tue Jun 07, 2022 4:35 pm
AllieOop wrote:
Tue Jun 07, 2022 2:24 pm
I never had the privilege of meeting him in person...
I worked with Will when we were both young men. Unfortunately I had no idea of his interests (or maybe they hadn't blossomed yet) and I was too concerned with trying to be a faithful Latter-Day Saint at the time to have allowed myself to take the plunge anyway. I did talk to him a couple of times later in life and he even gave me a pre-publication copy of his handcart article - which was quite an eyeopener. One of my great regrets is the opportunity I missed. Will was also a singer/songwriter and recorded a pretty impressive Country Western album once upon a time.

Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge, Allie!
Oh Wow, Hagoth....lucky you to have met, known and worked with Will :) I did not know he sang and recorded! What a talented man....it was a great loss when he passed.
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Re: What was the actual reason for the Mountain Meadows Massacre?

Post by AllieOop » Wed Jun 08, 2022 8:24 am

stealthbishop wrote:
Wed Jun 08, 2022 7:16 am
Thanks so much for these posts Allie. This is really important to try to get a clear picture of this atrocity.

I've learned a lot. Those statements by BY look like they needed more scrutiny by me in retrospect. I was naive about his motives. I can now see that they contain plausible deniability and were designed to frame Native Americans. So sickening. Wow.
Hi Stealth!! :)

I agree....it was pure evil what was done to these innocent people (mostly women & children).

Brigham Young was a master at hiding his involvement though. You have to dig deep for the evidence and most members absolutely do not even want to entertain the thought that a Prophet would have ordered this to be done. Almost all the local leaders involved were ordered into hiding (by BY) for years after the massacre and I believe BY truly thought it would all be forgotten and that no one would be prosecuted for it. He sent my great-great grandfather away on a mission (gone for 7 years) and he did that with others as well. It almost worked too if it hadn't been for the voices of the victim's families who absolutely would not give up. Even then it took 20 years and most all involved were not held accountable.
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Re: What was the actual reason for the Mountain Meadows Massacre?

Post by stealthbishop » Wed Jun 08, 2022 9:55 am

AllieOop wrote:
Wed Jun 08, 2022 8:24 am
stealthbishop wrote:
Wed Jun 08, 2022 7:16 am
Thanks so much for these posts Allie. This is really important to try to get a clear picture of this atrocity.

I've learned a lot. Those statements by BY look like they needed more scrutiny by me in retrospect. I was naive about his motives. I can now see that they contain plausible deniability and were designed to frame Native Americans. So sickening. Wow.
Hi Stealth!! :)

I agree....it was pure evil what was done to these innocent people (mostly women & children).

Brigham Young was a master at hiding his involvement though. You have to dig deep for the evidence and most members absolutely do not even want to entertain the thought that a Prophet would have ordered this to be done. Almost all the local leaders involved were ordered into hiding (by BY) for years after the massacre and I believe BY truly thought it would all be forgotten and that no one would be prosecuted for it. He sent my great-great grandfather away on a mission (gone for 7 years) and he did that with others as well. It almost worked too if it hadn't been for the voices of the victim's families who absolutely would not give up. Even then it took 20 years and most all involved were not held accountable.
Did BY himself believe that these people from Arkansas were evil and deserved to be killed or did he know that they were good people and he was just wanting them killed for their property? Was he cynical or did he really believe this delusion he helped create?
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Re: What was the actual reason for the Mountain Meadows Massacre?

Post by AllieOop » Wed Jun 08, 2022 11:17 am

stealthbishop wrote:
Wed Jun 08, 2022 9:55 am
Did BY himself believe that these people from Arkansas were evil and deserved to be killed or did he know that they were good people and he was just wanting them killed for their property? Was he cynical or did he really believe this delusion he helped create?
Well, I can give my opinion, but I believe that BY had a pattern of using his power to enrich himself. MMM is only one of the many things he orchestrated (IMO) to put more $$$ in his pocket and he did become very wealthy (and powerful) in Utah.

But....there was also vengeance on his mind too (for the murder of Parley P. Pratt in Arkansas). This party of 140 emigrants were from Arkansas.

From what I found (and Will Bagley stated this as well, both in emails to me and publicly when he was asked to speak on this topic), was that BY used his power to rile the members up mainly over Parley P. Pratt's murder (which had just taken place in Arkansas in May 1857). BY rushed Pratt's widow (Eleanor Pratt) out to SLC to get her there in time for the big 24th of July speech & celebration.

Then, on July 26th, George A. Smith was sent (by BY) down to southern Utah to travel around and speak....to manipulate and put fear, anger and revenge in the minds of the members down there.

Remember too, that at this time all members attending the temple had taken an oath of vengeance to avenge the death of any Prophet. Pratt was an ordained Apostle & Prophet.

If you don't mind reading a quote by Bagley, he relates how PPP's murder was used and he explains chronologically what took place. He has sources and documents to back this up too. Will was speaking at the 8th Annual Ex-Mormon Conference in 2002 and I find it fascinating to read:

"Ann Gordsley was the last thirteen-year-old that John D. Lee ever married. And she wrote this amazing autobiography. She has an amazing account of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. But she explains what the reason was, what people in southern Utah believed was the reason for the massacre.

She said, "Parley P. Pratt was one of the apostles, and was in Kansas at Fort Scott and Fort Smith (in Arkansas) for the purposes of enlightening people on Mormonism. He unfortunately for himself was murdered by the heathen Gentiles. This emigrant train happened to be from the same section of the country in which Pratt was killed. The Mormons were so insulted and indignant over the death and the murder of Pratt that they wreaked untold vengeance on the poor emigrants. This is supposed to be the cause of the Mountain Meadow Massacre."

I think Ann Gordsley is telling us exactly what people in southern Utah knew.

And I had run into a mystery. Charles Wandell, an apostate Mormon writer, charged that when the Fancher party came through Salt Lake in August 1857, Parley P. Pratt's widow, Eleanor Pratt, fingered them. She hadn't seen Pratt killed, but she'd been in Arkansas, and she'd been present and had seen Pratt's body after he was murdered. She was Pratt's twelfth wife. She was also the legal wife of of Hector McLean. Hector McLean killed Parley Pratt after he was freed from a federal jail, and pretty brutally murdered him on the border of Arkansas.

McLean wrote this incredible letter to the Alta, California newspaper, saying that he considered the murder of Parley P. Pratt "the best act of his life." And he said the people of Arkansas believed the same thing.

Here is a quote, and it's just amazing, because it's as good an example of prophecy as you will ever find in Mormon history.

This was written in Alta, California, on July 9, 1857. Pratt was murdered in early May, and word has just gotten to Alta, California, in a letter from the murderer. Word had reached Utah on the 23rd of June, and the Alta, California says, "Whether the hot blood which must now be seething and boiling in the veins of Brigham Young and his satellites in Salt Lake is to be cooled by the murder of Gentiles who pass through their territory, whether the destroying angels of Mormondom are to be brought into requisition to make reprisals upon travelers, whether, as has been done before, saints disguised as Indians are to constitute themselves the supposed ministers of God's vengeance in this case, we are not informed, but have no doubt that such intentions are prevalent among those saintly villains, adulterers, and seducers of Salt Lake."

I mean, that's as chilling a prediction of future events as I think you'll come across in western history. But as I was investigating this, I thought there was a mystery here, I said, wait a minute. I knew from Eleanor Pratt's own hysterical account of the murder, and her continual pleas for vengeance, that she hadn't made it to St. Louis until the 18th of June. Now, the Fancher party is through Salt Lake in early August.

That six weeks---I'm an overland trails historian. I'm working on a book about the Oregon and California trails. I knew that she wasn't going to get from St. Louis to Salt Lake by ox-train in six weeks. She was only going to get there if she'd been expressed. I'd never heard of any express taking Eleanor across the plains, and I thought it's just not possible that she would be there. So I'm going through Wilford Woodruff's journal. First of August, he says, "I took Eleanor Pratt's statement on the murder of Parley P. Pratt." So, she WAS in Salt Lake.

But I still had the mystery of how did Eleanor get from St. Louis to Salt Lake that quickly. I knew it had to be by express. It had to be by some sort of special operation. The apostles, who were in St. Louis who she'd gone to, didn't show up in SLC until a week later, on the 7th of August. How did she get across the plains? And if I was any kind of deductive historian, I should have known the obvious, because there was a very famous express across the plains. I knew that express very well, but it just didn't seem possible to me that this could have anything to do with it.

But there it is, on the 23rd of July, 1857, on the eve of the tenth anniversary of Brigham Young's arrival in the Salt Lake valley, Elias Smith, who was probate judge, and cousin of Joseph Smith, and postmaster of Salt Lake, is sitting in town while all the other potentates have gone up into the Big Cottonwood Canyon and camped around Silver Lake, where they will witness one of the most stirring events in the morning of that tenth anniversary.

At noon, Orrin Porter Rockwell, Judson Stoddard, and A. O. Smoot will come thundering into camp, and they will deliver a message (that an army is coming) to the First Presidency. That evening Brigham addressed the Mormon people, declared independence, and announced that the Army is on its way. That now the thread is broken, the Kingdom of God is established, and the arrival of the Army in Utah will mark the beginning of the end of days.

All this is exceptionally well known. What is NOT well known is what Elias Smith revealed in his journal. Because on the evening of the 23rd, when Orrin Porter Rockwell came thundering down into Emigration Canyon in that buckboard, sitting beside him was Eleanor Pratt.

I knew when I saw that, that this was a calculated act of vengeance---that the orders came from Brigham Young, and they originated when the apostles met on the evening of the 26th of July, 1857, at Salt Lake, and Brigham Young, recording their discussion, and Brigham Young wrote, "We discussed our enemies," and he underlined "enemies" three times.

It was at that meeting that they decided to send George A. Smith south with orders to murder everyone in that party from Arkansas. And why do I know that? Because if you can expunge a fact like this from history, you didn't do it because it was just a trivial event. You did it because it told the tale.

And I think you'll probably be surprised as you read the book, you'll think it's just another one of these events, but it was for me a personal epiphany. And I think it gave the book some of the backbone it's got in saying "Here's what happened," and why I think I can speak with some authority. And I do feel that if people can't see the prima facie evidence of murder in this book, that I haven't done a good job of controlling my own personal biases. Because otherwise, it would be apparent. I could have very clearly said, "Look! See this, this is murder! See, when Eleanor arrives, that's the smoking gun." I didn't use the term 'smoking gun.' I just told the story.

I believe that most of you in this room will have no doubt about what happened, and I hope that it will also act to heal wounds, and to bring acceptance, and to vindicate the role of the Paiute Indians in this affair, and to bring justice to these murdered dead.

Sorry for this lengthy response Stealth :)
But this topic is pretty complicated and it's difficult to give just a simple answer. I do believe BY knew that none of these victims were involved in Pratt's murder and were innocent people who had done nothing to deserve how they were deceived & killed. Pratt was killed by an angry, violent husband (which is another great story to look into!) and BY knew that.

However, I also think that he did appear to get some pleasure out of inflicting some vengeance even if it was against those who didn't commit the crime.

For anyone who hasn't read it, here is the Oath of Vengeance that members took in the temple from 1845 until into the 1930's:
"You and each of you do covenant and promise that you will pray and never cease to pray to Almighty God to avenge the blood of the prophets upon this nation, and that you will teach the same to your children and to your children's children unto the third and fourth generation."

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Re: What was the actual reason for the Mountain Meadows Massacre?

Post by wtfluff » Wed Jun 08, 2022 12:09 pm

AllieOop wrote:
Tue Jun 07, 2022 2:24 pm
...
Believe it or not, I contained myself, haha.
Please stop doing that.

We need all the information.

ALL of it. :mrgreen:
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

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stealthbishop
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Re: What was the actual reason for the Mountain Meadows Massacre?

Post by stealthbishop » Wed Jun 08, 2022 12:26 pm

I'm stunned. Much worse than I thought.

It almost reminds me of the Book of Numbers in the OT and how the Israelites were commanded by God to destroy all the men, women and children in their conquest of the "promised land" and then take the spoils. I wonder if those themes informed BY and his attitude and approach to this?

Just sickening.
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Put me to the test
Things on your chest
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Re: What was the actual reason for the Mountain Meadows Massacre?

Post by AllieOop » Wed Jun 08, 2022 2:23 pm

wtfluff wrote:
Wed Jun 08, 2022 12:09 pm
AllieOop wrote:
Tue Jun 07, 2022 2:24 pm
...
Believe it or not, I contained myself, haha.
Please stop doing that.

We need all the information.

ALL of it. :mrgreen:
Be careful what you wish for :lol:

I do love answering questions though and learning more too!
"There came a time when the desire to know the truth about the church became stronger than the desire to know the church was true."

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Re: What was the actual reason for the Mountain Meadows Massacre?

Post by AllieOop » Wed Jun 08, 2022 2:31 pm

stealthbishop wrote:
Wed Jun 08, 2022 12:26 pm
I'm stunned. Much worse than I thought.

It almost reminds me of the Book of Numbers in the OT and how the Israelites were commanded by God to destroy all the men, women and children in their conquest of the "promised land" and then take the spoils. I wonder if those themes informed BY and his attitude and approach to this?

Just sickening.
I agree, Stealth.

I read an account (journal) by a man who passed through the meadows not long after the massacre. He wasn't a Mormon, but was on his way to California. I was actually sobbing by the end of it as I read his description of the carnage he saw and especially the condition of the women & children....very poignant.

And if I may quote Bagley again, he states it well:
"The story of Mountain Meadows is an awful tale, drenched in blood. The nature of such history requires looking human evil in the face and asking questions that are unanswerable."
Very true.
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Re: What was the actual reason for the Mountain Meadows Massacre?

Post by wtfluff » Wed Jun 08, 2022 5:24 pm

AllieOop wrote:
Wed Jun 08, 2022 2:23 pm
..
I do love answering questions though and learning more too!
That learning thing is why I wants ALL the information.

So I can learn more from people who are smarter than me, and have the ability to do this kind of research.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

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Re: What was the actual reason for the Mountain Meadows Massacre?

Post by Rob4Hope » Thu Jun 09, 2022 3:13 pm

These men, like BY and George A, supposedly had their calling and election made sure.

And this is what they could justify doing?

They were culpable if not direct instigators!

You know, Adolf Hitler probably never pulled a trigger himself, but do we justify him because of that?…and exonerate him from the Holocaust?

BY and other leaders were murderers.

And the leaders today want very much to hide history because, after all: “Some things that are true are not that useful.”

Right. Not that useful to those who want to stay in power and perpetuate an organization that decries deceit but relies on it for its very existence.


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AllieOop
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Re: What was the actual reason for the Mountain Meadows Massacre?

Post by AllieOop » Fri Jun 10, 2022 6:37 am

wtfluff wrote:
Wed Jun 08, 2022 5:24 pm
AllieOop wrote:
Wed Jun 08, 2022 2:23 pm
..
I do love answering questions though and learning more too!
That learning thing is why I wants ALL the information.

So I can learn more from people who are smarter than me, and have the ability to do this kind of research.
I agree....that's what I'm doing too :)

There is so much out there available now for those who are looking and listening!
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Re: What was the actual reason for the Mountain Meadows Massacre?

Post by AllieOop » Fri Jun 10, 2022 6:41 am

Rob4Hope wrote:
Thu Jun 09, 2022 3:13 pm
These men, like BY and George A, supposedly had their calling and election made sure.
Oh yes, of course they'd received their 2nd anointing. It all plays into their warped mindset....what a cluster that ended in such a tragedy.

My ancestor (Jesse N. Smith) writes about the 2nd anointing like it's just nothing to hide (not like it is today). He had several plural wives (as young as 15 years old) and his entries in his journal just simply state (the day after they were sealed):

"Went to the temple for [new wife's name] to get her 2nd anointing."
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Re: What was the actual reason for the Mountain Meadows Massacre?

Post by Rob4Hope » Fri Jun 10, 2022 10:17 am

AllieOop wrote:
Rob4Hope wrote:
Thu Jun 09, 2022 3:13 pm
These men, like BY and George A, supposedly had their calling and election made sure.
Oh yes, of course they'd received their 2nd anointing. It all plays into their warped mindset....what a cluster that ended in such a tragedy.

My ancestor (Jesse N. Smith) writes about the 2nd anointing like it's just nothing to hide (not like it is today). He had several plural wives (as young as 15 years old) and his entries in his journal just simply state (the day after they were sealed):

"Went to the temple for [new wife's name] to get her 2nd anointing."
Oh my goodness!!!!

They had it all figured out didn’t they. They could go and exonerate themselves and do what they would.

It says in sec 132 that the only way to lose your salvation after the 2nd anointing is to shed innocent blood. But our good old buddy Paul says in Romans 3:22 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.

Since all have sinned, no one is innocent. Which means you can kill whoever you want and you are justified.

What a wicked church the LDS is!


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