War

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On Own Now
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Re: War

Post by On Own Now » 01 May 2019, 07:39

We will never fully understand the MMM. Personally, I don't believe any Church leader north of Cedar City had any part in ordering it. I could be wrong.

But, what I will say, and this goes to the OP, is that I believe the tone of the Church at that time was very isolationist, militaristic, and emboldened by the treasured stories of BofM justice (and warfare), the OT vibe that JS had introduced, and teachings of us-vs-them that were continually hammered home from the Oath of Vengeance to songs like "We Are All Enlisted". Add to that the very recent murder of JS (13 years before) and expulsion from Illinois (11 years), the resulting hardship that the people had gone through and continued to experience (less than a year since the Willie & Martin Handcart Companies), the hard-scrabble life of the people in Southern Utah, the tyrannical control over the territory by BY, the puritanical zeal of the Mormon Reformation, the impending conflict with the US Federal Gov't, the call-to-arms that went with it, and the not-so-subtle threat that Mormons would no longer protect passing wagon trains against the otherwise-hostile Native Americans in the southwestern edges of Mormondom, and war, some kind of war, seemed inevitable. Was the MMM part of a Church plan? No, not IMO. Did the Church order it or sanction it? No, IMO. Was it a result of the Church's teachings and views? Yes, IMO. Was the Church responsible for it? Directly No, indirectly Yes, IMO. And any kind of Yes is way too much Yes for such a terrible thing.

Were all members of the Baker-Fancher Party fine upstanding citizens that loved their neighbors? No, not all. Was justice served by murdering every last adult, teen, and child the age of today's first-graders on up under the guise of protection? No. It sickens me to think about it.
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

Roy
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Re: War

Post by Roy » 01 May 2019, 09:35

nibbler wrote:
01 May 2019, 05:27
rrosskopf wrote: ↑30 Apr 2019, 23:54The wagon train either 1) shouldn't have poisoned the well or 2) turned over the people suspected of poisoning the well to let justice decide their guilt or innocence.

Here I believe you are presenting speculation as though it were fact. It's possible that the Baker–Fancher wagon train did poison a well but anthrax is naturally occurring. Anthrax could have killed the cattle and handling an animal that died from anthrax could have killed Proctor Hancock Robison. War hysteria could have led people to conclude that what was a unfortunate series of natural events was a deliberate poisoning.
Thank you for this discussion and possible explanation. Does anyone know if this possible motive for MMM is discussed in the new book, "Massacre at Mountain Meadows"?
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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dande48
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Re: War

Post by dande48 » 01 May 2019, 10:52

I think that's a very good analysis, OON. I think the evidence points in high-likelihood to those conclusions.

HIstorically, Jehovah has been a God of War.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

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rrosskopf
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Re: War

Post by rrosskopf » 02 May 2019, 03:42

nibbler wrote:
01 May 2019, 05:27
rrosskopf wrote:
30 Apr 2019, 23:54
The wagon train either 1) shouldn't have poisoned the well or 2) turned over the people suspected of poisoning the well to let justice decide their guilt or innocence.
Here I believe you are presenting speculation as though it were fact. It's possible that the Baker–Fancher wagon train did poison a well but anthrax is naturally occurring. Anthrax could have killed the cattle and handling an animal that died from anthrax could have killed Proctor Hancock Robison. War hysteria could have led people to conclude that what was a unfortunate series of natural events was a deliberate poisoning.
I don't know whether or not the well was poisoned. It is irrelevant to the discussion. What is relevant is that the allegation was made, and suspects needed to be handed over for questioning, something that the Francher party refused to do. Their actions escalated the matter from Mormon vs. well poisoner to Mormon vs. Francher Party. Much has been said about the Mormons being paranoid, but the Francher party shared in that paranoia. They ddin't want Mormon justice. Of course, there is no way to tell if they had cause to fear Mormon justice. Too much time has passed. Was the wagon train protecting cold blooded killers? I wish I knew.

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rrosskopf
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Re: War

Post by rrosskopf » 02 May 2019, 04:07

On Own Now wrote:
01 May 2019, 07:39
Was justice served by murdering every last adult, teen, and child the age of today's first-graders on up under the guise of protection? No. It sickens me to think about it.
No one is proud of it. It is a shameful event in LDS history. However, eight was the cut-off age, not six. Third-graders, not first graders.
Many years later the US army slaughtered men, women and children at Wounded Knee. I can't help but wonder if this is what they would have done in the Utah war to the hated Mormons. This US vs. THEM mentality was not particular to the LDS in Cedar City. Even today, there is evidence of this mentality. Women and children died at Waco, not because they were specifically targeted, but because they were put at risk by the use of incendiary devices. The people at the Waco compound hadn't killed anyone, but the FBI had this US vs. THEM mentality, and added another shameful act to US history. I think we have yet to learn the lessons of history. People tend to let their fears get the better of them, to envision the worst case scenarios over the more likely outcomes. Just the other day police shot and killed a man because he "might" have had a weapon. The Mountain Meadows Massacre could happen again tomorrow.

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nibbler
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Re: War

Post by nibbler » 02 May 2019, 05:10

rrosskopf wrote:
02 May 2019, 03:42
I don't know whether or not the well was poisoned. It is irrelevant to the discussion. What is relevant is that the allegation was made, and suspects needed to be handed over for questioning, something that the Francher party refused to do.
I believe the speculation also extends to the narrative of authorities demanding that people in the party be turned over for questioning and by extension the narrative that the party refused to submit to questioning is also speculative. Do you have a citation for this?
rrosskopf wrote:
02 May 2019, 04:07
However, eight was the cut-off age, not six.
Again, it's in the history books, no way of being absolutely certain who did what under what orders or who did what while subject to intense fear, but there were a few 7 year olds that were killed.
It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words, "And this too, shall pass away." How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!
― Abraham Lincoln

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On Own Now
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Re: War

Post by On Own Now » 02 May 2019, 05:26

rrosskopf wrote:
02 May 2019, 04:07
No one is proud of it.
I appreciate the fact that you are trying to make it seem normal and understandable; even kind of reasonable. I can't simply say I'm not proud of it. I'm actively disgusted by it. No amount of blaming the victims or saying it's just like some other very tragic event will minimize it. It was the darkest day in Mormon History - worse than the murder of JS/HS, IMO. After all, in the story of Cain and Abel, what is worse, that Abel was the first person to die, or the realization that a person could kill another?
rrosskopf wrote:
02 May 2019, 04:07
However, eight was the cut-off age, not six. Third-graders, not first graders.
The distinction can't really ease our conscience, though, right? Besides, no child OLDER Than 6 survived. It wasn't based on the "age of accountability", but rather on whether they would be old enough to remember. So, 6 seemed to be an arbitrary and inconsistent cutoff. Many children 6 or younger were also killed. The best we can tell, two of the survivors were 6, two where 5, and the remaining 13 survivors were 4 or younger.

I feel ashamed that people in the name of my Church could have done this. A family legend tells of the perpetrators coming to my great-great-grandfather's house to ask him (as a 30-something) to come to their aid (which would have meant participating in the massacre). According to the story, he refused. I don't know if this is true or not, but I mention it, because it's telling that refusal was worth remembering and recounting, even though over the next nearly century-and-a-half, the people have quietly tried to justify this horrific event by blaming the victims. I believe that the majority of Mormons, including those who lived in Southern Utah, were astonished and saddened by the event.
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

Roy
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Re: War

Post by Roy » 02 May 2019, 09:25

nibbler wrote:
02 May 2019, 05:10
I believe the speculation also extends to the narrative of authorities demanding that people in the party be turned over for questioning and by extension the narrative that the party refused to submit to questioning is also speculative. Do you have a citation for this?
I too would be interested in a source for this. Is it included in the new book the church helped produce, Massacre on Mountain Meadows? If there is more context to the event then I would like to try to understand it. Even if true, this new "protecting cold blooded killers" idea does not come close to excusing what happened but anything to help understand the mindset of the Mormon settlers I would find useful. Sadly, the Mormons themselves became the ones to "protect cold blooded killers" once the US government began sniffing around.
rrosskopf wrote:
02 May 2019, 04:07
Many years later the US army slaughtered men, women and children at Wounded Knee. I can't help but wonder if this is what they would have done in the Utah war to the hated Mormons. This US vs. THEM mentality was not particular to the LDS in Cedar City.
I agree that life was cheap for many at this time - especially if you were not seen to be part of the tribe. Racism is heavily intertwined with this. Many groups were seen as almost subhuman and treated accordingly. There were many incidents of slaughter of Native American peoples with the undercurrent narrative of taking their land. The Chinese immigrants were also terribly abused and even murdered at times. I believe that most communities frowned on the murder of the Chinese - preferring largely just to harass and restrict them - but when a murder did happen nobody (including the police) seemed interested in bringing the perpetrators to justice. The mistreatment and even murder of African Americans, first as slaves and then as free people, is well documented.
I am deeply thankful for a fairly robust government that investigates and prosecutes crimes and at least attempts things like blind justice, fair trials, adequate legal defense, presumption of innocence, etc. I believe that society has vastly improved on these and many other fronts. I am exceedingly fortunate to live in this day and age.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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On Own Now
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Re: War

Post by On Own Now » 02 May 2019, 10:25

Roy wrote:
02 May 2019, 09:25
I too would be interested in a source for this. Is it included in the new book the church helped produce, Massacre on Mountain Meadows? If there is more context to the event then I would like to try to understand it. Even if true, this new "protecting cold blooded killers" idea does not come close to excusing what happened but anything to help understand the mindset of the Mormon settlers I would find useful. Sadly, the Mormons themselves became the ones to "protect cold blooded killers" once the US government began sniffing around.
The September, 2007 Ensign contained an article about the MMM. It's by one of the researchers for that new book you mentioned. I find the article to be relatively fair, though it is written from the perspective that is favorable toward the Church. It's an overly-simplified telling (of necessity), and that makes it seem like it's waiving off the involvement of the Church's teachings and the extent of the war hysteria, but it is a good overview, nonetheless. Compared to my own view, I would say it's about 12.5% more favorable to the Church than I am about the MMM, so that puts it at least in a realm of acceptability, IMO, compared to a lot of what you can find out there. The article is silent on the Church's cover-up, which was undertaken partly in innocence (initially), as the initial stories held to the idea of an attack by the Piutes, and partly out of fear of retaliation from the US Gov't, California, or other non-Mormons in general.

https://www.lds.org/study/ensign/2007/0 ... e?lang=eng
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

Roy
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Re: War

Post by Roy » 02 May 2019, 10:56

Thank you, OON.
I found the article to be well researched and informative.
Some traditional Utah histories of what occurred at Mountain Meadows have accepted the claim that poisoning also contributed to conflict—that the Arkansas emigrants deliberately poisoned a spring and an ox carcass near the central Utah town of Fillmore, causing illness and death among local Indians. According to this story, the Indians became enraged and followed the emigrants to the Mountain Meadows, where they either committed the atrocities on their own or forced fearful Latter-day Saint settlers to join them in the attack. Historical research shows that these stories are not accurate.
While it is true that some of the emigrants’ cattle were dying along the trail, including near Fillmore, the deaths appear to be the result of a disease that affected cattle herds on the 1850s overland trails. Humans contracted the disease from infected animals through cuts or sores or through eating the contaminated meat. Without this modern understanding, people suspected the problem was caused by poisoning.
It seems clear from this portion and the remainder of the article that any supposed poisoning was not a major motivator in the massacre but instead became part of a cover story after the fact.
I appreciate knowing a bit more about this tragic incident than I did before.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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