(con't) ..Uncle Jack and his family. He grieved throughout his life for the lack
of an appropriate burial of his family and for never knowing exactly what had
happened. My grandfather, whom we called Dadd-Pete, required each of his
grandchildren to read The Mountain Meadow Massacre by Juanita Brooks, which led
to many heated family discussions and debates. My grandfather's words were not
about revenge, but about tolerance, the search for truth and the universal
stuggle of forgiveness. The quiet times I spent with my grandfather and our many
talks had an enormous impact on my view of life. Perhaps, as you grow older and
acquire more wisdom you too will come to realize how much we all need peaceful,
solitary places to visit in nature to contemplate the power of important ideas,
ideas like grace and tolerance, and the pwer we have to shape our own unique
personal histories. The desendants of those buried there want Mountain
Meadows to be that place for all the citizens of Utah and the U.S., not just the
descendants of the people who died there. We should all grieve the injustices of
our collective history and never forget.
In response to "Roxy Lynne" from Madison IN who stated, "no one
is grieving. Descendants may feel sad, but you have no relationship other than
DNA with those who died . . ."Today we debate the right of
Muslims to erect a Mosque in NYC - Mountain Meadows is a historic landmark to
remind all of us of our freedom under the 1st Amendment. Members of the Church
of Jesus Chirst of Latter-day Saints perceive the tragedy to be a direct result
of their history of persecution and ostracism. This designation will ensure the
site remain undisturbed so that guture generations have a place to contemplate
the repercussions of threats against people's individual and religious freedoms.
I descend from the younger brother of Captain John Twitty Baker, co-leader
of the wagon train whose members were murdered at Mountain Meadows. My
grandfather (1879-1970) is the son of Captain Baker's brother. Yes, it happened
over 150 years ago, but the sadness is still generationally close. My
grandfather wass born just 22 years after the massacre. He often shared memories
of his father, Allison Woodville Baker (1838-1918) and his anguish over the
deaths of Uncle Jack (continued)
I think Ive figured out the mentality of those who would want to make a national
monument of the MMM site. Since Im from central Texas, Ill use by way of
example the incident of the psycho who flew his plane into the IRS building in
Austin, killing one IRS worker, Vernon Hunter.Most of us would say
to rebuild the building and remember Mr. Hunter by renaming the building for him
or naming a conference room in his honor.Then there are those who
would advocate tearing the building down and turning the place into some morose,
artistic park shaped like a plane with an empty chair on a pole, etc.Those sorts of people are the ones who would shrug at the sight of the Statue
of Liberty or the Lincoln Memorial but would be deeply moved by the Vietnam
Memorial or McVeigh bombing site.Why?They feel mankind
must be taught a lesson as to how despicable and inhumane we all are.
Excellent and thoughtful response, Pagan. Outstanding. The perfect reply. Thank
you for putting my thoughts and feelings -- and those of many, I'm sure -- into
your reply. (I'm writing from halfway around the world where the criptic
"get over it" would be seen as the ignorant insensitivity it is.)
The transcript of the trial in which the participants at MMM were tried by the
Federal government reads that all the suspects pointed to John D. Lee as
responsible for the massacre. He was the only one who was sentenced to death.
This was more than 13 years after the massacre.No trials were ever
held for the massacres/murders committed at Haun's Mill, Far West, Independence,
Nauvoo, Carthage, and so on, and no one was ever punished.The ruins
of the Nauvoo Temple served as a quiet historical marker for 150 years. The new
temple there serves as a monument to mark a new era, where love turns
"enemies" into friends.
I would guess Geedub's original point about Haun's Mill was not to justify the
MMM, rather, it was to illustrate the absurdity of erecting monuments to the
darker aspects of our nation's history.Why would we do that? So
"we never forget"? Why don't we leave that to the history books?
There are other ways to recall our history without erecting monuments to
slaughtered people.I visited the memorial site in Oklahoma City of
the Timothy McVeigh bombing. I wondered, who would want to memorialize such an
event in such a grandiose way? Why not rebuild a normal office building on the
site and have a small plaque in memory of those who lost their lives? And by
what lugubrious reasoning should we elevate MMM to the status of a national
monument? Just put a historical marker there and leave it at that.
Hatuleoh, Thanks for the info. I was not aware of that.Makes
a lot more sense now!
To give Mountain Meadows such a status while Haun's Mill, Far West, and Winter
Quarters remain "unknown" in the national eye is one-sided and a slap
in the face to those Latter-day Saints whose remains still rest in those places
- or were driven out to yet another place of refuge.
@Pagan,I take your point that we cannot excuse terrible acts on
account of one's faith. Nor should we try to minimize those acts because they
were committed by our own.That said, I think we do need to be able
to move on. You bring up Pearl Harbor. It was a terrible tragedy. Yet, I do
not blame the Japanese people and most folks (even of my father's generation who
fought that war) do not either - at least not any longer.Hiroshima
and Nagasaki were scenes of tremendous death and destruction. But there has
been a measure of forgiveness and understanding since. As a result, our nations
have moved toward a wonderful relationship with each other. 9/11
was a terrible tragedy. Though some do wish to blame Islam generally for that
deed, it is foolish to do so (and I think you would likely agree with that).
The acts of those 19 men certainly do not reflect all Muslims.That
is what I would hope for here. That people would understand that, whatever the
motivation for the Mountain Meadows Massacre, it does not reflect on all (or
even most) of our faith.
We were at the Mountain Meadows Massacre memorial and, in my opinion, there was
nothing memorable about that site. True, it was a horrible incident, and yes,
the Mormon pioneers were acting, perhaps, vindictively, but it happened such a
long time ago. No one really knows what the people on that wagon train did and
if they made the Mormons feel threatened. Many religions have murder in their
past and no one, as far as I know wants to make a national monument out of those
sites or places. Why don't we let the dead take care of the dead and go on with
life? The MMM site is a very desolate and unpeaceful place. The dead should be
allowed to rest in peace. They will not as long as the memories are kept alive.
Let the Lord take care of it. He is in control of the living and the dead.
People who want to make an example of the LDS Church because of it should look
in their own backyards.
Counterintel, you took the words right out of my mouth, though you probably
expressed it more kindly than I would have.I have also read where the
members of the church who participated in the mm attrocity, were appropriately
punished, as far as church action goes, with excommunication.It's a shame
that the multiple assaults on church members throughout it's early history
resulted in little or no punishment that I'm aware of.Nor has a religious
group stood up and taken responsibility for being a part of those assaults.
As a lifelong active mormon, I think this is great. I hope that it becomes a
landmark. We as a Church can learn a lot from our past. Yes, this happened 150
years ago, but if we seek to understand it and why it happened, we can learn and
be better people. We can build bridges.
'People really just want to keep throwing it in the church's face. Get over it!'
- RoxyLynne | 3:31 p.m. You have no compassion. People
who actively try to be the victim, in any situation, are being defensive. Others, who would try to move foward instead of dwell, would
acknowledge any short comming and move on. Being indignant to
factual crimes of history only means you are being defensive. 'Get
over it', is easy for you. You don't seem to care. You
are more concerned about defending your faith than living it's example. Mountian Medows Massacre 400 people died. Get over it. Pearl Harbor killed 2,403 people died. Get over it.
Hiroshima/Nagasaki 80,000 people died. Get over it. 9/11
3,000 people died. Get over it. It is my hope you never
endure anything of the kind of these types of tragedies, or know anyone who goes
through them. There is nothing worse than caring for someone who
died in a tragedy and having your own words spit back at you... get
Promote healing??? This happened about 150 years ago. Let's be real here. No
one is grieving. Descendants may feel sad, but you have no relationship other
than DNA with those who died. People really just want to keep throwing it in
the church's face. Get over it! Some bad people did a bad thing. There are
bad people in every organized group. Couldn't government money be spent in more
FairEnough: I've read of plenty of people who justify the murders, rapes, and
atrocities at Haun's Mill and other locations against the early LDS. Seems that
polygamy, or allegations of adultery with other men's wives, or marrying women
younger than allowed by current law, or just differences in religious doctrine
are more than enough justification for some. Others simply deny the LDS were
ever actually harmed; similar to how some try to deny the Nazi perpetuated
Holocaust against the Jews.On the flip side, some have tried to
justify MMM. However, many others have simply attempted to understand how MMM
took place. Maybe it is just that the LDS Church continues to exist
and so is a nice, large, institutional target. But I don't notice any LDS
continuing to blame whatever church or other organization the persecutors of the
LDS church (in NY, Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois) belonged to for conduct
committed 150+ years ago.Too many continue to use MMM to attack the
LDS Church. Of course, small minded bigots still drag out the Inquisition to
beat the Catholics. Bigotry is not rational.
Geedub,I'm sure your bringing up Haun's Mill is not a way of
justifying the vengeful actions at Mountain Meadows. I have never heard anyone
justifying the murders at Haun's Mill, but I have heard many try to justify the
murders at Mountain Meadows. Some say the settlers provoked the murderous
actions of the Mormons. They even tie Haun's Mill into the MMM as a way to
justify the actions of the Mormons in Southern Utah. I'm glad you aren't doing
MrsH: I think--and I must stress "think"--that it the original cairn
erected by General J.H. Carleton when he inspected the area a couple of years
after the massacre. He buried the remains that were strewn about and built the
cairn to mark the spot. He also had a wooden cross erected atop it with the
inscription "vengence is mine: I will repay saith the Lord". Some
time later Brigham Young visited the site and had the cross pulled down.If that's not Carleton's original cairn, then it's a reconstruction on
about the same spot, and demonstrated by the fact that some human remains were
accidentally on the monument. In any case, that's why it's a strange looking
pile of rocks.
I believe that such a move, supported by both the LDS Church and the descendants
of the victims would do much to promote healing, understanding, and
Great! I propose that a monument be erected at Haun's Mill in Missouri and that
it be proclaimed a National Park too.