Comments about ‘Mountain Meadows site designated as national historic landmark’

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Published: Friday, July 1 2011 7:00 a.m. MDT

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Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

I'm sure there's one planned for Haun's Mill.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: Chris B | 8:29 a.m. July 1, 2011

Yes, Haun's Mill ... An Inconvenient Truth.

Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT

However you look at it. The fact is there were extreme hostilities towards the Mormons and there are still hostilities and hatred toward Mormons today.

With that said, when you persecute, assault, beat, rape, slaughter, burn down homes, steal property, start an extermination order against a group of people. Your just bound to have a few people that get sick and tired of it. Same feeling that Anti-mormon, anti-religious people express on threads everyday. That's how they're perceiving what is happening around them.

Does that justify murder? No. Can one defend his household and property? Absolutley.

The sad thing is, that all of this could have been avoided. Had fellow Christians, acted like christians towards the Mormons. Had the Mormons responded differently to the attacks and they were just as guilty with verbal assaults and threats (Not every single one) but there were some who stirred things up. Had people been tolerant and accepting of each other....maybe we can learn a lesson from the past and learn to not be hostile towards religious groups and religious groups be more accepting of those that don't believe.

Tucson, AZ

You all should read about Mormon behavior in Missouri before the extermination order. Not saying the order was justified, but armed attacks from both parties were ongoing. Haun's Mill was retaliation for one of those attacks. It is incomparable to the Mountain Meadows slaughter.

Temple City, CA

@ Doctor: What Mormon behavior in Missouri justified (you say you don't want to use the word "justify," but you say it, and there is no other word that fits your context) the Haun's Mill Massacre and the extermination order? If, as you say, Haun's Mill was retaliation for an attack, then how is Haun's Mill not comparable to Mountain Meadows? The only way the two are not comparable is in the number dead (Mountain Meadows was worse in that respect). Are you suggesting that the Mormons should have recognized their faults in Missouri in expressing unpopular opinions (including opposition to slavery) or stupid opinions (including public statements that they were going to inherit the land and push the Gentiles out), take the theft of their property and the illegal imprisonment of their leaders without grievance and do what? Move to Utah? Then what? Disbelieve the threats of their own government? I hope you realize how offensive your remark is, not the least in the fact that you assume we don't know our own history.

Heber City, UT

Doctor, I have and they do not come close to suggesting that Haun's mill was or should be looked at as a retaliation. If you really want to find the truth you need to look at all the facts and Haun's mill was plain, cold, cruel murder. Missourians did not like the LDS because they were anti-slavery. Some of them were over-the-top on their statements about reclaiming the land for Zion, but it did not, and never will justify the murder committed at Haun's mill. I have never read, other than Mountain Meadows, where the LDS members attacked an unprepared group. Please get your facts straight before you make innuendos. Some have tried pinning that on LDS, but when the facts all come out they are made up stories, which have been debunked time and time again.

Tucson, AZ

Jeff, I didn't say I didn't want to use the word "justify", I said the Mormon's behavior did not justify the Missourians actions. 180 degree difference in meaning. Are you also saying mountain meadows was a retaliation? For what? What did the people in that wagon train do?

If ye are faithful, ye shall assemble yourselves together to rejoice upon the land of Missouri, which is the land of your inheritance, which is now the land of your enemies.[5]

Recognize the quote? Joseph Smith's prophecy was a stupid opinion? There is no question the mormon's were the wronged party in Missouri. My post was a response to previous posts linking Haun's Mill to the MMM.


As a long-time convert I am shocked that some are trying to justify Mountain Meadows by what happened at Haun's Mill or anywhere else. Whatever actions were taken against Mormons as part of the effort that ended with the relocation to SLC, there is simply no justification at all for what happened at Mountain Meadows. I am ashamed to read some of the above posts that seem to be along the lines of "they started it." No, the party that was attacked at Mountain Meadows had nothing to do with the Haun's Mill massacre. It is a lie to imply that they did. There is a memorial at Haun's MIll (the site is owned by the Community of Christ - RLDS). Mountain Meadows was added as a national historical landmark in part because of the Church's efforts.


The Missouri extermination order has nothing to do with a group Utah Mormons slaughtering more than 100 men, women and CHILDREN who were innocently emigrating from ARKANSAS (not Missouri) to California. Just because people have endured persecution doesn't mean they're given license to lash out at innocent families who had nothing to do with it. How would you feel if this was the story of your ancestors? that they had been lined up and gunned down in an aptly named MASSACRE, and that only a handful of children survived to carry on this tragic legacy? It's terrible. Let's all just agree this was a horrific, unnecessary and unprovoked event and not justify it by alluding to Haun's Mill. That's a different story. Unrelated.

Provo, UT

Chris & Rifleman, Please don't forget about Crooked River. Two sides to every coin ya know!

Washington, UT

I think, in the end, the Church will regret giving this site "historic" status, and all the attention it has given it. It only feeds the hatred towards the church, and happened so long ago, it can't possibly do anything positive towards those who were killed.

Writing a complete, accurate and comprehensive history is important, and people can read about it; but national historic site status is a mistake, in my opinion. Things like this (including Haun's Mill) are better forgotten. People need to move on from events like this and not dwell on them.

Saint George, UT

I agree that this is not an example that LDS should want to glorify,by giving it historical significance. I am not LDS.I moved here from the east.I love history and have enjoyed learning the history of the area I live in .Traveling all over Utah and enyoying the beauty and history,I am in awe of what the LDS have done in so many ways. I knew about Mountain Meadows and its' history,it is just that ,history.Not sure I would want to tour this area and have a present day Mormon try to explain this to a tourist who knows little or nothing about the event or the more extensive LDS history and the courage and good they have exemplified. Might not elicit the same warm fuzzy feeling you get when you tour Pipe Springs, Salt Lake tours or Heritage celebrations all over the state.

Silly Rabbit
Small Town, USA, UT

This stuff happened long ago; yes it is history and needs to be studied and looked at. But what is done is done. I for one do not like what happened to some of my pioneer ancestors either. But that being said it really has nothing to do with what is going on in my life right now. So I can not dwell on it because it does make me bitter and angry against others and that is not what God wants of me.

This stuff is history and long gone. All the violence against the Mormons all through the early years and with the people at Mountain Meadows wasnt right in my opinion. I can never judge what any of them did because I was not there in their situations; all we can do is speculate what they were all going through.

History slowly changes the farther we get away from an event so it becomes different then what we may want to think of it. There were a lot of things done wrong back then just like today, we should learn from the intolerance of our pasts, sadly we sometimes dont.

Manti, UT

What a tragedy that Mountain Meadows massacre! After all these years there should be healing and forgiveness, but there doesn't seem to be any. When you go up to that site, even though the silence of the desert is overwhelming, you could feel the restlessness of the horror which happened there. It's almost as if the dead are crying out, not for vengeance, but for understanding and for peace. What happened there did happen and no one can do anything to change that. All the people concerned are long dead so there is no one who can historically verify what actually happened. Many assumptions and theories fly through the air as some vengeful sprites, but all this means nothing. Those people were murdered, no matter what the cause. They should be remembered with reverence and even sorrow, as they surely will be because their resting place is now a National Park, but then they should be allowed to rest in peace

Chino Valley, AZ

There is a movie being made or waiting release about Mountain Meadows.
Waite till that hit the theaters.

Silly Rabbit
Small Town, USA, UT

There was a movie already made called September Dawn back in 2007, it had Jon Voight in it, the movie wasnt well received by anybody. It was kind of a flop.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

To Doctor: Haun's Mill happened three days after the extermination order was issued. Some of those at Haun's Mill that were killed had just arrived the night before from Ohio. They knew nothing hardly of the events. The Battle at Crooked River that got this all started was actually started by the Mob itself. Reports and lies were given to Governor Boggs who then issued the Extermination Order. This order remained in effect for a hundred plus years until Governor Bond rescinded it.

Did you know that Parley Pratt was killed in Arkansas where the wagon train came from? Did you know that one of the party of the wagon train stated that he had a gun that was used to kill the Prophet Joseph Smith? I'm not saying that what the Saints at Mountain Meadows did was right but to the mind of some of them there it was justified. Did you also know that Brigham Young sent word that the wagon train was to be allowed to pass? The problem is that it arrived a day late. The history is there if one cares to look.

Harwich, MA

RE: Bill in Nebraska.
You're wrong on about every statement you're making. It's just ludicrous that you would print this. Brigham no more "allowed to pass" than fly to the moon.
Parley Pratt was behaving so poorly he was lucky to have lived as long as he did. Nobody in that wagon train said or mentioned anything about owning the gun that killed Joseph Smith, what, this is an urban legend to justify the attack on the group. Where do you get this stuff? Just because this part of history doesn't portray they early saints as "saints" doesn't mean it you or others can make up your own history to justify the means.

Port Alice, B.C.

Those were hard times when people were more likely to resort to violence. The Missourians and the Mormons were like oil and water and didn't mix well.

I tried to post on this issue before but the moderator got his/her knickers in a twist and denied it. I have no idea why, other than I named a name right out of my family history. To wit: The one of John D. Lee's wives that stuck with him.

Then of course there was the fact that Johnson's Army was sent out the next year and assembled before that. The Mormon's and the US government had a troubled history at that time.

None of this justifies the massacre. Any more than there was a justification for the Missouri extermination order or Haun's Mill.

Idaho Coug
Meridian, Idaho

Many of the actions of early Mormons and non-Mormons were simply wrong. Sometimes we should stop trying to justify things and just try to learn from them. The Mormons were often treated terribly. But they often did terrible things themselves as was illustrated at Mountain Meadows and through the Danites. Even JS felt he had no control over the Danites.

This was a time in our history in which majority ruled and the government rarely stood up to protect minority groups. The Mormons suffered the brunt of that in Ohio and Missouri and returned the favor at times as the majority in Utah.

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