According to Richard Turley and Ronald Walker's new book "Massacre at Mountain Meadows" (Religion/Ethics, July 19) we are now supposed to believe that a band of Mormons who were "good men and would have been the pillars of any society" murdered over 120 emigrants without any apparent provocation.

Their book states that the emigrants passing through southern Utah were "ordinary people with bright futures" who did absolutely nothing to deserve their fate. Give me a break. The truth has got to be somewhere in between. Years of scholarly efforts by others have concluded that the emigrants were very hostile, poisoned cattle, threatened Mormons with death and indirectly caused the deaths of local Indians. The Mormons in the area were misled and were under extreme pressure from an invading government army, all of which led to a terrible tragedy. Both sides were accountable for the massacre.

Greg Martin

South Jordan