"Massacre at the Meadows: A BYU Broadcasting Special Report" premieres on Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 9 p.m. MDT on BYU Television and on byutv.org. The program was taped only a week earlier at Mountain Meadows in southern Utah.
Jim Bell, a senior producer with BYU Television, interviewed the three authors of the new book "Massacre at Mountain Meadows." Ronald W. Walker, Richard E. Turley Jr. and Glen M. Leonard all traveled for the taping at the site of the 1857 massacre.
"The interview has a healing and an affirming tone to it," said Bell. "It certainly makes clear that our commitment to living our religion needs to be commensurate with the level of difficulties that we find ourselves in the middle of. Just because times get hard you can't abandon things you claim to adhere to.
"To me personally, there were some very powerful reminders. I'm never going to face what the people in Cedar City did (in 1857), but we all face our challenges and trials and temptations. Life seems to work best when we dont abandon our standards."
In the interview, the authors give an overview of the massacre and tell about the emigrant victims. They also debunk many of the persistent myths and misunderstandings about the massacre.
"We say this glibly sometimes, but we are destined to repeat history if we dont learn from history. It really is true," said Bell. "That's one of the things that has hit me the hardest. Whether the tragedy is World War II or the Mountain Meadows Massacre or the Nephites versus the Lamanites — wherever you want to go in history — on a very individual level we all need to get that at some point.
"The lessons of history, tragic as they are at times, are for us to learn from. I think there are lessons to be learned from the Mountain Meadows Massacre, and I think the authors of the book articulate those lessons very well."
The hour-long interview will also be rebroadcast on Sept. 26 at noon, Sept. 28 at 2 p.m., Sept. 30 at 9 a.m., Oct. 2 at 8 p.m., Oct. 7 at 8 a.m. and Oct. 9 at 5 p.m. BYU Television streams its programming live on the Internet and programs are archived for two weeks. KBYU-TV (Utah only) will broadcast it on Oct. 12 at 3 p.m. Utah media outlets BYU Radio and KBYU FM radio are also planning to broadcast the program.