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Saints Mountain Meadows Massacre Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
November 17, 2020 8:51 pm

Saints Mountain Meadows Massacre Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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November 17, 2020 8:51 pm

A 6-part series on the Mountain Meadows Massacre reviewing the book No Unhallowed Hand, the second volume of the 4-part historical series published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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One member is examining the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism should Pres. Brigham Young carries some of the blame for the Mountain Meadows massacre. Welcome to this addition to viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson.

My colleague at MRM looking at the book Saints. No unhallowed hand were coming into a time. Which I think has brought a lot of remorse for many Latter Day Saints because this is a tragic time in Mormon history the time. As in the 1850s and were going to be talking about the Mountain Meadows massacre were trying to give you a lot of the details leading up to what actually happened in September 1857 and I know it's kind of difficult because there are a lot of players in this story and the names start to sound very confusing but I think it's essential if we're going to try and understand what's going on here as we've been talking about this week. There is a lot of tension between Brigham Young and the federal government in Washington DC. Pres. James Buchanan is sending out some troops to remove Brigham Young from office as governor of the Utah territory and there's also stories that these troops are going to cause the saints a lot of harm that you have to understand from their point of view. They've come from back East out to the west to flee persecution and they're probably assuming that this is going to be a repetition of some of the things they faced when they live back in Missouri and Illinois Eric.

I can be somewhat sympathetic to the banks that a lot of the Latter Day Saints are feeling at this time because as this book brings out there is a lack of communication. Brigham Young really doesn't know what the intent is of James Buchanan, the president of the United States. Buchanan probably doesn't really know what the intent because of Brigham Young in the Salt Lake Valley and so there's going to be a clash here will you add into the mix. The murder of Parley Pratt by Hector McLean and a lot of tension is building up and it's going to lead to nothing but disaster and that disaster is about to take place. The book picks up on page 256 to talk about a man by the name of Jacob Hamlin, Jacob Hamlin was the president of the Indian mission in southern Utah. He was accompanied by George a Smith who was heading back to Salt Lake City and in yesterday show.

We talked about what George a Smith mission was in the southern portion of Utah. He was to deliver a message by Brigham Young that in light of this impending invasion from federal troops the Mormon people were not to sell anything to any immigrants going through the territory of Utah.

Now George a Smith also was preaching a lot of very strong messages against the impending invasion as they saw it, so you can kind of understand how this is going to cause a lot of ill feelings against the federal government in the Army that's coming out yesterday show I mentioned the Fancher Baker party and they are talked about on page 256, and it's interesting how they come into the picture. What is it say on page 256 Eric about midway to Salt Lake City.

The small-company camp across the creek from a wagon train of emigrants mainly from Arkansas, a state in the southern United States. After sunset a few men from the Arkansas company approach camp and introduce themselves. The company had around 140 people. Most of them young and eager to start a new life in California. Several more married and traveling with small children.

Their leaders were Alexander Fancher and John Baker, Capt. Fancher, who had traveled to California before was a natural leader, who was known for his integrity. Encourage them on the next page. It confirms what I mentioned yesterday that this was a relatively wealthy wagon train. It says on page 257 that the company had mules, horses and oxen to pull their wagons and carriages.

They also traveled with hundreds of Longhorn cattle which they would sell for a profit.

When they arrived in California, provided the Cattle fed and healthy on the trail. It goes on and says now with the Army approaching many saints were treating outsiders with suspicion and hostility.

Many also obeyed the Council not to sell provisions to outsiders and this of course goes back a few pages were Daniel Wells gave a speech in Salt Lake City telling people not to sell any provisions to anyone other than themselves because they were expecting this army to come through and they would need the provisions in order to hold off the federal army that was approaching the bottom of page 257 it says several days later the Arkansas company stopped at Cedar City 250 miles south of Salt Lake City to purchase supplies before moving on to Mountain Meadows. Cedar City was the last major settlement in southern Utah and home to the saints, iron industry, which was now struggling his residents were poor and relatively isolated understand what's going on, folks. You have this large wagon train, meeting provisions, but Brigham Young and Daniel Wells both are telling the people not to sell any provisions to these immigrants that are going through. So Brigham Young you might say, is setting the stage for a problem here because the Fancher Baker party is going to need to resupply before they cross the desert into California. So now they are going to arrive in Cedar City as Eric has just read and here's what happens. The company it says on page 258 found a man outside of town willing to sell them 50 bushels of un-milled wheat. Some members of the company took the wheat and some corn they had purchased from Indians to a mill operated by Philip Clingman Smith the local bishop who charged an exceptionally high price to grind the grain. This book doesn't tell us what that exceptional high price was. But in one of the books that I referred to yesterday.

This one called massacre at Mountain Meadows. This was put together by three Mormon historians Ronald W. Walker, Richard E Turley Junior and Glenn M. Leonard. They mentioned this visitation by this Arkansas company. This wagon train. This is what they write on page 132, the members of the Arkansas company reached Cedar City around noon on Thursday, September 3, staying only a little over one hour that's important. He goes on to say the company's loose stock one local citizen estimated 500 head state outside the walls, but between 12 and 20 wagons with oxen and horse teams drove through old town in route to Clingman Smith mill just east of the Fort goes on to say, waiting for the grain to be ground at the mill. Some immigrant men sampled the Mormon sagebrush whiskey sold at the nearby distillery getting a little more of this than they should. One settlers said they talked very freely.

You might ask yourself Eric where the Mormons selling sagebrush whiskey and it seems that this whiskey is potent because it says getting a little more of this than they should. They talked very freely. Of course the word of wisdom says you're not supposed to be able to have alcohol maybe they would argue we just sell it. We don't actually use that but that still seems to go against the heart of what the word of wisdom is about what the bullet goes on to explain what this high price was for the grinding of this wheat. Remember the book St. says they were charged an exceptionally high price to grind the grain on page 132 of the book massacre at Mountain Meadows. The authors write trouble broke out when the Miller following the Council of Isaac hate which is a local Mormon leader demanded a cow in trade for grinding the grain and exorbitant price though isolated trading posts along Western trails often charge whatever they could get for goods that you can understand under the situation, why they were probably be some price gouging, but obviously this was taken as an insult by those who needed this food in order to carry on before they cross into California on page 133 this book that I was just quoting from from the Mormon historians.

They say the high price charged at the last mill before California cause some to curse and swear and say hard things about the Mormons one Cedar City resident recorded now this is where I find it hard to believe there is an altercation that goes on according to what this book has to say some nasty things were said by the immigrants towards the Mormon people and according to this book. On page 134 were supposed to believe that these insulting remarks is what eventually led to the massacre at Mountain Meadows on page 134 historians right some men in Cedar City like men elsewhere in America followed a code of honor that required anyone who insulted a wife, mother or sister to apologize or be punished okay. They probably should have apologized but you're going to punish them how the book goes on to say some of the immigrants went farther south to Hamilton's Fort where they were able to trade. No troubles were reported in this tiny settlement. It goes on to say that minutes of the Cedar City's female benevolent society also provide contemporary evidence that residents believe the immigrants were a threat later in the week to women whose husbands follow the immigrants to Mountain Meadows counseled the other women in their group quote to attend strictly to secret prayer in behalf of the brethren that are out acting in our defense. Another woman's sister hate told the women not to be fearful and to teach their sons and daughters. The principles of righteousness, and to implant a desire in their hearts to avenge the blood of the prophets, referring to the murders of Joseph and Hiram Smith and then it goes on to talk about a gun.

The book saints mentions this, page 258 it says what happened next, remains unclear.

Years later, Cedar City settlers recall that the store clerk did not have the items the immigrants needed or that he simply refuses sell them. Some people remembered a few members of the company growing angry and threaten to help the soldiers exterminate the saints once the Army arrived. Other settlers said that one man in the company claimed to have the gun that killed the prophet Joseph Smith. Now this accusation of a man having the gun that killed the prophet Joseph Smith is totally made up for much of Mormonism's history. All we knew about the Mountain Meadows massacre was told by the perpetrators they were giving us the narrative of according to page 135 in the book massacre at Mountain Meadows. The three Mormon historians right this a persistent element in the stories told against the immigrants was that one boasted of having the gun that killed Joseph Smith. If an immigrant.

In fact, made such a boasted it was probably just part of the venting that went on in Cedar City.

None of the identified victims of the massacre is known to have had anything to do with the Smith brothers death so this whole notion of avenging the blood of the prophets, which was an oath that Mormons would make in their temple ceremony was totally unnecessary. These people coming from Arkansas were not responsible at all in the death of Joseph Smith or Hiram Smith in June 1844.

Thank you for listening you would like more information regarding this research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website at www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you enjoy this again as we look at another viewpoint is sharing your faith with the Latter Day Saints. It helps to know what their church is taught in several basic topics. For this reason Mormonism research ministry has provided its crash course Mormonism crash course, Mormonism includes concise articles highlighting what LDS leaders and church manuals have taught on issues that will probably come up in a typical conversation. You can find these informative articles and crash course Mormonism.com that's crash course Mormonism.com


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