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November 19, 2020 8:53 pm
Answering questions by Bill McKeever Gary Johnson deals with 36 commonly asked questions by your LDS friends and neighbors. It's a great resource for Christians want to share their faith with friends and loved ones.
Be sure to pick up your copy today at your favorite Christian bookstore viewpoint on Mormonism program that examines 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. What happened on September 11, 1857 in southern Utah, a place known as the Mountain Meadows. Welcome to this edition of 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 we continue looking at the book saying snow unhallowed hand covering the years 1846 to 1893 and we are looking at a portion of the book that deals with a very tragic episode in LDS history known as the Mountain Meadows massacre. I'm really surprised Eric at how many pages are devoted to this because this is not a shining light in the history of the LDS church. I do command the Mormon scholars for putting this in the book.
I think there's a whole lot more that could be said there's been several books written on the subject. We have talked about three of those books and we've referred to these three books throughout the series. The book does tell the story and I think quite accurately that this did not happen all in one day. The local Indians the prelude Indians had attacked the Fancher Baker party on Monday, September 7. Very early. You have John Baker and Alexander Fancher are wounded but the book does talk about what happened during those days but September 11 is when it ultimately ended and that's when the immigrants were killed, most of them by Latter Day Saints. The question we've been asking as did Brigham Young have anything to do with this and that's the big question, though most mortgages they are, no, no, no, absolutely not.
In fact, the three historians that wrote massacre Mountain Meadows. They very much deny that Brigham Young had anything directly to do with this. Although there are a lot of things that were going on at the time that I think many people would probably say that Brigham Young could've done things better. And because he didn't. This is what led to this now despite the fact that the immigrants going through Utah. I really did not cause any problems other than perhaps say a few unkind things to some of the Mormons that they had encountered in Cedar City.
We are to believe, according to the Mormon historians that this is what led to the massacre. Now the book goes on to talk about what happens on September 11 and this is told on page 266. The next morning, September 11 23-year-old Nephi Johnson was on a hilltop overlooking Mountain Meadows since he was fluent in the prelude language.
He was ordered to lead the Indians in the attack.
Nephi wanted to wait until after hearing back from Brigham Young but the militia insisted on striking now. Nephi believed he had no choice but to cooperate, that we should fill in some of the gaps here because a writer was sent to Salt Lake City to ask Brigham Young what to do with these immigrants that were coming through that man. Haslam was his name and continues on. He watched as a sergeant in the militia carrying a white flag of truce met one of the emigrants outside the company's barricade and offered to help the survivors after the emigrants accepted the offer. John delete. He approached the barricade to negotiate the rescue. He instructed the company to hide their guns and wagons and leave their cattle and goods as gifts for the pie use. John ordered the emigrants to follow him to wagons with the sick, the wounded and small children led the way, followed by a line of women and older children. The older boys and men walk some distance behind each one with an armed militia man at his side. Some of the men and women carried young children in their arms. Nephi knew what would happen next.
The emigrants would proceed toward the Hamlin branch at some point Higbee would signal each militia man to turn and shoot the emigrant next to him.
Nephi would then order the pie use to attack that we have to mention that the Hamlin Ranch is referring to Jacob Hamlin. He is not there. By the way Jacob Hamlin was not a part of this, but then you have Higbee Higbee was a constable in Cedar City. Then it goes on to say that when the militiamen heard Higbee signal. Most of them turn their guns on the men and boys and killed them instantly. Now there's an act of treachery going on here because they are told to leave their guns behind. They were probably out of ammunition at this time. Anyway, so they are led outside of the protection of their circle wagons and their lead in single file and on the command. The command was. Do your duty.
The Mormons turned on the emigrants and fired on them within a few minutes it was all over. Now you have Mormons involved in the murder of men, women and children innocent men women and children, unarmed men, women and children and so what you do with this. Now you've got to keep it quiet. Now the book makes it sound like John delete goes to explain what happened to Brigham Young and he lies to Brigham Young and doesn't include in the story that the Mormons were involved. I don't know if I can totally believe that and the reason why I have a hard time with that is because after the immigrants are killed. They are buried in shallow graves and not long after words, a major by the name of James Henry Carlton is called to go investigate what took place at the Mountain Meadows. He was originally stationed in California at Fort to hone and then he goes to Utah and when he gets there he sees this devastating site of bones, hair and clothing stuck to bushes in the area.
He ends up burying the remains of those that he can find, because now the children the smaller children were taken into Mormon families because Mormons believe in what's called the age of accountability, so they purposely tried to spare the younger children and they were put into Mormon homes were they remain until families eventually came and got them.
Carlton buries the remains of those that were killed under what's known as a rock chair and a stack of rocks and at the top of that rock care.
He has a Bible verse. What Bible verse does he use vengeance is mine saith the Lord.
Brigham Young comes on the scene.
Not long after that, and he sees this rock Karen with that verse on the top. Brigham Young comes on the scene years after it happens, he sees the rock Karen and then what happens while he looks at it and there's a sign there that says vengeance is mine saith the Lord, and I will repay according to the story.
Jan gazed at it for a while. Then he ordered the monument torn down, and then he said this vengeance is mine, and I have taken a little. Why would Brigham Young say that if he was totally unaware that Mormons were involved. Why would he say something like that. Why would he order the monument to be torn down. See, these are questions that I have to ask and I'm sure a lot of people are asking if Brigham Young was really innocent of the truth did not know that Mormons were involved. Why would he make that comment and why would he have the monument torn down if you really believe that only Indians were involved. The pie units were involved, wouldn't you think a man a religious man like Brigham Young, having compassion for those who were mercilessly slaughtered.
Allow a monument to stand to their memory. Why would he want that monument to be torn down, and this is been an issue with the church for all these years sense because it has left a black mark on the church when when this story got out the Mormon missionaries were going out were not being allowed to go into homes because they said all we've heard of the Mountain Meadows massacre and they told them to not come inside so basically, a lot of missionaries came back home.
They were not very successful in what they were trying to do a bill you had a chance to go to the hundred and 50th anniversary of this event, and there was a big to do there can you tell us a little bit about that.
Yeah that they had a lot of the descendents from the Fancher's and Baker's bear I got to meet some of them and then they had a meeting under big tent, and Henry B.
Eyring member of the first presidency of the church spoke, and in that speech that he gave. He mentioned how the church had regret for what it happened. There and that was misunderstood to mean that the church was apologizing and I remember when he said that night that all that's going to be that's going to be taken and twisted and sure enough it was reported that the church had apologized for what it taken place at the Mountain Meadows on September 11, 1857 in the church had a come out with a statement to make sure people understood the church did not apologize for what happened, they merely had regret they did not apologize for it and why do you think that's the case of the real a lot of theories about that one was that maybe the descendents might bring against the church.
A lawsuit for the death of their ancestors and I never got that impression, and talking to any of them or listening to any of the talks that I heard them give but that could have been a reason. In fact, when Gordon B. Hinckley was out at that site before then.
A lot of people said that his statements were kind of like they were written by an attorney.
He was very careful in what he said and I don't know if that was true or not. That was just the assumption that some of made but the church is never apologize for what happened at the Mountain Meadows.
I always thought why not take the high road and apologize for it and what ever repercussions happen after that made it. If the descendents decided to sue pay. You've got the money when we know they have the money that went over hundred billion in some account weight in their take it easy. Use some of that or from some other source and just get it over with. Sadly, Eric. You know how it is sometimes the LDS church misses a lot of good opportunities to do what's right. They could've easily apologize for that. They could've offered their condolences said this should've never happened. Brigham Young should never allow this to happen, the buck stops with Brigham Young but no what did the church do the church puts its blame on these lower lieutenants. These local leaders like Isaac Caton, John Higbee and people like that. John D. Lee, nobody's really in the grand scheme of things, rather than in my opinion take the high road and just so you know what this is wrong.
This should not of happen yes Brigham Young did say some things that could be misconstrued and probably could've led to the demise of these innocent people. But the church did not do it.
John delete he would eventually be held liable for this terrible event and what's interesting is that John delete one man paid the price for what took place on that date in 1857 and he goes back 20 years after the fact. 20 years after the fact 1877 and John delete is going to be executed for what all these Mormons did. It wasn't just John delete who did it.
There were a number of Mormon males involved in this. None of them paid any price whatsoever as far as their life being taken but John delete was the only scapegoat he wasn't too happy about that either. And he said some things that some have interpreted to believe that he was implicating Brigham Young something not so much the book says that during the trials. This is quoting from page 430 prosecutors and reporters had hoped that John John delete would implicate the prophet in the massacre. But even though he was angry with Brigham for not shielding him from punishment.
John had refused to blame him for the murders. I would encourage you to read the confessions of John Daly and see what conclusions you draw from that. But that's basically the tragic story of the Mountain Meadows which, as we said earlier in this week is tied to a lot of the teachings that were given during what was called the Mormon Reformation.
Thank you for listening you would like more information regarding this research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is