This week marks another anniversary of The Mountain Meadows Massacre. Without doubt the Mountain Meadows Massacre forms one of the darkest chapters in the history of Mormonism.
In the middle of September 1857 a company of emigrants from Arkansas, consisting of about 120 men, women, and children, were murdered in Mountain Meadows, Washington County, Utah Territory [i]. People who were traveling between California and Utah saw the dead bodies lying around in the meadow and gave a shuddering report of it. In Utah they replied the Indians had done it, and this account was accepted for some time. But such a frightful mystery could not be hidden for very long. A rumor was spread that it was the Mormons who perpetrated the massacre at the instigation of Brigham Young.
Arizonans may be interested in knowing that the famous fishing and rafting destination, Lee’s Ferry, was named after John D. Lee who was executed by firing squad for his role in the Mountain Meadow Massacre. Lee was a friend of Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the LDS Church. He was the adopted son of Brigham Young under the early church doctrine the Law of Adoption. Lee led the initial assault, and falsely offered emigrants safe passage prior to their mile-long march to the field where they were ultimately massacred.
[i] For a thorough study of the Mountain Meadows Massacre see John Ahmanson, Secret History: A translation of Vors Tids Muhamed (Chicago: Moody Press, © 1984).
For Further Reading: