The Worst Massacre in Utah History

Utah has been shocked and sickened this week by a shooting spree at trendy Trolley Square, Five people died. Four more were and are injured. The shooter, a young Bosnian refugee named Sulejman Talovic, 18, also died after he was confronted and shot by police.

These shootings at Trolley Square that occurred Monday, February 12, have been declared by some to be “the worst massacre” in Utah history. This, of course, is not true, as is evidenced by the post just before this one. That post refers to the Mountain Meadows Massacre. You will note by the date that it was POSTED before the Trolley Square Shootings occurred.

Odd coincidence.

More than 130 innocent men, women and children were slaughtered in the MMM.

On Monday, five people died.

I am not trying to take away from the horrible events on Monday. Utah is known for rallying around victims of ALL stripes, but it hasn’t always been that way, mostly because there has NEVER been acknowledgement of/and apology for one of the darkest days in Mormon history.

September 11, 1857. I would ask Utah to reflect on the somber events of this week, and consider how the relatives of the 1857 massacre must still feel, even now.

An apology for that dark day in Utah Mormon history is in order.


About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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25 Responses to The Worst Massacre in Utah History

  1. kd says:

    Some 250 Shoshone were killed in the Bear River Massacre. I suspect that other Shoshone feel bad about that. Both massacres happened well before statehood. I don’t think there is a single US state that did not have a great deal of blood shed in its colonial days.

    Because of the protection of the United States, Utah’s been spared the brunt of the massacres that have happened elsewhere.


  2. Cele says:

    Even if there isn’t an apology there should be at least an all out acknowledgement of the facts and culpablity. Vague, blanket comments only add fuel to the fire and will continue to fan flames of discontent, that could have long since been extinguished.


  3. Del says:

    Amen Natalie,
    Amen to you KD as well.
    Some of my relatives are among the first Cache Valley settlers and were there during the massacre. When I was a little guy, the story I heard was that it was the “Battle of Bear River”. The truth is that the indians were massacred by US Troops. It was not a “battle” any more than Mountain Meadows was.
    Acknowledgement of the truth and apologies are needed.
    Maybe “you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” applies to Mormon history.


  4. T.W. says:

    Sorry my link to John D. Lee’s autobiography didn’t work — my html skills are lacking. Here is the website.

    Sorry for all the red.


  5. Kevin says:

    Yes – the Mormons have a bloody past, and it is an gross miss-statement to say that Monday’s shootings were the worst ever seen in Utah.

    Another misrepresentation of the recent events is the denial (and cover-up) of any link to this being an act of Jihad. Some news sources don’t even mention the fact that the shooter was Muslim. Too many events in the U.S. over the past several years point to a pattern of young Muslim extremists on killing sprees – and the Big Media won’t tell the truth about it. What is it that they don’t want us to know? Is it political correctness gone awry, or just ‘protecting’ the public from fear?


  6. T.W. says:

    Kevin — I have to disagree. You are certainly wrong about the media not mentioning the shooter’s Muslim background. You couldn’t pick up a paper without reading about that.

    Secular Bosnian Muslims aren’t your Al-Qaeda jihadists. This is roughly the equivalent of saying that a young Southern Baptist is developing a polygamist cult because of his fundamentalist Mormon beliefs — it doesn’t make any sense. Two completely different sects in Christianity and two completely different Muslim sects do not a conspiracy make.

    The reason the media is silent is because it has nothing to do with jihad.


  7. Cele says:

    As a member of the media (albeit small town) I have to disagree with Kevin. Big Media is usually all too ready to label events, jumble them together, and give them spectacular headlines to incite the muddled masses of the headless chicken republic. Note Brittney is Bald (it’s more than you ever wanted to know, right?) I am amazes, thus far, at media’s apparent reluctance to label, jumble, and spectalurize the Tolley Square shootings. Not being in Utah, I am further impressed that this hasn’t been labeled anti Mormon (which it wasn’t) or that the potential of the responding officers and Mr. Hammond’s religion(s) creates a new Mormon Superhero(es). Mind you the world needs more superheroes, I just prefer they wear tights. I am impressed with Mr Hammond.


  8. Katie says:

    The events of one week ago were terrible, and having known one of the victims, Vanessa Quinn, made it that much worse. However, I have to admit I am so glad that the media have left the Mormon Church out of it, for once. The heroes were heroes because of what they did, not because of where they worshipped. The victims were victims because of circumstance not because of where they worshipped. The shooter was …well he was what he was. As for whether the Trolley Square incident is the worst in Utah History, it undoubtedly was not. However, the past is the past, this is NOW. This is OUR reality, not the reality of 100 plus years ago. Not to demean what happened then, but this is what we live with now. The Trolley Square shootings will effect all Utahns, especially SLC residents, especially those directly involved, especially those who drive by Trolley Square and shop there and eat there, for a long time to come. I had to go there on Thursday and pick up flowers left at the fountain for Vanessa. The energy in that building was …well I don’t know what it was, but seeing where she died, where others died just days (literally hours) before, was a huge dose of reality. We may never be able to feel that energy at Mountain Meadows or Bear River, but you can feel it at Trolley Square right now, today. That’s the reality we have to live with and the reality that Rich Quinn and the families of all the victims have to live with. Pray for them, they need it.


  9. Wayne says:

    Hypocrisy on display—

    [This was previously posted in regards to the section about Mitt Romney. I think it applies to this subject as well. (With some editing and many additions)]

    I thought it interesting that someone would comment on the Book of Mormon and then refer the readers to the so-called “excellent” article about the fallacies of the Book of Mormon written by the owner of another website, Richard Packham.
    I am assuming that Natalie herself, and most of the participants on her website, are of the “Christian” persuasion. If that’s the case, I am wondering why anyone of the Christian persuasion would use him (Richard Packam) as someone that could be trusted on any subject concerning any kind of a belief in God.
    Out of curiosity, I clicked on his name just to see what he had to say about the “Mormons”. What I found was kind of interesting. He is a devout Atheist. He even writes “why he is not a Christian any more” articles, and even has a long list of Bible contradictions. Don’t believe me, see for yourself. See what a so-called, self-proclaimed expert can do with the sacred beliefs of Christians. Then compare his techniques with the techniques that are being used against Mormonism.
    Some seem so anxious to break out their ”Big Guns” of fault finding, and demonstrate their “intellectuality”, in regards to the “History” of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
    Just “partially” for fun, let me demonstrate just how easy it can be done:
    I know some people don’t like to “put the Bible on trial.” And, if it is quoted or talked about, they call it an “attack on God’s final and infallible and forever word.” But let me take that chance and see what you think.
    First off, let me suggest that you go to the local library, and check out a book by a Biblical scholar of your choice (one that you have a lot of trust and faith in) and research the History of the Bible. Learn not only who put it together, but how it came about. Learn about the process of translating thoughts from one language to another, and the difficulties of getting the same message, or meaning, of a certain scripture when the translation is complete. As you are aware, there are a lot of people retranslating the Bible, because they apparently seem to think the King James Version has some problems in it. Learn about other faiths that have additional scriptures in their Bibles, and other Christian faiths, that have chosen to leave them out. You know how important it is to some, that Mormons have “added” to “Gods word.”
    I listen to the Bible on cassette as I drive, and suggest that you do the same. Start from the very first page (or cassette/CD). Go all the way through (word for word), (Old and New Testaments), and see what is in them. I know some people just like to go to the references in the scriptures that refer them to other scriptures that back up the same point. But this time, just read the whole book from the beginning (Genesis) to the end (Revelation). If you do, I really don’t think you will be so quick with your “trigger finger in regards to the LDS faith.

    Let me further make my point by using some (tongue in cheek) comments. Some of it is said in “jest” just to demonstrate what can be done if a person should “shift” his mind into the faultfinding mode, (although some of it is factual). It is also done with the thought in mind of how some people in the “shift’ mode, go to the LDS Church history to find some evidence or problem with the doctrine (or leaders) of the Church to prove it unworthy of believing in it. It is also done with the idea in mind that the “Bible is your Church History.” It is a record of the beginning of your Christian beliefs. It is the history of the Jesus you believe in as Lord and Savior. It is a record of the early leaders “and Prophets” that you believe in and trust, and their writings you go to (hopefully), to reinforce your belief in God and His Son Jesus Christ. It is your book of God’s instructions of how he wants you to live your life so you can change your attitudes and lifestyles to be what He wants you to be.
    Now: If I were to “shift” (or allow someone to shift) my mind into the faultfinding mode in regard to what you believe, and if, I used your test of “perfection, without tolerance,” I would go to the Bible and read all of the things that the “so called” prophets were guilty of doing. Things like; running around in public naked like David (see Micah 1:8). Getting drunk like Noah (see Gen 9:21). And another getting drunk, and then having sex with his two daughters and getting them pregnant like Lot (see Gen 19:30-38).
    And then, I would read a few false prophecies like the one Jonah made, when he said God told him to go to Nineveh (see Jonah 1:1-2), and tell them that “Nineveh shall be overthrown.”(See Jonah 3:4). Guess what? It didn’t happen. Even Jonah was “mad” at God (see Jonah 4:1, 9), which is a big “NO, NO.” Why was he mad a God? Because God apparently “changed his mind,” (see Jonah 3:10), and made Jonah look like a fool, (maybe even a “false prophet.”)
    I know you have already read your own material and you know all about these things.
    How about talking donkeys? (See Numbers 22:28) Let’s ask the prophet Balaam about that one. Or better yet, let’s ask the witnesses that were there (see Numbers 22:22), maybe they will tell us what really happened. I might even question the good relationship between your God and Lucifer, when they got together and made a deal concerning Job (see Job 1:6-12). Even God’s sons were there to witness what took place on that occasion (see Job1:6). I might even stumble across another little incident by the prophet Elisha in 2 kings 2:22. No, better not read about that one. And, I definitely wouldn’t want to read what God told a prophet to use for fuel to bake his bread. (See Ezekiel 4:12)
    Then, as I read, I would come across the little, and of course, unimportant, incident that took place in Gen. 34, that seems to implicate a prophet of God:
    Let me paraphrase: The son of a leader of another country, raped one of Jacob’s daughters. Jacob and his sons (needless to say) were a little upset about it. The leader of that country and his son were sorry for what had taken place and ask Jacob and his sons for forgiveness. They even offered gifts for their “grace.” Anything Jacob would ask, they would give. The sons of Jacob told them: “If you will become as us, and be circumcised, we will forgive you.” I would read on and find out what Jacob’s sons did after they had made Hamor, and his son Shechem, feel forgiven. And this was done even after Hamor and Schechem went back to their city and had, all the males in their group, do the same (be circumcised), to prove that they were sincere. And, just maybe, I would have a hard time trying to convince myself that Jacob didn’t, in some way, have something to do with what his sons did. Especially so, when I read on and found out that Jacob seemed a little more concerned about his own “skin” than was his concerns as to what had taken place. And then, I might even take note as to how they were trading their daughters back and forth as if they (the daughters) were cattle. I just might have a flash come to my mind and compare another incident in “Mormon Church history,” the Mountain Meadows Massacre and Brigham Young, to the rest of Jacob’s story. And then I just might go back and read what the Savior said about the “mote and the beam.”
    Oh yea, I know you could give me a bunch of answers about these subjects, but that is not part of the process in discussing “religious” matters, is it? You will say that I have twisted the information, or “you are just looking for the bad.” OK, I concede, I’m guilty.
    I just don’t think I could belong to a group that believes in those kinds of leaders. I just couldn’t follow leaders that would do those kinds of things. But, only if I used “your test”!!! Keep in mind that we are reading in Christian “Church history” (the Old Testament).
    And then I would go to the New Testament, (more “Christian Church history”) and read stories of “your Jesus” and the irresponsible things that He did. Things like; casting evil spirits into some poor man’s pigs, so that they would run off a cliff into the ocean (see Mark 5:13). And then another time when He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to fast and pray to His Father (see Luke 4:1), for forty days. Guess who shows up to answer His prayers? (See Luke 4:2)

    I could go on with a lot more, but I won’t. There are a lot of reasons for not believing in your brand of religion. And I just know, I could discourage a few believers by going out and holding up a banner encouraging them to go to a web-site with all kinds of negative information designed to discourage them. Just like the ones you and others have, in regard to the Church and Joseph Smith. Another interesting thing is: I have never found any indication or even a hint in the Bible or any place else, that anyone had “apologized” to anyone for what they did, or what their ancestors did.
    There is a difference between you and me. I can except the weaknesses in the Prophets of God and still believe that they were inspired by Him, and talked to Him (face to face, like Moses). And for some reason I can’t explain, is, that God works through weak humans, (I think you would call them sinners), and calls them Prophets, to get His message to His children (you and me), as He says in Amos 3: 7.
    You can’t do that. Prophets have to be “perfect” in every way for you, or you can’t believe in them, especially LDS Prophets.

    Other things comes to mind that your people did to the “Mormons” even before the MMM.
    Click on your search and read about the Hauns Mill Massacre. Let me help you find one: There was even a young child shot “point blank” and killed. His young brother had his whole hip blown away by (possibly) one of your own Christian ancestors.
    Read other reports about what the early “mobs” (some of them “Christians”) did, and how they burned the early saint’s homes, and drove the members of the Church out of their warm homes in the middle of winter without even coats or shoes.
    Let’s talk about the rapes of our women, and murders of helpless old men, women and children. One sick old man was slashed to death with a sickle, (a long bent knife used to cut corn). The person who committed that crime was heard bragging about it later in a saloon.
    Shall we talk about how some of the “mob” (possibly some of your ancestors or former Christians) took turns raping one young woman to death on a bench, while they forced her husband to watch?
    How many died crossing the plains trying to get away from people with attitudes like yours.
    These are but a few of the hundreds………

    Things have gone wrong on both sides of the issues. But, as yet, I only hear one side demanding an apology for an incident that “the big bad Mormons” did.
    I have yet to hear an apology for those crimes (afore mentioned), by your ancestors, or from your former or present leaders.

    It is interesting to me too, that having listened to a lot of preachers on Christian radio and television: I have never once heard them talk about those incidents. And if they did, they could always come up with some kind of excuse or softening reason for it taking place. Could they be hiding something from their followers? I am convinced that the Old Testament should be rated ‘X’ or at the least ‘PG’ for the things that are in it.
    I am convinced that those who are professing to be Christians, and that are so adamant in criticizing the Mormons have never read their own Bible. If they had, they wouldn’t be so judgmental about Mormonism. I am not going to quote any specific scriptures, because I think the basic theme, and one of the main points, that the Savior taught, was on the subject of “Hypocrisy”.

    I know many of you are going to want to make some kind of an explanation of why I am way off base on some of the things I have said. But let me say this: “My mind is made up” and “no matter what you say or how much evidence or intellectual information you have to refute my comments: It will make no difference. That is of no use. Because my mind is blocked and there is no room for any kind of explanation or excuses.” Does that Sound Familiar???


    Just one more thing: This is part of an e-mail sent to me by a friend. With a little effort, you may be able to go to the original article and see the photograph for your self. As a member of the “Mormon” faith, it is quite encouraging.

    Editor’s Note: We wish to thank Jeff Brooks for bringing this very
    interesting discovery article to our attention. The long debated
    question about bound metal records existing in the Middle East 2500
    years ago as claimed by the Book of Mormon can now be put to rest.
    Critics should take note and check that item off their list of
    objections to the authenticity of the Book of Mormon.

    Copyright © 1999-2002 Ancient America Foundation. This message may be forwarded with identifying information. For more information or to subscribe or unsubscribe to AAF Notes or utilize the AAF order form, visit and click “Contact us”. Refer, by e-mail, comments or questions to

    Unique book goes on display
    The world’s oldest multiple-page book – in the lost Etruscan language – has gone on display in Bulgaria’s National History Museum in Sofia.
    It contains six bound sheets of 24 carat gold, with illustrations of a horse-rider, a mermaid, a harp and soldiers.

    The book dates back to 600BC
    The small manuscript, which is more than two-and-a-half millennia old, was discovered 60 years ago in a tomb uncovered during digging for a canal along the Strouma river in south-western Bulgaria.
    It has now been donated to the museum by its finder, on condition of anonymity.
    Reports say the unidentified donor is now 87 years old and lives in Macedonia.
    The authenticity of the book has been confirmed by two experts in Sofia and London, museum director Bojidar Dimitrov said quoted by AFP.
    The six sheets are believed to be the oldest comprehensive work involving multiple pages, said Elka Penkova, who heads the museum’s archaeological department.
    There are around 30 similar pages known in the world, Ms Penkova said, “but they are not linked together in a book”.
    The Etruscans – one of Europe’s most mysterious ancient peoples – are believed to have migrated from Lydia, in modern western Turkey, settling in northern and central Italy nearly 3,000 years ago.
    They were wiped out by the conquering Romans in the fourth century BC, leaving few written records.

    World’s Oldest Book Found – and It’s on Gold Plates

    From BBC News, 26 May, 2003, we learn that the world’s oldest multiple-page book in the lost Etruscan language was recently found in Bulgaria. It contains six bound sheets of 24 carat gold. And the book dates to when? About 600BC.
    Just a little reminder: the idea of writing on a book of gold plates may have been laughable in 1830, when no one had heard of such a thing, but it wasn’t laughable in Nephi’s time!


  10. kd says:

    Wayne, I only made it through the first paragraphs of your post.

    A very large percent of exmormons become radical atheists. As Mormonism is clearly a lie intended to manipulate the gullible and to concentrate absolute power in the hands of an extremely corrupt hierarchy, many exmormons assume that all of Christianity is a lie intended to manipulate, control and steal from the adherents.

    Mormonism, from its inception, was a radical religion. The idea was that if you gave absolute adherence to the hierarchy in this life, then you would become a God equal to Jesus and the Heavenly Father in the next life. That is about as radical as you can get.

    When people escape radical religions they often become radical atheists.

    As for the last paragraph … gold tablets are not laughable. Gold tablets that exist at the bottom of a hat and that come equipped with peepstones that translate from Reformed Egyptian to bad King James Bible Style English is a bit humorous.


  11. Robbie says:

    I do not believe a demand for an apology is necessary from the LDS. It was a tragic event where innocent men, women, and children were brutally killed, but most who look at this event tend to forget about a couple things. For one, in the history of the West vengeance and violence was very common and acceptable means of protection. Also, people seem to forget the brutal treatment of the Mormons back east as well. Events including the Missouri Mormon War, Hauns Mill Massacre, Illinois Mormon War, Massacre Hill, Grattan Massacre and others. Not to mention the murders of their prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum. So if the LDS church is suppose to apologize for MM Massacre, where is their apology?


  12. Wayne says:

    Oops! Wrong button:
    Sorry Robbie:
    Thank you so very much for your comments.
    It is so frustrating for me to have groups spend so much time just focusing on what they find wrong with the LDS faith. And when someone does respond, it is swept aside with a ‘flip of the wrist’ comment by some so-called authority, with a few flippant remarks. There is much that has been twisted and distorted, to discourage others not to believe in the Church. What I tried to do in my post was to point out how easily that kind of thing can be done.
    I have a younger brother that is a very articulate Atheist. He too, has a web-site (with a blog option) where his followers make comments about how ridiculous it is to believe in God, and they are using the same methods (as used on this site) to do it.
    There was a DVD that some very zealous antis have distributed around on the doorsteps in the area of Utah (and other spots). Most people receiving it are not aware that it was already responded to by a group of LDS scholars before it was scheduled to be distributed. Perhaps you would be interested in it:

    Again, let me say thanks for your reinforcements.


  13. Natalie says:

    Wayne and Robbie,

    Mormons have ACTIVELY TOUTED their “persecution” for years. It’s a VERY PROMINENT part of their revisionist history. Yet they never own up to their own culpability, and the part they played in the hostility that arose in Missouri, and toward them. They basically moved in and tried to take over, and that never sets well with people. Both sides played a role, but they were NOT innocent victims.

    On the other hand, the victims of the Mountain Meadows Massacre WERE COMPLETELY innocent.

    At least of what they were slaughtered for.


  14. Wayne says:

    I think you did the same thing as kd. You read the first and last paragraphs of my first and lengthily blog and didn’t even consider the middle comments. I don’t even think you even tried to see the point I was trying to make. So why don’t you go back and read it all and then respond to each and every one of them. And when you get through, I am quite positive that I can come up with a lot more for you to explain away. That seems to be what you demand of the LDS Church.
    One of your high expectations for a religion, it seems, for it to be true, is that the religion has to be perfect in every way, and all the leaders have to be flawless (or should I say ‘sinless’). If that is what your looking for, I don’t believe your will find one. If you do, let me know.
    What your real ‘passion’ is, I don’t know. Are you looking for something? Have you already found it? Is it better than what I have being a member of the LDS Church? Did the group you belong to get started out ‘clean’ from the beginning? Are all of the members of it perfect? I am interested in what your testimony is, and what is it a testimony of? As far as I know you may be one of Richard Packham’s followers.
    And about the ‘innocent victims’; Are you saying that the young children and babies of the Saints that froze to death after being driven from there homes in the middle of winter, and were slaughtered by the mobs were ‘not’ innocent? Just what did they do, and, what were they slaughtered for? Please give me the documented evidence for their sins. Or were they automatically guilty of some great crime against humanity, just because they were born into the world by some dirty no good Mormons?
    Before you continue your ‘passion’ to destroy the LDS Church, you may want to do a little research on what it (the LDS Church) is doing to help the hurting people of the world, and what would happen if the Mormons weren’t there. It is often one of the first to be there to help when disaster strikes. It has many sources of relief for those in need. We work as a team with the Salvation Army, the Catholic Church, the Red Cross, and others. We donate food to the homeless shelters to feed and clothe those in need. We teach people in struggling countries medical skills to save newborn babies that would die while being born. We have employment services all over the world to help people get trained so they can get jobs to feed their families. Just to name a few. Every member has the option to donate money specifically to help those in need. Just like Jesus told us to do.
    Natalie, If, I were to somehow be convinced that the LDS Church was not the best place to be, I am not sure what I would do. Because, if I used your ‘tests’, without ‘tolerance’, I would not have any place to go.


  15. Natalie says:

    Wayne said:

    “One of your high expectations for a religion, it seems, for it to be true, is that the religion has to be perfect in every way, and all the leaders have to be flawless (or should I say ’sinless’).”

    HELLO, Wayne. PAY ATTENTION to what you just said. Should I not expect a church that claims to be THE ONLY TRUE CHURCH AND THE ONLY WAY TO SALVATION to be true? I’m expected that it should be IMPERFECT, even though it is touted as the ONLY TRUE THING? PUHleeeze. As for the leaders, as long as you CLAIM they are called by God, then YES, they have to be perfect. As soon as Mormons admit the system is a little less, er, divine, then we can understand when HUMANS make mistakes. Until then, no.

    Get real and get practical.

    If this is GOD’S ONLY TRUE CHURCH, then every part of it MUST be true. Including the “DIVINE CALLING” of leaders. And everything else, like POLYGAMY, that Joseph Smith taught. This cannot be a religion a convenience. Or the times. Either it is TRUE, or it isn’t. Sad, isn’t it Wayne? The truth is, it really comes down to this. So keep explaining. You’ll never get there.

    If YOU SAY you have the only true thing, inspired by God, then BY GOD, You had better live it and show it.


  16. Wayne says:

    You didn’t read my first letter did you? Why? And why don’t you respond to the questions in my one tonight? Why did I expect anything else? Show me one religion that is “perfect” and I will join it. Show me a religion where all the members are perfect and I will join it. Are you part of that one now? Again, show me one perfect human being. Until then, I will stay in what I believe to be the best that is available at the present time, perfect or not. Frankly, I think you are expecting way too much.


  17. Wayne says:

    The Mormons are ‘touting” again!

    Natalie: In regards to your comments:

    “I’m expected that it should be IMPERFECT, even though it is touted as the ONLY TRUE THING? PUHleeeze. As for the leaders, as long as you CLAIM they are called by God, then YES, they have to be perfect. As soon as Mormons admit the system is a little less, er, divine, then we can understand when HUMANS make mistakes. Until then, no.”

    (By the way: When you are reading my responses to you, there is no anger or contention involved. I try to communicate with as much respect as I possibly can.)

    Just so you will know: I am a member of the LDS Church. I am in a leadership position, and have been in several different leadership positions in my forty five years of being a member. I am very much so “not perfect”. I hope this admonition is helpful.

    Find me one person (present, past, historical, or Biblical), that has been involved in a religious movement, who claimed they were “called by God”, that also claimed they were ‘perfect.’ They all claimed that their ‘system’ was ‘Devine’, and some of them were killed when others tried to get them to admit that their ‘system’ was not ‘Devine’. Even today there are those ‘not so perfect’ preachers or evangelicals that are ‘touting’ that their ‘system’ is the only ‘perfect way’ to go. You know how it goes: Except Jesus as your personal Savior…etc. Does that make them perfect human beings? Many of them are ‘touting’ that they have been ‘called by God.’ Even Richard Packham is indicating, by the very existence of his web-site, that he has the ‘better’ way to believe. How about your website? Are you not indicating that your ideas and comments are ‘the only way to go’?

    I don’t recall anyone in the LDS movement claiming they were, or are, perfect. Even Joseph Smith admitted some of his faults. Read his testimony in Church History and you will find that out for your self. For an example let me quote from an article by Neal A. Maxwell:

    “Whenever we talk about the Prophet Joseph Smith, it is important to remember what he said of himself: “I never told you I was perfect, but there is no error in the revelations which I have taught you.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1972, p. 368.) Joseph was a good man, but he was called by a perfect Lord, Jesus of Nazareth! He received his first counsel from God the Father: “This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” (JS—H 1:17.) Joseph listened carefully to Jesus then and ever after.”

    Read the whole article here:

    I guess my question still is: Why are you singling out the LDS Church as the only culprit? It is not doing any thing different than other groups. Our Ideas (or doctrines) are different, just as other groups that claim to ‘have the truth’.

    As for the Doctrines of the church: That is another subject for another time. Some of them may sound ‘weird to you’, but with a little research you will find many (non-LDS) Biblical and religious scholars acknowledge that the LDS Church is not so far off on some of it’s ‘weird’ doctrines. Included on that list is the ‘famous’ and often ‘criticized’ subject of ‘polygamy’.

    Enough for now.


  18. Natalie says:


    As I’ve mentioned before, I have no problem with you posting your responses and thoughts. I encourage the open dialogue. I believe you when you say you are not trying to be contentious.

    The biggest problems with your arguments here is that you are trying to defend the LDS Church based on what OTHER religions do as well. You wonder why I am not talking about other religions, as well? I actually have, in the past, addressed a few other religious faux pas, but this blog is about my experiences living as an AIN’T in a land of Saints. It is about my background, my culture, and the day-to-day experiences I have as a former Mormon. (At least I tried to be a former Mormon. They just put me back on the rolls. Hence the, “you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave” tagline I use.)

    In other words, the “look over there” defense, trying to get people to see the silliness in other religions, doesn’t work here. I don’t write about them, because that is not what this blog is about. I realize just about EVERY other religion claims to have the truth. I get that. But that’s not what I am writing about. THIS, this “Mormonness” affects me every single day. My family is Mormon. Most of my neighbors are Mormon. Most of the CULTURE is Mormon. It affects me daily.

    As long as it does, and as long as missionaries come to my door, or ward members refuse to leave me alone, I will write about it. It affects my CHILDREN every day, too. Again, I will write about it.

    Comparing the LDS Doctrines to others, by saying, “Well other churches do it too,” is simply going to get you nowhere here. If you want to try to DEFEND Mormon beliefs, you must find an actual basis, and NOT say, “well, other religions do it, too.”

    I hope you understand that this is meant respectfully as well. You have the right to your belief system, just like I have the right to mine.

    If Mormonism did NOT affect me, I wouldn’t write it about it. It’s as simple as that.

    Now, as for you LAST comment…

    “As for the Doctrines of the church: That is another subject for another time. Some of them may sound ‘weird to you’, but with a little research you will find many (non-LDS) Biblical and religious scholars acknowledge that the LDS Church is not so far off on some of it’s ‘weird’ doctrines. Included on that list is the ‘famous’ and often ‘criticized’ subject of ‘polygamy’.”

    You’re going to have to back that up with some fact. Don’t tell me with a little research I can find it, because I have researched it, and there IS no real basis. Show me, and I’ll listen. Tell me it’s there, and I’ll laugh, because you haven’t shown it.


  19. Wayne says:


    I did make an effort to find biblical scholars that discussed polygamy in a favorable light. But after my first few efforts, the thought came to mind: What does it take to qualify as an authority on the Bible? I was thinking too: Where would I find a scholar of the Bible that Natalie would consider a real (live or dead) scholar? If I were to find a dozen scholars that agreed with the LDS position on any subject, I just know that, that would automatically disqualify them from being a scholar.
    Then the thought came to me, that after spending a lot of time on your site “Trapped By the Mormons”, and seeing all of those that consider themselves ‘experts’ or ‘scholars’ on Mormonism, I decided, all I had to do. is look for (non-LDS) websites of those who also consider themselves experts on the subject of polygamy. Those that believe it to be a Biblically sound doctrine.
    So: I punched ‘Christian polygamists’ into the ‘Google’ search, and found a sight with all kinds of links to those who professed that polygamy was the correct way to live.

    This is what I found (Just two of several.)

    I do realize that these are just some people who are looking for ways to defend their position and beliefs on the subject of polygamy. But, I guess that’s OK, because there are a lot of people who have deep beliefs about a lot of different subjects. And, every one of them, have gone to great lengths, to try to convince others that they are right. Every one of them will go to their experts, or scholarly sources, (or their peer group) to prove their position. Some even go the Bible for proof to demonstrate that everyone else’s (experts or scholars) are not interpreting scripture correctly, or are taking things out of context, or are just plain lying.
    On the subject of the new DVD about Jesus/Joseph Smith. There were already comments about it (before it was distributed) on this site.

    I thought your friends might be interested in testing their own abilities to be open minded and looking at it. Now, it wouldn’t be fair to delete it.


  20. Wayne says:

    In regard to the DVD I mentioned in my last Blog: In the film, there was some discussion about polygomy. I thought you might be interested.


  21. Kenn Smart says:

    In your assertion that the Mormons need to apologize for the Mountain Meadows Massacre, you fail to get you facts straight. The apology has in fact been given in so far as it can be as the people affected by the dreadful act have all passed on. Furthermore, you leave out a great deal of pertinent background information that would greatly influence the slant you put on your opinions.
    It is clear that you hate Mormons, and that is your right. However, you should at least present the whole story if you are going to attack a people. But it is obvious why you don’t. You know that if you gave the whole story your own position would indeed lack credibility.
    You fail to mention that the Utah Territory was at war, and there was a notice that no one was to travel through the Territory without a proper pass, which this group did not obtain, though they did pass through Salt Lake City, and could easily have done so.
    You also fail to include the fact that the group included some calling themselves the “Missouri Wildcats”. And this group was a part of the Hauns Mill Massacre. You further fail to mention that Brigham Young sent notice that the group was to be allowed to pass unharmed.
    While none of this excuses the massacre, there is no solid evidence of what really happened there, however, there is plenty of evidence to show the massacre of thousands of Mormons, including an extermination order by the governor of Missouri, yet you are not calling for an apology on behalf of the countless Mormons that were murdered.
    Yes, you can pull up your big girl panties, I know that Missouri did repeal the extermination order, and apologized for that. Yet there are still many hundreds of Mormons murdered in Ohio and Illinois, and still you are not calling for an apology for them. Yes they were men women and children on all accounts.
    So if you want to rant and point fingers, do so without being morally corrupt. Tell the whole story, not your obviously unsubstantiated biased slant on an isolated event.


  22. Wayne says:

    Natalie: I have been watching for your response to this. Or did you choose not to?

    I also read Kenn Smart’s comments here.
    I think he made some good points. Just wondering what your thoughts were.

    Thanks for your comments Kenn. I think they were right on the mark.


  23. Jeffrey Elliott says:


    I hope the LDS Church apoligizes for a mistake; but never for cold-blooded murder nor paint the situation as a fault of “rennegade Mormons”. The horriable tragdy of Mountain Meadows was the result of war time decisions.

    The Mormons were murdered, men, women and children, property confiscated in Kirkland, Ohio, Far West, Mo and Navuoo, Illinois. Time and time driven from their lawful property until at gun point, Brigham Young led them to the Salt Lake Valley in Mexican territory outside of the Union.

    However, after a very questionable cessation of the State of Deseret by Mexico to the Union, Federal troops were dispatched to replace Governor Young, without notice and to occupy the Utah Territory. The constitutionality of these acts are at the very least questionable if not completely wrong. President Young issued orders to conduct a gueralla war against advancing Union forces. Colonal Lee was an officer in the Utah Militia. The Militia had been called out and Utah was in a State of readiness for war. Throughout the years, President Young had cultivated trade agreements, treaties etc. with sovereign Indian nations. These allies may be needed if the Saints were forced into the Mountains in sovereign Indian lands.

    IT IS A MATTER OF HISTORIC RECORD, that the Fancher party had offended some of these sovereign Indian nations. The Southern Utah Militia and allied Indians did attack, men and women were killed. This was wrong; but wrong existed on all sides; this was a tragdy, but mistakes, bad mistakes happen in war.

    Colonal Lee was brought to trial for the alleged crimes, but the Union wished to use the trial as a basis to justify total, complete and unconstitutional occupation of the territory, removal of Mormon judges and duly elected officials. Thus, not all the “official transcripts” can be trusted. Many people would call General Robert E. Lee a war criminal and Sherman a war hero, but is that true? Under Sherman’s command innocent people were raped, property was destroyed, camp followers were abandoned and left to drown in a river. And yet, according to Union history, Lee is the criminal; Sherman the hero.

    Yes, something did badly go wrong in a state of war. Governor Young’s orders allowing the Fancher party to pass arrived after the awful incident had occurred. Orders often arrive late in wars; battles occur; innocent people are killed. According to some of the militia, it was allied Indians that killed the women. Perhaps, this is true, perhaps not. The Sourthern Utah militia did not have jurisdiction over allies; the Indians were sovereign and were fighting for their own reasons.

    Should the LDS Church apoligize for a war time mistake, perhaps, yes. Should the Mormon people feel very badly for the Fancher debacle, yes. However, I hope neither the Mormon people or LDS Church leaders EVER forget the unconstitutional land grap by Federal forces that set the stage for the Mountain Meadows tradgy. Bad decisions made, yes, in retrospect, but bad decisions are often made in war. Was Shermans march to the sea a good decision? Was wounded knee right? What about Mai Lai? How about the present situation in Iraq? Or the interment and mistreatment of Japanese citizens? And should the US have dropped the atomic bomb on Japanese Cities? The list of diffcult and oft times tragic war time decisions goes on and on.

    Try viewing the Mountain Meadows situation in a more realistic light rather than through a simplistic agenda of bad mormons killed good settlors. Such a dishonest and simplistic view is not only not good history, but also, very unsophisticated agenda-filled thinking. I would hope every LDS Church official would see through that time of thinking and every Mormon would be proud of their heroic resistence to Federal encroachment, despite this terrible mistake and tragdy. Sorry, for innocent lifes lost-yes, apology for war time readiness and action, NEVER!!!


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