Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Mountain Meadows: Two Conversations

A few weeks ago I happened to have two interesting conversations about the infamous Mountain Meadows massacre'. For those of you who are unfamiliar Mountain Meadows was a location in southern Utah in which a California bound wagon-train from Arkansas was massacred by a group of Mormon settlers and local Indians in 1857. If you take some time to look at this event you'll come to understand that it happened largely as the result of an unusual and unfortunate combination of circumstances that I will not get into at this point. Suffice it to say that Mountain Meadows is one of the most tragic and shameful incidents in LDS history.

Well as I was saying I had a few interesting conversations about this event the other week. The first was with my church history instructor at the local LDS Institute of religion. Our lesson on Mountain Meadows, to which I was looking forward out of curiosity as to how it would be presented, was pushed back a few days and as I wouldn't be there on that new date I talked to the instructor about the event after class. My main compliant was that we hear the story the Hauns Mill massacre multipal times each year, at which only about a dozen or so Mormons were killed, but most of the church membership knows little or nothing about he far worse happens at Mountain Meadows in which well over a hundred were killed. The instructor seemed fairly sympathetic to my concern.

Concurrent to this conversation we'd been having a British gentlemen stand outside our institute building most days attempting to proselyte LDS members out of the church and into evangelical Christianity. Though I hadn't realized he was employing this tactic before, soon after my 1st 'Mtn. Meadows' conversation I learned this man was using that event as a hook to his evangelistic efforts. The tactic apparently being to use this historical event to implant doubt into the mind of the Mormon receiver so as to make them more receptive to the evangelical message. I had a pleasant talk with him and acknowledged how bad the event was but that it was not representational of the LDS faith. With the exceptions of some rather violent disputes within and between polygamous off-shoots, there is no history of Mormon mass violence.

I bring this up because I feel it kind of situates me on the Mormon spectrum, often critical of
Mormon arrogance and understanding but firm with outside antagonists. I would like to use this posting to start up a new series called 'Mormon Questions', just post or email me a question about Mormonism and I will try and answer it in my own style on this blog. Let the discussion begin.


At 9:41 AM, Blogger GlennBeckFan said...

Just thought I'd break the ice, is it true we have horns? ;)

At 11:50 AM, Blogger Nate Dredge said...

Extensive studies have been done of Mormon heads to determine the realiabilty of this well known claim. To date no horns have been found on any human head, mormon or non, save by the investogative teams of 'The Weekly World News'.

I did however once see an short comical church plays which stated that 'Mormon horns'used to be commen but have graduly fallen off members heads over the years.


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