Tuesday, August 25, 2009
As mentioned in my other blog, Staci and I visited the Mountain Meadows Massacre memorial in July and I had some thoughts I wanted to share, although I'm not quite sure where this train of thoughts will lead.
The basic history is this. After the saints moved to Utah the US government was getting reports that the "mormons" were building an army and were planning on going to war with the US, and were harassing and attacking settlers moving out west. So the government sent Johnston (I don't remember his rank) with a sizable army to quell the uprising. This started the Mormon War. There was much fear among the saints; they all knew that whenever they started building a temple persecution would come and lead to them having to leave. This had already happened three times coupled with violence, murder, theft, and other atrocities.
At this time there was a group of settlers coming from Arkansas heading for California. Among that group were some who had participated in the extermination from Missouri and boasted about it and talked about how they were going to do the same thing to the saints in Utah.
Some of the community leaders in Cedar City decided that preemptive action must be taken to protect the people in Southern Utah. A plan was devised where and carried out where the settlers were attacked by the local indians then offered protection by the utahns. A condition of them receiving protection was they had to turn over their firearms. While the utahs were accompanying the settlers to Cedar City they turned on them and started killing everyone old enough to be aware of what was going on. They killed men, women, and children.
That is so tragic, and the cruel irony part is that is almost exactly what happened to the Saints in Missouri. The very thing these men wanted to prevent they ended up doing themselves to other people. In Far West, Missouri after the mobs were ransacking the outlying towns everyone fled to Far West. The government of Missouri represented by the State militia guaranteed the protection of the Saints if they turned over all their firearms. After they gave up the only way of protecting themselves and trusted the government, the militia/mob was turned loose on the city and ransacked the city.
This makes me wonder how many other times this has happened throughout history. I have a habit of reading articles on KSL.com and also reading the comments. Without fail, when there are articles about anything about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the comments end up being a mormon bashing and anti-mormon bashing session. Now I am not going to get into all the different things that come up, just one. So many times someone will write, "well if you don't like living in a state with so many members of the Church than why don't you leave?" Now since when is it Christian to kick people out because they don't agree with you. It is really sad that all too often non members living in a LDS majority area feel in a sense persecuted for not being LDS. I understand that there are different reasons why that is, one being no one wants to date them because they want to get married in the temple. But we are smart people and can come up with solutions to these problems that don't have to always be "baptize them". Of course I love the Gospel and I believe it is led by Jesus Christ and that all can benefit from it, but I also have a feeling that right now is not the right time for every single person in the world to join the Church and just because someone isn't interested in the Gospel right now doesn't mean they aren't trying to follow Jesus Christ.
I guess a good summary is we shouldn't be extreme and fanatical. Hugh Nibley wrote an article titled "Zeal without Knowledge" in which postulated on the need to ever be learning, not merely acting. I believe this is why missionaries study so many hours a day, they have plenty of zeal (desire to do good things) but they are young so they need to increase their knowledge so they know what are the best things to do (and of course the more they study the Gospel they more they have the Spirit and the better they can teach so as to give people the best chance to accept the Gospel).
In conclusion, follow the Prophet, follow the Prophet, follow the Prophet, he knows the way.
And if I got any of the details wrong about the MMM I apologize and invite you to correct me as a comment. (oh and I warned you I didn't know where this was going)
Oh and what's with this Health Care Reform going on and the federal deficit forecasts, argh.