“Mountain Meadows Massacre”

Church Website. Church History Topics

“Latter-day Saint militiamen planned and carried out a massacre. They lured the emigrants from their circled wagons with a false flag of truce and, aided by Paiute Indians they had recruited, slaughtered them. Between the first attack and the final slaughter, 120 were killed.

…In the early 2000s, the Church made diligent efforts to learn everything possible about the massacre. Historians in the Church History Department scoured archives throughout the United States for historical records; every Church record on the massacre was also opened to scrutiny. A resulting book published by Oxford University Press in 2008 by authors Ronald W. Walker, Richard E. Turley Jr., and Glen M. Leonard concluded that while intemperate preaching about outsiders by Brigham Young, George A. Smith, and other leaders contributed to a climate of hostility, Young did not order the massacre…A series of tragic decisions by local Church leaders—who also held key civic and militia leadership roles in southern Utah—led to the massacre.”

“…In 1990, relatives of the Arkansas emigrants joined with representatives of the Paiute Nation, Latter-day Saint residents of southern Utah, and Church leaders in dedicating a memorial at Mountain Meadows. Rex E. Lee, president of Brigham Young University and descendant of John D. Lee, held hands with victims’ descendants and thanked them “for your Christian-like willingness to forgive.

On the 150th anniversary of the massacre, President Henry B. Eyring taught, “The gospel of Jesus Christ that we espouse, abhors the cold-blooded killing of men, women, and children. Indeed, it advocates peace and forgiveness. What was done here long ago by members of our Church represents a terrible and inexcusable departure from Christian teaching and conduct.”