New MMM Book On Its Way: Local Church Leaders Take the Blame

New Mountain Meadows Book Places Blame on Local Leaders” is the story in the Desert News on the new Oxford University Press book by LDS Church historians Ronald Walker, Richard Turley and Glen Leonard. Some important issues from the aftermath of the Massacre will be addressed in a second book. This one focused on the tragedy itself and the role that various people played. Isaac C. Haight plays an especially critical role in the final analysis, ultimately taking the blame for ordering the crime. He was a Stake President (something the Deseret News story did not mention). The historical records do not indicate that Brigham Young was responsible, contrary to hostile claims. See, for example, the evidence discussed in Robert Crockett’s review of Will Bagley’s book that seeks to blame Brigham Young. Also see the FAIRWiki article on the Massacre (see especially the long quote from John Widtsoe).

I’m not sure I look forward to anything else on this topic, but I’m glad that Oxford is printing this book and hope that it will enhance understanding, for those who actually want to understand. From what I know of the authors, I expect a fair, thorough, and scholarly work, though those who want to revile Brigham will simply dismiss it since the authors are LDS.


Author: Jeff Lindsay

6 thoughts on “New MMM Book On Its Way: Local Church Leaders Take the Blame

  1. I tell ya, Jeff, I’ve learned more about Mountain Meadow in the last couple of weeks than I learned in the last 30 years, trying to find out my family’s involvement.

    Just a couple of observations: My cousin, whose mother, my great-aunt, did the genealogy in the family, told me that his grandfather, who lived in Cedar at the time, heard rumblings about the Arkansans and didn’t want any part of the plans. So he, and other like-minded men, loaded up their wagons, hitched up their teams, and went up on Cedar Mountain, ostensibly to get wood.

    I’ve heard Isaac Haight’s name a lot. There are still Haights here. I’d like to know how they see things. Hmmm….

    I agree with these guys’ conclusions. I think there a lot of contributing factors, but I don’t think it was ordered by the prophet. I think people interpreted something to be that way, is all, and then things got totally out of hand.

    I was frankly surprised none of my relatives were involved. We’re a hot-headed stupid bunch.

  2. I am slightly tired of the subject. I guess this is because most of what I hear is largely negative towards the Church. I live in Cedar right now btw, not that that matters :-).

    Movies coming out like September Dawn aren’t going to help matters much. It is based on a book based on mostly fabrication and poor research.

    No doubt this (Mountain Meadows) was a horrible event, that never should have happened.

  3. I’ve spoken with the editors at OUP. It’ll be a while. The copy read at the MHA conference was just a reader’s copy, one in a series of revisions. We probably won’t see anything for another year.

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