Sunday, May 18, 2014

Peace and Violence Among the 19th Century Saints

This link is a church article which talks about many issues with regards to the church and violence in the early days of the church.   It shows the story from both sides, talking about the Mormons from the side of victims of violence, but also talks about times when early Saints perpetrated violence.  It talks about many things which you would think the church wouldn't talk about.  This includes discussion of the Danites and their roll in violence.  It also gives a very good summary of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. 
Violence against members of the Church in the early days resulted in much loss of life and persecution.  It also resulted in loss of property, which was never reimbursed.  Violence resulted in the Mormons becoming refugees on several occasions.  This included the expulsion from Nauvoo, and the resultant hardships in Iowa and Nebraska.  It is estimated that during this time, one in twelve Mormons passed away because of this hardship.  That the U.S. would allow such violence against a religious group is unheard of in the history of our country, but it did happen.  Mormons achieved a relative period of peace by fleeing to the Rocky Mountains.
In 1857, there was again misunderstanding between the Mormons and the U.S. which lead to the march of U.S. troops against the Mormons to put down rebellion.  It was in this atmosphere that the Mountain Meadows Massacre.  The violence against others is not acceptable, and was not authorized by the church.

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