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Posted by: Makurosu ( )
Date: January 22, 2012 11:49PM

I've been avoiding this subject for years, and I've decided that I need a book on it. I only want one book, because I find the whole grisly affair to be at the limit of what I can stand to think about. What I want to know primarily is the reason why the Mormons attacked and murdered these people, but I'd also like to know the extent of Brigham Young's involvement as far as we're able to determine. Also, why the indians were involved. I'd like the best book on the subject, but only one book.

I know that Juanita Brooks' book was the best on the subject for many years. Despite her status as a believing Mormon, she was able to produce a balanced work though there were some inaccuracies. One of her strengths, based on the reviews, was her treatment of the dynamics leading up to the crime.

I understand that Will Bagley's book is more up to date with recent research and that it's the new standard, however he says in the preface that his book is an extension of Juanita Brooks' book. Does that mean that I need both books? Or can I get away with just Bagley's book?

Also, what about Sally Denton's book? Does that compare favorably with Brooks and Bagley?

Thanks in advance.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/22/2012 11:50PM by Makurosu.

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Posted by: enoughenoch19 ( )
Date: January 22, 2012 11:59PM

I haven't read any except the Brooks one. It is well researched, well written, etc. If you are trying to save $ the Brooks one is usually on Ebay.

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Posted by: Ragnar ( )
Date: January 23, 2012 12:01AM

I liked Blood of the Prophets, although I thought it was too easy on BY. Well researched and well documented.

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Posted by: jerry64 ( )
Date: January 23, 2012 07:29PM

The documentary movie, "Burying the Past", is also very good:

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: January 23, 2012 01:30AM

then, of course, there's the Whitewashed LDS version (gag)...

turley + ? + ?

pure fantasy

Blood of the Prophets + J.Brooks (she's my heroine!)

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Posted by: Makurosu ( )
Date: January 23, 2012 10:17AM

Kind of like when a big movie comes out, sometimes a direct to video B movie with a similar name will be released at the same time hoping to make a little money from the roll off. After Charles M. Larson's book "By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus" started getting popular, there was another book with a very similar cover that came out written by an apologist. I can't even find that book now to tell you the author, but for awhile it was everywhere you would go to look for Larson's book. It seems to have gone away now that Larson's book is out of print. For Bagley's book, we have Turley. For Brodie's book, we have Bushman. :) There must needs be opposition in all things.

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Posted by: ( )
Date: January 23, 2012 12:13PM

Read any one of them, (if you have to) doesn't matter: all cats are gray in the dark. Don't expect a single one to say that BR had anything to do with it! They all thoroughly soil, shame and corrupt themselves and their "religion" in the end. Each lies, alibis, slathering schmooze and disinformation over the single-most heinous crime in all of American history – for which the m's have NEVER apologized. Their recent claims that they have FINALLY opened their archives is pure hooey.

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Posted by: Rebeckah ( )
Date: January 23, 2012 12:17PM

They were the richest wagon train that had headed west at that point. Brigham obviously couldn't withstand the temptation. :)

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Posted by: SpongeBob SquareGarments ( )
Date: January 23, 2012 12:29PM

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Posted by: SL Cabbie ( )
Date: January 23, 2012 05:23PM

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Posted by: badseed ( )
Date: January 23, 2012 12:40PM

MMM by Juanita Brooks-

Well researched and balanced in my opinion. She was faithful LDS for her whole life and David o. McKay called off the others who were trying to have her exed— so it's difficult to really say she was trying to take the Church down. Great book and the first.

Blood of the Prophets by Will Bagely
Well researched. Good read. I personally think this conclusions regarding the Haslam letter are more from what he reads into it than the evidence shows. That said, he may very well be right about it. BY clearly was an SOB. This book would certainly turn of many believers....but then again Brooks would as well.

Massacre at Mountain Meadows by Walker, Turley and Leonard.
This book represent the best effort thus far by the LDS Church to address what really happened at MMM. It is however an apologetic in that it completely dances around Brigham Young and George A. Smith's involvement before (war rhetoric) and does not include any part of the aftermath....including the cover-up. The writers claimed that a Part 2 would deal with the cover-up, trials and scapegoating but I have heard nothing about it lately. I imagine the 15 won't allow it to be published as it would have to amount to speaking 'evil of the lords annointed'. IIRC the book purposely avoids laying blame at the feet of anyone outside of the local leadership in So UT and which I think shows some real and harmful bias.

My .02. Hope it helps.

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Posted by: badseed ( )
Date: January 23, 2012 12:43PM

Burying the Past

Documentary by a Utah professor. Not the best production values but good info none the less.

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Posted by: Makurosu ( )
Date: January 23, 2012 01:41PM

If so, which would you recommend as the single book to buy? I really just want to be informed on the reasons and culpability for the crime. I understand that some research surfaced after Brooks wrote her book and that her book contains certain inaccuracies, but while Bagley has all the current research on the subject he says his book is an extension of Brooks' book. Can I just get Bagley's book and have all the information contained in Brooks? Or would I need both books.

I'm starting to consider getting both Brooks and Bagley, but I'd really rather just have Bagley if I can get away with it. I became physically ill when I learned about the Mountain Meadows Massacre after I left the Church. I actually cried when I read some of the stories. It's a terrible piece of history that I'd rather not have to think about, but I want to have a book in my library that I can refer to if necessary.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/2012 01:42PM by Makurosu.

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Posted by: badseed ( )
Date: January 23, 2012 02:05PM

As to Brooks having some inaccuracies...I can't really speak. Obviously she wrote first and a good bit earlier than Bagley so more info may ave been available later.

From what I recall Bagely's book would have all of the referenced info that Brooks had. It's the analysis that will differ I think. Again Brooks was giving the Church perhaps more benefit from the information where Bagely works to implicate LDS leaders more perhaps.

I inherited a copy of Brooks and borrowed the others from the library— and actually I wish I had all 3 books for comparison. From this the biases are clear. If you can only buy one just be aware of where the author is coming from.

Personally I think Bagley and Brooks are both good choices.

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Posted by: Makurosu ( )
Date: January 23, 2012 02:15PM

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Posted by: unworthy ( )
Date: January 23, 2012 01:21PM

I read Under the Banner of Heaven. Gave a good background and timetable. Also some very good documentries on it also.

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Posted by: rt ( )
Date: January 23, 2012 01:31PM

I also bought "House of Mourning" by Kim (?) Novak. She's a non-Mormon forensic pathologist (or something like that) and the book has a lot of pictures of puntured skulls and broken bones.

It sounds a bit weird when I put it down like that but it's actually quite chilling and sobering to read. It conveys really well what actually happened there: the brutal killing of human beings.

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Posted by: Not logged in ( )
Date: January 23, 2012 03:30PM

She was working on the bones as mandated by law when then-governor Mike Leavitt ordered that they be reinterred -- before she had finished. (Mike Leavitt is a descendant of Dudley Leavitt, one of the murderers. Coincidence?)

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Posted by: mrtranquility ( )
Date: January 23, 2012 03:11PM

He had more evidence available to him than Brooks. Bagley also devotes some pages to Brooks' work, so he encompasses her work as well.

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Posted by: Makurosu ( )
Date: January 23, 2012 03:17PM

I bought Quinn's "Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power" along with it. That should be interesting.

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Posted by: SL Cabbie ( )
Date: January 23, 2012 05:22PM

And if you'd ever get back to Salt Lake (Exmo Conference?) I'd see to it that you got to meet Will and get it signed. As I said here, I met him at the '02 Conference (along with Simon Southerton and Sandra Tanner), and our friendship has grown tremendously since.

I see you're a bit of a wuss (big smiley face) based on stuff above, so you probably don't want to delve deeper with "Innocent Blood: Essential Narratives of the Mountain Meadows Massacre." This one is a scholarly follow-up co-authored with David Bigler. My road rage really got a workout with this one, particularly reading the original works of George A. Smith.

Right now, other than Novak's work, the only books I lack in my library on MMM is one by William Wise and possibly some obscure pulp works written with the murders as the backdrop. I'm working through Josiah Gibbs right now (purely as an academic exercise), and then Rodolfo and I are going to do a mutual support thingie and wade through the Turley/Walker/Leonard tome. Of course I need to remember to get him this extra copy I promised him... Honest, I left the copy on my kitchen table, big guy...

And here you go... Some essentially original source material:

Sally Denton? I didn't care for her because she didn't dig that deeply into the subject... Brooks? As a technical non-Mormon, her "LDS tint" was obvious to me, but she deserves full marks for her courage and groundbreaking work. A TBM friend of mine who knew her spoke admiringly of her courage to me recently, BTW... Being the subversive I am, he's now the proud owner of a signed Bagley first edition with a little note from Will in addition...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/2012 08:25PM by SL Cabbie.

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Posted by: Makurosu ( )
Date: January 23, 2012 07:04PM

I do intend to get out there one of these days for an exmo conference. I have never been to one. There are so many accomplished, courageous people in the ex-Mormon community that I would go just to meet a few of them including yourself, sir.

Thanks for the tips about Denton and Brooks. I'm familiar with David Bigler, but I have not heard of that particular book. Bigler did some of the first transcriptions of my ancestor Charles Franklin Middleton's diaries, and I own his Fort Limhi: The Mormon Adventure in Oregon Territory 1855-58, which is excellent. Oh hey, the foreword to it is written by none other than Will Bagley.

I am squeamish about the subject though, and I really only want one very comprehensive book that I can refer to. I'm looking forward to receiving Bagley's.

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Posted by: SL Cabbie ( )
Date: January 23, 2012 08:21PM

I was privileged to sit with David a few months ago (he was an old friend of my grandfather's). A former executive with U.S. Steel, he's is no stranger to "power politics."

Click on the bio information on this one. It's noteworthy that Wiki lists famous Mormons who've invented new green jello recipes but there's no mention of our friend...

The events at Fort Limhi were news to me, and Will pointed out that Bigler identified them as the reason Brigham Young "knuckled under" to Buchanan's offer of a presidential pardon. I'll leave the details to students of history to enjoy ferreting out. Young was, until it became apparent there would be insurmountable conflicts with the Indians, quite willing to have the Saints "torch Zion" and pick up and move to that part of the country rather than submit to the rule of U.S. government.

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Posted by: Makurosu ( )
Date: January 23, 2012 10:04PM

Bigler thought the Indian raid of Fort Limhi was an important defeat for Brigham Young that softened him up for later compromises. Bigler also talked about the time Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball went up for a visit and told the men that it was their duty to forge marriage ties with the natives. Young asked the men why they had not identified themselves with Israel, and it was explained this meant that it was time for "the seed of Abraham to be grafted in." (Too bad Brigham Young couldn't read Simon Southerton's book.) Bigler quoted my ancestor Charles Middleton's letter to his wives back in Ogden saying that he wasn't keen to perform that part of his religion and that the native women weren't so inclined either. Good stuff.

I'll keep a look out for green jello recipes though.

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Posted by: rodolfo ( )
Date: January 23, 2012 07:51PM

HA! no worries, I spaced it too. Bagley's book is also my vote. Will has observed since it came out that he was probably a too soft on Brigham in it.

We should talk him into a Exmo Conference talk entitled: Blood of The Prophets: The Missing 116 Pages. He has considerably more material in explicit and circumstantial forms that is enlightening.

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Posted by: mjs ( )
Date: April 07, 2019 09:25PM

The wagon train was headed up by Baker who was an uncle of my great grandmother, Rebecca Jane Baker. I have some of my genealogy that relates to the Mountain Meadows Massacre. My dad was one of the youngest of 12 and his Uncles built the penitentiary in Arkansas and were all in law enforcement around Alma, Fine Springs, and Ft. Smith. I have information about what happened to My great, great uncles children who were too young to be murdered (7 years and younger). One even played with Brigham Youngs children after being taken back to Salt Lake City. When finally returned to Arkansas, they had no close relatives left and ended up being very poor. Their dad who headed the wagon train from Arkansas was rich with lots of oxen, cattle, and other posessions. I am beginning to do more research on this when I have time. I am one of the youngest great grandchildren of Rebeccah Jane Baker. She was 15 during the Civil war and several articles have been published about her memories. She married my great granddad, William Polk Pitcock a U.S. Marshal in Arkansas during the 1870's, So interesting and sad.

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Posted by: Phantom Shadow ( )
Date: April 07, 2019 10:56PM

Fascinating. I hope we can hear more abut your work.Would you mind repeating your post a new topic? More readers will see it that way.

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Posted by: Raptor Jesus ( )
Date: January 23, 2012 10:24PM

Entitle their book, "Baby's First Mountain Meadows Massacre Book"?

That would clear things up for those of us who aren't as well versed and need a good place to start.

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Posted by: Makurosu ( )
Date: January 23, 2012 10:26PM

The Mountain Meadows Massacre plush book with I Spy A Nephite together are an absolute must for your child.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/2012 10:29PM by Makurosu.

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: April 07, 2019 11:14PM

Both are good. I would read them.

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