Daily Archives: January 31, 2012

An Addendum About My Personal View of Mormons

I didn’t say this in the post because I didn’t think it needed saying, but I think it might.

I’ve got nothing bad to say about Mormons.  I’ve never been ill-treated by them, cheated by them, lied to by them so far as I know.  The ones I’ve met have generally been solid, hard-working, honest people.  Seemingly more so compared to the impression I’ve been left with in my seven decades of experience with the remainder of the population.  Christians, Gentile, Jew, atheist, Muslim and agnostic.  Even Buddhists, Taoists, Hindu, and the herd of New Age Gurus.  Even Hopi Elders and Ambiguous Native American Shamans.

My interest in Mormons came to being with the gradual realization that the parties involved in the lost gold mine I searched for so many years were predominantly Mormons.  It was a factor left entirely out of the legend as it came out of the 19th Century and it required years of research to uncover that fact.  The cousin of one of the central characters was evidently the second wife of Brigham Young.  Family names of the lost gold mine participants also show up among people involved in Mountain Meadows.

The timing on the lost gold mine incident and that of the Mountain Meadows massacre originally drew my interest.

What Mormons believe about polygamy, same-sex marriages, almost anything at all has no bearing on my impression and generally benevolent attitude toward them as a whole.  In areas where we disagree I’m willing to forgive them for being wrongheaded, same as I try to forgive everyone else who disagrees with me.  Otherwise I’d be forever having to keep score of who was right in this world, and who is wrong.  It just ain’t worth the effort even those relatively few areas where I can’t restrain myself from having an opinion.

Old Jules

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The Mountain Meadows Massacre – Juanita Brooks

I’m re-reading The Mountain Meadows Massacre, by Juanita Brooks at the moment.  Twenty or thirty years ago when I submerged myself in everything I could find about the event I concluded the Brooks work was the best out there.  When it came into my hands again recently I held back beginning it again to savor the anticipation.  Now I’m midway through it again and it’s as fine a piece of research as ever.

Brooks was a Mormon lady, which made the Mountain Meadows Massacre a work of courage on her part.  The LDS church had spent a century suppressing the realities about the mass homicide of an estimated 60-120 men, women, and children of the Fancher wagon train journeying through Utah to California in 1857, by Mormons and members of a tribe of Native Americans.

The event happened at a time when there was plenty of massacre going on across North America, but was unusual for a couple of reasons.  First, because the people involved were Mormons killing Christians, as opposed to Christians killing Mormons, and the motivation wasn’t acquisition of territory belonging to someone else.   Second, because the circumstances surrounding the massacre involved ‘normal’, dutiful, pious people behaving in ways anyone outside the context could only consider far from normal.  Believing the killing was defensively justified and necessary.

Brooks establishes clearly and thoroughly that the heads of the LDS ordered the massacre and that John Lee, who’d been hanged for it and handed full responsibility by the LDS Church, was carrying out those orders.

An excellent read for anyone interested in history, human behavior, duty, and the ability of the human mind to justify anything it applies itself to.

Old Jules

The link to the Ask Old Jules blog is active

http://askoldjules.com/

All that’s over there until the first post tomorrow is the single-post archive migrated from Facebook.  But if you’d care to go for a look at the archive it might give you an insight into the general drift.

I’m posting this today in hopes of discovering whether anything needs changing, whether the navigation works, and to just give anyone interested a gander at it.  If you click it and find there’s a problem of any sort I’d be obliged if you’d send her an email, post it here, or let us know by mental telepathy.

Gracias,

Old Jules