Mountain Meadows Massacre

Directions to Mountain Meadows Monument

Read about our visit to the site of the Mountain Meadows Massacre

Read about our visit to the site of the Mountain Meadows Massacre

While visiting the Utah Shakespearean Festival, Jill and I left the drama and tragedies behind for a morning to visit a site of much greater drama and tragedy. We have never visited the site of the Mountain Meadows Massacre though we have passed by on I-15 numerous times. From the Cedar City I-15 exit it is approximately 50 miles to the monument. There is very little traffic on highway 56 as we ride to Newcastle. There are no signs here to guide the way and we don’t see one until we are one mile away from the monument. We head down Newcastle’s main street and connect with highway 18 to Enterprise. We follow 18 to reach the monument. This place is in the middle of nowhere but well worth a visit.

Mountain Meadows Association Monument

There are two monuments. We visit the Mountain Meadows Association Monument first. There were not many visitors, in fact just Jill and I. A short 220 yard walk gets us to the top of Dan Sill Hill where the monument overlooks locations of interest. On the walk up the hill are two information markers. Rather than have you read plain text I will show the photographs for you to read from. They have been vandalized a little such that “The local indians joined in the slaughter” has been partly scratched out on one marker and an offensive word has been etched on another. “Some mothers do ‘ave ’em,” as my grandmother used to say.

Mountain Meadows Massacre Information

Mountain Meadows Massacre Information

Information about the burial sites.

Information about the burial sites.

Carleton Grave Uncovered

Carleton grave plaque marking the burial vault

Carleton grave plaque marking the burial vault

In the plaque above, at the end of the second paragraph, do you see where it says “…the remains recovered from that grave were re-interred in a burial vault inside the new wall.” I found a small plaque over at the second monument erected by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is easy to miss because you have to look over the left side of the wall as you come through the gate. However, there is more to see before we go to the second monument. On the top of the hill there is a fine memorial that has been constructed which lists the names of those killed and some explanatory markers.

Names Etched in Stone

Jill ponders events at the Mountain Meadows Massacre Memorial Site

Jill ponders events at the Mountain Meadows Massacre Memorial Site

In the photograph below, click on the five sections to see enlarged photographs of the names.

Far left of monument. Near left of monument. Center of monument. Near right of monument. Far right of monument.

Mountain Meadows Views

There are two viewing aids. The one of the left is aimed at the grave site where the LDS Church built a monument. You cannot see much because a hedge is obscuring the view. The one on the right shows the massacre site. We did not go there, it appeared that one of the routes to it was a private road. There is an informational plaque in the center. Click on the plaque and the viewing aids to enlarge.

View No. 1: Camp Site. Plaque describing the two views. View No. 2: Massacre Site.

There is a map showing all the sites relative to your position at the monument. Also another informational marker. This completes the visit to the first monument.

The Old Spanish Trail and the California Road

The Old Spanish Trail and the California Road

Area site map

Area site map

Grave Site Memorial

We drove to the Mountain Meadows Massacre Grave Site Memorial. I will simply show you the photographs without any commentary from me. At the end I will add a few thoughts.

Jill with the Grave Site Memorial in the background

Jill with the Grave Site Memorial in the background

Rick and Jill at the Memorial

Rick and Jill at the Memorial

Grave Site Memorial Dedication Plaque

Grave Site Memorial Dedication Plaque

Grave Site Memorials List

Grave Site Memorials List

The original rock memorial

The original rock memorial

Final Thoughts

It was worth the drive to be able to see the actual memorials, take some photographs, and ponder the events that happened here a long time ago. As an adult convert to the Church I have read a little about the massacre and have made some observations over the years. A few who are disaffected with the Church would dearly love to pin the blame on Brigham Young. Clearly the Mormon settlers were looking for direction from him but word came too late. So why the eagerness to implicate Brigham Young? Because that would imply that the current prophet could give a similar order and it would be obeyed. But Brigham Young did not give the order. It was local leadership that made that decision. Even if the current prophet did give such an order it would not be obeyed. Today there are far too many members who are independent of thought and earn their livelihood from employers with no connection to the Church. In closing, remember that the Gospel of Jesus Christ heals all wounds. May peace be with us all, both the living and the dead.
Rickety signature.

Comments

  1. I saw your post where you Faved peoples blogs on technorati, and because I posted later, I didn’t get faved… :(
    But I faved you now, and if you like you can fav me: http://www.candlesandcrafts.blogspot.com and http://www.soycandleblog.blogspot.com

    About your post…I have never been there, but I would like to go! And I find it ironic that on one of the markers it has a reference to September 11th……
    Keep up the good work!
    I will be back!
    Kat

  2. I have faved both your blogs now, thanks for letting me know. Almost all the people I faved didn’t reciprocate so I disfavored them. What can I say, I’m shallow! :) I have a question about candles so I will be reading your blog.

    My wife noticed the September 11th date too.

  3. Thanks for faving me back, and no, you’re not shallow, you are honest. Why be nice to them if they wouldn’t reciprocate? I agree with your decision to un-fav…
    See….women notice these things!
    Have a great day!
    Kat

  4. Oh, I forgot…I left a comment for you on the soy candle blog.

    Kat

  5. Beautiful pics of the memorial! I’ve always wanted to see it, so thanks for getting me there.

  6. troy hamilton says:

    I am from Arkansas, thanks for the pictures. my familys been in Ark. for 200 years. As a chirstian, we must forgive and move on. theres a lot of pain even today as a lot of people in ark. distrust the LDS.

    • My Dad lived in Arkansas for many years and is buried there. I have visited Arkansas and it is a beautiful state. The people I met there were very friendly and kind and brought food in at the time of the funeral.

  7. Gwen Boucher says:

    I am an LDS Investigator, and have been so impressed with the contemplative, and introspective way that fellow LDS members reflect on the incidents involved. Being able to face one’s short comings is one of the things that draws me to LDS. We all have our problems and I admire courage in facing them.

    • In September 2007 the Ensign published an article about the The Mountain Meadows Massacre: http://www.lds.org/ensign/2007/09/the-mountain-meadows-massacre?lang=eng

      Once an organization grows larger it can afford to be more open simply because it has more resources to defend itself from its enemies.

      • Gwen Boucher says:

        It is going to take me a while to adjust to the LDS mind set. I admire the organisation that prevents or minimises doctrinal drift. I love the absolute insistence on Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Having Muslim background, I am impressed with LDS praying on our knees in private.

        I was feeling impatient to be baptised, but now see the wisdom in making sure I know the beliefs before I commit. And, I was in the non-LDS religous world long enough to see them hiding their dirty laundry.

        • At first it was humbling to kneel before deity as I had never done it in private before. The first time I knelt to pray I paced the room first as it was something I was not used to. It is quite amusing now to look back on that time when I had to build up to some sort of decision just to pray on my knees.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The founder of Mormonism and Islam both are very similar in how they came about to bring their religon to the world, both demonic in my view.

    • Um, so what is your expertise in this field? You attended Bible College where? Did you ever read the part of the Bible that says we are supposed to love one another? I don’t find your statement very loving.

      So, do you have a problem with the revelations of Muhammad PBUH, or the revelations of Joseph Smith? If so, why is that? Who was it that said that the Bible is a closed revelation? The last line of the book of Revelation refers only to that book, since at its writing, the Bible had not even been canonized at that point.

      So if you believe in Moses, and what God did through him, then why would you feel that the Book of Mormon is false? I’d be interested to see you expound on the subject.

      • Perhaps Anonymous is an atheist and believes all religions are false. Anonymous is probably a very nice person, though mistaken.

        • So, again I am challenged, and realise that I have not fully learned the LDS way in dealing with disagreement. I am very prepared to be verbally debative, but sometimes lose track of the admonishment leveled at me by a Missionary Sister. She challenged me to be sweet, and at times it is not so easy. Sorry.

          Gwen

          • You are doing just fine. At least Anonymous believes in the Devil. That is a start.

            • Kathryn Warren says:

              My 35 years of living in the Mesa, Arizona area, my opinion is that with the Mormons, either you are a Mormon or a Gentile. If you are a Gentile, you are treated much differently, and much less fairly than if you are a Mormon. So, the quote “love thy neighbor as thyself” only applies to other Mormons? Seems so.
              Their children aren’t allowed to play with yours, because their standards are higher, and you are clearly inferior. I have had enough of Mormon ways.

              • Gwendolyn Boucher says:

                I am sorry for the experience you have had. Are you sure they were LDS? It could have been some splinter group or something.

                Gwen

              • It is no fun when you and your children are treated badly.

                • Gwendolyn Boucher says:

                  I was baptised Sunday !!!

                  Anyhow, during the discussion over dinner later, I mentioned Kathryn’s experience, and a close friend of mine told me that it is not so much that we exclude anyone but everything we do is so centered around the family that it just happens inadvertently. It’s sad that others would feel that way.

                  When I was Muslim, I felt very excluded from other Muslims at times but that was because in Islam, everything is family. And they are a very private culture.

                  • Congratulations on your baptism!

                    That is an excellent observation made about families. While I am friendly at work, I want to get home to my family. The Church sponsors a lot of family activities too. In my ward our friends of other faiths often get an invite to barbecues and other functions.

                    If you ever want to write about your conversion story I will publish it on my blog. A lot of my readers would be very interested in reading it. My email is posted here: http://www.rickety.us/site/feedback/

                    • Gwendolyn Boucher says:

                      Are you sure you are up for that? My past life is not pretty, and is disorderly, messy and all that. The President of my Stake said before the church group that I know more about the Atonement than anyone there.

                      I will work on it.

                      Thank you

                      Gwendolyn

                  • Congrats Gwen!

                    You have made the first step of a lifelong journey. Good work and make sure you never forget what your baptism means.

  9. Gwendolyn,

    I look forward to reading your conversion story. Take your time, I can proof it for you. When I wrote mine I omitted most of the darker moments of my life. They just weren’t relevant to my conversion.

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