Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Just Let It Go (Part I)

Wouldn't you think 150 years is long enough to hold a grudge?


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I have just finished reading the latest story in our local newspaper about the Mountain Meadows Massacre that occurred in Utah all those years ago. As far as I can tell, every single year since then, an organization of the descendants of those slaughtered family members get together to announce to the world that the Mormons haven't yet apologized for what their ancestors did.


If you haven't heard about it, many years ago a group of people from this area decided to move to California. So, they lined up their wagons and started out. When they got to Utah, they were attacked and almost all were slaughtered by a bunch of Mormons and two Paiute Indians. No one seems to know why it happened, and after all this time, they probably never will. They also don't know how those two hapless Paiutes got roped into the action.


Why, after 150 years, are all these descendants still obsessing over it? I understand that it was a terrible thing that happened to their ancestors, and I can see adding it to their family lore. But, these people have organized and have made it their business to beat the Mormons over the head with it every single year, demanding an apology.


And, every single year, the Mormons waffle around and say what an unfortunate occurrence it was, etc., etc., etc. But, they don't apologize.


This year, for the first time, the elders of the church acknowledged that they regret that their long-dead members did, indeed, take part in the massacre. But, they STILL didn't say the words that the descendants have been wanting them to say. The only thing the descendants had to say was, and I'm paraphrasing, here, "Well, they didn't actually apologize, but we'll just have to accept their regret, FOR THE TIME BEING."


FOR THE TIME BEING!!! Well, now I know why the Mormons have been so reluctant to apologize. They know that, people being the way they are these days, if they DO offer an apology, in the exact words that are being demanded, inevitably, the descendants will not accept it. Because, if they accept the apology, they will have to disband their organization and let it go.


And, after 150 years, they don't know how.

19 comments:

Kay Dennison said...

It goes back to why you still see "Forget? Hell no!" bumper stickers, etc. across the South. Some people like being mad, I think.

Peggy said...

As you have observed, keeping the anger going bonds these people. If they just had a Mountain Meadows Family Reunion, it wouldn't get them any news coverage. So, really the Mormons shouldn't say sorry, it will remove their reason to mourn.

susan said...

You kinda have to admire their determination. It takes WORK to stay mad that long. Heck, I can't even remember to stay mad at Shaun for more than a couple of hours...

Sister--Three said...

My father knew some of the little ones sent home to Carroll County.

The Mormons worked this about like our Government did. They let the bones lay on the desert. When a rememberance was put up Young had them tear it down. Perhaps their biggest sin was they blamed the poor pin Indians for the deed. I have read a bunch of books on this and it is a sad story indeed. One Mormon thinks she was secluded and not returned to AR and the book wanted to do DNA on descendents to check to see. I did see the pictures and she looked very much like one of her sisters who was returned.

All I can say is I do hope the murdering Mormons asked God to forgive them. Or do they just have to ask Young?

Have you read the 21st wife...it is a good tale of how he was.

Sister--Three said...

Other Betty, I guess you can see I am going for 200 years!

Kell said...

Even if they did apologize it would seem insincere. State governments are always apologizing for their role in slavery but darned if it doesn't correspond with the latest election or something. Instead of memorializing the wrongdoers, how about remembering the victims' lives and their contribution.

Dogwalkmusings said...

And we wonder why we don't understand the middle east! Look how long those hatreds have been festering!

patsy said...

i do get sick of the subject. the monment is in the carrollton grave yard and my greatgrand parent are buried there. i told sister it is a good thing thoese collins didn't get any rock on grandma catherines grave i would have made them move it!

The Ex said...

I suppose I’d be upset if it had happened to me too. I think very few people knew about this story outside of that region prior to the movie thing that recently happened. I haven’t seen the movie and I doubt it’s very factual anyway.

I think the thing that rubs people the wrong way is that Brigham Young is painted as a saint when it’s not clear whether he was involved or condoned the actions. He also made quite inflammatory comments that the people got what they deserved.

I sort of think that people shouldn’t let it die. They should keep a spotlight on the origins and past indiscretions of the Mormon church.

Betty said...

kay dennison: I think you're right.

peggy: I guess I just think that they are being publicity hounds.

susan: It almost feels like they're bragging, in a way.

sister3: I haven't read much about B. Young. And, you might as well go for 200, because this bunch isn't going to stay out of the papers for very long at a time.

Betty said...

kell: It seems insincere because it has been so long, and the only ones it touches who are still living, are the family members.

dogwalk: Amen to that.

patsy: I'm with you.

the ex: Good to hear from you. I think it probably has a lot to do with the feelings some people have about Mormons.

Newt said...

Hey, by dragging it up every year they get their 15 minutes of fame. What more can you ask for?

And you get start to get philisophical about not forgetting history so we don't repeat it but the present admin. is proof that some people don't ever learn from other peoples mistakes.

CarmenSinCity said...

Wow - they really know how to hold a grudge huh?

DirkStar said...

Reminds me of Mr. Goldman...

Dude, let it go.

Betty said...

newt, carmensincity and dirkstar: I guess you gotta know when to hold'em and know when to fold 'em.

Maria said...

Sounds like an interesting book. Since Mormans don't drink, I doubt if they shared booze with the two indians. However, they don't massacre people either . . . at least not for the last 150 years. Seems a great mystery, but our history if full of them. Think I will have to read this book.

Cazzie!!! said...

Same thing happened here. The Aboriginal people have been waiting and waiting for a SORRY from the Government and any one else who really does owe them an apology. For the "Stolen Generation" of children that was not that long ago really... long enough ago for people still alive to have it in their memories anyhow.
I wish the Government would just say SORRY and mean it so people could get on with living.

Cazzie!!! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Betty said...

Hello, Maria: Thanks for commenting.

Cazzie: It always sounds insincere so long after the occurrence.