Mormons in the Spotlight


"The massacre is a horrific story and one the rest of the nation will be fascinated by," said Patrick. "The perpetrators singled out people and attacked them even after they raised a white flag of surrender. But today, Mormons still don't quite understand how to say, 'We're sorry.' They won't admit to anything at all."

When the monument was rebuilt eight years ago, it was "assembled with a lot of fervor and a great deal of volunteerism," said Patrick.

"All of a sudden, they were building the new one having torn down the old one repeatedly," he said. "And then they denied having anything to do with the massacre. Even when bones were accidentally dug up, there was a rush to send them to BYU [Brigham Young University], which infuriated the relatives of the Arkansas victims."

Patrick said there is no mention on the monument that would help visitors understand what happened at Mountain Meadows 150 years ago.

"They have taken control of history. The worst massacre in U.S. history, and no one is allowed to know about it," he said. "For a while, they seemed to be contrite but then, well, maybe their lawyers advised them to disavow everything."

Mormons have long been considered "a people apart." But now, as one of the fastest-growing religions in the world with more than 12 million followers, a presidential candidate vying for the White House and no shortage of media attention, Mormons may soon discover they can no longer "take control of history," no matter how painful.

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