LDS Church historian concludes Brigham Young did not order 1857 massacre





There is insufficient evidence to say former LDS Church President Brigham Young ordered the Mountain Meadows Massacre, and ample evidence that says he did not, according to the church's assistant historian.
Richard Turley is one of three authors employed by the LDS Church who has spent the past six years writing a book about the 1857 massacre of 120 Arkansas wagon train emigrants in southern Utah. He told participants at the annual conference of the Mormon History Association on Saturday his conclusion, "based on the totality of evidence, is that Brigham Young did not order the massacre."

The book is scheduled for release sometime this summer or fall.

"He did not order it. Instead, local (church) leaders in the charged environment of the Utah War made a series of horrible decisions" that "led to the murder of 120 men, women and children, not one of whom deserved to die," Turley said.

The question of Young's potential culpability has "haunted our dreams and pressed itself upon our memories" the past six years, Turley said, as the authors worked with "several dozens and maybe hundreds" of researchers that examined documents from archives across the country, looking for any evidence related to the murders.



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