Mormon Memories and the Tragedy at Mountain Meadows

Studying the Mountain Meadows Massacre is difficult because of the conflicting collective memories held by the groups involved—Mormons, anti-Mormons, descendants of the perpetrators, and descendants of the victims, for example. Walker discusses the merits of pursuing such a difficult topic and the importance of remembering the tragic event. He argues that having knowledge of the truth, admitting fault, and remembering the event lead to a healthier psyche and help serve justice by memorializing the victims. Walker outlines the ways participants in the Mountain Meadows Massacre violated Mormon beliefs while at the same time asking readers to try to comprehend the historical context of the events. He explains that modern readers cannot always fully understand the conditions of the past. He concludes that the Mountain Meadows Massacre was a tragedy resulting from flaws readers may recognize in themselves. Those who study the massacre may come away with pity and a greater understanding of human nature.

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