One question at a time 13 Mountain Meadow Massacre
Black mark on the History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons/LDS) when a group of LDS People attacked an innocent wagon train heading to california passing through Southern Utah.
Brigham Young who was the leader of the LDS Church after the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith sent people throughout Utah and even into other states to start colonies. You will find small towns about every 50 miles which is how far you could ride on a horse per day back then.
One of these small towns was called Mountain Meadows and the people that went down had been through much persecution back East when they had lost their homes and been kicked out of different towns because they were Mormons. The basic account is that the people of Mountain Meadows heard that a group of persecutors were headed towards them and they got together and decided they were not going to take it any more. They did send word to the Prophet Brigham Young and they got his reply a day late that said to let them pass in peace. The Mormons of Mountain Meadows dressed up like Indians and painted their faces and attacked the wagon train killing almost everyone. Some of the children were later adopted by the Mormons and raised as their own. This horrible tragedy cannot be excused although we may be able to understand why it happened after we study what the Mormons had been through. Much research has been done on this and some stories claim the people knew they were a peaceful wagon train headed for california and they attacked them anyway. Other stories say that they really thought the wagon train was a violent mob that was coming to continue persecuting them.
I don't excuse their behavior yet if I were to be taken back in time and if I had suffered the same things they had suffered and if indeed I really believed that a mob was coming to kill my family and others I can't say that I would not have done the same exact thing to protect them. It is very difficult to judge anyone without having the entire story and without having all the facts. As a rule the Mormon people are non-violent.
You will hear of Mormons that secretly got together to take revenge on those that had participated in persecutions against those in the Church. This similar thing was occurring during the time of Jesus when the zealots, a radical jewish group was taking matters into their own hands to go against the Romans to get justice. Jesus when he came did not condone violence and nor did the leaders of the Mormon church except when in defence of yourself or your family.