Criticism of Mormonism/Books/Mormon America: The Power and the Promise/Chapter 3

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Response to claims made in "Chapter 3: The American Exodus"

A FairMormon Analysis of: Mormon America: The Power and the Promise, a work by author: Richard N. Ostling and Joan K. Ostling

Response to claims made in Mormon America "Chapter 3: The American Exodus"

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Response to claim: 42 - The authors claim that there is historical evidence that Joseph Smith blessed his son, Joseph III that he would become his successor

The author(s) of Mormon America make(s) the following claim:

The authors claim that there is historical evidence that Joseph Smith blessed his son, Joseph III that he would become his successor.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

Mark Hofmann produced a forgery that was claimed to be the blessing given by Joseph Smith to his son Joseph Smith III. The Joseph Smith III blessing, falsely represented as a father’s blessing given by the Prophet Joseph Smith on 17 January 1844 to his son, Joseph Smith III, to the effect that this son was his appointed successor. (See Ensign, May 1981.) off-site


Response to claim: 54 - Mormons were responsible for the Mountain Meadows massacre

The author(s) of Mormon America make(s) the following claim:

Mormons were responsible for the Mountain Meadows massacre.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event


Henry B. Eyring (2007): "What was done here long ago by members of our Church represents a terrible and inexcusable departure from Christian teaching and conduct"

Henry B. Eyring:

On September 11, 1857, some 50 to 60 local militiamen in southern Utah, aided by some American indian[s], massacred about 120 emigrants who were traveling by wagon to California. The horrific crime, which spared only 17 children age six and under, occurred in a highland valley called the Mountain Meadows, roughly 35 miles southwest of Cedar City. The victims, most of them from Arkansas, were on their way to California with dreams of a bright future“ (Richard E. Turley Jr., ”The Mountain Meadows Massacre,“ Ensign, Sept. 2007).

What was done here long ago by members of our Church represents a terrible and inexcusable departure from Christian teaching and conduct. We cannot change what happened, but we can remember and honor those who were killed here.

We express profound regret for the massacre carried out in this valley 150 years ago today and for the undue and untold suffering experienced by the victims then and by their relatives to the present time.

A separate expression of regret is owed to the Paiute people who have unjustly borne for too long the principal blame for what occurred during the massacre. Although the extent of their involvement is disputed, it is believed they would not have participated without the direction and stimulus provided by local Church leaders and members. [1]


Notes

  1. Henry B. Eyring, in “Expressing Regrets for 1857 Massacre,” Church News, Sept. 15, 2007