One Nation Under Gods/Use of sources/Will Bagley reviews/Reeve and Parshall

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A FairMormon Analysis of:
One Nation Under Gods/Use of sources
A work by author: Richard Abanes

Will Bagley's Blood of the Prophets: Reeve and Parshall


  • Despite the author's admiration for Will Bagley's treatment of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, experts in LDS history have not been nearly so favorable. They say that Bagley's
handling of th[e] problematic and at times is manipulated to fit his thesis, and both his prejudices and biases quickly become apparent. Bagley is intent upon implicating Brigham Young in the massacre. To do so, he repaints nineteenth-century Utah with blood. . . .
...the manner in which he constructs his story is designed to reinforce the notion that nineteenth-century Utah was a corrupt cauldron of blood, vice, and hypocrisy. Bagley's prejudices and unexamined assumptions permeate the narrative. In countless places, Bagley labels Mormons and anyone with a kind word for them as ridiculous or worthy of dismissal.
Perhaps the real message in Blood of the Prophets is that considering Bagley's extensive research, he could come up with no better evidence than Dimick Huntington's journal to link "Young to facilitating the murders." And to make even that unsustainable claim, he had to put a new word into Huntington's pen.
  • These authors also criticize Bagley for using "unsubstantiated gossip for evidence," "manipulation of information," and for assertions which "go well beyond his evidence."[1]
  • Not surprisingly, the author's present work suffers from these same flaws.


  1. Cited in Daniel C. Peterson, "Editor's Introduction," FARMS Review 15/2 (2003): ix–lxii. off-site