Summarized by Kent Larsen
Monument instills healing at Mountain Meadows site
Deseret News 12Sep99 C7
By Carma Wadley: Deseret News senior writer
CENTRAL, UTAH -- Calling for healing and peace, President Gordon B.
Hinckley dedicated the grave-site memorial at the Mountain Meadows
Massacre site, about 35 miles north of St. George, Utah. About 100
descendents of the children that survived the massacre attended the
ceremony, along with descendents of members of the Iron County
militia, which participated. "All who knew firsthand about what
occurred here are long since gone. Let the book of the past be
closed. Let peace come into our hearts," said President Hinckley.
Ron Loving, president of the Mountain Meadows Association said that
the day represented a milestone in recognizing the events that
happened 142 years ago, "Never in my wildest dreams did I think we'd
get to this point. It is as if a dam of pent-up emotion and interest
has been released. The truth of the massacre is being talked about
freely, and there has been such an outpouring of feeling."
During his remarks, President Hinckley told of his first visit to the
site, nearly 50 years ago. "When my father turned 85, I brought him
down to southern Utah. We visited this place. There was no one else
around. My father said nothing. I said nothing. We simply stood here
and thought of what occurred here in 1857. The rock cairn was here.
Weeds rustled in the breeze. We walked back to our car without
speaking. We knew this ground was hallowed, and we were reverent and
He also recognized that the dedication was a major accomplishment.
"This is a solemn and significant occasion. This is an emotional
experience for me. I come as a peacemaker. This is not a time for
recrimination or the assigning of blame. No one can explain what
happened in these meadows 142 years ago. We may speculate, but we do
not know. We do not understand it. We cannot comprehend it. We can
only say that the past is long since gone. It cannot be recalled."