A message to Mormon readers:
I’ve received a lot of e-mails about this article, and I’m sorry to learn that it has offended some people. The intention of this article is not to shame or criticize the Mormon faith in any way. I think it is clear that there were many atrocities committed against Mormons in this war.
In researching this article, I read a number of conflicting accounts from different sources and did my best to present the most probable and balanced version of the story I could — albeit in an admittedly bombastic and sensationalized style. You can see these sources by clicking the links in the article.
In some places, this led me to contradict the official LDS account of the history, but no offense is meant in these contradictions. I encourage everyone interested in a balanced view of this incident to read the Church of Latter Day Saints’ version of the story as well.
Today, Mormonism is one of the most widely accepted religions in the US. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints live freely and happily among their neighbors, sharing smiles and goodwill with everyone they see.
In 1838, however, the state of Missouri entered into a full-scale war against the Mormons. People were slaughtered. Whole villages were razed. It’s the last thing you’d ever imagine to be part of the history of those nice men who go door-to-door in white shirts.