08 August 2012

Mormons Vow of Silence

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer, 2003, Excerpts

The Saints gathered in a circle at the site of the mass murder to offer “thanks to God for delivering our enemies into our hands.” Then the overseers of the massacre reiterated the necessity of always saying the Indians did it alone, and the Mormons had nothing to do with it. It was voted unanimously that any man who should divulge the secret, or tell who was present, or do anything that would lead to a discovery of the truth, should suffer death.

Several Saints who took an active part in the 1857 slaughter were the forebears of modern Americans of some renown. Current Utah governor Mike Leavitt, for example, is a direct decedent of massacre participant Dudley Levitt, as was Juanita Leavitt Brooks, the author of The Mountain Meadow Massacres. And among the descendants of John D. Lee are members of the Udall political dynasty: Stewart Udall was a three-term congressman from Arizona and served as U.S. secretary of the interior under President Kennedy; his late brother, the late Morris Udall, succeeded Stewart to serve fifteen terms in the U.S. House of Representatives; and Morris’s son Mark Udall currently represents Colorado’s Second District in the U.S. House.

Udall Family
Standing:  Gauis, Joseph K., Joseph, David K., David K. Jr., Jesse, Pratt.
Sitting:  John, Don, Levi, Gilbert, Harry, Grover (1926)

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