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Know the West

Mormons don't recognize history

  Dear HCN,Bigotry is an easy label to apply to Ray Ring's piece on the Martin's Cove land exchange (HCN, 9/30/02: This land holds a story the church won't tell), but most Mormons don't recognize a lot of their own history. Of course, the violence against them in their years in Illinois was terrible. One of my great-grandmothers wrote in her journal that she sat in her house with a sick baby on her lap while the cannonballs rolled down the street. It was terrifying.

What was the source of such bitter resentment against Mormons? Try to imagine what it would be like in a small community, to have a large group move in who voted in a solid bloc. Try to imagine your own daughter(s), or even wife, being asked to join the LDS as a multiple wife.

And don't think it didn't happen. In my fifty years in Arizona, I have often known LDS to vote in a bloc. That same spunky great-grandmother wrote in her journal that because her husband had not also joined the Mormon church, a prominent elder had asked her to leave him to become the elder's third wife. "I soon put a bee in his ear," she added.

Of course, the Mormons would leave out an important part of the history if they owned Martin's Cove. Ray Ring knows what he is talking about, as usual.

H. Virginia ThompsonEagar, Arizona