In reading what might be an otherwise unremarkable NY Times book review on a biography on Brigham Young, I came upon this passage:
The perennial question in Mormon history is: Whose side are you on? For over a century, the church cleaved to “faith-promoting” histories about heroic Joseph and Brigham, and the evil Gentiles who persecuted them. As recently as 19 years ago, Salt Lake’s guardians of the Saintly flame excommunicated several prominent writers and historians for what the old-line Soviets would have called “deviationist” points of view. (Some of them have since rejoined the church.)Turner is on the side of good history, and he generally negotiates the many tripwires in the Saints’ story — the “hall of mirrors,” as he calls it — with aplomb. For example, he unflinchingly recounts the notorious 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre, in which Mormons and their Paiute Indian allies killed a group of emigrants from Arkansas. While he writes that Young encouraged the Indians to attack the wagon trains, Turner allows that no document directly links him to the horrific murders of 120 men, women and children. Turner does note that Young cynically billed the federal government for $3,527 worth of gifts supposedly distributed to “sundry bands of Indians near Mountain Meadow.” The gifts — steers, clothing and butcher knives — had in fact been plundered from the slaughtered settlers. What Turner calls “the dark stain the Mountain Meadows Massacre” left on Young’s reputation remains to this day.
That this guy, Brigham Young, is celebrated by any segment in our society is pathological, and probably more pathological than if any segment of our society celebrated Sonny Barger - the latter I would claim and those like him are more honest in their endeavors. You know what the Hell's Angels are. They don't claim to be the one true religion yada yada yada.
Of course, that a nominee for President of the United States can't bring himself to address issues such as this - that is to say, how does he square his Mormon-ness with the questionable history of this church - and that nobody wants to go there is even more pathological.