Mormon News, September 14–18

For all that has been written about the infamous Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857, no one knew precisely where the victims were buried. Now researcher Everett Bassett says he has found two burial sites far from the monuments meant to honor the dead. The men, women, and children of the Baker-Fancher party killed at Mountain Meadows were largely left exposed by their assailants. The scrollUS army constructed two sepulchers for the victims to protect their remains from wolves and natural elements. The men are buried at one site, the women and children at another. The army described the location of the graves but mistakes perpetuated over the years led to false conclusions about where the bodies could be. Bassett plans to publish his research soon.

Prophet’s Prey, a new documentary about Warren Jeffs and the FLDS community, debuted this week to strong reviews. The film was directed by Amy Berg, well known for her unsettling documentaries Deliver Us from Evil and West of Memphis. Prophet’s Prey focuses on Warren Jeffs and his rise and fall in the FLDS Church. Jeffs is revealed to have at least seventy-eight wives, including twelve who were younger than sixteen. Berg includes a controversial bit of disturbing evidence: an audio recording of Jeffs consummating his “marriage” to a new twelve-year-old wife. The documentary comes on the heels of devastating flash floods in Hildale that killed several FLDS members and devastated the community.

When the Temple Beth Sholom burned to the ground last year, congregants were unsure where they might meet while the new temple was built. But after they learned of the fire, a local Mormon ward stepped in and offered their building to the displaced worshipers. Fifty years before, the temple volunteered to let the Latter-day Saints meet there while their LDS chapel was being constructed.

News update by John Hatch, acquisitions editor