She stayed there until she saw a white man and begged him for help. Or would the survivors be left to a fate possibly worse than death itself?In vain, terrified women desperately struggled to reach the place where their husbands and fathers were being slaughtered. I remember standing by my mother, holding onto her skirt, while my mother stood with my baby brother in her arms, and when the white man, not an Indian, raised his gun to take the life of my mother, she said: “God, have mercy on my children!For this reason, taking up my pen to write at this time on this subject is markedly ironic.My purpose is to instill faith in Jesus Christ and the Restoration, helping to encourage my fellow members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to recommit themselves to living by “every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” This includes inspired revelation we have received from latter-day prophets, seers and revelators.Sarah Frances Baker remembered sitting on her wounded father George’s lap in one of the wagons when the same bullet that snuffed out his life took a nick out of her left ear. “But even when you’re that young,” she maintained more than eighty years later, “you don’t forget the horror of having your father gasp for breath and grow limp, while you have your arms around his neck, screaming with terror.” She recalled “the blood-curdling war-whoops,” “the banging of guns,” and “the screaming of the other children and the agonized shrieks of women” being killed. I saw them shoot the girl after we were gathered up.“And you wouldn’t forget it, either,” she said, “if you saw your own mother topple over in the wagon beside you, with a big red splotch getting bigger and bigger on the front of her calico dress. When they came to one man that had his child in his arms an infant babe, he says give up that child.At the close of the massacre there was 18 children still alive, one girl, some ten or twelve years old they said was to big and could tell so they killed her, leaving 17. No, Lee, says the man, I know you, I recognise you [even] if you are painted[,] and you know the penalty of shedding innocent blood.
_________________________________________ Nineteen years following the massacre, almost to the day, Nephi Johnson stood as a witness at the trial of John D. Lee was later executed for his role in the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Q: And from what you had seen before that, you thought it was your duty, under the circumstances, to obey counsel, or commands given you by Haight? Q: Did Haight hold any office except that of Major in the military? Q: An ecclesiastical office – President of that Stake of Zion, I believe you call it? Before the killings, Nephi Johnson’s conscience warned against involvement.The Prophet lamented: What a pity it would be if we were lead by one man to utter destruction! I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are lead by him. Another girl was fleeing for her life when an Indian “plunged his knife through her.” . She ran and hid in a cluster of sagebrush near the road.I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purpose of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their leaders did they know for themselves by the revelations of Jesus that they are led in the right way. From her hiding place she saw two of her older sisters killed, their bodies falling nearby.Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves whether their leaders are walking in the path the lord dictates or not. She also heard her one-year-old sister, Sarah, crying.Sarah “had been shot through her right arm, below the elbow, by a large ball, breaking both bones and cutting her arm half off.” Rebecca pulled Sarah free and took her back into the sagebrush to hide.