On 11 September 1857, some 50 to 60 local militiamen in southern Utah, aided by American Indian allies, massacred about 120 emigrants who were traveling by wagon to California. This tragic event, which spared only 17 children age six and under, occurred in a valley called the Mountain Meadows, roughly 35 miles southwest of Cedar City.
Because the perpetrators were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Church has made great efforts to heal the wounds caused by the massacre. In 1999, then-President Gordon B. Hinckley joined with descendants of the victims to dedicate a monument at the site. Since then, the Church has worked with descendant groups to maintain the monument and surrounding property and is committed to improving and preserving the area in the future.
Also, in an effort to bring to light the details of the event, Latter-day Saint leaders opened the Church’s archives to the authors of the 2007 book Massacre at Mountain Meadows. Speaking at the sesquicentennial of the massacre on 11 September 2007, President Henry B. Eyring said: