Letter to the Editor: Mormons should reciprocate Illinois Legislature’s recent apology

Editor:

I have been amazed by the public apology the state of Illinois recently made to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Knowing what I do about Mormon history, the whole affair dumbfounds me. The only explanation I can come up with is that someone has created a fairy tale, revisionist history of events for the Illinois Legislature and pulled a few strings to somehow get this asinine admission of guilt adopted by a mostly apathetic legislative body.

In Illinois, the LDS Church showed a total disregard for the laws of the state. With a militia at his disposal and a self-appointed commission as lieutenant general, Joseph Smith created his own little dictatorship right in the middle of Illinois.

He ignored the laws of the state in which he resided and threatened non Mormons in the state with his theocracy. He used his power to break laws and condone criminal activity quite regularly.

In the end, he disregarded the ultimate authority of the land-the U.S. Constitution-when he ordered the destruction of a local paper exercising its First Amendment rights of freedom of the press, a freedom which seemed to threaten his dictatorship.

The Mormons brought whatever problems they had in Illinois upon themselves. Obviously, there were more lawful means to deal with these problems, but this could have been difficult when the person who needs to be brought to justice has no regard for these lawful means and has a militia at his disposal to make this disregard quite meaningful. It is absurd to me that Illinois could ever think of apologizing to a group that misused quite liberally the power bestowed on it by that very state, a group that instigated almost every conflict it experienced. Just because they ultimately “lost” these power conflicts doesn’t mean anyone, including the state of Illinois, should feel sorry for them.

If the state of Illinois can find it in its heart to even admit a little wrongdoing on its part, it seems reasonable that LDS Church leaders-who are supposed to be humble men of God-can take a little time out of their busy schedule to apologize for Mormon behavior in Illinois.

Perhaps they can help with this wholly annoying persecution complex so many Mormons unjustifiably are stricken with these days.

Jared Johnson

Junior, Computer Science