Porter Rockwell

01 March

Porter RockwellNot long ago I came across a drawing and a report written by a fourth grader about Porter Rockwell.

In 1997 the Utah Board of Education and BYU Public School Partnership banded together to form Heritage Gateways, the official sesquicentennial celebration of the famed Mormon Pioneer exodus to Utah.

The schools gathered drawings and reports from K-12 grade students statewide describing the events and people involved in the original trek west in 1847. The site that hosts this has historical diaries, excerpts from books, articles, and maps, etc.

Children were asked to provide original artwork along with an explanation of whom or what their picture was about. 

When I read the report of this young man my mind went back to my 7th grade Utah History class. I gave a report on my uncle Butch Cassidy and shared some stories of his visits with his sister, my Aunt Lula.  My personal story didn’t line up with what the history books said, alas, my grades reflected as much…oh well. The history book’s version of truth differed greatly from my family’s experience.

Back to this young man’s story on Rockwell.  His short explanation also reminded me of the need the young folks have for us to pray for them. His story was filled with the explanations he’s received from those older than him and the history books provided in Utah.

His understanding of Rockwell depicted someone who stood up for the Church when people were mean to them. Although he did state that Rockwell died of natural causes while awaiting trial for the deaths of the Aiken Massacre there was no explanation of what that was.

The truth is that Porter Rockwell was nicknamed “the destroying angel of Mormondom” for the countless number of people he murdered. He once said; “I never killed anyone that didn’t need killing”. After serving eight months in jail for the attempted assassination of Missouri Governor Lilburn Boggs he was released for a lack of evidence.  When Joe Smith saw him after his release, he told Rockwell that if he stayed true to Mormonism and never cut his hair he’d never die from a bullet wound or knife.

Rockwell served as Joseph Smith’s and then Brigham Young’s personal bodyguard until his death in 1878.

My heart is sad for the young man who wrote this report because it tells me that future stories he would’ve been taught in the years to come will mirror the same. There will be half truths, partial stories of what really happens, not in only Utah, but Mormonism as well. While I realize he was only nine or ten years old at the time, his report serves as a good example and reminder for us to pray the Lord will intervene in this precious life – by now he’d be around 22 yrs old.

And for the record –

One month after the slaughter of 120+ innocent people by the Mormon hierarchy another atrocity took place.

Six people traveling from San Bernadino to the eastern states were mercilessly shot down and killed as well.

The six men were arrested in Kaysville, Utah and charged with spying for the US Government. While being transported from Kaysville to Nephi, Utah, Porter Rockwell and Sylvanus Collett were given orders to execute them.

While camped at night the six men were attacked on the Sevier River. Two were killed there, two escaped and the other two were transported to Nephi where they would face execution. The two that escaped tried to make their way to Salt Lake but were gunned down at Willow Springs.

It wasn’t until 1875 that Collett was tried in court for the murders and later acquitted of all charges. Porter Rockwell wasn’t arrested for the murders until twenty years after the fact and died of natural causes while awaiting trial. The two Aiken brothers and four other men’s cattle and $25,000 never made it to the intended destination.

See History of Utah 1540-1886, pgs 562-563, by Hubert Howe Bancroft

My prayer for the Mormon people is that they’d do an honest investigation of the Church’s teachings and history on their own volition. It’s a scary thing to do, but truth is needed!

If you’re LDS I can’t stress enough how my heart hurts for my people. I pray you open a history book and your Bible to investigate these things for yourself. Jesus loves you and wants nothing more for you to ask Him into your life and heart.

With Love in Christ; Michelle Grim

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4 Responses to “Porter Rockwell”

  1. barth March 11, 2014 at 6:52 am #

    I am sure for someone who has gone to this much work on this website is pretty set in stone in regards to your anti mormon behavior.
    I leave you with this key fact. Anti mormons are one of the biggest sources to our success. They generate many baptisms and more importantly stalwart members of the church.
    My identity is concealed for my own reasons, but you can do the research….

    • Melissa March 18, 2014 at 9:46 pm #

      “I leave you with this key fact. Anti mormons are one of the biggest sources to our success.” I would love to see your stats on that barth, where’s your reference? Honestly, it just sounds like more babble from stalwart members to make them feel good about their religion. The only reason people join Mormonism is because they don’t know Jesus Christ, and when the missionaries stop by they get warm and fuzzy feelings, and their ears are tickled by listening to their sales pitch.

      They live out 1 Timothy 4:3-4: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

      I don’t need to know your identity, but ask yourself this question: Is your identity in Jesus Christ or in Mormonism? – Melissa Grimes

  2. Christopher Hansen December 8, 2016 at 7:18 am #

    My identity is in Christ as He is my personal Savior. Naturally I am a member of the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints. I must admit that your article was really enjoyable. I laughed and laughed at your bigotry. And since by their fruits ye shall know them I must presume you will be on the left hand Christ and are a goat not one of His Sheep like me.

    May God bless you and keep you far away from me.

  3. Christopher Hansen December 8, 2016 at 7:18 am #

    My identity is in Christ as He is my personal Savior. Naturally I am a member of the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints. I must admit that your article was really enjoyable. I laughed and laughed at your bigotry. And since by their fruits ye shall know them I must presume you will be on the left hand Christ and are a goat not one of His Sheep like me.

    May God bless you and keep you far away from me.

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