September Dawn, by Carole Whang Schutter
ISBN: 9781434300225, Publisher- Authorhouse
After reading the book September Dawn, by Carole Whang Schutter I find myself mystified and horrified by the events in the book.
Although a work of fiction, many of the events, people, accounts, meetings, and speeches were based on actual events. The sermons accounted from Bringham Young (Prophet) and Joseph Smith (Founder), along with Apostles are presented verbatim and documented by the Mormon Church in the Journal of Discourses. The Samuelson and Hudson family are fictitious.
To summarize, a wagon train of over 140 Christian people from Arkansas and Missouri on their way to California stopped to rest in southern Utah where a Mormon community resided. Two nineteen year olds; Jonathon (son of a Mormon Bishop), and Emily (daughter of a Christian Pastor) meet and fall in love. As the tragedy unfolds, they try any and all attempts, against and in defiance of their families to reconnect during the massacre.
The early Mormon religion and its followers slaughtered innocent women, men, and children, all in the name of God. How misled they were. It is eerily haunting how the events of this account happened on September 11th, 1857: a reminder of another horrific act of terrorism in our beloved country that was to occur 144 years later. I find the act of using God, in any form or religion, to further such brutality as this cowardly. It is not in God’s name to do such things, and it only brings shame to those who choose to do it. As the author states in her notes, every major religion has bloodied its hands because people are flawed. Perhaps one day mankind will learn that lesson.
I am ashamed to admit, but readily do, that I knew nothing of the Mountain Meadow Massacre before reading this book. Until recently, it has been kept relatively quiet. Because of these events The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints set into motion a change within itself.
This was a very well written and researched book. I found the plot flowed well, and was not difficult in any form to follow. The characters, every single one, were believable and relatable. The way the author chose to jump from character story telling to the events was a superb decision and only added to the assault on my emotions. The only fault I can find with this book is the terrible and overwhelming sadness it left me with.
Author and Reviewer