I wanted to write to you and express my feelings on your film Burying the Past. I was very impressed with how you put the film together to tell this amazing complicated story, and show all sides and parties involved. I wanted you to know that I think your film is just awesome, and I enjoyed it very much. I believe that your film is and will be a historical treasure.
I live in Alabama, but was born and raised in Idaho with LDS background. I have always been interested in U.S. history and read and study that subject. I especially enjoy Civil war and Indian wars. I had not really knew much about the Mountain Meadows Massacre unit recently. About a month ago I purchased a Frontier Classics Series book Massacres of the Mountains by J.P. Dunn Jr. at Books A Million book store. After reading the Mountain Meadows chapter in the book I was intrigued. I then began to research the subject on the internet and was excited when I found that a document film had been made of this on going story. I believe in history speaking for itself, and I believe that this incredible true story needs to be told for history sake no matter how painful it is. Just as JP Dunn Jr. educated me one hundred and eighteen years later from his writings, your film will do the same for generations to come. It is my hope that your film will have a national audience. I wish you well in your endeavors and appreciate your film. Sincerely, T.M. <>
Dear Mr. Patrick,
I was one of the fortunate people that received a copy of your documentary "Burying the Past" a couple of weeks ago at the Ken Sanders gathering in Salt Lake City. I have been interested in the Mountain Meadows Massacre for the better part of my adult life and have read everything I could acquire about the subject. I have to say that nothing has touched me as deeply as your film. I found myself close to tears at several points while viewing the film. You have certainly done a fine job of capturing the wide spectrum of emotions associated with the massacre and its legacy.
I compliment you on your objective view. No doubt that was a challenge for you, considering the pressures you no doubt encountered from a variety of camps. I must agree that your film will likely outlive all of us, and I thank you for making such a documentary available to future generations. The fact that interest in the massacre has survived 150 years of suppression suggests that your film will be a major reference source for years to come.
I certainly hope that distribution of the film will be widespread, I will do my part to get the word out. Many thanks, -West Valley City, UT
Last night, my wife and I watched your documentary "Burying the Past".
Thanks to Gerald and Sandra Tanner, for their very speedy service, as we ordered it Friday, September 10th at 3 PM and it arrived yesterday on Monday, all the way out to Roseville California! Today, I have recommended many folks purchase this DVD video from the Tanners.
I will tell you up front that both my wife and I were raised in the Mormon church myself near Salt Lake, my wife, out past Park City.
Recently, we have began investigating the history of our church. We have been troubled by what we have found and are still finding. As we traveled further down this road of our own church history, we have found many skeletons, but this was no skeleton that we ran across, it was a festering dead carcass which we found to be known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Truly the ugliest piece of Mormon history.
We Mormon kids were never taught about this horrible stain that penetrates deep into the historical soil which Utah and Mormon history are built. This event is NEVER discussed in church, and is simply glossed over in public school history classes. Since Utah is a Mormon theocracy of sorts, I can see why it is glossed over in public schools.
If I had one wish, it would be that ALL Mormon seminary students watch your documentary.
Brian, you really did this piece of history pure justice. You simply reported what happened. You gave those victims of this horrific event what the Mormon church will never give them, respect and honor by telling the truth about their tragic demise.
Your documentary style is very powerful. No sugar coating, just pure simple historical facts. Facts are a powerful thing.
We have never felt such a range of emotion as we did watching this horrific piece of Mormon history unfold before our eyes. My wife and I were so moved by this, we felt deep sorrow, shame for our church, and even guilt for not knowing this terrible piece Mormon history. How could this have happened.
Lately, I really don't like calling the church I was raised in) anything else but MORMON, because it is the real name of the history of this church that the leaders would rather have us call "LDS" or "The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints". I was raised a Mormon in the theocratic capitol of Mormonism, Salt Lake City UTAH.
You were more than fair to the Mormon church in reporting this event. There was no bias, none was needed.
In the end I see the Mormon leadership was guilty of two crimes, one in 1857 when this slaughter was carried out in the name of the Mormon god and one in 1999 when President Hinkley stood completely void of grief, compassion, and emotion as he delivered what the lawyers wrote for the dedication of "their" new monument really made him stand out as a shallow, patronizing characature spouting platitudes. His delivery sounded no different than when he speaks at general conference... I thought there would be SOMETHING in his voice that showed how he felt.
The church should have simply funded the rebuilding of the site by a team led by a non-Mormon archeologist. After which, turned it over to a non-Mormon historical society, and pledged to pay for the upkeep into the future. Instead they looked at it as a PR stunt, forced by the families and the association. "We don't want inaccurate information being disseminated at the site"??? What they really mean is they don't want the truth to be told, just like the rest of their history. Sorry for rambling on so long. Thank you for listening.
Your talents as a documentary film maker have touched the lives of two people who were blindly raised Mormon You have delivered truth to us. We thank you for that.
Here is how I presented it to my family and friends in an email:
Innocent men, women, and children are mercilessly slaughtered.
Their bodies left to rot.
Their personal belongings pillaged.
All in the name of a religious god, to avenge and destroy.
Was this the year 2001?
Did this occur in New York?
Were the murderers Muslim?
120 innocent men, women, and children were slaughtered in the name of the Mormon God September 11, 1857 near Cedar City Utah.
You all need to watch a documentary about the involvement of our church in this horrific event
Thank you again Brian.
I just finished watching Burying the Past for the second time. Because I am involved in technology and technical work, both times I started watching the film for the techniques, visual effects, and the technical and production skills that this type of effort would take. Both times I became so involved in the story you told and how well you told it that I forgot to study the technical aspects.
I am so impressed with your accomplishment. You have an incredible gift.
You did not bury the past; you made the past alive. You left me with so many questions about the Mountain Meadows Massacre, John D. Lee, the Mormon Church, the descendants and more. Your skillful use of interviews and present activities interwoven with the historical documents, photographs and the re-enactment brought a depth of feeling and understanding to the visual effects you put before our eyes. I feel like I not only lived the massacre...but also the struggle of both the massacre and attackers descendents to deal with the history that continues to shape their lives.
As another who loves the beauty of the west - the dry grass blowing in the winds, the sage, the wide open expanses, the visual that stayed with me after the film ended was the shot of the weeds through the cairn at the end of the introduction. It spoke of a story rising up to be told.
The historians, the family members, the church officials, the dignitaries at the memorial service not only paint a picture with their words but evoke the strong emotions still associated with the event. You made me want to talk to these people, too. You also make me wonder what their reactions were to your telling of their story.
Please accept my congratulations on your outstanding work.