Causes of Friction Between Mormons and Gentiles

“One basic cause of the difficulties [between Mormons and Gentiles] during [the 1850s], and indeed in later years, was the existence of a public opinion extremely hostile to the Mormons and prepared to seize upon any pretext, whether valid or not, to renew the attack upon the Church. . . .

A second cause of trouble between the Mormons in Utah and the Government was the selection of inferior men to fill the Territory’s offices. . . .

Another irritant, of lesser importance than some mentioned here, was the question of land ownership. . . Before the Saints could claim the land as their own . . . certain procedures established by Congress had to be followed, among them disposal of Indian rights and a survey of the area. . . .

For their part, the Mormon’s characteristics and activities were as conductive to strife as the temper and policies of their opponents. . . . After their experiences with inflamed Gentile mobs, the Mormons were quick to look for new attacks in Utah, an attitude that times became unjustified truculence. Furthermore, their continual insistence upon the superiority of their faith under divine sanction proved most objectionable to other Christians. . . .”