The Mormons having established territory and attempting to create a state called Deseret under the direction of Brigham Young at the time were under constant attack from United States forces interrupted by the Civil War.
The editorial says it was the "biggest massacre" of its time which we'd like to formally challenge. The bloodshed of Mormons in Missouri far outnumbered the wagon train headed towards modern day California. Having faced rape, torture and murder for their religious beliefs it's understandable - not excusable - that the Southern Utah Mormon Saints would be on the offensive. Until Missouri Governor Kit Bond rescinded Missouri Governor Boggs extermination order in 1976 it was legal to kill a Mormon in Missouri.
Here's - now U.S. Senator Kit Bond's apology to the Mormons:
WHEREAS, on October 27, 1838, the Governor of the State of Missouri, Lilburn W. Boggs, signed an order calling for the extermination or expulsion of Mormons from the State of Missouri; and
WHEREAS, Governor Boggs' order clearly contravened the rights to life, liberty, property and religious freedom as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, as well as the Constitution of the State of Missouri; and
WHEREAS, in this bicentennial year as we reflect on our nation's heritage, the exercise of religious freedom is without question one of the basic tenets of our free democratic republic;
Now, THEREFORE, I, CHRISTOPHER S. BOND, Governor of the State of Missouri, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the State of Missouri, do hereby order as follows:
Expressing on behalf of all Missourians our deep regret for the injustice and undue suffering which was caused by the 1838 order, I hereby rescind Executive Order Number 44, dated October 27, 1838, issued by Governor W. Boggs.
In witness I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the great seal of the State of Missouri, in the city of Jefferson, on this 25 day of June, 1976.
(Signed) Christopher S. Bond, Governor.
A more detailed apology was issued by the Illinois Legislature - copies of the text can be found on Branson Agent - Mormon and Illinois Extermination Order.
The initial order and Mormon settlement was just a few miles from where I'm typing from in Jackson County, Missouri.
Recently Vonda Sheets wrote a piece regarding her genealogy collection. A fact omitted is her use of the Mormon Church Archive to acquire information about her family. In fact, a Mormon was hired by the White River Valley Historical Society to tap their massive resources on the topic - the largest in the world.