In "The Mormon Menace: Violence and Anti-Mormonism in the Postbellum South," (Oxford University Press, 2011), author Patrick Q. Mason discovers a unique irony to the persistent abuse, violent and otherwise, that Mormons faced in the southern United States the last quarter of the 19th century. It is that the shared animosity toward the LDS Church between the U.S. government and the deep South helped restore southern allegiance to the federal government.As Mason explains, that wasn't always the case. A score of years earlier, the South, headed for a Civil War, had sympathized with the exiled Saints' grudge against the feds and secular government in general. The cause of the South's animosity was the Mormons' admittance that polygamy was practiced and its subsequent defense of a practice that appalled the rest of the nation. Add Reconstruction, and cultural mores that included tolerance -- and even acceptance -- of vigilantism if it was deemed to uphold decency and respect for womanhood, and the result was persecution, sometimes deadly, of missionaries in the Southern States Mission.Examples of violence in "The Mormon Menace" include the murder of Elder Joseph Standing, shot to death by mobsters who assaulted Standing and his companion, future LDS apostle Rudger Clawson, in Varnell, Ga., on July 21, 1879. It's possible Standing might have avoided being killed had he not grabbed a rifle from one of his guards. That led to subsequent gunfire. In any event, no one was convicted of the murder, a common result that deserves more explanation.