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What are your thoughts concerning this film on the history and beliefs of Mormonism? Did it broaden your understanding of this very American religion?

I found the program to be very well made, it gave nearly equal time to most of the very sensitive issues and in the discussion of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, an issue that there can be no argument as to the fault and the savagery, it was dealt with all the dignity and frankness needed.

Issues like polygamy were a little less than un-biased, Dr. Quinn as always is an excellent source and a scholar, however the reliance on Margaret Toscano as an expert source is suspect, a self proclaimed "Mormon Intellectual" is kind of like giving yourself a nick-name.

I have also been just as disappointed in my fellow members and their reaction, I heard a little too much "I thought It would be more even-sided, like objectivity at a Utah County Republican Committee meeting.

Rant over,

Skippy LaTroy
Spanish Fork, Utah

 

This presentation had a pretty balanced debate of the LDS faith. Actually, we're latter-day Saints, not Mormons; that's a slang name used probably because it's a lot to say the whole name of the church.

I felt the biggest points made were concerning physical proof that nobody can find and thus used as proof that the church is wrong; the affirmation that all religion has a supernatural beginning dispels those contentions.

The next time someone wants me to show them gold plates, I'll ask them to see their cross.

Glenn Rovira
Tacoma, Washington

 

This documentary was hardly attacking the faith. Yes, perhaps too much time was spent on Mountain Meadows and polygamy, but these ARE important parts of the Churches history. Furthermore, at least the polygamy issue was addressed in such a way that it undermines the most common/stereotypic viewpoint of the faith by non-mormons. The reflexive response that this documentary was a vicious, bias attack on the Mormon faith is laughable. I am glad to see that most of the responses from those within the faith are generally supportive of the documentary.

One subject that was not covered in any detail is the church's views regarding Native Americans as the descendants of the Laminites (the dark skin sinners of North America) and the Circleville Massacre. I can think of a few hundred Indigenous social scientists you could have interviewed for the Indigenous perspective on the relationship between the Mormon Church and Indians.

Seattle, WA

 

Thank you for your fair and balance presentation on Mormonism. Born and raised a Mormon on the south pacific island of Samoa, yet I clearly understood and completely identify with church members portrayed in the series. Mormons understand each other instinctively regardless of land of origin.

My point is this: The Mormon chruch have the roadmap and the design, if I may, that can be instructive when applied to world unity, hence world peace. Please continue to enlighten the world with your programs. Thank you

asipau tafua
honolulu, hawaii

 

I was very intrigued by this story of Mormonism. I have had alot of Mormon friends and deeply admire many things about this religion. However, as a non Mormon it is difficult to accept simple empirical evidence that is not there to prove its validity.

For example, the millions of Mormons that lived and died in North America and the wars that took place over the centuries. There is no archealogical evidence of their existence. Particularly in the famous battleground in New York. Simply impossible for an entire civilization to disapear from existence. The animals that Joseph Smith describes in his visions of the book of Mormon e.g. the horse which was not introduced to North America until much later.

These are just a few simple discrepancies. So for all of its amazing qualites as a religion one has to ask these questions and arrive at some answers.

David Bruce
Kona, Hi

 

I was riveted by the documentary on Mormonism. I found the interview list to be well balanced and fair. As an active Latter Day Saint I take most issue with the section on how intellectualism is viewed within the church. Our religion asserts that faith and reason can and should co-exist. I also thought that the section explaining the life and times of modern-day polygamists was unnecessary considering that the premise for your documentary is on recognized members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and these modern day polygamists (as accurately stated in your program) are in no way affiliated with the church. It just made for a longer segment showing how polygamists live, but not at all reflective of how mormons live.

Overall, I thought it was excellent. I especially appreciate you bringing up difficult topics like polygamy and the Mountain Meadows Massacre because I think it's healthy for a religion to consider its past and to do some introspection. As a mormon I think it's important for members of my faith to familiarize themselves with uncomfortable topics that are hard to come to grips with.

Kylie Funk
Alturas, CA

 

Congrats on such a terrific presentation. I was raised in the LDS church and for my own reasons, have not been faithful for a number of years. I watched this program out of curiousity of how the church would be portrayed. I was so pleased to find it so balanced and informative. History, on any front is fodder for some, but I felt this to program to be much above that. I also found it astounding that the mountain meadows massacre happened on September 11.

Julie Hoover
Fort Meade, Maryland

 

I thank PBS for this production. I appreciate the coverage and work you have done. Overall I am disappointed with the program for two main reasons:

The first reason is that there was absolutely no mention of the greatest Mormon scholar who has ever lived - Hugh Nibley. Dr. Nibley's apologetic and original research should have been included. He has published extensively on many of the issues portrayed in the program. For example, his book `Lehi in the Desert' addresses numerous instances of Semitic language in the Book of Mormon and other historical matters - contrary to what one of the interviewees said in your program. This book is only the beginning of his vast collection of top-notch research. He published a great deal of research that refuted some of the claims made in your program to which responses were absent.

The second reason is that Mormon beliefs are based on scripture, even scripture you find in the Bible. For example, your program covered baptisms for the dead at length. What was lacking, however, was scriptural passages that support such a practice. You could have included the verse in 1st Corinthians `Else what shall they do that are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?'

Jeremy Palmer
Tucson, AZ

 

I was most intrigued by the program's success in its efforts to capture universal issues of faith and religion that extend beyond the beliefs of the Mormons as a singular group. Historically, the story of the Mormon Battallon and the discovery of gold by former members of the Batallion that led to the California Gold Rush would have been of more merit than the time that was devoted to more sensational events of lesser historical significance.

I commend the producers for having been able to step beyond the somewhat distant historical perspective of the first two hours to expand upon that history in the final two hours and provide us an opportunity to sense the faith and empathize with the feelings of individual human beings impacted by that history.

Dale Walther
Anchorage, Alaska

 

First, I'd like to thank PBS. I'm an active LDS member and a convert. I believe that was one of the most objective programs on the church that I've ever seen. Yes there were some comments that I didn't agree with and others that left as is left the wrong impression. But all in all I say congradulations PBS! I'll buy the DVD.

Randy Lieber
SLC, UT

 

I have been a member of the church most of my life and have come to understand the we are a "peculiar people' and have been greatly misunderstood. I believe in a 14 year old boy who just wanted to know what was true. From that millions now belive!

PBS did a decent job on portraying who we are ....

Denise King
Henderson, Nevada

 

I was pleasantly surprised by both nights' programs. If I could compare my feelings to a visual sense, it was like alternating between feelings of light and darkness. When I heard truth spoken, I felt the peace of the Spirit upon my heart. Alternatively when I heard opinions expressed of slanted historical representation or biased interpretations, the peace left and darkness reigned in. My prayer was that others would come to a knowledge of the restoration of gospel truths by the same spiritual measurement.

Kevin Smith
Mesa, Arizona

 

Thank you for a well balanced look at the LDS church. I appreciated all of those interviewed. I am grateful for the intelligent manner in which you presented a foundation upon which we as citizens of the world can begin to discuss more fully the import and problems of organized religion. How do people who claim to "love" God persecute so completely another people who claim to love the same God? I remain baffled.

Michael Barnes
North Bend, WA

 

as a practicing Latter Day Saint, i was very pleased with the program. it is a delicate balancing act. as always, those with axes to grind on both sides of the questions are the least useful to the uninformed. the FAQ page is GREAT, and will provide very substantial and truthful answers to those with real questions. to get it all in four hours is a major task.

there were touching stories, fervent testimony, and lots of real information, which you would expect with PBS. if i have to listen to a few bitter rantings from Ms. Toscano, whose spirit is clearly evident, i'll do that do get the rest of the story.

don harkey
phoenix, arizona

 

I am a Latter-Day Saint. I watched the entire PBS program "The Mormons" and was generally pleased. I saw what I consider some distortion, some slanting, some misrepresentation, and even inaccuracy. But, I also saw a lot of correct, fair-minded, impartial, and even truthful representation of my faith. Good program! I look forward to the opportunities this will give me to talk to my friends and acquaintances about all aspects of my Church and the gospel of Jesus Christ. A documentary such as this has to focus on historical facts and records. Those facts were interpreted as best the historians and film makers were able to do and I feel that my Church has been fairly dealt with and even provided important input and comments.

Dennis Stokes
Oxnard, California

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