Reader responses regarding "The Mormons" PBS series

Published: Thursday, May 3 2007 12:10 a.m. MDT

Could have been at least 8 hours longer to give a more balanced overview. Too many anti-sentiments and tainted statements by ex members and dissenters were not clearly, simply answered or rebutted in terms that the non member world could understand. Over all documentary was as expected, in that too much time spent on polygamy, without explaining why it was actually necessary considering the times, persecution, deaths (of male members through murder etc.) and how a woman with children were to survive in those times. I do know there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of intellectuals that are members of the church in good standing, because they choose to follow the prophet, and follow Christ rather than create disharmony and dissent. Those individuals are more interested in building the Kingdom of Christ rather than aspiring to positions or personal gain.

It all boils down to this: If you did not have a testimony of the gospel, Joseph Smith, and the church, this documentary won't help you gain one. If you do have a testimony and knowledge of the aforementioned, this documentary won't change your heart and mind. There will not be an exodus to or from the church by members or non-members, and I doubt many hearts or minds will be changed either way because of the documentary.

No matter the content, explanations, questions, or answers, there will always be the dissenters, and the non-believers, which is okay because here is the crux of the whole issue. As long as there are loose ends, questions, opinion, false information, discrimination, hate or whatever else you choose, it all comes down to one thing. Money; and how much money can be generated through books, documentaries and videos.

Unfortunately for me, this documentary leaves me aching to tell, "the rest of the story." I'll continue to wait for the "documentary" that truly shows, asks, tells, and calms the dissenters' lack of knowledge. This documentary did little to help the non-Mormon know much more than they all ready knew, but at least it was with much more diligence than has been accomplished in the past.

Thank You for allowing me to comment. — Lloyd Lewis, Montrose Colorado

The presentation was an interesting production with considerable research evident. I would proffer a couple of comments on important omissions that would clarify important concepts of doctrine and provide better understanding of this period of history and the background of the LDS Church.

The format seemed to suggest an impression that the beginnings of the church were the brainchild of Joseph Smith. While he was instrumental in bringing these concepts to fruition, he and all succeeding leaders were and have been adamant in stating that it was not Joseph's Church, nor Brigham's Church, nor Spencer's Church, nor Gordon's Church. It is a restoration of that organization instituted by the Savior himself in the meridian of times. That acclaim rightfully belongs to He whose name it bears, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The account of succession of leadership following the assassination of Joseph Smith to Brigham Young seemed weak and unsupported by proper documentation. The fact that leadership organizations such as the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, and others were ordained and in place to support the presidency and provide a continuation of priesthood authority, was thinly intimated or entirely absent.

Brigham Young did not haphazardly assume leadership of the membership of the growing church. He understood perfectly the procedure as was so plainly illustrated in the scriptural accounts following the crucifixion of the Savior. Peter, James, & John, senior members of the twelve apostles, then received the mantle of leadership as the presidency of the church. Brigham Young, likewise senior member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, then received that responsibility to lead and direct the church in a difficult period of time and was subsequently sustained in that calling by the affirmation of church membership. This procedure traditionally has been followed since that time.

Trusting the above may be of interest. — Boyd Humpherys, Logan, Utah

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