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Reader responses regarding "The Mormons" PBS series

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

That brings me to the second point is that the number of outsiders interviewed seemed to greatly outnumber the views of insiders and they spoke as if they were authoritative on a subject matter, leading to confusion or misperception. That said, I think Ms. Whitney tried hard to present what she thought was a balanced production. Matching negative remarks with more context of situation and supporting views would have made the documentary significantly better I feel. Thanks. — Cameron H.

This was about what I expected from PBS. The focus was on the negative. The great majority of the "experts" were not LDS or were not active LDS. The statements and conclusions were skewed much of the time. The picture as a whole was unflattering. I did not like it nor would I advise others to watch it. — Charlotte T. Tweed

Somewhat disappointing. The eyes in the photos / drawings of church leaders in Part I looked sinister. Where did they come from? Other photos had to be the most stern and serious of the times. Excerpts by church leaders seemed to be almost 'out of context' and cut short—just snippets of statements. Part II had longer statements by church leaders, particularly Elder Marvin Jensen. It was interesting to me that the majority of those interviewed about the LDS Church were those who are now no longer a part of it. — Sharon

The documentary was interesting and well done. As an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I felt that there could have been a stronger emphasis on people who are members of the church to counter balance those that have left the church. I wish there had been a greater emphasis placed on women who have the same opinions as Ann Osbourne Poelman. There are millions of us who feel as she does. We are not second class citizens. I have never felt or been made to feel inferior to any Priesthood holder or man in our church. I have lived in many places and have had a variety of experiences with different congregations. I think that says something.

In all, it was informative and definitely put forth a view of the church from an outside source that was respectful. — no name

The first segment of the first segment left me asking two questions:

1. For a professional research project, why was there nothing mentioned about the many witnesses to Joseph's claim regarding the gold plates;

and,

2. If Joseph was so good a locating treasures with his "seer stone," why did he remain so poor? — LaDawn McNeal

Respectfully, I'd like to say that I am saddened by 'The Mormons' documentary. I'm thankful for the faithful members that were allowed to explain our beliefs, however more emphasis was placed on negative/opposing views.

Non-members will come away from viewing this program feeling that Joseph Smith was a charlatan. They will believe that President Hinckley and other leaders are secretive and controlling. They will believe that young men are shunned and unloved if they do not fulfill a mission. They will think that women are not equal to men. They will believe that we discourage education and critical thinking. RUBBISH and so untrue! — Sue Andrews, San Francisco, CA

The treatment of the church was mostly even-handed, respectable, and generally fair. Yet the overall tone was clearly skeptical, which isn't surprising: there will always be critics. Personally, I would like to have seen documentation of certain historical assertions; for example, the unchallenged claim that John Taylor ostensibly taught that the reason blacks survived the flood was to carry forth the work of Satan. — Rex Ripplinger, Roosevelt, Utah

I enjoyed the "Mormons". I was impressed that the filmmaker tried to find reasonable, informed and thoughtful people from a wide variety of Mormon experience. I was so pleased that it was not a forum for anti-Mormon crazies blasting everything that to me is meaningful and important. It was ultimately done with sensitivity, while still managing to cover the most important and relevant issues. — Amy Rasi-Koskinen

The PBS documentary on the Mormons was disappointing. I was hoping for a Thanksgiving dinner and got day old fast food instead. It's a shame that so much interview time was given to excommunicated Mormons. That seems tantamount to asking convicted felons what their opinion of law enforcement is. — Dave Jensen, Alpine, Ut

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