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Reader responses regarding "The Mormons" PBS series

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

I would like to comment on the Mormon PBS special. I am an active member in Lakeside, Montana. My name is Debby McCready. I thought the 1st part was fairly good. I felt that someone watching it might get an idea about what we are about. I felt that even the critical portrayals were done in a way that left the audience to have enough info to decide for themselves. There were enough positive to balance the negative.

However the 2nd night was awful. I was offended by the comments of excommunicated members that obviously had a bone to pick. Without a working testimony, sacrifice, dedication and commitment to and in the church can not be understood by those who do not have a testimony. I was even concerned by some of the comments made by active members that may have been taken out of context when only portions of full statements were aired. I was particularly offended by the way missionaries were portrayed. Being the only member in my family, with parents and siblings that hate the idea of my daughter serving in Uruguay, and didn't like my other daughter in Peru on missions, I was praying that they were not watching the special, because it would have given them more fuel for their opinions. there were not enough positive missionary experiences. the way the Primary children were portrayed singing I hope they call me on a mission looked like a segment of brain washing rather than a testimony building activity. I also felt that they missed the boat when things like home teaching, visit teaching and youth programs were not covered. — Debby McCready, Lakeside, Mont.

I have not yet seen the second segment. However, I thought the 1st segment was fairly evenly handled. Yes, there are historical problems that many in the church do not recognize. However, that need not erode their faith. One need only remember that although the gospel itself is true, people are fallible.

I agree the Mountain Meadows segment was long but was treated well, and gave a basis for understanding How it happened. Unfortunately, it is an event that cannot be comprehensively treated and answers found in a few minutes. Thus leaving more questions than answers. The polygamy segment bothered me only in the sense that it made it to appear that the church abandoned polygamy to stave off persecution, and create legitimacy. Unfortunately, an outsider could easily view it that way and they did so. I did not appreciate the inclusion of modern polygamists as they are heretics, not part of the church about which this documentary was supposed to be. — Randy W. Smith, Pocatello, Idaho

As an active member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I was extremely disappointed in the documentary about the church. Most of the historians portrayed the historical events as if they had been there and through a negative or anti perspective. The thought came that they are "ever learning, but never coming to an understanding of the truth." Not at any time did it portray what the church really is except in the cases where apostles or faithful were interviewed, yet the materials surrounding those tiny segments seemed to put an unrealistic and negative slant on the church! The spirit of the gospel of Jesus Christ was minimal, while the spirit of doubt and questioning was there in abundance - how disappointing! — no name

I was disappointed in the 2 part series "The Mormons". I was hoping for something that was less bias against the LDS church. While everything discussed was accurate as I understand it, I felt it always had a negative slant on the way it was presented.

I feel they spent way to much time on the Mountain Meadow Massacre and polygamy. For example they spent 6 minutes discussing the exodus west, with no discussion of the Mormon Battalion and it's influence on the history of the church. Yet they spent 16 minutes on the Mountain Meadows. Is there not some bias in that treatment?

In discussing polygamy, while President Hinckley firmly said there was no such thing as a fundamentalist Mormon the show repeatedly referred to the polygamy groups as such. And the interviews were totally with those who are NOT LDS defending their right to practice polygamy but not one interview with a person whose ancestor practiced this in the early church and who had tender feelings about it.

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