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Reader responses regarding "The Mormons" PBS series

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

I was not impressed. There were so many errors and accuracies. First, the church does not baptize dead members. Second, If Joseph just let his imagination run away from him, what about the witnesses that actually handled the Gold plates. No mention of that. This production went to out its' way to cast doubt on the teachings. It spent way too much time with polygamy and the Mountain Meadow Massacre and way too little time on the atrocities in Missouri and Illinois. Why wasn't the Mormon battalion talked about? Having sat on several church courts, not one was as Ms. Toscano represented. The process was totally misrepresented. The critique could go on and on. This was nothing more then an effort to give church dissidents a platform that they don't deserve. — Dennis Peterson, Oklahoma City

I did not like being defined by people who had left the church or had been excommunicated. I am sure they are nice people, but pretty full of themselves. There were lots of chances to indicate the majesty and power of the faith, but most were missed. There was a lot of talk about how in order to survive the church will have to move beyond it's founding history. It seems like the church is doing pretty well with the march forward without shedding it's roots. I was not uplifted by the documentary and if that is as close as you can get to the Mormon experience after three years of research, then I would find other work. There were, of course, moments within individual stories where you felt she was close. But, after trashing the founders and their receipt of the framework, the individual stories seemed to take on the look of "but we do have some poor deluded fool stories for you". — Howard

Count me as one who was disappointed in the four-hour series, "The Mormons." Ms. Whitney could have reached beyond the same old approach that many outside of our religion take in trying to portray the issues and events that define Mormonism. — Gracie Jensen

I thought it was pretty much middle of the road however, prone to making a few extra left turns toward the negative's. — Paul Linford

We members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints living here in the panhandle of Florida watched the series with interest. "Lean not unto your own understanding...." came to mind several times when we heard so much from the former members who fell away for various reasons. Some of them rely little on faith and fail to see the simple truths. The series borrowed a lot of photography from past LDS productions, which seemed a little ironic.

I found disturbing the portrayal of something good, which was followed by a much longer portrayal of someone's disaffection. Too much time was spent on the polygamy issues, featuring the Short Creek polygamists in a long segment immediately following the prophet's statement that the church does not condone polygamy in these days. The coverage of the Mountain Meadows Massacre was overdone and even though there was a portrayal of the persecutions, stealing of land, killing of families and the "Extermination Order" of the members, there was little coverage of the illegal trials and imprisonment in the early days. The treatment of the murder of the prophet was so lightly covered as to not have been important.

Needless to say, I came away with a greater appreciation of my ancestors and thank them for the great sacrifices they made to allow me to be a member of this great church.

Thanks PBS for trying to tell the story. — Melba J Cox, Niceville, FL

I only saw the first half of the documentary which aired on Monday. Overall I was disappointed. As a member of the church for 37 years, I felt that it was slanted and did not give the church a fair shake. In fact, I came away with a sick feeling, concerned that those who are not of my faith would come away from it either disillusioned or with negative feelings toward the church. If I wanted to know more about the catholic church I would ask members of the catholic faith; not apostates and uninformed members of other faiths. — Mike, Denver, CO

If you wanted to know about Ford Trucks would you go to Toyota to ask them. What would you expect Toyota to say about Ford. If you wanted an unbiased opinion on Ford trucks would you go to a group of disgruntled Ford truck owners without taking into account the percent of disgruntled Ford truck owners to the percent of people who are happy Ford truck owners who still own them and who constantly buy them again and again. The only way to know what merit there is in owning a Ford truck is to talk to happy Ford truck owners. They and they alone will point out the advantages and why they keep buying them year after year.

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