Reader responses regarding "The Mormons" PBS series

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

It was an interesting program; we are looking forward to seeing the second have this evening. Who cares how we Mormons are depicted. I truly know what I believe and all the marvelous experiences I have being a dedicated Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This documentary certainly hasn't shaken my faith. I believe in Revelation and that it continues today through the restored church. We are truly blessed to have a prophet such as Gordon B. Hinckley at the helm of our church. I try hard to be kind to my neighbors and treat them the way I would like to be treated. I have had some great experiences talking with members of other faiths. Their religion doesn't intimidate me. I learn from them, but know I have all that is meaningful to our family in our church. When I moved to St. George, I had the opportunity to sing with our choir members and the Shepherd of the Hills United Methods Church at a special Christmas program. They didn't have many members as they were just getting their church started here, it was a wonderful experience and I appreciate them. Now they have a great choir and have even been back to Washington to sing. I try very hard to live the teachings and standards of the church and love it. My faith has certainly carried me through some heart wrenching situations. I love my Savior and Heavenly Father and am appreciative that I know them and have the promptings of the Holy Ghost to help me at work and in our family.

One day I hope to go on a mission for our church. It is sweet and reassuring. It is the people who are at odds with the gospel that make such waves. When they leave, why can't they just leave it alone and go on with their lives. We all make choices for whatever reason, let us live with our choices.

I could go on and on, but I think this pretty well gives you how I feel about my faith.

I really like the Deseret News and read it daily. We were happy when it changed to morning delivery

Thanks, — Roene B. Wilkinson, St. George, Utah

I wish that when the discussion of polygamy and the manifesto comes up that just once someone would bring up the 12th Article of Faith that we believe in obeying the laws of the land. The Edmunds/Tucker Act made plural marriage illegal and because of the repercussions of breaking that law and what it would to the church and the membership, it is not illogical to think that President Wilford Woodruff would get instructions/inspiration to stop the practice.

It would also be an interesting item that if people who studied US History recognized that the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositer was not an unusual event. History shows that it happened several times before Nauvoo and that it was a practice that was not considered to be an extreme event.

The show itself was about what I had expected - you can't have someone try to explain a religion from a historical view without an understanding of the spiritual precepts. It's no more than what life was like when I was growing up in Colorado and tried to explain what I believed to my friends. — B Jeppson

The so-called documentary, "The Mormons," shows very strange pictures of Joseph Smith! What is that one they keep coming back to with Joseph Smith in three different poses or stations of life? The middle one shows him with such a pained look on his face. From where do these originate? They sure show him in a less-than-normal light!

And, the story of the saints moving to the Great Salt Lake Valley shows pictures of Goblin Valley? Cedar Breaks? The red rock area around Moab? Monument Valley? It paints the whole move westward as very surreal and STRANGE!!! No need to say anything about it! Just show odd pictures to cast a strange shadow on the church! (And, by extension, on the LDS candidate for President, Mitt Romney)??? — Mark Anderson, Thatcher, Arizona

As a LDS member I have to admit I was somewhat scared to watch the PBS special last night, not so much for myself, but for other members out here in the mission field (New York) who might find some of the history shocking and disturbing. I always worry about those who follow in perfect blind faith when these types of informational and sometimes painful programs and books come out. Without appropriate guidance, these things can be life shattering.

Growing up in the church, we rarely discuss controversial issues or debate the legitimacy of President Smith and Young's radical methods and philosophies. Although in my adult years I have studied the true history of what occurred in the begging years of the church, I have found that most members aren't familiar with the details of our past "dirt". I worry that without proper discussions in a ward setting, members, especially new converts will find themselves confused and upset by our history.

I was impressed with all the objective interviewees from the program, except for ex-Mormon Ken Clark who showed obvious signs of anger and bitterness toward the church. He is the only person as of yet that I felt discredits the program in comparison to all the other logical and somewhat unbiased historians and religious leaders.

It's time we members don't shy away from how our church was founded and our history. It's time we embrace all truth, and educate ourselves in a manner that will give us the knowledge we were sent here to get. It's time our leaders facilitate discussion groups that allow and embrace these delicate questions and concerns to be addressed. — Kristy R. Jensen Coleman

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