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Reader responses regarding "The Mormons" PBS series

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

3. The documentary did not explain that Joseph Smith was following the counsel found in the New Testament, James 1:5, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him," when he went into the woods to pray. People who do not believe that the Father and Son appeared to Joseph and gave him answers to his questions, apparently do not believe what the Bible teaches about revelation nor about people receiving answers to prayers.

4. The statement was made repeatedly that members of the church are required/expected to give 100% obedience to church leaders. What they failed to say is that members of the church believe in personal revelation and are encouraged to pray to Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ to find out for themselves what is true and what is not true. The Lord promised his disciples that, after his death, he would send the Holy Ghost to comfort, teach and testify to them. The Holy Ghost also testifies to each honest seeker of truth what is and is not true. People have the right to personal revelation. Members of the church are taught to be obedient to the truth as revealed by the Holy Ghost.

5. While the documentary mentioned that Joseph Smith restored the same organization that existed in Christ's early church (prophets, apostles, and so forth), the documentary failed to explain how and why Brigham Young became the second president and leader of the church and the role played in the exodus and early history of the church by the other members of the twelve apostles.

6. The documentary indicated that Joseph Smith's teaching regarding plural marriage was based on his sexual desire. That is erroneous. Plural marriage finds its basis in scripture. Abraham and Jacob and others were all authorized by God to have more than one wife. However, God instructed his people to have one wife only, unless he specifically authorized an individual or group of individuals to have additional wives for his own purposes. God also instructed his people to obey the laws of the land. Plural marriage was practiced because God ordained it. It was discontinued because the laws of the land forbid it and God revealed to Wilford Woodruff that the church should discontinue the practice. Those who practice it today are in violation of both God's law and the law of the land.

7. Various historians, Mormon and non-Mormon were quoted, but no documentation was given to support any of their opinions. Thus, we were just left with personal opinions and hearsay.

Respectfully, — Lynn F. Price, Salt Lake City

As a lifelong Mormon, I found the documentary to be second-rate at best. The so-called "historians" obviously have slanted views of the church. And where did the producer dig up that picture of Moroni in the opening scenes?

I suppose the most appalling statement was saying that we view Joseph Smith a prophet in the same way that the Muslims view Muhammad. Again, a radically liberal producer letting her political views be made known. A better correlation would be Joseph Smith to MOSES!

I hope that LDS Church leaders speak out strongly AGAINST this documentary, but of course, they won't. We need to get back to our roots and stop trying to be so "mainstream".

Thank you, — Tracie, Seattle, Washington

Thus far I've only watched the first half. I give it a C+ rating...I found that they didn't do their homework...One example is the part where they say that Joseph, instead of running away, turned his horse and went to Carthage. In reality as I know it Joseph was in a boat on the Mississippi and was torn about going into hiding and said, "If my life is not of value to my friends, it is not of value to me." He returned with Hyrum, his brother and they left for Carthage. He returned, after only a short distance and said his goodbyes to his family three times before continuing on. If this small part could have be portrayed it would have put some personal touch to the mind and heart of Joseph...Which apparently was not to be intended by the writers and/or researchers. Another, is the body being returned to Nauvoo in a wagon...There were two bodies, together in that wagon...Josephs and Hyrum...Again incorrect and lack of detail proves they didn't do their homework. — Diane/Ken Baguley, Elk Ridge, Utah

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