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Reader responses regarding "The Mormons" PBS series

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

I found the documentary to be somewhat informative, but for the most part, very opinionated. To get "facts" from excommunicated members is ridiculous. I feel it should have stuck with the facts, rather than the opinions of historians and former church members. I was extremely offended when Joseph Smith was called a "schemer". It is not difficult to report on beliefs without the bias and opinions.

If the point of this documentary was to inform the world of what members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes, it failed miserably. — no name

I was able to watch approximately 3 of the 4 hours between the two programs and felt there was a nice balance of interpretations presented. Since it was my understanding that one of the stated purposes of the production was to "help break down the stereotypes of Mormonism," it seemed like there was too much of just the "same old" sensational subject matter, thus reinforcing many of the old stereotypes. While massacres and polygamy probably make more interesting sound bytes, a great opportunity was mostly missed to capture more of the essence of a truly unique modern day religion. — Mike Raymond

We watched both nights. What happened to The Mormon Battalion, longest infantry march that secured California for US, plus was the beginning of settlement of California, and other western states. We missed info on the world's largest and first Women's Organization. Sheri Dew would have been much better than Margaret Toscano and the other apostates. Having no doctrine was serious. At least the Articles of Faith could have been mentioned. C- is our grade. — Alan & Elinor Hyde, Salt Lake

I did not watch the entire documentary simply because of other engagements but what I did see I found quite one sided and limited in its portrayal of the LDS faith. Not to say that those that were interviewed were harsh or extremely bitter towards the church, they simply had a very polarized idea of what the church is or their understanding of the church was only through historical study. In the parts I saw, probably only 20% of the time was spent interviewing active members of the church who are in good standing. The other time was spent interviewing individuals outside of the church. It seems to me that if one tries to capture the true spirit of any organization let alone the Mormon religion, they should spend more time gathering and displaying information from those who are earnestly and honestly involved with that organization rather than relying on information from an outsider simply trying to study its history or a former member of that organization who had a dramatic end to their membership. By neglecting to do so the end result will be exactly what I found this documentary to be, an "intellectuals" or polarized stance on the Mormons, mainly expressed through the ideas of historians and former members. I can say with absolute certainty that the true spirit of the LDS church was barely portrayed. — Spencer

After watching both segments of "The Mormons", I believe for the most part they were fair and balanced.

The early leaders of the church, as well as those who lead today, were not and are not perfect individuals and some things in the past that were acceptable ideas were based on traditions. It's all they knew. Today we can see that things have changed so there is a sanitizing of our thoughts and actions needed if we are to function in today's world.

"Everything flows and nothing abides,

Everything gives way and nothing stays fixed"

Heraclitus

Thanks, — Dean Allen, Ellensburg, WA

I was disappointed in some of the comments that were made because they were based on things that were not true; i.e., the church is rich and the leaders never tell the members how they spend the money. On the contrary; in general conference they give a full financial report. They consider the money donated by the members in tithing and fast offering as sacred money, and they use if for building temples, chapels, and church schools, as well as humanitarian efforts.

They spend billions of dollars on humanitarian aid throughout the world. Whenever there is a disaster, such as Katrina, the Mormons are on the scene — ready to work — long before anyone else. I know that was mentioned, for which I was grateful.

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