LDS Church announces feature-length documentary, 'Meet the Mormons'

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  • Tom in Vegas Las Vegas, NV
    Aug. 24, 2014 11:09 a.m.

    Just saw the preview. Can't wait to take my family of six to pay $10 a piece to gobble up this Mormon Propoganda. (Hint of sarcasm)

    The movie looks gorgeous, the stories seem touching and inspirational, which is just what I need to recharge my emotional batteries after the demands of raising a family and working 10-12 hours a day.

    Looking forward to seeing it.

  • Irishrose Silverdale, WA
    Aug. 22, 2014 3:26 p.m.

    I am very excited to see this film, and I am sure it will become a part of my video library when it becomes available.

  • Malihini Northern, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 10:27 a.m.

    I guess I don't really get the intent of this movie. As noted previously, who is going to see this other than Mormons? And if they do, what are they going to think? "Oh wow, Mormons are normal people." and then go on their way. What good does that do? I mean seriously, I know there are still some mis-conceptions about Mormons around the world, but for the most part people either know that Mormons attend their church just like a lot of other people, that they have families and jobs, etc., just like a lot of other people, or they just don't care what Mormons do (or Catholics, Baptists, Muslims, or anybody else).

    In the article I believe the producer is quoted as saying, the movie doesn't preach to anybody. Why not? Isn't that the point? A better effort would be to say that Christ lives, we worship Him, and because of that we feel our lives are blessed, as other people's lives are. It would be better to have a movie focused on the life of Christ rather than a PR movie for the church. That is not the same thing.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 8:46 p.m.

    The Lord's Church:
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    Nickname given: Mormons

    We don't prefer any name or another really. But when people misuse it to describe what they claim we believe (rather than the truth), then we prefer the name that tells the truth. It has never been about the label, but about how it's used.

    We follow Jesus Christ, we share His message. It doesn't matter if we use one represent that one day and another tomorrow. The only reason we do is to clarify confusion. That isn't an error in judgement. Having a problem with us for doing it is an error in judgement. There are far more important considerations to give a message from God rather than "what should I call your followers to suit my agenda".

    It seems some people will never let go of useless debate instead of asking themselves if what they are doing is right.

  • Sneaky Jimmy Bay Area, CA
    Aug. 21, 2014 4:20 p.m.

    Typically a non-associated third party produces a documentary. When Ford produces a video about a new pick up truck its a promotional piece. This move would seem to fall in the latter category. It's to be expected then, that they film would highlight only positives. Nothing wrong with that, no laws were broken. The members should not get too excited though, about the wonderful state of their religious beliefs and the affirmation that all is well in Zion. It isn't.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 1:20 p.m.

    Marxist, not surprised that you bring up the Same Sex Marriage debate. Typical. I'm guessing that nothing is going to change on that issue as far as the church is concerned. Skeptic there are good people everywhere and if the Church wants to use these people as examples of good LDS people, then why not.

    Divine Goddess, why should the church focus on the negative? Inactive people made a choice to be what they are. I home teach several and they are making no effort to come back. As much as we try to be their friends and help them out with all kinds of aspects of their lives, they've made a choice that right now they don't want to change. No sense dwelling on that.

    Hutterite, yep they do so get over yourself.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 5:33 p.m.

    Large corporate entities almost always produce promotional material.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Aug. 20, 2014 4:42 p.m.


    I'm not sure how talking about who we are necessarily put down others... explain, please. I don't know any LDS that say they are better than other people. I sure don't.

    Most people have no real idea what a Mormon looks like or how they live. When we lived in Switzerland in 2002, a member of our ward was in the media and a sports announcer friend coming back from the SLC Olympics announced to him that he had "been to Utah but hadn't seen any Mormons."

  • Jared NotInMiami, FL
    Aug. 20, 2014 2:08 p.m.

    @Esquire. The Church very publicly states: "In the latest example in a long history of working together, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) will donate all net proceeds* from the theatrical release of Meet the Mormons to the American Red Cross." *"Net proceeds means box office proceeds less distribution expenses." This is from the website for the movie.

    I take the Church at its word (just like I do everyone until they give me reason not to). Distribution is not production. Production costs are completely covered by the Church and are not reimbursed by proceeds from commercial showings.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 1:57 p.m.

    I get the impression that this would be a lot like those "I'm a Mormon" videos which, from what I recall, were rather successful.

  • bigirish OREM, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 1:21 p.m.

    I hope the members aren't surprised that people don't flock to see the film. We often think we are more prominent on the American or World stage than most other people do and that there is a high level of curiosity. Wish there were and maybe this will pique some interest. Yes, it's better than doing nothing - and I think it's good to try to show ourselves as normal people of the neighborhood and workplace, with shared values with many. Not sure if a female kick boxer is the right image though and I think there are many other occupations or interests in South America that would be better - like a nurse perhaps or a teacher. But I know it's hard to pick six representative members worldwide, and I'm sure it will be of interest to some. I think it has to be about constantly building bridges, finding shared values, reinforcing commonalities, and finding those who are looking - and relying by the Spirit in all we do for others. And making interesting movies.

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 1:03 p.m.

    @ ConWar

    I think people may be pretty interested to know about this religion - positive or negative - over other religions because we are as of late more widely known than other religions. We are sure in the media a lot, and the protesters like to come out at least twice a year and make noise. We may as well tell it from our perspective instead of letting the media tell about us from their perspective. I wonder if the Vatican, or the Kingdom Halls of the Jehovah's Witness etc. ever get picketed? Has anyone ever run for POTUS as a self proclaimed Jehovah's Witness, or had members disgruntled about portions of their doctrine blog or go on radio or TV about it for publicity? I think Latter Day Saints need to be a voice for themselves in the world, or the world will do it for us - erroneously.

  • taatmk West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 12:24 p.m.

    @Goddess Divine. This is interesting to me. You have not seen the movie as it has not come out at this point. Yet, you are judging it already as not being an accurate documentary.

    How do you know that it does not show "both sides of the story"? Perhaps actually seeing the movie before judging it might be helpful.

  • ConWar Phoenix/USA, AZ
    Aug. 20, 2014 12:20 p.m.

    I can see this film being a great tool at visitor centers but will be interested to see if anyone but Mormons would have any interest in this film in theaters. I doubt I would ever go to a movie entitled "Meet the Jehovah Witnesses".

  • Goddess Divine Orem, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 12:09 p.m.

    Is this supposed to be a documentary? I don't think so and is upsetting to me. In one side they are showing the lives of several happy members of diverse nationalities and I think this is a good thing. But on the other hand, if this is supposed to be a documentary, then it should show things as they are, not only the happy side. A documentary should show the lives of unhappy members as well. The church should do a research about these members, the ones that were inactive and came back and the ones that did not come back.
    The church needs to face things as they are and find solutions, instead of avoiding the issue and just showing the happy side of the church.

    This is just another happy movie showing how great mormons are, not a documentary showing both sides of the story. As a church, we should focus on those that are inactive and need help, not on the people that are happy and have no problems. What is more important? The welfare of these souls or to improve the image of the church in the social media? Our leaders are making their decisions.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 20, 2014 12:06 p.m.

    @gittalopcbi, my question was: is a good Mormon any better than a good Catholic, etc. Are people good just because they are good people or are they good because they are Mormons, etc., and how does one or the other religion make a person better than one of another religion. If it doesn't then what is the point. Why not just focus on good people being good. Or should every known religion (I think there are about six thousand) produce a propaganda film who they are and how good they are. Furthermore, does religion even help to make good people, or would people be better people with out it. The bottom line is that religion is a business and like all business religion needs sales to get, and keep customers (parishioners) to stay alive and make money and yield power (politics).

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 12:02 p.m.

    @ Jared, have you seen the contract? It could be written any number of ways. I haven't seen the contract and won't claim to know the terms of the deal.

  • gittalopctbi Glendale, AZ
    Aug. 20, 2014 11:29 a.m.

    @skeptic Where did you get that the movie was about showing how "Mormons are the best?" I didn't. The movie is about informing who Mormons are. No need to read non-existent motives into it.

    @BYU Joe I guess that illustrates how ridiculous and invalid the movie ratings system is.

    @Pavalova The right people (the ones who need to see the movie) will pay to see it.

  • taatmk West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 11:28 a.m.

    Leading by example. The LDS Church has asked the members to be tech savy and flood the earth with good messages of service, love, and promoting wholesome values. The Church is likewise showing the way.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    Aug. 20, 2014 11:12 a.m.

    This sounds like an interesting video.

    As for breaking the "stereotype of Mormon women" though, I actually wouldn't mind -meeting- that stereotype for a change.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 20, 2014 11:07 a.m.

    So what is the point: that there are good people in the word that are Mormons. Isn't that just as true concerning Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Atheist , etc. If Mormons are trying to show that proportionately that Mormons are the best, then they will need something more than a propaganda film.

  • A_Chinese_American Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 10:58 a.m.

    Can not wait to see this Great Movie (sounds like it) on Roku! (I have AmazonPrime)

  • Jared NotInMiami, FL
    Aug. 20, 2014 9:45 a.m.


    Net proceeds refers to everything above the cost to distribute the film. The Church paid for the film (produced) and will not seek to recoup those costs. The movie was already going to be made and shown in Church visitor centers (so it was already paid for). Then they decided to distribute it in theaters and online too and donate all that money (less distribution costs).

    This is a missionary and humanitarian tool. It costs money to run the film in theaters and get it distributed online so those costs will be deducted from proceeds (and taxes, I'm assuming, although the Church could cover taxes through other funds). Any profits left over will be donated to the American Red Cross.

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 9:30 a.m.

    @ Paul Timothy Gibbs

    I'm surprised you would accuse church members of being xenophobic, considering how many church members have either children or have served themselves in missions outside of Utah and around the globe, then report in homecomings that their foreign mission had the "Best people on earth" . Just sayin'.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 9:09 a.m.

    I can't imagine that this will sell commercially, but I guess we will see.

    Net proceeds to charity. I assume this means full repayment of the investment, perhaps with interest? First financing a commercial building in Philly, and now underwriting a commercial film?

  • Emmanuel Goldstein Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 8:46 a.m.

    Friar.Tuck and mpschmitt
    Yes, there are plans to make this widely available internationally and on the streaming media channels like Netflix, AmazonPrime and Hulu as soon as it is released domestically. This will be out there everywhere soon.

  • Pavalova Surfers Paradise, AU
    Aug. 20, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    How many people would actually pay $10 per ticket to see this in theaters?

  • Mark C Gilbert, SC
    Aug. 20, 2014 7:54 a.m.

    @John Pack Lambert. The Church News is Part of Deseret News and has it's own website that is searchable. Go to Deseret News home page and click on the "Faith" tab at the top.

    @59fitz. Since the early encouragement for members to downplay the use of "Mormon" when referring to the Church, there have been several excellent clarifications spoken of in General Conference. See the talk by Elder M. Russell Ballard in October, 2011 "The Importance of a Name." He points out many situations when it is appropriate to use the term "Mormon". I am encouraged by the recognition that we are "stuck" with the nickname and the Church embraces it--to a point, but still prominently associates it with the full name. As members, we should do the same.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 7:47 a.m.

    I wish the Church the best in this endeavor. The community of caring within it is unmatched, and that appeals to almost everyone. But the Church has acquired lifetime enemies through the SSM debate. And feelings there are really raw. I doubt this film will help that.

  • mpschmitt Boston, MA
    Aug. 20, 2014 5:11 a.m.

    The Church should put this out on Netflix streaming as soon as possible and publicize it heavily. I'm sure it would get a lot if views that way.

  • Paul Timothy Gibbs Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 4:54 a.m.

    I'm happy to see an excellent filmmaker like Jeff Roberts behind this.

    I'm also happy (but not surprised) that the Church has chosen members of multiple narionalities and ethnicities to represent them. A much needed reminder to American (perhaps especially Utah) members thay this is a worldwide Church made up of many cultures and ethnic backgrounds, Far too often ethnocentrism and xenophobia rear their heads in our local cultural, and this is a great reminder that those things have no rightful place in the LDS Church. I'm looking forward to seeing the film.

  • Paul Timothy Gibbs Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 4:47 a.m.

    I'm excited that producer Jeff Roberts is involved in this film. He's a great producer and person, and he's been responsible for some of the best films the Church has produced.

  • 59fitz davis, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 12:56 a.m.

    I am a bit surprised that the LDS church keeps using the term "Mormons" in its marketing schemes such as the title of this film. It was not that long ago that they were trying to become better recognized as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and not "Mormons".

  • Friar.Tuck Loehnberg, 00
    Aug. 19, 2014 11:48 p.m.

    This is a very interesting film - but not everyone in this world speaks English. Will there ever be an international version with selectable subtitles or versions in other languages? The largest language group here in Europe with about 100 million people are the German speaking countries (Germany, Austria, parts of Switzerland, northern part of Italy, Luxembourg and Belgium - and most Dutch people at least understand German - according to observation which tv programs they watch).

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Aug. 19, 2014 10:31 p.m.

    I am trying to figure out if there is a way to search the old LDS Church news articles. I was wanting to see if I could find the article from when President Sullivan was called as stake president.

  • KellyWSmith Sparks, NV
    Aug. 19, 2014 9:29 p.m.

    The world is so attuned to video nowadays that something like this is really needed. I know the LDS Church does a lot with video, possibly more than any other church, with such projects as the Bible Videos segments and the enormous number of clips on the website for everything from training sessions and Sunday School classes. But most of that is for the church membership itself (I don't know how many of the Bible Videos have been used outside the church). A video like this will hopefully show people the real side of its membership and not the exaggerated and skewed ones shown on a variety of Cable Channels every week whose only desire is for viewers, and the way to get viewers is through controversy.

    A video like this can hopefully educate and enlighten the world and show them that we don't have horns (something believed not long ago) we don't dress like we're in the 1800's and we aren't like those portrayed in an un-named musical that has done its best to blaspheme one portion of our beloved scripture and beliefs.

    Aug. 19, 2014 8:37 p.m.

    Rated PG - gotta love it…

  • Spellman789 Syracuse, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 7:41 p.m.

    Sounds interesting. Looking forward to seeing this documentary and the different people involved and their stories.

  • DonP Sainte Genevieve, MO
    Aug. 19, 2014 5:03 p.m.

    Fantastic. The film is being released on the 42nd anniversary of our marriage in the Salt Lake Temple. What a great anniversary gift!

  • USA Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 4:58 p.m.

    Wonderful film. Great and inspiring introduction to Mormon life and the diversity of Church members.

  • Russ Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 3:11 p.m.

    I am very excited to see something so dear to me represented so well. I hope people will be inspired to be better people when they see this film.