PBS Documentary: The Mormons

I was very interested by the PBS documentary that aired last night, entitled “The Mormons”. I was very impressed with how professional the whole thing was. It was certainly interesting to see the many perspectives on some interesting points of Mormon History. PBS also hosts a companion website to “The Mormons”, which I found to be a great resource to learn a little more about those being interviewed as well as a very well-done list of FAQs of Mormonism. You can even view part one online.

My wife and I both noticed that a lot of time was devoted to polygamy and the Mountain Meadows Massacre, but I think that may have been because they are both topics that are not well understood by the general public. I must admit that I only learned about Mountain Meadows a year ago, and I would certainly say that it is a topic that isn’t understood by the general population of the Mormon Church, either.

While I don’t necessarily agree with everything that was presented in the documentary, overall I was extremely impressed. I’m definitely looking forward to part two tonight.

3 thoughts on “PBS Documentary: The Mormons

  1. Beth

    Hey, dude! I am a top commenter … or commentator … or common tater … yeah.

    I watched only about twenty minutes of the first one (it was on at 9pm here; was it airing that late everywhere??) but have the both segments to recorded.

    I don’t mind that they did Mountain Meadows and polygamy (especially polygamy; that is an important part of our history that should be addressed). But I didn’t see that part, anyway.

    I did watch the part about Joseph Smith and didn’t like their word and image choice. Comparing him to a “shaman” or a “magician” out to gain power over people was hard to hear. 🙁 And then there were a couple of pictures (especially the one of that angel or Christ or whoever that looked all red and scary) that I didn’t like.

    And some of the things they chose to focus on were weird … like, do people get that we’re not worshiping out in a grove of trees (a la days of Baal) when we’re watching a *theatrical* performance (the Hill Cumorah Pageant)? Do people really think that we believe that, like a magician, Joseph Smith pulled the Book of Mormon out of a hat (though I understand that Joseph may have used the stones in a hat; there is one *somewhat* credible source that says that which I’ve found)? And why mention that the angel Moroni was naked-under-his-clothes (yipe!) and then skip over his entire message?

    Anyway, there seemed to be plenty of things in that part I watched that would re-emphasize that the Mormons are a *peculiar* people.

    My seminary kids seemed to like part two better (I don’t know how they can stay up late enough to watch it, though).

  2. Alex Post author

    Yup, you’re the top commentator..er. I changed it, because I don’t really like the word commentator. Commenter sounds better.

    I definitely agree that there were some weird parts of the documentary, but I must admit, it seemed to be quite well done overall. I do agree about the images, too; Julia mentioned that she thought they were weird, too.

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