PBS special on the Mormons


Part I was on last night. It was pretty good. Never thought I would see a Mormon leader admit that Joseph Smith used peepstones in his hat to translate the alleged Book of Mormon. The section on the Mountain Meadows Massacre was also good. The lds church someday will have to deal with it. The one historian had it right, nothing happened that big in Utah without the approval of Brigham Young. They were also pretty direct about polygamy. Joseph Smith really liked polygamy. Part II is on tonight. So far it has created a bit of a firestorm in Mormon circles. There is going to be a lot of explaining to do. Bring it up the next time their missionaries come to your door. Buy a dvd of it and invite them in to watch it lol.


Yes, I agree that it was very good. I ordinarily have a hard time sitting through two hours of television, but The Mormons was quite interesting.

For those who haven’t heard about it, it is U.S. public television special which is the joint work of the Frontline series and the American Experience series (two of PBS’ finest shows).

The total run time is four hours and it is being shown in two two-hour segments. As Cestusdei mentioned, the second half is being shown tonight - beginnning at 8 pm Central Time.

I am curious about how current members of the LDS church feel about it. Anyone care to share?


Being stationed with the Military in Germany I won’t get to see this program, though it sounds interesting…I’m amazed that PBS can show this program, but not “Islam vs Islamists” co-produced with the BBC…they’re afraid of offending the Islamists.


We have a Mormon running for President, so I don’t see this as a coincidence. He is even mentioned in the first minutes of the show.

I plan to watch the second half tonight.



Some initial observations of Part I of PBS’s The Mormons

  1. At least they touched on the developing “first vision” accounts, how they got increasingly more supernatural and portentious–but didnt go into the explicit differences that CANT be reconciled

  2. Harold Bloom, doing the equivalent of Dominic Crossan–except Bloom is a professor of English Literature and utterly unqulaified to be brought in as a talking head on religious history of either LDS or Christianity

  3. Skimmed over how Joseph Smith & the Mormons repeatedly ticked off their neighbors–didn’t mention in the “Misouri Mormon War” it was the Mormons who FIRST publicaly used the threat of “extermination” (of their genitile enemies)


I didn’t know Mormons just loved to dance.

Gotta love those Mormons.:smiley:

P.S. The number of posts under my name, and the year of Joseph Smith’s martyrdom are identical: 1844 – but it’s just a coincidence!:rolleyes:


We thought that it was a very romantic view of the LDS.



I agree, Liza, but it looks like tonight’s segment will take a more critical view.

BTW, do you think we could convince Mr. Voris to do some programs on other religions in which he compares and contrasts them to orthodox Catholicism?


With all their wives, I wonder if their favorite was square dancing?


That’s largely because Mormons won’t burn things down or cut anyone’s head off because someone made a criticism of their religion.


I think that’s a great idea! I’ll pass that along! :smiley: Thanks!



By “Pass along” she means “IM me with the URL” :slight_smile:

Our Third Season (details of which can be found on t3h intermawebtrondohicky) deals with the divide between Catholics and Protestants. We are currently taping the third season (there is a schedule available on the website at;


There have been discussions for the fourth season which may address the non-Christian and quasi-Christian religions (such as the Mormons) and various other groups such as the Masons etc. Alternatively, we might do a separate series (or even individual shows) which tackle them.

I shall certainly pass the interest along to Mike.


Webmaster, Saint Michael’s Media



Thank you, kind webmaster! I suspected that you’d have a role in passing along my suggestion.

I hope to see y’all at one of the upcoming tapings.


Peterdiago, I love your show! Please pass it along to everyone involved with the show. Your series was instrumental in my reversion to the one true faith! Thanks!

As far as the mormon series show goes, I personally think it has been very complimentary and favorable to the mormons. IMO, there was very little critical examination of the religion. I was very disappointed that there wasn’t a critical examination of the so-called ‘revelations’ and the reversal of the polygamy issues.

And imo, that Sarah Gordon lady with the big teeth, the way she talks bothers me a bit.



I don’t think it was that favorable. Dealing with Smith’s sexual addiction, the lack of evidence for the bom, the racism, the anti-intellectualism…I am betting that some mormons are going to be asking some hard questions.


Yep, and he’s the guy who, in my humble opinion, best reflects conservative moral values…and conservative values in general. This is the guy who’s getting my primary vote…he’s a better moral example than our “catholic” candidate that’s for sure.

But I see your point…PBS running an expo on mormonism…trying to subtly influence voters against the LDS candidate to further their quite liberal agenda.



Did you watch “The Mormons”?


I wasn’t able to watch the first program, but I did watch the second, last night. My impression overall was that it was highly complimentary to the Mormons from the point of view of a non-Christian, or even a Christian who is non-practicing. Those people will not have a clue about the oddities of Mormon religion, but will be impressed by the shinyhappy family people.

But I think the producers did a good job of presenting the Mormon operation to the wider audience. The got about as deep into Mormon theology as was justified by that wide audience. Any deeper, and they may have been guilty of being anti-Mormon. They had to walk a fine line, I’m sure.

The shots of the inside of a temple were interesting. I commented that I saw no signatures in there of Jesus, or of the Christian religion. It looked like the inside of Radio City Music Hall.


I only caught the very end of the program last night but thought it was interesting. I agree that the temple looked something like a conference center.


I saw part 2 last night and agree that the presentation was fair if fairly watered down. I have always been impressed with the missonary work though I disagree with the doctrine they profess with respect to Smith.

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