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The Mormons (2007)

Helen Whitney  |  NR |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Directors: Helen Whitney
  • Format: Color, Widescreen, Subtitled, Closed-captioned
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: July 17, 2007
  • Run Time: 240 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000P5FH4Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,446 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one of America's fastest growing religions, and its influence circles the globe. Yet the birth of Mormonism and its history is one of America's great neglected narratives. This four-hour documentary brings together Frontline and American Experience in their first co-production to provide a portrait of this fascinating but often misunderstood religion.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A More Complete Story July 9, 2007
By larry
Despite the protests of some on either extreme (ultra-orthodox or anti-mormon) "The Mormons" was a balanced treatment of the LDS religion, history and dcotrine. Pro-Mormons might think it focused too much on uncomfortable history-- Anti-Mormons will think it didn't focus on those items enough. The fact that neither is fully satisfied speaks to how well the director covered the material.

It must be remembered that this is not a LDS proselyting picture produced by the Brethren. It is a secular documentary. It's goal isn't to convert but rather to inform. And so polygamy, polyandry, Mountain Meadows, and fundamentalism are as much a part of the story as the Haun's Mill, the First Vision and the importance of eternal families.

In fact, many members of the LDS church have only a cursory understanding of their own history. Because I believe that it's impossible to fully believe in something you don't fully understand I would recommend this film to all members.

Those interviewed run the range. LDS General Authorities to LDS academics to non-Mormon scholars to former Mormons. The director purposely avoids identifying the Mormon-slant of each person so that the viewer will consider their comments without bias. This has lead both pro and anti- mormons to wrongly claim that the numbers of interviews are skewed against their point of view-- when actually the numbers are pretty even.

A quote by Hugh B. Brown, counselor in the First Presidency, in closing:
"Thoughts and expressions compete in the marketplace of thought, and in that competition truth emerges triumphant. Only error fears freedom of expression."

"The Mormons" tells more of the story.
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57 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Important lesson in American history May 4, 2007
By JayTee
Whether you are a believer in the Mormon faith, a skeptic, or are generally unfamiliar with this Christian denomination, you should be able to appreciate this in-depth documentary about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

This documentary, produced by PBS Frontline & American Experience, does not try to promote the faith for purposes of expanding its membership, but it takes an unbiased path to explain the Mormon religion from a historical perspective.

The lengthy documentary cover many issues regarding very relevant aspects of Mormon history and modern Mormon culture. Many opinions from knowledgeable historians are offered to help dispel the myths & misunderstandings about the faith. There are many positive aspects about the church that are introduced to those unfamiliar with Mormonism. Several topics discussed may not sit well with some modern members and believers, but they need to keep in mind that the pursuit of truth is not about denying or hiding from factual history, but about telling the whole story whether or not it is a source of pride or a source of embarrassment.

"The Mormons" deserves to be watched with an open mind, in the spirit for which it was produced. It is an important and very relevant part of our American history, whether you are a believer or not.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
As a non-Mormon living in Mormon Country (Utah, USA) I was anxious to see this PBS program when it first aired last year. I have been married to a Mormon lady for the past 37 years and during that time I have had much contact with the church and have learned much about the faith and its people, although for personal reasons I have decided the faith is not for me. This documentary holds true to what I have learned about this most unique of American religious denominations. It is a fair-minded HISTORY of the Mormon Church and its wonderful people. It does not, however, delve into church doctrine or dogma. If you are interested in learning only about doctrine, this documentary is not for you. It would behoove you to contact your local LDS missionaries or the Church in Salt Lake City itself. They will be more than happy to cater to your curiosities, I'm sure.

One of the most insightful moments in the documentary is when the narration proposes an explanation as to why the Mormons are so centered upon the temple rites of sealing your spouse and your children to yourself for "all time and eternity". To paraphrase, "The church was organized in America during a time of great westward migration and family separation. It was a period in our history when children would leave home to seek their fortunes and never be heard from by their families again. The temple endowments were aimed at keeping the family together, if not in this life, then in the next 'for all time and eternity.'" This goes a long way in explaining why the Mormons think the way they do, and why the Church is organized the way it is.

I heartily recommend this documentary for anyone who is interested in American History and the history of the the Mormon people. It is one of the best, if not THE best, films on the Mormons I have had the pleasure to watch and own.
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18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flattering Considering the Obstacles June 17, 2007
Verified Purchase
This documentary points out that relatively new religions have the disadvantage of having a paper trail leading to its origin. Mormon's have a sorted and well documnted history of polygamy, the Mountain Meadows Massacre, and racism. The director tried to be fair considering that those issues would have been the elephant in the room if ignored. Don't quite a few religions have similar origins? These themes aren't exclusive to Mormons.
I have several friends that were Latter Day Saints. Two had wonderful experiences with the group while the third one refers to it as a controlling cult. The documentary didn't comprehensively explore the control issues that some ex-mormons seek recovery from. The director was more than fair to the Church in not pursuing rhis angle of the story.
I plan to buy the film on DVD as soon as it comes out.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Posted by Tom Bartolini...... ...
Posted by Tom Bartolini .......Reside in the Palmyra New York area and attended the recent Mormon Pagent. Took the tour of the facility. Found this program very informative.
Published 2 months ago by Janice L Peterson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by George King
4.0 out of 5 stars The Mormons Have Been Persecuted In the USA Since Joseph Smith's...
I was born in central Missouri, grew up in Illinois, and have visited the city of Nauvoo many times, where Mormons were at war with the Christian residents of that town. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Zarathustra
1.0 out of 5 stars Political Correctness for LDS wanting to live a Christian mainstream...
This documentary is very long and while it touches on some of the more embarrassing moments in LDS history with an apologetics LDS historian [mostly relative] slant. Read more
Published 11 months ago by dkmv2006
1.0 out of 5 stars VERY FRUSTRATING
I'd hoped for a serious explanation of how Mormon family values have changed so much over the years. Joseph Smith had 27 or so wives. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Gerhardt J. Steinke
5.0 out of 5 stars What more of us should be like
EXCELLENT! It tells the full story of the Mormon story, both great and tragic. I loved this documentary. Read more
Published 21 months ago by doorknob
5.0 out of 5 stars This was a great purchase.
This was a great purchase. We were very satisfied and would recommend this vendor to others. The experience was positive.
Published 22 months ago by mp59mm
4.0 out of 5 stars Mormonism
A basically good analysis of Mormonism, more than fair to the church in my opinion...but in general, quite accurate and balanced.
Published 23 months ago by Frank E. Slater
3.0 out of 5 stars The Mormons - a very special story...
I purchased my copy of "The Mormons" in 2009 and prepared a fairly elaborate viewing guide, and later did quite a bit of reading on the LDS church, so when I recently viewed the... Read more
Published on September 19, 2012 by Charles W. Adams
4.0 out of 5 stars MORMONS is good, a bit slow and tedius, mostly thorough
As customary with PBS oeuvres, THE MORMONS tries to be thorough and balanced. The use of "experts" both Mormon, ex-Mormon, and non-Mormon is balanced. Read more
Published on July 13, 2012 by ProfWillisHAMoore
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