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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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great video that tells the good and the bad in the LDS church. If ur a member,someone thinking of joining or someone who knows nothing about the Mormon church this is good Video... Read morePublished 3 days ago by William Wise
I wished it had interviews with active mormon scholars. It seemed one sided but it was interesting. In my experience with churches the mormon church seems to have all the right... Read morePublished 9 days ago by gofaster
Too sympathetic to Mormonism. Insufficiently explains problems of conflict with Biblical theology and problems with the BOM content. Read morePublished 19 days ago by motherof09
Being an extremely new convert to the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints I will say this is an extraordinary documentary on the church as as it took me 3 years to convert... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jeremy Montanez
In two parts, Part I details the first century of the Mormon Church. In the early 19th century, a very young American named Joseph Smith claimed he saw the vision of an angel of... Read morePublished 9 months ago by classicalsteve
Absolutely excellent documentary about the Mormon Church. So much history is provided in this movie.Published 11 months ago by B. Palmer
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 17 months ago by Janice L Peterson