Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Director: Helen Whitney
Genres: Television, Documentary
Studio: Paramount Home Video Release Date: 07/17/2007
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Important lesson in American history
JayTee | 05/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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.
A More Complete Story
larry | Utah, USA | 07/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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."
This answers many questions
Rebecca H. Tallman | Southwest USA | 05/07/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This video, recently seen on PBS, is balanced and fairly comprehensive. It gives enough history to put the LDS church in perspective through the years. The 'story' moves along fast enough that an overall picture was developed before the viewer was overwhelmed or became disinterested. It is well worth watching again!!"
Flattering Considering the Obstacles
A. Bradford | 06/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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."