The Mormons (miniseries)
The Mormons is a four hour PBS documentary about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The production originally aired in two-hour segments on April 30 and May 1, 2007. It was produced by Helen Whitney, and was the first joint production of Frontline and American Experience.
The first segment is about the History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It deals with the story of Joseph Smith. The First Vision is told and after that the visit of the Angel Moroni who gave him the Golden Plates, from which the Book of Mormon is said to be translated. Then the topic of Anti-Mormonism is brought up, followed by an episode about Mormonism and polygamy and the Mountain Meadows massacre.
The second segment is about the contemporary LDS Church. It shows the Mormon missionaries. Followed by the September Six and a discussion of Homosexuality and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At the end, the topics of Mormonism and women and the change of oneself through a mission are discussed.
The New York Times said about the documentary: "Yet the portrait of the modern-day church, which the program says has 12 million members worldwide, is compelling nonetheless." On the other hand, The Boston Globe criticised the documentary: "The Mormons brims with informed talking heads -- church historians, journalists, church elders, and a constellation of happy Mormons. It would have helped to identify Mormon from non-Mormon but never mind. Mitt Romney appears briefly in a film clip but is never heard from; according to PBS, he declined to participate." Reuters however said: "If there is a weak point to this hugely informative and watchable series, it may be the amount of time allocated in the second night to the practice of Mormon missions and the church's heavy-handed approach to critics. Regardless, this is a brilliant work on a engaging topic." The Nation was also disappointed by this documentary.
- Latter Day Saints in popular culture
- Public relations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- Genzlinger, Neil (April 30, 2007), "Modern-Day Look at History of the Latter-Day Saints", The New York Times
- Allis, Sam (April 27, 2007), "A gripping look at foundations of Mormon faith", The Boston Globe
- Garron, Barry (April 29, 2007), The Mormons" a fascinating PBS documentary, Reuters
- von Hoffman, Nicholas (May 2, 2007), "Mormons, in a Flattering Light", The Nation
- Bennett, Richard E. (Spring–Fall 2007), "A Response to the PBS Documentary, The Mormons" (PDF), Mormon Historical Studies (Mormon Historic Sites Foundation) 8 (1 & 2)
- Cannon, Brian Q.; De Pillis, Mario S.; Bennett, Richard E. (2007), "The Mormons, produced by Helen Whitney", BYU Studies 46 (2): 305–320
- Horiuchi, Vince (May 2, 2007), "'The Mormons' documentary breaks PBS ratings records", The Salt Lake Tribune
- Pierce, Scott D. (January 14, 2007), "'The Mormons' on PBS takes aim at stereotypes", Deseret News
- Whitney, Helen (December 2007), "The Making of the Mormons: My Four Years as a Stranger in the Strange Land of Mormonism" (PDF), Sunstone: 32–43
- Whitney, Helen (May 2, 2007), "Live Q&As", WashingtonPost.com (The Washington Post)
- "News Story", MormonNewsroom.org (LDS Church), May 2, 2007