18 comments for ““The Mormons” Open Thread

  1. Adam
    April 30, 2007 at 11:17 pm

    Interesting use of artwork at the beginning of the documentary. I’ve never seen that picture of Moroni. It doesn’t depict how I imagine Moroni when he visited Joseph. Too dark and faceless.

  2. TMD
    April 30, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    I can’t think of anything to complain about. The only thing they may have talked more about might have been the communal/cooperative ethics of the 19th century church. But, one can’t have everything–so it’s more observation than complaint. Really, very good.

  3. Bro. Jones
    April 30, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    Only caught the first 30 min. Wife didn\’t like it, found it depressing. I had a hard time myself–it\’s not like I caught anything new in the first 30 minutes, but I\’ve always been a little saddened at hearing non-believers just chalk up Joseph Smith\’s experiences as products of his time and circumstances.

    Yet oddly, I never bat an eye when people say the same thing about Brigham Young. [shrug] Will watch the rest of the show tomorrow.

  4. Adam
    April 30, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    Not to sound hard on the documentary, but I had to cringe when at the beginning they mention Joseph as “Joseph Smith the Alpha and Omega of the Mormon church”.

  5. Kevin Barney
    April 30, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    I’m watching it now. They’re just starting the polygamy act. I’ve really enjoyed it and think it is very well done.

  6. WillF
    April 30, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    I think the phrase “America’s most controversial religion” (was that what they said?) is unqualifiable hyperbole, but on the whole I thought it was pretty interesting to see how we were viewed by the scholars interviewed. The editors sure liked the interviews with Sarah Barrington Gordon. She was interesting and has a rather interesting way of talking. The “Former Church Educator” they interviewed made me nervous. He seemed rather disgruntled.

  7. WillF
    April 30, 2007 at 11:41 pm

    My wife pointed out that they did not mention the Doctrine & Covenants or Pearl of Great Price.

  8. queuno
    April 30, 2007 at 11:42 pm

    I loved the one analyst who said that (to effect) that “polygamy coming out of Smith’s sexual desires is akin to the Book of Mormon coming from treasure hunting” (to illustrate the point of oversimplistic interpretations) and that “if you wanted to satisfy sexual desires, there are a lot of easier ways to do it than polygamy”.

  9. queuno
    April 30, 2007 at 11:43 pm

    @6 – The former Mormon educator, Ken Clark, is an exmo. Google him and you’ll find links.

  10. Kevin Barney
    April 30, 2007 at 11:47 pm

    No. 8, that was Kathleen Flake, a terrific historian at Vanderbilt.

  11. queuno
    April 30, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    Thanks, Kevin. I was going in and out of the room, and while I could listen, I didn’t see all of the names.

  12. Jon in Austin
    April 30, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    I enjoyed the majority of it. The only part that I thought would leave the casual viewer confused was the transition from ‘Mormons-aren’t-polygamists’ to the ‘Hey-Mormon-fundamentalists-are’. While there were strong points made about refutation of polygamy, they still blurred the line between the two a little too much for my liking. Even then, its a minor quibble and I thought it was very well-made and balanced.

  13. Sally
    April 30, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    My son said that today the seminary coordinator said that they were encouraged to not watch the program tonight. My son wasn’t paying too much attention (I know, I am shocked, too) so that is all he could tell me. But I was suprised that they were encouraged to not watch. He doesn’t know why. Have to have him ask tomorrow.

  14. WillF
    April 30, 2007 at 11:55 pm

    Thanks queno. It is strange he is not on PBS’s interview page for the show ( http://www.pbs.org/mormons/interviews/ ). I guess it is fair to say he is disgruntled since he says “I need to admit up right away that I’m both angry and bitter…” on his online exit essay.

    One thing that did bug me about the show was the euphemism “perfect obedience” that kept popping up and implying that we are blindly obedient.

  15. April 30, 2007 at 11:56 pm

    I thought it was spectacular. There was nothing to which I’d object—I don’t agree with Bagley’s conclusion, for example, that BY was behind the MMM, but he gave it in the context of four people, all of whom had slightly different views.

    And man, that art in the first act was spectacular. Anyone know what it was or who did it?

  16. Matt W.
    April 30, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    Were there weird editiing issues for you guys, or was it just the local PBS? (San antonio, TX)

    What I mean is, the Local PBS you could only see half the fonts because they went of screen, and at one point, Terryl Givens was cut mid word to go into the next scene…

  17. Matt W.
    May 1, 2007 at 12:00 am

    Sally, our ward has promoted it for about a month. Must be just your Seminary Teacher there.

  18. Julie M. Smith
    May 1, 2007 at 12:01 am

    You know, I had forgotten that Ardis had invited everyone to do the Monday morning quarterbacking over at her post . . . I’m closing comments in the hope that you will continue the discussion over there. It doesn’t make sense to have two posts going, especially when they look confusingly similar in the sidebar.


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