Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Mormons, PBS (4hours), April 30 and May 1, 2007

Part 1 of the Mormons showed the origins and early history of the church. Part 2 described the modern day church. Part 1 seemed to include many more critics of the church than did Part 2, which seemed to be more fair and balanced. My sense is that the creators of this documentary found Mormonism's origins and its 19th century history troubling. The conclusion of the four hour documentary quoted a source as saying that most religions have left their origins behind. The question, he posed, is whether Mormonism would be able to "move beyond its own creation" and thus survive in the future. What I believe this source and the writers failed to understand is that the whole essence and strength of Mormonism is the personal testimonies of the members that Joseph Smith was a prophet. Mormonism will never be able to leave its prophetic origins behind, because that is what makes the church what it is.

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