Song of the Week: Dream Away
Open Letter to Mormon Friends and Family

Images of the Restoration in the News

Not long ago, I featured the blog Images of the Restoration as a "Site of the Week."  Well, it appears this wonderful blog with accurate depictions of events from Mormon history is getting some attention in the mainstream religion press.  Yesterday, a story appeared at about the controversy this little blog has stirred up in Mormon circles.  In an article titled Artists Present an Uncensored View of Mormon History, religion writer Menachem Wecker describes the harshly negative reaction of church representatives and leaders to an accurate depiction of Mormon history.   Church public relations employee Kim Farah had "zero interest" in commenting on an "anti-Mormon" blog.  An LDS Bishop said the artists were "anti-Mormon activists parading as historians" and compared viewing their works of art with asking Hitler his opinion about the Jews. 

I find these comments from official representatives and leaders of the LDS church fascinating.  What they are saying is that depicting events from Mormon history (taken from official primary church documents) accurately is an "anti-Mormon" enterprise. In short, they are admitting that truth is antithetical to Mormonism.  It's a stunning admission, really.  Also interesting from the article is the fact that neither the church representatives nor any of the Mormon apologists were able to point out any inaccuracies in the portrayals found on the site.  Some criticize the quality of the depictions, but none could contest that the events depicted did not happen.  So, what's the problem? If, as some of my Mormon friends assert, the LDS church is not opposed to accurate depictions of its history, why the harsh criticisms and vitriol thrown at this site?  It's a curious thing, really.


Menachem Wecker

Thanks for posting my article. I'm glad you found it useful.


I also find these comments fascinating. However, as I see it, the "anti-Mormon" label is justified. The site, so far, has selected only a handful of historical depictions that could be most damaging to an uninformed member's testimony of the church. There does not appear to be an effort to also depict any of the historically accurate events that would be more "faith affirming" or neutral. The site is not fair or balanced, even if it is an attempt at being historically accurate in its few depictions. I cannot help but presume that the intent is to be "anti-Mormon".



Images of the Restoration strives to host images from Mormon history that are factually accurate, particularly images that have been traditionally depicted inaccurately, or that have not been depicted very often, for whatever reason. We have not turned away a good-faith attempt to depict Mormon history, and we have invited faithful artists to contribute. We don't discriminate.

What does "anti-Mormon" mean anyway? The way people (including the Church) use it, they seem to mean "non-orthodox", or "non-mainstream". How much worse than that can historically accurate images be?



Thanks for clarifying your position, especially in stating that you are open to all artists' good-faith attempts at historical accuracy. I tried to suggest in my original comment that the site has an "anti-mormon" feel only in its selection of depictions "so far." I highly support any attempts at unbiased transparency in Mormon history/art and will check back with your site to see where it goes from here.

I agree that many people use the term "anti-mormon" as synonymous with "non-orthodox" but I don't agree with this broad usage, as I consider myself very much non-orthodox and mostly pro-mormon. When I use it, I generally mean it in the sense of presenting selected facts (or falsehoods) to criticize or damage the church or its members. My usage of the term is also incorrect though, as the usage should technically be limited to describing discrimination or hostility toward Mormons.


"So, what's the problem? If, as some of my Mormon friends assert, the LDS church is not opposed to accurate depictions of its history, why the harsh criticisms and vitriol thrown at this site? It's a curious thing, really."

I would lump this type of thing in with ad hominem type arguments. I noticed the ad hominem type stuff long before I left the church. They always bewildered me and were one of the things that actually made me question and doubt more.

I wondered why the church and apologists weren't addressing the actual issues and information presented and were instead attacking characters of people presenting the information. It didn't make sense unless that's all they had and they were trying to distract people from the real issues. Some people are easily distracted this way. In fact, I think LDS members are actually trained/encouraged to be easily distracted in this fashion.

The comments to this entry are closed.