In reading the comments around the DAMU and the Bloggernacle over the last week on the PBS dcoumentary The Mormons, one thing became clear: mainstream believing members of the LDS Church reacted very negatively to the program. As noted in my earlier reviews, many who expressed their displeasure cited an alleged lack of balance and perceived inaccuracies (generally without supporting their assertions). Many also lamented the amount of time spent on the Mountain Meadows Massacre. I think, though, that what really made devout Mormons squeamish, what really set them off, was the subtext that ran throughout the documentary. They might have been able to stomach the Mountain Meadows segment if not for the way it was used by the producers to accentuate what I think is the main message of the documentary: that for whatever monumental changes Mormonism has undergone from its inception to today, one constant has remained a bedrock principle of the religion, and it is this fact that justifies, at least to a degree, the trepidation many feel about having a Mormon in the White House.
I only watched the first half of the second installment of PBS's The Mormons on Tuesday night. After the segment dealing with Margaret Toscano's "Court of Love," I just couldn't bear to watch anymore. The full text of her interview can be found here. I watched the rest of the program today. I must say, I actually found the first couple segments a little dull and disjointed. I did like the scene of the missionaries on the street contacting people. It reminded me of . . .
Well, everyone with an interest in Mormon Studies has an opinion about the PBS documentary The Mormons, part 1 of which aired last night nationwide and part 2 of which will air tonight (check your local listings for time and channel). So, I might as well join the fray and express my own opinion as a disaffected still-on-the-rolls member of the church who has studied Mormon history with varying degrees of intensity over the last 19 years or so.