This week - PBS is re-broadcasting its groundbreaking documentary on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - 'The Mormons'.
We're taking the opportunity to re-visit our hour-long Utah NOW on the subject - where we talk about the series and gauge reaction to this portrait of the faith.
- Satellite interview with filmmaker Helen Whitney, who--over the course of three years--wrote, produced and directed both segments of the American Experience/Frontline Documentary: THE MORMONS.
- Interview with Ken Verdoia and Terryl Givens, who are both featured in the documentary. Ken Verdoia is the director of production at KUED -TV Channel 7 and was one of the first experts contacted by Helen Whitney when she began her work more than three years ago. Terryl Givens is a Mormon author and a professor of Literature and Religion at the University of Richmond, Virginia.
- One-on-one interview with LDS Church Historian and Recorder Elder Marlin K. Jensen, of the First Quorum of the Seventy, who is also the executive director of the Family and Church History Department.
- Roundtable discussion with Jack Newell, emeritus professor at the University of Utah and a former co-editor of Dialogue Magazine; Elizabeth Sewell, associate director of BYU's International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Bob Goldberg, History professor and director of the University of Utah's Tanner Humanities Center, and Robert Millet a professor of Ancient Scripture and past dean of Religious Studies at BYU.
Thank you so much for the comments presented, as reaction to the program, "The Mormons." This is the second time I saw most of the 4-hour series on our church but the first time that I was able to watch the reaction presented on your program, "Utah Now," which I found very interesting and much appreciated. The moderator did an excellent job and the choice of commentators was just as fine. I had to agree pretty much with all that was said, both in support and as criticism. Kudos to Ken Verdoia for his support of such fine programing.
Posted by Howard Hatch, Tuesday February 12th, 2008 @ 11:41 pm
Fabrizio did well as he balanced the voices discussing Helen Whitney's view of Mormons; and I appreciate that he selected contributors that were well studied and reasonably candid about Mormon history, largely a subset of American history with its earned warts. Sadly, some Mormon detractors imply that Mormonism cannot be a divine church with any imperfect pieces; and, as a hobbyist reader of history, I am hoping we can get away from such a strict and perfect standard.
As Fabrizio pointed out, Whitney's film gave a disproportional large amount of time to Mountain Meadows and Polygamy. Such a realization now prompts me to read all history books with equal challenge of the possible distortions and topic imbalances, unwitting or otherwise.
I understand Ron Patterson's sentiment and appreciate his candor. I am less concerned about a view of 1840; more concerned, as Ron expressed, that if the Mormon's exclusionary view continues today. - I hope less over more.
Part of the misunderstanding may pivot on changes of history, matters of speech and vocabularies of different personalities over history; something like comparing two U.S. Presidents, the crass toughness of Andrew Jackson and the relative polish of Teddy Roosevelt. In closing, the human condition effects all peoples worldwide; there is plenty of room for all good people to advance their own flavor of goodness.
Posted by Steve Parkin, Wednesday February 13th, 2008 @ 10:33 am
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