I have to say as an active member of the LDS Church I loved “The Mormons” on PBS. I’d say it was 90% accurate and for the most part fair (If you want to know the few problems I had with it ask). I love the dialog it started among the LDS faithful. I can’t wait to go to church this Sunday and hear what people say. This gave me the chance to openly talk to people about things that are normally not discussed (people don’t know or feel uncomfortable with it). I have heard and read comments from some members that view the program as widely positive and many that view it negatively.
Personally, I think it could have been much worse. I’m inclined to say that Helen went too easy on us. I would have loved to hear interviews on the subject of blacks and the priesthood. Yes, I know it was mentioned, but it was so short that if you blinked you missed it five times over. I was waiting to see a more extended interview with Darius Gray (A Church member-checkout the podcast he did with John Dehlin here. It’s podcast #26). I thought it was odd that they didn’t put him up on the website that contains all the interview transcripts here. And what about the history of blacks in the LDS Church. Joseph Smith and Elijah Able, etc. I was very disappointed that this was not brought up. Joseph Smith was extremely progressive about blacks in his day and I think this topic would have helped and not hurt the church.
I also think the LDS Church got a major pass because Helen Whitney didn’t interview Thomas Murphy about mDNA and the Book of Mormon. I don’t think the evidence is as damning as most people think (If they know about it at all), and it would have been nice to hear what the Church thought about it.
Helen also didn’t go into anachronisms in the Book or Mormon or any of the other problems with the Book of Mormon text. The Book of Mormon has some intellectual gems (as well as spiritual ones) in it that cannot be explained away, but it also has some problems that must be discussed. It would have been nice to see interviews just about the Book of Mormon, good and bad.
I was glad to see that the temple ceremony was respected. I think this was only right given the fact that the LDS Church leadership was cooperative in participating and those ceremonies are held sacred to us. Tell me what you think. Was it a hatchet job or PR piece for the LDS Church?