Frontline

Season 2007 Episode 04.30.07

The Mormons

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Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Apr 30, 2007 on PBS
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The Mormons
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AMERICAN EXPERIENCE and FRONTLINE, two of PBS' most acclaimed series, join forces to present The Mormons, a new documentary series about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In two, two-hour episodes, filmmaker Helen Whitney (John Paul II: The Millennial Pope and Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero) explores both the history and the current reality of the Mormon faith. Whitney gained unusual access to Mormon archives and church leaders as well as dissident exiles, historians and scholars both within and outside the faith. "Through this film, I hope to take the viewer inside one of the most compelling and misunderstood religions of our time," says Whitney. The Mormons begins with the turbulent early history of the Mormon faith, from Joseph Smith's astonishing visions and the creation of The Book of Mormon through the Mormons' contentious and sometimes violent confrontations with their neighbors and the founding and ultimate abandonment of three major religious communities in Ohio, Missouri and Illinois. "The persecution of the Mormons was officially sanctioned by at least two different state governments," says Dallin Oaks, elder of the Mormon Church. Adds Truman Madsen, author and historian, "House burning, rapings, abuse, taking over land and possessions -- all that was part of it, but it was also denunciation from every other level, from state houses to pulpits."moreless
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