Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Mormon Experience via PBS

Yesterday I wrote about the first two hours of the PBS show, The Mormons, as linked in the title bar. I was careful to keep an open mind and yet, all the while there was something telling me that the presentation had an ominous dark agenda. Having endured, and I believe that is the proper word, after having endured subtle and not so subtle insults and insinuations regarding sacred beliefs which I hold I must conclude that the PBS broadcast was anything but a non-biased sampling to acquaint a stranger to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I would go further and state that those unfortunate folks who watched were being sold a bill of goods.

I noticed that many of those interviewed to offer insight into the workings and the more spiritual aspects of the church were disgruntled feminists with an agenda which ran contrary to Church doctrine, excommunicated members with an ax to grind, or some rather colorful individuals intended to portray normalcy. Those authoritative members within the mainstream Church were often placed in positions of defending the Church’s stance on a variety of oddities rather than asking them to explain basic doctrine.

My son asked me why I was continuing to watch, noting that it was clear to him that it was “so negative” as to make him want to leave the room. My response was that I would be required to know what had been presented in order to counter the flawed picture which had been painted, to be able to answer questions from my friends and acquaintances, those who might be alarmed at some of the slanted information which was given as truth.

Lucy got home a few minutes after the PBS production had ended, having provided her services at the Bishop’s Storehouse most of the day helping folks properly store and can basic food supplies, something which was glossed over in half a minute on the PBS show. The man hours provided by members in such a capacity are free and the goods are provided basically at cost in order to make them affordable to the most frugal members living on a shoe string. My wife’s expertise makes her perfectly suited to help get them started down the road towards self sufficiency which is one of the goals of the Church Welfare System; but that wasn’t really brought out now was it?

Lucy noticed the beautiful music coming from the stereo which had been synchronized with the television broadcast of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir special which followed the PBS presentation, The Mormons. Lucy wondered if I had started replaying the production and I had to explain how this was a different show; this was 180 degrees turned around from what I’d just experienced, this was actually uplifting. I wish I had listened to the Tabernacle Choir for two hours instead of the “enlightened intellectuals” who’d been hand picked to distort and destroy anything sacred which my church stands for.

I then added something of how betrayed I felt when I compared “The Mormons” with something that happened to the actor Tom Selleck several years ago. He’d been invited to some talk show, supposedly to ask him about a new film he was in, a way to promote the new movie. Instead he was blind sided with a string of accusations in the form of questions regarding his views on the NRA and gun control. I’d expected some margin of negativity regarding the Church as a natural outcome; instead I was subjected to nothing less than an orchestrated attack on most everything I believe to be sacred. Thank you very much; next time I’ll take the bus.

If you want to find out about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, The Mormons; I suggest you talk to members of the Church who are living within the doctrines which define the Church. I would avoid following the information gained from a disenchanted feminist who wants to hold the Priesthood, an excommunicated member who would rather tell the leaders of the Church what they need to change rather than accepting the existing doctrines of the Lord’s Church, an interview with a rather unstable young man who upon returning from his Church Mission explained his Mission in terms that could only be compared as a lunatic with terrorist ties or historians who suspect black magic secret combinations behind the doors of our most sacred edifices, our temples. Other than that the PBS production was …, I better stop or I might say something negative about it.

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