What are your views on the documentary, “The Mormons?” It had a few things from members of the Church, such as Jeffrey R. Holland and President Gordon B. Hinckley, but a lot of it seemed inspired by a negative source. What do you think I should tell friends of mine who may have seen it and get a negative impression of the Church because of it?
That documentary was as predictable as the night that follows day. Sponsored by organizations whose agendum is to increase viewer participation, they opt for sensationalism, that which appeals to prurient interests and that which will appear acceptable to mainstream Christianity and will feed the maws of anti-Mormonism. The program was given an air of legitimacy by airing brief comments from a few of the General Authorities of the Mormon Church which often appeared almost apologetic in context, and without doubt had to have been taken completely out of context.
They purported to show both sides of various issues. However, the pro-Mormon side was brief and highly edited in order to leave out almost all references and implications to the power of faith and belief, while the anti-Mormon side of the issues consumed the majority of the time and portrayed its proponents as being mainstream Mormons. Reports of returned missionaries is one glaring example.
Much time was spent on the “intellectual” issue. Who were portrayed as the intellectuals, given the bulk of time, and portrayed as though they were the majority in the Church? They consisted of persons who had been excommunicated from the Church for their APOSTATE, not INTELLECTUAL views. They even blandly discussed sacred subjects that are indeed too sacred to be aired before a generally antagonistic public. The intellectual view that was portrayed was presented as though it reflected the truth about doctrine and practice, since it came with the badge of intellectualism. One of the definitions of the term, intellectual, from Webster’s Tenth Collegiate Dictionary is– “developed or chiefly guided by the intellect rather than by emotion or experience.”
The Mormon religion is solidly based on personal experience!! An abiding testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel is never hearsay testimony, but the personal witness of profound religious experience. Those profound experiences always carry with them a high degree of emotion because they are in every case an interaction with the person and the Holy Spirit of God. Does that then make the believing, orthodox Mormon a non-intellectual? The other two definitions of the term, intellectual, from the same dictionary source are “of or relating to the intellect and its use,” and “requiring use of the intellect.” By these two definitions although they may take the posture of and wear the robes of academia, are at best pseudo intellectuals. They play with both deductive and inductive reasoning, but pick and choose their material to support a prior conclusion, and leave entirely out of the equation any spiritual experience.
These pseudo intellectuals put forth in that documentary the notion that Mormons obey their leaders out of fear of censure. They may be speaking of personal experience, but to portray that as the norm for Mormon behavior is not only blatantly false, but cannot be misunderstood by the vastly minority pseudo intellectual community.
The fact is that since the Mormon Church is indeed the true and living Church of God on the earth, the adversary will take every opportunity where he has any influence to attempt to tear down the kingdom. That fact is one of the many palpable proofs that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly called by those not intimately acquainted with the Kingdom of God, the Mormon Church, is indeed the only true and living Church, having the power of God to provide eternal salvation for all of God’s children who will obey His word and thus qualify themselves for His eternal blessings.