SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints received national scrutiny this week, when the first of a two-part series called “The Mormons” aired on PBS television across the United States Monday night.

Under the banner of American Experience, a popular documentary series, the two-hour program dealt mostly with historical aspects of the Church and some of its defining people and doctrines, including Joseph Smith, the visions that gave rise to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the physical nature of God, Joseph Smith’s martyrdom and the move of the Church to the West.

Elements of Utah history, including the Mountain Meadows Massacre and the practice of polygamy, were treated at length.

Church spokespersons have said that they will wait until both programs have aired before commenting on the series.

The Frontline program scheduled to air tonight will deal more with the contemporary Church and less with history.

On Monday, Church spokespersons said they were expecting a probing style in the documentaries and a wide range of reaction, even among Latter-day Saints.

Newspaper previews of the program have generally been complimentary, both of the filmmaker and the Church’s response to the program.

The Church’s online Newsroom is inviting public response to the PBS programs. Comments up to 100 words can be sent to Please provide at least your first name and the state and country you live in. Your e-mail address will not be used or shared.

This article was written by the LDS Newsroom of