This is an open thread for people to share any allusions from rank and file members to the PBS doc at today’s testimony meeting. I’ll get things started with a report from my own testimony meeting, from which I just returned.
I counted four allusions to the doc:
1. First was from a beautiful black woman who was baptized just last November. She moved to Chicago from Cameroon in 1985, which is when the Bears were tearing through the NFL, so she got a taste for American Football. Her favorite player, whom she greatly admired, was Steve Young, and she always told her son who also plays football to be like Steve Young. Later she learned that he was a descendant of BY and a Mormon. About five years ago, her cousin joined the Church, but she wasn’t ready at that time; last fall the timing was right for her.
Anyway, she said she wasn’t able to watch the doc, but her son did, and mentioned that there were a lot of “contradictions” about the Church in the program. She did read about it after the fact on the internet. She said the “contradictions” didn’t bother her at all, and her testimony of the Prophet was all the stronger.
(After the meeting I went up to her and told her that I too had a testimony of Steve Young, and we shared a good laugh over that.)
2. An older woman said she watched it with another LDS friend, and that they watched it with mixed emotions. Some things they thought the doc got right, and some not. There was no elaboration of which was which.
3. An older brother, the last one to speak during the meeting, which had run long, said that it is a misconception to say that Joseph started this Church. It is Jesus’ church; Joseph restored it. He said that not everyone understands that, and he added that not even all General Authorities do, but he needed to learn not to criticize. (It was unclear to what GAs he may have had reference.)
4. The conducting bishopric counselor then arose and said that the bishop had asked him to make a doctrinal clarification to the ward. And he took about two minutes to talk about polygamy. He explained that plural marriage was indeed practiced in the early days of the Church pursuant to revelation. We don’t know a lot about why it was practiced. He mentioned that one possibility he had thought about was to care for the widows, but he acknowledged that that was just his own thought. He explained that the practice had been formally ended in 1890 (twice he reported that it was Lorenzo Snow who had given the Manifesto–oops!), and that people are excommunicated today if they try to practice it. He also spoke briefly about development and change over time, and that such is to be expected and not a bad thing. (The example he gave was the cessation of animal sacrifices after the Atonement.)
It was fairly remarkable. It was a very simple statement, but it came over the pulpit to the entire ward at the bishop’s specific request. I personally feel our bishop was inspired in this, and this was a simple bit of inoculation that was really necessary given the large number of recent converts in our ward. No one was particularly bothered by this, but now everyone there knows that polygamy was practiced and advocated in the early days of the Church, and no one will be shocked to learn that from another source. So three cheers for my bishop.
OK, it’s your turn. What allusions were made to the doc in your testimony meeting? And if there were none at all, that fact in itself would be significant, I think. Tell us your stories.