So Rock Center at 9:00 p.m. Central Time on NBC (check your local listings) is going to devote its program to the Mormons. As reported in the SLT, the program will cover the following:
Brian Williams examines its history (founded on a hillside in upstate New York), controversies (its founder and early leaders preached and practiced polygamy) and customs (many Mormons wear church-specified underwear known as ‘garments’), through the eyes of a religious historian, a church official, and Abby Huntsman, daughter of former Republican hopeful Jon Huntsman.
• Why do Mormons seem to excel at running businesses and corporations … as Mitt Romney did? Two Mormons, David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue Airways, and Jeff Benedict, author of “The Mormon Way of Doing Business,” tell Harry Smith that Mormon success can be traced directly to the Mormon missionary experience and to the attention paid to Mormon sons by Mormon moms.
• An inside look at tradition and ritual in three very different Mormon households. Kate Snow profiles Al and Juleen Jackson, an inter-racial couple, devoted to their faith and raising five children according to principles much at odds with 21st century American popular culture; Joanna Brooks, a Mormon feminist who questions whether women can truly be equal if they can’t hold positions of power in the Church, and Mitch Mayne, an openly gay Mormon man who, despite the church’s stand against homosexuality, is able to work within the church.
• If you are a Mormon in need and you ask for help, the Church will provide food, clothing, training and much more. Harry Smith gets a rare tour of the Bishops Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City-more than 500,000 square feet of food and supplies under one roof…enough to support a year’s worth of Mormon welfare efforts. He also visits Welfare Square to watch volunteers make Mormon milk, cheese and honey…as part of his portrait of what he calls “the Mormon industrial complex.”
• The hardest ticket to get on Broadway is for the Tony Award-winning Best Musical “The Book of Mormon.” We meet Clark Johnsen, an original cast member who plays a number of roles in the show, parts that he has been preparing for most of his life. Johnsen was raised in the Mormon faith.
What the program will not be featuring is an interview with Mitt Romney. They asked; Romney declined.
I thought it might be fun to open up a thread so that y’all can comment on the program live as it progresses (sort of like our General Conference coverage). So I’m going to post this now so that many of you will actually see it before the program starts. See y’all in an hour and a half!