Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Who funded the PBS Frontline documentary "The Mormons"?

"Funding for FRONTLINE and American Experience is provided through the support of PBS viewers. Additional funding for FRONTLINE is provided by The Park Foundation. Additional funding for "The Mormons" is provided by Edward D. Smith, Steven J. and Kalleen Lund, Mr. and Mrs. Blake M. Roney, and others. A complete list is available from PBS."

I was curious to see who helped fund this well done and well executed documentary on the Mormon Church. I would assume that the names mentioned at the beginning of the program and on the website are the principal supporters of the project. I decided to do a simple Google search to see who were the major financial backers of the film. I found some interesting information.

Mr. and Mrs. Edward D. Smith- they are active LDS members and are also members of the Philo T. Farnsworth Society. The Philo T. Farnsworth Society members support KBYU and BYU Television with charitable gifts of $1000 or more annually. Edward D. Smith was a Mission president for the Georgia Atlanta North mission from 2003-2006.

Steven J. and Kalleen Lund- They are active LDS members that established a charitable foundation based in Provo, Utah called the "Steven J. and Kallen Lund Foundation" It appears that Steven J. Lund was also a mission president for the Georgia Atlanta mission from 2003-2006. Steven Lund is Vice chairman of the board at Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. Based in Provo, UT.

Blake Roney- Chairman of the board at Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. based in Provo, UT.

Obviously there is a connection between the three major donors to the PBS Frontline documentary "The Mormons". We know at least 2 of them are active members, Edward Smith was Mission president for the Georgia, Atlanta North mission, during the same 3 year period that Steven Lund was Mission president of the Georgia, Atlanta misison.. Steven Lund and Blake Roney are both on the board of directors at Nu Skin Enterprises. It is reasonable to to think that Blake Roney is LDS.

Obviously, the private donors of the program didn't have direct control of the content, but they were fully aware that it would be an objective view of the Mormon church and it's history from an "outsider's" perspective. This demonstrates to me that many active LDS members wish to shed light on the truth as to our own history so that we can finally confront it and move forward. This makes me very pleased to see that the major donors for this program were active believing LDS members, because that way nobody can say that it was funded by "anti-Mormons". It is refreshing to see that there are honest people within the church that want to take an honest approach to the church's claims and history.

Skeptical Mormon


Anonymous said...

Excellent detective work!

Jason said...

Never thought of looking into the finacial contributors. Thanks for do that. I find it refreshing as well. I know there are many LDS members that will think the same.

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