Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REPORTERS

The booming business of cannabis in Spain

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Tanzanian President dismisses almost 10,000 public servants over forged college certificates

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

French Election: Abstention, Anger & Apathy

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Macron vs. Le Pen: France's bitter presidential run-off race (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Trump's First 100 Days, The Pope in Egypt (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

Egypt's Coptic Christians targeted by Islamic State group

Read more

THE CAMPAIGN BEAT

France's wartime past takes centre stage in presidential campaign

Read more

#TECH 24

How one NGO is using 3D printers to improve disaster relief

Read more

REVISITED

What remains of Nicaragua’s revolution?

Read more

REPORTERS

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. And you can watch it online as early as Friday.

Latest update : 2012-03-05

A journey to the Mormon Heartland

Mitt Romney is a Republican presidential hopeful, and a disciple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mormons could soon see one of their own in the White House... They are often criticized for their lifestyle and beliefs. Who are the Mormons? They make up 60% of the population of the State of Utah. Our reporters went to the Mormon capital: Salt Lake City.

A customs official inquires about our destination, stares at us, and quips "Nobody goes to Salt Lake City”.

Indeed, there is not much to see in Salt Lake City. Before the Mormons, there was nothing at all. The principal attraction of the city is the Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Our challenge in making this report was to act as objectively as possible. Faith is a subject on which everyone has an opinion, but we tried not to form a preconceived one. Instead, we wanted to truly understand what Mormonism is, who the Mormons are. We therefore spent time with the faithful of the Church of Latter-day Saints, listened to them, and got them to speak to us. We met charming and welcoming people. Did they simply want to give a positive image of themselves? I don’t believe so. We met people who were convinced they were right, who understand that others may have reservations about their way of life, their beliefs and the way their church works, but who think that all these criticisms are born of ignorance – which, in itself, is comprehensible.

However, we were surprised to discover that most Mormons themselves remain ignorant, with tacit rules forbidding them to consult “anti-Mormon” literature or make contact with what are considered negative influences. For example, students from the Mormon campus of Brigham Young University explained to us that prior to the launch of the "I'm a Mormon" campaign promoting Mormonism, they were unable to access YouTube from the campus computers.

We also met several former Mormons whose faith resulted in them suffering psychologically. Some told us of painful experiences, others of tragic stories. But all of them said they were enjoying a new life since breaking with the Church of Latter-day Saints.

Throughout this report, we tried to answer a question: why has Mormonism become such a craze, and grown so much? I think we were able to shed some light on the reasons why.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints knows how to reassure people, both materially and spiritually. It promises security to its flock, by feeding them if necessary, helping them look for a job, or finding them a foster home. It also helps them overcome their fear of death, by promising them eternal life surrounded by all their loved ones.

By Stéphanie Brillant , Rayan HINDI

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2017-04-28 Spain

The booming business of cannabis in Spain

In Spain, thanks to the success of the "clubs" that have cropped up since 2011, cannabis has become a gold mine. From by-products such as cannabis lollipops and drinks, to...

Read more

2017-04-21 France

Battle to stop nuclear waste being buried in a French village

The village of Bure, in eastern France, has become a battleground for environmentalists. It has been chosen as a site to bury radioactive waste, 500 metres underground. An...

Read more

2017-04-14 France

How sick are French hospitals?

Doctors, nurses, nursing aides, executives and even managers… They chose to work in public hospitals to be able to treat people from all walks of life – from the homeless to...

Read more

2017-04-07 French Presidential Elections 2017

Disillusioned French voters speak out ahead of elections

Back in 2012, we went to meet French voters from all walks of life who told us of their hopes and fears. We met Fabrice, a factory worker; Ahdijah, a social worker; Lionel, a...

Read more

2017-03-31 Holocaust

Video: 'If I ever come back', a French schoolgirl's letters from the Holocaust

"If I ever come back" tells the tragic story of Louise Pikovsky, a French schoolgirl who was deported and died at Auschwitz. Using long-forgotten letters Louise wrote to her...

Read more