Criticism of Mormonism/Video/Search for the Truth DVD

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Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith or Search for the Truth DVD

Jesus Christ / Joseph Smith
Replies and resources addressing the Search for the Truth DVD
A collaborative effort of FAIR.

On 25 March 2007, a ninety-minute video entitled Search for the Truth was distributed to thousands of homes across the United States. The video has excellent production values but, unfortunately, its contents are not of a similar quality.

Though it purports to be an objective Christian evaluation of the teachings, history, and beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it contains much that is inaccurate and very little that is balanced. Rather than focus on what they believe, the video's producers have taken it upon themselves to describe and interpret LDS beliefs and teachings, often in ways that would be objectionable or unrecognizable to Latter-day Saints.

The video contains many of the same anti-Mormon claims that misguided critics have been repeating for years. The issues it raises have been repeatedly addressed by faithful Latter-day Saints, but the video does not address or take those responses into account.

This page provides information that will help you compare the video's claims with the actual history, teachings, and beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Search for the Truth DVD review in PDF Format Use this version to print out the entire review.

A Bold Statement of Purpose

"This video has been produced out of love for our Lord Jesus Christ and love for our Mormon and Christian friends. We pray that it will touch the hearts of all who watch through the grace and truth of Christ Jesus."

These words, silently displayed on-screen, serve as the preface to a video that claims to contrast the beliefs of Mormonism and the beliefs of Christianity. Although the producers of this video state that it was produced out of love, the numerous mischaracterizations, misrepresentations, errors, and outright falsehoods found on the DVD make it difficult for believing Latter-day Saints to see that expression of love as sincere. It unfortunately perpetuates the same shopworn criticisms of Mormonism that have been answered time and time again.

We agree with the unnamed producers of Search for the Truth that only when the truth is known can reasonable decisions be reached. Unfortunately, those who only view this video will never know the whole truth because it is not accurately presented.

We at FAIR invite you to take time during your own "search for the truth" to learn why many people—including those who are familiar with the misinformation and criticisms in this video—remain faithful, practicing Mormons; ordinary people striving daily to model their lives after the extraordinary example of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Important note: We recognize and appreciate that the evangelical Christians who produced the DVD represent a small, fringe element within their denomination. Most Christians would, we are sure, join with the Latter-day Saints in condemning dishonest portrayals of other faiths, smear tactics, and religious bigotry.

Table of Contents

The following Table of Contents addresses the charges made in Search for the Truth. These are things you won't hear in a short video, and they are things the video's producers definitely don't want you to know. (As you click on the pages, you will find this same table of contents in the upper right corner of each page.)

DVD Scene Information
Who Is Jesus?
Who Is God?
Eternal Life
Archaeological Evidence
Prophecies & Revelations
Character of Joseph Smith
The First Vision
The Occult
The Translator
Book of Abraham
Call to LDS Leaders
Special Features:
The Good Test
Special Features:
Burning in the Bosom
Special Features:
The Priesthood?
Special Features:
What is Hell?
Special Features:
A New Beginning

Other Information

Reaction from FAIR's Readers

News Articles and Other Reactions to the DVD Release

  • Salt Lake Tribune, "Hurtful Evangelism" (letter from The Rt. Rev. Carolyn Tanner Irish, Episcopal Bishop of Utah, 2 April 2007)
  • Salt Lake Tribune, "The Thumb" (editorial, 31 March 2007)
  • Deseret Morning News, "Anti-Mormon DVD triggers a strong LDS Church rebuke" (30 March 2007)
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (press release), "Response to DVD" (29 March 2007) (Key source)
  • Meridian Magazine, "Anti-Mormon DVD Being Distributed Nationwide" (n/d)
  • Salt Lake Tribune, "LDS a cult? 350,000 DVDs try to shake Mormons' faith" (28 March 2007)
  • Deseret Morning News, "Utahns receiving anti-Mormon DVDs" (28 March 2007)
  • KUTV-TV (CBS affiliate in Salt Lake City, Utah), "Mormon Group Lashes Back at Anti-LDS Movie" (28 March 2007)
  • KOLD-TV (CBS affiliate in Tucson, Arizona), "Latter Day Saints Church Outraged By DVD" (27 March 2007)
  • The Anti-Defamation League (press release), "ADL Condemns 'Mormon-Bashing' DVD" (27 March 2007)
  • Arizona Daily News, "Ministry distributes anti-LDS DVDs across state" (26 March 2007)
  • Morehead's Musings (blog), "Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith Video: Professional Polish on a Counter-Cult Apologetic Misfire" (10 February 2007)

About FAIR

Who are we?

The Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research (FAIR) was formed in late 1997 by a group of Mormons in an attempt to defend their faith from detractors who frequented online message boards. Incorporated as a non-profit organization in November 1997, FAIR put up its first Web site in March 1998 and the FAIR Wiki in 2006.

FAIR is staffed completely by volunteers. It is not owned, controlled by, or affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All research and opinions provided on this site are the sole responsibility of FAIR and should not be interpreted as official statements of LDS doctrine, belief, or practice.

If you would like to be a part of FAIR, we invite you to support FAIR in any way you are able. FAIR only succeeds through the efforts of our gracious volunteers. For more information about FAIR, visit the FAIR Web site.