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The Mormons

Airs Monday, April 5, and Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Completed in 1893, the Salt Lake Temple is the largest temple (in squre footage) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is the centerpiece of Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Portrait of Joseph Smith, Jr. founder of the Mormon religion.
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Above: Portrait of Joseph Smith, Jr. founder of the Mormon religion.

Mormons have always had a peculiar hold on the American imagination, but few know who the Mormons actually are or who they claim to be, and their story is one of the great neglected American narratives.

"American Experience" and "Frontline," two of PBS' most acclaimed series, join forces to present "The Mormons," a new documentary series about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In two, two-hour episodes, filmmaker Helen Whitney ("John Paul II: The Millennial Pope" and "Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero") explores both the history and the current reality of the Mormon faith. Whitney gained unusual access to Mormon archives and church leaders as well as dissident exiles, historians and scholars both within and outside the faith. "Through this film, I hope to take the viewer inside one of the most compelling and misunderstood religions of our time," says Whitney.

Get the answers to frequently asked questions about the Mormon religion, and watch the full program online.

The first episode, "History," will air on Monday, April 5, 2010 at 10 p.m. and the second episode, "Church and State," will be broadcast the following night, Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 10 p.m.