History of the Saints (TV series)

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History of the Saints
History of the Saints gttw title card.jpg
Series title card
Mormon studies
Written byGlenn Rawson
Directed byBryant Bush
Narrated byGlenn Rawson
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)Dennis Lyman
Glenn Rawson
Editor(s)Bryant Bush
Running time30 minutes
Original network KSL-TV
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Original releaseOctober 10, 2010 (2010-10-10) 
External links
Production website

The History of the Saints: Gathering to the West is a television documentary series produced by Dennis Lyman and Glenn Rawson. It focuses on the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and its members following the death of Joseph Smith. This includes the story of the Mormon Pioneers as they left behind Nauvoo, Illinois and traveled along the Mormon Trail to Utah.

Documentary film nonfictional motion picture

A documentary film is a nonfictional motion picture intended to document reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction, education, or maintaining a historical record. "Documentary" has been described as a "filmmaking practice, a cinematic tradition, and mode of audience reception" that is continually evolving and is without clear boundaries. Documentary films were originally called 'actuality' films and were only a minute or less in length. Over time documentaries have evolved to be longer in length and to include more categories, such as educational, observational, and even 'docufiction'. Documentaries are also educational and often used in schools to teach various principles. Social media platforms such as YouTube, have allowed documentary films to improve the ways the films are distributed and able to educate and broaden the reach of people who receive the information.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints nontrinitarian Christian restorationist church

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a nontrinitarian, Christian restorationist church that is considered by its members to be the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus Christ. The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States, and has established congregations and built temples worldwide. According to the church, it has over 16 million members and 65,000 full-time volunteer missionaries. In 2012, the National Council of Churches ranked the church as the fourth-largest Christian denomination in the United States, with over 6.5 million members there as of January 2018. It is the largest denomination in the Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith during the period of religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening.

Nauvoo, Illinois City in Illinois, United States

Nauvoo is a small city in Hancock County, Illinois, United States, on the Mississippi River near Fort Madison, Iowa. The population of Nauvoo was 1,149 at the 2010 census. Nauvoo attracts visitors for its historic importance and its religious significance to members of several groups: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ; the Community of Christ, formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS); other groups stemming from the Latter Day Saint movement; and the Icarians. The city and its immediate surrounding area are listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Nauvoo Historic District.



Following the completion of The Joseph Smith Papers TV series, the same team that produced that series began work on the History of the Saints. [1] A full-length preview of the program was shown October 2, 2010, on KSL-TV, following the Saturday morning session of the 180th Semiannual General Conference. [2] Season one began airing October 10, 2010 on KSL-TV. [3]

<i>The Joseph Smith Papers</i> (TV series) television series

The Joseph Smith Papers: Television Documentary Series is a documentary television series produced by Ronald O. Barney and the Larry H. Miller Communications Corporation. The series documented the creation of, and work involved in, the Joseph Smith Papers Project. It also discussed the history of Joseph Smith, the founder and first prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as the early history of the Latter Day Saint movement.

KSL-TV NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City

KSL-TV, virtual channel 5, is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. It is the flagship television property of Bonneville International, the for-profit broadcasting arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and is a sister station to KSL radio. The three stations share studios at the Broadcast House building in Salt Lake City's Triad Center; KSL-TV's transmitter is located on Farnsworth Peak in the Oquirrh Mountains, southwest of Salt Lake City. The station has a large network of broadcast translators that extend its over-the-air coverage throughout Utah, as well as portions of Arizona, Idaho, Nevada and Wyoming.

General Conference (LDS Church) biannual conference in Salt Lake City

General Conference is a gathering of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, held biannually every April and October at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. During each conference, members of the church gather in a series of two-hour sessions to listen to sermons from church leaders. It consists of four general sessions. Since April 2018 the priesthood session is only held during the April conference, and a General Women's Session held during October's conference.

Plot synopsis

The first season begins with the death of Joseph Smith and the succession crisis, and then follows the story of the Mormon Pioneers as they traveled the Mormon Trail to the Rocky Mountains and what would become the Utah Territory. Other seasons are expected and will tell the story of the colonization of the Intermountain West and Church developments in Utah. [1]

The succession crisis in the Latter Day Saint movement occurred after the death of Joseph Smith, the movement's founder, on June 27, 1844.

Mormon Trail emigrant route from Nauvoo, Illinois, to Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

The Mormon Trail is the 1,300-mile (2,092 km) route from Illinois to Utah that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints traveled from 1846 to 1868. Today, the Mormon Trail is a part of the United States National Trails System, known as the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail.

Rocky Mountains Major mountain range in western North America

The Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch 3,000 km (1,900 mi) in straight-line distance from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico in the Southwestern United States. Located within the North American Cordillera, the Rockies are distinct from the Pacific Coast Ranges, Cascade Range, and the Sierra Nevada, which all lie farther to the west.

Episode list

Season 1: 2010

episode #
episode #
TitleOriginal air date
11"The Martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith"October 10, 2010 (2010-10-10)
On June 27, 1844, Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were shot and killed in an attack inside the jailhouse at Carthage, Illinois. This episode discusses the martyrdom and the events leading up to it, including the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor. Scholars interviewed include: Kenneth W. Godfrey, Jeffery N. Walker.
22"The Aftermath of the Martyrdom"October 17, 2010 (2010-10-17)
Following the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, many enemies of the Church hoped its members would disband, and the Church disintegrate. This episode discusses how people, both in and out of the Church, reacted to the murders, along with the funeral of Joseph Smith, and how the trial of the accused killers played out. Scholars interviewed include: Kenneth W. Godfrey, Dean C. Jessee, Jeffery N. Walker.
33"The City of Joseph Part 1"October 24, 2010 (2010-10-24)
This episode tells the story of the momentous days and weeks immediately after the Martyrdom of Joseph Smith. Critical decisions were made and dramas played out that set the course of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for generations to come. Scholars interviewed include: Richard E. Bennett, William G. Hartley, Glen M. Leonard, Ronald K. Esplin, Susan Easton Black, Susan Sessions Rugh.
44"The City of Joseph Part 2"October 31, 2010 (2010-10-31)
By the summer of 1845 the time of Latter-day Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois was coming to a close. Persecution and public opinion were mounting against them. They would have to leave. Where would they go and by what miracle would they get there? This episode tells the story of the last days of Nauvoo. Scholars interviewed include: Richard E. Bennett, William G. Hartley, Glen M. Leonard, Ronald K. Esplin, Susan Easton Black, Susan Sessions Rugh, Fred E. Woods.
55"The Nauvoo Temple"November 7, 2010 (2010-11-07)
As with the ancients, the Latter-day Saints are a temple building people. First there was the House of the Lord in Kirtland, Ohio where the Lord revealed himself. Then others were planned in Independence and Far West Missouri that the Saints were unable to complete. Then in October of 1840, the Prophet Joseph Smith announced they would build another Temple; this one in Nauvoo, Illinois. This episode tells the story of the Nauvoo Temple. Scholars interviewed include: Richard E. Bennett, William G. Hartley, Glen M. Leonard, Richard O. Cowan, Susan Easton Black, Don F. Colvin.
66"The Great Western Measure"November 14, 2010 (2010-11-14)
Far from being an accidental or sudden idea, the exodus of the Latter-day Saints to the West was an informed and planned decision. It was not an idea that originated with Brigham Young, but rather with Joseph Smith who spoke of it as early as the 1830s. When the Saints went west, it was not the migration of random peoples looking for gold, game, or fur—it was the movement of a displaced people—an entire culture—looking for a home. Scholars interviewed include: Alexander L. Baugh, Fred R. Gowans, Richard E. Bennett, William G. Hartley, Fred E. Woods, Glen M. Leonard.
77"Winter Exodus"November 21, 2010 (2010-11-21)
The Latter-day Saints were driven out of Nauvoo, but they also left by willing choice. They understood that they had a new home somewhere beyond the Rocky Mountains. They left at different times and under different circumstances—some not so pleasant. This is the story of the Winter Exodus in February 1846. Scholars interviewed include: Richard E. Bennett, William G. Hartley, Glen M. Leonard, Carol Cornwall Madsen, Susan Easton Black, Don F. Colvin.
88"Across Iowa"November 28, 2010 (2010-11-28)
March 1, 1846, with the Camp of Israel now reorganized, Brigham Young set out to the West with the intent of crossing the mountains that year, but there were immediate and unexpected problems. They were moving too slow, the weather was awful, and too many were ill supplied. This episode describes the Saints arduous journey across Iowa. Scholars interviewed include: Richard E. Bennett, William G. Hartley, Carol Cornwall Madsen, Clive Romney, Jill N. Crandell.
99"Brigham Young: The Lion of the Lord"December 5, 2010 (2010-12-05)
What Joseph Smith started Brigham Young saved. He has been called one of the "Twin Pillars of the Restoration." This episode tells the story of Brigham Young as he assumes leadership and leads the saints west. Scholars interviewed include: Richard E. Bennett, Ronald W. Walker, Ronald K. Esplin.
1010"Spring Exodus"December 12, 2010 (2010-12-12)
While President Young and most the Twelve had left Nauvoo in February 1846, the great majority of the Saints were supposed to, and did, leave Nauvoo in the Spring. They made much better time across Iowa and caught up with the Camp of Israel near the Pisgah settlement. This episode of History of the Saints is the story of the Spring Exodus of Nauvoo. The scholarship of William G. Hartley, Carol Cornwall Madsen, and Richard E. Bennett are featured.
1111"The Mormon Battalion Part 1"December 19, 2010 (2010-12-19)
As difficult as times were for the Church in 1846, they were equally trying for the United States. On May 13, 1846, the United States declared war on Mexico. With all that concerned U.S. president James K. Polk at that time, he manifested a particular concern regarding the Mormons; a small band of exiles struggling for existence on the banks of the Missouri River? This episode begins the story of the Mormon Battalion and features the scholarship of Colonel Sherman L. Fleek, Michael Landon, Susan Easton Black, William G. Hartley, Richard E. Bennett, and Jill Crandell.

See also


  1. 1 2 "History of the Saints". 2010. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
  2. Lynn Arave (1 October 2010). "General conference: Attending, watching, listening". Mormon Times . Retrieved 11 October 2010.
  3. Salt Lake City Area TV Listings

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