Polygamists, Polynesians, and Indian Israelites:
Mormons believe Native Americans are descendants of the ancient House of Israel. It’s a Mormon mission to bring them back to the Kingdom of God. So they brought children, mostly Navajo, from their reservation homes, and placed them in Mormon foster families across the West. From 1954 to 1996, more than 20,000 kids went through the Indian Student Placement Program. Producer Kate Davidson spent a year interviewing people about their experiences. Her story, edited by Deb George, ran on the Worlds of Difference series from Homeland Productions.
“Take the road toward the top secret army base. Go past Muskrat Spring until you get near Salt Mountain.” A statue of a Hawaiian chief overlooks the Utah desert, with a plaque reading: “Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono. Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono,” the motto of the kingdom of Hawaii: “The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.” A tale of two states, lost tribes, and the Polynesians of Skull Valley who named their town, Iosepa, after Joseph Smith III.
Members of the polygymous True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days were excommunicated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, not for plural marriage, but because the TLC called the LDS elders the agents of Satan. Then the sect split again, over how many wives can be in a husband’s bed. Scott Carrier spends time in the Last Days of Manti, Utah. Produced for This American Life “Factions.”