AUTHOR: Reynolds, Michael
PUBLISHED ON: May 2, 2003
TAGS: Mormonism | VISN


– By Michael Reynolds, Director Utah Missions Inc.

  In the last year UMI has written and produced many
articles dealing with VISN and its connection with the LDS
church. New readers as well as some old may wonder why UMI
continues to deal with the subject. The following is an
attempt to speak to that issue and bring the subject up to

  VISN is the Vision Interfaith Satellite Network that is
made up of 28 members representing 54 different faith
traditions. These include the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints (Mormons or LDS), The Reorganized Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Unitarian
Universalist Assoc. of congregations just to name a few.
With no further issues at play at all this is enough to
give a Christian pause for thought. It takes little effort
to realize that these folks just do not have the same
agenda that evangelical Christians have and that they are
not promoting the same Lord.

  Sadly, there is more here than what appears on the
surface.  The LDS church’s involvement in VISN directly
appears to be of a rather large magnitude. Weekly they
monopolize 18 to 19 hours of programming. This does not
include special broadcasts that add to the number of hours
per week that the LDS church stays on the air. This appears
to be out of proportion with the rest of the 28 members and
their broadcast time.  When looking at recent program guides
it is more than interesting to note that LDS worship
services and other shows often follow evangelical Christian
programs. Some would pass this off as a coincidence, but I
wonder if this is coincidence or plan?

  Some might make the comment that the LDS church is one of
the largest groups of the 28 members and therefor put more
money into the programming and thus they get more time.
The argument would conclude that the LDS church is no more
or less involved in VISN than any of the other members. If
this conclusion is correct then why does UMI have in its
possession letters of invitation to come and learn more
about VISN to pastors and churches from diverse places in
the United States, all on LDS church letterhead? And why do
these meetings all take place in the LDS ward building?

  Over the last two decades the LDS church has made a
concerted effort to appear Christian. They have done so
without changing their doctrines or practices. These
invitations for Christian leaders to come to meetings where
they can learn about VISN, held at LDS buildings are
designed to promote the LDS church as Christian. That along
with the millions of dollars spent on commercial television
in advertising is working. More and more people are
perceiving the LDS church as Christian. This makes it easier
to proselytize people into the LDS church by their 46,000

  One of the main reasons that the LDS church’s involvement
  in VISN is that it fits a very established pattern. The
LDS church is heavily involved in the area of broadcasting.
It owns outright 3 television stations in two states and 16
radio stations in 10 states. Together these two media alone
reach an audience of nearly 2.4 million people. The LDS
church also owns Bonneville Media Communication, an
advertising agency, Bonneville Entertainment, Bonneville
Broadcasting system which sells radio formats, Applied
Technology group which develops technology for the
communications industry, two television and film production
companies and Keystone Communications which owns a 33%
interest in satellite television transmission. They also
own a large interest in Gannett News corp. which owns
television stations all over the country. On top of all of
that the church also owns stock in CBS. Through satellite
communications or cable hook-up the LDS church is linked to
everyone of its stake, ward and branch buildings in the
United States and most of the world.

  The LDS church is heavily involved in the broadcast media
and this is all brought into play within the context of
their involvement in VISN. The LDS church tends to dominate
the areas it is involved in. Its massive broadcast holdings
and its dominance of VISN’s schedule leads UMI to the
conclusion that if the pattern continues the LDS church will
be a formidable threat to clear Christian broadcasting.
Already there is confusion with LDS theology and music
either preceding or following Christian programming and some
wonder where the lines of doctrinal integrity should be
drawn. This is why VISN is a problem.–MHR (Much of the
research for this editorial came from Arizona Republic’s
reprint of its 1991 articles on “Mormon Inc.  Finances and
Faith.” This is available from UMI for a $5 donation plus


This article was first printed in The Evangel, published by
UMI, a ministry dedicated to exposing Mormonism as a cult.
For a free, on-year subscription, call 1-800-654-3992.

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