12: An Introduction to BYU TV’s The District – a Mormon Expositor Review

Brandt Malone hosts the introductory episode of our bonus series: BYU TV’s The District – a Mormon Expositor Review. Panelists include Amy, Lance and Sara.These bonus episodes feature a discussion about the new reality tv series on BYU tv that follows 4 sets of missionaries as they serve in San Diego, California.

You can watch the episode online here.




  1. Chriccha

    Is there a link to to stream The District?
    People like me (in Sweden), living out of area, can not watch this on TV.

    Reply Oct 30, 2012 @ 08:57:35
  2. brandt


    I just updated all the episode recaps that we’ve done to the website where you can stream “The District.” Hope it helps!

    Reply Oct 30, 2012 @ 13:10:27
    • Chriccha

      Great Brandt! Thanks!!

      Reply Oct 31, 2012 @ 15:44:11
  3. cam

    I’m finally taking off my invisibility cloak to comment on this episode. Like Amy, I am a long time outside insider. There are parts of the missionary program that truly baffle me. To the missionaries, the people who are not open to talking to them are non entities who they quickly discard as they move on to find receptive people. But most of the people missionaries interact with are the”discards.” So lets say that for every 100 people the missionaries approach, 1 person is willing to hear a discussion. That means the other 99 are bothered, annoyed, or offended by the missionaries. 99 to 1 odds do not work out well for the church. In my experience, the missionary program does more harm than good for the church. I live in “the mission field’ and only rarely do I hear someone say something positive about the church. Sadly, the mormon missionaries have become a cultural joke. Even years ago when I was active, I felt like I always had to apologize for the missionaries. (Eg, ” you mean that church with those nerdy guys in the white shirts who keep coming to my door when we’re eating dinner?” Me: “Yeah, well it’s not really all like that. It’s kind of their job. The rest is really good. Really.”)

    Also, from watching the first episode, I noticed how contrived the discussions seem. From the introduction through the questions and answers, it seems so artificial and forced. It brought back memory after memory of young women’s, (I knew it as mutual),
    sunday school, and seminary lessons. Since leaving the church, I am never in a situation where people interact like this.

    I think that a big Achille”s heel for the church is that they don’t understand how they are perceived by the rest of the world. This series seems so made for insiders that I can’t even find it entertaining. I like your podcasts, so maybe I can tolerate the recaps, but actually watching the show- this outsider is just too creeped out.

    Reply Oct 30, 2012 @ 23:02:47
  4. Lance Rowley (@StuffLanceSez)

    Cam I agree with you. I’m enjoying the discussions we’ve been having about the episodes, but overall I haven’t enjoyed watching the show. It does seem so contrived and artificial like most other church productions.

    You’re also right about how missionaries discard people. Its sad that we were trained to do that, that it wasn’t efficient to work with people who weren’t going to get baptized so we just had to move on. It always really hurt we would give up friends we had made. It always kind of made me feel like I was breaking up with a girlfriend or something.

    Reply Nov 02, 2012 @ 20:08:06
  5. GT

    I’m not sure I follow you guys when you talk about “discarding” people. Have you forgotten the fundamental principle of agency? I’ve never had to give up friends that I’ve made after inviting them to hear the gospel and I’ve never had to apologize for our missionaries. In fact, I have neighbors that have flat out turned down the missionaries, but, when talking to them, I’ve discovered that they have a great deal of respect for them.

    The missionaries are sent to teach those whom the Lord has prepared. Not everyone is prepared to hear the missionaries and for those who aren’t, what would you suggest the missionaries do? Hound them and keep returning to their doors until they have a restraining order placed upon them? Missionaries invite people to hear the gospel, they either accept or reject that invitation. I don’t understand why anyone would have a problem with that approach.

    Reply Nov 04, 2012 @ 10:43:00
  6. M Johnson

    I tried to watch this show but couldn’t. To be honest, I can’t stand anyone in it who is Mormon, and I just want to scream at the victims getting conned into believing the false version of so-called Mormon history “RUN AWAY”!

    The missionaries look like eager vacuum cleaner salespeople to me – fake laughs, forced smiles, a crap product.

    I really have no interest in watching these poor people get conned by kids who were lied to by a corporation.

    Reply Jan 01, 2013 @ 13:14:08
  7. David

    I tried to watch the episode but am having trouble making it through. Parts were really funny. I liked when the investigator said at first she thought they were Amish and couldn’t use electricity. People used to say that all the time when I was on my mission. I thought maybe it was because we were in a foreign country where the church was not well known but I guess not. But every time they are doing a discussion I can’t help thinking, “This is so awkward! I can’t believe I did this for 2 years.” I had the same feeling when the missionaries came by to visit me and were talking to me and my inactive brother. After they left we just couldn’t help laughing about how awkward it was and my brother was like, “Why do you let them come over? It is so awkward.”

    Reply Jan 07, 2013 @ 22:51:00

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