ST. GEORGE — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has begun rolling out a series of live-action videos based on “The Book of Mormon.”
The book is considered sacred scripture by the church, and the new video series is intended to serve as a way to aid members in their study of the book while also acting as an introductory tool for those unfamiliar with it.
The first video debuted Sept. 20 on the Book of Mormon videos YouTube channel. The first season of videos will be released through the end of the year, with additional seasons being released in 2020 and 2021, according to a press releases from the church. New videos are released each Friday, and full episodes will be accompanied by shorter video segments.
Episodes will be published in the following 15 languages: Cantonese, Cebuano, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, Tagalog and Tongan.
In brief, The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, tells the story of a family led by a prophet named Lehi who left Jerusalem in 600 B.C. The group would be led by God across the ocean and to the Americas where Lehi’s family grew to become a large civilization whose records and teachings would make up “The Book of Mormon.”
A central theme of the book is its teachings related to Jesus Christ. It also describes Christ visiting the people of ancient America in person following his resurrection.
The book’s name, which is also a popular nickname for members of the faith, comes from a figure in the book named Mormon who is credited with writing the tome “The Book Mormon” is based on. Church founder Joseph Smith is believed by the church to have found the ancient record and translated it through divine instruction.
The first series of videos shows Lehi’s family leaving Jerusalem and settling in the New World.
“What we are producing through the videos and the still images that are being captured are tools that can be used in helping to introduce people to the Book of Mormon,” said Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr. of the church’s quorum of Seventy, who heads up the project’s steering committee.
“This allows us to put a face to the names and the stories and allow you to see these people who really lived,” said Bill Elliott, media director of the project. “They breathed, they walked the land and these stories are real.”
In the press release from the church announcing the debut of the videos, the top leaders of the church, called the First Presidency, said they hope the videos will increase the study and understanding of the teachings within “The Book of Mormon.”
“We invite all to use the videos and images at home and at church,” the First Presidency states in the press release. “They may also be used in introducing others to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. As we use and share this video series, our faith in the Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will be strengthened, and we will find ourselves participating more fully in the gathering of Israel promised in and through the Book of Mormon.”
The First Presidency consists of Russell M. Nelson, the president of the LDS church, and his two counselors, Dallin H. Oaks and Henry B. Eyring.
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