Hot on the heels of completing five years’ worth of supplemental videos focusing on the New Testament, today The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a new video series project based on the Book of Mormon. The first videos will be released in 2018.
The videos will be similar in nature and scope to the lauded Bible Videos series, meaning they will be relatively short and presumably cover specific passages and vignettes in the Book of Mormon story. One potential difference is that many famed Book of Mormon stories are a bit more long form and not the quick parables and interactions between Jesus and the people of the old world. Still, I’m not the director.
When the Church started the Bible Videos series in 2011, it constructed an impressive set in Goshen, about an hour south of Salt Lake City in Utah County. That same set will be used at first in the Book of Mormon series. (Goshen was named for the land given to the Jews by Pharaoh.)
According to General Authority Seventy Elder Larry R. Lawrence, “These Book of Mormon videos will have the same purpose as the Book of Mormon itself—to bring people closer to Jesus Christ…. We hope the video library will build bridges of understanding and increase interest in God’s word, which in turn can change hearts and inspire people to live better lives.”
The timing of the series is interesting, as Gospel Doctrine courses will likely be in the Old Testament in 2018, two years before returning to Book of Mormon study. However, that does not account for the Seminary schedule. And there’s also the chance that it will be more effective to have a corpus of videos already released by the time classes return to Book of Mormons study, as opposed to trickling out a few as the year goes by.
In addition, Book of Mormon geography buffs will have a field day with the depiction of where the Nephite civilization existed. The last major film depiction of Book of Mormon peoples was The Testaments in 2000. The prevailing mood at the time was that the Book of Mormon took place in what is now Central America, though there are many, including the director of The Testaments himself, who now believe the Nephites to have settled the Great Lakes area of North America. So basically, are we going to see pyramids, palm trees, and volcanoes once more, or will we see, er, Detroit?
Professional and amateur actors are encouraged to apply at casting.lds.org with filming to begin in the middle of 2017. Make use of that beard card, BYU students!
For your enjoyment, watch The Testaments below and enjoy some sweet “Jacob!” action. We’ve also embedded a playlist of Bible Videos.