Learning from People of Other Faiths

Joshua M. Sears

Joshua M. Sears, "Learning from People of Other Faiths," Religious Educator 24, no. 2 (2023): 50–71.

Joshua M. Sears (josh_sears@byu.edu) is an assistant professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University.

First Presidency statement about God's loveStatement of the First Presidency regarding God’s Love for All Mankind. This statement was issued in 1978 by Spencer W. Kimball, N. Eldon Tanner, and Marion G. Romney. Church History Catalog, catalog, ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

Keywords: Bible, scripture study, interfaith

Among all the religions in the world, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is unique in providing Restoration scripture, apostolic leadership, priesthood keys, the covenants and ordinances constituting the new and everlasting covenant, and a distinctive understanding of the plan of salvation.[1] However, when the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles released the bicentennial proclamation “The Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ” in April 2020, their affirmation of the unique gifts of the Restoration opened by declaring that “God loves His children in every nation of the world.”[2] Implicit in this declaration is the belief, articulated repeatedly by Church leaders since the Prophet Joseph Smith, that God shows his love for his children by giving a portion of his light to each and every people, nation, culture, and religion. (See “Statement of the First Presidency regarding God’s Love for All Mankind.”)

Based on this understanding that God speaks to and works through other religious traditions, Church leaders have continuously taught that we must not merely tolerate other religions but sincerely respect them and seek to understand their beliefs and practices.[3] Accordingly, Latter-day Saints have engaged in fruitful interfaith dialogues with evangelicals,[4] Jews,[5] Catholics,[6] Muslims,[7] Community of Christ,[8] and other faith groups.[9] Many Latter-day Saints have also benefited from the counsel to allow for “holy envy”—an admiration for something that people of another religion do that we may wish to emulate in our own religious devotion.[10]

I have observed, however, that while fellow Latter-day Saints fully support our mandate to love and respect people of different faiths, and while many may even find inspiration in the examples of faith and service demonstrated by people of other faiths, some may hesitate to be taught by people from other religions. In other words, they wrestle with the perception that respecting and loving and even emulating others is appropriate, but that learning from others is problematic—at least when the subjects are religion, spirituality, or scripture. My purpose here is to explore the challenges and benefits of learning from people of different faiths. I will begin by recounting some of the cautions that have been given about using outside resources, and then I will highlight how Church leaders have both taught and modeled an inclusive approach to learning from others. After discussing ways to navigate these challenges and benefits, I will examine one particular scripture study resource, BibleProject, as a case study. Although appropriate care must be taken, my experience is that people of other faiths can deeply enrich our understanding of the scriptures and the beautiful doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Cautions about Learning from Outside Sources

I believe the hesitation some Latter-day Saints feel about learning from those outside our faith is almost always born of caution rather than animosity. There are real concerns to be careful about. First, there are many voices in the world that promote an “upside-down view” of eternal truth: “Evil is being called good and good is being called evil all around us today.”[11] Knowing that the world is filled with mistruths, parents and teachers should be cautious not to pass them on. “We do not resist such ideas because we fear them,” President Spencer W. Kimball said, “but because they are false.”[12]

Second, all saving doctrines are taught by the Lord’s prophets and apostles, and the priesthood keys they hold give their teachings doctrinal authority that surpasses any other source. Elder D. Todd Christofferson explained, “We value scholarship that enhances understanding, but in the Church today, just as anciently, establishing the doctrine of Christ or correcting doctrinal deviations is a matter of divine revelation to those the Lord endows with apostolic authority.”[13] Elder Mark E. Petersen instructed Church educators in 1962 that “no matter how bright other religious teachers may be, . . . we do not and cannot regard them as authorities in interpreting the doctrines of the Bible. . . . We must not put their views on doctrine ahead of ours.”[14] On doctrinal matters, no authority, inside or outside the Church, should substitute for that of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.[15]

Third, because the existence of competing voices “makes it increasingly difficult to determine what is true,”[16] the Church has encouraged us to “turn to the Lord’s divinely appointed sources for answers and direction.” Divinely appointed sources include “the light of Christ, the Holy Ghost, the scriptures, parents, and Church leaders.”[17] Parents, teachers, and learners are encouraged to prioritize the scriptures and the words of latter-day prophets over information that comes from outside sources.[18]

These cautions and instructions can help all Church members avoid falsehood by recognizing what sources to prioritize for spiritual guidance. At the same time, these important instructions should not be misinterpreted as a directive to entirely avoid learning from any other source: “We can,” the Church’s instructions explain, “also learn truth through other trustworthy sources.”[19]

Encouragement to Learn from Outside Sources

The invitation from Church leaders to learn from people who belong to other religions is just as old as the directive to respect them, going back to the teachings and example of the Prophet Joseph Smith. In 1843 Joseph twice invited a visitor from England—an Owenite socialist and noted religious skeptic—to lecture to the people of Nauvoo. The visitor observed that the Prophet showed little hesitation in extending the same invitation to others: “Joe Smith was in the practice of inviting strangers, who visited Nauvoo, of every shade of politics or religion, to lecture to his people. A Unitarian minister, from Boston, was to lecture them the following Sunday. [Smith] said that he allowed liberty of conscience to all, and was not afraid of any party drawing his people away from him.”[20] That same year, Willard Richards recorded that Joseph taught in a sermon of his own that “one [of] the grand fundamental principles” of our religion is “to receive thruth [sic] let it come from where it may.”[21]

Recent Church leaders have expressed the same vision. Echoing Joseph Smith, Elder Christofferson taught that “truth is scattered liberally across the globe. My religion teaches me to ‘get all the good in the world.’ ‘Receive truth, let it come from whence it may.’”[22] President Russell M. Nelson counseled Church members, “Learn to listen, and listen to learn from neighbors. . . . Opportunities to listen to those of diverse religious or political persuasion can promote tolerance and learning.”[23] He also taught, “God is the source of all truth. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints embraces all truth that God conveys to His children, whether learned in a scientific laboratory or received by direct revelation from Him.”[24] President Dallin H. Oaks approvingly cited President Joseph F. Smith’s words: “We believe in all truth, no matter to what subject it may refer. No sect or religious denomination in the world possesses a single principle of truth that we do not accept or that we will reject. We are willing to receive all truth, from whatever source it may come.”[25] In another setting, President Oaks put this principle into action by describing and quoting from the 1965 Vatican II Declaration on
Religious Freedom (Dignitatis Humanae), calling it a “key event” in history.[26]

God never tires of forgiving. We need to understand this, not just in our minds, but also in our hearts. God never tires of forgiving. We are the ones who get tired of asking forgiveness. But he never tires of forgiving. He does not put up with us for a while and then change his mind, as we are tempted to do.

—Pope Francis, April 10, 2022, https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/homilies/2022/documents/20220410-omelia-palme.html

While serving as the Church historian, Elder Steven E. Snow counseled that Church members should learn about Latter-day Saint history from sources that are written “objectively” by “recognized and respected historians, whether they’re members of the Church or not.”[27] Significantly, this counsel was given to teenagers, suggesting Elder Snow believed that even the youth can handle learning from reputable outside sources. Similarly, President M. Russell Ballard spoke of questions that we might have about “ancient history, biblical studies, and other fields,” and counseled students at Brigham Young University that “if you have a question that requires an expert, please take the time to find a thoughtful and qualified expert to help you. There are many on this campus and elsewhere who have the degrees and expertise to respond and give some insight.”[28] And in an interfaith conference hosted at Oxford University, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland spoke for Latter-day Saints: “I don’t think there would ever be a suggestion, certainly not from us . . . , that Christianity, the Judeo-Christian tradition, or the Western world generally has some corner on the market of truth. We will be open to truth wherever it is and from whatever persuasion, whatever culture, whatever religious faith it comes from.”[29] Later, Elder Holland demonstrated that he puts that principle into practice, sharing that his personal gospel study includes reading from a study Bible that is published through Oxford University and includes “updated scholarship, . . . [and an] extensive series of footnotes,” all prepared by non-Latter-day-Saint biblical scholars.[30]

Balancing Inside and Outside Learning

The scriptures and the words of living prophets have expressed both caution and encouragement regarding our learning from those outside our faith. Rather than taking a position at either extreme—an insular reliance on in-house resources on the one hand or an undiscerning acceptance of any information on the other—we are being asked to balance both openness and discernment. I suggest five principles to help achieve that.

First, the foundation of gospel teaching and learning should be “divinely appointed sources” such as the scriptures and the words of living prophets. Evaluating any other source of information correctly depends on your grasp of the core doctrines of the Restoration as taught in these inspired sources. Whatever other resources you want to incorporate in your study, start with this. If you have limited time, don’t skip this. If you do not yet have enough experience to evaluate the accuracy of other sources, then for now stick with this. President Ballard taught that when Church members increase their doctrinal mastery using these foundational resources, it prepares them to engage with other sources and influences: “Drawing on the scriptures and the words of the prophets, they will learn how to act with faith in Christ to acquire spiritual knowledge and understanding of His gospel. And they will have opportunities to learn how to apply the doctrine of Christ and gospel principles to the questions and challenges they hear and see every day among their peers and on social media.”[31]

Second, reliable outside sources can be used with care to supplement our learning. When I studied the Bible in graduate school, I constantly asked questions about the scriptures—Why does Isaiah say this? Why did the Israelites act like that? What does this psalm mean? I found that biblical scholars of other faiths had so much insight to share about biblical history, culture, and literature.[32] Elder Petersen, who was quoted above expressing the caution that we cannot regard outside teachers as “authorities on doctrine,” nevertheless continued by explaining that “they may do research on the history or the geography of the Holy Land and may know more about those subjects than the Latter-day Saints who have never made that kind of research. We are grateful for knowledge of that kind and believe that it may develop much useful information which can be very helpful to us when properly used.”[33]

Don’t Latter-day Saints have our own scholars who can provide context for the scriptures? We certainly do, but I have found that there are so many Bible questions to answer, and so few Latter-day Saints comparatively, that we as a people have barely begun to scratch the surface. When Jews and Christians have spent thousands of years diligently studying the Bible, we would limit ourselves immensely not to learn the best of what they have found. Elder Orson F. Whitney taught that “God is using more than one people for the accomplishment of his great and marvelous work. The Latter-day Saints cannot do it all. It is too vast, too arduous, for any one people. . . . They [people of other faiths] are our partners.”[34] We should look to these partners for assistance. Want to learn more about prophecy in ancient Israel? Study the life of the apostle Paul? Compare the portrayal of Jesus in 3 Nephi with the New Testament Gospels? Scholars outside the Church have resources to help.[35]

Teachers from outside the Church can also make valuable contributions beyond historical and cultural information, enriching (in a supplemental way) our appreciation for the prophets’ doctrinal teachings. As one example, Latter-day Saints enjoy unique revealed doctrine about life after death, but an interfaith book published by BYU’s Religious Studies Center, Life Beyond the Grave, augments our revealed doctrine with experiences from Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Calvinists, Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and others. Robert L. Millet, one of the Latter-day Saint editors of the book, explains that “there is nothing more universal in this life than death”—it is something all humans face, something we all seek to understand, and something on which we all have gained perspective. Consequently, while Latter-day Saints would not replace anything prophets have taught with a contradictory idea from another faith, Millet shares his conviction that readers of any faith “will find the contents of this work to be both intellectually challenging and spiritually uplifting.”[36] As a second example, President Nelson has powerfully taught that people must overcome prejudices of any kind.[37] With the foundation laid by his prophetic voice, in 2021 Church magazines and other media also featured helpful insights on this topic from the Reverend Amos Brown, a Baptist minister.[38]

In seeking these sources, whether on historical or doctrinal subjects, I repeat the Church’s instructions to make sure they are “trustworthy” and “reliable.” Much of the information that is available in print or online is outdated or false, and this is especially true with religious topics. A Church Institute manual provides a series of questions we should ask to assess the reliability of sources:

  • What are the qualifications, intentions, and possible biases of the author?
  • How closely connected is the author to the events being described?
  • Does the author intentionally ignore available evidence in order to mislead?
  • Are the teachings and events addressed in this source presented in the proper context of their time, place, and circumstance?
  • Are the teachings and events supported by additional reliable sources?[39]

These and other considerations can help us evaluate the authors and content creators we turn to as sources of information.[40] And in some settings, such as Sunday classes or Seminary and Institute courses, teachers should be sure to follow the guidelines of Church and local leaders regarding any use of outside resources in the classroom.

[The Bhāgavata Purāṇa teaches,] “Knowledge is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all.” . . . Knowledge is so often taken to mean “information” or “fact” in our world. . . . But that’s not enough. . . . it must be for the benefit of others. And I think that is so crucial for our world today. Do we not live in a world where there are so many things that are possible and “true,” and yet not necessarily good and salutary? We live in a world surrounded by all kinds of technology, for example, and that technology is true, it’s real, it can do amazing things, and yet the question we have to continuously ask ourselves is, “Is it good for me? Is it good for the world? Just because I can do it, should I do it?”

—Hindu scholar Dr. Ravi Gupta in an interview for the BYU Radio program In Good Faith, October 18, 2020, https://www.byuradio.org/45b8303c-b531-4217-96aa-bec5c922b22d?player-open=true&content-id=45b8303c-b531-4217-96aa-bec5c922b22d&s=2270&e=2330.

Third, when others teach ideas that are not in harmony with the doctrine of the Church, we should clearly identify the disparity. Especially in our capacity as parents or teachers, our desire to respect the beliefs of others should be balanced with our understanding that “some things are simply true,” that “the arbiter of truth is God,” and that “Jesus Christ, whose Church this is, appoints prophets and apostles to . . . teach His laws.”[41] Children and students rely on parents and teachers to present the truths of the restored gospel and to identify ideas that are inconsistent with those truths.

However, while these doctrinal differences can be identified and addressed quickly, a parent or teacher might also consider occasionally taking the time to look at them in a deeper way, modeling constructive responses to these kinds of differences. While we certainly should focus on the doctrines of our own church, we may do our youth a disservice if we never give them tools to discuss religious differences in uplifting and respectful ways. After my own missionary service in Chile, I taught at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, and later served for several years as a ward mission leader in Austin, Texas, where I also taught stake missionary preparation classes. In all these settings, my experience consistently suggested that Latter-day Saint youth know the doctrine of the Church very well—usually I had to coach them to simplify their teaching because they knew so much! However, the youth and missionaries I worked with ran into trouble when conversations shifted from their own beliefs to the religious experiences of others. Missionaries cannot be not expected to be experts in others’ beliefs, but not knowing detailed information was less of a problem than simply having no models for how to ask about others’ beliefs and think about them in comparison with their own. Some immediately focused on the differences without taking the time to discuss how much their view and our view have in common. Some thought that sharing a Bible passage would instantly solve a disagreement, without considering that there might be more than one way to interpret a passage. Some became flustered at an investigator’s use of an unfamiliar Bible translation, having never before interacted with anything other than the King James Version. Some tried to avoid even talking about someone else’s beliefs, fearing that it would drive away the Spirit. And a few, unfortunately, reacted by demeaning the beliefs of others. There are many ways to model the kind of openness, charity, and understanding that lead to productive interfaith conversations, and the doctrinal differences that pop up when we learn from outside sources can provide one way to do this.

Fourth, as we evaluate information, we should take advantage of the discernment available through the Holy Ghost. This requires both diligent study to know the teachings of the Church and personal worthiness to be in tune with the Spirit. “Seek learning,” the Lord counseled, “even by study and also by faith” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:118). These are the same measures we should use when evaluating information on any subject and in any setting—from social media feeds to news reports to conversations with friends. We do this constantly, every day, and evaluating religious ideas is no different.

Some have expressed to me the concern that if they read or listen to a source from outside the Church, any false doctrine that is presented will drive away the Holy Ghost. My experience suggests that the Spirit is not so easily offended. “He that hath the spirit of contention is not of me,” Jesus taught, adding that the devil “stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger” (3 Nephi 11:29). Those who contend with anger offend the Spirit, regardless of the truth of their position. On the other hand, “every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ” (Moroni 7:16). If a sincere invitation to do good and to believe in Christ is mixed with an untruth of relatively minor importance, the Spirit can help us discern without fleeing. Even speakers in Latter-day Saint meetings and classes occasionally slip untrue ideas into their sincere expressions due to their own lack of understanding or experience, but my sense is that the Holy Ghost is patient and generous. Likewise, we need not avoid listening to sincere and noncontentious people of other religions out of fear that their expressions of faith will reduce our ability to have the Spirit with us.

Finally, we should cultivate an attitude of wanting to learn more truth, through whatever means God is using to teach us. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf cautioned that “if we stop asking questions, stop thinking, stop pondering, we can thwart the revelations of the Spirit. . . . We can block the growth and knowledge our Heavenly Father intends for us. How often has the Holy Spirit tried to tell us something we needed to know but couldn’t get past the massive iron gate of what we thought we already knew?”[42]

This counsel applies to Church resources like the scriptures or handbooks, but it can also apply to reliable outside sources of information. Some Latter-day Saints have understood the instructions that we “are not sent forth to be taught, but to teach” (Doctrine and Covenants 43:15) to mean that we are commanded not to learn from other religions.[43] We need to be careful not to interpret this instruction too narrowly. In context, the Lord was telling missionaries in Kirtland that their “understanding must be rooted in the revelation of heaven, not the wisdom of men.”[44] His directive that “ye are to be taught from on high” (Doctrine and Covenants 43:16) should be read in light of other revelations where the Saints are commanded to seek out the best learning the world has to offer (see Doctrine and Covenants 88:78–80, 118; 90:15; 109:7, 14). Catherine Cornille, a Catholic theologian and expert on interfaith dialogue, observed that our ability to learn new truths depends on a kind of “doctrinal humility”—a recognition that “ways in which other religions might have understood the truth about God might shed new light on one’s own tradition.”[45]

I believe the example set by Church leaders is again helpful here. As an undergraduate student at Brigham Young University, I was impressed by a particular meeting for the entire campus community where President Boyd K. Packer was present. He was Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve and one of the Church’s great teachers, but he was not the speaker that day. Instead, his role was to introduce Dr. Alwi Abdurrahman Shihab—a Muslim scholar whom he called his “dear friend.” President Packer then took a seat as Dr. Shihab rose to teach the thousands of Latter-day Saints present in the Marriott Center. For more than half an hour he taught true principles, drawing extensively from the teachings of Islam and quoting several excerpts from the Quran.[46] Since that time I have seen Church and university leaders invite several other individuals from different religions to address the campus, including Francis Cardinal George of the Roman Catholic Church; Joe Liberman, a Jewish politician; Dr. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; the Rev. Dr. Andrew Teal, an Anglican scholar; the Rev. Dr. William Barber II, a pastor in The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); and Ari Berman, president of Yeshiva University.[47] All of these guests taught by
drawing upon their religious beliefs and experiences, and BYU was all the better for it.

It is the Right Way also that you spend your property for your kin in need, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the freedom of slaves. Also, the Right Way is to hold fast to prayer, to observe prescribed charity, to honor the contracts which you have made, to be firm and patient in hardship, and to overcome times of fear. Such people are . . . close to God.

—Qur’an 2:177, as quoted by Dr. Alwi Shihab at BYU. https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/alwi-shihab/building-bridges-harmony-understanding/

BibleProject: A Case Study for Interfaith Learning

Although there are certainly appealing reasons to learn from people of other faiths, it may still be challenging trying to figure out what that looks like in practice. Below I will examine one particular resource, BibleProject, as a case study.

BibleProject is a crowdfunded, nonprofit, nondenominational educational technology company that creates free animated videos and other resources to aid one’s study of the Bible. Founded by college roommates Jon Collins and Tim Mackie, BibleProject’s mission is to “help people experience the Bible in a way that is approachable, engaging, and transformative.”[48] Dr. Mackie has academic training in biblical studies and has worked as a pastor, and he serves as the lead researcher and script writer, aided by a team of writers, animators, and directors.[49] With millions of subscribers and hundreds of millions of views on YouTube, BibleProject’s popular videos are helping Christians across the globe understand and get excited about scripture.

BibleProject’s videos, which number in the hundreds, can be found at https://bibleproject.com/, as well as on YouTube and Vimeo under the username “BibleProject.” They are organized into several series. The book summary videos, for example, take a single biblical book and summarize its literary structure, unique characteristics, and theological messages. Other videos explore themes (like messiah, covenants, the day of the Lord, justice, and exile) or vocabulary (like gospel, sin, heart, and strength) as they appear across the biblical canon. Most videos average five and a half minutes, with the exception of the book summary videos, which average eight minutes. Several supplementary resources, such as a Bible reading app, images, and podcasts, are also available for free on the BibleProject website.

Learning opportunities with BibleProject

BibleProject videos feature a number of strengths. First, the design quality is exceptional, and the animation is simply gorgeous. Even the style changes from video to video in ways that help service the content. The book summary videos use a whiteboard animation style that gradually creates a visual map of the entire book. In the “How to Read the Bible” series, biblical narrative is depicted using comic book images, biblical poetry with watercolor, and biblical prose discourse with abstract art.[50] These shifts in style not only help viewers keep the different biblical genres straight, they visually reinforce that readers should “see” these genres differently. In all videos, the serious nature of the subject matter is enhanced with just a dash of humor. As I have experimented with showing these videos at home and in class, I have found that my teenage and young adult students consistently enjoy them. They are informative enough to justify their inclusion, short enough to fit into a lesson, and interesting enough to keep everyone’s attention. They are also a hit with my small children as we have read the Old and New Testaments for our Come, Follow Me family study. I show the book summary videos every time we begin a new book, and I honestly cannot imagine another resource that would hold my kids’ attention for nearly ten minutes while discussing the literary structure of Deuteronomy or 2 Corinthians.

Christian hope is bold, waiting for humanity and the whole universe to be rescued from evil and death. And some would say it’s crazy, and maybe it is. But biblical hope isn’t optimism based on the odds. It’s a choice to wait for God to bring about a future that’s as surprising as a crucified man rising from the dead. Christian hope looks back to the risen Jesus in order to look forward.

—BibleProject, https://bibleproject.com/explore/video/yakhal-hope/.

Second, BibleProject incorporates modern biblical scholarship. The videos themselves do not feel like academic lectures, but there is extensive research that goes into the deceptively simple summaries they provide. As script writer Tim Mackie, who has a PhD in Hebrew Bible and Jewish Studies, explains, “A lot of what we’re trying to do in the videos and the podcasts we create . . . is translate all of this [scholarship] that’s available—but that no one’s ever going to read—and make it available to a much wider audience, because there’s so much exciting and new and insightful things to be learned from the history of biblical scholarship.”[51] The use of academic interpretations in these videos is relatively conservative, so you will not hear that “Abraham didn’t really exist” or “Jesus didn’t consider himself divine” or other extreme positions that would challenge a faith-based approach to the biblical text. Discussions of authorship are relatively traditional, and the videos prefer to treat biblical books in their final form rather than speculate on developmental stages.[52]

image of Moses with the two stone tabletsMoses descending from Mount Horeb after receiving God’s law inscribed in tables of stone. bibleproject.com

As we seek to learn more about the Old and New Testaments, BibleProject’s videos provide one method of taking the huge and complex corpus of biblical scholarship and packaging its insights for a lay audience. As a biblical scholar, I do not always agree with the academic positions BibleProject chooses, but in scholarship such differences of opinion are normal. Given our mutual goal of helping more people to understand the Bible better, my disagreements on certain issues are less important to me than the fact that the videos overall can be a step forward in improving biblical literacy.

Third, BibleProject videos are refreshingly sincere in their attempt to read the Old and New Testaments in their ancient contexts, letting the authors speak for themselves. Dr. Mackie explains that “one of the biggest challenges that all of us have in reading and trying to understand the Bible is the challenge to actually hear what the biblical authors are trying to say, and not just importing my own ideas into the Bible. We don’t realize how much our unexamined assumptions actually determine what the Bible can and cannot say to us.” For example, many people approach the Bible assuming that it’s a straightforward rule book, with clear-cut laws and unambiguous good or bad role models. “The problem, of course,” explains Dr. Mackie, “is when you actually read the stories about the people in the Bible, almost all of them are involved in murder and sex scandals. [Laughs.] I mean, they’re not people you actually want to be like most of the time.”[53] Consequently, the videos do not attempt to hide character flaws, even for individuals that are usually considered scriptural heroes. In this and other ways, BibleProject tries to help viewers first appreciate the Bible in its ancient context before making it relevant to our modern lives.

Fourth, from my perspective as a Latter-day Saint parent and religious educator, a final strength of BibleProject videos is their dedicated Christian orientation. You would of course expect this from the New Testament videos, but even the Old Testament is consistently framed in Christian terms.[54] BibleProject sees anticipation of Jesus throughout the Hebrew scriptures, beginning with the reference to Eve’s “seed” in Genesis 3:15,[55] and I believe their approach will appeal to Latter-day Saints who want to find Christ in the Old Testament.

Doctrinal differences in BibleProject

Many of BibleProject’s doctrinal presentations are in harmony with our own beliefs. They affirm Jesus Christ as our Savior, accept the reality of prophetic revelation, and uphold the inspiration of scripture. They clarify that angels’ wings are symbolic,[56] consistently show Jesus being baptized by immersion,[57] and give remarkable attention to the ideas of covenant[58] and temple.[59] Many more examples of positive doctrinal correlation, large and small, could be listed; since we are all using the Bible there will naturally be much on which we agree.

At the same time, there are also certain issues that are not described the way we would describe them using the interpretive lens of the restored gospel. In some cases, the ideas in BibleProject’s videos are, from a Latter-day Saint perspective, limited or incomplete. For example, the videos do a solid job explaining the importance of the temple in ancient Israelite religion but do not include the Restoration perspective that temples continue to be important in our day. Their description of the Abrahamic covenant indicates that members of the house of Israel will “represent [God’s] character to the nations,”[60] which is true, but they do not communicate the full significance of the house of Israel bearing the priesthood and the ordinances of salvation to all nations (compare Abraham 2:9–11). In many videos, God’s purpose is defined as reuniting heaven and earth in a beautiful new creation in which a transformed humanity can co-rule with God like they were originally commissioned to do in Genesis 1.[61] While these descriptions find parallels with Latter-day Saint teachings that “the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory” (Articles of Faith 1:10), they are much more limited in scope than our belief that God’s ultimate purpose is to bring about our “immortality and eternal life” (Moses 1:39)—becoming like God and living as he does in eternal family units. In cases like this, Latter-day Saints can appreciate the truths these videos present, while also adding the additional insights that come from Restoration scripture.

In other cases, however, BibleProject videos do present ideas that contradict the doctrine of the Church. Without any concept of a premortal life, humans are described as coming into existence at the creation of Adam and Eve.[62] Humans are, furthermore, not described as children of God, nor even as “spiritual beings” in the same sense as angels; rather, they are one of God’s many creations, the difference being that they were specially selected by God to rule with him in caring for the earth.[63] Being created “in the image of God” is not interpreted as a physical likeness, but as signifying that humans reflect God’s character.[64] One video explains the creedal concept of the Trinity,[65] and another asserts that humans cannot see God.[66] One of the most common doctrinal differences is BibleProject’s descriptions of the Fall of Adam and Eve. While Latter-day Saints view the Fall as a necessary part of God’s plan that was courageously undertaken by our first parents,[67] the videos consistently depict this event as a tragedy that resulted from Adam and Eve attempting to seize power and define good and evil on their own terms.[68]

These doctrinal differences mean that if BibleProject’s videos are used in Latter-day Saint homes or, when appropriate, in classrooms, they must be used with careful attention to make sure that children or students do not come away from the experience with doctrinal misunderstandings. This may prompt parents or teachers to avoid certain videos, but they could also take the time to identify and address a particular issue. In one class, for example, my students and I were taking a look at Old Testament passages that describe the Lord becoming angry, even destroying groups of people.[69] To help my students better understand anger as an aspect of Jehovah’s character, we watched a five-minute BibleProject video that explores the idea of Jehovah being “slow to anger” (KJV “longsuffering”) as described in Exodus 34:6–7. The video helps contextualize these biblical depictions, but at one point when explaining the Hebrew idiom “long of nose” (that is, “patient”), the narrator comments that “God doesn’t have a nose,” so of course the expression is metaphorical.[70] While the expression is indeed metaphorical, after the video finished I pointed out to the class that modern prophets have clarified that God does indeed have a physical body and is in form “like ourselves” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:1). This correction did not take very much time and allowed us to learn from the video while keeping the doctrine clear.

The doctrinal differences in these videos can also provide opportunities to model charitable interfaith engagement, as I described above. Especially because they allow other believers to speak for themselves, the videos demonstrate that there is much we have in common with people of other faiths. They illustrate how much we can learn from others, and they provide opportunities to respectfully consider honest disagreements when they appear. For example, when one video presented Adam and Eve’s actions in a negative light, I asked my children if they remembered what they had already learned in our scripture study about the choice made in Eden. With a little coaching, they recalled that the Fall was necessary for Heavenly Father’s plan. I compared that with what we heard in the BibleProject video, but instead of simply dismissing the false doctrine, we had a productive conversation about different ways people understand the Fall. I helped my kids see that the video’s position is a perfectly sensible conclusion for people who only use the Bible as scripture, which helped them appreciate where others are coming from while simultaneously increasing their appreciation for the insights of Restoration scripture. This kind of learning experience would not have been possible had we not engaged with this outside resource.


Moses once gathered seventy elders to the tabernacle, and “when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied” (Numbers 11:25). But two men who were not chosen, Eldad and Medad, also received the spirit and prophesied. Upon seeing this, Joshua demanded that Moses “forbid them” (v. 28). Although Joshua correctly recognized Moses’s leadership, Moses’s response taught him that God also works through others: “Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!” (v. 29).

Much later, Jesus’s disciples reported, “Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us” (Luke 9:49). Though their group loyalty was admirable, Jesus responded, “Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us” (v. 50).

Without diluting our doctrinal uniqueness or our missionary mandate, prophets today have expressed a similar desire to see other denominations as allies instead of competitors. “The differences in doctrine are real,” President Nelson said after meeting with Pope Francis, and “they are important. But they are not nearly as important as things we have in common—our concern for human suffering, our desire for and the importance of religious liberty for all of society, and the importance of building bridges of friendship instead of building walls of segregation.”[71]

Knowledgeable and fair-minded scholars and representatives of other faiths have learned much in their study of the scriptures and their service to God, and learning from their knowledge and experiences can afford us rich opportunities. Resources like BibleProject do present some ideas that do not align with our doctrine, but these should be recognizable to Latter-day Saints who are already grounded in the teachings of the Church. Even these doctrinal differences can serve as opportunities to highlight the unique contributions of Restoration doctrine, and they can also help teachers and parents model how to discuss differences of belief in charitable ways. As we learn from others, we can appreciate more fully Nephi’s testimony that God “manifesteth himself unto all those who believe in him, by the power of the Holy Ghost; yea, unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people” (2 Nephi 26:13).


[1] See Patrick Q. Mason, Restoration: God’s Call to the 21st-Century World (Meridian, ID: Faith Matters, 2020), 47–48.

[2] “The Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: A Bicentennial Proclamation to the World,” ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

[3] A compilation of teachings from Joseph Smith on the subject of religious freedom can be accessed at the Joseph Smith Papers website on the page entitled “Religious Freedom,” https://josephsmithpapers.org/articles/religious-freedom. For more recent examples, see the Church Newsroom topic “Interfaith Relations,” https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/interfaith. For a historical survey, see Richard J. Mouw, “Mormons and Interfaith Relations,” in The Oxford Handbook of Mormonism, ed. Terryl L. Givens and Philip L. Barlow (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 622–35.

[4] For example, see Richard J. Mouw and Robert L. Millet, eds., Talking Doctrine: Mormons and Evangelicals in Conversation (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2015).

[5] For example, see Mark S. Diamond and Andrew C. Reed, eds., Understanding Covenants and Communities: Jews and Latter-day Saints in Dialogue (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; New York: Central Conference of American Rabbis, 2020); and Trevan G. Hatch and Leonard J. Greenspoon, eds., “The Learning of the Jews”: What Latter-day Saints Can Learn from Jewish Religious Experience (Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2021).

[6] For example, see Stephen H. Webb and Alonzo L. Gaskill, Catholic and Mormon: A Theological Conversation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).

[7] For example, see Muslims and Latter-day Saints: Beliefs, Values, and Lifestyles (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2022), https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/muslims-and-latter-day-saints.

[8] For example, see Andrew Bolton and Casey Paul Griffiths, eds., Restorations: Scholars in Dialogue from Community of Christ and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book; Independence, MO: John Whitmer Books, 2022).

[9] For example, see Andrew Teal, ed., Inspiring Service: Interfaith Remarks with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland at Oxford (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2019); also published as Andrew Teal, ed., Inspiring Service: Catholic, Anglican, Methodist and Latter-day Saint Traditions in Dialogue (Durham: Sacristy Press, 2020).

[10] The term holy envy was coined by Lutheran scholar Krister Stendahl when he served as Bishop of Stockholm in the 1970s. For a thoughtful exploration of the idea, see Barbara Brown Taylor, Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others (New York: HarperOne, 2019). For one Latter-day Saint’s experience being enriched by the beliefs and practices of others, see Samuel B. Hislop, “We Aren’t God’s Only People,” https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/inspiration/we-arent-gods-only-people, with similar thoughts shared by him in the video “We Aren’t God’s Only People,” https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/media/video/2016-10-0004-we-arent-gods-only-people-samuel-hislop. See also Hislop, “Light Is Scattered among All of God’s Children,” https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/inspiration/light-is-scattered-among-all-of-gods-children.

[11] Dallin H. Oaks and Clark G. Gilbert, “Stand Fast with Love in Proclaiming Truth” (Ensign College devotional, May 17, 2022), https://www.ensign.edu/president-dallin-h-oaks-elder-clark-g-gilbert-stand-fast-with-love-in-proclaming-truth.

[12] Spencer W. Kimball, “The Second Century of Brigham Young University” (Brigham Young University devotional, October 10, 1975), https://speeches.byu.edu.

[13] D. Todd Christofferson, “The Doctrine of Christ,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 86.

[14] Mark E. Petersen, “Avoiding Sectarianism,” in Charge to Religious Educators, 2nd ed. (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1982), 114.

[15] On the relationship between God’s personal revelation to each individual and God’s institutional revelation through priesthood leaders, see Dale G. Renlund, “A Framework for Personal Revelation,” Liahona, November 2022, 16–19.

[16] Russell M. Nelson, “What Is True?,” Liahona, November 2022, 29.

[17] “Acquiring Spiritual Knowledge,” in Doctrinal Mastery Core Document (2023), 4. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/doctrinal-mastery-core-document-2023/acquiring-spiritual-knowledge

[18] “Teach the doctrine. . . . Doctrine is eternal truth . . . found in the scriptures and the words of latter-day prophets. . . . Teach from the scriptures and the words of latter-day prophets. . . . Evaluate what you are teaching to make sure you are teaching true doctrine. [Ask,] Is what I’m planning to teach founded on the scriptures and words of latter-day prophets?” Teaching in the Savior’s Way: For All Who Teach in the Home and in the Church (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2022), 20, 23.

[19] “Acquiring Spiritual Knowledge,” 4; emphasis added.

[20] “Notes of Travel in the United States,” New Moral World and the Gazette of the Rational Society (London), October 5, 1844. As cited in Gerrit J. Dirkmaat and Michael Hubbard MacKay, “Joseph Smith’s Negotiations to Publish the Book of Mormon,” in The Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon: A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, ed. Dennis L. Largey, Andrew H. Hedges, John Hilton III, and Kerry Hull (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2015), 163.

[21] “Journal, December 1842–June 1844; Book 2, 10 March 1843–14 July 1843,” 302, The Joseph Smith Papers, accessed March 9, 2022, https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/journal-december-1842-june-1844-book-2-10-march-1843-14-july-1843/310.

[22] D. Todd Christofferson, “Transcript: Reflections on Watergate: Integrity and Public Service,” June 15, 2017, Church Newsroom, https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/transcript-elder-d-todd-christofferson-university-oxford. Both the quoted phrases come from Joseph Smith.

[23] Russell M. Nelson, “Listen to Learn,” Ensign, May 1991, 23.

[24] Nelson, “What Is True?,” 30.

[25] Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1939), 1; cited in Dallin H. Oaks, “Truth and Tolerance,” Religious Educator 13, no. 2 (2012): 2.

[26] Quoted in Tad Walch, “President Oaks and Vatican II: A Latter-day Saint Apostle Praises a Late Pope and a Catholic Document,” Deseret News, July 21, 2022, https://www.deseret.com/2022/7/21/23271178/lds-mormon-church-president-oaks-vatican-ii-latter-day-saint-apostle-praises-pope-catholic-document. The full transcript of President Oaks’s speech can be found at Dallin H. Oaks, “Pursuing Religious Liberty Worldwide,” July 20, 2022, Church Newsroom, https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/dallin-h-oaks-notre-dame-religious-liberty-summit.

[27] Steven E. Snow, “Balancing Church History, New Era, June 2013, 22; emphasis added.

[28] M. Russell Ballard, “Questions and Answers” (Brigham Young University devotional, November 14, 2017), https://speeches.byu.edu/; emphasis added.

[29] Jeffrey R. Holland, as cited in Teal, Inspiring Service, 64.

[30] The entire statement from Elder Holland reads: “I’m reading concurrently the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. . . . I’m also doing The Oxford Study Bible, which [uses] the Revised English version . . . and is a delightful work, which I am loving. Thirty years ago I’d gone through the New English Bible, but this [study Bible] has got some updated scholarship, a much more extensive series of footnotes, and of course the Apocrypha is included, which I find delightful and use from time to time. So in my little morning study, I’m running down three paths with the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants and the New English version in its most recent form.” As cited with minor modifications in Tad Walch, “What Elder Holland Is Studying Each Morning in 2021. One Book May Surprise You,” Deseret News, April 8, 2021, https://www.deseret.com/faith/2021/4/8/22372064/lds-mormon-church-what-elder-holland-is-studying-each-morning-book. The original quote can be heard at “International Society 31st Annual Conference: Day 1,” BYU Kennedy Center, April 6, 2021, https://youtu.be/Jg1qg9wDj2M?t=1923. As Elder Holland indicated, the Revised English Bible is a translation from 1989 that updates the New English Bible from 1970. The Oxford Study Bible uses the New English Bible translation as its base text and supplements the biblical text with biblical scholarship found in footnotes, articles, and appendices. See Joshua M. Sears, “Study Bibles: An Introduction for Latter-day Saints,” Religious Educator 20, no. 3 (2019): 27–57.

[31] M. Russell Ballard, “By Study and by Faith,” Ensign, December 2016, 24–25.

[32] See Mauro Properzi, “Learning about Other Religions: False Obstacles and Rich Opportunities,” Religious Educator 16, no. 1 (2015): 133–37.

[33] Petersen, “Avoiding Sectarianism,” 114.

[34] Orson F. Whitney, in Conference Report, April 1928, 59. After quoting this statement from Elder Whitney, President Oaks observed, “As members of the restored Church, we need to be more aware and more appreciative of the service of others.” “Helping the Poor and Distressed,” Liahona, November 2022, 7.

[35] See respectively Samuel A. Meier, Themes and Transformations in Old Testament Prophecy (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2009); N. T. Wright, Paul: A Biography (San Francisco: HarperOne, 2018); and Krister Stendahl, “The Sermon on the Mount and Third Nephi,” in Reflections on Mormonism: Judaeo-Christian Parallels, ed. Truman G. Madsen (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1978), 139–54.

[36] Robert L. Millet, “Introduction,” in Life Beyond the Grave: Christian Interfaith Perspectives, ed. Alonzo L. Gaskill and Robert L. Millet (Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2019), vii, ix.

[37] For example, see “President Nelson Shares Social Post about Racism and Calls for Respect for Human Dignity,” Church Newsroom, June 1, 2020, https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/president-nelson-shares-social-post-encouraging-understanding-and-civility; Nelson, “Let God Prevail,” Ensign or Liahona, November 2020, 94; and Tad Walch, “President Russell M. Nelson Honors Martin Luther King Jr.: ‘Abandon Attitudes and Actions of Prejudice,’” Deseret News, January 17, 2022, https://www.deseret.com/2022/1/17/22888176/president-russell-m-nelson-honors-martin-luther-king-jr-abandon-attitudes-and-actions-of-prejudice.

[38] See “Elder Jack N. Gerard Talks with the Rev. Amos C. Brown about Overcoming Prejudice,” Church Newsroom, August 19, 2021, https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/overcoming-prejudice-amos-brown; and “We Are Family: A Discussion on Overcoming Prejudice with Elder Jack N. Gerard and the Reverend Amos C. Brown,” Liahona, September 2021, https://churchofjesuschrist.org/study/liahona/2021/09/digital-only/we-are-family.

[39] See “How to Assess the Reliability of Sources,” in Answering My Gospel Questions Teacher Material (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2022), 39.

[40] For more help on how to evaluate the reliability of sources, see Sears, “Study Bibles,” 34–37; Anthony Sweat, Seekers Wanted: The Skills You Need for the Faith You Want (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2019); and Keith A. Erekson, Real vs. Rumor: How to Dispel Latter-day Myths (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2021).

[41] Russell M. Nelson, “The Love and Laws of God” (Brigham Young University devotional, September 17, 2019), https://speeches.byu.edu.

[42] Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Acting on the Truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ” (worldwide leadership training meeting broadcast, February 11, 2012), https://ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

[43] “I remember being in a meeting in which a prominent evangelical was going to speak. A fellow Latter-day Saint sat down next to me and asked, ‘What is he doing here? We are supposed to teach, not be taught.’” Roger R. Keller, Light and Truth: A Latter-day Saint Guide to World Religions (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2012), 4.

[44] Joseph Fielding McConkie and Craig J. Ostler, Revelations of the Restoration: A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants and Other Modern Revelations (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2000), 328.

[45] Blaire Hodges, “The Risks and Rewards of Interreligious Dialogue, with Catherine Cornille,” Maxwell Institute Podcast, podcast audio, January 22, 2019, https://mi.byu.edu/podcasts/the-risks-and-rewards-of-interreligious-dialogue-with-catherine-cornille-mipodcast-88.

[46] See Alwi Shihab, “Building Bridges to Harmony Through Understanding” (Brigham Young University forum, October 10, 2006), https://speeches.byu.edu.

[47] See respectively Francis E. George, “Catholics and Latter-day Saints: Partners in the Defense of Religious Freedom,” February 22, 2010; Joseph Lieberman, “Faith and the Public Square,” October 25, 2011; R. Albert Mohler, “Strengthen the Things That Remain,” February 25, 2014; Andrew Teal, “Building a Beloved Community,” October 26, 2021; William J. Barber II, “The Need for a Mass Coming Together of Poor People and People of Faith in This Moment of Crisis,” November 30, 2021; and Ari Berman, “Covenant versus Consumer Education,” January 31, 2023, all at speeches.byu.edu.

[48] “Who We Are,” BibleProject, https://bibleproject.com/about.

[49] See “Tim Mackie,” BibleProject, https://bibleproject.com/tim-mackie.

[50] See “How to Read the Bible,” BibleProject, https://bibleproject.com/explore/how-to-read-the-bible/.

[51] BibleProject, “Biblical Scholarship: Process Series,” YouTube, July 30, 2020, 3:08, https://youtu.be/VLpsR5CCWWo.

[52] Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch is largely assumed, although the final sentences of Deuteronomy are said to reflect the perspective of later scribes. Isaiah 40–66 is said to be either the work of Isaiah speaking prophetically of the future, or the work of his disciples in later generations. The four Gospels are all described as technically anonymous, but the traditional authors are then identified on the basis of “early tradition” and thereafter assumed for the sake of convenience. Paul’s authorship is assumed for all the epistles traditionally ascribed to him, with the exception of Hebrews, whose authorship is described as “anonymous.” Revelation is ascribed to “John” per Revelation 1:1, 4, 9, but it is left open whether he is to be identified with John the Apostle. For all these positions, see the corresponding book summary videos.

[53] BibleProject, “The Habit of Open-Mindedness: Process Series,” YouTube, August 6, 2020, https://youtu.be/GNLd1XPkWLk.

[54] Although BibleProject treats the Old Testament through the lens of Christian faith, it does also make efforts to understand the text through Jewish lenses when those are helpful. For example, Daniel is listed not among “the Prophets” but among “the Writings,” following the traditional Jewish categorization (see BibleProject, “The Prophets,” YouTube, January 17, 2019, https://youtu.be/edcqUu_BtN0). Similarly, the books of Chronicles are treated as the last work of the Hebrew scriptures, not placed somewhere in the middle as in Christian Bibles (see BibleProject, “Old Testament Summary: A Complete Animated Overview,” YouTube, April 12, 2018, https://youtu.be/ALsluAKBZ-c).

[55] For example, see BibleProject, “Book of Genesis Summary: A Complete Animated Overview (Part 1),” YouTube, December 30, 2015, https://youtu.be/GQI72THyO5I. In Christian theology, God’s statement in Genesis 3:15 is sometimes known as the protoevangelium, the first hint of the good news that Jesus would come to save humanity from the Fall.

[56] BibleProject, “Angels and Cherubim,” YouTube, April 4, 2019, https://youtu.be/-bMRxQbLUlg.

[57] For example, BibleProject, “The Baptism of Jesus: Luke 3–9,” YouTube, April 14, 2017, https://youtu.be/0k4GbvZUPuo.

[58] For example, BibleProject, “A Way God Wants to Connect with You,” YouTube, June 16, 2022, https://youtu.be/6v4jKkFj3TI.

[59] For example, BibleProject, “Why the Temple Is So Important in the Bible,” YouTube, September 5, 2019, https://youtu.be/wTnq6I3vUbU.

[60] BibleProject, “How to Read the 15 Prophetic Books in the Bible,” YouTube, January 17, 2019, https://youtu.be/edcqUu_BtN0.

[61] For examples, see BibleProject, “The New Humanity,” YouTube, June 13, 2019, https://youtu.be/takEeHtRrMw; and BibleProject, “Royal Priests of Eden,” YouTube, April 13, 2021, https://youtu.be/K60TAYja110.

[62] BibleProject, “Who Spiritual Beings Are and What They’re Like,” YouTube, February 14, 2019, https://youtu.be/cBxOZqtGTXE.

[63] BibleProject, “The New Humanity.”

[64] BibleProject, “Book of Genesis Summary”; and BibleProject, “Image of God,” YouTube, March 21, 2016, https://youtu.be/YbipxLDtY8c.

[65] BibleProject, “How God is Both One and Three at the Same Time,” YouTube, October 18, 2018, https://youtu.be/eAvYmE2YYIU.

[66] BibleProject, “Who the Angel of the Lord is and What He Does,” YouTube, May 2, 2019, https://youtu.be/qgmf8bHayXw.

[67] See Daniel K. Judd, “The Fortunate Fall of Adam and Eve,” in No Weapon Shall Prosper: New Light on Sensitive Issues, ed. Robert L. Millet (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2011), 297–328.

[68] For examples, see BibleProject, “The Story of the Bible,” YouTube, May 11, 2017, https://youtu.be/7_CGP-12AE0; BibleProject, “Book of Genesis Summary”; BibleProject, “Royal Priests of Eden”; and BibleProject, “Why God Tests His People,” YouTube, October 13, 2020, https://youtu.be/sR4AT0LMJ5c.

[69] On the importance of including these kinds of descriptions in our study of Jehovah’s character, see Kerry Muhlestein, “A Savior with a Sword: The Power of a Fuller Scriptural Picture of Christ,” Religious Educator 20, no. 3 (2019): 115–31.

[70] BibleProject, “Slow to Anger,” YouTube, November 10, 2020, https://youtu.be/TeQ1nq_YJD0.

[71] Russell M. Nelson, quoted in Sarah Jane Weaver, “President Nelson Meets with Pope Francis at the Vatican,” Church News, March 9, 2019, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/church/news/president-nelson-meets-with-pope-francis-at-the-vatican.