What if Moroni had met his demise before he could hide the sacred gold plates in the Hill Cumorah? And what if William Tyndale’s translations of the Holy Bible had been destroyed by King Henry VIII?
Throughout ancient and modern history, prophets and disciples have made tremendous sacrifices, even with their own lives, to preserve the scriptures we have today. Without these individuals, our access to holy writ would be much more limited. In honor of these sacrifices, the Church has produced a 30-minute program that will air over general conference weekend April 5 on KSL-TV, Channel 5, in Salt Lake City at 1:30 p.m. and nationally on April 6 on BYUtv cable at noon MDT. KSL.com and BYUtv.com will also have live streams available.
The program is narrated by Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and was inspired by his April 2010 general conference talk, “The Blessing of Scripture.” The video focuses on the sacrifices made throughout history to preserve the word of God.
In the video he says, “The scriptures remind us of what we knew in our premortal life. And they expand our memory in another sense by teaching us about people and events that we did not experience personally. These scriptures take us to significant events we did not experience in person. They are a touchstone of measuring correctness and truth, for teaching us selflessness and charity, strengthening our faith and lighting our path.”
Some of the events covered in the video include the stories of William Tyndale, Book of Mormon prophets, Mary and Caroline Rollins (girls who recovered unbound pages of the Book of Commandments that had been scattered by a mob) and a new video depiction of Christ’s visit to the Americas as recorded in 3 Nephi chapter 11. The new scenes were shot at various locations and the program features members from around the world.
Elder Christoffel Golden of the Seventy and a member of the Church Scripture Committee said, “Modern and rapidly evolving technology has enhanced the power and immediacy of holy writ, allowing users within a click or two to find the desired portion of scripture they seek. Digital enrichment has also enabled us to better comprehend the circumstances, history and geography of the people and events in which a particular scriptural text was written. This added knowledge can sharpen our capacity to comprehend the context and message of a particular verse, chapter or section. Yet, beyond all of this, and this should ever be remembered, the scriptures can be meaningful only when they are understood by and through the power of the Holy Ghost and when we act upon what we have learned.”
Elder Stanley G. Ellis of the Seventy and also a member of the Church Scripture Committee said, “I have always loved the scriptures. This video reminds me of all the Lord has done through courageous disciples to allow us to have them. It has given me a deeper appreciation for the Word of God. It touched my heart.”
“Those who don’t have the recorded word of God eventually cease to believe in Him and forget the purpose of their existence,” said Elder Christofferson. “The outcome is the same for those who have the sacred writings and never open them. You will remember how important it was for Lehi’s people to take the brass plates with them when they left Jerusalem.” In one scene from the video a present-day girl is shown reading her scriptures. As she closes her eyes, she is transported back in time to a scene that depicts Moroni being pursued by Lamanite warriors.
“God uses scripture to unmask erroneous thinking, false traditions, and sin with its devastating effects,” said Elder Christofferson. “Our Father in Heaven is a tender parent who would spare us needless suffering and grief and at the same time help us realize our divine potential.