Latter-day Saint Life

At Oxford, Elder Holland Explains Book of Mormon, Salvation for the Dead, Reverend Calls Him "Great" Man


After studying many of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's talks online and sharing a faith-filled discussion with the apostle, Rev. Dr. Andrew Teal said of Elder Holland, "I find him a wholesome, faithful and inspiring man. Indeed, 'great' but lacking all pomposity of grandeur — I love his humor and really respond to the 'gift of tears' which he so often receives and unashamedly shares. I … hope that this is the start of a fruitful friendship."

On Thursday, Elder Holland shared a unique public conversation with Rev. Teal at Oxford.

[Elder Holland] delivered a rousing defense of the Book of Mormon at Oxford, which has produced a dozen Catholic saints, 19 English cardinals and 20 archbishops of Canterbury.

He said Latter-day Saints differ from 4th- and 5th-century Christianity in their belief in the teaching of Moses that "my works are without end, and … my words … never cease."

"I, for one, would feel to walk on hot lava and chew broken glass," he said, "if I could find a document, any document anywhere, containing any new words of Christ — 50 words, 20 words, one new word from the Son of God — let alone hundreds of pages that record the appearance, teachings, covenants and counsel he gave to a heretofore unknown audience."

He referred to the Fall as fortunate and redemption as universally inclusive, which led to follow-up questions from Rev. Teal about the Fall as an educational step and about baptism for the dead. Rev. Teal noted that the Oxford Movement, propelled by Newman in the very church where they stood Thursday, called for prayers for the dead.

Story by Tad Walch, Deseret News, lead image by Simon D. Jones, IRI

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