On Tuesday, October 27, The Reverend Dr. Andrew Teal—chaplain, fellow, and lecturer in theology for Pembroke College at Oxford University and personal friend of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland—gave a powerful forum address on the campus of Brigham Young University. But maybe the most surprising aspect of his message was the sheer amount of uniquely Latter-day Saint scriptures and cultural references he included.
Elder Holland and Rev. Dr. Teal met in 2018 when Elder Holland was visiting Oxford to give a series of lectures. Elder Holland has said of his friend, “Andrew is, simply and truly and affectionately, one of the best friends I have in the Christian world.” Because of their friendship, Rev. Dr. Teal has since participated in various Maxwell Institute seminars and visiting scholar roles at BYU, including his most recent invitation to deliver this forum address.
“My closest friends have seen that my love for the Lord Jesus has grown exponentially because of you [members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints],” Rev. Dr. Teal remarked during his forum address. “And I want to bring that to the beautifully diverse families of Christians and peoples of other faiths so that we may travel together, even across steep mountains which will lead to us being blessed together.”
Among references to the Primary song, “I am a Child of God,” green jello, and Brigham Young’s famous statement, “This is the [right] place,” here are the seven scriptures unique to Latter-day Saints Rev. Dr. Teal shared in his address as well as his comments on each of the verses.
“The Book of Mormon's testimony to the truth of Jesus Christ is not manipulation, nor the desire to take power and authority over others but to see and celebrate the glory of God in service and love.”
“Even within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, some people can veer away from some of the consequences of being a restored church with a living prophet, and don’t want to face the difficulty of negotiating change.”
“Think about the two declarations at the end of the Doctrine and Covenants—how they reflect the great trauma and the prophetic task of pastoral care of people facing radical changes concerning plural marriage and race and the priesthood. Facing change together is core to this Church.”
“The Word of Wisdom is a tremendous resource for sanctification countering a conformity with destruction and the canceling of others. I’m glad that I had the time because of COVID to practice that at home and to begin to understand it more before I came here.”
“Six short words—and those who journey with them—were like a fountain of truth and trust. I sat knowing that this scripture was another testimony of Jesus Christ in this new world ... Traveling alongside this restored church means being a part of a fluid and happy, repentant community, constantly delighted by the wonder of that invitation, not only to know ourselves as loved ... but to continue taking away and building up one another in love, not being afraid to keep on growing.”
You can watch the entire forum address below: