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A delightful, amiable discussion between two dear friends yielded a fun anecdote that didn’t make it into my initial story about an event this week.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, reengaged with his dear friend, the Rev. Dr. Andrew Teal, of Oxford University and the Church of England, in another discussion of theology Tuesday at the 31st annual International Society Conference.
During their online conversation, the Rev. Dr. Teal said he’d love to serve a mission with Elder Holland, which became the top of my story.
But Elder Holland also shared with his friend, and the audience on YouTube, what he is doing for scripture study each morning in 2021.
Two quick bits of context:
First, Elder Holland served a mission in England as a young man and is a self-described Anglophile.
Second, Elder Holland and the Rev. Dr. Teal became close friends around Thanksgiving 2018, when Elder Holland traveled to England for three events, which I covered for the Deseret News:
- He presented a family history and a leather-bound Book of Mormon to then-British Prime Minister Theresa May.
- He held a public conversation on Latter-day Saint theology with the Rev. Dr. Teal at the 1,000-year-old University Church of St. Mary the Virgin.
- He engaged in a four-way conversation with a former archbishop of Canterbury and Catholic and Methodist leaders.
With that all in mind, here’s what Elder Holland said to his friend about his 2021 daily scripture study on Tuesday:
The reference to scripture, Andrew, you and I have that in common from the beginning, a love of scripture. I’m marking a new set. It’s hard for me to read without a pencil. I need to highlight and I need to make arrows and make little notes in the margins. So, once I’ve been through a set of scriptures, I have to set them aside or give them away. Then I start a new set. I’m just starting a new set myself, and I’m reading concurrently the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants — the whole church is reading the Doctrine and Covenants this year — but we always are supposed to dabble as we can each day in the Book of Mormon, so I’m doing both of those in a kind of concurrent and parallel way. But in honor of my love for you and my devotion to things British, I’m also doing the Oxford Study Bible, which is the revised English version, a hard copy, a hardback and is a delightful work, which I am loving.
Thirty years ago I’d gone through the new English Bible, but this 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, and I think of you when I open that latter book and remember how much I love you, and how much I enjoy Oxford and how much I am anxious to have you come and teach at BYU.
The Rev. Dr. Teal will be a visiting affiliate scholar at BYU’s Maxwell Institute in fall 2021.
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