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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.

The Rev. Dr. Andrew Teal of Pembroke College at the University of Oxford speaks virtually with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland during the 31st annual International Society Conference on Tuesday, April 6, 2021. | YouTube

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:

An apostle in England: British prime minister Theresa May pauses from Brexit to meet with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
At Oxford, Elder Holland lays out Latter-day Saint theology before religious scholars, students
In Oxford, Elder Holland joins former archbishop of Canterbury in call to serve in ways that connect us to each other

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.

My recent stories

Did an Anglican priest just invite Elder Holland on a mission? (April 7)

BYU devotional: Black professor says ‘racism does not fit a disciple of Christ’ (April 7)

Why more Latter-day Saint callings are now available to young single adults (April 6)

International inclusion, Easter messages, 20 new temples mark historic conference (April 4)

Sunday morning: A uniquely international Easter Sunday — President Nelson, leaders from 8 other nations focus on the risen Christ (April 4)

Latter-day Saint membership increased this much in 2020, according to new church statistical report (April 3)

Saturday conference wrap: There is healing for suffering and unfairness, leaders say (April 3)

Saturday morning: President Nelson opens conference with invitation to clear ‘the old debris in our lives’ (April 3)

As the world shut down, the church’s relief efforts ramped up (April 2)

At leadership session of conference, President Nelson shares lessons learned as prophet (April 1)

What I’m reading ...

Here’s a fun story that anyone of any age can enjoy. It’s about superstitions in baseball and how one made it onto a baseball card. My sister Kimberly told me it made her want to learn about more strange-but-true baseball card stories. (I’m so happy baseball season has started!)

Here is more information about the church’s eight new General Authority Seventies, from my friends at the Church News, who are preparing full profiles on each. The Houston Chronicle wrote about one of them who resigned a significant corporate job.

“The Chosen” is a big hit with many Latter-day Saints. Here’s a look at the TV series now that Season 2 is underway.

My colleague Trent Toone wrote several stories of interest this past week:

Behind the scenes

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and the Rev. Dr. Andrew Teal embrace after their public conversation about the beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the University of Oxford’s University Church of St. Mary the Virgin on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018. | Simon D. Jones
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Stephen Kerr, a member of Parliament, give British Prime Minister Theresa May a bound copy of her family history records, including photographs of census and marriage records, at the Palace of Westminster on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018. | Tad Walch, Deseret News