Church Leaders Hope Book Of Mormon Videos Help Viewers Connect With Experiences

Oct 2, 2019, 10:30 PM | Updated: Jul 15, 2023, 11:00 am

GOSHEN, Utah – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is bringing stories from the Book of Mormon to life, and Church leaders hope the new Book of Mormon videos will lead viewers to dig in, read and better relate their lives to the experiences of Lehi and his family.

“These events happened to real people,” said producer Aaron Merrell. “They went through these real hard times. Real challenges. Real experiences.”

Jackson VanDerwerken portrays Nephi in the videos. He’s currently serving as a missionary but was cast for the role while he was still a junior in high school and had to beef up.

VanDerwerken said he’s just a kid from the middle of nowhere in upstate New York, who happened to have this opportunity come up and he took advantage of it.

Officials also said women and children play a big part in these videos. Reyna I. Aburto, second counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency said, “I am really excited because we are actually going to see them and see how crucial their part was and how they use their faith.”

Kymberly Mellen, who portrays Sariah, said she now has new insight into the human behavior and dynamics of Lehi’s family and what they must have endured.

You’ll also see realistic props, like the Sword of Laban and the Liahona, plus amazing special effects that helped recreate the family’s ship reeling in the storm.

“With this, we’re basically animating it to look like the boat is on the water, and we went from a real subtle motion on the dock to a heavy storm sequence,” said special effects gimbal operator Mark Noel.

Join Michelle King for a behind-the-scenes look at “The Book of Mormon Videos: Another Testament of Jesus Christ,” Sunday at 1:30 p.m. on KSL-TV. It’s also available to watch on the KSL-TV app.

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Church Leaders Hope Book Of Mormon Videos Help Viewers Connect With Experiences