‘The Chosen’ Director Clears Up Book of Mormon Misconception: ‘It’s Not a Direct Quote’

By Jesse T. Jackson
dallas jenkins the chosen
'The Chosen' director Dallas Jenkins speaks in a livestream video update to supporters. (Video screengrab)

The director of “The Chosen,” Dallas Jenkins, has addressed recent criticism of the show’s Season 3 trailer, in which Jesus delivers a line that some believed was a paraphrase of a verse from the Book of Mormon.

The show is distributed by Angel Studios, which was co-founded by brothers Neal and Jeffery Harmon, who both belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, leading to accusations earlier this year that the show is produced by Mormons.

This caused a social media uproar among fans, prompting “The Chosen” to clear up the misconception, assuring viewers that “we’re not produced by Mormons.”

On Tuesday, Jenkins said that despite the controversy surrounding Jesus saying, “I am the law of Moses,” responses to the Season 3 trailer had been “over the moon,” with some calling the much maligned moment “one of the best lines in the whole trailer.”

“99% of people who’ve seen it went crazy and loved it. There’s just 1 percent—well, less than that, actually—who pointed out or said, ‘Hey, in the Book of Mormon, there’s a phrase where Jesus says I am the law and the light [3 Nephi 15:9],” Jenkins said.

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“Very quickly, because I don’t want to take this too seriously,” Jenkins continued, “number one, it’s not a direct quote from the Book of Mormon, and it wasn’t referring to the law of Moses in that quote, and the quote is, ‘I am the law and the light.’”

Jenkins stated that he has never read the Book of Mormon apart from people sharing it with him, such as in this instance.

“I went, looked it up,” Jenkins explained. “I’m like, ‘Okay, no, it isn’t. But okay, it’s a cool line.’”

“I believe it’s a really great line, and I believe it’s also theologically plausible. I am the Way the Truth and the Life. I am the word. I am the light. I am the light of the world. I am the Creator,” Jenkins said. “So when someone is saying like, ‘We’re gonna follow the law of Moses,’ and Jesus is like, man, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath [Mark 2:27].’ God is over these things. Jesus is over these things. He is these things. He owns these things. They came from Him. And so Jesus makes many I am statements. He’s called the great I AM.”

“So no,” Jenkins affirmed, “I didn’t pull this quote from anywhere else. I just think it’s a theologically plausible line and it’s, I believe, a cool Jesus as King moment.”

‘The Chosen’ Hits Theaters This November

The series received a GMA Dove Award for “Inspirational Film/Series of the Year” last Tuesday (Oct. 18) and is set to release the first two episodes of its new season in theaters on November 18. Jenkins anticipates that episodes 1 and 2 will remain in theaters for at least a week but shared they will run for as long as they do well.

The episodes won’t air for free on their app until some time in December, Jenkins revealed—a decision the director said caused some criticism.

Addressing the complaint that the series is completely crowdfunded yet is charging for viewers to watch the first two episodes on the big screen, Jenkins said, “Instead of complaining about that, I think a thank you is an order.”

Jenkins went on to explain that ticket sales will allow actors, crew, writers, and directors to financially benefit from their work. Jenkins also stated that less than five percent of “The Chosen’s” viewers fund the show.

“When the show is free, it’s a little harder to generate income for future seasons,” he said. Although it’s not the primary reason for the series’ theatrical release, Jenkins shared with viewers that “people who buy tickets are actually helping the show and helping us in a way that we don’t always get helped.”

“I’m just saying you should say thank you. Thank you for buying tickets, because that’s helping the show and that’s allowing this show to be free. If people didn’t pay for the show, whether they choose to or not, there wouldn’t be a show,” Jenkins explained.

This article originally appeared at ChurchLeaders.

Jesse T. JacksonJesse T. Jackson is the Content Editor for ChurchLeaders. Raising four children with his wife, Jackson also serves as a deacon, a growth group leader, and is a member of University Baptist Church in Beavercreek, Ohio. 

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9 thoughts on “‘The Chosen’ Director Clears Up Book of Mormon Misconception: ‘It’s Not a Direct Quote’”

  1. It would seem that.Jenkins did not even quote the Book of Mormon correctly in his rebuttal. The actual quote is,”Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life.” 3 Nephi 15:9

    How much difference that makes, I do not know. But making up something for Jesus to say that He did not actually say is doctrinally very dangerous. And no matter what Jenkins wants to argue, that quote from “The Chosen” is a whole lot closer to to that verse in the Book of Mormon than it is to anything in the Bible.

    1. Cheryl, agreed. When asked the usual questions, Mormons reply “Yes, we’re Christians, and The Book of Mormon is another gospel of Jesus.” [Compare that to Galatians 1:8, 9.] Or they’ll recite “we believe in God the Father, and in his son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.” Sounds correct until one understands that their Jesus is a man who became God rather than God who became a man. And that we, by following the example of Jesus and their Law of Eternal Progression, can also become gods. [See Genesis 3:5.]

      Very dangerous indeed to have an actor playing Jesus and speaking words not recorded in the Bible.

  2. Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight)

    I don’t think Christians should watch this. By depicting Jesus it breaks the 2nd commandment.

  3. Carrie Dockendorff

    I don’t understand why Christians are promoting this series. Doesn’t it go directly against the second commandment? And why do we need ANYTHING added to the Bible? The fact that they have a “merch store” for The Chosen products just turns my stomach. I don’t remember Jesus having a “merch store”, nor did his disciples. They spread The Word of God, not The Word of God, AND such and such!! Dallas Jenkins reminds me SO much of James MacDonald. Great teacher at first, but then greed and power took over. It’s a slippery slope, my friends, and the devil loves it. I wish this series would just end already.

  4. 1) By definition of paraphrase, it is not one. By just checking out the exact wording of both, it is shown to be a direct, partial quote:
    THE CHOSEN.: “I am the law of Moses.”
    BOM-3 NEPHI: “I am the law”
    The paragraph quoting the director, it reads to me as a very convoluted rationalization of the situation.
    3) Jesus is *not* “the law”. He fulfilled it. For the director to assert the phrase is “theologically plausible” is irresponsible, sloppy and has to be something that one reads into whatever Bible he might come up with and retro-fit it to justify this parallel statement between the Mormon/LDS Jesus (2 Cor. 11:3-5, 12-15) and the Biblical Jesus.
    4) If it allegedly isn’t a “direct” quote, then it could be ‘INdirect’? Left a slippery caveat?
    Maybe he isn ‘t being truthful after being caught?
    Maybe truthful, but he unknowingly added that BOM quote from his memory of hearing someone use it who are LDS? Like the Mormon founders?
    He is joining with a non-Trinitarian heretical members, so where could it also be from?
    5) Just because the director claims evangelicalism does not mean it was not influenced by Mormonism, as this article points out:
    https://thewordlikefire.wordpress.com/2022/10/11/do-the-chosen-mormon-executive-producers-see-mormonism-and-christianity-coming-together/
    The whole article slants to be pro-The Chosen.
    If you say you “report the truth”, then do so. This is a massive and obvious failure to do so.

  5. PART 2 OF 3 – MY RESPONSE:
    NOTE: All CAPS are for emphasis only, never e-shouting.
    To add to my first post, here is a ‘Mormon’/LDS responses to a video about The Chosen:
    “Kayla Wyatt
    “10 months ago
    “So glad I watched this. I really FELT the spirit several times.
    “The Chosen helped my family draw even closer to Christ during the lock downs. I’m just gonna add to the pool, but it helped me read my scriptures differently. Even 3rd Nephi [the BOOK OF MORMON] became EVEN MORE MEANINGFUL to me than before.”

    1) When she says she “FELT the spirit [Spirit]”, that is a direct reference to the deception of the Mormon/LDS ‘testimony. That is what they use as the divine answer to the heretical beliefs that the Book of Mormon “is true”, Joseph Smith “is a prophet of God” and their church is “the only true church”.
    It blinds them to seeing the falsity of Mormonism when it is right before them to show that God the Father is NOT “an exalted man” “who dwelt on an earth” and became A God with his literal goddess wife, ‘our Heavenly Mother’, that the LDS Jesus became A God in his ‘pre-earth life’, that salvation is NOT “by OBEDIENCE to the” works and system of ‘Mormonism’, etc.
    2) The Chosen is ecumenical enough and includes that passage “I am the law” from the book “3rd Nephi” in the BOM, which The Chosen gave her a deeper appreciation for that fraudulent, added, false, fictitious fiction of the BOM. It alleges to be ancient history of this continent with a personal visit of ‘Jesus’ himself IN 3RD NEPHI and a number of false heresies with another gospel that damns eternally (Gal. 1:6-9), etc.
    SEE NEXT POST FOR #3 of 3.

  6. PART 3 OF 3 – MY RESPONSE:
    2 John 9-11 teaches that Christians are NOT to support, welcome, encourage false teachers who or can move within Christian circles to spread their errors and heresies. If any Christian does so, they are “partakers in their EVIL DEEDS.”

    It would be good if Christians, including those at The Roys Report, obey the Bible.
    Bad roots, bad fruit.
    Christians should not have anything to do with The Chosen – Eph 5:11, 2 Cor. 6:14-16 11:3-5, 12-15, Gal 1:6-9, 2 John 9-11.

    This article’s author and The Roys Report disobeys the scriptures I have listed (Otherwise I think The Roys Report is excellent and very much needed).

    “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Come out from them and separate from them and DO NOT TOUCH the unclean things, and I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16)

    For info on ‘Mormonism’:
    http://www.MRM.org
    ALSO:
    http://www.UTLM.org

    I again recommend:
    https://thewordlikefire.wordpress.com/2022/10/11/do-the-chosen-mormon-executive-producers-see-mormonism-and-christianity-coming-together/

    Click on my name to link to my full 2 posts. Part 1 here (unnamed, but still #1) is a shortened version.

  7. *** LDS CHURCH vs. BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY – PT 1 of 2:
    “VeggiTerri W
    “2 months ago
    “So wonderful to see people stop dividing themselves over differences of theology and embracing what they have in COMMON as Christians.” (CAPS orig.)

    Notice it says “what they [evangelicals & LDS/‘Mormons’] common AS Christians”. This plays into the LDS Church’s agenda to appear as Christians as evangelicals, etc., though ‘some’ differences in doctrine (Worse they commonly gloss over or don’t mention at all).

    Those are official LDS Church doctrines. They are not opinions, ‘folklore’, whatever. I believed them as a latter-day Saint/’Mormon’ and I knew why I believed them and where they were and are officially upheld and taught:
    * God the Father is “an exalted man who sits..in yonder heavens” who “dwelt on an earth” and became A God as did his goddess wife (Joseph Smith). Smith also said to believe that “God was God from all eternity” is wrong and he “will REFUTE that idea”.
    BIBLE: Ps 90:2 God is God FROM ETERNITY to eternity.
    * Jesus became A God & the LDS ‘Godhead’ are three literal, separate Gods.
    BIBLE: Isaiah 43-47 – there is only one God, none others before/after him.
    * Only Mormonism has divinely approved clergy/priesthood as “the only true church” (LDS scripture D&C 1:30).
    BIBLE: The NT has absolutely NO clergy-priesthood. It is always and only a “priesthood” of all Christians “a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices” (2 Peter 2:5-9; Rom. 12:1-2).
    While the LDS Church claims there are Christians outside of the True Church, the Bible teaches all Christians constitute the only true church, being baptized by the Spirit into it (1 Cor. 12:13, etc).

  8. *** LDS CHURCH vs. BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY – PT 2 of 2:
    * Salvation includes faith, but it is mostly by a system of works “through OBEDIENCE to the laws and ordinances of the [LDS] gospel” (AofF 3) because the BOM teaches “it is by grace that we are saved, AFTER ALL we can DO.” (BOM 2 Nephi 23:25), and we MUST “expend out own BEST efforts” before God brings us the rest of the way (LDS KJV Bible – Dictionary), and only by “denyng ALL ungodliness” is the ‘grace’ of God “sufficient” for salvation (BOM Moroni 10:32-33).
    BIBLE: They say the true full gospel was lost, but 1 Cor. 15:1-3 gives “THE gospel…by which you are saved”. And Mormonism’s gospel of works, temples, etc. is not the same. They add to the gospel.
    Eph 5:11, 2 Cor. 6:14-16; 11:3-5,12-15, Gal 1:6-9, 2 John 9-11 does not state evangelicals should be “embracing what [LDS & evangelicals] have in common AS Christians” (VeggiTeri W). We should not be participating and fellowshipping in heretical efforts, but reach out and “expose them” (Eph. 5:11).
    Again:
    “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Come out from them and separate from them and DO NOT TOUCH the unclean things, and I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16)

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