After recent controversies and questions around the hit show’s relationship with members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the creator of “The Chosen” has released a video clarifying what he called the “LDS issue.”
In the video, Dallas Jenkins specifically addresses statements that are falsely attributed to him and taken out of content—specifically phrases such as “LDS are Christians” and “Mormons and evangelicals love the same Jesus.” While he does not mention some contentious debate on social media, the video is also likely a response to many non-Latter-day Saint followers who do not believe Latter-day Saints are Christian and have been recently vocal about this on the show’s social media pages. These viewers have been worried about how a religion they disagree with might be affecting the show’s content.
Jenkins clarifies that those statements were misconstrued and he “could have given more content and clarity than that I’m giving now.” He continued to say that he would not make such definitive statements because “it would be wrong of me to ever say that any one group believes any one thing altogether. That is just a level of arrogance that I don’t have. It would be just as dumb for me to say that all LDS are Christians, as it would be to say that all evangelicals are Christians, or that all Catholics are Christians or any other faith tradition. It would also be dumb for me to say that none are.”
Jenkins made clear that while he has many close personal relationships with Latter-day Saints, no denomination influences the show. “As I’ve said, many, many times, the content of the show has zero influence or input from any formal faith tradition or church. None.”
However, Latter-day Saints are involved with the show. “The Chosen” is distributed by Angel Studios, which was co-founded by Latter-day Saint brothers Neal and Jeffrey Harmon. The show was allowed to film on the Church’s recreated set of ancient Jerusalem for episodes and its Christmas special. Latter-day Saints are also on the crew. Derral Eves is one of two Latter-day Saint executive producers on the show. He gave an interview to LDS Living in January 2022 discussing his relationship with Jenkins and the show.
“[Jenkins] was able to see my heart and he’s been the biggest defender of me, and my family, and my faith background,” Eves said. “And he’s literally had to endure stuff that no one should endure because of our relationship. Honestly, I’ll always been eternally indebted to him because of how he has defended me and my beliefs. And on the flipside, he’ll say other things of how we’ve helped him and it’s just been [a] very synergistic project.”
In a late April 2022 social media post, “The Chosen” explained that they “are not produced by Mormons.” While the post was meant to be humorous, it shed light on how some followers felt about any Latter-day Saint connection to the show.
“I don’t think I’d watch it if it was produced by Mormons,” one woman said. Another said, “[Mormons] deny the basic tenets of what it means to be a Christian. You saying things like that is literally loving them to their eternal torment. Do your research do you can minister to the lost better. Mormons stand in judgment of God if they don’t repent of their false religion and seek the God of the Bible.”
Many other commentators came in to affirm that all Christians of any denomination are part of the body of Christ. It is in this atmosphere of debate that Jenkins released his video today.
“The Chosen” is a multi-season series about Jesus Christ that has garnered international acclaim and has been praised for its humanity and authenticity. It is currently filming season 3. The first two seasons are free to stream and available on their app. Learn how to watch here.
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.