New Augmented Reality Tool Brings New Testament to Life
Through relevant movies, articles, scriptures, and photographs, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is employing augmented reality technology to bring to life significant events in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ in the Holy Land.
The launch of the new study resource corresponds with the Church’s “Come, Follow Me” New Testament study in 2023. Through the end of the year, the resource will be accessible on ChurchofJesusChrist.org in 24 different languages.
“As we study the Savior’s journey through mortality, we will discover principles of truth in His words and miracles, which provide strength and personal direction for our lives,” said Elder Randall K. Bennett, General Authority Seventy and editor of the “Liahona” magazine. “Not only can we learn of Christ, but we can better learn how to “follow his steps” (1 Peter 2:21) and “walk, even as he walked” (1 John 2:6).
How to Use the Tool
The augmented reality tool, available at virtualtours.ChurchofJesusChrist.org/lifeofchristmap, is best experienced on your iOS or Android mobile phone or tablet.
Scanning the QR code links you directly to the tool, or you can navigate to it on ChurchofJesusChrist.org. In addition, a link to the tool will be included in Gospel Library for corresponding “Come, Follow Me” lessons.
Simply hold your mobile phone or tablet over a flat surface and a three-dimensional map of the Holy Land will appear. The map displays locations of 91 events and teachings recorded in the four Gospels, such as the baptism of Jesus and the Sermon on the Mount. These events are organized into eight stages of the Savior’s earthly ministry, such as His North Galilean Ministry or the week before His Resurrection.
To learn about an event, select a number on the map or use the side gallery that allows you to scroll through the 91 events from the Savior’s life in order.
Once an event is selected, up to four icons appear at the bottom of the screen that let you access related content. Each of the 91 events links to scriptures, videos, articles, and images that you can select to help you learn more about the event.
Selecting the icon of the camera, for example, gives you a corresponding account from New Testament Stories for children, as well as paintings or photographs (when a children’s reader story is unavailable). Including the children’s resource was intended to help families share the experience together.
The scripture icon links to the passage of verses in the King James Version of the Bible. The play button icon shows a related video from the Church’s Bible Videos series, when available. The article icon provides a related general conference talk or article from the Church magazines.
This augmented reality experience is meant to help any student of the New Testament find a stronger connection to the Savior’s teachings. Some students may even discover scripture stories they never knew about, such as the cursing of the fig tree (event 65) or the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law (event 20).
The tool is also featured in the February 2023 isssue of the “Liahona” magazine. The print version of the magazine contains an index of the 91 key events and eight periods of the Savior’s life. The back cover folds out to a map of the Holy Land and Jerusalem with numbers corresponding to the 91 key events.
While each of the Gospels depicts the order and location of some events differently, the order and locations presented in the print version of the map and the augmented reality tool follow the Harmony of the Gospels and Bible Maps study aids published by the Church.