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|Law & Order, Book of Mormon Style|
Feb. 2nd, 2014 at 8:55 pm
As a teenager, I had no interest in reading the Book of Mormon, which was silly because I was a voracious reader of every other book. When I finally got around to it, I was relieved it wasn’t nearly as boring as I expected. In fact, some parts were downright interesting.
One Book of Mormon story that got my attention is found in the book of Helaman. I like this story so much, I am convinced it would make an excellent Law & Order episode. Let me show you what I mean:
Law & Order – episode 15,700 – “The Prophet”
Opening Scene: A large crowed in an open forum
Nephi (the son of Helaman) tells a gathering of people that if they don’t repent, they will be destroyed. He alludes to corrupt laws. A group of judges who belong to a secret criminal ring, hear his prophesies and incite the crowd against Nephi. Some people defend Nephi, saying he is a good man (Helaman 8:7). The crowd becomes hostile.
Cut to dramatic Law & Order theme music and opening credit montage
Next Scene: In the Chief Judge’s office
After hearing Nephi’s prophecy, five men go and find the chief judge stabbed, lying in a pool of blood. In fear of Nephi’s power, they fall to the earth. The five men are found on the ground next to the dead body by the judge’s servants.
Enter senior detective Lenny Briscoe and jr. detective Mike Logan. They survey the scene and Lenny says, “Five guys to stab one judge? That’s a bit of overkill.” The men are arrested and sent to jail at Rikers Island (Helman 9:1-9).
The evening news announces the chief judge was killed and the murderers were caught. The next day crowds gather for the chief judges funeral. The corrupt judges hear about the men being held in jail while at the funeral. They go to Rikers, along with the detectives and interrogate the five men. The five men deny killing the chief judge. Lenny and Mike are confused by the story the men tell about Nephi and don’t know what to believe. They make a list of witnesses to interview. Meanwhile, the corrupt judges call a press conference and accuse Nephi of planning an elaborate scheme to kill the chief judge (Helaman 9:10-17).
Lenny and Mike are frustrated watching the press conference in Lieutenant Van Buren’s office. Lt. Van Buren tells the detectives to find more evidence against Nephi. She also orders them to check into the backgrounds of the corrupt judges, but to do it quietly. “No sense in causing trouble if we don’t have to,” she wisely advises them.
The District Attorney’s office bows to the public pressure from the corrupt judges press conference and release the five men from Rikers. All five men defend Nephi, saying he is prophet. Lenny and Mike scratch their heads, not sure what to think of Nephi (Helaman 9:18).
Nephi is arrested and interrogated by Lenny and MIke in the station house. Nephi forcefully defends himself against their accusations (Helman 9:19-24).
Next Scene: The District Attorney’s office, where Nephi is sitting in a conference room.
The District Attorney, Jack McCoy and Assistant District Attorney Jamie Ross, and the corrupt judges try to persuade Nephi to admit to killing the chief judge. Nephi tells them he knows of the evil in their hearts. (Helaman 9:21-24).
Nephi offers another sign of his powers of prophecy. (Helaman 9:25).
Jack McCoy stops the conference and meets with psychologist Elizabeth Olivet. Jack asks Elizabeth her professional opinion if Nephi is delusional. He wonders if they should take Nephi’s challenge. She shrugs and says it couldn’t do more damage to hear Nephi out. They agree to let Nephi talk.
Nephi tells McCoy to send the detectives to visit the dead chief judge’s brother. Nephi describes what will happen during their conversation with the brother, including that they will find blood on skirt of his cloak (Helaman 26-35).
Nephi boldly tells them the brother will confess the murder and will admit that Nephi knew nothing about it (Helaman 9:36).
Since Nephi has been in Rikers and had no way to contact the slain judges brother, Jack agrees to the test. He sends Lenny and Mike to interview the brother. Everything Nephi predicted came true during their interview with the brother (Helaman 9:37).
Next scene in court: Jack questions the brother of the slain judge. The brother cracks on the stand and confesses everything. The five men and Nephi are cleared of the crime (Helaman 9:38).
Last Scene in Jack McCoy’s office: Conversation between Adam, the State District Attorney and Jack. Jack asks, “So what do you think, Adam? Is Nephi a true prophet or a lucky delusional man?”