Chapter 38: The Murder of the Chief Judge

Book of Mormon Stories, (1997), 103–7


wicked Nephites talking

Wicked men had become judges over the Nephites. They punished the righteous people but not the wicked people.

Nephi

Nephi was sad to see so much wickedness among the people.

road into Zarahemla

One day he was praying on a tower in his garden. His garden was by the highway that led to a marketplace in Zarahemla.

Nephi praying

People passing by on the highway heard Nephi praying. A large group gathered, wondering why he was so sad.

Nephi talking to people

When Nephi saw the people, he told them he was sad because of their wickedness. He told them to repent.

Nephites listening to Nephi

He warned them that if they did not repent, their enemies would take their homes and cities and the Lord would not help them fight their enemies.

Nephi talking

Nephi said the Nephites were more wicked than the Lamanites because the Nephites had been taught the commandments but were not obeying them.

Nephi talking

He said that if the Nephites did not repent, they would be destroyed.

people angry

Some of the wicked judges were there. They wanted the people to punish Nephi for speaking against them and their law.

men arguing

Some of the people agreed with the wicked judges. Others believed Nephi; they knew he was a prophet and spoke the truth.

Nephi talking

Nephi told the people that they had rebelled against God and would soon be punished if they did not repent.

Nephi pointing

Nephi told the people to go find their chief judge. He would be lying in his own blood, murdered by a brother who wanted his position.

men running

Five men from the crowd ran to see the chief judge. They did not believe that Nephi was a prophet of God.

chief judge dead

When they saw Seezoram, the chief judge, lying in his blood, they fell to the ground in fear. Now they knew that Nephi was a prophet.

men pointing

Seezoram’s servants had already found the chief judge and had run to tell the people. They returned and found the five men lying there.

men angry

The people thought the five men had murdered Seezoram.

men talking

They threw the five men into prison and then sent word throughout the city that the chief judge had been killed and that the murderers were in prison.

men talking

The next day the people went to where the chief judge would be buried. The judges who had been at Nephi’s garden asked where the five men were.

judges talking

The judges asked to see the accused murderers.

men in front of judges

The accused murderers were the five men who had run from Nephi’s garden to the chief judge.

men in front of chief judge

The five men said they had found the chief judge lying in blood, just as Nephi had said. Then the judges accused Nephi of sending someone to murder Seezoram.

five men bound

Knowing that Nephi was a prophet, the five men argued with the judges, but they would not listen. They had Nephi tied up.

judge talking to Nephi

The judges offered Nephi money and his life if he would say he had plotted to kill the chief judge.

Nephi bound

Nephi told the judges to repent of their wickedness. Then he told them to go to Seantum, Seezoram’s brother.

judges talking to Seantum

Nephi told them to ask Seantum if he and Nephi had plotted to murder Seezoram. Nephi said Seantum would say “no.”

men grabbing Seantum’s robe

Then the judges were to ask Seantum if he had killed his brother. Seantum would again say “no,” but the judges would find blood on his cloak.

Seantum

Nephi said Seantum would then shake and turn pale and finally confess to killing his brother.

Seantum being taken away

The judges went to Seantum’s house, and everything happened as Nephi said it would. Nephi and the five men were set free.

Nephi

As the people walked away from Nephi, some said he was a prophet; others said he was a god. Nephi went home, still sad about their wickedness.