Global Story Outline

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This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series The Book of Mormon as a Political Thriller

This post will be continually updated as I update the story. And feel free at any time to offer suggestions or ideas. The books of Mosiah and Alma actually lend themselves well to nine “seasons” of story. Picture each season as taking place across 8-10 “episodes.” It should be noted that these “seasons” and their story boundaries are likely to shift and re-balance as “episodes” are written and various parts of the stories are refined. So everything here is fluid. Furthermore, lots and lots of details and B-plots are left out of these summaries.

I also plan to add a lot. I want to flesh out the stories of the women in the lives of these characters. And I want them to have stories of their own. I don’t want their stories relegated to B-plots. And so by planning the project in this serialized fashion, if gives the story a little room to breath, to add in some of these additional stories along the way.

The only aspect of the text I intend to directly contradict is timeline. The story above takes place over merely a decade, whereas the story in the Book of Mormon takes place over a period considerably longer. To make this work, for example, in Season 1, I’m picturing Helaman as 10-15, his dad (Alma2) as 35-40, and his grandfather (Alma1) as 55-60. So while Helaman isn’t a main character in Season 1, he’s certainly around and involved. So he’d be 20-25 when he takes charge of the stripling warriors and fights alongside Moroni (who is himself around that age).

Also, I intend to ensure that characters rarely just come out of nowhere. Just because Gid isn’t mentioned until midway through Season 9 doesn’t mean he hasn’t been around for a season or two already, at least as a background character. Further, just because characters aren’t mentioned anymore doesn’t mean we don’t see them. Ammon is still around Season 9, living among the people of Ammon, having finally settled down and started a family.

That said, the ensemble of characters who serve as a primary focus of the story shift across the series. The primary protagonists starts off with Benjamin, Mosiah, Alma1, Abinadi, and Giden. Then in middle seasons, it’s Ammon, Aaron, Alma2, Nephihah, etc. Then in later seasons, it’s Pahoran, Moroni, Helaman, and Teancum. But these transitions take place gradually, across multiple seasons. And along the way, there’s strong threads of continuity. (Ammon, after all, is in all the seasons.) In this way, it’s similar to Game of Thrones — you are ending the series with an entirely different ensemble of main characters than you began it, but it’s all one grand story.

Season 1

Noah reigns in wickedness in the Land of Nephi, making an enemy of the Lamanite king through broken trade agreements and concubinage. Amulon distorts and twists the law of Moses in ways that enrich the king and consolidates power.

Abinadi, a former priest in the court (ousted when Noah replaced the priests), warns of destruction by the Lamanites, and soon after the Lamanites attack and steal flocks. The people fear. Noah successfully drives the Lamanites out of the land, winning the support of the people. Abinadi flees as Noah orders his arrest.

Meanwhile King Benjamin establishes just laws in Zarahemla, implementing Israelite custom and tradition, stamping out errant Mulekite tradition. His goal is to remake their community into a unified people of God, like ancient Israel.

Abinadi returns and warns again and warns of destruction by the Lamanites. He is arrested and brought to trial, where he testifies against the king, revealing their distortions of the law of Moses. Alma1 provides second witness to Abinadi, and is forced to flee the court. Abinadi is killed.

Alma1 teaches in secret, baptizing people into a faith community that is separate from King Noah and his priests. The hearts of the people generally soften, and begin to turn against King Noah. King Noah discovers what Alma is doing, and with his army tries to arrest Alma1. Alma1 is warned by Gideon, who flees with his converts into the wilderness.

Gideon heads a group of people (including Limhi) who seek to dethrone King Noah, but is thwarted by a Lamanite counter-attack. King Noah flees with his priests and his guard. The people of Limhi surrender to the Lamanites, while the king’s guard kills Noah. Amulon flees into the wilderness.

Meanwhile, Alma1 and his followers find the land of Helam and settle down in peace.

Meanwhile, King Benjamin gives his famous sermon, and seems to have brought the people onto the same page. He then hands the kingdom to King Mosiah, who with the help of a young advisor named Malachi, continues Benjamin’s efforts to establish and cement Nephite legal tradition.

Season 2

The people of Limhi live in fear of the Lamanites, paying burdensome tributes, while Alma1 and his converts live in peace in Helam. Alma2 begins to court a woman he hopes to be mother to his children (he is a single father, mother died in childbirth).

The priests of Noah, lead by Amulon, kidnap lamanite women, and bring the wrath of the Lamanites upon Limhi’s people, a battle ensues. Limhi pacifies the Lamanites and directs their attention to Amulon. Meanwhile, he sends out a group to find Zarahemla and ask assistance.

Meanwhile, King Mosiah is entreated to send a search party to the Land of Nephi, and he consents. Ammon is chosen to lead the party.

Although Limhi has placated the Lamanites, the Lamanite oppression continues to wear on the people. The search party returns and (wrongly) reports Zarahemla destroyed. Gideon convinces Limhi to proactively protect the people from harassment from the Lamanites out of the land. The battle turns against them and the oppression worsens.

Ammon’s search party arrives, plans an escape for the people of Limhi. They leave in the night. The Lamanites chase them and discovers Amulon and the Lamanite women they kidnapped, who pacify the Lamanites towards Amulon.

The Lamanites then discover Alma and his converts, and set Amulon over them. Amulon takes out his anger on Alma1 and his people. The woman Alma2 is courting is killed, and Alma2 is devastated. The community appeals for deliverance, and miraculously escape, and then reunite with Limhi and his people in Zarahemla.

But meanwhile, all has not been well in Zarahemla — disaffected Mulekites are beginning to question Mosiah’s laws. Mosiah is concerned that the alliance and former unity between the Nephites and the Mulekites is imperiled.

Season 3

Alma2 befriends disaffected Mulekites, among whom is Amlici and Nehor, and begins to take up their cause. Meanwhile, he is embittered towards his father and towards the Church, blaming them in part for the death of his love interest. He is also embittered towards the Lamanites, who he sees as a great enemy. His children (Helaman, etc.) find themselves torn between their father and grandfather, who now have two very different outlooks.

Meanwhile, Mosiah grants a commission to Alma1 to set up a church in the land. Aaron, Ammon, Omner, and Himni are among those who are skeptical of this new church and its differences from King Benjamin’s reign. They befriend Alma2 and begin to turn the disaffected Mulekites against the new church. Aaron promises to reassert Mulekite traditions and legal norms as future king, and together, Aaron and Alma2 also stir up anger towards the Lamanites.

Meanwhile, Mosiah and Alma1 try to hold together an alliance between Nephites and Mulekites that seems to coming apart at the seams, and are concerned over the warring hearts of the people.

Malachi counsels them to take draconian measures to stamp out the dissensions, but Mosiah and Alma1 choose patience instead. Alma1 does, however, excommunicate a number of Church members, and establishes Malachi and his brother, Ammoron, as a priest in the church.

Meanwhile, Amulon and his companions establish a community among the Lamanites. He learns that Alma1 — his former enemy — has taken on spiritual leadership in Zarahemla. He spread narratives of Nephite treachery, to turn the Lamanites against the Nephites and against Alma1.

An angel stops Alma2, Aaron, Ammon, Omner, and Himni, and convinces them of Alma1’s divine commission to establish a church in the land. The angel invites Alma2 to take a different lesson from their experiences in Helam, and to focus on the Lord’s divine deliverance of the people.

Alma2 lies in a stupor for days, until he awakes a new person — his former bitterness and anger towards his father, the church, and the Lamanites has washed away. Aaron, Ammon, Omner, and Himni also relinquish all hatred for the Lamanites, forswear the kingship, and depart on a mission.

Mosiah newly reorganizes the legal system to keep the disaffected Mulekites from relaxing the Israelite legal traditions instituted by Mosiah1 and King Benjamin. This angers the disaffected Mulekites, who feel disenfranchised by Mosiah2’s shift in legal system, and also deeply betrayed by Alma2, who is made both chief judge and high priest.

Season 4

A chief critic of the church and of Alma2, Nehor — a friend of Amlici and former friend of Alma2 (before his conversion) — is confronted by Gideon. And fight breaks out and Nehor kills Gideon. Nehor is brought before Alma2 to be judged, and Alma2 condemns his former friend to death.

Meanwhile, Amulon has found a role as the Lamanite king’s advisor.

Amlici accuses Alma2 of being a partial and biased judge by virtue of his dual position as high priest. He begins to incite unrest and riots among the disaffected Mulekites (who already feel disenfranchised by King Mosiah). He argues that no leader in the church should also hold judgeship — check and balance that would eliminate conflict of interest, but also shift the center of power away from Nephites and towards Mulekites.

Meanwhile, Ammon encounters Lamoni, becomes his servant, and defends his flocks. Lamoni is astonished and converted, as are many of his people.

Meanwhile, Aaron, Himni, and Omner are imprisoned, among Lamanites who are being prepared by Amulon for the coming war with the Nephites. They are treated as spies. The Lamanite king sets forth a feast with all of the local kings in preparation for the war — but his son Lamoni is missing.

A referendum is held in Zarahemla to settle the matters raised by Amlici, and the majority of the people still trust Alma2’s judgeship. Amlici is angry and leads his followers to the judgment seat to depose Alma2 by force. The rest of the community rises up to resist them, and a civil war breaks out. A massive battle takes place, and Alma pursues Amlici and his people. Teancum and Zoram take up leadership in the army.

During the night, Alma’s spies report that the Amlicites have joined a Lamanite army that is marching their way.

The Amlicites tell the Lamanites horror stories about Nephite oppression, which dovetail Amulon’s lies. A massive battle between Nephites and Lamanites ensues. The king of the Lamanites is injured and falls back. Alma defeats the Lamanites and returns to Zarahemla as the people mourn.

The Lamanite king returns to his land, and en route, he happens upon his son Lamoni, traveling to Middoni with Ammon.

Season 5

Picking up where Season 4 left off, the Lamanite king is horrified and angry that Lamoni is consorting with a Nephite, much less Ammon, a former friend of Alma2. Filled with stories of Nephite treachery, he seeks to kill Ammon and then Lamoni. Ammon stops him, and demonstrates love for Lamoni. The king realizes that he may have been lied to. He returns, and Ammon and Lamoni free Aaron and their friends.

Aaron heads to the king and teaches him. His household is converted, and he is sickened at the bloodshed he has caused based on the lies of Amulon. He realizes that hate makes them credulous towards those who wish to use them for evil purposes.

Meanwhile, Alma2 teaches in various Nephite cities.

The Lamanite king establishes freedom of religion among his community, and encourages the people to listen to the sons of Mosiah. Amulon is thrown out of the king’s favor, but he has sunk his claws into the hearts of many of the lower kings. Amulon befriends the remaining Amlicites among the Lamanites.

Meanwhile, Alma heads to Ammonihah. He is thrown out, and he sorrows because of the wickedness there. He feels responsible. (The people of Ammonihah were sympathizers with both Nehor and Amlici, who he killed as chief judge, so they see him as corrupt, and view the church with disdain.)

Meanwhile, Nephihah finds concern over rising dissensions again among the Mulekites, who have found favor in Zoram, the Nephite military leader. They begin to form a community in the edge of Nephite territory, near the Lamanites. Nephihah is concerned about his loyalties.

The Lord comforts Alma, and sends him back. He befriends Amulek, and together they teach the people and warn them of destruction by the Lamanites. Zeezrom contends with them, attempts to reveal Alma’s corruption. Alma and Amulek resist him, and he is converted.

Meanwhile, Amulon consolidates some lower kings and comes against the Lamanite king and his people, on the lie that Aaron and Ammon are inciting them to war against their Lamanite brethren. The Lamanites come to believe the king is betraying the people to the Nephites.

Meanwhile, the people of Ammonihah imprison Alma and Amulek, and kill many of the converts. Zeezrom is sickened by his sins and crimes.

The Lamanite converts bury their weapons, and many of them are also slain. But once again, Amulon’s lies are thus revealed, and the Lamanites rise up against Amulon and his followers and kill them.

Alma and Amulek escape the prison in Ammonihah.

Because Amulon was originally a Nephite (as was Ammon and Aaron), the Lamanites feel as though they’ve been puppets of an internal Nephite feud. In anger, a large force of the Lamanites heads over to Ammonihah and destroy the city. A massive battle occurs, with Zoram and his son Lehi leading the charge to defend the Nephites from the Lamanites. Nephihah is still uneasy with Zoram, but reassured and grateful for his service.

Season 6

Ammon and Aaron head to Zarahemla to seek refuge for Lamanite converts, and encounter Alma. A joyous reunion occurs. The Nephites offer up lands to the Lamanite converts, and protection. The refugees arrive in Zarahemla and settle in Jershon.

Zoram is deeply uncomfortable with the Lamanite refugees — he blames them for the Lamanite invasion of Ammonihah. Meanwhile, Teancum befriends Ammoron, the brother of Malachi.

Meanwhile, Alma contends with a new minister in the land named Korihor, who is swiftly gaining the support of the people. Korihor is refuted by Alma, and ends up dying among the Zoramites.

Alma (with his sons) and Amulek head over to the Zoramites to teach them. Alma’s son Corianton is seduced by Isabel, which hurt’s Alma’s efforts among the people, particularly the wealthy. Nonetheless, the poor in the city listen to Alma, and are converted. However, they and their converts are cast out by the Zoramites, and they go over to Jerson.

It is discovered that Zoram has been in communication with Zarahemnah, and that Zoram’s prior leadership and efforts to repel the Lamanite army and defend the Anti-Nephi-Lehites were actually in collaboration with Zarahemnha, who wanted to rise in power among the Lamanites. Zoram openly allies himself with Zarahemnha. Zoramites and Amlicite survivors (Amalekites) are appointed captains over the Lamanites.

Without their leader, the Nephite army is in disarray. Lehi denounces his father, but is not trusted as captain of the army. Moroni steps in and takes charge, and makes his friend Lehi a subcommander. The people in Jershon flee the borders, and Moroni gathers the armies there, and instructs them to make armor.

They defend the borders, and Moroni asks Alma for guidance. Alma tells him that the Lamanites are going to attack Manti. Moroni takes the armies and a great battle commences. The Lamanites who swear to never fight again are spared.

Season 7

Helaman and Nephihah observe growing dissensions from the Israelite legal code among many of the lower judges, and are concerned. Malachi is found to be collaborating with other chief judges to rule at variance with the Israelite legal code. This is considered a violation of Nephite law, but Nephihah struggles to empanel enough lower judges to depose the dissenting judges. During his attempts to do so, he becomes sick (he has been poisoned by Malachi).

While all this is happening, Alma counsels his sons, and confers the church to Helaman, and departs from the land, never to be seen again.

Moroni hoists the title of and rallies the people in support of their legal tradition, and accuses Malachi of being a king-man. The people covenant with Moroni to uphold their legal tradition, and Malachi is thus exposed by Moroni. Malachi gathers a number of lower judges, and takes upon himself the name Malachi’yah, and flees with his followers.

Teancum tries to convince Ammoron to leave his brother and stay, but Ammoron decides to stick with his brother and see what he can do to ameliorate the situation.

Moroni cuts Malachi’yah and his followers off. A small group, including Malachi’yah and Ammoron, escape into the Land of Nephi (Lamanite territory). Malachi’yah tells lies to the king of the Lamanites, who believes him because of his prior status among the Nephites. The king sends a proclamation to prepare for war.

A major part of the Lamanite army has had enough of being used as pawns by Nephite factions. Led by Lehonti, they flee to Onidah in defiance of the king. The king sends Malachi’yah to thwart them. Malachi’yah tricks and assassinates Lehonti with poison, returns to the king with the Lamanite armies. While there, he assassinates the king, and claims the kingdom for himself.

Malachi’yah tells the people the king was assassinated by Nephite spies. The people, once reluctant, now rally behind him. While all this is happening, Moroni has been fortifying the people and building strongholds.

Nephihah remains sick, and the chief judgeship is essentially vacant. As a result, dissensions are allowed to fester.

Malachi’yah sends the armies of the Lamanites to battle against Ammonihah and other fortified cities, and are repelled. Malachi’yah, angered, swears to drink the blood of Moroni.

Meanwhile, Nephihah dies and is succeeded by his son Pahoran.

Season 8

During Nephihah’s illness, various communities have felt emboldened and taken opportunity to commit aggressions. Moroni encounters messengers from the city of Lehi, telling him of aggressions from Nephites in the city of Morianton, led by Morianton.

Meanwhile, Morianton plans to head north and join with the people in the land Bountiful, and set up a new city state there separate from the Nephites — a plan that would cut off key resources and supply lines. Morianton rapes and beats one of his maid servants, who flees to Moroni and tells him the plan. Moroni sends Teancum with an army to head off Morianton, and Teancum slays Morianton.

Meanwhile, Ammoron courts and marries a Lamanite woman, who begins to fill his heart with aspirations for power. He starts to absorb the victimhood narratives of the Lamanites — not because he initially believes them, but because she does.

While this is happening, Pahoran takes the judgment seat, and lower judges petition him to change parts of the Nephite code, in ways similar to those previously those implemented by Malachi. Pahoran refuses, and a referendum is held to see if Pahoran will retain the judgment seat. The referendum comes out in Pahoran’s favor. Those who lost the referendum bide their time with patience.

At this point, Malachi’yah leads an attack on the Nephites with his armies, having gathered them from all parts of Lamanite lands. The Nephite armies repel his initial attack.

As this is happening, those who were upset with Pahoran refuse to help support the troops or rally their communities. Moroni tires of this and seeks permission to compel them to support the war and the Nephite legal system. Many are killed as Moroni cleanses the dissenters from the community. A number of dissenters, lead by Pachus (a lower judge), silently watch all this unfold, biding their time.

Meanwhile, the people of Ammon nearly break their covenants to assist in the war. Helaman persuades them not to. Their sons step forward, and Helaman beings training 2000 of them. He is inspired, himself, to take on military duties in addition to his ecclesiastical duties.

Meanwhile, Malachi’yah attacks and captures the cities of Moroni, Lehi, Morianton, Mulek, and others — the same cities of Lehi and Moriantion who were in dispute earlier in the season. Amalekiah then marches towards Bountiful to cut of the supply lines and resources that Morianton had tried to claim.

However, Teancum stops him in his tracks. The two armies camp for the night, and Teancum receives a secret message with a map of the camp and where Amalekiah is sleeping. He (rightly) believes it is from his former friend Ammoron, who he (wrongly) believes has given up trying to stop Malachi’yah in other ways. He sneaks into the camp and assassinates Malachi’yah.

The Lamanite armies retreat to the city of Mulek, where Ammoron is appointed king.

Season 9

Ammoron has instructed the Lamanite armies to maintain the cities they’ve captured, and returns to Lamanite territory to tell Malachi’yah’s wife and to also visit his own wife as king of the Lamanites.

Teancum writes to Moroni and tells him he believes Ammoron is more moderate than his brother Amalekiah, and that he wants to end the war.

Meanwhile, Ammoron gathers more men, and then leads them to the west side of Nephite lands.

But he gets there, Moroni leaves the armies on the west side and heads towards Bountiful, where he and Teancum hold a council of war. They then retake the city of Mulek through stratagem and trickery, and in a massive battle.

Moroni proposes a prisoner transfer, to test Ammoron’s temperament but Ammoron reveals in his response that he fully intends to make a religion out of this war. Teancum feels betrayed and used by Ammoron. Moroni and Teancum retake prisoners by stratagem instead.

While Moroni is occupied at the borders, Pachus makes a move on Pahoran, and forcibly wrests the judgment seat from him. Pahoran flees Zarahemla, and seeks help in neighboring communities. Pachus sends word to the Lamanites that Zarahemla is theirs for the taking.

Meanwhile, Helaman and his 2000 warriors collaborate with Antipus to capture an army of the Lamanites, and the cities of Antipus and Cumeni. They send Gid with Lamanite prisoners, who are killed attempting to escape. A great battle commences with the Lamanites, through it all, the 2000 are miraculously spared. Helaman, Teomner, and Gid then retake the city of Manti by stratagem.

Helaman’s carefully worded letter to Moroni tells Moroni he suspects there are kingmen left in the land who are refusing to support the war. Moroni writes to Paharon and accuses him of being a kingman. Pahoran writes back and asks Moroni for help. Moroni arrives in Zarahemla and defeats the remaining dissenters.

Together, Moroni and Pahoran rally the people in a final support for the war, slagging support turns into wild support. Nephi and Pahoran retake the city of Nephihah with stratagem, and pursue the Lamanites. The armies camp, and Teancum determines to slay Ammoron in the same manner as Amalekiah. He does so but is killed. The remaining Lamanites flee.

The war ends, Helaman resumes spiritual ministry, and internal Nephite dissensions seem to have finally been resolved.

Series Navigation<< IntroductionThe Three Kingdoms of Laman, and the Four Tribes of Nephi >>

One comment

  1. This is a wonderful effort. Of course there is a lot unstated in the Book of Mormon but an effort to flesh out the story helps us visualize the events more clearly. Of course you must realize that when the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon is revealed you will have some major revisions.

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