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‘The Chosen’ Director Jokes Jesus Told Lazarus, ‘I’m About To Quote the Book of Mormon’; Critics Respond

Dallas Jenkins
The Chosen press photos (press.thechosen.tv), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Dallas Jenkins, director for “The Chosen,” antagonized critics of the successful drama chronicling the life of Jesus by posting a comment referencing Mormonism on social media following a new episode that aired on Christmas.

During the third episode of the series’ third season, titled “Physician, Heal Yourself,” the drama portrays the account of Jesus reading Scripture from Isaiah as recorded in Luke 4.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,” Jesus reads, going on to proclaim that he is the Messiah.

The show’s Rabbi Benjamin, who taught Jesus, becomes infuriated at Jesus’ claim and calls him a “false prophet” while quoting Deuteronomy 18: “But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.”

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Around the the 34-minute mark of the episode, Jesus’ close friend Lazarus begs Benjamin to not have him put to death. Jesus tells Lazarus that “it’s fine,” leaning over to whisper something into Lazarus’ ear.

What Jesus whispers is a mystery to viewers, which provided Jenkins an opportunity to take some jabs at critics who have accused the show of promoting LDS theology.

“Most common question after Episode 3: ‘What did Jesus whisper to Lazarus?’ I’ll reveal the mystery in the comments,” Jenkins posted on Facebook.

The director then jokingly revealed that Jesus said, “I’m about to quote the Book of Mormon.” The comment received over 2,800 likes and laughs.

One commenter asked Jenkins, “If you do anything from The Book of Mormon on The Chosen, it would be awesome if you did a little bit of 3rd Nephi! Absolute respect for what you do keep bringing the spirit to the show!”

Jenkins replied, “The Chosen takes place in the 1st century. That said, I do think it’d be a great troll for me to have Jesus on the cross and look down and wink at Joseph Smith walking by.” Smith was the founder of the Church of Latter-day Saints.

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“No, I’m serious, obviously. You don’t think it’d be cool for me to have Jesus wink at Joseph Smith,” Jenkins later commented, clarifying his joke.