Mormon convert takes interrogation skills to national audience in 'Take the Money and Run'

Published: Monday, Aug. 15 2011 5:00 a.m. MDT

Such a divine base stems from Bishop’s conversion in 2002, which began years earlier when he met his wife, Dell and later sent their son Greg on a mission. Though he didn’t always see a need for organized religion, Bishop’s personal relationship with the Savior provided the foundation for a “more serious look” at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints once Greg began his missionary service.

When Bishop found himself sharing his testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel to a 16-year-old who was investigating the church and two Mormon missionaries who came to his home for dinner while Greg was still serving.

“There’s a thousand reasons not to join the church, but there’s only one reason to join, and that’s because it’s true," he told the young seeker. He knew that night that “it was time to get wet,” he said.

There was just one problem, according to Dell, who joined the LDS Church in her 20s.

“She said, ‘You can’t, not until Greg gets off his mission,’” Bishop said. “It was like, 'Wait a minute, she’s never pressured me, though that’s what she’s wanted, and now we’re waiting?'”

Good thing Greg stepped in. The now-mechanical engineer in Texas was quick to respond.

“'Why do you think I’m on a mission?’” Bishop remembers his son writing. “He was fine to go the temple (with me) when he got back.”

Following an initial calling in his ward’s young men presidency and a position in a young single adult bishopric one year later, Bishop now fills a current assignment with Dell as young adult mentors. The 20-somethings come to their home for family home evenings and for other activities.

“Of course, nothing starts before nine at night,” Bishop said of the visits or activities he and his wife will have with the young single adults in their ward. “It keeps us young. I’ve already said I’m not going back to our family ward when we’re released. We’re too immature for family wards anyway, so they sent us back.”

Either congregation would likely beat out the settings that Bishop is typically used to seeing — a jaunt from the British world he remembers as a young boy before his parents took him to southern California.

“My job is not to judge the individuals, but the first process on the road to redemption is confession, and it’s my job to do that,” Bishop said. “Whatever happens after that is up to them, but if I can get them to take the first step toward redemption, I’ve achieved what I can do.”

And the detective wouldn’t have it any other way.

"Take the Money and Run" airs Tuesday evenings on ABC.

Email: rwilkinson@desnews.com

Twitter: wilklogan

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