As you have read elsewhere on this blog, Mormons have a peculiar brand of patriotism when it comes to the United States of America. While they are not the only Christian sect to believe that God favors America above all other nations, they take that belief literally. God brought about the founding of the United States specifically for the purpose of founding His church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So says Mormon doctrine.
But it doesn’t end there. Mormons believe the future of their church and the future of the nation are inextricably intertwined in the Divine Plan; that one cannot succeed without the other. This belief is based largely on the so-called White Horse Prophecy attributed to Mormonism’s founding prophet, Joseph Smith, which says:
“…the time [will] come when the Constitution [will] hang as by a thread and at that time when it [is] thus in jeopardy, the elders of this Church [will] step forth and save it from destruction.”
(This prophecy is the basis for the political thriller By A Thread, in which a young Mormon missionary is convinced by this and other Mormon scriptures to embark upon a CIA mission that leads him into a conspiratorial underworld that does indeed threaten the Constitution.)
As the 2012 presidential election nears, Mormons who believe that the prophesied moment has come in the person of Mitt Romney, are urging each other to help fulfill the prophecy. The following is just one example of the messages, posts, and emails that are circulating among the LDS faithful:
We were contacted today and asked to participate in a fast on Sunday for Mitt Romney and asked to enlist others to do the same. That’s what this email is about. It is specifically to pray for him to have the Spirit with him during all the debates, but especially this first one.
Some suggestions of what to pray for are that he may have clarity of mind, recall of information, strength of convictions and present himself as strong and confident. You’ve no doubt heard it said that this is the most important election in many years. We are not only electing a President, but defining the future of the United States of America by the choices that we make. If we live righteously, the Lord will continue to bless this covenant land as He has promised.
If you feel that this is something that you would like to be a part of, wonderful. If you feel comfortable enlisting others to join in, even better! As the Primary children will tell us on Sunday, we need to “Choose the Right.”
Will the prayers of the faithful be the key to Mitt Romney’s success? If he wins, will it be the fulfillment of prophesy long awaited by Mormons? Will he indeed “save” the Constitution? How might he do that? And from what would he be saving it?
More importantly, what will faithful Latter-day Saints think if Romney loses? Will they believe that they are at fault because they didn’t pray fervently enough? Will God’s plan be frustrated? Or will they attribute Romney’s loss to the candidate himself?
More than likely they will just conclude that the Moment is not yet, that they were mistaken in their belief that Mitt was the prophesied savior of the Constitution. And they will settle in and wait for the next White Horse candidate.