Tag Archives: constitution

Mitt, Mormons, and “the Moment”

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.”

Update: The Huffington Post has since picked up this story. Read it here.

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.

Will Mormons save the Constitution?

According to LDSResources.net, 2010 Idaho GOP gubernatorial candidate Rex Rammell, a Mormon, said, “To think that we can save the Constitution without God’s help when the government of the United States is corrupt is absurdity. We are in America’s second Revolutionary War to save our freedom, which we paid for with blood. We need God’s help and I’m not ashamed to ask for it. I do not believe this responsibility lies solely on the shoulders of the LDS elders, but I do believe the LDS elders will play a significant role in it, and I believe I am one of those elders. I am tired of people telling me that I can’t bring God and the Constitution into my campaign speeches.”

Rammel’s position appears to be based on the apocryphal LDS “White Horse Prophecy” attributed to Joseph Smith, Jr., Mormonism’s founding prophet. It is paraphrased here by a former president (also purported “prophet, seer, and revelator) of the LDS Church, Harold B. Lee in the early 1970’s:

Joseph Smith said that the time would come when the Constitution would hang as by a thread and at that time when it was thus in jeopardy, the elders of this Church would step forth and save it from destruction.

This prophecy figures prominently in the political thriller By A Thread, in which a young Mormon missionary is convinced by this and other prophetic statements to embark upon a CIA mission that leads him into a conspiratorial underworld that does indeed threaten the Constitution. In fiction, the Mormon belief in this prophecy motivates both good and evil forces to act to fulfill it. Will it have similar power in the real world of politics now that there are two Mormon “elders” running for President?

One wonders if the current LDS candidates for the GOP nomination to President of the United States, Ambassador Jon R. Huntsman and Governor Mitt Romney, the presumed front-runner, harbor feelings similar to Rammel’s regarding the significance of their candidacies. Does either of them expect to be one of “the elders of this Church would step forth and save” the Constitution?

 

President Romney—A fulfillment of prophecy?

With a Mormon now anointed for the Republican U.S. Presidential nomination, it’s worth reflecting on just what orthodox Mormons believe with regard to the faith’s role in the politics “of the last days.”

In my political thriller By A Thread, the young protagonist, a Mormon missionary, gets caught up in intense political intrigue, during which he is schooled in the convergence of Mormon doctrine, its attendant folklore, and the US Constitution. Recruited as a CIA operative, Elder Kevin “Red” Davis is reminded by a church leader of a Mormon scriptural passage that reads:

And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose.

This, ostensibly, is God speaking. Mormons believe God “established the Constitution” of the United States. This, one might surmise, could imbue candidate Mitt Romney with a sense of “divine right” or “providential inevitability” in his quest for the Presidency. Yes, he’s lost before. But that doesn’t preclude a belief that such a destiny is at some point inevitable. Such speculation is further underscored by an apocryphal pronouncement by the LDS Church’s founding prophet, Joseph Smith.

In order to persuade the hesitant Elder Davis that his CIA mission is divinely inspired, the Mormon leader in By A Thread has the young missionary read aloud the founding prophet’s purported declaration, as stated by Harold B. Lee, a later prophet in the LDS line of succession:

Joseph Smith said that the time would come when the Constitution would hang as by a thread and at that time when it was thus in jeopardy, the elders of this Church would step forth and save it from destruction.

Does Romney also believe this? Who knows. We do know that fellow Mormon Glenn Beck certainly believes it. Beck was very vocal on his recently canceled TV show about his belief that the time referred to in this quote is now. That this is the day of which Joseph Smith spoke, when the Constitution “hang[s] as by a thread.” It is no leap at all for other, similarly inclined Mormons to conclude that Mitt Romney is one of the “elders” (an office to which Romney has been ordained) destined to “save it from destruction.” Romney himself might even believe this.

Now, it depends on your political and religious inclinations to determine whether you see this as a good thing or a bad thing. Fearmongers at both ends of the political spectrum have been declaring the Constitution in jeopardy for at least a decade now. Those on the left cite the Patriot Act and George Bush’s disregard for habeus corpus (enshrined in the Magna Carta centuries before the US Consitution) as evidence; on the right it’s the supposed Muslim and Communist training of Barack Obama that has them convinced. In both cases, the present political campaign is seen as a life and death effort to save the Consititution.

If you’re on the left, Romney is most certainly not your savior. Yet even if you’re on the right, unless you’re a devout Mormon, you might still have trouble seeing a Mormon as divinely inspired to save anything, let alone something as important as your country. For most Mormons however, there will be little doubt who they should vote for. Even those who may have heretofore viewed the “by a thread” prophecy with some skepticism must be asking themselves now whether there might not be a thread of truth in it.

Why Mormons Choose the CIA

In recent posts I have offered reasons why the CIA prefers Mormons. In this post, I have excerpted an article that explores briefly why Mormons may choose to work for the CIA.

In 1987, Ezra Taft Benson, the president—and reputed prophet—of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, wrote an article in the church’s monthly magazine, the Ensign, entitled “Our Divine Constitution.” The following excerpt from that article sheds light on what might motivate so many Mormons to work for the CIA, as protagonist Kevin “Red” Davis does in the political thriller By A Thread.

 

I desire, therefore, to speak to you about our divine Constitution, which the Lord said “belongs to all mankind” (Doctrine & Covenants 98:5; italics added) “and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles” (D&C 101:77; italics added).

The Constitution of the United States has served as a model for many nations and is the oldest constitution in use today.

“I established the Constitution of this land,” said the Lord, “by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose” (D&C 101:80).

The Declaration of Independence affirmed the Founding Fathers’ belief and trust in God in these words: “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

The Doctrine and Covenants states, “We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life” (D&C 134:2). Life, liberty, property—mankind’s three great rights.

Unfortunately, we as a nation have apostatized in various degrees from different Constitutional principles as proclaimed by the inspired founders. We are fast approaching that moment prophesied by Joseph Smith when he said: “Even this nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground, and when the Constitution is upon the brink of ruin, this people will be the staff upon which the nation shall lean, and they shall bear the Constitution away from the very verge of destruction” (19 July 1840, as recorded by Martha Jane Knowlton Coray; ms. in Church Historian’s Office, Salt Lake City).

For centuries our forefathers suffered and sacrificed that we might be the recipients of the blessings of freedom. If they were willing to sacrifice so much to establish us as a free people, should we not be willing to do the same to maintain that freedom for ourselves and for future generations?

Only in this foreordained land, under its God-inspired Constitution and the resulting environment of freedom, was it possible to have established the restored church. It is our responsibility to see that this freedom is perpetuated so that the Church may more easily flourish in the future.

The Lord said, “Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land” (D&C 98:6).

(See the original article here.)