Mormonism, America, and the White Horse Prophecy
The Book of Mormon claims to be a record of two migrations of ancient people to the Americas: the family of Jared around 2000 B.C. and, the family of Lehi 1,500 years later. This first migration to America supposedly took place when the Tower of Babel was being constructed. The "brother of Jared," is instructed by God to build eight watertight, rudderless "barges" to carry people and animals (including bees and fish) to the promised land.
The only Jared mentioned in the Bible gave birth to Enoch, - he was the son of Mahalalel, the son of Cainan, (Luke 3:37; 1 Chron. 1:2). He died a few hundred years before the Noah and the flood. So trying to connect history of the book of Mormon with the Bible is an impossible expectation. But this story does not end here, Chapter 2 of Ether, in the book of Mormon states that the barges were tossed about and "buried in the depths of the sea" many times. Their journey over sea before man built the first boat, took nearly a year to arrive at the uninhabited continent of America. The Jaredites that journeyed to the new land grew from 30 to many thousands and then perished because of their wickedness.
The Mormon’s, known today as the Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints places the Garden of Eden in Jackson County, Missouri, Their modern day, Gentile prophet, Joseph Smith founder introduced a revisioned Christian religion in 1830, in upstate New York. We are told an angel had appeared to him and delivered to him the revised Christianity found in the Book of Mormon by gold tablets that were buried by the former ancient inhabitants that came to this land.
The Mormons believe that they were to set up the new Zion here in America. This is far more significant than what the pilgrims thought of the new country they came to for religious freedom. It’s ingrained in Mormon history and theology of how important America is (after all this is where the brass plates were left and given by the former inhabitant Moroni who visited Joseph Smith). They also claim Christ visited America after his resurrection and promised his second coming in Missouri to the inhabitants in America. Mormonism and America are intertwined historically, according to their theology.
Not since Judaism do we have a religion directly connected to a land and its history, even without evidence of the abundance of history in their own book.
What many are unaware of is the office of president is uniquely connected to Mormonism in a variety of ways. They have given it the name the White Horse Prophecy which basically states, “that the U.S. Constitution will be hanging by a thread” and a church elder from Zion will ride metaphorically on a white horse to save it. This prophecy is interpreted by the majority as a Mormon president saving the country. As years have gone by it becomes more and more a probability for this scenario they paint to take place in America.
What makes this interesting and relevant is that Mormons were not friends of our government when they began. Our government came against their lifestyle of polygamy that the leaders and members practiced in Utah, and they were threatened by cessation to stop the practice. Church President John Taylor, reacting to the laws dating back to the Morrill Anti-bigamy Act of July 1, 1862, stated in their defense that: "Polygamy is a divine institution. It has been handed down direct from God. The United States cannot abolish it. No nation on earth can prevent it... I will defy the United States, I will obey God" (Salt Lake Tribune, January 6, 1880)
Heber C. Kimball responded – “Plurality of wives is a law established by God forever. It would be easier for the United States to build a tower to remove the sun as to remove polygamy” (Millennial Star, vol. 28, p. 190)
They stood their ground, for a time. While the law of the land can go against ones religious beliefs, it is different matter when ones religious beliefs go against what God actually has taught. In this matter God has never sanctioned polygamy in the new covenant (see 1 Tim.3:2,12; Titus 1:6 on leaders of a church).
A discourse delivered by Elder ORSON PRATT, in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, Aug. 29, 1852
“We shall endeavour to set forth before this enlightened assembly some of the causes why the Almighty has revealed such a doctrine, and why it is considered a part and portion of our religious faith. And I believe that they will not, under our present form of government, (I mean the government of the United States,) try us for treason for believing and practising our religious notions and ideas. I think, if I am not mistaken, that the constitution gives the privilege to all the inhabitants of this country, of the free exercise of their religious notions, and the freedom of their faith, and the practice of it. Then, if it can be proven to a demonstration, that the Latter-day Saints have actually embraced, as a part and portion of their religion, the doctrine of a plurality of wives, it is constitutional. And should there ever be laws enacted by this government to restrict them from the free exercise of this part of their religion, such laws must be unconstitutional.”
Pratt defended polygamy as their religious right to practice their religion, citing the constitution.
The United States Governmentwent after Mormons who were engaged in the practice of polygamy. On Jan. 16, 1886, Lorenzo Snow, who would later become the 5th prophet of the Mormon Church, was sentenced to six months in prison. When the prosecuting attorney predicted that if Apostle Snow was convicted, "a new revelation would soon follow, changing the divine law of celestial marriage," Lorenzo Snow emphatically replied: "The severest prosecutions have never been followed by revelations changing a divine law, obedience to which brought imprisonment or martyrdom. Though I go to prison, God will not change his law of celestial marriage" (Historical Record, 1887, vol.6, p. 144)
But change did come; it had to, if they wanted public acceptance.
The practice of polygamy was offensive to American citizens, polygamy has been a continual embarrassment. For the church to be accepted they had to abandon this unique practice of their founder and prophets. The leadership was under pressure. It just so happened, a revelation occurred just in the nick of time. See the official Mormon website http://lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/od/1?lang=eng
The polygamy practice was officially banned by the church in the late 1800’s, yet polygamy is still practiced by sect’s of fundamental traditional Mormon’s that hold to the original teachings of the early prophets (i.e. Warren Jeff’s).
In the LDS Temple ritual, the participant takes oaths and covenants are made before God that are spoken as eternally binding. All participants are required to verbally take every oath. One such oath that was part of the ritual was called The Oath of Vengeance. Sworn against the United States in retribution for the deaths of Mormon founder Joseph and Hyrum Smith.
"You and each of you do solemnly promise and vow that you will pray, and never cease to importune high heaven to avenge the blood of the prophets on this nation, and that you will teach this to your children and your children’s children unto the third and fourth generation. It was quietly removed from the ritual in 1927” (Chuck Sackett, “What's Going On In There”, p. 62. letter rescinding oath, Apostle George. F. Richards, 2/15/1927).
The Mormon Church has had an ongoing love/ hate relationship with the United States government. Clearly the early leaders were angered at having to change their eternal practice of polygamy (which was related as necessary to becoming a god on another planet and populating it as planet earth was. Brigham Young: "The only men who become Gods, even the sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy" (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 11, p. 269)
As bewildering as it may seem, Mormons want to be president, beginning with the founder,Joseph Smith: “I prophesy in the name of the Lord God of Israel, unless the United States redress the wrongs committed upon the Saints in the state of Missouri and punish the crimes committed by her officers that in a few years the government will be utterly overthrown and wasted, and there will not be so much as a potsherd left . . .” (History of the Church, Vol. 2, p. 182. February, 1835; History of the Church, Vol.5, p.394 (May 18, 1843). http://www.irr.org/MIT/WDIST/wdist-fp-hcv5p394.html)
In retrospect we can look back and see this prophecy did not occur.
“LDS attachment to the Constitution has been further encouraged by an important oral tradition deriving from a statement attributed to Joseph Smith, according to which the Constitution would "hang by a thread" and be rescued, if at all, only with the help of the Saints.Church President John Taylor prophesied, "When the people shall have torn to shreds the Constitution of the United States the Elders of Israel will be found holding it up to the nations of the earth and proclaiming liberty and equal rights to all men" (Journal of Discourses 21:8). To defend the principles of the Constitution under circumstances where the "iniquity," or moral decay, of the people has torn it to shreds might well require wisdom at least equal to that of the men raised up to found it. In particular, it would require great insight into the relationship between freedom and virtue in a political embodiment of moral agency” (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.1, 1992)
The Mormons believe that they were to set up the new Zion here in America. Joseph Smith talking to Elder John J. Roberts, of Paradise, Utah. Speaking of the future :
The White Horse prophecy predicts that the United States Constitution will one day "hang like a thread" and will be saved "by the efforts of the White Horse. At this time a terrible revolution will take place in the land of America, such as has never been seen before; the land will be left without a Supreme Government. Smith believed that the US Constitution was written by the inspiration of God and that the Mormon religion would save it - and America at this time. (this is a partial transcript)
Biblically, the White Horse is one of many horses described in John’s Apocalypse the book of Revelation. They are not on the side of good but are the beginning of God sent judgments to the earth. The parts we need to pay attention to are underlined.
"I want to tell
you something. I will speak in a parable like unto John the Revelator. You will
go to the Rocky Mountains, and you will be a great and mighty people established
there, which I will call the White Horse of Peace and Safety." When the
Prophet said you will see it, I asked him, "Where will you be at that time?" He
said, "I shall never go there. Your enemies will continue to follow you with
persecutions and will make obnoxious laws against you in Congress to destroy
the White Horse, but you will have a friend or two to defend you to throw
out the worst part of the laws, so they will not hurt much. You must continue to
petition Congress all the time, but they will treat you like strangers and
aliens and they will not give you your rights but will govern you with strangers
and commissioners; you will see the constitution of the United States almost
destroyed; it will hang by a thread, as it were, as fine as the finest silk
Continuing, he said, "During this time the great White Horse
will have gathered strength sending out Elders to gather the honest in heart
among the Pale Horse, or people of the United States, to stand by the
Constitution of the United States, as it was given by inspiration of God.
"The coming of the Messiah among this people will be so natural, that only those who see Him will know that He has come, but He will come and give his laws unto Zion, and minister unto His people. This will not be His coming in the clouds of heaven to take vengeance on the wicked of the world. The Temple in Jackson County will be built in this generation. The saints will think there will not be time to build it, but with all the help you will receive you can put up a great temple quickly. They will have all the gold, silver, and precious stones; for these things only will be used for the beautifying of the temple; all the skilled mechanics you want, and the Ten Tribes of Israel will help you build it. When you see this land bound with iron you may look toward Jackson County."
"… The last great struggle that Zion will ever have to contend with will be when the whole of America will be made the Zion of God. Those opposing will be called Gog and Magog. The nations of the earth will be led by the Russian Czar and his power will be great, but all opposition will be overcome and this land will be the Zion of our God. Amen."
In view of Mormonism, we can deduce its own prophet’s, his prophecy spoke of a temple built with gold and silver by Mormons in Jackson county, that America is called Zion. Smith believed their church had the 10 tribes of Israel whom would build it and save America as the white horse, who happens to be one of the 4 apocalyptic riders according to the Bible (referring to the Tribulation and the horsemen, the bible warns of when they say peace and safety). Of all the countries in the world Mormonism teaches our country was chosen by Jesus as Smith found the golden plates.
Joseph Smith's commented on the U.S. Constitution after his return from Washington, D.C., (July 1840) where his appeal for redress for the wrongs heaped upon his people in Missouri had fallen upon deaf ears. Doctrine and Covenants 101:0 Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, -Creation of the Constitution of the United States directed by the Lord--Parable of the woman and the unjust judge. (also read D & C 124:0 135:7)
The discourse as reported by Martha Jane Knowlton is as follows: "A few Item[s] from a discourse delivered by Joseph Smith July 19 - 1840....
"We shall build the Zion of the Lord in peace untill the servants of that Lord shall begin to lay the foundation of a great and high watch Tower and then shall they begin to say within themselves, what need hath my Lord of this tower seeing this is a time of peace &c. Then the Enemy shall come as a thief in the night and scatter the servants abroad. When the seed of these 12 Olive trees are scattered abroad they will wake up the Nations of the whole Earth. 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 up[on] which the Nation shall lean and they shall bear the constitution away from the very verge of destruction." (The Historians Corner, BYU Studies, Vol. 19, No. 3, p. 391-392)
"the staff upon which the nation shall lean," is believed to be the Mormon's in America.
Another account of this prophecy is found in the book, Words of Joseph Smith:
The History of the Church account is an amalgamation of the reports in the Joseph Smith Diary and the Nauvoo discourses of the Prophet Joseph. A reminiscent account of this discourse by James Burgess contains the essential details found in the other three accounts published here, and adds that the "Constitution and Government would hang by a brittle thread."
“In the month of May 1843. Several miles east of Nauvoo. The Nauvoo Legion was on parade and review. At the close of which Joseph Smith made some remarks upon our condition as a people and upon our future prospects contrasting our present condition with our past trials and persecutions by the hands of our enemies. Also upon the constitution and government of the United States stating that the time would come when the Constitution and Government would hand by a brittle thread and would be ready to fall into other hands but this people the Latter day Saints will step forth and save it”(I James Burgess was present and testify to the above (James Burgess Notebook, Church Archives). (Ehat & Cook, Words of Joseph Smith, 6 May 1843 Note, p. 279) http://www.amazon.com/Words-Joseph-Smith-Lyndon-Cook/dp/0910523398#_
Apparently Smith prophesied out of his hurt, and animosity of the governments policy rejecting their new found religion and its practice of polygamy. As the leader he was willing to step up and lead in whatever way he could change this. Joseph Smith declared his presidential candidacy in 1844, at a time when his followers were considered outcasts. He supposedly campaigned as “General Joseph Smith.” His campaign strategy was for volunteer missionaries to visit every state. The missionaries included 10 of the 12 apostles of the church. Smith’s platform called for ending slavery by compensating owners, financing the government through tariffs, creating a national bank and bringing Oregon and Texas into the union a real mixture of ideas.
But Smith never saw this to fruition. In July he was killed in jail by a mob at the age of 38, before his campaign even got running. His successor, Brigham Young, left Illinois in 1846 venturing to Utah with the newly formed church of Latter Day Saints, (this apparently included Miles Park Romney, Mitt Romney's great-great-grandfather).
Brigham Young stated on February 18, 1855 “We love the Constitution of our country; it is all we could ask; though in some few instances there might be some amendments made which would better it” (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, p. 182, Brigham Young)
“The present Constitution, with a few alterations of a trifling nature, is just as good as we want; and if it is sustained on this land of Joseph, it will be done by us and our posterity” (Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 8:324). Notice how Brigham Young describes America, as the land of Joseph, which make the elders of Israel the Mormons.
In the book, Discourses of Brigham Young, an edited collection of President Young's sermons from the Journal of Discourses, we read:
“How long will it be before the words of the prophet Joseph will be fulfilled? He said if the Constitution of the United States were saved at all it must be done by this people. It will not be many years before these words come to pass.(12:204). Young knew this as a prophecy of Smith and expected a Mormon to fulfill it.
“When the Constitution of the United States hangs, as it were, upon a single thread, they will have to call for the "Mormon" Elders to save it from utter destruction; andthey will step forth and do it. (2:182).
Heber C. Kimball said on September 6, 1856, that, "The Church and kingdom to which we belong will become the kingdom of our God and his Christ, and brother Brigham Young will become President of the United States... and I am Vice-President, and brother Wells is the Secretary of the Interior -- yes, and of all the armies in the flesh... You may think I am joking; but I am perfectly willing that brother Long should write every word of it; for I can see it just as naturally as I can see the earth and the productions thereof." ( Journal of Discourses, Vol. 5, p. 219http://www.irr.org/MIT/WDIST/wdist-fp-jdv5p219.html)
With statements like these and numerous others it is insulting to find a statement from the LDS Church on its Newsroom blogsite: "The so-called 'White Horse Prophecy' is based on accounts that have not been substantiated by historical research and is not embraced as Church doctrine" (January 6, 2010)http://newsroom.lds.org/blog/church-statement-on-white-horse-prophecy-and-political-neutrality http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2415374/posts
Really? This is part of their history spoken by the prophets of their church, recorded.
BYU also put out a statement “From time to time an old Mormon “prophecy” known as the White Horse Prophecy, surfaces. Despite the fact that Mormon leaders have denounced it as not having been issued by Joseph Smith, some members and non-members continue to circulate it, sometimes trying to apply it to a specific political leader or commentator” (BYU Studies Analysis of the White Horse Prophecy http://mormonchurch.com/1771/byu-studies-analysis-of-the-white-horse-prophecy)
Over 100 years later, after the founder, prophet of Mormonism became a presidential candidate, others ran for the white house. George Romney was a CEO of American Motors Corporation from 1954 to 1962 and Republican governor of Michigan. Republican George W. Romney launched his presidential campaign in 1967. He first became the party’s frontrunner but did not make it to the New Hampshire primary. Richard Nixon became the presidential nominee and named Romney to the Cabinet as secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Yet, people during his campaign asked him pertinent questions of racism; as the LDS Church at the time did not ordain black males to its priesthood. Romney was a vocal supporter of civil rights for blacks. They also wondered whether Romney would be “taking orders” from Salt Lake. Similar concerns were raised of a Catholic President answering to the papacy under Kennedy.
1976 Democrat Morris K. Udall a member of Congress (was not an active Mormon) went through the primary season and finished a close second before Jimmy Carter who went on to win the nomination and become president.
There was Bo Gritz, a Green Beret colonel who recently converted to Mormonism in Nevada and became the Populist Party’s nominee in 1992. Assisted by his fellow Mormons he received more presidential votes in the general election than any Mormon before him. Gritz received about 100,000 votes nationally. In Utah, he received 3.8 percent of the vote, and in Idaho 2.1 percent. For reasons not known, two years later, Gritz asked the LDS Church to remove his name from its membership rolls.
In 2000, Republican Senator from Utah Orrin G. Hatch ran, (a Senator since 1977). Within the GOP was also running George W. Bush, who won the nomination and presidency. It was said that Hatch’s support mostly came from LDS members.
In 2008 Mitt Romney (Son of George Romney) ran for president on the Republican ticket. He won the primaries in Massachusetts, Alaska, Minnesota, Colorado and Utah. He was running against Rudy Giuliani former Mayor of NY who had been married three times and John McCain, who had been married twice and still became the Republican nominee.
Now for 2012, we have two Mormons running, Jon Huntsman, former governor of Utah and Mitt Romneyformer Massachusetts governor who headed up he 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah making them successful. As we can see we have had a number of Mormons run for U.S. president