UPDATE: Added something about a new meme being spread by Evan McMullin supporters below.
ORIGINAL POST: Every time any member of the LDS Church dabbles with a position of political power, such as President of the United States, the “White Horse Prophecy” (WHP for short) seems to rear its ugly debunked head.
Now I get why that is. For Mormons, it’s basically the “Jesus would vote for me” trick that politicians often use to pander for votes. For those that haven’t looked into this made-up “prophecy”, it’s easy to get sucked into it. It makes Latter Day Saints heroic patriots that come and save the country at the moment of its most dire need. It’s hard not to get caught up in that if you’re a patriotic believer. But the problem with the WHP is that Joseph Smith never uttered it. When it popped onto the scene in the early 20th century, even the Prophet at the time (Joseph Fielding Smith) took the occasion of General Conference to debunk it (same link above but I’ll quote here).
I have discovered that people have copies of a purported vision by the Prophet Joseph Smith given in Nauvoo, and some people are circulating this supposed vision, or revelation, or conversation which the prophet is reported to have held with a number of individuals in the city of Nauvoo. I want to say to you, my brethren and sisters, that if you understand the Church articles and covenants, if you will read the scriptures and become familiar with those things which are recorded in the revelations from the Lord, it will not be necessary for you to ask any questions in regard to the authenticity or otherwise of any purported revelation, vision, or manifestation that proceeds out of darkness, concocted in some corner, surreptitiously presented, and not coming through the proper channels of the Church. Let me add that when a revelation comes for the guidance of this people, you may be sure that it will not be presented in some mysterious manner contrary to the order of the Church. It will go forth in such form that the people will understand that it comes from those who are in authority, for it will be sent either to the presidents of stakes and the bishops of the wards over the signatures of the presiding authorities, Or it will be published in some of the regular papers or magazines under the control and direction of the Church or it will be presented before such a gathering as this, at a general conference. It will not spring up in some distant part of the Church and be in the hands of some obscure individual without authority, and thus be circulated among the Latter-day Saints. Now, you may remember this
Sadly, this doesn’t stop people, both LDS and non-LDS, from jumping to it every time a member of the faith is seeking major office. Search “mitt romney white horse prophecy” or “orrin hatch white horse prophecy” and you’ll have more than enough links and vapid articles to waste your time on the grandiose conspiracy theories. It’s great clickbait but that’s all there is – the emperor has no clothes when it comes to the WHP. It isn’t true, it never was true and no one in their right mind should ever refer to it again if a member of the LDS faith seeks higher office. If they do, they should be censured.
Most recently the oddest use of the WHP came into play back in March 2016 when LDS talk show host Glenn Beck was touring the state of Utah for Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee. He trotted out something that made me groan and facepalm simultaneously. Alluding to the WHP, his pitch went completely religious and neither Senator Cruz nor Lee seemed bothered by a reference to it. This is the only occasion I am aware of that the WHP was used to whip up votes for a non-Mormon running for office(and look at how that worked out, for someone supposedly anointed by God to be President). Granted, Mr. Beck has done zero favors to the cause of the Gospel this election cycle and now he’s pandering to actual violent racism because his spigot of money from Tea Party fervor has ended. If I sound a little ticked off at Mr. Beck, I am as I’ve had numerous non-LDS friends bash the Church and want me to answer for Beck’s insanity just because we belong to the same faith. All I can do is disavow his crazy, often inconsistent ramblings; reassure them that this isn’t the sort of thing the Church preaches or that you hear from the pulpits and hope he stops making headlines.
UPDATE: New McMullin Meme Plays On WHP Misunderstanding
A new meme is going around the internet that once again uses the WHP to try and dupe fellow Latter-Day Saints into supporting a political candidate. Here it is:
This should be denounced by the McMullin campaign and the Church and once again, members of the Church should stop promoting the WHP and giving it credence.
Original Post: Is there any danger to our Constitutional Republic?
(Just note, like the rest of my blog, this is all my opinion, not official Church doctrine or anything of the sort. I don’t hold any leadership position in the Church either at the moment).
When I think about the future of the country, I’m reminded by this passage from the Book of Mormon. Given that the book was written about this land and it was written for our time, I can’t help but feel that the progress of Nephite society was prophetic in its events. Starting with Helaman 7:
4 And seeing the people in a state of such awful wickedness, and those Gadianton robbers filling the judgment-seats—having usurped the power and authority of the land; laying aside the commandments of God, and not in the least aright before him; doing no justice unto the children of men;
5 Condemning the righteous because of their righteousness; letting the guilty and the wicked go unpunished because of their money; and moreover to be held in office at the head of government, to rule and do according to their wills, that they might get gain and glory of the world, and, moreover, that they might the more easily commit adultery, and steal, and kill, and do according to their own wills—
6 Now this great iniquity had come upon the Nephites, in the space of not many years; and when Nephi saw it, his heart was swollen with sorrow within his breast; and he did exclaim in the agony of his soul:
Sounds a lot like today doesn’t it? 8 years ago, the country elected a President who was molded in the crucible of Chicago politics. No one should be surprised now that the same kind of corruption has infected every institution of the federal government such as the FBI who twists themselves into pretzels to get Clinton off the hook for breaking far more serious laws than say a sailor who took pictures of a nuclear submarine and is facing some serious charges over it. Continuing in Helaman 8:
4 And those judges were angry with him because he spake plainly unto them concerning their secret works of darkness; nevertheless, they durst not lay their own hands upon him, for they feared the people lest they should cry out against them.
5 Therefore they did cry unto the people, saying: Why do you suffer this man to revile against us? For behold he doth condemn all this people, even unto destruction; yea, and also that these our great cities shall be taken from us, that we shall have no place in them.
Is the U.S. Constitution invincible? Is the USA itself invincible? Sadly, no. Sure, we have proven that we can weather a lot of bad events. But Rome stuck around for a long time before the enemies from within destroyed it; same with the Nephites who enjoyed about 1000 years of society while we only have a little over 200. To think that there are no enemies to the Constitution or our liberty today is not only naive, it’s dangerous. You shouldn’t wait until we’re having monthly terror attacks like in France to wake up to that reality, otherwise it is far too late. Many people ask “why are there so many war chapters in the Book of Mormon?” – well you should also ask yourself the question, why does Mormon and Moroni spend so much time talking about “secret combinations”?
These combinations do exist today and they are working hard to destroy our liberty. Call it a political party or even the unified efforts or both major parties who have been fighting tooth and nail to stop an outsider from wrecking the good thing they have going on; the institutions of government that only seek to enrich themselves and keep their jobs even when their incompetence results in dead veterans; Islamic terrorists dream of causing catastrophic events that make 9/11 look like a training exercise while also working to undermine our culture and law through Sharia law…it’s a lot to take in and a lot to feel helpless over.
That said, I don’t think that Mormon/Moroni would have warned about those things if there was nothing to be done about it. The Nephites did take hard action to destroy the Gadianton Robbers more than once – when they were willing to make the uncomfortable and difficult choices to get it done, they were successful. It was when they gave up and joined them that things went from bad to much worse. If we want to stop some of the tide, the only outsider in the race who has a shot at cleaning house is Donald Trump. That’s why the elites in both parties are fighting like dragons to keep him out of the White House as they know it means that socialism has failed and their time is up. I’m not proclaiming he’s chosen by God or anything but when it comes to the Supreme Court and cleaning up the corruption in the many bloated institutions of government, he’s the best chance we’ve got at the moment.