Mitt to the rescue: It was a prophecy allegedly uttered by Joseph Smith himself, but one the modern Church of Latter Day Saints dismisses. It predicts that in some future end time, with the U.S. Constitution hanging by a mere thread, a Mormon will ride in on a white horse to save it and, by extension, the United States.
While presidential candidate Mitt Romney denies giving the prophecy any credence, it has come up each time a Mormon has run for president: in 1968 when George Romney ran, and in 2000 when Orrin Hatch ran.
â€” Joseph Smith
The disputed prophecy was recorded in a diary entry of a Mormon who had heard the tale from two men who were with Joseph Smith in Nauvoo, Ill., when he supposedly declared the prophecy.
“You will see the Constitution of the United States almost destroyed,” the diary entry quotes Smith as saying. “It will hang like a thread as fine as a silk fiber.”
Not only will the Mormons save the Constitution, under the prediction, but the prophecy goes further, insinuating that Mormons will control the government.
“Power will be given to the White Horse to rebuke the nations afar off, and you obey it, for the laws go forth from Zion,” the prophecy says.
Mormons believe that Smith found ancient gold plates and transcribed them into the Book of Mormon. In 1844, a year after he supposedly told of the White Horse Prophecy, Smith ran for president, but was murdered by a mob. Given the entire premise of the LDS and the fact that the church has posthumously baptised thousands of non-Mormons, including Adolf Hitler and Elie Weisel, it’s curious why it is so quick to deny this particular crackpot prophecy.
The LDS Church denounces the premonition, which was recorded 10 years after Smith’s death. A church spokesman pointed to a quote from the faith’s sixth president, Joseph F. Smith, who called the prophecy “ridiculous.”
“It is simply false; that is all there is to it,” the church prophet was quoted saying.
Mitt Romney claims not to believe in the prophecy, and maintains his daddy didn’t believe in it, either:
“I haven’t heard my name associated with it or anything of that nature,” Mitt Romney told The Salt Lake Tribune during an interview earlier this year. “That’s not official church doctrine. There are a lot of things that are speculation and discussion by church members and even church leaders that aren’t official church doctrine. I don’t put that at the heart of my religious belief.”
But George Romney wasn’t so absolute when he offered an interpretation of the prophecy to “Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought” in 1967:
“I have always felt that they meant that sometime the question of whether we are going to proceed on the basis of the Constitution would arise and at this point government leaders who were Mormons would be involved in answering that question.”
Frankly, given the six years of abuse perpetrated by the Bush administration on the Constitution, any savior on a white horse â€” Mormon, Jewish, Presbyterian or Scientologist â€” would be welcome.