Last Tuesday morning, just before the alarm went off, I suddenly had a random thought that quite literally woke me from a sound sleep.
As I opened my eyes and the conscious mind began grasping hold of that which my unconscious must have been Indian leg wrestling with all night, the basic idea congealed around this one sobering thought:
“What if Sen. Mitt Romney turns out to be the fulfillment of prophecy?”
If you’ve been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for any amount of time, at some point you probably came across the so-called “White Horse Prophecy.” Even if you’re not familiar with that particular term, odds are you’ve heard someone associated with the faith offer a variation of the story. Basically, back in the 1800s the church's prophet Joseph Smith supposedly foretold that the Constitution of the United States would one day be “hanging by a thread,” and the elders of the church would be called in to save the divinely inspired document.
I remember first hearing about the White Horse Prophecy as a teenager back in the 1970s. Every once in awhile, when talk would turn to how wicked society was becoming, someone would trot out that old prophecy about Mormons saving the day. And democracy.
I think the idea was to make us as Mormons feel both special and patriotic, like we'd have some greater purpose to serve our country in the coming years. It was similar to another idea bandied about at the time — embodied in the LDS musical “Saturday’s Warrior” — which insisted that we as Latter-day Saint teenage spirits in the pre-existence had been saved for the last days, to battle a growing evil in the world.
Naturally, this flew in the face of the countless times that I, as an angry adolescent, had tearfully shouted at my parents: “I didn’t ask to be born!”
Apparently, not only did I ask to be born, I also asked to come of age in the 1970s, when the glittery specter of disco music threatened to destroy the very fabric of rock 'n' roll as we know it.
Ah, but I digress …
So anyway, this so-called prophecy, long disavowed by leaders of the church, reared its ugly equine head again during the 2012 presidential election. At the time, there were excited whispers among some Mormons that perhaps a Romney presidency would be the fulfillment of that prophecy.
Alas, it was not to be, and Barack Obama defeated Romney in the general election to secure a second term as president. The White Horse Prophecy again receded into the mists.
But now it’s back.
With the recent news reports about Romney and Trump’s public feud, some are speculating that Romney may be the chosen one — a Republican who emboldens other Republicans to stand up to a loudmouthed, bullying president.
After all, it was Romney who had the guts to call it “wrong and appalling” that Trump suggested China should investigate one of his political rivals.
Trump then quickly shot back on Twitter, mocking Romney’s 2012 presidential loss by saying that Romney “never knew how to win” and that he “choked” against Obama. Trump also called Romney a “pompous ‘ass.’”
Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, also waded into the bar fight, claiming that Romney was “bitter about” Trump winning the White House.
To which I believe I speak for at least half of the country when I say, “Yeah? Well, at this point who isn’t?”
Of course, the sticky wicket in all of this — at least for many Mormons — is that this latest fulfillment of the White Horse Prophecy is a little harder to take. I mean, Elder Romney wresting the presidency from the Constitution-hating socialist Barack Obama is one thing. But Latter-day Republicans trying to wrap their heads around the idea that maybe it’s Trump who’s been shredding the Constitution?
In the battle of faith vs. political party, which one wins out?
Personally, I have no idea if the Constitution is “hanging by a thread” — although I’ll grant you that it does appear somewhat threadbare in spots. But whatever the current state of that hallowed document, one thing seems certain.
Our current president has been running with scissors all over the White House.