Does Mitt Romney's recent presidential campaign bid fulfill a Mormon prophecy?
Mormonism: A brief history of a faith in a brief piece from USA Today.
Romney’s quest for the presidency ends now that he lost to President Trump. Romney had expressed frustration and even anger during the campaign at some of Trump’s shortcomings. But, unlike Trump, he had a clear, long-term vision of where he wanted to go — something the president has never had.
Romney had no overarching message. He said little about foreign policy. He laid out almost no economic policies. But he did make three statements about certain issues: Gay rights, the environment and firearms. He expressed strong support for them.
This is a positive step for Mormonism because it represents a religious tradition that holds a set of principles to be essential, and that is not easily swayed by popular fads.
What was the purpose behind Romney’s presidential campaign?
Romney, like Trump, was drawing attention to himself and pushing his agenda in the hope of getting elected.
The difference is that Romney wasn’t courting minority voters because there weren’t any within his comfort zone. Romney’s task was to win over white voters in an effort to get them excited about his candidacy, then expand on that support by appealing to the voters who supported Trump in 2016.
Trump didn’t worry about failing to win over a broader electorate. In his first two years in office, he’s already reshaped the composition of Congress and Supreme Court by filling open seats with Republican-leaning nominees. He controls the executive branch. He dominates the public discussion on the country’s biggest issues.
The point is that Trump isn’t concerned about winning over the majority of voters. He’s done everything he can to pick off GOP moderates with his hard-line immigration positions and more support for law enforcement.
What does a Mormon prophecy say about Mitt Romney?
A popular segment of the Latter-day Saints religion’s narrative is about prophecies that predicted certain key moments in the lives of a number of historical figures. Members of the faith believe that these prophecies can be successfully interpreted and acted upon by doing a good thing.
Much like the Jewish tradition of the Antikythera mechanism, the Mormon narrative of prophecy is mysterious. It’s partly about the cult of personality in Mormonism, about how the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are trained to respond to scenarios that could occur, or are predicted to occur, in their lives. It’s about looking for opportunities and seizing the moment.
A common prophecy is about predicting the lives of historical figures. For example, a standard version says Moses died, became exiled and became depressed until he had a vision of Jesus. As some Mormons interpret the prophecies, it’s in this moment that Moses is redeemed and achieves his righteousness, able to better feed his people.
After the collapse of the Roman Empire in the second century A.D., followers of Jesus recorded the final days of Pontius Pilate (who had assumed power under Nero), Augustus Caesar (who was assassinated) and Hadrian (who governed over a republic only to be overthrown). During those last six months in power, Pilate killed Jesus.
These moments are considered to have happened because the prophet looked into a crystal ball. According to the Mormon version of the Antikythera mechanism, Jesus is at this point requesting Pilate’s leave.
If one looks closely, I can see His large forehead as He requests his name be no longer King. In this moment he dies of a fever. My confusion is cut off, no longer seeking to explain the actions of this powerful man that I have become so familiar with.
The point is that we need to act decisively in these moments of clarity. We need to make known God’s plan to a world that is torn.
What is the role of Mormonism in the presidential race?
A Mormon church website states, “Mormonism is not a political party nor is it a cult.” It’s easy to understand why they’d emphasize this. The claims of the LDS church are wildly contradictory to the claims of other religions, and the notion that Mormonism is inherently nonpolitical is a big part of that. It’s a way to clarify some of the complicated questions that complicate faith, and it helps to express a theological process without any political consequences.