One Mighty and Strong: Mormon Prophecy and Mitt Romney

And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God; THE DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS SECTION 85:7

In 1844, Joseph Smith (founder of the Mormon religion) launched his bid for President of the United States.  His goal was to overthrow the U.S. Constitution and bring a Mormon theocracy to the Nation.  His candidacy was a long shot with opponents Democrat James Polk and Whig Henry Clay receiving the bulk of the attention.  But that didn’t stop Smith from fervently petitioning his people to form a giant voting block to help further his mission to be an independent commander in chief of an “army of God”.’s run for President was cut short when he was killed by a gang of anti-Mormons.  His attackers gained access to Smith while he was sitting in jail for declaring martial law in Nauvoo, Illinois where he was Governor.  His declaration was prompted by a newspaper (the Nauvoo Expositor which only printed one edition, the infamous anti-Mormon issue) which exposed Smith’s polygamous relationships, his desire to overthrow the U.S. Government in favor of a Mormon theocracy etc.  Smith issued a decree that the printing press of the Expositor should be destroyed, and it was.  He then declared Martial Law in  Nauvoo to protect his people from retribution.  The charge against Smith was treason, and while he sat in a Carthage jail cell along with faithful Mormon compatriots awaiting trial,  the mob used subterfuge to gain access to the cell and kill the beloved Mormon prophet.

Prior to his death, Smith had written a prophecy declaring that there would one day come a man “mighty and strong” (see scriptural reference at the top of this post) who would bring order to the “house of God”. Many (probably Joseph included) thought this mighty and strong man would be Smith himself. With the loss of their Prophet, Mormons struggled to understand who would fill those mighty shoes.

After Smith’s death, a Mormon tradition arose about a Mormon on a “white horse” who would come at a time when the Constitution was “hanging by a thread” and would restore the promised land to the Mormon people.  Some say that the white horse prophecy was written by Smith himself, while others dispute that claim.  According to the

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.

The official stance of the LDS is that the prophecy is NOT part of Mormon doctrine… but the “one mighty and strong” prophecy is part of the LDS literature, as featured in their sacred Doctrine and Covenants.  If anyone disputes how earnestly the LDS church adheres to the D & C, please see from their official college essay outline templates:

The Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of divine revelations and inspired declarations given for the establishment and regulation of the kingdom of God on the earth in the last days. Although most of the sections are directed to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the messages, warnings, and exhortations are for the benefit of all mankind and contain an invitation to all people everywhere to hear the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ, speaking to them for their temporal well-being and their everlasting salvation.

The two prophecies have combined in some Mormon circles to ignite a fervent desire for a true member of the Mormon priesthood would be able to save the U.S. and usher in the Kingdom of God on Earth… specifically according to LDS doctrine, the promised land is Independence, Missouri.

“Latter-day Saints know, through modern revelation, that the Garden of Eden was on the North American continent and that Adam and Eve began their conquest of the earth in the upper part of what is now the state of Missouri. It seems very probable that the children of our first earthly parents moved down along the fertile, pleasant lands of the Mississippi valley.” (John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, three volumes in one, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft 1960, p. 127)

Many have claimed to fulfill the prophecy of the “one mighty and strong”, and no one has lived up to the name.    Enter Willard Mitt Romney, Republican Presidential Candidate for the 2012 election.

When Mitt was growing up, he lived in a staunchly devout Mormon household.  While Mitt was in High School, his father, George W. Romney,  was exercising his political ambitions as governor of Michigan.  In 1968, George Romney ran for President as a GOP candidate.  Mitt was abroad in France fulfilling his LDS obligation of spending two years as a Mormon missionary.  All the while Mitt was away, he was kept appraised of the latest political news regarding his father and the election.  Of course,  when Mitt returned in 1970, he was welcomed by a defeated George.

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Left: Newsweek spoofing Romney. Right: Actual photo of Romney as an LDS missionary.

That same year, Mitt’s mother Lenore ran for a Michigan senate seat.   Mitt was very involved in his mom’s campaign and became even further entrenched in the political scene.  It was during this time that the at Brigham Young University declared their admiration of Mitt and predicted that he’d be the president of the United States one day.  According to an article on

…the Cougar Club — the all male, all white social club at Brigham Young University in Salt Lake City (blacks were excluded from full membership in the Mormon church until 1978) — was humming with talk that its president, Mitt Romney, would become the first Mormon president of the United States. “If not Mitt, then who?” was the ubiquitous slogan within the elite organization. The pious world of BYU was expected to spawn the man who would lead the Mormons into the White House and fulfill the prophecies of the church’s founder, Joseph Smith Jr., which Romney has avidly sought to realize.

When Romney attained the role of president of the BYU Cougar Club, he began to exhibit just how ambitious he could be.  The Cougars often held parties that doubled as fund raisers for BYU sports teams.  Sometimes they were able to generate thousands of dollars in donations.  That wasn’t satisfactory for “president” Romney.  He organized and oversaw a telethon which managed to generate one million dollars.

It is not shocking that former associates were a bit miffed when old Mitt denied that he’d had any political ambitions in his early life.  It is further surprising that Mitt denies his interest in the “mighty and strong” and “white horse” prophecies, as both were reportedly integral points of interest to many members of the Cougar Club.  Said Romney, “I haven’t heard my name associated with it or anything of that nature,” in an interview to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Surely this cannot be true.  Knowing how deeply the LDS church has desired since its inception to one day have one of their own as the head of the U.S. Government, it would be unthinkable that political all-star Romney had NEVER heard himself equated with such prophecy.

In fact, his own father faced such allegations during his run for the presidency.  So Romney certainly had “heard” his name mentioned in such a manner.  Some even say that he was named the “one mighty and strong” during a meeting of the Cougar Club.

So, knowing all of this, should conservatives who oppose the re-election of Barack Obama consider Mitt Romney to be a suitable alternative?  It is worth noting that Mitt Romney admitted that he considers the Declaration of Independence to be a theological document, not specific to the 13 colonies who were in rebellion at the time it was written, but establishing a covenant “between God and man.”    He also believes the Constitution to be a divine document, as did his dear Prophet, Joseph Smith:

And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood (D&C 101:80).

April 2012 headline of the Salt Lake Tribune. Image:

The GOP is largely made up of Christian conservatives, who wish to see the United States restored to a morally upstanding nation.  Many of these Christians believe that Romney’s squeaky clean image and morally pristine appearance (as with all Mormons, he’s vowed not to drink coffee, smoke cigarettes or partake in “strong drink”), that it is ok to look past his LDS heritage and his place (as bishop and stake president, Romney presided over a number of congregations)  in the LDS hierarchy.

I also find it important to point out that despite Romney’s efforts to dissuade those who press him about whether he believes he’s been chosen by God for the role of president, there is a piece of Mormon dogma that people may find troubling.   It was set in place by Smith himself and is referred to as “lying for the Lord.”  As an act of self preservation or to protect the Mormon church, it is doctrinally ok to lie about your beliefs or intentions.  Smith did it with regard to his polygamous lifestyle.  Brigham Young did it when he claimed that only Paiute Indians were responsible for the Mountain Meadows Massacre .  Did Romney lie?  Will he?

Could Romney be intending to run the United States as a Mormon theocratic state?  All Mormons are beholden to their hierarchy.  Were a “revelation” about his presidency to come from the current LDS president (or Prophet), or the sacred Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, would he be compelled to carry out their commands even if it went against the will of the people of the U.S.?  Even Mormon apologists would say yes.  Do you still feel comfortable with a Mormon president?

This is a fascinating topic and I really hope to see some discussion take place in the comments below.  All sources are linked and highlighted within the text.  I expect to have a fair amount of rebuttal from members of the LDS church, and I welcome all debate and commentary.