Let me be crystal clear: Ted Cruz, I am absolutely certain, is an evangelical, born again biblical Christian.
However, a feature article in "The Salt Lake Tribune" this weekend is quoting Glenn Beck, who strongly supports Cruz, in suggesting Ted Cruz is the fulfillment of Joseph Smith's "White Horse Prophesy"---a Mormon prophecy regarding the end times of our Constitution and our country.
Does this have more to do with a last minute---"save the Party, save the country" appearance of reluctant candidate Mitt Romney at the GOP Convention this summer, than it has to do--ultimately, with Ted Cruz?
These are troubling, confusing, fearful times---certainly not for the faint of heart.
Hours before Jesus would be crucified, He told His confused and fearful followers who had begun to think the end, not the beginning, was fast approaching, "Let not your heart be troubled..."
Ahead of tomorrow's primary election in Utah, Cruz and Trump have been holding campaign events in the state.
The Salt Lake Tribune, in an article that has been "updated" at least once, perhaps twice since it was first published Saturday, is quoting Glenn Beck who is suggesting that Ted Cruz is likely the fulfillment of a Mormon prophecy that is related to the end times called, "The White Horse Prophecy."
While campaigning for president, Cruz also helped kick-off the re-election campaign of Utah Senator Mike Lee, a close friend and conservative Senate colleague of Cruz.
Mitt Romney did not attend the rally, but was tweeting his support for Cruz. Mike Lee and Carly Fiorina were there to support him in person.
It was Glenn Beck's comments that caught my attention. This is a link to Beck's Facebook page which has a video of his 8-minute speech.
Live from Utah!! Supporting United States Senator Mike Lee and Ted CruzPosted by Glenn Beck on Saturday, March 19, 2016
Beck said, "I want to speak to you about something that may be controversial. And it's not something that I have said when I have been out with Ted [Cruz] and Mike [Lee]. But it's something that this crowd needs to hear---that Utah needs to hear. The body of the priesthood is known to stand up when the Constitution hangs by a thread."
"I am a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," he explained. "What attracted me was not only the truth of the message, but also the people like President [Harold B.] Lee and [Ezra Taft] Benson who knew exactly who we were---knew who we were as a country," referring to former prominent LDS leaders.
He continues, "I joined many times. What held me through was the prophecy that our Constitution will hang by a thread, and this People would remember what our Founders did. It is our responsibility to stand for the Constitution."
The White Horse Prophesy was said to have been given by Joseph Smith in 1843.
In the prophesy, Smith is said to have told the Mormon faithful that at some point in the future: "You will go to the Rocky Mountains and you will be a great and mighty people established there, which I will call the 'White Horse' of peace and safety"---likely a reference to the Four Horsemen in the biblical book Revelation.
Smith then said, "You will see the Constitution of the United States almost destroyed. It will hang like a thread as fine as a silk fiber."
Generations of Mormons from Brigham Young to Glenn Beck have quoted the phrase about the Constitution "hanging by a thread" as sign and signal that the Mormon church will play a key role in saving America---picking up the pieces of a failed culture and Constitution.
Pat Bagley wrote in The Salt Lake Tribune back in 2010, likely thinking of Mitt Romney, that "from the earliest days of the LDS Church, Mormons 'considered themselves the last Real Americans, the legitimate heirs of the pilgrims and Founding Fathers. And they believed, the very survival of the Constitution depended on the Saints. From Smith on, LDS leaders prophesied the Constitution would one day hang by a thread, only to be saved by Mormons."
While the White Horse Prophesy has been said by some to be outdated and "not embraced as church doctrine"---probably because it also references a revolution in America, most Mormon leaders have held it to be authentic church teaching and have quoted it often.
Brigham Young, in 1855, wrote, "When the Constitution of the United States hangs, as it were, upon a single thread, they will have to call for the 'Mormon Elders' to save it from utter destruction; and they will step forth and do it."
Ezra Taft Benson, in 1986, in a Brigham Young University speech said, "I have faith that the Constitution will be saved as prophesied by Joseph Smith. But it will not be saved by Washington. It will be saved by the citizens of this nation who love and cherish freedom...enlightened members of this Church---men and women who will subscribe to and abide by the principles of the Constitution."
George Romney, Mitt's father, said in 1967 as a US presidential candidate, speaking about the White Horse Prophesy: "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."
The irony of Pat Bagley's article is that while giving account of the White Horse Prophesy, he is actually trying to make the point that Brigham Young believed the Constitution to be an evolving document, writing, "However, old habits die hard. Recent polling found Mormons to be most conservative of the conservative; the strictest of the strict constructionists. Inflexible in their devotion to the Constitution"...often identifying government as the problem, etc.
Then Bagley quotes Brigham Young as an apparent believer in an "evolving or living constitution" with this:
"The signers of the Declaration of Independence and the framers of the Constitution were inspired from on high to do that work. But was that which was given to them perfect, not admitting of any addition whatever? No; for if men know everything, they must know that the Almighty has never yet found a man in mortality that is capable, at the first intimation, at the first impulse, to receive anything in a state of entire perfection. They laid the foundation, and it was for after generations to rear the superstructure upon it. It is a progressive---a gradual work."
So, in the mind of the Mormon Church, which is it? A document to be preserved or one to live and evolve?
Never in recent decades has a presidential campaign taken on this level of intrigue, baseness and uncertainty that this current presidential campaign reflects.
John 13 is an account of misunderstanding, denial, betrayal and fear among those closest to Jesus.
Hours before He would be crucified, he spoke to his disciples, explaining things they would better understand later, saying: (14:1) "Let not your heart be troubled....."
America has awakened to our perilous times. And is responding in a variety of ways.
God's message is for His people to be informed, but not frightened---involved, but not overwhelmed----trusting, not traumatized by the chaos and confusion swirling in our culture.
And to not be misled. God is doing something unique in America today. Jesus also said, "Trust Me."
This election is more spiritual than political. Seek guidance from the Lord. Follow that guidance. Be at peace.
Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Faithful. Be Prayerful.