There have been some who have accused the Mormon Church, formally known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of conspiring to take over the government of The United States of America. These accusations stem from a misunderstanding of the Church's history and of revelations received by the prophets of the Book of Mormon and of the Church.
The U.S. Constitution - Inspired GovernmentBook of Mormon prophets foretold some events relevant to the establishment of the U.S. Nephi was the first prophet who recorded his revelations in what later became the Book of Mormon. In 1 Nephi 13 (recorded around 600 B.C.) it says:
- And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land. [Mormons assume Nephi saw Christopher Columbus in vision.]
- And it came to pass that I beheld the Spirit of God, that it wrought upon other Gentiles; and they went forth out of captivity, upon the many waters. And it came to pass that I beheld many multitudes of the Gentiles upon the land of promise [North America]; and I beheld the wrath of God, that it was upon the seed of my brethren [Native Americans]; and they were scattered before the Gentiles and were smitten.
- And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people before they were slain. And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles who had gone forth out of captivity did humble themselves before the Lord; and the power of the Lord was with them.
- And I beheld that their mother Gentiles were gathered together upon the waters, and upon the land also, to battle against them. And I beheld that the power of God was with them, and also that the wrath of God was upon all those that were gathered together against them to battle. And I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles that had gone out of captivity were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations (1 Nephi 13:12-19). [A prophecy of the Revolutionary War]
In other prophecies in the Book of Mormon, it says that whoever lives on this North American continent must worship God and keep His commandments or be swept off --
- And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks—And harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father; yea, they shall be numbered among the house of Israel; and they shall be a blessed people upon the promised land forever; they shall be no more brought down into captivity; and the house of Israel shall no more be confounded (1 Nephi 14:1, 2).
- Wherefore, I, Lehi, prophesy according to the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord. Wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever (2 Nephi 1:6, 7).
The Founding Fathers were raised up by the Lord to establish a free nation:
- And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me. therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land (Doctrine and Covenants 98:4 - 6).
- According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles; 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 (Doctrine and Covenants 101:77, 80).
Mormons believe, that should the constitution be destroyed by the wickedness of the American people, Mormons will continue to uphold it, since it was approved and enabled by God. There are prophecies given by early prophets of the Church that seem to foretell problems with the Constitution:
- "'You will see the Constitution of the U.S. almost destroyed. It will hang like a thread as fine as the finest silk fiber.’ At that time the Prophet’s countenance became sad because he said ‘I love the Constitution. It was made by the inspiration of God....A terrible revolution will take place in the land of America such as has never been seen before... During this time the [Church] will have gathered strength, sending out elders to gather in the honest in heart among...the people of the U.S. exhorting them to stand by the constitution of the U.S. as it was given by the inspiration of God.'"
The above revelation was purportedly received by Joseph Smith, but it cannot be verified through church historical records. Others of the early prophets of the Church quoted it, and some had similar revelations, enough support that the prediction has entered the folklore of the Church and inspired a dedication to the Constitution as an inspired document. Prophet Brigham Young said, “Will the constitution be destroyed? No: it will be held inviolate by this people; and, as Joseph Smith said, ‘The time will come when the destiny of the nation will hang upon a single thread. At that critical juncture, this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction.’ It will be so” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 7, July 4, 1854, p. 15).
Mormons who are politically active have all sorts of political leanings, though most tend to be conservative. Note that liberal Harry Reid and conservative Mitt Romney are both Mormons, so there is no political ideology that Mormons center upon. There is no conspiracy to take over the U.S. government on the part of Mormons. Only the expectation that if the Constitution is ever shredded, Latter-day Saints will do what they can to uphold it.
- See also Constitution of the United States