Important questions about Faith: Romney, Mormonism and the End Times


Mitt Romney’s end-times theological beliefs have largely remained in the shadows during this election. However, a secretly-recorded video has resurfaced from Romney’s first presidential run, bringing renewed attention to Romney’s apocalyptic beliefs.

The video, recorded in 2007, shows Romney arguing off-air with conservative radio host Jan Mickelson, who prods Romney about his Mormon beliefs and attempts to get Romney to admit how different Mormonism is from evangelicalism.

Angrily and somewhat haltingly, Romney explains the LDS Church’s end-times theology, and how parts of its apocalyptic Second Coming theology aligns with evangelical teachings. While all of the video is worth viewing, the part in question begins at the 1:30 mark, in which Romney says:

Christ appears – it’s throughout the Bible – Christ appears in Jerusalem, splits the Mount of Olives to stop the war that’s coming in to kill all the Jews. Our church believes that. That’s where the coming and glory of Christ occurs. We also believe that over the 1000 years that follows, the millenium, he will reign from two places, that the law will come forward from one place (from Missouri), and the other will be in Jerusalem.

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Apocalyptic Beliefs: A Republican Problem?

Harris-Gershon quotes Sarah Posner as saying: “Apocalyptic beliefs are a Republican problem, though, not just a Romney problem; for example, George W. Bush, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee are all evangelicals who forged relationships with apocalyptic preacher John Hagee. I would very much like to know whether they co-sign Hagee’s apocalyptic visions.

I want to know the same answers about Romney, but not because he’s Mormon. Equally as pertinent to what Romney himself believes is what he thinks his base believes, and to what extent, as president, he’d be worrying about placating them. Remember, he was trying to show Mickelson he believes the same things evangelicals do. He’s running for president, for Pete’s sake!”

How does the celebration of future apocalypse affect leadership strategy?

Our beliefs in how the world ends make a difference in how we lead and follow. Evangelical resistance to global warming has a lot to do with their belief in man’s divine imperative to control the earth, and their confidence that the rapture will save them from the worst effects of any end time. (Although, recently, some Evangelicals have called for better stewardship of the earth, and I’ve been happy to see that — certainly, stewardship is a Biblical call as well as domination, and there are many different “flavors” of Evangelical interpretation.)

We already know Mormonism relegates women to lesser roles than men as a doctrine. But what about the apocalypse? We’ve joked about Zombie Apocalypse. But I’d also like to know what Romney really believes about this Mormon scriptural prediction, and what he’s willing to do to placate his Evangelical base, if he’s elected. I think it’ll might make a big difference in his leadership at home and in the Middle East.

One comment

  1. […] The limits of belief — the failure of leadership — and the celebration of apocalypse….. These things seem to naturally go together, whether or not the director intended it — and in my view, it’s about the failure of a leadership story, in this case Noah’s. He was good, I guess, as the founder of the ark — but once on board, what’s a seer to do? Rage, rage against the dying of the role that made him, the story that faith built, the dream that turns out a nightmare. Change is the way of leadership. Servant leaders often get stuck in the savior story, and need to remember their time is short, and when it’s time, it’s time to step down and let the followers rise with their own, better versions of the changing journey. […]


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