The Mormon Third Eye usually does not delve too deeply or dangerously into the murky realm of politics; it can be very hard to see clearly through the clouds of compromise that crowd politicians’ skies. However, with the ascendancy of Mitt Romney’s run for President, at least more than one of the mass of our readers has asked for the MTE perspective. The Mormon Third Eye sees dimensions of this issue too often hidden by layers of traditional LDS assumptions and culture. History is a great teacher, and MTE recommends analyzing the long record of capable church members who have led other nations in the Americas as source of perspective in assessing how a Mormon White House might affect the church’s present and future. We may have to reach farther back into the past than we expected, but the lessons are there.
While there were many righteous men who ruled over the rise and fall of successive Jaredite nations, the first national religious leader in the Americas we have enough information about to liken it to our current situation is King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon. King Benjamin did not take a salary, lowered taxes, and established a welfare system where both the rich and the poor humbly gave and received assistance according to their ability and capability. Likewise, it is possible that a President Romney could honor his ancient American doctrinal heritage and implement the first and second actions, but would definitely be challenged by the current nanny state to establish the Nephite welfare program.
Another Church member who led a great nation was Lachoneus. It may be easier to liken his situation to our nation today. He, like Mitt Romney, was a just man who became the leader of his Nephite nation by the voice of the people around 0 A.D. Lachoneus faced circumstances not unlike today’s current geopolitical environment. He wrestled with dissent from within in the form of persecution towards members of the church and an excess pride among the citizenry that nearly cost them their national identity as one nation under God. Externally, when the secret society of Gadianton tried to blackmail the Nephites into giving up their lands, possessions, and eventually their freedom in exchange for avoiding costly bloodshed, Lachoneus found some backbone and went about preparing the people to execute a clever unite and conquer strategy; he also had the masses turn their hearts towards God in prayer and faith.
A President Romney will face slightly similar circumstances. He will inherit a precarious economy prone to ignite the sparks of class warfare, and external threats from shapeless quasi- nation state terrorist organizations. Hopefully he would follow the Lachoneus model and inspire Americans to unite against a common threat while warning against material excesses at home that can corrupt the system.
We could just strategically ignore over-analysis of his religious roots, and just believe that he would apply the same compassion and resolve that brought him so many blessings in his ecclesiastical and vocational pursuits to serving the public interest as President. Either way, his successful election will transform the church and its members into magnets of extraordinary attention to our beliefs and how we live them.
I want to believe.