Friday, January 08, 2010

Ummm ...

Has anyone else heard about this?

Apparently an LDS gubernatorial candidate in Idaho is holding a meeting in a few weeks. Ok. But the meeting is for active Elders only, and the purpose is to discuss the "White Horse Prophecy."

I don't know about you, but this seems wrong to me on several levels.

1. An LDS candidate using his membership and perceived authority via secular position in order to gain political capital among other members of the church. Isn't the Book of Mormon pretty clear that priestcraft (using religion for one's personal gain) is a not a good idea?

2. Religion aside, what kind of person running for public office in the United States arranges a meeting and then explicitly states they're not inviting one gender? The article quotes Rammell as saying that "he hopes that the men will take the message home to their wives." Nice. Last time I checked, women in Idaho could vote. I hope they're taking notice of Rammell's perception

3. I perceive the topic—the "White Horse Prophecy"—to be problematic for several reasons. To begin, it's not scripture, it's not canonized, it's not officially taught, etc. It's compositional history (recorded 10 years after the death of Joseph by two men who relied on their memories) is open to criticism and leaves us with a text that cannot be defended doctrinally. (Note: I have nothing against the men and their integrity, but the history of the prophecy does not support a defensible text. FAIR has a decent article on this here.)

If you're going to have a political meeting for members of a specific religion, it's probably best to discuss something doctrinal / canonical rather than engage in speculation regarding a problematic text. Especially one that has been appropriated at times to justify the idea that Mormons need to take over the US government and ultimately institute a world government.

I paid attention to the story because, initially, the whole thing just got my feminine hackles up. I expect it to raise all of your feminine hackles as well. And your church vs. state ones. And your "what the hell?!" ones.

Seriously, am I missing something here? Am I the only one to see this not only as ridiculous, but dangerous? Next time I need evidence of the latent sexism in Mormon culture (not the church, but the cultural mores that has developed in the western "Mormon belt" in the US [Utah, Idaho, Arizona, etc.]), and specifically Mormons of a certain age (because honestly, I don't see this attitude as much in Mormons in their 20s and 30s) this story will come to mind.


JennyW said...

Sorry about having the whole post up / not using the Read More tag correctly. I tried, but it wasn't working the right way and half the post was getting lost in the process. Oh well. You'll live.

Lefty said...


We live in Idaho now. I've been reading about this for a month or so in our newspaper. It disturbs me, as well, on those very same levels.

Who is his campaign manager? Who would allow this to happen--for him to do this? It is political suicide. I haven't researched his political views or what changes he wants to make. I don't have to. His doing this loses credibility with me.

Oh. To answer your question, in case you couldn't guess: I would not vote for him!

So glad you wrote this post as it is one of my currant rants.

Warren said...

That's ridiculous.

JonF said...

Nice rant. Reminds me of me. I agree that this is wrong on many levels.