In this right-wing thing of ours, the Mormon faith has come up from time to time, most notably in reference to the very odd Evan McMullin, and the very weak Mitt Romney. However, commentators and thought leaders so far have been strangers to the Mormon faith. As someone that grew up in the Church of Latter-day Saints, what Mormons call their religion, I hope I can illuminate the matter somewhat and perhaps even begin to offer some humble answers to the question.
Entire books have been written about the Mormon religion, and its very name comes from their main religious text, a second bible of sorts, the Book of Mormon. To be brief, I will focus on the most significant and most essential elements, however for anyone wanting a more detailed history I would suggest as a starting point the book No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith by Fawn M. Brodie. Numerous other books exist but tend to be uncritically supportive of the church or virulently opposed to it.
The Mormon religion came into being alongside many new American faiths in the Second Great Awakening in the area of New York known as the burned-over district in 1830 when a young man named Joseph Smith claimed that he had been visited by God the Father and Jesus Christ, and was to be a modern-day prophet. Additionally, he claimed that an angel had given him golden plates that contained the history of a people that had once populated North America. Mormons believe that the Book of Mormon is the translation of these plates, and use it as their central religious text. Mormons also believe in the Bible, with the caveat of “as far it is translated correctly”. The intricacies of the Mormon faith are both fascinating, and for this analysis, irrelevant. What of their theology is of central importance is that Joseph Smith -and every president since- was and is seen as a prophet that receives divine revelation from God.
As a novel faith in America, the Mormons grew and often found themselves in conflict with their neighbors, requiring them to move a little farther west from time to time. With the church leader seen as a divine prophet, obvious political problems arose as he could much more easily sway the entire faith’s share of the electorate than a typical pastor. Eventually, this culminated in Joseph Smith’s murder, and the majority of Mormons following a new leader and prophet, Brigham Young, to the Salt Lake valley. Mormons continue to dominate the Salt Lake valley and surrounding areas, so much so that in 2018 Mitt Romney could move to Utah and claim a Senate seat with no real connection to the state other than his status as a well known and wealthy Mormon.
The Mormon religion maintains a vast network of churches that operate under a central authority, called the First Presidency which consists of the Church’s President/Prophet and two councilors. Directly below is a group of twelve called the Apostles and below them a system of “Seventies” organized into general and regional authorities. These men work full time exercising both administrative and ecclesiastical leadership over the church and receive stipends from the church. At the local level, church leadership and functionaries are entirely unpaid and drawn from the general membership through a semi-volunteer system with members belonging to a geographically assigned ward, within a stake, which is in turn within an area. In any given Mormon church building many wards may meet on Sunday, in staggered starts to accommodate them. At the same time to remain in good standing members of the church are required to donate ten percent of their income as a tithe to the church. This massive income stream with few paid positions gives the Church significant financial resources and funds church building, missionary work, humanitarian aid, and countless other endeavors.
The Mormon Church is most well known for their missionary work, done chiefly by young men and women in suits and dresses with the iconic name tags on bicycles. For young men in the Church, this is considered essentially mandatory at the age of nineteen while it is optional for young ladies that somehow make it to twenty-one without being married. These missionaries are sent all over the world and often trained in second languages before being sent abroad, which leads us to the odd character of Mr. McMullin and the general presence of Mormons in the intelligence community (IC). Mormon society does not typically create wild Bill Donovans or James Bonds, yet there are quite a few Mormons across the IC. What the Mormon Church does tend to produce is young people that know a foreign language are straightforward to get through the security clearance process and are quite accustomed to following rules. They are very likely only to have left the US for their missionary stint, and all of their friends and family are almost certainly US citizens with no significant foreign contacts. This makes them a perfect pool from which to draw middle managers for the Cathedral’s classified bureaucracy. Men like Mr. McMullin are not selected for these positions because they are daring or even capable, but chiefly because they are boring. They spent their lives coloring inside the lines and can be counted on to continue doing so while managing the overseas holdings of the empire.
To return to the question requires another. What is the Mormon Church? I would put forward that it is a network bound together by theological beliefs, regular rituals and meetings, and a shared sense of identity. This network is organized in a tree fashion with all official authority, direction, and status in the network emanating from the prophet at the center, and is unquestionable by those below him. Most religions organized along these principles do not last long, see the Anabaptists of Münster or Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple. Joseph Smith’s time has some interesting parallels to both; however, the Mormons managed to pass through this tumultuous phase and are now lead by a succession of elderly, sober, and cautious men. These prophets though can change any church policy or theology by merely claiming that a new truth has been revealed to them. For example, polygamy and limited negro membership were both at times core church doctrine only to be conveniently revealed away when societal pressure mounted on the church. Anything that the church holds true now, but that an octogenarian may at some point in the future be ashamed to say publicly can and will be changed. In this way, the Church gains extreme flexibility at the cost of having a spine. If the GOP is one to two steps behind Moloch the Mormon faith will be at most four to five.
With this in mind, how should the movement interact with and consider the Mormon faith? I suggest that the Mormon religion is a temporary, but ultimately unreliable ally. For now the Mormon church is overwhelmingly of European descent, family-focused, and generally against the more obvious forms of degeneracy. In the past, the Mormon faith included traditional racial segregation, and the book of Mormon is at its core a story of an endemic race war between the good fair-skinned Nephites and the darker skinned and wicked Lamanites. However, the Mormon church has since the 1970s softened it’s standings on race, eventually accepting the Cathedral view on the matter. Legitimizing the change with the 1978 Revelation on Priesthood, and changing all other policies accordingly.
An illustrative example can be seen in the case of Alya Steward, also known as “Wife with a Purpose”, whom the church made no effort to defend when the media attacked her in 2017 for expressing views the Church itself held as mainstream only two generations ago. The only statement was to confirm a slavish devotion to diversity. It seems the church is as amenable replacing it’s members as the Democratic Party is its voters.
The Church most closely aligns with the movement in the area of the family and sexual deviancy. When attempting to enlighten church members about the Dissident Right, this may be the best starting point. On this front they have been active in the past, having played a significant part in helping to defeat the 2008 California Proposition 8 to legalize gay marriage. For now, the Church maintains a traditional view on the matter and does not allow homosexual marriage ceremonies, however, they have softened their position to: “The experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people. The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is." Apparently Matthew 5:28 was not “translated correctly.” It is not unreasonable to expect that if the current situation continues while Cthulhu swims left the Church’s leadership will begin to feel increasing pressure from the usual suspects, and they will receive convenient revelations that allow Gay temple marriages, and drag queen Sunday school.
On the other hand if some political break or emergency should occur the Mormon church would undoubtedly be an important factor in North America. They may even be a useful if imperfect ally in a neo-White guard coalition. The Church maintains an extensive hierarchical network, members are encouraged to stockpile food and supplies, and the Church maintains an effective low-level paramilitary training system with Boy Scouts being a core part of the Church’s youth program. Most Mormons share many views with the movement and are only supportive of diversity from a surplus of propaganda and a deficit of experience. Living near and knowing some Mormons may be a suitable temporary stopgap while building more reliable networks as well as an opportunity for the careful pointing out of problematic truths. However the church is only ever as strong as the senior man at the top, and as of late the elders across The West have lacked in both conviction and virtue.
Like any group, much can be learned from the Mormons, even if at times it is as a cautionary tale. This is perhaps what makes the Mormon church most worthy of study, and perhaps in certain ways even emulation. They are one of the strongest and most significant of the young religions present in North America. They survived the trek to and settling of Utah, and they manage to keep their birthrate significantly higher than the North American average. The areas they tend to populate are economically successful, and their communities tend to be well run and orderly.
The first lesson from the Mormon church is principles and leaders. One of the two must be paramount. Either the leader is the in charge because he best embodies and defends the group's principles or the principles are what people follow because the leader has said so. The church supports the second option, which allows it to change as necessary easily, but like a boneless blob makes it vulnerable to a single weak-willed leader. The Catholic church has recently experienced a similar failing with Pope Francis. There is often within the movement a call to drop all principles, as the left ’s cult of Tiamat is so apt to use the laws of our fathers against us in a kind of spiritual judo. I would contend that the answer is not to abandon principles, but rather to develop and adopt better principles or perhaps to reach farther into antiquity for our ancestors' beliefs from before the so-called enlightenment. After all, an arm without the rigidity of bones may be more flexible, but how would it ever swing a sword?
The Mormon church maintains a system of high school seminaries and youth organizations which tend to place young Mormon men and women in close proximity (under adult supervision) while at the same time actively encouraging early marriage. The church assigns a high status to weddings in the temple (only possible to another Mormon) as well as to having children. A young family with children can often count on considerable support from their local ward. I can remember many weekends as a teenager loading or unloading Uhauls for some young family moving in or out of the neighborhood, and many meals cooked by my mother for families that had a child recently born. This has produced a fertility rate among Mormons significantly above the national average; however, it does not seem to suppress divorce any more than other religions. Long-term success depends on generating further generations, and emulating some of these practices will be necessary for the struggle.
In addition to creating the next generation, the Mormon’s young men’s organization explicitly promotes masculinity through the Boy Scouts program. I spent many nights backpacking in the mountains with other boys my age led by men from our church and learned many of the skills necessary to earn the rank of Eagle Scout from my father in those mountains. So much so that when I arrived at basic training much of what we were being taught, I already knew. Young women learn feminine skills in their organization from the women of their ward and prepare to join the church’s Relief Society. These efforts to teach young men and women in separate environments their different social roles is an effective counterweight to the public co-ed education system’s attempt to create the sexless homoeconomucus.
One word of warning though, the decision to pair the young men’s program with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has been a vector by which poz has threatened the church. With the recent decisions to allow homosexuals, transsexuals, and women into the organization, the church finds itself in the unenviable position of needing to amputate the connection to the BSA. Perhaps what it forms as a replacement will be better, maybe worse. Only time can tell. Any youth organizations established by the movement would need to repeat the successes the Mormons have created while avoiding the pitfalls that have crippled and will likely kill the BSA.
Lastly, the church uses a system which it refers to as callings. These are central to how the church functions in a semi-volunteer way at the local ward and stake levels. A calling is something that a church authority above the member asks them to do. Typically it is performing a regular function for a time or perhaps a one time service, such as giving a sermon (called a talk) in church on Sunday. Sunday School teachers, BSA Scoutmasters, choir leaders, even the ward Bishops, Stake Presidents, and General Authorities are appointed in this manner. In theory, the Church Presidency is itself called by God. While it is always possible to refuse a calling, it is seen as denying a request or directive from God and thus is strongly discouraged. Holding certain callings, particularly in leadership roles gives considerable status within the church community. Nearly every adult I could think of when I was a child held some form of calling which tended to change from time to time even if it was as simple as watching young children during Sunday school or shoveling snow at the church. Many held more than one at a time. This means that each member has a job to do, and if members failed to be there on Sunday, prepared for their calling, they are letting someone else down.
It is quite typical across the west in various settings to ask for volunteers to perform a task. While we may scoff at some of what Dr. Peterson may say, he is quite correct in pointing out that for most people bearing a weight of responsibility gives life more meaning. Also performing a function which the group relies on, even a tiny one, makes the individual feel valued and engaged much more so than merely being present from time to time. When the movement creates organizations it’s leaders should consider a similar system to the Mormon's callings to ensure the ambitious and self-confident do not hog all the work and accolades, and the less confident receive an opportunity to contribute and prove themselves, perhaps whether they like it or not.
The Mormon church has been an effective brake on some forms of social degeneration, while at the same time an unreliable defender of the west and its people. It has succeeded over the last hundred years in areas that other American faiths have failed. Many of its members are precisely the sort of copper-tops that may be open to the movement with the right arguments and evidence, and the church’s organizational practices have many outcomes from which the movement can learn. However, the church’s central belief in modern and novel divine revelation makes it vulnerable to pressure over time. It has capitulated on the question of race, and nothing is stopping the current or a future church president from further appeasement of Moloch. Like much of Western Society the church is a dying thing, perhaps less dead and dying slower, but it lacks any inherent force with which to fight the long struggle. As old Donny said “You go to war with the army you have...”, and unfortunately if an open political conflict should start as it did many places one hundred years ago, the Mormon church may be an ally the right will need. Those of us acquainted with the truth should be aware of the strengths and limitations of this ally regardless of what may come.
*In this piece I use the term “the Movement” quite a bit. By this, I do not mean necessarily the Alt-Right, White Nationalism, Civic Nationalism, or any other specific -ism. Instead, I mean the general right drifting undercurrent in western politics, a wind which has many conflicting currents blowing and gusting but as the air is as of yet unformed.