I use SiteMeter to track hits and traffic to this blog. One of the things SiteMeter lets me do is to see the search words and phrases that lead people here. I was looking at that just a few minutes ago and saw that someone had arrived at this blog by doing a Google search on the words “Mike Huckabee and the Mormon Anti-Christ” (this post, which I wrote some weeks back, was the second entry listed by Google). The phrase “the Mormon Anti-Christ” I interpreted to mean the person that the Latter-day Saints might consider to be “the” AntiChrist mentioned in the Epistles of John in the New Testament (and hinted at in Revelation, some Pauline epistles, the Gospels, and Daniel; see this entry in the Catholic Encyclopedia). In other words, I suspect the person was wondering if Mormons might think that Mike Huckabee could be the “AntiChrist.”
Simple answer: no. That’s because Mormons, unlike many Evangelicals, don’t really have much of a concept of there being a single, literal human (or demonic) “AntiChrist” prior to the Savior’s second coming. The concept (much less the actual phrase) does not show up at all in the various passages in LDS-specific scriptures that deal with events surrounding the Second Coming (e.g., relevant portions of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price). The term itself does appear twice (in a short span of verses) in the Book of Mormon, but it’s used as an adjective to describe a known individual (Korihor) in Book of Mormon times (~74 BC) who denied and preached against the idea of the Son of God coming to earth as an atoning Messiah.
Donald and Jay Parry, in Understanding the Signs of the Times (Deseret Book, 1999), spend a few pages (pp. 211-214) discussing the LDS concepts of “antichrist” and note “that there are many antichrists in every age”. They see the “man of sin, the son of perdition” spoke of by Paul as being Satan himself. They see the descriptions of the beasts in Revelation as being “in the likeness of the kingdoms of the earth” (citing the Joseph Smith revision of Revelation 13:1) and go on to conclude “both the beasts and the antichrist are individuals, nations, and philosophies.” That sounds about right, but I’m interested if other Latter-day Saints have run across different concepts regarding the AntiChrist within LDS literature, discourses and/or folk doctrine. ..bruce..
A brief postscript: I get the impression from what little research I’ve done that Catholics are much more skeptical about the idea of there being a literal, individual, powerful AntiChrist as a precursor to the Savior’s second coming — probably because, as the Catholic Encyclopedia entry cited above states, Protestants have been claiming for centuries that the Pope is the AntiChrist. What makes that so interesting is that in most horror movies about the rise of the AntiChrist — e.g., “The Omen” — it seems that it’s almost always the Catholics who are fighting against him. On the other hand, it seems like there’s often a group of renegade or corrupted Catholic priests and nuns who are supporting and protecting him. So for all us Mormons who complain about media bias, realize that it could be a lot worse — no one’s made a movie that shows the AntiChrist being born in Spanish Fork, attending BYU, and serving an LDS mission, before going to work for the Marriott Corporation, all the while being protected by a 21st century band of Danites. Yet. Hmm…maybe I’ll write a screenplay.
I even have a title for it: “Oh My Heck!”
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