More on "Hanging by a Thread"

Correspondence with the Church History Department – Jan 21, 2016

Over a year ago I wrote to the Church History Department inquiring about the "Hanging by a thread" quote. Here is my inquiry:

Church History Department,

I am hoping to learn more about what the Joseph Smith Papers effort has revealed about the Prophet’s statement(s) that the Constitution would in essence, ‘hang, as it were, by a thread’, and that ‘this people would be the staff upon which this nation shall lean’ and that they would ‘bear the Constitution away from utter destruction’. I am very familiar with what the prophets and other leaders of the church have said about the White Horse prophecy, and I understand that it is not accurate in many ways nor reliable. I know that many others have quoted the Prophet as having said it, but I’ve been told that we have been unable to find a reliable source for the statement, at least until recently? I’ve also been told that we now have found the actual discourse or some type of reliable source for the statement and I’m looking for some additional direction on where I can learn more about this.

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"Hanging by a Thread"

It is said by members of the LDS church that in the last days the Constitution would "hang by a thread".  This statement is often used in conjunction with the idea of the government of the United States collapsing. I have read many books regarding "last days prophecy" and know full well what has been recorded in the scriptures and in visions. I don’t want to discuss the specific visions and scriptures and prophecies in this post. Rather, I simply want to explain the story behind the phrase "hanging by a thread".

The White Horse Prophesy

Several members of the church say that the Prophet Joseph Smith used the phrase, "hang by a thread." However, most do not quote Joseph directly nor say exactly when and where he said it. They merely paraphrase something Joseph said once upon a time. Hence, these statements are not taken to be direct quotations. However, there is one place where Joseph was purported to have been quoted directly. It is referred to as the White Horse Prophesy.

What is the “White Horse Prophecy”? (more…)

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