The Covenant: A Mormon Mission Tool?

Yesterday, I posted a reaction to The Covenant by Timothy Ballard. It was of interest to me initially because David Barton endorsed it in a manner that indicates he believes America entered a covenant with God when the first settlers came here.  Ballard believes that God signaled that covenant in Genesis 49 via a prophecy about Joseph. According to Ballard, American are descended from Joseph through Ephraim and therefore have a right to consider America a nation in covenant with God.

In reading through the book, I had the impression that Ballard’s book was an effort to communicate Latter Day Saint (Mormon) teachings without directly appealing to Mormon sources of authority (e.g., Book of Mormon, Doctrines and Covenants). The use of Herbert Armstrong as an authority with the label Christian also made me think that Ballard is not an evangelical. Apparently, there is more of a deliberate effort to conceal the Mormon influence than I first thought.

According to two Mormon sources, Ballard is distancing himself from his first book, a two-volume set called The American Covenant. This first work was designed for a Mormon audience and is still being distributed by Deseret Book Company, a Mormon publishing house.

According to one of the sources, who claims to be a friend of Ballard, the new book which I wrote about yesterday was designed to be a missionary tool with the references to Mormon sources cut out.

I have read both books. I am great friends with the author Timothy Ballard, and he is a phenomenal researcher. I must let you know that “The American Covenant” was written for the LDS audience, and his newest book “The Covenant” promoted on the Glenn Beck programs was written for those outside of the Church. Also, Tim is encouraging many to read “The Harbinger” by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, because that book and it’s message also talks and teaches about this same great “Covenant” the God has made with America, and the condemnation that we are under for not keeping our part of that “Covenant.”

Tim’s first book that was released last October of 2011 was read by Elder Ballard. After reading the book Elder Ballard asked for Tim to meet with him. He did so, for a three hour visit. Elder Ballard said “that every American needs to read this great book, and counseled Tim to write another copy without the LDS doctrine in it for the main stream, and that through that endeavor it will become a missionary tool.” Tim complied, and the doors have been opening up for him. I promise you and everyone else you will not be disappointed, and these works will help wake up those that are in slumber. Tim also teaches what we must do as a Nation to renew that Covenant before it’s too late, and the full judgements come upon us!

I assume that “Elder Ballard” (who apparently is no kin to Timothy Ballard) is Apostle M. Russell Ballard, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As I understand it, this is the highest level of authority in the LDS church. If this quote is accurate, then it appears that the LDS church hierarchy is behind the effort to use the book and the arguments in it to convert others to LDS faith.

The stealth aspect of avoiding LDS labels is supported by this post by a LDS blogger and talk show host, Candace Salima.  In 2011, Salima interviewed Ballard about the Mormon version of his book and posted the videos on You Tube. However, when Ballard went on the Glenn Beck Show in May, 2012, he asked that the interviewed by removed from You Tube. Salima reluctantly agreed but her reaction suggests she was not happy about it.

On May 17, 2012, Glenn Beck interviewed Ballard about the new version without reference to Mormon scriptures. On May 22, a commenter on Salima’s blog asked her why the You Tube videos had been removed. Salima answered:

Mr. Ballard insisted I remove it. He doesn’t want any LDS references tied to his new book. I wasn’t happy with it, but went ahead and honored his request. Needless to say, I will not be interviewing him again.

In answer to another commenter who questioned the removal, Salima added,

It does, and saddens me. I feel Mr. Ballard’s first book was amazing and I’m glad I have a copy of it. I believe it’s being removed from everywhere, which is a shame.

Despite the efforts to obscure the missionary effort, there is at least one source left on the web where the Mormon basis for the theories in the book is clearly demonstrated. Ballard published an article dated October 30, 2012 in the LDS Meridian magazine which cites the Book of Mormon extensively.

To summarize, The Covenant may indeed be a kind of ruse; an effort to expose people to Mormon doctrines in a manner which isn’t apparent. Taking advantage of socially conservatives’ fear and concern about the direction of the nation, the book offers a nationalistic solution based on a tendentious reading of the Old Testament. If the quote on the LDS discussion board is accurate, then the effort goes to the highest levels of the church.

David Barton may not have known about this effort but he has become involved in this ruse via his endorsement.

 

  • William Birch

    I am so appreciative for the work you produce, and to have found you on the web. My dad is a die-hard Glenn Beck, “Christian-American founders” radical. I warned him about Barton’s Jefferson book when he bought it, and he put it down and never opened it. I’m fairly certain dad, a Southern Baptist deacon, listens to Beck and company with an inerrant perspective — as in, they cannot err. So, I often look to you for your balanced insights.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    William – Glad it is helpful, thanks.

  • Tom Van Dyke

    John Fea links to an interesting and relevant essay on

    http://www.philipvickersfithian.com/2013/04/providential-history.html

  • Tim Ballard

    Hello! Im the author of both books. I usually dont comment on these things but thought I should make something clear. Im not hiding anything. I tell whoever wants to listen that I have an LDS edition of the book and a non-denominational edition. If Im hiding that, why do I keep both books on the store bookshelves? Why do I write published articles about how these ideas connect with my LDS faith? If im trying to hide something, Im sure doing a poor job of it. America was created for all faiths to prosper. I hope a Catholic writes a book some day about how the covenant on this land has supported their faith, and a Baptist, and a Jew, etc, etc. It’s for everybody. I dont apologize for writing a book on this subject from the perspective of my LDS faith. Candice Salima mis-spoke about my LDS book being taken off the shelves. I have asked her to fix that, and she has not. I did ask her to take down my LDS interview for the launch of my new book “The Covenant” at the request of my publisher. My publisher was noting that people were accidently buying the LDS edition, when what they wanted was the non-denominational one. In an effort to limit the confusion, and keep happy customers, I asked Candice to take down the interview temporarily. It was that interview posted online that was causing some of the confusion. She was upset. I have apologized and she wont respond. Now that the confusion has abated a bit, I have told her that it would be great to put her original interview back up–she did such a great job putting it all together. She still refuses. As far as a visit with Elder Ballard goes, I can assure you that story cited in your blog is inaccurate. I dont know who that person is that posted it and I dont know where they got that story. I never received any such commission from any Church leader. Hope that helps clarify. Thanks!

  • Matt Cooper

    Everything about what I just read was incredibly asinine. I lived down the road from Tim Ballard for several years, and have had the chance to interact with Tim and his family. He loves his family, his faith, and his country. In fact, he is employed by the federal government. Unlike many, he has and is frequently risking everything to keep this country safe and free.

    As for the claim that the the intent of this book was sneak mormonism into the mainstream makes no sense AT ALL. The mormon church is a multi multi billion dollar operation. Are we to believe such a massive machine has put its hopes for future converts one little author who barely sold over 10,000 books? So the mormons are hoping 10,000 people who have bought the book and hopefully read it magically or somehow make an intellectual leap to mormonism, and join their ranks….? This is there plan?? If so, a multi multi billion dollar church has just become very silly and petty indeed. No, you sir are the one who is petty.

    The mormon church has a huge missionary operation and it is very successful. Look out, because the Mormon church continues to be among the fastest growing churches in the USA and the world about 300,000 new mormons worldwide every year. I assure you these 300,000 are not coming from covert operations but a consistent full time missionary force above 50,000 strong. You can verify these facts at lds.org.

    Who ever claimed to be Tim’s friend and know something of a “secret meeting” is a liar. Tim told me Mr. Ballard congratulated him on a job well done and thought his book was very appropriate because of the times of moral decay in America is in. But to make the leap that it must have been a secret meeting with the intent of infiltrating unsuspecting readers demonstrates a huge lack of understanding of Mormon theology, and ignorance the already successful operations the church has in growing the faith. Not mention a hint of paranoia. I’ve studied Joseph Smith and it used to be said he wanted to take over the world by the sword….. still waiting for that to happen. Mormons in general have a deep love for this land, and many leaders of the faith have been very outspoken in defending the USA including its founder Joseph Smith and more recently Ezra Taft Benson, who served in the cabinet of Eisenhower and later became the highest ecclesiastical leader of the Mormon church before his death. You can hear Benson speak on America on youtube.

  • jandarable

    Oh my goodness, give it a break. If both books are available, it is wayyy obvious nothing is done in, as you call, ‘secret’. Your prejudice seems quite stark.


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