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I recently read that Mitt Romney’s code name for use among the Secret Service is Javelin. When I first encountered the news, I found it only mildly interesting.

Then I learned that presidential candidates choose their own code names.

Apparently most folks in the news media think that Javelin is a reference to a car produced by an auto company owned by Mitt’s father. It might be just that. Or it might be a reference to an enjoyable field sport. I don’t know Mitt, and I don’t know that he’s said anything about any of this one way or another. All I can do is speculate.

But when I hear a Mormon using the word javelin, a story from the Book of Mormon immediately springs to my mind: a righteous warrior named Teancum — fighting to repel an invasion of his homeland by the armies of a man who has set himself up as a wicked and tyrannical king — decides to end the conflict by assassinating the enemy king:

And it came to pass that Teancum stole privily into the tent of the king, and put a javelin to his heart; and he did cause the death of the king immediately that he did not awake his servants. (Alma 51:34 — or if you prefer musical dramatic renditions of the Book of Mormon, here)

Compared to old sports cars, I think this Book of Mormon reference is far more applicable to what might be Romney’s self-image.

He has long preached the need to repel people he insists on calling jihadists. I think this code name is about fighting the War on Terror (perhaps in addition to muscle cars or Olympic sports).

I don’t think that’s how Teancum’s story should be understood — trying to stop an invasion by a vastly larger force with a minimum of bloodshed is not the same as trying to militarily occupy the entire Muslim world because of a few bad eggs. But given the context of Mitt Romney’s two presidential campaigns and his self-selected code name, I think it’s safe to say that he might read Teancum’s story along those lines.

That he chose this name for himself shows the depth of his commitment to continuing Bush & Obama’s expensive foreign wars of dubious legality.