What Joseph Smith Might Say to Donald Trump Today


Last month I came across the following on Twitter about Donald Trump:

When I read that, I couldn’t help but think of a moment from LDS history in which Joseph Smith responded to similar vulgarity.

From Presidents of the Church Student Manual, (2012), iv–19:

In November of 1838, the Prophet Joseph Smith and other Church leaders were taken prisoner on false charges and tried in Richmond, Missouri. A number of bitter witnesses testified against them, and when defense witnesses were identified, they were jailed or driven from the area so they could not testify. For two weeks the prisoners took heavy abuse. Elder Parley P. Pratt, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, reported that one night they had listened for hours to the unspeakable persecutions that the guards claimed they had inflicted upon the Saints:

“I had listened till I became so disgusted, shocked, horrified, and so filled with the spirit of indignant justice that I could scarcely refrain from rising upon my feet and rebuking the guards; but had said nothing to Joseph, or any one else, although I lay next to him and knew he was awake. On a sudden he arose to his feet, and spoke in a voice of thunder, or as the roaring lion, uttering, as near as I can recollect, the following words:

‘SILENCE, ye fiends of the infernal pit. In the name of Jesus Christ I rebuke you, and command you to be still; I will not live another minute and bear such language. Cease such talk, or you or I die THIS INSTANT!’

“He ceased to speak. He stood erect in terrible majesty. Chained, and without a weapon; calm, unruffled and dignified as an angel, he looked upon the quailing guards, whose weapons were lowered or dropped to the ground; whose knees smote together, and who, shrinking into a corner, or crouching at his feet, begged his pardon, and remained quiet till a change of guards” (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, ed. Parley P. Pratt, Classics in Mormon Literature series [1985], 179–80).


If Joseph Smith had a chance to be in a room with Donald Trump today, what do you think he would say to him?

To my own shame, many Mormons are still supporting the immoral monster Donald Trump. “We’re not electing a pope/prophet,” they say, as if moral character meant nothing in electing the most powerful person in the world.

Well, here’s what John Adams has to say about that:

…We have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

Is there any better pre-emptive critique of the Donald Trump candidacy? Is there any better warning about the threat such a man poses to the concept of America?

To my fellow Mormons who are supporting Trump, take note: Leader of a Trump PAC Calls for Genocide of Mormons.

And that man is not an anomaly. I got personally attacked as I was working on this post.

This man, Mormon Trump supporters, is your political ally. The very type of man and presidential campaign Joseph Smith would be condemning with the most powerful language he could muster. And you are supporting it. Enabling it. Choosing it, when you could choose a good and righteous man and send a message to the rest of the world about who and what Mormons are.

Shame on you.


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