Joseph Smith for President

There’s another movie about Mormonism in the works. A French magazine reports,

A Mormon President, the first documentary film to explore the Mormon Prophet, Joseph Smith’s campaign for the US Presidency and its implications for the candidacy of another Mormon, Mitt Romney, has begun production and is slated for a fall 2007 release.

Filmmaker Adam Christing grew up in the Community of Christ Church (formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), studied theology at Biola University, and is currently a member of the Mormon History Association. Mr. Christing spoke about A Mormon President:

This film may be upsetting to “anti-Mormons” because it shows what a generous man and visionary leader Joseph Smith was. It may shock some Mormons because it documents the untold story of Smith’s secret marriages to more than 30 women and his campaign for President which led directly to his murder in 1844…This is a serious piece, but it will be very engaging. I’ve been fascinated by Joseph Smith’s story ever since I was a kid. Here’s a man who started a religion, built a city bigger than Chicago in its day, became a Master Mason, and ran for President. He packed more adventure into 3 years than most people experience in a lifetime.

This sounds like it will be an interesting film, as the history of Joseph Smith’s politics is very intriguing. For instance, many people don’t know that Smith was secretly crowned king on April 11, 1844. His campaign for president of the United States was much more complicated than most would imagine.

About Smith’s ordination as king, former LDS historian D. Michael Quinn wrote:

William Marks…stated that the [LDS] Council of Fifty performed an ordinance “in which Joseph suffered himself to be ordained a king, to reign over the house of Israel forever.”Some have been uncomfortable with the assertion that Smith became a king. They have claimed that Marks and other critics either confused or misrepresented Smith’s reception of the strictly religious ceremony of the second anointing as “king and priest.”…

In fact a later revelation to the Council of Fifty affirmed that God called Smith “to be a Prophet, Seer and Revelator to my Church and Kingdom; and to be a King and Ruler over Israel.” (The Mormon Hierarchy, Origins of Power, 124)

Joseph Smith told the press that he wanted to create a “Theo-democracy.” Quinn wrote,

The phrase was catchy, but what precisely did he mean by “Theo-democracy”? In the spring of 1844 Smith gave the public only an indistinct foreshadowing of the new world order he was formulating in his secret meetings with the Council of Fifty. (125)

I’m not sure how a monarchy fits with a theocracy, a theo-democracy, or a republic. But the subject of the film A Mormon President holds the promise of being fascinating indeed.

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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