Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas were Illinois political rivals for a period of years prior to Lincoln being elected to the Presidency. In fact Lincoln agreed to serve just one term in the U.S House of Representatives to allow Douglas to be elected in the following term. Both were lawyers and Douglas a "back woods" judge.
Mormon lore is circulated in order to keep the members hyped up to the truth of their belief systems by assuring that church Founder Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet of God. So the following story is circulated.
According to legend, Smith is supposed to have told Douglas the following, "Mr. Douglas, the day will come when you will aspire to the presidency of the United States! Should you at any time speak adversely of the Mormon people, you will lose the election."
Smith, at the time, was himself a fugitive from justice in Missouri now leading his flock of Mormon converts who had traversed the Mississippi River from Missouri to Illinois as an agreed settlement of a war denominated as the "Missouri War".
Earlier, Smith as a prisoner had been allowed to escape while close to the Mississippi River while in transit to a change of venue for a trial on charges of sedition. His incarceration was the result of the war in which the church militia had capitulated to the National Guard troops of Missouri.
Since Smith died in the evening of June 27, 1844 from a hail of gunfire from his enemies at the Carthage, Ill. Jail, The claimed Douglas prophecy would have been made between the time of his rejoining his followers in Nauvoo, Illinois early in the 1840's and his death. His death was also shortly after he had declared his candidacy for president and had been crowned "Earth King" by his followers.
The church lore, whether accurate or not; and I never researched it, suggests that during one of the political debates between Douglas and Lincoln, the question was asked of both candidates what, if elected president, they would do with reference to the then apparently well known, "Mormon Problem".
Douglas answered that he would treat the problem like a doctor treats cancer, he would cut it out. Lincoln answered that he would treat the problem like a farmer treats a large boulder in his fields, simply plow around it. Since Lincoln won election and Douglas lost, the fact of his allegedly speaking adversely of Mormons meant that Joseph Smiths's "prophecy" was true and he was a proven, prophet.
Well it makes for a good story to the gullible if in fact it ever was a timed reality not some tale made up after the fact as are so many of Smith's prophecies.
In reality, as we look at the ever encompassing Mormon deception spreading around the world like a cancer, it would appear as though Douglas had it right and Lincoln had it wrong.
Problem though, even if Douglas had it right there was no way as president of his acting to cut out the cancer unless he skillfully had diagnosed the real cancer i.e. quest for political empire hiding in a package of religion as a non religious event not otherwise proscribed by the First Amendment. Today with church membership now greater outside of the United States than it is within, it would be even more difficult but not impossible.
And the other problem facing a president even if Douglas had succeeded in winning election to the presidency is that he would be barred from surgically removing it since the non religious protected [political] aspects of Mormonism demonstrated in Missouri and Illinois had yet to become a full bloom example as it did later in the Utah territory prior to statehood before and after the Lincoln-Douglas debates.
As recorded history of the United States shows, there are two Mormon related legal exceptions from Article VI clause 4 and the first Amendment that have set legal precedent. The first was the 1857 [before Lincoln's Presidency] march into Mormon country [Utah] by Johnston's army ordered to put down the Mormon political rebellion a mere ten years after leader Brigham Young led his followers to what would become the Utah Territory. And still later, The 1878 Supreme court ruling [Reynolds v U.S.] that since polygamy was not considered a Western custom and therefore then illegal by enacted law in the territory even though it was practiced as a claimed religious principle. In both instances the church submitted by officially suspending its political quest for empire and issuing the 1890 "manifesto" declaring polygamy was not to be practiced any longer as a religious principle; the immediate benefit of the Manifesto being the re-acquisition of property which had been escheated by the Government.
Gaining statehood and independence from territorial status of Utah was important to the church as it could still ride herd on the laws passed and enforced [or ignored] with statehood [free of congressional oversight as a territory] as it did prior to the 1857 Utah War and it could go underground with its agendas. Patience has to be observed as one of the enduring "virtues" of the Mormon Church leadership, faked patriotism notwithstanding.
The Reed Smoot Senate Hearings were held in Washington D. C. concerning the seating of Reed Smoot as the first Senator from Utah after Utah gained statehood before the turn of the twentieth century, the U. S. senate held up the seating of Smoot to make sure the church had submitted to the law outlawing polygamy.
Church President Joseph F. Smith was summoned twice over a two year period of time as a witness. At the second summons when questioned about the fact that He, Smith, had additional children by plural wives between the two summonses in spite of the fact that Utah had by then made polygamy a crime, the church president said," I'll take my chances with the law". It goes without saying that the church president is above the law in the Utah community. Attorneys who have sought to subpoena the "prophet" into court have learned how difficult, if not impossible, it is.
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