an archive of unsettling histories, mythistories, and mystories
from U.S. & Mormon settler colonialism, white supremacy, and imperialism
from U.S. & Mormon settler colonialism, white supremacy, and imperialism
Here’s a list of 11 Mormons who’ve run for U.S. President* beginning with Joseph Smith’s 1844 campaign.
(*Eldridge Cleaver was not yet a Mormon when he ran
*Sonia Johnson was no longer a Mormon when she ran
*Ezra Taft Benson never ran bc his Prophet wouldn’t let him)
Mormons have been politically active since their founding. Mike Lee, Mitt Romney, and the Udall family are all from power Mormon Pioneer dynasties who gained and maintained power and wealth through land theft.
Currently Mormons represent 1.7% of the 117th Congress (and 2% of the US population). They serve and have served as members of the State Dept, as US ambassadors, as well as the CIA, FBI, and many federal courts.
But no Mormon has ever been US President despite being a uniquely U.S. American religion and repeated attempts by members.
10) Jon Huntsman Jr., 2012, Republican
Six months after Joseph Smith organized his church he sent missionaries to the Cattaraugus Tribe & other Indigenous Peoples. Joseph commanded these missionaries to marry these Indigenous women so “that their posterity may become white & delightsome.”
But Mormon leaders sought greater goals than just the assimilation of their supposedly fallen brother –– They sought an army & insurrection, they sought empire.
Mormonism is founded on the belief that we are in the Latter-days, or End-times. These End-Times will culminate in the return of Jesus as the King of a global Mormon Zion (empire). To bring this to pass Mormons must prepare their Zion through the overthrow of the fallen U.S. ––specifically with an army of converted Indigenous Persons.
This belief is shown in the White Horse Prophecy, said to be given by Smith in 1843:
“You will see the Constitution of the U.S. almost destroyed, it will hang is if by a thread…it will be saved by the efforts of the White Horse (Mormons) & the Red Horse (converted Lamanites) who will combine in its defense.”
A statement on prophecy on this church's website reads: "The so-called 'White Horse Prophecy' is based on accounts that have not been substantiated by historical research & is not embraced as Church doctrine." Yet as you can read in the second half of this post, leaders have repeated this prophecy throughout this church’s history, including politicians.
And as you can read below, Mormon leaders were clearly gathering an army to fight against the U.S. as part of their Zion-building settler-project.
So, whether those words were spoken by Smith or not, this Prophecy is in fact, “substantiated by historical research," despite what the current leadership claims.
Or as Mormon insurrectionist Ryan Bundy says: “Whether the church calls it doctrine or not, we got quotes from several prophets reiterating that…I take the words of the prophets both modern & previous ones seriously. That’s what I’ve read…that’s what I believe.”
Mormon U.S. Insurrection & Indigenous Assimilation
“I tell you the (Indigenous People) of these mountains will yet be a shield to this people if we do right and…look to these poor degraded natives.”
- Wilford Woodruff
“It would seem that it’s the fate of the Indian as a race to be wiped out and become extinct…but hope lies for them in the fact that God foretold He would not permit their utter destruction…I am looking to the fulfillment of all things that the Lord has spoken, Zion is bound to rise and flourish. The Lamanites will blossom as the rose on the mountains.”
- Wilford Woodruff
“The Latter-day Saints in these mountains never can have the privilege of going back to Jackson County and building…the New Jerusalem … until quite a large portion of (Indigenous People) go back with us.”
- Orson Hyde
“President Young in his address to the Saints…said (U.S. Pres) Polk…had a hand in the death of Joseph and Hyrum. And that they should be damned for these things. If they ever sent any men to interfere with us here, they shall have their throats cut. With uplifted hands to Heaven (Young) swore…that he would never cease…to make every preparation and avenge blood of the Prophets and Saints. That he intended to have every hole and corner from the Bay of Francisco to Hudson Bay known to us. And that our people would be connected with every tribe of Indians throughout America. And that our people would yet take their squaws, wash and dress them up, teach them and raise up children by them. And not many generations hence they will become a white and delightsome people. In no other way will it be done.”
- Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, July 28, 1847 (Mormons had been in so-called Utah for only four days)
“Young..counselled the brethren to buy up the Lamanite children as fast as they could and educate them and teach them the gospel so that not many generations they would be a white and delightsome people for the Lord could not have devised a better plan than to have put us where we are in order to accomplish this thing.”
- Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, May 12, 1851
“By and by (Indigenous People) will be the Lord’s battle ax in good earnest.”
- Brigham Young to Las Vegas Fort missionaries 1855
"If the Lord blesses us…we can have 1000 brave warriors on hand in a short time to help quell the eruption (the Utah War) that might take place in the principalities.”
- John Steele, Las Vegas Fort missionary 1855
“Young said that the U. S. are fools to…send out troops to fight us. This season we shall whip them out; then they will send out reinforcements; then we shall have the Lamanites with us and the more the United States send out, the worse off they will be, for they will perish with famine.”
- Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, August 2, 1857 (Utah War started a month earlier)
Young said “If the government of the United States persists in sending armies to destroy us, in the name of the Lord, we shall conquer them…I shall not hold the Indians still by the wrist any longer for white men to shoot at them, but I shall let them go ahead and do as they please and I shall carry the war into their own land…You may tell them they must stop all emigration across this continent. The Indians will kill all that attempt it.”
- Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, September 13, 1857 (Mountain Meadows Massacre started 7 days prior and ended on the 11th)
“Elder John D. Lee also arrived with an awful tale of blood. A company of California emigrants of about 150 men, women and children, many of them belonged to the mob in Missouri and Illinois…They wanted to do all the evil they could, so they poisoned the springs of water; several of the saints died. The Indians became enraged at their conduct and they surrounded them on a prairie, but the Indians fought them 5 days until they killed all their men about 60 in number. They then rushed into their corral and cut the throats of their women and children, except some 8 or 10 children, which they brought and sold to the whites.”
- Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, September 29, 1857. (Elder Lee was the organizer and an enactor of this massacre. No Indigenous Peoples participated in this massacre. Mormons continued to blame Nuwu for this for 150 years.)
“President Heber C. Kimball..said that the United States would not go down very speedily, but gradually…and he was satisfied that the Indians would do their rough work in a great measure before they embraced the Gospel.”
- Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, January 9, 1858
the White Horse Prophecy
“This Nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to peices [sic] and tumbling to the ground and when the Constitution is upon the brink of ruin this people will be the Staff upon which the Nation shall lean and they shall bear the constitution away from the very verge of destruction.”
- Founding Pres. Joseph Smith 1840
“When the Constitution of the United States hangs, as it were, upon a single thread, they will have to call for the 'Mormon' Elders to save it from utter destruction; and they will step forth and do it."
- 2nd Pres. Brigham Young, 1855
"You and I have heard all our lives that the time may come when the Constitution may hang by a thread... if we are to live as a Church, and progress, and have the right to worship... we must have the great guarantees that are set up by our Constitution."
- Served in 1st Pres. under 3 Prophets, U.S. Sec of State & Ambassador, J. Reuben Clark, 1942
"I have always felt that they meant that sometime the question of whether we are going to proceed on the basis of the Constitution would arise and at this point government leaders who were Mormons would be involved in answering that question."
- U.S Sec. of Housing & Michigan Governor, George Romney, 1967
"I have faith that the Constitution will be saved as prophesied by Joseph Smith. But it will not be saved in Washington… It will be saved by enlightened members of this Church – men and women who will subscribe to and abide by the principles of the Constitution."
- U.S. Sec of Ag. & 13th Pres. Ezra Taft Benson, 1986
“Religious freedom is going to go down the drain, too… I’ve never seen it worse than this, where the Constitution literally is hanging by a thread.”
- U.S. Sen. of Utah for 42 years, Orrin Hatch, 2000
“Our Constitution was being violated. That it was hanging by a thread.”
- Mormon insurrectionist Ammon Bundy on his armed take-over of the Malheur Nat’l Wildlife Refuge, 2016
“I testify of the divinely inspired Constitution of the United States and pray that we who recognize the Divine Being who inspired it will always uphold and defend its great principles.”
- Dallin H. Oaks, 2021
“Whether the church calls (the White Horse Prophecy) doctrine or not, we got quotes from several prophets reiterating that. What the church’s official position on it or not, that I don’t know. I take the words of the prophets both modern and previous ones seriously.That’s what I’ve read, that’s what I’ve heard, that’s what I believe.”
- Mormon insurrectionist Ryan Bundy
National Sacrifice: Cross as in Crosshairs
Our world was made
(of horrors beyond our comprehension).
Our apocalyptic destiny manifested.
Murder-made innocence thru our mythistoric national divinidentity.
Nephites and Lamanites.
Cowboys and Indians.
Civilization and Wilderness.
Capitalists and Communists.
Pioneering terra nulliparous
farms seeded in Genocide.
Blossom as the rose
under the All-Seeing Eye’s orbit
Nearer my God to thee's End Times
On October 29, 2022, Timpanogos Chairman Perry Murdock shared his People’s histories as passed down to him through his Grandfather Wakara with a group at Pioneer Park, the former site of the first Mormon fort, on Timpanogos land.
Soon after Brigham and co. first arrived in Timpanogos, Goshute, & Eastern Shoshone land now occupied by Salt Lake City he lied to Timpanogos leader Wakara.
As Brigham was telling his followers “This is the Place!” He told Wakara that Mormons were only passing thru to California, but needed to overwinter in Timpanogos land. So the People helped the Mormons. Taught them to survive in these lands. Timpanogos and Goshute taught Mormons how to harvest Sego Lily bulbs among many other plants that never made it onto the Utah flag.
Mormons received these gifts and stayed friendly for a short time. But once Mormon population grew enough, Brigham and the Mormon colonists turned militant.
After only 2 1/2 years in Timpanogos lands Brigham Young the entire @churchofjesuschrist First Presidency and Quorum of 12 Apostles signed the Timpanogos Extermination Order, or Special Order no. 2.
This order, signed on Jan 31st, 1850, has never been recinded.
I don’t think we went to a Mormon history musuem this week that DIDNT address the Mormon Extermination Order signed by Missouri Governor Boggs.
This order was signed only 12 years before Mormons signed the Timpanogos Extermination Order. The Mormon one was recinded in the 1970s. The Timpanogos one is still in effect.
Today the Salt Lake Tribune consistently refuses to publish articles and histories which Murdock submits to the paper. The Timpanogos Extermination Order is nearly unknown among Mormon practitioners and Utahns. But it has not been forgotten by the Mormon authorities or Timpanogos People. They continue to live under the thumb of the terrorizing genocidal colonists who continue to dominate, desiccate, and destroy Timpanogos lands, waters, and sovereignty.
This is just one clear and direct example of how both Mormon settler colonialism in general and the Mormon war for land specifically, is ongoing.
We have a generational responsibility to reckon with this ongoing history and change it in the present for the sake of our futures.
As Perry says, “It didn’t have to be this way”
On Jan. 29, 1863, the U.S. Army massacred a group of So-So-Goi (Shoshone), in their home/land at Boa Ogoi (Bear River). Up to 500 Shoshone were murdered on this freezing winter morning–likely the most massive massacre in U.S. history. It was celebrated openly by Mormon colonists.
Twenty-five years earlier, on July 24, 1847, So-So-Goi Chief Sagwitch greeted Brigham and company as they first entered So-So-Goi, Goshute, and Timpanogos land of the so-called Salt Lake valley.
On that day, Heber C. Kimball told Sagwitch: “The land belongs to our father in heaven, and we calculate to plow and plant it; and no man shall have the power to sell his inheritance for he can not remove it; it belongs to the Lord.” (ie, We’re taking this land, we’re not paying because we decided its God’s land and we’re God’s Chosen People.)(See also: Lamanite Identity / Doctrine of Discovery)
Some of So-So-Goi’s main hunting, farming, and gathering lands were in what colonists named Cache Valley (where the Logan temple is). By 1856, Mormon colonists moved to occupy, farm, and ranch this land. This decimated Indigenous foodways, destroying and replacing plant and animal lives and relationships cultivated for millenia.
Because of this and other colonist activity, So-So-Goi were starving. So-So-Goi tried to charge Mormons rent, but they refused. So they began to eat what food was left on their lands–Mormon cattle. And even though Mormons had stolen So-So-Goi lands, animals, fishes, and grasses, they claimed So-So-Goi taking Mormon cattle was a crime punishable by death.
Mormons called on the U.S. Union Army to “wipe them out.” And so, early in the Morning on January 29th 1963, the Union Army did just that. Mormon assassin, Porter Rockwell, led them to the So-So-Goi camp where they spent hours murdering these Indigneous families. They then destroyed the So-So-Goi camp and along with all of their winter food storage.
Mormons in Cache Valley celebrated the massacre. In the official minutes of a Logan Bishop’s meeting is recorded: “We, the people of Cache Valley, looked upon the movement of Colonel Connor as an intervention of the Almighty, as the Indians had been a source of great annoyance to us for a long time.”
They also blamed So-So-Goi for their own massacre, saying that this happened because they’d rejected Mormonism (like their supposed Lamanite ancestors).
Chief Sagwitch and a few others survived the massacre. And 10 years later, Sagwitch had a vision which led to his People seeking baptism from the Mormons.
In 1873, 102 So-So-Goi were baptized by the same group who sought their destruction in the same river where they were nearly genocided.
Out of the limited options for survival under colonial occupation, they chose assimilation over a reservation.
They now mostly live among the settler population along the Wasatch Front. As So-So-Goi leader Darren Parry says, “We are your neighbors.”
Three generations and 59 years after Sagwitch’s People were baptized, the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers erected a monument which frames this massacre as a noble deed done against “Indians guilty of hostile attacks” in service of innocent settlers.
Today, the Northwestern Band of Shoshone, and their 559 members, own the land of the massacre site and are raising funds to memorialize their history and this massacre through a Cultural Interpretive Center built on the site.
You can contribute to this at BoaOgoi.org
Learn more: “The Bear River Massacre: A Shoshone History” by Darren Parry.
I am nicholas b jacobsen, an artist, researcher, historian, educator, and organizer. I am a trans-non binary Euro-settler raised in the Nuwu lands of so-called Utah. My family has been Mormon and Utahn for as long as either of those concepts have existed. My ancestors sacrificed everything--their identities, homelands, jobs, health, & safety to become Mormon, Utahn, U.S. American, & white--to settler their Zion. They also sacrificed their humanities as they committed genocide against Kuttuhsippeh (Goshute), Timpanogos Shoshone, Shoshone-Bannock, Eastern Shoshone, Ute, Nuwu (Southern Paiute), and Diné (Navajo). Because my ancestors made my home through Indigenous genocide in their home/lands––I take it as my personal responsibility to unsettle what my ancestors settled, while helping my fellow settlers do the same through reading, writing, art, and community building.