LDS politicians and prophets

I’m using the upcoming (Apr. 2 and 3) semiannual general conference of the LDS Church as an admittedly thin pretext to note that, all publicity surrounding Mitt Romney aside, Mormons were prominent in U.S politics a century ago and in Coolidge’s day as well.

While one prominent turn-of-the-century Utahn, B.H. Roberts, was denied the seat he had won in the U.S. House of Representatives because he practiced polygamy, Reed Smoot , not tainted by a multiplicity of wives, was elected to the U.S. Senate as a Republican in 1902 and served until 1933. Serving as Senate Finance Committee Chairman from 1923 to 1933, he certainly worked with president Coolidge on many occasions. His claim to fame (or infamy) came late in his Senate career as co-sponsor of the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff, widely understood to have exacerbated the Great Depression. Smoot concurrently served as an apostle of the LDS Church, a body of 12 senior church leaders, from his appointment to that post to his death in 1941.

Reed Smoot made the cover of TIME

Another prominent LDS church official was J. Reuben Clark, very nearly a contemporary of president Coolidge.

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