October 15, 2023

Stephen A. Douglass and Joseph Smith Prophesy

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Connecting the History of the United States and the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints makes for increased understanding of the plan of God. Finding ways to connect these stories to our lives today makes history come alive. The historical accounts of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the politician Stephen A. Douglass is one of the stories that should known to all. The account teaches of God's love for his people, and the prophetic voice of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Stephen A. Douglass was an American Politician from Illinois, who was very successful climbing the political ladder. He is most famous for his debates with Abraham Lincoln, known as the Lincoln-Douglass Debates. While Stephen A. Douglass was climbing the political ladder, he tried to work with the Latter-day Saints to get their votes behind him, while he was a judge in Illinois.

Judge Stephen A Douglass visited the Saints in Illinois, working to get the vote of the Latter-day Saints. He had dinner with the Prophet Joseph Smith on May 18, 1843. Joseph Smith prophesied to Stephen A. Douglas that he would aspire to the presidency of the United States. In the prophecy the Prophet Joseph Smith said:

“Judge, you will aspire to the presidency of the United States; and if ever you turn your hand against me or the Latter-day Saints, you will feel the weight of the hand of Almighty upon you; and you will live to see and know that I have testified the truth to you; for the conversation of this day will stick to you through life.” (History of the Church, 5:394.)

Stephen A. Douglas did aspire to the presidency of the United States. He did have opportunity to defend the Church. But in a political speech in 1857, he viciously attacked the Church as “a loathsome, disgusting ulcer in the body politic” and recommended that Congress cut it out.

Some have asserted that no one had better prospects for the presidency than did Douglas, but when the results of the election were tallied, he received only twelve electoral votes. The election victory went to an obscure backwoodsman by the name of Abraham Lincoln.

A few months after the election, Mr. Douglas died a broken man in the prime of life.



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