September 13, 1862–In an empty field near Frederick, Maryland

“What is this?” declared Union Corporal Barton W. Mitchell. His companion was just as shocked and curious at the discovery. Corporal Mitchell lifted the package that had been abandoned on the empty hill over which the two soldiers just happened to be walking. Pulling the envelope off of the three cigars to which it was attached, Corporal Mitchell opened it and read the profound message. It was a Confederate battle plan to attack Union forces in their own territory. The Union army in and around Maryland had heard rumors that General Lee’s rebel army was lurking about the countryside, seeking to strike a blow in the North. The Union soldiers knew that if Lee could pull it off, the Confederacy would likely gain the foreign recognition it was seeking. With this added support, the Union effort would be doomed.[1]

Mitchell knew what he needed to do. The battle plans were immediately sent up the chain of command. Before long, they found their way into the hands of the Union commander, General George McClellan. Then, in a second miracle, McClellan was able to immediately verify the order’s authenticity only because his aide had been close friends in the pre-war U.S. Army with Lee’s adjutant, Robert Chilton. The Union aide quickly recognized his old Southern friend’s handwriting. “Here is a paper,” McClellan then declared, “with which if I cannot whip Bobbie Lee,’ I will be willing to go home.”[2]

Thanks to the miraculously delivered military intelligence, the Union pulled off a narrow victory in what would go down in history as America’s bloodiest day ever-the Battle of Antietam. Historians generally agree that without that piece of intelligence, the North would have lost the battle, which may have ended the entire war in favor of the South.[3] The Union cause was miraculously saved!

Copy of Lees Lost Special“Copy of Lee’s Lost Order”

The Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, and renowned expert of Antietam, James McPherson, concluded that “the odds against the sequence of events that led to the loss and finding and verification of these orders must have been a million to one.”[4]

But this only represents half of the miracle…….

September 1862, Washington D.C.–Near the time Lee’s battle plans were being discovered

“In the present civil war, it is quite possible that God’s purpose is something different from the purpose of either party…I am almost ready to say this is probably true-that God wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end yet.”[5] He could not believe he was having this thought-much less that he was actually writing it down on paper. He read the statement he had just penned-the ink still wet. Could his life and perspective get any more bizarre? Throughout the history of the world, what commander-in-chief would dare say such a thing? Yes, it is easy to argue that your enemy is wrong; but to suggest that your own side is also wrong? To suggest that God is doing this awful thing to both sides for some purpose heretofore unknown? It was like something out of the biblical account of ancient Israel? What was he thinking?

President Lincoln tucked the memo away-it was, after all, not intended for anyone to see. In fact, it would not be discovered among the Lincoln papers for years. When Lincoln’s secretary happened upon it one day, he was moved. He later explained that the note was “not written to be seen of men. It was penned in the awful sincerity of a perfectly honest soul trying to bring itself into closer communion with its maker.”[6]

Lincoln dared not show it to the world-though the divine message would eventually penetrate his soul so powerfully that he could not be restrained from declaring it. Indeed, eventually he would shout it from the rooftops, as his role as president began morphing into what seemed to be that of a prophet.

But at this early point, his conversion to the idea was still very new. What a year it had been! The failed war. Friends turned traitors. The nightmare over his boy Willie. Lincoln had fallen to his knees on more than one occasion during the preceding months, pleading with God; for, as he readily admitted, “I had nowhere else to go.”[7]

At long last, the Almighty was answering. And Lincoln knew it. He knew what he had to do-and he knew the Battle of Antietam was part of the plan.

Having tucked away the memo-which was titled “Meditation on the Divine Will”-Lincoln found himself again on his knees. Reports were coming in: a fierce battle at Antietam was looming large. Lincoln knew he had been very clear to the nation the previous year during his First Inaugural Address-I will not touch slavery in the South was the take-home message. Indeed, this war had never been about some moral crusade; it had never been a religious movement. Lincoln now recognized he had been wrong. The nation had been mired in sin for too long, slavery representing just one of many national ills. And now God was purging the land-both North and South-of the iniquity. Lincoln was trying to get in line with “the Divine Will.”

Lincoln’s cabinet was very uncomfortable with the idea that Lincoln was considering changing the North’s purpose of the war. He had floated the idea to them a few weeks earlier and he knew they did not like it. But what was he to do? The Lord had spoken. All these thoughts filled Lincoln’s mind and soul in the days and hours leading up to Antietam. But as he prayed during the days and hours before that September battle, one thought prevailed above the others. Lincoln later testified to his colleagues that, at that moment, he “had made a vow, a covenant, that if God gave us victory in the approaching battle, he would consider it an indication of the Divine Will, and that it was his duty to move forward in the cause of emancipation.”[8]


If Lincoln was expecting divine intervention, then the miraculous events directly contributing to Union victory at Antietam did not disappoint. As it had been for General Washington, so it would be for Lincoln-the prayer was answered, the covenant was honored, God had entered the battlefields of America once again.

Lee turned back at Antietamthis was the only piece of news Lincoln needed. He immediately called for a special meeting with his cabinet.

  Just days after the battle, on September 22, 1862, the president marched into that meeting and boldly declared to his cabinet that “his mind was fixed, his decision made.” It was clear to everyone present that any objection to his call for emancipation would be immediately dismissed. The president told them to bother him not over “the main matter-for I have determined for myself.” He then laid upon the table a sacred document: the preliminary draft of the Emancipation Proclamation. In an emotional state, Lincoln then stated unequivocally that “God had decided this question in favor of the slaves.” According to witnesses in the room, the president then declared: “[I will keep] the promise to myself, and [he paused here for emphasis] to my maker.”[9] The head of the Navy, who was there present, was so moved by the experience that he wrote in his journal that Lincoln had, at that moment, made a “covenant” with the Almighty.[10]


Through 1862, Abraham Lincoln discovered the secret that George Washington had dedicated his life and public service to. He discovered that there is a covenant upon this land, and that the rules must be followed. Unlike Washington, however, Lincoln was forced to discover this secret under the harshest of circumstances. Lincoln learned the lesson under the severe and devastating judgments of heaven. The covenant had been broken in the land, and Lincoln had been called upon to fix it.

Washington Inauguration

Washington had known such judgment might fall upon the land. In fact, in the very month Washington was inaugurated, he penned a little-known warning for the nation. He declared in his inaugural address that “the smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” Within days of this speech, in a quiet and somber moment, Washington penned the following addendum:

If the blessings of Heaven showered thick around us should be spilled on the ground, or converted to curses, through the fault of those for whom they were intended, it would not be the first instance of folly or perverseness in short-sighted mortals. The blessed Religion revealed in the word of God will remain an eternal and awful monument to prove that the best Institutions may be abused by human depravity; and that they may even, in some instances be made subservient to the vilest purposes.[11]

Lincoln had learned that the blessings of Heaven had indeed been spilled on American ground-converted to curses. He was living in the middle of this curse. The covenant was in breach.


“Oh liberty, how are thou fallen!”[12]So declared Joseph Smith as he cried for the blessings of the Constitution on behalf of his people. But to no avail. The Latter-day Saints were rarely permitted to access these constitutional blessings. For everywhere they went, they were hounded, mobbed, raped, killed, and exiled. Their temples were confiscated, burned, or not permitted to be built.

Similar atrocities were carried out against other minorities, both racial and religious. In most cases it was state governments throughout the land that launched the persecution, or at best permitted it. Their victims included, among others, Native Americans, Catholics, Jews, Baptists, Quakers-and most glaringly, African Americans.False imprisonment, lynching, rape, exile, murder, oppression. These suffering minorities were all too familiar with such evil.

What was the problem? In a word, it was sin. It was a societal sin committed by godless Americans who seemed to do all they could to keep religious and racial minorities down. And, unfortunately, state governments were co-opted into this sin.  

Unbeknownst to many Americans today, state governments during this time were simply not beholden to the Constitution. They did not have to adhere to the Bill of Rights or apply it to their citizenry. Only the federal government had to adhere to and apply these rights. This made it all the easier for the inhumane treatment of minority races and religions-the persecution was deemed “legal.”

James Madison, the father of the Constitution, saw the problem early on. Though Madison was a big believer in states’ rights over the federal government, he feared that unless compelled, the states would refuse to adopt the greatest blessings and securities offered by the divine document he had helped design. He had seen and documented how the states persecuted the minority. It disturbed him deeply. And so he insisted that an amendment be added to the Constitution compelling states to comply with the Bill of Rights, particularly the right to freedom of religion. As a principal author of the Bill of Rights, Madison claimed this one amendment was the most valuable. His proposed amendment read as follows: “No state shall violate the equal rights of conscience, or the freedom of the press, or the trial by jury in criminal cases.”[13] His proposal was rejected. Only the federal government-not the individual states-would be restrained under the Constitution.

james madison

Madison was outraged. He shot off a dispatch to Thomas Jefferson, telling him that without his proposed amendment, the Constitution would “neither effectually answer its national object nor prevent the local mischiefs which every where excite disgusts [at] the state governments.”[14] He practically screamed to the House of Representatives, which was considering his added amendment, telling them that his proposal was “the most valuable amendment in the whole list.” Madison added, “If there was any reason to restrain the Government of the United States from infringing upon these essential rights, it was equally necessary that they should be secured against the State governments.”[15] His pleas fell on deaf ears.

Even without Madison’s amendment, the states might have still chosen the right. They might have still afforded equal liberty to all. But they did not. In fact, many did the exact opposite.

A generation later, Joseph Smith felt the effects of this constitutional omission. Declared Joseph, “The States’ rights doctrine are what feed mobs. They are a dead carcass, a stink and they shall ascend up as a stink offering in the nose of the Almighty.”[16] “If the General Government [federal government] has no power, to re-instate expelled citizens to their rights,” wrote Joseph, “there is a monstrous hypocrite fed and fostered from the hard earnings of the people!”[17] (It should be noted that Madison and Smith were not asking for the kind of federal invasion over states’ rights we see today. “States’ rights” meant something different back then. They just wanted the federal government to serve as a check against states that abused minorities and stole their liberty-that stole their humanity).

While these states did as they pleased, justifying their actions under what they called the “states’ rights doctrine,” the rest of the nation (including the federal government) chose to ignore the plight of the suffering.

  This kind of sin could notgo on long without consequence-not in a Promised Land.

Joseph knew that, as well.


Joseph Smith screamed to the nation. He warned Congress that if they failed to “hear our petition and grant us protection, they shall be broken up as a government.”[18]

Joseph was so concerned for the sinful nation, that in 1844 he ran for the presidency of the United States. And what was his platform? His platform was the key to pulling the nation out of sin and raising the oppressed and the downtrodden. Astonishingly, he called for Madison’s lost amendment. Declared Joseph:

It is one of the first principles of my life, and one that I have cultivated from my childhood, having been taught it by my father, to allow every one the liberty of conscience. I am the greatest advocate of the Constitution of the United States there is on earth. In my feelings I am always ready to die for the protection of the weak and oppressed in their just rights. The only fault I find with the Constitution is, it is not broad enough to cover the whole ground.

Although it provides that all men shall enjoy religious freedom, yet it does not provide the manner by which that freedom can be preserved, nor for the punishment of Government officers who refuse to protect the people in their religious rights, or punish the mobs, states, or communities who interfere with the rights of the people on account of their religion.

The Constitution should contain a provision that every officer of the Government who should neglect or refuse to extend the protection guaranteed in the Constitution should be subject to capital punishment; and then the president of the United States would not say, Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you, a governor issue exterminating orders, or judges say, The men ought to have the protection of law, but it won’t please the mob; the men must die, anyhow, to satisfy the clamor of the rabble; they must be hung, or Missouri be damned to all eternity.[19]

Joseph could not have been clearer: the president of the United States should have “full power to send an army to suppress mobs,” without requiring the invitation of the state.[20]

The provision he called for is what Madison had sought from the beginning. It could save the nation.

As would be expected, Joseph’s presidential platform also included the eradication of slavery. He demanded, “Set them free, educate them and give them their equal rights.” He explained, “They come into the world slaves, mentally and physically. Change their situation…they have souls and are subject to salvation.”[21]

joseph president flag

Joseph sought a peaceful end to the sin. But if the nation did not act, he also knew the consequence. For he knew he lived in a covenant land. And God had spoken to his generation.

In Doctrine and Covenants 101 the Lord explains that it was His power that influenced the creation of the Constitution (verses 80). Latter-day Saints love to quote these verses in jubilee. But perhaps we do not read it in full context. This is not necessarily a happy revelation. It is serious and somber. It is reminiscent of Washington’s warnings, as detailed above. Upon full review of the Lord’s words here, we learn that He is warning the nation. The revelation was an answer to a desperate plea from Joseph over the atrocities and persecutions being leveled against the innocent. The year was 1833. The Constitution had been in effect for almost 50 years. Yet its application was too often flawed and sinful.

In the D&C revelation, directly after His acknowledgement of the Constitution, the Lord gives instruction to Joseph on how to fix the misapplication. He tells the Saints to importune at the feet of the judge (verse 86). If rejected, then they were to go the governor (verse 87). If rejected again, the Lord directed them to the president (verse 88). Joseph did all this, securing multiple audiences with each of these government representatives. He was completely dismissed. And so, he ran for president, seeking the highest platform he could from which to exhort and warn the nation.

Then it got worse. Even while he was in the middle of his campaign for the presidency, warning the nation, calling them to repentance, he was murdered. Shortly thereafter, the temple was burned to the ground.

pioneers river

We now turn to the final contingency of the Lord as recorded in D&C 101. If the judge, governor, and president all reject the divine solution to the nation’s ills (as they had clearly done), there was one last effort that would be made. Declared the Lord:

And if the president heed them not, then will the Lord arise and come forth out of his hiding place, and in his fury vex the nation; and in his hot displeasure, and his fierce anger, in his name, will cut off those wicked, unfaithful, and unjust stewards and appoint them their portion among hypocrites and unbelievers (D&C 101: 89-90).

The Lord continued, “Pray ye, therefore, that their ears may be opened unto your cries, that I may be merciful unto them, that these things may not come upon them” (verse 92). But the Lord was clear that He would, in the end, do what was necessary. “What I have said unto you must needs be…That I may proceed to bring to pass my act, my strange act, and to perform my work, my strange work (verses 93-95).

Some Latter-day Saints today can’t figure out why Joseph would have done something so rash as to run for president of the United States. But, in light of what the Lord had told him-in light of what consequences were to befall the nation-it is no wonder he did absolutely all he could to magnify his calling.

Several years after this revelation, things had only declined. Joseph, finding himself in Liberty Jail, asked the same questions. The Lord was more definitive this time-the curse, it seems, would come upon the nation. Directing his warning directly at Joseph’s generation (19th Century America), the Lord declared that they “shall melt away as the hoar frost melteth before the burning rays of the rising sun,” that “their hopes may be cut off,” that in “not many years hence…they and their posterity shall be swept from under heaven,” that these “children of disobedience” who “swear falsely against my servants, that they might bring them into bondage and death” will surely suffer and “their basket shall not be full,” and “their houses and their barns shall perish.

” The revelation continues, “Wo unto all those that discomfort my people, and drive, and murder, and testify against them, saith the Lord of Hosts; a generation of vipers shall not escape the damnation of Hell.” And finally, the Lord assured the Prophet that, “I have in reserve a swift judgment in the season thereof, for all of them” (see D&C 121:11-24).

joseph jail

Joseph was not the only one to predict such curses upon the sinful nation. During the Constitutional Convention, George Mason warned that slavery would “bring the judgments of heaven on a Country. As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of cause & effect providence punishes national sins, by national calamities.”[22] Thomas Jefferson had also uttered such a prophecy a few years earlier, warning that “[t]here must doubtless be an unhappy influence on the manners of our people produced by the existence of slavery among us…Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever.” He then describes “a revolution” over the conflict as being “among possible events” and that such an event will be administered by “supernatural interference!” “The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest,”[23] declared Jefferson.

The point of no return was upon the nation. The prophecies would be fulfilled.

With the Prophet killed, the Saints in exile, and slavery growing by leaps and bounds (in just two generations leading up to 1860, the number of slaves in America had jumped from 800,000 to 4,000,000),[24] it seemed the great judgment was soon to fall upon the nation. All that was leftwere echoes of the warnings.Those echoes included Joseph’s final pleas and laments for his nation: “Oh that I could snatch them [the people of the United States] from the vortex of misery, into which I behold them plunging themselves….that I might be enabled by the warning voice, to be an instrument of bringing them to unfeigned repentance.”[25]

Per the prophecies, God would now intervene.


Lincoln stood before his war-torn nation and declared in 1865:

“Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through his appointed time, he now wills to remove, and that he gives to both North and South this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to him? Fondly do we hope-fervently do we pray-that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, “The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”[26]

begging townspeople

This was Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address. Do we take for granted the very bizarre nature of this speech? How many leaders (even going back hundreds of years in world history) would stand before their people in the middle of a bloodbath of a war and declare that this is happening due to their own sin? Not only the sin of their enemy-for he accused the North as well. The whole nation was under condemnation. Lincoln knew it. And he knew God knew it. Though at first (in 1862) he was quiet about what had been revealed to him (for he undoubtedly knew how strange it would sound to the nation), soon he would be shouting it from the rooftops.

For he knew the lessons he had learned from Godwere the nation’s only hope. And so he declared:

And insomuch as we know that by his divine law nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to that God that made us.

It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.[27]

As if playing out some scene from the Old Testament or the Book of Mormon, Lincoln’s role seemed to morph from just a president to (almost) a prophet.

But should we be surprised by any of this? Should we not expect that God would have sent a leader to the land that could bring to pass the prophecies? A leader who could learn and teach that God was doing this to heal and redeem the sinful nation? Did the Lord not indicate He would affect this kind of change? What other choice did He have? If people are not free to choose but are instead enslaved, if prophets are not permitted to live, if temples cannot stand without being confiscated or burned to the ground, then what is the point of a Promised Land?


In the end, the Civil War did, in fact, produce exactly what Joseph had sought. It produced what the prophecies indicated it would produce.

As a direct result of the Civil War, the 13th and 14th Amendments were added to the Constitution.

The 13th Amendment eradicated slavery and the 14th declared citizenship upon all persons. Not only were all persons to be counted as citizens of the state they lived in, but also as citizens of the United States, which guaranteed many of the suffering innocent access to the Constitution for the first time.The 14th amendment definitively incorporated the Bill of Rights, to include a fullness of religion freedom, into every state of the Union. No longer could Missouri (or any other state) deny the blessings of the Constitution, even the blessings of the covenant, to any citizen or group of citizens by claiming the Bill of Rights does not apply to the states. The federal government at last was mandated to do its job (though it would still take decades for the full application).

This was Joseph’s proposed constitutional provision. It embodied Madison’s lost amendment. The nation had been humbled, it turned to God, and it finally decided to apply the blessings of the Constitution to all.

(I must digress a moment and make a note here. Many short-sighted commentators rail against the 14th Amendment because it grew the federal government, allowing it to gain momentum and eventually infringe upon states’ rights. And so critics blame Lincoln and degrade him. Many Libertarians-including many LDS Libertarians-maintain this position today. It is true that the federal government eventually abused its new power granted by the 14th Amendment. That was/is wrong. But this constitutional change had to happen. It is what Madison sought. It is what the Prophet Joseph sought. How soon we forget our own history. How soon we forget how awful things were in this nation prior to the Civil War. How quick we are to pass judgments while ignoring the prophecies. There was no other way out. As bad as things have gotten with federal growth, are people being literally enslaved and raped today in America because of race? Are prophets being shot? Are temples being burned to the ground? Let us keep some perspective.In terms of federal versus state powers, Lincoln shifted the pendulum into harmony with the spirit of the Constitution-that all might have, as he declared, “under God…a new birth of freedom.”[28] This is not to say that other, more modern, leaders have not pushed that pendulum further and thus violated legitimate rights of the states. Butto blame Lincoln for our federal growth problems today is akin to saying that because God gave us the Internet to do family history, He is also responsible for the pornography that came with it. It’s ridiculous.)

lincoln praying

In sum, Americans did not come about the decisions to make these liberty-enhancing amendments overnight. It took a war. In my book, I have documented the evidence that proves the nation, through the humbling effects of war, had become converted to the American Covenant. It was like a story out of the Book of Mormon. The nation employed national repentance and sought universal liberty, just as Joseph Smith had prophesied, just as Abraham Lincoln had directed, and just as the Lord had designed.

May we learn our lesson from the Civil War.May we seek to identify where we are violating the covenant today. May we repent as a nation and correct our course. And unlike our American kin from the 19th century, may we choose righteousness on our own, without requiring the harsh judgments of heaven to influence us. As Ezra Taft Benson warned, “God will have a humble people. Either we can choose to be humble or we can be compelled to be humble”[29] (see Alma 32).

As a covenant people, Americans must take seriously this responsibility. Living in a covenant land is both a blessing and a burden.

covenant lincoln war

Timothy Ballard is the author of The Covenant, Lincoln, and the War, available on Amazon, Kindle, and Barnes and Noble.

Timothy Ballard has written several books on America and its religious roots, including The Covenant: One Nation Under God, which soared to number 3 on the Amazon best-seller list. He has worked for the Central Intelligence Agency and as a U.S. Special Agent, where he spends significant time as an overseas operative to dismantle crime rings involved in the kidnapping and trafficking of children. For the last decade, Tim has taught American and International Politics at San Diego State University and at Imperial Valley College.

[1] Bennett, America: The Last Best Hope, Vol. I, 344.

[2] James M. McPherson, “If The Lost Order Hadn’t Been Lost,” from Robert Cowley, ed., What If?  The World’s Foremost Military Historians Imagine What Might Have Been (New York: Penguin Putnam Inc, 1999), 231-232.

[3] See James M. McPherson, “If The Lost Order Hadn’t Been Lost,” from Robert Cowley, ed., What If? The World’s Foremost Military Historians Imagine What Might Have Been (New York: Penguin Putnam Inc, 1999).

[4] McPherson, 232.

[5] Lincoln, as quoted in Carwardine, 227, emphasis added; Roy P. Basler et al., eds. The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, 9 vols. (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953-55), 5:278-279, 403-404.

[6]Matthew S. Holland, Bonds of Affection (Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2007), 209.

[7] Lincoln, as quoted in Toby Mac and Michael Tait,Under God (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2004),165.

[8] From the Diary of Gideon Wells I:143, as quoted in Richard Carwardine, Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power (New York: Alfred Knopf, 2006), 210.

[9]Carwardine, 210, 228.

[10]Bruce Feiler, America’s Prophet: Moses and the American Story (New York: HarperCollins, 2009), 162.

[11] Proposed Address to Congress, The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources 1749-1799, Vol.30, April 1789; full address in Lillback, George Washington and Israel, 34-35.

[12] Joseph Smith, as quoted in Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling, pp. 226-227.

[13] “Amendments to the Constitution,” June 8, 1789, from William T. Hutchinson, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Congressional Series [1751-1801], 17 vols. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962-77), Vol. 12: 201; see also Michael Meyerson, Endowed By Our Creator: The Birth of Religious Freedom in America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012), 164-165.

[14] James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, September 6, 1787, from Hutchinson, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison, 10:163-164.

[15] James Madison, August 17, 1789, Hutchinson, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison , 12:344.

[16] Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling, 514

[17]Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling, 514.

[18] Joseph Smith, as quoted in Lund, The Coming of the Lord, p.54

[19] Joseph Smith (October 1843), as quoted by Joseph Fielding Smith, ed, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1976), pp.


[20] Arnold Garr, “Joseph Smith Campaign for President of the United States,” Ensign, February 2009, p.50; History of the Church, 6:206

[21] Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling, 514-516

[22] George Mason, as documented in Robert A.Rutland, The Papers of George Mason (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1970), 1:159  

[23] Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1780 (Electronic TextCenter, University of Virginia Library), p. 289.

[24] Chandra Manning, What This Cruel War was Over (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007), 14.

[25] Joseph Smith, as quoted by Richard Vetterli, Mormonism, Americanism and Politics, 173

[26] Abraham Lincoln, as quoted in Leidner, 113-114.

[27]Lincoln, as quoted in Leidner, 107-108; full speech available from Richardsoned, “A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America ( March 30, 1863),” Messages and Papers of the Presidents (Washington DC: United States Congress, 1897), 164-165; also available at

[28] From Gettysburg Address

[29] Ezra Taft Benson, “Beware of Pride,” Ensign , May 1989, p.4