New Film on Mormon Faith Looks into Joseph Smith’s Fatal Run for President

A new movie looking at Joseph Smith’s campaign for president and assassination in 1844 and connecting Smith’s legacy to contemporary Mormon politicians like Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman is supposed to present a “balanced” look at the Mormon religion and history. Director Adam Christing, who was raised a Mormon but who is not a member of the LDS Church, said the film, A Mormon President, is neither a “puff piece” nor a “hit piece” on Mormonism:

Already in this election cycle, we have seen American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer claim that Mormons are deceived by Satan and do not have First Amendment rights, right-wing radio talk show host Janet Mefferd mock Romney for thinking that being president is a “step down” because he is going “to be a god” in the afterlife, and of course, pastor and Rick Perry-endorser Robert Jeffress attacked the Mormon faith as a cult from the “pit of Hell.”

In an interview with the AFA’s OneNewsNow, Christing noted concerns about the “conflict between [Romney’s] loyalty to the Constitution and his loyalty to the Mormon Church”:

Christing, who is a member of the Mormon History Association, says pastors are concerned that as a temple Mormon, Romney took a vow called the Oath of Consecration.

“He pledges all of his time, talent, and money to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So some people are very concerned that if push came to shove and there was a conflict between his loyalty to the Constitution and his loyalty to the Mormon Church, many fear that the loyalty would be to the church,” the filmmaker explains.

But the filmmaker remarks that those fears might not matter when Christians go into the voting booth. “I did talk to many evangelicals who feel like they would vote against Obama and for Romney — almost like they would choose their wallets over their worship, voting for the lesser of two evils,” Christing accounts.

So he hopes the documentary will help people make up their own minds about whether Mormonism should even be a factor if a Mormon contender is on the ballot in 2012.