In January 1844, after concluding that none of the major presidential candidates would protect the Mormons from continuous persecution, the Quorum of The 12  Apostles held a meeting in Nauvoo and decided that Joseph Smith would run for the president of The United States. He wrote:

History of the Church, 6:210–11 – ​“I would not have suffered my name to have been used by my friends on anywise as President of the United States, or candidate for that office, if I and my friends could have had the privilege of enjoying our religious and civil rights as American citizens, even those rights which the Constitution guarantees unto all her citizens alike. But this as a people we have been denied from the beginning. Persecution has rolled upon our heads from time to time, from portions of the United States, like peals of thunder, because of our religion; and no portion of the Government as yet has stepped forward for our relief. And in view of these things, I feel it to be my right and privilege to obtain what influence and power I can, lawfully, in the United States, for the protection of injured innocence.”

Joseph Smith first started his campaign in Nauvoo Febuary 1844, the news about Joseph Smith running for president spread to the neighboring states. At that time, the prophet was serving as a major of Nauvoo—a city larger and growing faster than most U.S Cities, including neighboring state Chicago. He was also serving as a lieutenant genreal for Nauvoo Legion, which had more than 3,000 men and was second in size only to the U.S Army. The prophet also proposed a plan on how to end slavery, ideas on prison reform and the annexation of  Texas and Oregon, he also stated that

History of the Church,6:189, 197 – “I ever feel a double anxiety for the happiness of all men, both in time and in eternity, where the Declaration of Independence which states that we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; but at the same time some two or three million of our people are held as slaves for life, because the spirit in them is covered with a darker skin than ours. Government officers, who are nothing more nor less than the servants of the people, ought to be directed to ameliorate the condition of all, black or white, bond or free; for ‘God hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth.’

“We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice . . . and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity’ meant just what it said without reference to color or condition. Petition, also, ye goodly inhabitants of the slave states, your legislators to abolish slavery by the year 1850, or now, and save the abolitionist from reproach and ruin, infamy and shame. Pray Congress to pay every man a reasonable price for his slaves out of the surplus revenue arising from the sale of public lands, and from the deduction of pay from the members of Congress.”

His campaign soon stopped when he was tragically killed in Carthage Jail.
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