Mike Lee compares Pres. Trump to Captain Moroni

Mike Lee, Senator from Utah, posted the following on his Facebook page earlier today (Thursday):

Yesterday I made a comparison between Captain Moroni, a military leader whose story is chronicled in the Book of Mormon, and President Donald J. Trump. Some people found that comparison upsetting, blasphemous, and otherwise wrong. I respect their right to feel that way, and realize that my impromptu comments may not have been the best forum for drawing a novel analogy from scripture. I doubt this will change the minds of those who disliked my comments, but I’d like to explain my use of the comparison to make my (perhaps awkward) point clearer.

First, I did not suggest and do not believe that President Trump is a prophet or that he should he revered as a religious leader. I did not argue that faithful, fair-minded members of my Church (or of any belief system) couldn’t reach a different conclusion as to whether to vote for President Trump. Nor did I mean to imply that I agree with everything he has ever said or done, either while serving as president or otherwise. Finally, in no way did I suggest that people should seek to emulate President Trump in the same way they might pattern their lives after Captain Moroni.

The point I was trying to make (however awkwardly) was far simpler: after working with and getting to know President Trump over the last four years, I now see him in a very different light than I did in 2016. In addition to the fact that I genuinely like him on a personal level, I have come to the conclusion that he has “s[ought] not for power, but to pull it down.” Translating Captain Moroni’s language into Donald Trump’s, he has relentlessly tried to “drain the swamp”—for example, by avoiding new wars while winding down existing ones, reducing federal regulations, relieving the federal tax burden on working families, and reforming the criminal-justice system. By so doing, and with his abrupt and often brash style, he has threatened the established political order in a way that—far from bringing him the “honor of the world”—has subjected him and his family to constant ridicule and scorn. He has nonetheless persisted in this effort for pursuit of the “freedom and welfare of [his] country.” In short, Donald Trump has far exceeded my expectations by sticking to his effort to reform the federal government even when it’s hard and unpopular.

Maybe the comparison I made was more distracting or offensive to you than helpful. That was not my intent. I do my best to say what I think in open and forthright ways at all times. I hope you will respect my right to do my best at that, even when my words come across in ways that offend you.

Back to Geoff B’s opinion: I think Mike Lee makes some decent points, but Capt. Moroni is definitely not the first person I think of when I think of the president. In my opinion, President Trump is a very flawed character, more like a governor of Zarahemla that you might support because all of the other available politicians are Gadianton Robbers. I only agree with Trump about half of the time, but he has been very, very good on a few issues, including foreign policy, proposing good federal judges, cutting federal regulations and supporting sound energy policies. In any case, Senator Mike Lee is one of my favorite politicians, and I would happily vote for him if I lived in Utah.

This entry was posted in General by Geoff B.. Bookmark the permalink.

About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

21 thoughts on “Mike Lee compares Pres. Trump to Captain Moroni

  1. Sorry, Mike. Both Trump and Moroni may have similar physical traits (eyes, nose, ears), but they are far different spiritually. Trump never was a military person. He never personally went to war. I doubt Moroni had 3 wives. Trump’s ATF just banned a series of pistols, and so liberty depends on the person’s perspective. Moroni’s troops starved under the tyranny of government, while Trump has never gone hungry. Moroni devoted himself first and foremost to God and keeping the commandments, while Trump stated he’s never felt the need to repent.

    While Trump has done some good things, he is nowhere near Moroni. If I were to compare Trump to a scriptural person, it would be Samson: a man of strength, who was weakened by his avarice and lust for women and other things. A man who instead of first seeking God, sought his own desires first and God second (at best).

    Mike Lee is a politician, not a scriptural scholar. He is politicizing the scriptures for political gain, and I find that revolting. How would we have felt if Harry Reid would have proclaimed that Bill Clinton or Barak Obama reminded him of Alma, Ammon, or King Benjamin? It would have been equally tasteless, and false.

  2. Gerald, I find your comment WAY over the top. In fact, I don’t even believe that you believe your own comment. People make comparisons to scriptural people all of the time, and in fact, we are meant to see ourselves and other people in scriptural examples. I think your Samson example is on the mark for Trump, for example. People make comparisons to figures like King David all of the time, and I think this is why we are given so much information on King David in the first place, so we can see what a tragic figure he is. He was a person highly favored of the Lord who made huge mistakes because of lust. Again, there are all kinds of figures in our lives who could be compared to King David for one reason or another, and there is nothing wrong with making such a comparison.

    The Come Follow Me program — and years of Church teachings — ask us to think about how we can be inspired by different people in the scriptures. We are constantly encouraged to compare ourselves and others to these figures — that is a purposeful part of Church teachings. Yet you claim it is “revolting.” Give me a break.

    As I already wrote, I don’t agree with Mike Lee’s comparison of Trump and Capt. Moroni, but there is nothing at all wrong with trying to make the comparison. As I said, I don’t even believe that you think there is anything wrong with making such comparisons, because you do it yourself in your own comment by comparing Trump to Samson! So, why are you “politicizing the scriptures!!!???” Sorry, Gerald, your comment is nonsensical, and you violate your own logic in your own comment! I would have no problem with Harry Reid comparing any Democrat to a heroic figure in the Book of Mormon. I would probably disagree with him, but I wouldn’t find it revolting, and I don’t think you would either. As I said, we are meant to ponder and consider such examples.

    It is amazing to me that otherwise sane and rational people completely lose their minds when it comes to Trump. Here we see yet another example.

  3. All the people I see attacking Lee were perfectly willing, a few days ago, to praise a former BYU professor who wrote an anti-Trump screed, in which that prof claimed a secret insider relationship with the First Presidency as a way to buttress his argument.

    That was BS then, and I find this from Lee BS as well. The difference is I think both are BS, whereas most people will just choose whatever confirms their biases and helps them hate their enemies even more.

  4. I didn’t have a problem with Mike comparing Trump to Capt. Moroni. There
    ARE similarities, afterall. I did not vote for Trump in 2016 (I voted for Gary Johnson) because I found him to be distasteful and rude and he wasn’t what I thought of as “Presidential”. As I’ve watched Trump keep or, at the very least, try very, very hard to keep every single promise he’s made beginning with draining the swamp, appointing constitutional judges, reducing regulations and taxes, I’ve come to love Trump, despite his persona. I can tell he truly loves this country and truly wants to Make America Great Again. I believe he truly wants to do that and that it’s not just words from a polished politician. He is fighting against forces in this country that seek to tear down our institutions and destroy our freedom. If that isn’t comparable to Capt. Moroni, I don’t know what is.

  5. If all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Trump, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.

  6. I wonder if the better Trump analogue is actually Pahoran, the chief judge who had to fight off a coup right in the middle of Moroni’s defense against a foreign invasion.

  7. Moroni‘s virtue doesn’t come from his approach to civil liberties or even “liberty” as modern Americans would define that term. His theories of compulsory military service, mass imprisonment of conscientious objectors without trial, and preemptive foreign war would be deeply problematic to us; and while he (no doubt sincerely) professed a desire to “pull down” power, he actually accrued quite a lot of it himself.

    Moroni’s virtue comes from his courage, work ethic, foresight, individual righteousness, devotion to the principles and institutional leaders of his religion, and willingness to submit to God’s will.

    That’s why it’s weird to see Trump favorably compared to Moroni—because from a 21st century American policy standpoint, Moroni isn’t that great a role model; and from a personal virtue standpoint, Trump and Moroni are light years away.

    I like Senator Lee. He’s usually a pretty clear thinker, his policy positions are almost perfect, he’s clearly smarter than I am, and I wish him a long and successful tenure in the Senate (or on the Supreme Court, if some future president sees the light). But in this instance, I’m a little embarrassed for him.

  8. jds88, good comment. I watched the video when Mike Lee makes the comment, and it is a bit strange. Sen. Lee says it was a spur of the moment thing and he was not expecting to speak. He starts out speaking in Spanish, and then starts saying why Catholics, then Protestants and then Latter-day Saints should support Trump. I can almost see the gears in his head going when he comes to Latter-day Saints: “think of a strong leader, who is a strong leader?” And then he comes out with Capt. Moroni. Not the best comparison, I think we can agree. But I have some sympathy for Sen. Lee — it is not easy to talk all day without saying things that you may regret later.

  9. I second Aaron’s comments. Succeeding comments are great as well.

    We often ask if people have “grown in the office”. It is definitely the case for President Trump. This man cannot help but benefit spiritually from the prayers of many socially conservative people-not just from Americans-from around the world. See comments in YouTube during live streams of rallyes.

    Because “it’s the economy, stupid” is not the only reason why people vote. Or it shouldn’t be for us. “Man shall not live by bread alone…” Of course, we like it when “prosper in the land” means physical, temporal prosperity. But it is linked to spiritual prosperity, as we well know the scriptures–and our personal lives–testify. Riches without righteousness lead to trouble.

    So how is it that a man who went to a harlot in 2006 (around the time of his son’s birth, always a nice twist to the story), a man who speaks often of the importance of God for this nation but does not seem to comprehend (in public) repentance, apologies, humility, now has the support of religious people?

    (And since riches without righteousness lead to trouble, it may very well be that Donald Trump was faced with an existential choice and a threat from Melania, who may go down in history as more significant than we now think.)

    1. “Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it.” Jeffrey R. Holland, April 2013 General Conference. Talking about Church leaders, members, and “people” in general.

    2. Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah were “the very vilest of sinners” but served successful missions after repenting. Corianton, Alma the Younger’s son, sinned, but he was told to resume his ministry.

    3. The importance of the United States of America and its Constitution for the Restoration and the Gathering of Israel in preparation for the Second Coming cannot be overstated. This coming from a French immigrant who, like many converts, when first told about America’s special role in the Gathering, thought, “Excuse me, you said what? Did you just call every other country inferior?” God is no respecter of persons, skin colors, or countries, but he does set up basecamps at various times, and this organization was discussed in councils before the world was.

    I think many Trump voters, from the humblest “forgotten man”, to conservative African Americans I watch on YouTube, to politicians and many other people in-between, sense that Trump was needed at this time.

    If one or two Republican candidates had dropped out sooner in 2016, Trump probably wouldn’t have won the primary. We would have either Hillary Clinton or Ted Cruz in the White House. The latter would have been better than the former, but a shake-up was needed. The political landscape has changed.

    The silent majority, fed up with leftist activists in Hollywood, the media, colleges and other institutions is no longer silent. A new American activism is born. Not one that breaks windows and sets cars on fires or advocates socialism, gateway drugs, and sexual deviance. An activism that promotes many of our values, family values we share with many Americans: Jews, Protestants, Catholics, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists trying to raise families. Recent immigrants,, too. They didn’t come here to relive civil unrest and corrupt or dictatorial government. I have this image of the Democrat Party heavily relying on the 18-35 single, Godless and often politically clueless crowd. Broken people and families turning to worldly solutions because they don’t have the guidance and blessings of the scriptures and living prophets.

    Just look at the sex ed law in Washington State. Passed by legislators and signed by the governor, it will be defeated, I hope, by a popular initiative vote on Tuesday. This is crazy stuff and the tide has to turn or at least we need to fight our Moroni battles (both Moronis) until the end.

    One more thing. False traditions of the fathers. I suggest that the values Donald Trump was taught were not the best (especially by his father as far as I know, dishonesty, ruthlessness in business dealings, hiring ruthless lawyers). Again, as far as I know. One cannot blame parents’ bad examples forever, but it can be hard to shake off.

    We should pray for our leaders, regardless. I am willing to bet that prayers for Trump are said by people who pattern their lives after the Gospel (knowingly or unknowingly) in a greater measure than people hoping and wishing for a Biden win. I picture some faithful Latter-Day Saints praying and hoping for a Biden win too, fair enough. Americans pray more than Europeans, that’s for sure, and that’s a good thing. God will not forsake this people if they do not reject Him.

    And now that I have spent all this time on writing and thinking about it, King Lamoni comes too mind. I think President Trump, by the virtue of his office, has met a lot of brave Ammons in the past four years, of all backgrounds, and he will never be the same.

  10. I appreciate Laurent mentioning Melania. I have a sneaking suspicion that she’s *way* tougher than she appears, and *way* more outspoken in private with Trump than anyone wants to believe. There’s no way to prove that, of course, but there’s a quiet competence vibe to Melania that intrigues me.

  11. My dentist several years ago, now retired, was a member of our stake presidency and a bishop twice. He was a convert and very funny as well. He told me about the American Family Association, AFA a Christian conservative organization and I have been getting their emails ever since. Of course there is the theological difference, obviously, but Dr. Wildmon did advise his readers to vote for a “Mormon” in 2012 based on shared values, which probably was not easy for some Christians to do. Cancelling my subscription to their email doesn’t even cross my mind, because they often alert me about conservative issues, upcoming votes, etc.

    Anyway, I am sharing a link about the similar discussion they are having about President Trump.

  12. PS. I am not a subscriber to “The Stand” but to AFA’s more generic email. I haven’t read The Stand before today, just to clarify. I can read the scriptures or other Church materials daily instead.

  13. I appreciate this discussion. I am one who did not vote for Trump in 2016. I voted 3rd party. And just a mere 6 months ago, I was of the mindset that if I did vote for him, it would be a “hold my nose and close me eyes” kind of vote. What changed first me? I started reading beyond my KSL (local) news outlet. I actually listened to him speak instead of just reading the articles about his speech. (I.e. – Fourth of July – I thought that was a fantastic speech! But what I read in the media was how divisive and dark it was-or how the reporting on his Covid briefings would not always give an accurate portrayal of what he said) I looked up what he had done, policy wise. (Up until then, I truly believed he hadn’t done much of anything at all while in office) Anyhow, long story shorter, I very, very gladly voted for him a few days ago.

  14. APB, I didn’t agree with the BYU professor who attacked Trump. Trump is Trump, a mingling of good and bad. That said, for Mike Lee to compare Trump to a hero of the Book of Mormon is ridiculous, and cannot be seriously considered. It is as offensive as if Harry Reid would have favorably compared Bill Clinton to Nephi. And I know that would have set off Geoff and many others on this list.
    When people are compared to King David, we see both the good and bad in David. And perhaps Trump is more like David, who wielded much power, sometimes for good, but occasionally for selfish purposes. Still, I would not envision Trump standing before Goliath, or playing the harp, or standing in the Temple.

  15. Rameumpton and Gerald Smith are the same person, for those who don’t know. There is a difference between saying comparing Trump and Capt. Moroni is a bad comparison (which I agree with), and saying that all scriptural comparisons are revolting and politicizing the scriptures, which is what Gerald Smith said in comment number one above. It appears that Gerald Smith (now commenting as rameumpton) is moving to the more reasonable position that it is a bad comparison, which is a perfectly acceptable position to take. Good to see him repent of his harsh position in comment number one.

  16. The problem is that while Mike Lee sees Trump as tearing down the power of the Federal Government, the power is not going to the general population, but to the very rich, and specifically to the Trump and Kushner families. So Mike Lee has it backwards.

  17. The power of the people has been slowly removed over the decades by Congress and Senate. They lie to get the People to agree to giving up power and freedoms then cover up the lies. This started long before Trump entered office.
    To say Trump and Kushner families have the power is pure ignorance. The power has always been with the very rich and Wall Street…..Koch brothers, George Soros, Tom Steyer, Tom Donohue, and others.
    Corrupt Tom Donohue wields more power than people know. The Unions are also involved and corrupt.

    Over the past few decades the Congress and Senate have passed laws to protect their rich and powerful friends and to exempt Congress and Senate members from laws that get the average person in jail / in trouble with government.
    Congress and Senate members have enriched themselves, immediate and extended families and friends while destroying jobs, healthcare, environment, and the Constitution. Mormon politicians are just as corrupt as their political buddies.

    Trump has been clawing back that power to help the average citizen. One reason why he is constantly attacked. He is trying to dry up the taxpayer money trough the greedy slimy politicians gorge on.
    He doesn’t take the presidential salary. Which politician have ever not taken their salary?

    Hunter Biden made billions when his father was vice president….and 10% for the Big Guy! Hunter is upset about having to give daddy 10% of his billions….less crack for his nose.
    Hunter wastes it on crack and prostitutes. Jill Biden was married to her first husband when she snuck around with Senator Joe Biden. Hunter was married while sleeping with his dead brother’s wife and underage niece. Kamala Harris slept with married Willie Brown, big politician of California….she slept with many others to get to the top. So to call Trump out for his extra marital affairs is sheer hypocrisy. Hunter Biden is a huge security risk.
    Bill Clinton has a recent mistress who miraculously got a government contract without a bid even though it was a bid contract. She uses the money for personal use….no work has been done according to the contract stipulations. Yes, been proven.

    Let’s talk taking in millions and hanging on to power. Ask Maxine Waters what sweet deals her husband gets through Maxine’s position. Ask Diane Feinstein. Ask Nancy Pelosi….who did a commercial for a Ukraine oil company with her son while trying to shut down USA oil companies. Ask Harry Reid. Ask Mitch McConnell. And on and on.

    All got filthy rich and continue to do so while in office…..from lobbyists and other countries governments. And they are chipping away our rights, freedoms and power…… shipping our jobs overseas, keeping us in wars for their military industrial complex buddies to make millions of dollars.
    They enter office middle class or even wealthy, like Nancy Pelosi whose father was Mafia, but they desperately hang on to that power to keep sucking the taxpayer dry….they leave office multimillionaires. How does every Congress and Senate member become so filthy rich from a public office salary? And they get free top of the line healthcare for life!!! And vacations on our dime!

    If people would actually research for verifiable facts instead of listening to the Stalinist Mockingbird media the country would be in a better place.

    Trump gave up a millionaire lifestyle to work for free for the American people…….all the other scum slimy politicians work in public office to become millionaires.

    And get over yourselves, grow up. Mike Lee is one person. It’s ridiculous how everyone gets upset over every little thing regarding Trump. Many Biblical people did some pretty bad stuff and God still used them. Talk about being a “useful idiot”.

Comments are closed.