Donald Trump and Captain Moroni

Is Donald Trump[BIO] some kind of Captain Moroni[BIO] figure?

No. At least, not as recognized by the Church.

But why do some people think he is?

Probably because Captain Moroni was a military leader[1] who was angry at government corruption[2] and led his countrymen in defense of freedom.[3] Some people think Donald Trump has similar qualities,[4] and they have supported the comparison.[5]

Did Utah Senator Mike Lee[BIO] say that Trump was like Captain Moroni?

Yes. In a 2020 Trump campaign rally,[6] Lee pointed to Trump and said,[7] “To my Mormon friends, my Latter-day Saint friends, think of him as Captain Moroni. He seeks not power, but to pull it down; he seeks not the praise of the world or of the fake news, but he seeks the well being and peace of the American people."[8]

Did Senator Lee receive backlash? 

Yes. Many Church members disagreed.[9] Some suggested a comparison of Trump to King Noah[BIO][10] or Amalickiah[BIO][11] would be more appropriate. Others were more upset with the act of using scriptures or religion to score political points.[12]

Did Senator Lee apologize or backpedal?

Sort of. He mostly clarified.[13]

Donald Trump watches as Senator Mike Lee compares him to Captain Moroni at a GOP rally in Goodyear, AZ, October of 2020.

What about the Captain Moroni cosplayer at the U.S. Capitol riots?

On January 6, 2021, Nathan Wayne Entrekin[BIO] entered the Capitol Building dressed as Captain Moroni.[14] He carried a cloth flag with the same words Moroni wrote on his Title of Liberty.[15] In an interview that day,[16] Entrekin explained he was “here for freedom”[17] and drew parallels to the story of Moroni.[18] Entrekin was arrested on July 15, 2021, on two misdemeanor charges for his participation in the riot at the Capitol.[19]

So did the story of Captain Moroni contribute to the Capitol riots?

Perhaps, in some small way.[20] There were only two publicly identified Latter-day Saints involved in the events at the Capitol.[21]

Has the Church made any statements related to Trump and Captain Moroni?

No, not specifically. After Mike Lee's rally remarks, a media specialist for the Church in Arizona reiterated, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is neutral in matters of party politics."[22] And following the Capitol riots, the Church released an official statement condemning the violence.[23] The Church has not made statements regarding the comparison or connection between Moroni and Trump.

The Facts

  • Some members of the Church have compared Donald Trump to Captain Moroni.

  • The Church has never recognized Trump as anything else besides just another politician.

  • When asked specifically about Trump and Moroni the Church restated its position of neutrality on party politics.

  • The Church publicly condemned the violence of the Capital riots.

Our Take

Political situations can be difficult to navigate, even more so when intersecting with religion. Seeing Donald Trump compared with a well-known Mormon figure is sure to evoke strong emotion. And for those who see Trump as a problematic figure, the comparison probably doesn’t sit well.

Some stories in the scriptures are politically charged—like the Captain Moroni story. This story has been used for political purposes in the past and will probably continue to be used for political purposes in the future.

The Church doesn’t endorse specific politicians, but it does encourage members to be politically active. And though the Church maintains political partisan neutrality, it did condemn the Capitol riots.

Faithful Church members can disagree on politics, but we need to remember to respect and love those on every side of political or social discussions.

What's Your Take?

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These takes are curated for a general audience and may contain minor edits when posted.
  • Lee
    Mike Lee is a family member. He has emphatically apologized for what he said. At the end of the day, it was a gaffe—a regrettable, off-the-cuff statement he spontaneously made. No sane member believes that Trump is like Captain Moroni. This has been blown out of proportion.
  • Paula M.
    The comparison between the two is cringy. I voted for Trump. But no, he's no Captain Moroni. These people just ruined my favorite BoM character.
  • Nathan N
    I personally don't think that someone who has bragged about sexually assaulting women should be compared to good people in the scriptures, and Mike Lee was wrong to do so.
  • S. McDonough
    I believe Trump is a righteous leader. I see the list of good things he's done, the list of bad things look to be acts of tough love for his countrymen. Sounds like Captain Moroni. Only one was perfect in this life, the rest of us are filthy sinners, including all the Prophets.
  • Harold R
    I believe no person—military leader, government official, even religious or business leaders—should receive honored adulation by the public unless, as a minimum, they demonstrate a lifetime of serving with genuine personal sacrifice. Trump missed badly starting that process.
  • Dallin R.
    Let me come out and say it: I don't like Trump. I don't like how people use religion (including mine) to stir up contention. Captain Moroni might have been a soldier, but I don't think the LDS faith is to blame for people supporting Trump.