In "America and the meaning of a Mormon president," (Deseret News, June 3), Hal Boyd suggests that Mitt Romney's presidential bid could lessen Mormon prejudices in the same way Barack Obama's campaign did for African-Americans.
Boyd recounts a history of Mormon prejudices, including the U.S. House of Representatives's decision to not seat B.H. Roberts on account of his Mormon religion. This is not accurate. Roberts' religion was, in fact, never in question. He was a polygamist, which was not only outlawed in the United States, but it was also not practiced within the LDS Church.
In 1900, Utah held a special election and another Mormon was elected, William H. King. Unlike Roberts, he was not a polygamist, and he was welcomed by the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served for two more terms. Although Mormon prejudice certainly existed in legislation, linking Roberts' religion with the House's decision to not seat him should not have been used as evidence towards Mormon prejudice of the day.
Brian D. King