John F. Kennedy on Mormonism

On September 26, 1963, President John F. Kennedy spoke at the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City to an audience that included the Mormon prophet David O. McKay. JFK was complimentary of Mormons, but spent most of his time talking about U.S. foreign policy. I listened to the talk with my parents, little brother, and cousin as we drove to Park City during the Christmas break. My dad and I couldn’t help but think JFK would be in favor of the Iraq war if he were here now.

Here is a video with some snippets about Mormons and the Church:

Of all the stories of American pioneers and settlers, none is more inspiring than the Mormon trail. The qualities of the founders of this community are the qualities that we seek in America, the qualities which we like to feel this country has: courage, patience, faith, self-reliance, perseverance, and, above all, an unflagging determination to see the right prevail.

Let us remember that the Mormons of a century ago were a persecuted and prosecuted minority, harried from place to place, the victims of violence and occasionally murder, while today, in the short space of 100 years, their faith and works are known and respected the world around, and their voices heard in the highest councils of this country.

As the Mormons succeeded, so America can succeed, if we will not give up or turn back.

You can find the full talk on