Joseph Smith met with the apostles to discuss the upcoming 1844 Presidential election and the course the Saints should take. Political candidates in the area knew the Mormons carried a large vote so they tried to persuade the Mormons to support their political views. If the Saints supported the Whigs, the Democrats were angry with them. If they supported the Democrats, the Whigs were upset. The Saints wanted to be free of the negative political badgering. They also wanted a candidate that wouldn’t allow them to be persecuted. When the Saints had asked President Martin Van Buren for help in Missouri, he had said, “Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you.”
The apostles urged the Prophet to run for President of the United States. So Joseph Smith, the Prophet, became a candidate for President. By this time, John was editor of both the Nauvoo Neighbor and the Times and Seasons newspapers. John’s enthusiasm for the Prophet’s candidacy spilled into his writing. He wrote editorials about Joseph in both newspapers. Because of John’s excellent writing skills, over forty-five newspapers in the United States printed some of the articles about the Prophet Joseph. John played a “pivotal role” in Joseph’s campaign. Many men, including all of the twelve, except John and Willard Richards, traveled to the East to campaign for the Prophet. Joseph gained popularity throughout the United States, and a lot of people learned about Mormonism.