The relationship between U.S. presidents and the Church hasn't always been friendly. In the early days of the Church, presidents were often viewed more like antagonists than allies to the Church and its cause. However, as the Church has grown and its members more involved in politics, so has its relationship with these important government leaders.
This has lead to many remarkable and historic meetings between presidents and our beloved prophets. In fact, in 2004, George W. Bush presented President Gordon B. Hinckley with the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Check out these other photo highlights of when our Latter-day prophets have met with presidents.
For more background on prophets and presidents, check out "Presidents and Prophets: The Story of America's Presidents and the LDS Church."
George Albert Smith being received by President Herbert Hoover, May 16, 1929. (Presidents and Prophets by Michael K. Winder)
President Barack Obama meets with President Thomas S. Monson and Elder Dallin H. Oaks in the Oval Office, July 20, 2009. (Pete Souza via Deseret News)
President Harry S. Truman and his wife meeting with President George Albert Smith, Sept. 22, 1948. (Deseret News Archives)
President Dwight Eisenhower listens to then Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson as they discuss the Agriculture message. (Henry Griffin, Associated Press)
President David O. McKay shakes hands with John F. Kennedy, who spoke at the Tabernacle on Sept. 23, 1960. After, President McKay told the then presidential candidate, “And if you win in November, if you win (the presidency) the Church will be behind you.” (Associated Press)
Vice President Richard Nixon visiting with President David O. McKay and Elder Ezra Taft Benson at the Church Administration Building, October 10, 1960. (O. Wallace Kastler, Deseret News Archives)
President Ronald Reagan and President Gordon B. Hinckley visiting with other Church leaders, September 9, 1984. (Eldon Linscheten, Deseret News Archives)
President Clinton and Vice President Gore meeting with President Gordon B. Hinkley and Elder Neal A. Maxwell in the Oval Office, November 13, 1995. (White House)
President Bush presenting Gordon B. Hinckley with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civil award, during a ceremony in the White House, June 23, 2004. (Susan Walsh, Associated Press)
Though not a president, here is an interesting picture of one of our prophets meeting with royalty.
Then Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson bowing as he meets Queen Elizabeth II at the British Embassy in Washington, October 18, 1957. (Associated Press)
Learn more about U.S. Presidents' interactions with LDS prophets in Presidents and Prophets by Michael K. Winder.