False Prophecies

21 Oct

One of the favorite tactics of those who oppose the church is to try and point out unfulfilled prophecies of Joseph Smith. I have read many such lists, and they generally fall back on the same ten or twelve. This is done in an attempt to prove that Joseph Smith is not a prophet.

The argument is based in Deuteronomy 18: 20-22, which reads “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we a know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.”

So, the critics want to present false prophecies to claim that Joseph Smith is guilty of giving false prophecies so they can try to convince others that he is not a true prophet and can be rejected. In fact, at the CARM website they say “that having several fulfilled prophecies and even a single false prophecy still means that the person is not a true prophet of God.”

Now, it is true that this is a test of a true prophet. However, for this to be proven you first have to prove that the person was claiming to speak in the name of God, and then you have to prove that the prophecy was false.

Now the first one can be hard to prove, because prophets don’t always begin their prophecies with “Thus saith the Lord.” Actually, sometimes they may seem to indicate they are speaking for God but are actually speaking for themselves, offering their opinion on what God has planned.

The second is even more difficult to prove. Prophecy is notorious for symbolism and generalities, rarely giving time tables for anything. This leaves it to the reader to try and figure out the meaning, or recognize it when it is fulfilled. The key to unlocking the meaning and fulfillment of prophecy is given to us by Peter. In his second epistle he tells us “no prophecy of the scripture is of any private d interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” In other words, prophecy comes by through the Holy Ghost, and so it is only through the Holy Ghost that one can understand its meaning.


So, while people are continually trying to prove Joseph Smith a false prophet, they seem to lack the power to do so. No one without the gift of the Holy Ghost is qualified to judge anyone to be a false or a true prophet. Those who have never been baptized by proper authority do not have this gift, and those who have left the church have lost it.

All things considered one can see why it is difficult for anyone to know exactly what a prophecy means and if it has been fulfilled, especially for those who are trying to prove them false.


However, for the sake of sportsmanship I will do a series on some of the prophecies in question. I take the first five from the CARM website. As I find more in other lists I will add them to this series over the years. I also ask that if any of those reading this know of any such claim that they would like me to research and post on I will gladly do so.

I realize that I am working on several series right now (I think this makes three) but I will be posting on all of them in the next week.


4 Responses to “False Prophecies”

  1. Tom Croteau September 22, 2016 at 2:49 pm #

    “So, while people are continually trying to prove Joseph Smith a false prophet, they seem to lack the power to do so. No one without the gift of the Holy Ghost is qualified to judge anyone to be a false or a true prophet. Those who have never been baptized by proper authority do not have this gift, and those who have left the church have lost it.”

    This is a very convenient claim. It is like arguing that the Bible is true because the Bible tells us that it is true. Thankfully God has provided us with breadcrumbs and real evidence to substantiate his truths. I don’t attempt to prove Joseph Smith is a false prophet, Joseph Smith does that on his own. Using a seer stone is witchcraft, and predicting things with definite timelines that did not happen tells me that he is not getting his information from the Holy Spirit. You can’t assume the wonderful light that you live in is of the Holy Spirit because you “know” it to be. The heart is wicked and the mind is deceitful, and Satan will disguise himself as an angel of light. We can, however, count on God’s word to reveal what is true and what is false, not the Spirit. I know the spirit, and feel the Holy Spirit confirming things many times each day, but I know that Satan can do the same thing, which is why I always go back to God’s word for confirmation. You do not need to be baptized to have the Spirit, baptism in an outward display that you already have it. but, this is just a doctrinal difference, even some non LDS believe baptism is required for regeneration. We know this not to be case because of the thief on the cross. He was promised paradise that very same day. He was a sinful many that simply gave his heart to Christ, just the parable says, whether you work all day in the field, or just the last hour, you get the same wage when you come to Jesus. The problem with LDS, just like the false christian teachings that came from the 1800’s restorationist movement is that they claim exclusivity to have been given the keys to restore the church. The problem is that God did not allow his church to fall, so it did not need to be restored.”On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail.” There were many bad things done in the name of Jesus and the church, but the gospel has stood, and no plain nor precious truths were lost. God’s word has stood the test of time. I can see from your history in your blog that you have been committed to this view for some time, and won’t try to sway you, only the Holy Spirit can do that, but I feel I must at least give you the truth that the LDS church would keep you from, and pray that if it is God’s will that he would make the biblical Jesus (not the Jesus of Mormonism) known to you by his Holy Spirit.

    • shematwater September 22, 2016 at 4:20 pm #

      Hello Tom

      It is nice to hear from you and your comments are always welcome. However, you say many things here that are not directly related to the main point of the article, so I will be brief in my response.

      I mention baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost because this is LDS doctrine, and thus those who are not LDS that are trying to prove any prophecy false do so, to our view (or at least mine) without authority to do so.
      It would be like a defense attorney making rulings on court procedure and judging the merits of the prosecutions objections. The defense may be knowledgeable, but he lacks proper authority to make such statements rulings in the first place.
      I understand that you have different doctrine, but my intent was to give the LDS perspective.

      As to this being convenient, I have always found that God is a very convenient God. He is the one that inspired Peter to give us the guidelines regarding the interpretation of prophecy, just as He conveniently gave the guidelines for determining a false prophet. We can’t ignore either statement and still claim to follow Christ.

      On a final note, I am well aware of Satan’s power, and my own tendencies. However, I also know that God is faithful to fulfill all His words. He stated that the Holy Ghost would testify of the truth of all things. Why would He promise such a witness of the truth if we could have no real trust that the witness was from Him.
      The prophets of old obviously trusted that the Holy Ghost was inspiring them when they spoke. They have this trust because they were strong in faith and well experienced in receiving divine communication. We must attain to that same faith, and then, with some practice, we will be able to discern between the true inspiration of God and the counterfeit that is Satan.

      • Tom Croteau September 22, 2016 at 6:03 pm #

        Thanks for your reply Shem. I do believe that I can see the LDS perspective a bit, but I think on this topic, I will agree to disagree. Not so much on the information, but rather the interpretation of it. I believe the evidence points to Joseph being a false prophet, and that what the LDS believe to be the Holy Ghost, is in fact a demon disguised as an angel of light. Please don’t take it disrespectfully, but this is the reason I share my message. I hate to see people deceived, but at the same time, I love to hear their perspective. We all have a story, thank you for sharing some of yours.

  2. shematwater September 22, 2016 at 7:20 pm #

    I understand your belief, and I feel the same about the rest of Christianity. They are all deceived and have been for nearly 2,000 years. I can’t stand the deception that is spread and I have created this blog to combat that deception.

    So, I hope you have fun reading it. Please read and comment on other articles. I enjoy the discussion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: