Archive | November, 2015

What Was Witnessed

28 Nov

This is a video that I put together just for the fun of it. It is compiled from a number of videos at LDS.org, and is intended to be a kind of music video for the Hymn “What Was Witnessed In The Heavens,” the eleventh hymn in the LDS hymn book. I Hope you enjoy it.

 

 

 

False Prophecies: Isaiah 11

16 Nov

This is a series of prophecies given by Joseph Smith. Each is listed on various websites as false prophecies. My purpose is to show how those claims are wrong, and that each of these prophecies is, in fact, true and from God.

  See also False Prophecies, Temple, Tremble, Civil War

 

Joseph Smith, history 1: 40

This will be a short post. Just like the prophecy of the Earth Trembling this supposedly false prophecy is dependent on an unspecified timeline. It is not commonly cited, but is included on the CARM site.

The passage quoted states the following:

In addition to these, he quoted the eleventh chapter of Isaiah, saying that it was about to be fulfilled. He quoted also the third chapter of Acts, twenty-second and twenty third verses, precisely as they stand in our New Testament. He said that that prophet was Christ; but the day had not yet come when “they who would not hear his voice should be cut off from among the people,” but soon would come.

This references the entire eleventh chapter of Isaiah, but at CARM they only quote verses 6-9.

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

Now, Moroni also references Acts 3: 22-23, but at CARM they only focus on this Isaiah passage. So, I will not quote Acts here.

At CARM they correctly point out that the animals are not behaving as Isaiah describes. However, they once again try to force their timeline onto the words of the prophets. About is a vague term, and when we are dealing with eternity it can refer to a very long period of time.

In fact, Peter tells us to “not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” This is confirmed in other places.

Alma 40: 8 tells us that

“all is as one day with God, and time only is measured unto men.”

Abraham 3: 4 says that

“a day unto the Lord, after his manner of reckoning, [is] one thousand years according to the time appointed unto” this earth.

In facsimile 2, found in the Book of Abraham, we again read in the first note that

“One day [to God] is equal to a thousand years according to the measurement of this earth.”

All this tells us that we cannot rely on our calendars and perceptions of time to determine the fulfillment of prophecy. While we perceive a long time passing it is but a moment to God. So, when God sends a message that something is about to happen, we need see it from God’s perspective, not ours.

Because of this difference in perspective one cannot claim a prophecy false because it uses a vague timeline.

False Prophecies: American Civil War

13 Nov

This is a series of prophecies given by Joseph Smith. Each is listed on various websites as false prophecies. My purpose is to show how those claims are wrong, and that each of these prophecies is, in fact, true and from God.

 See also False Prophecies, Temple, Tremble

Doctrine and Covenants 87: 1-3

 

This is another common prophecy on lists that circulate throughout the internet. The claim is that it prophecies that all nations would be involved in the American Civil War. It is also listed at CARM.

 

So, let us look at it. (emphasis taken CARM)

 

“Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls; And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place. For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations,” (verses 1-3)

 

So, using the underlined passages critics claim that all nations would be involved in the civil war. But, if we look at the words with just a little care we see something completely different.

 

Let us look at the first passage that has been underlined; “thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass”

Note the plurality of the word wars. Critics want to apply this prophecy to a single war, that of the American Civil War. But we have in the very first statement a declaration that what is to follow concerns multiple wars, not just one. So, the narrow focus of the critics is already proven to be a false interpretation.

 

When we continue with the first passage we read that these wars (meaning many wars) will begin “at the rebellion of South Carolina.” So, the Civil war is here mentioned as the beginning of the great conflicts and wars that would mark the last days and “eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls.”

 

Then we read the next underlined passage; “the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place.” This is a restating of the broad meaning of this prophecy. Starting with the American Civil War the entire Earth would find itself engulfed in conflict after conflict on a scale never before seen.

 

 

Now, in none of this does it say that all nations would be involved in the American Civil War. Only that all nations would be involved in war. So, let us continue reading the passage.

 

Verse three tells us that “the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern Sates.” This obviously did happen.

 

It then says that “the Southern States will call on other nations, even…Great Britain.” While England had no official part in the Civil War, its unofficial involvement is well documented. They even agreed to meet with ambassadors from the Confederacy and transported them on a British Ship.

 

The next part does seem to confuse many people. It tells us that “they shall also call upon other nations, I order to defend themselves against other nations.” Now, many want to the Southern States, but that doesn’t really fit. It has already been stated that the South would call on other nations, and they never needed to defend themselves against other nations.

This statement here is a reference to England, and the other nations that the South had already called on. It is speaking of a kind of domino effect. The South calls on England, who later must call on others, and so on until, as it says “war shall be poured out upon all nations.”

 

This domino effect can be seen in the history of military alliances that sprang up as a kind of response to the American Civil War. Never had a war been so costly or so devastating. The shock of the Civil War rippled throughout the world, and the world has still not fully recovered. In reaction to this new warfare that could bring such devastation the nations of the world began a series of treaties, sometimes in secret, in an attempt to defend them from similar destruction. This fragile web of alliances finally broke in 1914 when war erupted in Europe and the alliances were called to actions. By the end of the war practically every nations had joined the fighting on one side or the other.

Thus we see that, beginning with catalyst event of the American Civil War, nations began to call on others for their defense which eventual resulted in a war of global conflict and destruction, just as Joseph Smith had prophecied.

 

For more detail I would suggest reading this chapter from the Institute Doctrine and Covenant student guide.

False Prophecies: Earth Tremble, Sun Hidden

10 Nov

This is a series of prophecies given by Joseph Smith. Each is listed on various websites as false prophecies. My purpose is to show how those claims are wrong, and that each of these prophecies is, in fact, true and from God.

See also False Prophecies, Temple

Doctrine and Covenants 88: 87

This is referenced less frequently than others, but is still common. It is among those listed at CARM.

This prophecy belongs to a group of prophecies that are dependent on unspecified timelines. They use phrases such as “not many days” or “nigh at hand” or other similar phrases. Critics of Joseph Smith try to impose the shortest possible timeline on such prophecies so they can claim that they are false and unfulfilled. The same critics seem to ignore similar prophecies in the Bible.

So, let us look at this prophecy.

For not many days hence and the earth shall tremble and reel to and fro as a drunken man; and the sun shall hide his face, and shall refuse to give light; and the moon shall be bathed in blood; and the stars shall become exceedingly angry, and shall cast themselves down as a fig that falleth from off a fig-tree.

Critics point out that the Earth has not trembled as described, the sun has not been hidden, the moon is not blood, and stars have not fallen.

At CARM they go so far as to calculate how many days have passed since this revelation was recorded. Their calculations are a bit outdated, so I will provide up to date calculations, to give you an idea of their claim.

It has been nearly 182 years since the revelation was recorded (will be exactly 182 years on the 27 of December this year).

182 years = 2,184 months = 9,497 weeks = 66,476 days

So, the conclusion is that since so many days have passed that this has to be a false prophecy. Seems logical, but it is trying to impose a man-made timeline on God, which is never a good idea.

Let us look at a few passages in the Bible that use similar language.

 

Isaiah 13: 6, 9, 13

Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty…For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine…Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.

 

Joel 2: 1-10

BLOW ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand…The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:

 

Joel 3: 14-16

Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

 

You may notice that all three of these prophecies speak of the same events as D&C 88: 87; Sun, moon and stars hiding their light and the earth and heavens shaking or trembling. Now, Isaiah prophecies from 740-701 BC; Joel is a little harder to date, and may have prophesied as late 550 BC. So, let us use the latest dates for each and see how long it has been since these prophecies were given.

Isaiah: 2,765 years = 33,180 months = 144,274 weeks = 1,011,990 days.

Joel: 2,565 years = 30,780 months = 133,838 weeks = 936,687 days.

These numbers are based on our modern calendar, but they illustrate the point. If the words penned by Joseph Smith are overdue for fulfillment than surely the words of these two prophets are as well. Joseph Smith penned his words 66,476 days ago. Joel penned his 870,211 days before Joseph Smith, and Isaiah penned his 75,303 days before Joel (945,514 days before Joseph Smith). So, if Joseph Smith is a false prophet because of his words than we must also conclude that Isaiah and Joel are also false prophets.

The Revelation of John: Chapter 16 – Seven Plagues

10 Nov

I am continuing on with Revelation. In this series I have been comparing John’s vision with books with similar prophecies, such as Daniel, as well as section 77 of the Doctrine and Covenants, which gives interpretations to a selected portion of the images of the Revelation. I also rely heavily on the Joseph Smith Translation (JST – given in red).

See also chapter one,  two, three, four, five, first five seals, Sixth Seal I, Sixth Seal II, Seventh Seal Opens, First Four Trumpets, Fifth Trumpet, Sixth Trumpet, Ten, Witnesses, Seventh Trumpet, Twelve I, Twelve II, The Beast, The Mark, Three Angels, Two Harvests, Righteous

Chapter 16

As I said in the last post, this chapter is a review of what will happen to the wicked when they are harvested in the second harvest. As chapter fifteen showed the fate of the righteous to be glorious, this chapter shows how the wicked will suffer. This suffering comes in the form of seven plagues.

At the end of chapter 15 the angels were given the vials that hold the plagues. In the first verse of this chapter the angels are commanded to “Go your ways, and pour out the vials…upon the earth.”

 

First Plague (verse 2)

“…a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.”

We can get a better idea of this plague if we read in Exodus 9: 8-12, “…it shall become… a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast…” We can also read of such a plague in Zechariah 14: 12. “Their flesh shall consume away while they stand…and their eyes…in their holes, and their tongue…in their mouth.” Regardless of which verse we read, this plague is not pleasant.

 

Second Plague (verse 3)

“…the sea…became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.”

Third Plague (verse 4)

“…the rivers and fountains of waters…became blood.”

These plagues are very similar to Moses turning the Nile to Blood (Exodus 7: 19-21). The putrefying of the water is another very unpleasant experience.

 

God’s Justice (verses 5-7)

“…Thou art righteous, O Lord…because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink…true and righteous are thy judgments.”

Here we have angels proclaiming the justice of God. Because the wicked rejected the prophets and killed the saints of God they are plagued with blood. See also 2 Kings 9:7; Luke 11:50–51; Revelation 18:24; 2 Nephi 26:3; Alma 37:30; 3 Nephi 9:5–11; 3 Nephi 10:12; D&C 136:36.

 

Fourth Plague (verses 8-9)

“…power was given…to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat…”

Besides describing this plague verse 9 also speaks of the peoples’ reaction to the plagues thus far. They “blasphemed the name of God…and they repented not to give him glory.” So, even after the festering sores, the putrefying of the dead animals in the water, and then the scorching heat the people still refuse to repent and instead revile God.

 

Fifth Plague (verse 10-11)

“…and [the beast’s] kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain”

Again we see similarities to the plagues of Egypt, as God caused darkness to fill the land. This also happened in the America’s when Christ died. The pain that is described here could be a reference to the mental and emotional anguish that comes with such a complete darkness. It could also refer to actual physical pain that is to accompany the darkness.

In either case, verse 11 tells us that because of this pain they “blasphemed the God of heaven…and repented not of their deeds.”

 

Sixth Plague (verses 12-16)

“…the water [of the great river Euphrates] was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean…For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth…to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty…into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.”

This plague is the preparation for the battle of Armageddon. This is very similar to the second woe mentioned in chapter nine. If we look at a map of the modern day this includes Iran, whose stated goal is the destruction of Israel. Also note that the armies are gathered together under the leadership and with the power of Satan.

For those who don’t know, Armageddon is derived from the Hebrew Har Megiddon, or mountain of Megiddo. The mountain and valley are about 50 miles north of Jerusalem, and this is where this last great battle will begin.

 

Watchfulness of the People (verse 15)

“…Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”

In a literal sense this is warning those in the area to always be ready so that when the time comes they can flee from the destruction of this army. To be naked at this time is to not be prepared. This also applies spiritually, to those who are not yet prepared through the ordinances and spirit of God for the second coming.

 

Seventh Plague (17-21)

“…And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth…and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon [drank] the cup of the wine of the fierceness of [God’s] wrath…And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent…”

Here we have a general upheaval of nature and a destruction of the wicked and corrupt governments and cultures.

Note also that even after all the great destructions that come the people still blaspheme God and refuse to repent (verse 21). Like the ancient Nephites at the time of Mormon, they are beyond reclamation.

 

Also note that in verse 20 we read “every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.” This is in reference to the earth being restored to its original state (see D&C 133: 23-24). The natural upheaval we read of here is a result of the continents rejoining into a single land mass, and the water gathering in the North. For the continents to move that far that fast it will take a massive earthquake; and the change will mess with the magnetic fields causing weather changes. All this will be part of the last plague just before the second coming.