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Little Known Propaganda: 14 – 56 Year Prophecy

25 Aug

This is my continuing responses to the list of “little known facts” referenced at the blog Sound Doctrine. On this blog the author presents the list along with responses to each from a F.A.I.R. Mormon scholar, known only as CleanCut. In addition the author of this blog, known as Damon, gives a response to CleanCut. As I said in my introduction blog, I am writing a response to each fact in a lengthy series. I will not, however, comment on what CleanCut or Damon said.

See also Fact #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13a, #13b

 

FACT #14. In 1835 Joseph Smith prophesied concerning the coming of the Lord.

At a meeting called by Joseph Smith he instructed the Latter-day Saints that it was “the will of God” to go forth and “prune the vineyard for the last time, or the coming of the Lord, which was nigh-even fifty-six years should wind up the scene.” (History of the Church, vol. 2, p. 182) Eight years later he reinforced this by stating:

“I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, and let it be written – the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till 1 am eighty-five years old.” (History of the Church, vol. 5, p. 336)

These are obvious False Prophesies which would make Joseph Smith a False Prophet.

 

Before I address the full claims being made here, I would like to point out first that this fact is completely true, as it is stated initially. Joseph Smith did indeed prophesy concerning the coming of Christ. Of course, so did almost every other prophet who ever lived, so it should not be surprising that Joseph Smith would as well.

However, what the author is really trying to do is claim as fact his opinion that Joseph Smith was a false prophet. He doesn’t state that as part of the fact, of course, but that is the intention of including this in the list.

 

On this point, of Joseph being a false prophet, the author provides two different references to where Joseph Smith spoke concerning the coming of Christ. Let us look at each separately.

 

His first reference is from the second volume of the History of the church, and comes from the minutes of a meeting that Joseph Smith had called on February 14, 1835 in Kirtland. At this meeting all those “who journeyed last season to Zion for the purpose of laying the foundation of its redemption” were called together. After opening the meeting Joseph called the men together and addressed them regarding their service in Zion’s Camp. It was at this meeting, on the second day, that the first Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was chosen, and soon after that the first Quorum of the Seventies was called.

In the context of this meeting we are given a summary of what Joseph Smith said to the brother. The minutes were taken by a scribe and recorded in the History of the Church. In this record we read that Joseph

“gave a relation of some of the circumstances attending while journeying to Zion…and said God …had it in remembrance yet; and it was the will of God that those who went Zion…should be ordained to the ministry, and go forth to prune the vineyard for the last time, or the coming of the Lord, which was nigh—even fifty-six years should wind up the scene.”

What was being said here? It is clear that the subject was the calling of the men of Zion’s Camp to the ministry, in preparation of the coming of the Lord. However, the exact words are not known, and thus the exact meaning is not known.

If it is calculated 56 years from the year 1835, brings us to the year 1891. We know that Christ did not return in that year, but there is something else of note that did happen. By the year 1891, all of the original 12 apostles were dead. From all I have been able to discover, the seven presidents of the Quorum of the Seventy were also dead. A little extra research is needed, but it appears that all members of Zion’s Camp had died by the year 1891. So, it would appear that 56 years did, in fact, wind-up the scene of the ministry that these men were called to.

 

 

Now, the second reference seems even more damning, as it is in Joseph Smith’s own words. However, if you look at what he is saying, and look at the context, you will see that what he said did, in fact, come to pass. So, let us see the full quote.

I was once praying earnestly upon this subject, and a voice said unto me, “My son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years of age, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man.” I was left to draw my own conclusions concerning this; and I took the liberty to conclude that if I did live to that time, He would make His appearance. But I do not say whether He will make his appearance or I shall go where He is. I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, and let it be written—the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till I am eighty-five years old.

So, the only definite thing that Joseph Smith prophesied was that Christ would not come before he was 85 years old. That would have been the year 1891 again, and we can all agree that Christ did not come before that year. As such, Joseph Smith’s statement was perfectly fulfilled.

Beyond this, Joseph Smith himself stated that he was unsure of what to make of the revelation given, and that it could have reference to Joseph’s death, and thus him seeing Christ beyond the veil.

Then, to take the reference even farther, we read the following from Joseph Smith in the next paragraph of the record.

Judah must return, Jerusalem must be rebuilt, and the temple, and water come out from under the temple, and the waters of the Dead Sea be healed. …all this must be done before the Son of Man will make His appearance. There will be wars and rumors of wars, signs in the heavens above and on the earth beneath, the sun turned into darkness and the moon to blood, earthquakes in divers places, the seas heaving beyond their bounds; then will appear one grand sign of the Son of Man in heaven…as the sign of the coming of the Son of Man, which will be as the light of the morning cometh out of the east.

So, far from saying that Christ would return in the year of 1891 (or the year Joseph would turn 85), Joseph made it clear that many things had to happen before the Lord would return, and that it would not happen until sometime after the year 1891, and not before.

None of this is in error, and thus Joseph Smith is once again shown to be a prophet.

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The Revelation of John – chapter 18: Babylon Is Fallen, Is Fallen

19 Jan

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, Plagues, Whore, Kings

Chapter 18

Chapter 17 described Babylon. This chapter now describes the judgments that God has decreed against her.

Verse 1 

I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.

John sees another angel. Honestly, I have lost count as to how many angels John has seen in his vision. Obviously the events of the last days will bring all of God’s servants into the actions. While we are given no indication as to who this new angel is, their power and glory indicates one who holds a very high position of authority in heaven.

Verses 2-3

Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication…

The angel announces the fall of Babylon, and explains the reason for it. The final fate of Babylon is to be a foul and evil place, where only devils dwell. The reason for this is the corruption that was described in chapter 17. Verse three is very reminiscent of that chapter. Notice here that Kings, and merchants have partaken of this corruption, meaning political and economic groups.

Verses 4-6

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins…For her sins have reached unto heaven…Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works…

I believe the voice is the voice of God, though it is not identified as such. God issued a similar call to the saints today. “Go ye out from Babylon. Be ye clean…gather ye out from among the nations…from one end of heaven to the other…Go ye out from among the nations, even from Babylon, from the midst of wickedness…” (D&C 133: 5, 7, 14)

The admonition to double unto her according to her works rinds me of the Law of Moses and the restitution that it required for many crimes. This could be God calling his people, not only to abandon the evil of Babylon, but to condemn it in others.

Verses 7-8

How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously…for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day…and she shall be utterly burned with fire… 

The pride of Babylon, or the culture of corruption, will cause the judgments to come swiftly against her. In one day does not literally mean 24 hours, but rather a very brief period of time. Notice also that Babylon will be burned. This is common imagery for the events of the last days. In the parable of the Wheat and Tares the tares are burned. In D&C 64: 24 the Lord says that all the proud and those who remain in Babylon will be burned. And of course, the wicked will be burned at the second coming.

Verses 9-19

And the kings of the earth…shall bewail her, and lament for her…Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city!…And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more…The merchants of these things…and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning…weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city…for in one hour is she made desolate.

Here we read that all those who partook of the wickedness of Babylon and supported the culture of corruption will mourn its destruction. Both the kings and the merchants mourn (including seafaring merchants), again showing how pervasive the culture had become. Verses 12-14 give a long list of merchandise that is basically all encompassing of every fine thing that could represent the pride of the world.

President Harold B. Lee warned “we are going through some of the severest tests today and we don’t realize perhaps the severity of the tests that we’re going through. … Today we are basking in the lap of luxury, the like of which we’ve never seen before in the history of the world. It would seem that probably this is the most severe test of any test that we’ve ever had” (“First Presidency Devotional” [unpublished Christmas devotional for Church employees, Dec. 13, 1973], 4–5

Among the list of goods included are “slaves and the souls of men.” If we take this literally we see a reference to human trafficking (slavery). We also see an allusion to the practice in many religions of promising salvation for money, or the trafficking in souls. This reference can also be seen as a symbol of the addictive nature of the corruption of Babylon, causing men to be slaves to it, both body and soul.

Verse 20

Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. 

Those who are aligned with God and heaven has suffered greatly at the hands of Babylon, but now they can rejoice, for God has brought vengeance against her.

Verses 21-23

And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down…And the voice of…musicians…shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman…And the light of a candle…and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more…for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

Another angel, this one of great strength, now declares that all those things that made Babylon enticing no longer exist. The culture, the industry, community, the families; all are gone.

Verse 24 

And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.

The only thing that is now found in Babylon is the guilt that she carries for the death and persecutions of the saints and the prophets.

The Revelation of John – chapter 17: The Kings of the Earth

9 Dec

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, Plagues, Whore

Chapter 17

Verse 9

And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

Most take this to refer to Rome, which was known as the city built on seven hills. I think that God was drawing on this imagery when the Angel gave this interpretation, but I think there is more to the meaning. In other prophecies the Lord uses the idea of a mountain to mean governments, or organizations (see Isaiah 2: 2, Ezekiel 17: 22, Micah 4: 1, and 2 Nephi 12: 2), and I think the same thing is being done here. The heads are seven kingdoms, or nations, that have been the center for this culture of corruption throughout the earth’s history.

 

Verse 10

And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

Verse nine told us there were seven kingdoms, which is confirmed here in that there are seven kings. Those who see this as Rome see these kings are Roman emperors, but let us take a wider view, as we did in verse nine.

Let us consider that at the time that John is writing five of these kingdoms have already fallen, and John is living in the time of the sixth. John lived during the Roman empire, so we can conclude that Rome is the sixth kingdom, and the Emperor (as a title and position) is the ‘one that is.’

So, what are the five that have fallen? Looking back in history, there are five great empires that have basically ruled the known world, and each was a seat of great corruption. These five, in chronological order, are Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Greece. So, these are the five that are fallen.

However, the seventh had not yet come when John wrote this vision. Here there is no real indication of what it is, except that it would “continue a short space.” To make any comment as to what or who this seventh kingdom is would be pure speculation.

I am inclined to think it is the Holy Roman Empire which held power for only a brief time, and was a center for all forms of corruption. This could also represent the entire feudal state of the middle ages. This is just my opinion, however.

 

Verse 11

And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

Now we see that there are actually eight kings. The seven heads represent seven kings, but the beast itself is an eighth, which comes out of the seven, or is born of them. Again, to try and say what this king is would be speculation.

In my opinion it does not represent a political kingdom, or nation, but a worldwide organization the works within many governments. It comes out of the other seven, as it is conceived and born as a reaction to the feudal state. It is the beast because it is inspired and directed by Satan. It is the final great secret combination that Moroni warned us of in Ether chapter 8. It seeks to overthrow the freedom of all people. It does so, not by conquest and subjugation, but through temptation and corruption, and so it supports the great whore Babylon.

 

Verses 12-13

And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

What these kings are is again a matter of speculation. I believe they are organizations that either have, or will join with the beast. These are groups that formed for their own ends, but to increase their power and influence they seek out the eighth king and support him in his wickedness and partake of the cup that Babylon carries, full of abominations and filthiness. I will not speculate as to what these organizations are; only that by themselves they never grew powerful enough to be likened unto kingdoms.

 

Verse 14

These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

Besides the general corruption and wickedness associated with Babylon the ten kings without kingdoms will actively fight against God, against the church of God, and against the people of God. They will specifically target the saints in an attempt to destroy them and drive Christ and the gospel from the earth.

But there is comfort here, for God will overcome. Christ is Lord of lords, and King of kings. He will overcome all his enemies. Those who follow him and called and chosen, and so will triumph with Christ.

 

Verse 15

And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

This shows that the entire world has taken part in the corruptions and wickedness of Babylon, to the point that the people themselves support the culture.

 

Verse 16-17

And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

These verses explain the self destructive nature of the culture of violence and corruption. They support the culture of corruption, but will eventually turn on it as such a culture cannot be sustained. I do not believe that this has happened yet, but will soon. When it does the ten kings will become fully aligned with the great organization that is the beast. This is the final judgment against the corruption of the last days.

This gathering of the evil organizations into the beast sounds very much like the gathering of armies and the wars that John spoke of in chapter 9 and chapter 11.

 

Verse 18

And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

This last verse merely reinforces the identity of the woman as the culture of corruption that holds power over all the governments of the earth.

The Revelation of John Chapter 17: The Great Whore

9 Dec

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, Plagues

Chapter 17

Chapters 17 and 18 describe the downfall of Babylon. This was listed as part of the seventh plague in chapter 16, but is given greater detail here.

Chapter 17 gives a fair description of Babylon, using some great imagery and symbolism. I will present this chapter in two parts, as my comments are rather extensive.

 

Verses 1-2 tell us what John is about to see. One of the seven angels from chapter 16 comes to John and says he will show John “the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”

In this there are a few things to note. Babylon is the great whore, or the most corrupt of the earth. This also establishes Babylon as a woman. She sitteth on many waters, or is supported by all the peoples of the earth (see verse 15). Kings have had relationships with her, and the people are intoxicated with the corruption that she represents; this is a testament to the great social and political power the whore has over people.

This is to set up what comes next, so keep it in mind.

 

Verse 3

…I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

There is some dispute as to the meaning of the beast in this verse. It is reminiscent of the beast in chapter 13 of revelation, as both have seven heads and ten horns. As that beast represents a number of earthly kingdoms this beast may also represent those same kingdoms, and their moral corruption. However, there is also some speculation that it represents only Rome, which was built on seven hills, and certain emperors of the first century AD. In either case it is likely also a general commentary on all corrupt governments and organizations. However, just as verse 15 gives an interpretation of the water in verse 1, there is an interpretation of this beast later in the chapter. When we get to that I will explain what my belief is regarding the beast.

 

Verse 4

And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

This verse describes the woman. Her clothes show her to be wealthy and powerful. The cup conveys the idea that all the wickedness that she represents is internalized, or becomes a part of those who partake. This is the wine on which the people are drunk (verse 2).

 

Verse 5

And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth.

The names here written show the various corruptions and immoralities that Babylon engages in.

  • Mystery speaks of secret combinations, such as the drug lords, mafia, and even local gangs.
  • Babylon the Great refers to the corruptions of governments and political organizations.
  • Mother of Harlots shows that this great wickedness is the source of other organizations and corruptions around the world.
  • Abominations of the Earth refers to a general culture that embraces evil and wickedness.

 

Verse 6

And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

The corrupt of the earth have always been hostile to the saints of God, and John is here seeing that this pervasive culture of corruption is responsible for the deaths of many of the saints. Babylon the great will always thirst for the blood of the righteous.

It also says here that John ‘wondered with great admiration.’ An alternate Greek translation renders the word admiration as astonishment. John sees the power and influence of Babylon and is amazed at just how far the people have fallen into wickedness and how this culture of sex, greed, and violence has gotten such a hold on the hearts of men.

 

Verse 7

…Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her…

Here the angel begins to explain the meaning of the images John has seen.

 

Verse 8

The beast that thou sawest…shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life…when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

There are a few things to note here.

  1. The beast comes from the bottomless pit, or has its origin in Hell. This indicates that the power that upholds the beast is Satan.
  2. The beast goes into perdition, which tells us of the eventual triumph of God over Satan, who is cast into hell.
  3. Note the description that it was, is not, and yet is. This shows us two things. That this culture of evil is a reoccurring thing throughout the earth’s history, and that it is a temporary influence on men. There have been cities and nations that have embodied the decadence of Babylon in all eras, but all have fallen to the judgments of God. The great Babylon of the last days will suffer the same fate.

This concludes the first half of the chapter. The rest of the chapter continues the interpretation of the symbols.

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.