LDS Articles of Faith, Part LIII
Article 9, Latter-day revelation, part 11
The 9th LDS Article of Faith says, “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.” Joseph Smith said Doctrine and Covenants (D. & C.) Sec. 87 was revealed to him on December 25, 1832. LDS often use it as evidence that he was a true prophet. It only has the following eight verses: 1. “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; 2. 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. 4. And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war. 5. And it shall come to pass also that the remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with sore vexation. 6. And thus with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and fierce and vivid lightening also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations. 7. That the cry of the saints, and of the blood of the saints, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies. 8. Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen.”
The bold type in the above “prophecy” did not happen. War, not “wars” began at So. Carolina. But war was not poured out on all nations beginning at So. Carolina. The Southern states called on Great Britain but they did not enter the war nor did any other nation. Slaves did not rise up against their masters, and few fought in the Civil War. LDS say the “remnants” in v. 5 refers to the Indians. While there was some “vexing” by both “white men” and Indians, white men did not receive a greater “vexation.” Nor were there greater plagues, earthquakes, thunder and lightning etc. than normal during the Civil War. And the war did not make “a full end of all nations” as v. 6 says. Conflict between the Northern and Southern states on December 25, 1832, was well known and reported in many newspapers! On Dec. 21, 1832 (4 days before Smith’s prophecy) the Painesville, OH Telegraph and Geauga Free Press printed excerpts from “The Crisis,” an article in the New York Currier and Enquirer. It predicted that So. Carolina would start a Civil War and had some things Smith said in it! Painesville was about 10 miles from Kirtland, OH where Smith lived, so he had access to that newspaper! Six months before Smith’s prophecy, on July 14, 1832, Congress passed a tariff law that harmed the Southern states. On Nov. 24, 1832, So. Carolina nullified it. So, on Dec. 10, 1832, President Andrew Jackson sent General Scott with some of the army and a warship to Charleston, S. C. and the nation was expecting war to begin then! A good US History will have that information. So, Smith’s “prophecy” didn’t contain anything about a possible war in 1832, that wasn’t already known! But D. & C. 87 didn’t become LDS scripture until after the Civil War began in 1861.
On Jan. 4, 1833, just ten days after Smith gave the “prophecy” in D. & C. 87, he prophesied more about the Civil War, but it isn’t in the D. & C. It is in History of the Church, vol. I, pages 312-316 and the footnote on the bottom of p. 312 says, “The Prophet states subsequently that he wrote this communication by commandment of the Lord.” It is too long to discuss all he said but at the bottom of page 315 and top of page 316 has the Civil War portion. Smith said, “And now I am prepared to say by the authority of Jesus Christ, that not many years shall pass away before the United States shall present such a scene of bloodshed as has not a parallel in the history of our nation; pestilence, hail, famine, and earthquakes will sweep the wicked of this generation from off the face of the land, to open and prepare the way for the return of the lost tribes of Israel from the north country. The people of the Lord (LDS), those who have complied with the requirements of the new covenant have already commenced gathering together to Zion, which is in the state of Missouri; therefore, I declare unto you the warning which the Lord has commanded to deliver unto this generation…for the hour of His judgment is come. Repent ye, repent ye, and embrace the everlasting covenant and flee to Zion, before the overflowing scourge overtake you, for there are those now living upon the earth whose eyes shall not be closed in death until they see all these things which I have spoken, fulfilled.”
Smith said he wrote this by commandment of the Lord. It wouldn’t be hard to predict that there would be bloodshed if there was a Civil War since wars do shed blood! Smith said “pestilence, hail, famine and earthquakes will sweep the wicked of this generation (of 1833) from off the face of the land.” But there was no more hail, famine, pestilences, and earthquakes during the generation living in 1833 than normal in the United States! And the wicked were NOT swept off of the land since there are more wicked now than there were before the Civil War. Smith also said that the Civil War and all of the devastation he mentioned would “prepare the way for the return of the lost tribes of Israel from the north country.” But there is no evidence that the Civil War brought about “the return of the (so called) lost tribes of Israel from the north country.” Smith then said, “The people of the Lord (LDS) have already commenced gathering together to Zion which is in the state of Missouri; therefore I declare unto you the warning which the Lord has commanded to deliver unto this generation…for the hour of His judgment is come. Repent ye, repent ye and embrace the everlasting covenant and flee to Zion (Jackson Co. MO) before the overflowing scourge overtake you, for there are those NOW living upon the earth whose eyes shall not be closed in death until they see ALL these things which I have spoken fulfilled.” Smith and a few LDS arrived at Independence, MO in July 1831 but LDS were driven out of Jackson Co. MO by Nov. 1833, the same year as this prophecy! So, why would the Lord tell people to flee to Zion for protection when He knew Zion wouldn’t exist in less than a year? If the hour of the Lord’s judgment came in 1833, all of us living now missed it! The warning was for the generation living in 1833 and they were to see everything Smith predicted fulfilled before they died, but they all died without seeing any of it. Smith said the Lord commanded him to deliver this message, but it was a false prophecy!
Next time we will discuss Article ten of the LDS Articles of Faith.