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Saints: The Standard of Truth Part 12: D&C 87

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
February 17, 2020 8:49 pm

Saints: The Standard of Truth Part 12: D&C 87

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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February 17, 2020 8:49 pm

This is the third week of this series on issues discussed in the LDS Church-published book Saints. Today we will discuss D&C 87.


.1 examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism, Joseph Smith correctly predict the American Civil War. Welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at M. R. M.

We continue our look at the book Saints.

The standard of truth. It's a history book that covers the years 1815 to 1846 published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 2018 and as we were mentioning yesterday.

We feel this is obviously meant to replace the documentary history of the church. The seven volume set which goes into much more detail in my opinion is much better than what we have here.

I hate to use the word dumb down, but certainly the way this book is written. It's not written really for a high school, college level, it seems like it's meant for much younger audience, but it does say some things that tends to show the church is trying to be a bit more transparent with some of the awkward aspects of LDS history Bill yesterday we were talking about section 87 in the doctrine and covenants, and I'm going to say that this is a very important thing for us to read right now because some of the things were talking about yesterday. I think you can clearly see by reading this, and understanding what was written in 1832, which is when Joseph Smith supposedly received this revelation on Christmas day of 1832 that he did not really have the prophetic insight to be able to predict the Civil War because there are many things wrong in the eight verses of this section that did not actually take place will that's what makes me wonder about this Eric since section 87. In my opinion clearly shows Joseph Smith to be a false prophet, not a true prophet. Why did this book decide to include this in here.

It doesn't include a lot of aspects of Mormon history, why did you choose to include this.

Now I'm I do have to admit, it doesn't spend a lot of pages on this and as you mentioned the other day.

It's only what four or five paragraphs begins on the bottom of page 163 and goes to will pass the middle of the page of 164.

They will spend a lot of time on it, but I would think that if a latter-day St. was to read this and think wow that really looks great. That really proves Joseph Smith's profit and then they start digging into the history behind it. They're going to find this is not so exciting as they may have thought originally Bill before I read section 87 of the doctrine and covenants I want to tell people that you have an article did Joseph Smith correctly predict the American Civil War and allow the information. Were talking about today and yesterday can be found in your article. If you go to War you can go there and we actually have some newspapers that we were able to put in as a PDF, so we are at your able to see some of the actual newspapers. This event of the South Carolina in 1832 was being discussed all over the place. So anyway, Joseph Smith comes up with this section and I think it's important for us to read it verse by verse before we do, though, I think we should mention the headings. I find the headings to section 87 be quite intriguing. I happen to have a 1977 edition of the doctrine and covenants in the heading reads a little bit differently than it does in the 1981 edition of the doctrine and covenants very quickly in section 87 it says revelation and prophecy on war given through Joseph Smith the Prophet December 25, 1832 wars predicted division between the northern states in the southern states great calamities and manifestation of the chastening hand of God.

Notice no mention that this was known during this time.

Among other people besides Joseph Smith that there was going to be a coming Civil War in section 87 of the 1981 edition. It puts this in there. It says this section was received at a time when the brethren were reflecting and reasoning upon African slavery on the American continent and the slavery of the children of men throughout the world. But if you bought a new addition of the doctrine and covenants you would find that they've changed the heading still once more. Now it makes reference to the fact that this knowledge of the coming Civil War was well known among people living in the United States at that time, so there being a little bit more transparent with this newer addition of the doctrine and covenants verse one of section 87 says 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 cells and the American Civil War certainly did terminate in the death and misery of many souls casualties from the war itself numbered probably well over 600,000.

Many of them didn't even die from bullets. They died from disease but still the fact is over 600,000 casualties. That doesn't necessarily mean deaths but it does mean casualties which could be wounded in whatever. So yes, that part you might say is true. Well, that was probably understood that it was going to happen that way. Even though many people felt the civil wars can be very short. That wouldn't be an unusual prediction if you're going have the northern states fighting against the southern states. No matter how long it lasted. Verse two and the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place that didn't happen. It did not pour out upon all nations, and if, as I mentioned yesterday, you're going to insist that that includes World War I and to then you have to deal with that little phrase at the end of the sentence it says beginning at this place, meaning somehow there's a connection between World War I into with the American Civil War, which is just ridiculous. How many scholars do you think who our historians would say that World War I and World War II started because of the Civil War and apparently I know of none. Verse three 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. One aspect of this verse in verse three where it talks about in the southern states will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain that is true. Great Britain did supply arms and supplies to the southern states. However, they never got involved in the Civil War as a fighting force. When Abraham Lincoln came out with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. That pretty much sealed the deal that Great Britain would never get involved in the American Civil War because they were not going to be supporting any self-described nation who was in fact in support of slavery. They have just gone through that they were going to go through this again and so that pretty much sealed the deal.

As I said that they would never come to their aid. What other nations came to the aid of of the southern states. I don't know of any, but this gives you the impression that many nations were going to be involved in this. That just did not happen, especially when it says war shall be poured out upon all nations that did not happen. That's a false prediction verse four and it shall come to pass after many days, slaves shall rise up against their masters who shall be marshaled and discipline for war yesterday show. We talked about some of the minor slave rebellions. Probably the more well-known, as I said was the Nat Turner rebellion in 1831 but that involve what may be 75 slaves. I think it was around there and I think about 51 whites were killed 55 people total were killed by that rebellion of those slaves, but when it says they will rise up against their masters who shall be marshaled and discipline for war, as I also mentioned yesterday.

A lot of the Blacks in the South fought in the Confederacy right thousands of tens of thousands, many of them fought in the Confederacy.

So this certainly did not come to pass. Verse five 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 the sore vexation talks about the remnants who are left of the land. It doesn't say specifically, some have said will is is talking about the Lamanites or the American Indians. But when you look at it is a way to med.

That's that's turned on its head.

It was really the whites of the United States who were fixing the American Indians in years to come, so that did not happen the way it's worded here either verse six and thus with the sword and by bloodshed. The inhabitants of the land shall mourn and with famine and plague, an earthquake, and the thunder of heaven and the fierce and vivid lightning 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 to create hath made a full and of all nations will there were certainly famines during the American Civil War, but these again took place mainly in the South as the result of sieges such as Vicksburg, for instance, that was a horrible situation that grant put upon the town of Vicksburg of Petersburg, as well as under a siege. I'm sure there was a scarcity of food during that time as well. But what about this plague and earthquake funder of heaven. Is this supposed to be hyperbole. Is this supposed to imply that that was to actually happen because I'm not aware of that what you have to understand to do that Joseph Smith and the early Mormons very much believe the end was coming very soon and so this would have been very natural to have made a prediction that sounds like Revelation and the end of the world. Verse seven goes on and it says 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 Sabbath from the earth to be avenged of their enemies.

Okay, so the wording here is that the cry of the saints and of the blood of the saints shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord. So there no longer complaining because God's taken all of their adversaries out of the way. We certainly don't see that happening in American history.

Certainly not a part of Mormon history so we would have to say that that's not true. And finally, verse eight wherefore stand me in holy places and be not moved until the day of the Lord come for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen. Now we know that the American Civil War took place about 29 years after this prediction found in section 87. What is the word quickly mean I'll give it to them that can have a number of understandings you might say.

But here's the point folks. They include this prophecy, section 87 in this new book saints. But the prophecy did not take place. The way Joseph Smith stated it this does not vindicate Joseph Smith as a true prophet of God and as I said earlier, if anything, it shows Joseph Smith to be a false prophet and that's the problem with liars. They tend to include details a bad liar. I should say would include details that will be hard to defend. If those details do not come to pass. A good liar is usually very vague in their lies so there's not a lot of information they have to defend Joseph Smith gives us some very specific things that he said were going to take place. And if you're going to tie it with the American Civil War. It just did not happen in the idea that war shall be poured out upon all nations very much in the context in verse three. It's talking about what was happening here in America which spread to the other nations. And if you're going to say World War I, which did not begin until 1914 is a result again of the Civil War.

While we don't know of any historians who would say that it just doesn't seem to make any sense. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint is answering Mormons questions by Bill McKeever and Erin Johnson deals with 36 commonly asked questions by your LDS friends and neighbors.

It's a great resource for Christians want to share their faith with friends and loved ones. Be sure to pick up your copy today at your favorite Christian bookstore

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