Share This Episode
Viewpoint on Mormonism Bill McKeever  Logo

Prophecy of War Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
September 6, 2021 9:08 pm

Prophecy of War Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 662 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

September 6, 2021 9:08 pm

An article by Seventy Matthew S. Holland in the August 2021 Liahona magazine (“Prophecy of War”) and how Joseph Smith correctly predicted the Civil War. Bill and Eric go through the article and critique some of the assertions made by Holland.


Are you looking for a book that clearly shows the differences between Mormonism and Christianity? When you're in the downtown Salt Lake City area, you'll want to visit the Utah Lighthouse Bookstore. This is where you'll find a large selection of Christian books on Mormonism, including titles like Mormonism, Shadow, or Reality.

Open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 1 to 5, the Utah Lighthouse Bookstore is located at 1358 West Temple, directly across the street from Smith's Ballpark. Viewpoint on Mormonism, the program that examines the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from a biblical perspective. Viewpoint on 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. Welcome to this edition of Viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director of Mormonism Research Ministry, and with me today is Eric Johnson, my colleague at MRM.

Yesterday we began looking at an article that is in the August 2021 edition of Liahona magazine. This is the magazine that has supplanted the Ensign magazine, which was the magazine for adult members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This article, titled Prophecy of War, Prescription for Peace, was written by Matthew S. Holland, who serves as a Seventy First Quorum of the Seventy. He is also the son of Mormon Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland. And what Mr. Holland is going to do is try to give us the impression that the things that Joseph Smith said in Section 87 of the Doctrine and Covenants came to pass, thus proving that Joseph Smith had prophetic insight, and therefore shows that he was, in fact, a prophet of God. Now, we probably should have gone through Section 87 yesterday, but since we didn't, let's recap, and let's go through Section 87 in the Doctrine and Covenants.

And before I do, I just want to reference a poll quote that's found on page 28, underneath Matthew S. Holland's picture. It says, in Revelation, Joseph foresaw the American Civil War and other calamities. I want to point out the word revelation, and that's what I'm going to read right now. This is supposedly a revelation given to Joseph Smith, and it supposedly has to do with the Civil War.

Verses 1 through 3 says this in Section 87. 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. And so yesterday, when we were going through some of Mr. Holland's bullet points, he has his bullet point number one, that this conflict would precede war being poured out upon all nations. Verse 3, less than 50 years from the end of the Civil War, the first of two world wars began.

Let's be a little bit precise here. Even though they are called world wars, they did not really involve every single nation in the fighting of those two wars. So technically, it didn't pour out upon all nations. It may have had some effect, of course, on other nations as far as trade is concerned. But are we really going to connect the First and Second World War with the rebellion in South Carolina? And that was the point I was making yesterday.

And it gets even worse than that. You'll recall, if you listened yesterday, I also cited from Mormon apostle Joseph L. Wirthlin, who in 1958, not only talks about the Civil War, but then he gives a long list of a number of conflicts between nations, going clear up to the Korean War. And then in brackets, the editor of this manual, and I might mention, this is found in the Doctrine and Covenants student manual, religion 324 and 325, on page 194. In brackets, it lists the war in Angola, Six-Day War, the Yom Kippur War, and the Persian Gulf War. Bill, do you know of any historian who might try to link World War I and II, or as Wirthlin has pointed out, all these other wars, with the Civil War?

And that was the point I was making yesterday. No, I think it's the height of ridiculousness. And as Matthew Holland is doing on page 29 of his article, when he says, less than 50 years from the end of the Civil War, the first of two World Wars began, again, I think he's repeating something that is just silly. I guess we could call that the traditional post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy. In other words, the reason why we have the First and Second World Wars is because of the Civil War in the United States.

That's nonsense. But you have to understand, folks, coming from a Latter-day Saint mindset, you're looking for anything that can hopefully convince you that Joseph Smith had some prophetic insight. But even this idea of an eventual Civil War between northern and southern states was not something that was unknown at the time Joseph Smith gives this alleged prophecy on December 25th, 1832. As I mentioned yesterday, four days before he gives this prophecy, a local newspaper, the Paynesville Telegraph, included an article that referenced this idea that there could be eventual Civil War.

It was called The Crisis. The Paynesville Telegraph ran that article, and if you kept up with current events at that time, that there could be an eventual Civil War if the tension between the northern states, or let's say Washington, D.C., was not settled between it and the southern states. Holland continues on with bullet point number two, and he writes, all these conflicts would eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls.

Reference to verse one. To this day, more American lives were lost in the Civil War than all other U.S. wars combined. U.S. President Abraham Lincoln himself noted in his second inaugural address, quote, neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained, end quote. And however bloody the Civil War was, its death toll pales in comparison to that of the two world wars that followed where the combined estimates of casualties range anywhere from 70 million to 160 million lives. This is probably one point that I hear Latter-day Saints bring up, and that is no one really seemed to expect that if Civil War was to take place, that it would be a long-lasting war.

And to prove his point, Holland cites this statement from, as you said, Eric, from President Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address. But if the war happened to end after the first land battle, that would have been the Battle of Bull Run or the Battle of First Manassas, depending on what side of the fence you were on at that time, because the South called certain battles differently than the North did. But let's say it ended with First Bull Run in Manassas. We know that about 3,500 men were either killed or wounded at the Battle of First Manassas on both sides combined. Even if it ended there, would you think that the Mormons, in wanting to make Joseph Smith a prophet who has this revelatory ability, they would say even 3,500 would probably fulfill that prediction of death and misery of many souls?

I have no doubt that they probably would have looked at even 3,500 as fulfilling that. Now, we know that the Civil War went on for four grueling years. And depending on which statistic you read, we're looking at probably around 600,000 deaths, but also many of those who are part of that number died of sickness, not from bullets, not from cannon fire. They died from sickness, which is not unusual in a war like that.

And I know they want to make it sound like, well, see, who would have ever imagined it was going to be that high? Well, remember, Joseph Smith doesn't give us a number. He just says the death and misery of many souls.

Many is a word that can have a broad range of definition. It could be as low, let's say, as the first battle at Bull Run, 3,500 dead and wounded. So you could easily try to apply this to even something as the Battle of First Bull Run. That's the tricky thing when you're trying to take a look at something that Joseph Smith said that he's prophesying.

You can turn words into whatever you want them to mean, and so many souls, what does that mean? In fact, at the beginning of verse one, it says, "'Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass.'" Bill, what does shortly come to pass? I mean, this is 28 years later before the Civil War begins. I don't know if shortly could be 28 years. And then tack on the decades that separate the American Civil War with the First World War that begins in 1914. And then, of course, we've got World War II, and depending on which nations you're talking about who were involved in World War II, that goes to the 1930s. We didn't get involved, of course, until 1941. But England, France, they were involved in the war with Germany even before that. But there's all these years separating them. And this is why I think it's not a very good argument to try to connect the First and Second World War or even these other wars that Joseph Werthland tries to throw in there. Nobody who is a qualified historian is going to connect those conflicts with South Carolina. Why is Matthew Holland doing this?

And I want to go back to an earlier premise. Latter-day Saints need to believe that Joseph Smith was, in fact, a true prophet of God. And let's be honest, modern LDS presidents don't normally give predictions. I mean, Joseph Smith gave a few, but we don't see modern Mormon leaders doing this.

They seem to be pretty smart in staying away from that quagmire. Can you imagine if, let's say, Thomas Monson or Gordon Hinckley, Russell M. Nelson were to predict future events, and it doesn't happen the way they say, certainly they're going to bring down a lot of criticism on them. And even Russell M. Nelson, who claimed that he's having prophetic insights during the night where he has to get up and write things down, what is he actually written down that is so profound? If you were to ask most Latter-day Saints, name one thing, let's say, that Russell M. Nelson has done since he became president, what would be the one thing most people would probably bring up? It would probably be, don't call the church the Mormon church.

Don't call yourselves Mormons. Is that really a prophetic prediction? And one thing that I think about at the first general conference after COVID started, when they did not invite anybody into the conference center, was that Russell M. Nelson said he was surprised by the events that took place and speaking to nobody. He was surprised. He seemed to show shock that we had gone through what we had gone through up until that time when that general conference was held in that private auditorium. So if he was really the prophet of God, couldn't someone else argue?

Well, how come something as huge as this pandemic and how it's affected so many people? Why was it that Russell M. Nelson didn't seem to know about this? Now, I guess they could argue, well, do you really expect God to inform our prophets of every little thing? Well, this isn't a little thing though. That's the problem. But when did you ever hear of any of these leaders predict something ahead of time?

I mean, look at the stock market crash of 1929. Did you hear any Mormon prophet or apostle predicting that happening? In tomorrow's show, we're going to continue looking at this article, Prophecy of War, Prescription for Peace, written by Mormon 70, Matthew S. Holland. Answering Mormon's Questions by Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson deals with 36 commonly asked questions by your LDS friends and neighbors. It's a great resource for Christians who want to share their faith with friends and loved ones. Be sure to pick up your copy today at your favorite Christian bookstore.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-03 09:08:44 / 2023-09-03 09:14:00 / 5

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime