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Saints: The Standard of Truth, Part 11: Prophecy on War

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
February 16, 2020 8:41 pm

Saints: The Standard of Truth, Part 11: Prophecy on War

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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February 16, 2020 8:41 pm

This is the third week of this series on issues discussed in the LDS Church-published book Saints. Today we will discuss the prophecy on war by Joseph Smith.

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Viewpoint is to examine the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 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 so glad to be with us for this additional viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM we continue going through the book Saints. The standard of truth, and as we've mentioned in times past. This is, I guess you could say Eric the replacement to the documentary history of the church.

It's written in a much more simple fashion more than narrative fashion.

I personally don't like it as much as I like the documentary history of the church. I think the DHC certainly has much more information that's easy. The document and it has of course a lot more information but I think the reason why the church is coming out with these volumes and this is only volume 1 of four folks, this is only the first volume. They plan on coming out with more but the reason they're doing it.

Is there trying to be more transparent. So what you're going to find in this volume are some things of Mormon history that we don't normally see the church admitting to in times past. And as I've mentioned, when you go through this book. It doesn't really convince me if I was just looking into Mormon history.

As an outsider I I see a lot of things in here that probably wouldn't convince me to join the Mormon church and but today were going to be looking at a prophecy that Joseph Smith gave on Christmas day 1832 and to be quite honest, Eric.

I don't know why the church included that prophecy. I think if anything, even though the church is trying to show that Joseph Smith was a prophet by including section 87 in this book section 87 to me does not show that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God. In fact, it shows me just the opposite will explain why. But as we mentioned, also were not going through this book chapter by chapter, we are kind of jumping around, but this is found on page 163 at the bottom of the page.

What is it say or recommend us referring to Brigham Young left Kirtland a week later as a peaceful winter settled over the small village a few days before Christmas. However, a local newspaper published reports that government leaders in the state of South Carolina were fighting taxes on imported goods and threatening to declare independence from the United States. Some people were calling for war.

Let me stop you there because this account does mention a local paper and that paper of course would be the Painesville telegraph the editor with ED how in the documentary history of the church.

It doesn't specifically mention the newspaper but it does give us the impression that there were troubles in the South, particularly with South Carolina. Let me read you what it says on page 301 of volume 1 of the history of the church the people South Carolina in convention assembled in November passed ordinances declaring their state a free and independent nation and appointed Thursday the 31st day of January 1833 as a day of humiliation and prayer to implore Almighty God to vouchsafe his blessings and restore liberty and happiness within their borders. Pres. Jackson, this would be Andrew Jackson issued his proclamation against this rebellion called out a force sufficient to quell it and implored the blessings of God to assist the nation to extricate itself from the horrors of the approaching and solemn crisis on Christmas day 1832 hi this is Joseph Smith speaking received the following revelation and prophecy on war and then it begins by quoting section 87 in the doctrine and covenants, and there's a reference to doctrine and covenants section 87 at the bottom of page 301, as well as section 87 itself on the Painesville telegraph, a local newspaper had re-published an article titled the crisis that gave a lot of details. Now I know a lot of Latter Day Saints have been led to believe that Joseph Smith comes up with section 87 out of nowhere, just to predict that the North was going to be fighting against the South and that's not really true. And as you can tell from page 301 that I read from the history of the church.

It does explain that this was already being discussed. There were several newspapers besides the Painesville telegraph that included articles talking about what was known as the nullification act and the tariff that Pres. Jackson was imposing on the south, which led to the nullification act and there were already rumblings of South Carolina wanting to rebel and secede from the union. This was not something that people didn't know about. At that time. So if you're Latter Day Saints and you think on page 163 that this just came out of nowhere. Hopefully you're going to look at that paragraph that Eric just read and you'll see that this was already being discussed among the people. It wasn't just something that came to Joseph Smith. Out of nowhere, as you said Bill. The church seems to want more transparency and I think your question at the beginning of the show is a good one. Why then would you bring up an issue that really does not prove Joseph Smith's prophet hood that he is able to make a prophecy that's an accurate prophecy. And here in the first paragraph. They've acknowledged that this was a current event in 1832, of whether or not there would be a civil war. Many were predicting that and so for him to predict a Civil War was not uncommon everybody was set or that makes sense but would been more uncommon if he had said no. This will not lead to a war. I think that will write a figure prophecy. I agree with you that that would've been outstanding because everybody was talking about this and they knew what was going to eventually happen, but continue reading at the bottom of page 163 as Joseph read reports of the crisis, he reflected on the wickedness and destruction that the Bible said would precede the Savior second coming, the whole world groaned under the bondage of sin.

The Lord had told him recently and God would soon visit the wicked with his wrath rending the kingdoms of the earth and causing the heavens to tremble not let me stop you there because this may just be a coincidence, but it's interesting that it says as Joseph read reports of the crisis and what I found interesting. With that is that with the exact title of the article that was in the Painesville telegraph. It was called the crisis in discussing what was going on in the self but he is making it sound as if if I'm wrong. Correct me on this, but it says as he read reports of the crisis, he reflected on the wickedness and destruction that the Bible said would precede the Savior second coming. Interesting wording. There are we supposed to draw a conclusion that the Civil War had something to do with the Savior second coming. I think anybody would really argue that, but it seems like it's been implied here. Maybe I'm reading too much into it but then it goes on and says after praying to know more about these calamities, Joseph received a revelation on Christmas day the Lord told him that the time would come when South Carolina and other southern states would rebel against the rest of the nation. The rebellious states would call on other countries for help and enslaved peoples would rise up against their masters war and natural disaster would then pour out upon all nations, spreading misery and death across the earth. I find that an interesting paragraph, because when you read through their you see that what he predicts in 1832 does not come to pass and will be talking more about some of the specifics, but I don't see anything in here that would say wow isn't that great Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. I think these paragraphs was only a total of four paragraphs on this whole issue are put there because I think many people reading this are not looking at footnotes are not paying a whole lot of attention, and I think in the back of many people's minds are going to say. Well, Joseph Smith had a prophecy about the Civil War.

I've had Latter Day Saints asked me about that what you think about that and I say well I don't think it's actually very accurate as you take a look at what he actually says in doctrine and covenants section 87 let's dissect this paragraph a little bit. This is after praying to know more about these calamities, Joseph received a revelation on Christmas day the Lord told him that the time would come when South Carolina and other southern states would rebel against the rest of the nation. Now I get the impression that not only did the Lord tell him that.

But the Lord also told him the next sentence in that paragraph that these rebellious states would call on other countries for help and enslaved peoples would rise up against their masters, war, natural disaster within pour out upon all nations, spreading misery and death across the earth. Folks that stuff just did not happen. I'm sorry. It just did not happen. So if you're going to believe that the Lord told Joseph Smith that these things would take place in the future, you are incorrect because it didn't happen that way.

In fact, enslaved people, even though there were occasions of when the slave didn't rise up in rebellion. It was not a normal occurrence. Probably the most well-known occurrence would be the Nat Turner rebellion of 1831, which is also known as the Southhampton insurrection because at the county in Virginia where it took place, but it certainly didn't spread across the entire United States but we find also that many of those who were slaves in the South fought for the Confederacy so you don't see a lot of this happening. So for this to be mentioned in this revelation seems very odd to me when it talks about war and natural disaster would then pour out upon all nations did that happen.

We've always had war and natural disasters upon all nations, but this is tying it back to this particular incident in American history. I know of no historian that would say that a lot of the natural disasters and wars that take place throughout the world are tied somehow to a rebellion in South Carolina. And even though you have some Mormons try to say well yeah but war being poured out upon all the earth. That's talking about World War I and World War II, and I would say that's silly. You will find any historian that will draw that conclusion that those two wars had their beginning somehow from this prophecy, or from this event that Smith is reading about in 1832, we have to understand that where this is placed in the canon of LDS scripture is doctrine and covenants section 87.

It was not put there originally. In fact, it was transcribed in 1832.

As were talking about now on Christmas day and yet it was not in any LDS publication until 1851 and that was in the pearl of great price, which was not canonized until 30 years later, and then it was also put in Orson Pratt's the seer in 1854. They did not add this to the Canon until 1876, a full decade after the Civil War had ended, so I think what were going to need to do build tomorrow is read again doctrine and covenants section 87 is found in LDS scripture today and go through.

Specifically, these points were talking about now. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding his research ministry.

We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is in their own words collection of Mormon quotations compiled by Mormonism research ministries Bill McKeever is a valuable resource when wanting to know what Mormon leaders have said on a given topic and pick up your copy of the Utah lighthouse bookstore MRM.org


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