Lecture 6 covers commonly heard criticisms of the prophecies of Joseph Smith.
If you are troubled by anti-Mormons that go bump in the night, who you gonna call?
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Joseph must be a true prophet since the bible also has unfulfilled prophecies. If it weren’t for our wickedness we would be taken up to heaven just like the People of Enoch were, right?
David, did you listen to the whole episode? I love this series ❤️
Btw, the prophecy was much bolder than critics give it credit for. Joseph Smith prophesied of not just a civil war but of something which was totally unprecedented in world history, i.e. a world war. No one else was predicting world war. The first line of the prophecy speaks of “wars,” plural, which will “shortly come to pass.” It says the wars will begin at South Carolina, but that doesn’t mean each war had to begin there, only the first of the plural wars. The other wars would follow in a domino fashion.
Critics are off-base in dismissing the prophecy as being about a war everyone expected.
One part of the prophecy states that Great Britain “shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations.” This was literally fulfilled by Winston Churchill and may have even been fulfilled in WWI. The prophecy continues, explaining that “then” would war be “poured out upon all nations.” This was fulfilled, as the war “then” went global.
Now, why would Joseph Smith in his day have reason to think that Britain would be attacked by anyone and would need to call for help?
As far as the Civil War goes, the South did receive some aid from Britain in the form of war vessels. But note that the revelation does not say that any other nations would formally heed the call for help. It says the Southern States will call upon other nations, which they did – and those talks had the effect of promoting a widespread mood of instability, as they saw what was happening in the U.S. leading in time to the domino effect. In particular, France greatly feared the annexation of the Southern German States by the Northern German Confederation, and did not play its hand very well in attempting to prevent their unification. It would be natural for France to see a parallel between the North/South unification of the United States and the North/South unification of the German States. Likewise, Germany may have seen that parallel – although it achieved unification by fighting alongside rather than against its southern states. Once Germany was unified in 1871, constituting the Second Reich, the stage began to be set for WWI, which in turn led to WWII.
The prophecy also says that, after many days, “slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war.” This is often assumed to be a reference to black slaves. But the prophecy specifically says, “after many days.” I think this is a reference to what happened after WWII as the Jews and other who had been slaves to the Nazis “rose up” against them, exposing the atrocities and leading to the discipline of many Nazis, just the prophecy states – that the masters “shall be marshaled and disciplined for war.” Moreover, the original version crossed out “slaves” and read differently: “Those who are held in bondage shall rise up against those who hold them in bondage.”
Then the prophecy says that “remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the gentiles with a sore vexation.” This fits perfectly with what we have seen happen with the Jews who were left after WWII, the formation of Israel and the great and final war before the Second Coming, wherein all nations will fight against Israel. To “vex” means to greatly agitate, and we have seen the international community become “vexed” by Israel – and although I don’t think Israel is the primary instigator, it has certainly been very angry at times. I think this part of the prophecy is still being fulfilled.