Monday, November 3, 2014

Joseph Smith - Prophet? Final Episode

The following are reports of prophecies made by Joseph Smith found in unofficial sources.  Not that they can’t be found in official sources, just that I haven’t taken the time to research them; I trust the sources cited.

1.  In 1830 Joseph received a revelation from the Urim and Thummin directing Oliver Cowdery and Hiram Page to go to Toronto, where they would find a man anxious to buy the Book of Mormon, financing its publication.  In Cowdery's Defense in a Rehearsal of My Grounds for Separating Myself from the Latter Day Saints, he said, "We did not find him and had to return surprised and disappointed.... I well remember how hard I strove to drive away the foreboding which seized me, that the First Elder had made tool of us, where we thought in the simplicity of our hearts that we were divinely commanded."  (Fawn Brodie, No Man Knows My History, p. 81)

Did Cowdery and Page acquire the financing as prophesied?  No, they did not.  Prophecy failed.

2.  In 1831 in Kirtland, at the first general conference, the following was observed by Ezra Booth, and reported by him (as cited by Brodie, p.111-112) after leaving the church later that year:
“Seizing a convert's hand which had been crippled by an accident, [Joseph] cried, ‘Brother Murdock, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to straighten your hand!’ and tugged at the stiffly curled fingers.  Again he demanded it, but the fingers merely returned to their old distortion.

“Quickly he turned to an old man lame in one leg and ordered him to rise and walk.  The man took a step or two and then his faith failed.  Now a father brought in a dead child, whom he had refused to bury until after the conference.  The most earnest and frantic prayers left the tiny gray body motionless.  Joseph found it impossible to reproach the parents for lack of faith, since they were the last to be convinced that the child could not be made to breathe again.” 

These aren’t really prophecies, but are these failed healings something one would expect from a prophet of God?  Didn’t the biblical apostles, and even O.T. prophets, perform healings of this nature?

3.  "After the Cholera had ceased its ravages in New York, in 1832, Smith prophesied it would return the ensuing year, with much greater severity and violence, and nearly depopulate the city.  From the known character of that disease, its return was apprehended by most people, and with more fatal effects.  This was thought by our modern prophet, to be too good an opportunity to pass unimproved, for establishing his reputation as a true prophet of God.  But the prediction wholly failed."  (E.D. Howe, 1834, Mormonism Unvailed, p.132)

Would this be an indication of a false prophecy?

4.  Reed Peck, in his manuscript dated 9/18/1839, Quincy, IL, stated that in the summer of 1834 Joseph told Zion's Camp that, "within three years they should march to Jackson County and there should not be a dog to open his mouth against them."  

Did this happen before the summer of 1837?  No.  This prophecy failed to come to pass.

5. In 1837 Joseph Smith stated that  “The inhabitants of the moon are more of a uniform size than the inhabitants of the Earth, being about six feet in height.  They dress very much like the Quaker style and are quite general in style, or the one fashion of dress.  They live to be very old: coming generally near a thousand years.” (Journal of Oliver B. Huntington.  Also in The Young Woman's Journal)

Is this an accurate prophecy?   Of course not; it is nothing but foolishness.

6.  July 4, 1838 at Far West.  As reported by John D. Lee:  “That day Joseph Smith made known to the people the substance of a revelation he had before received from God.  It was to the effect that all the Saints throughout the land were required to sell their possessions, gather all their money together, and send an agent to buy up all the land in the region round about Far West, and get a patent for the land from the government, then deed it over to the Church; then every man should come up there to the land of their promised inheritance and consecrate what they had to the Lord.  In return the Prophet would set apart a tract of land for each Saint - the amount to correspond with the number of the Saint's family - and this land should be for each Saint an everlasting inheritance.  In this way the people could, in time, redeem Zion (Jackson County) without the shedding of blood.  It was also revealed that unless this was done, in accordance with God's demand, as required by Him in the revelation then given to the people through his Prophet, Joseph Smith, the Saints would be driven from State to State, from city to city, from one abiding place to another, until the members would die and waste away, leaving but a remnant of the Saints to return and receive their inheritance in Zion (Jackson County) in the Last Days.  Sidney Rigdon was then the mouth-piece of Joseph Smith, as Aaron was of Moses in olden time.  Rigdon told the Saints that day that if they did not come up as true Saints and consecrate their property to the Lord, by laying it down at the feet of the apostles, they would in a short time be compelled to consecrate and yield it up to the Gentiles.  That if the Saints would be united as one man, in this consecration of their entire wealth to the God of Heaven, by giving it up to the control of the Apostolic Priesthood, then there would be no further danger to the Saints; they would no more be driven from their homes on account of their faith and holy works, for the Lord had revealed to Joseph Smith that He would then fight the battles of His children, and save them from all their enemies.  That the Mormon people would never be accepted as the children of God unless they were united as one man, in temporal as well as spiritual affairs, for Jesus had said unless ye are one, ye are not mine; that oneness must exist to make the Saints the accepted children of God.  That if the Saints would yield obedience to the commands of the Lord all would be well, for the Lord had confirmed these promises by a revelation which He had given to Joseph Smith, in which it was said: "I, the Lord, will fight the battles of my people, and if your enemies shall come up against you, spare them, and if they shall come up against you again, then shall ye spare them also; even unto the third time shall ye spare them; but if they come up against you the fourth time, I, the Lord, will deliver them into your hands, to do with them as seemeth good unto you; but if you will then spare them it shall be accounted unto you for righteousness."

Did the Saints retain the ground in Missouri as an "everlasting inheritance"?  Did the Mormons defeat the Missourians?  The answer to both questions is a resounding “NO.”  

Lastly, let us look at two hoaxes pulled on this “prophet of God.”  While there are plenty of references available for this information, the following is from pp. 290-291 of No Man Knows My History, by Fawn Brodie.

One visitor [to Nauvoo], Henry Caswall, an Episcopalian preacher from a St. Louis college, armed himself with an ancient manuscript psalter written in Greek and, pretending to be ignorant of its contents, offered it to Joseph for his scrutiny.  Under the prophet's questioning he finally admitted that he believed the language to be Greek, but this Joseph contradicted.  Caswall, exaggerating the imperfections of Joseph's grammar, later related the story as follows:

"No, it ain't Greek at all," Joseph said, "except perhaps a few words.  What ain't Greek is Egyptian; and what ain't Egyptian is Greek.  This book is very valuable.  It is a dictionary of Egyptian hieroglyphics."  Pointing to the capital letters at the commencement of each verse, he went on: "Them figures is Egyptian hieroglyphics, written in reformed Egyptian.  Them characters is like the letters that was engraved on the golden plates."

When the prophet left the room, Caswall turned triumphantly to the men present and exposed his trick.  "They appeared confounded for a while," he wrote, "but at length the Mormon doctor said: 'Sometimes Mr. Smith speaks as a prophet, and sometimes as a mere man.  If he gave a wrong opinion respecting the book, he spoke as a mere man.'" 

Perhaps the most deliberate hoax ever played on Joseph Smith was contrived by three men in the near-by town of Kinderhook.  One of them, Bridge Whitton, cut six copper sheets into the shape of a bell, and the other two, Robert Wiley and Wilbur Fugate, covered them with fanciful writing by a simple etching process.  They smeared acid over the plates to corrode them, bound them together with a piece of rusted hoop iron, and carefully buried them along with some Indian bones in an Indian mound near by that had been an object of much curiosity and desultory digging.  Wiley spread the story that he had dreamed of buried treasure three nights in succession, and invited assistance in hunting for it.

Two Mormons were present when the plates were found.  Although they had suspected a hoax, the sight of the corroded plates banished their mistrust.  Shouting for joy, they begged to take them to the prophet for deciphering.  But before giving them up, Wiley was careful to clean them with sulfuric acid so that the "hieroglyphics" could be easily read.

The whole of Nauvoo soon buzzed with the discovery.  The Times and Seasons published full reproductions as further proof of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon, and the printing office sold facsimiles at one dollar a dozen.  Joseph stated in his journal that he "translated a portion" and discovered it to be a history of the person whose bones lay in the mound,a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, king of Egypt."

ARE THESE MISTAKES A PROPHET OF GOD WOULD MAKE??  And doesn't this prove false Smith's claim to be able to translate other languages?

In this series I have shown false prophecies, failed healings and inability to discern hoaxes; is this the sort of “prophet” to whom you want to trust your eternal salvation?

Mormonism is proven to be a false belief system just by exposing their founding prophet for the fraud that he was.

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