Saturday, November 1, 2014

Joseph Smith - Prophet? Part 3

In this episode, we examine nine more prophecies given by Joseph Smith, which will be numbered sequentially following the previous post.

9.  D&C Section 101:17-21 (Dec. 1833): "Zion shall not be moved out of her place, notwithstanding her children are scattered. They that remain, and are pure in heart, shall return, and come to their inheritances, they and their children, with songs of everlasting joy, to build up the waste places of Zion - And all these things that the prophets might be fulfilled.  And, behold, there is none other place appointed than that which I have appointed; neither shall there be any other place than that which I have appointed, for the work of the gathering of my saints - Until the day cometh when there is found no more room for them; and then I have other places which I will appoint unto them, and they shall be called stakes, for the curtains or the strength of Zion.”  (emphasis mine)

LDS leaders say that Zion was "re-established" in Salt Lake City.  Since the revelation says "none other place," has God changed his mind?  What about Num. 23:19; 1 Sam. 15:29; or Ps.110:4 (KJV "repent" means to "change his mind")?  Doesn’t this fit the definition of a false prophecy?

10.  Previous LDS leaders believed the preceding revelation indeed meant a return to Zion, as they talked of this one and D&C Section 84:

"Who is there that is prepared for this movement back to the centre stake of Zion, and where the architects amongst us that are qualified to erect this temple and the city that will surround it?... And let me remind you that it is predicted that this generation shall not pass away till a temple shall be built, and the glory of the Lord rest upon it, according to the promises."  (George A. Smith, 3/10/1861, speaking in the Tabernacle; Journal of Discourses 9:71)

"The day is near when a Temple shall be reared in the Center Stake of Zion, and the Lord has said his glory shall rest on that House in this generation, that is in the generation in which the revelation was given, which is upwards of thirty years ago."  (George Q. Cannon, 10/23/1864, in the Tabernacle; Journal of Discourses, 10:344).

"We have just as much confidence in returning to Jackson county and the building of a great central city that will remain there a thousand years before the earth passes away, as the Jews have in returning to Palestine.  In fact we have more faith that they have; for they have been so many generations cast out of their land that their descendants have almost lost their faith in returning.  But the Latter-day Saints are fresh, as it were.  There are many of the old stock, who passed through all those tribulations I have named, still living, whose faith in returning to Jackson county, and the things that are coming, is as firm and fixed as the throne of the Almighty."  (Orson Pratt in Salt Lake City, 4/10/1870; Journal of Discourses 13:138). 

"...God promised in the year 1832 that we should, before the generation then living had passed away, return and build up the City of Zion in Jackson County that we should return and build up the temple of the Most High where we formerly laid the corner stone.  He promised us that He would manifest Himself on that temple, that the glory of God should be upon it; and not only upon the temple, but within it, even a cloud by day and a flaming fire by night. We believe in these promises as much as we believe in any promise ever uttered by the mouth of Jehovah.  The Latter-day Saints just as much expect to receive a fulfillment of that promise during the generation that was in existence in 1832 as they expect that the sun will rise and set tomorrow.  Why?  Because God cannot lie.  He will fulfill - all His promises.  He has spoken, it must come to pass.  This is our faith."  (Orson Pratt in Salt Lake City, 5/4/1870; Journal of  Discourses 13:362).

Those who were driven out never returned with their children for their inheritances.  Since it is obvious that previous leaders understood the prophecies to be about a literal return to Zion, why did the prophecies fail to come to pass?  

11.  Patriarchal Blessing Books, vol. 1, pp. 8-20.  Blessings are dated Dec. 18, 1833:  Blessed is my father.  For the hand of the Lord shall be over him.  For he shall see the affliction of his children pass away when his head is fully ripe.... Blessed of the Lord is my brother Hyrum for the integrity of his heart.  He shall be girt about with truth and faithfulness shall be the strength of his loins from generation to generation.  He shall be a shaft in the hand of his God to exicute [sic] Judgement upon his enemies.  He shall be hid by the hand of the Lord that none of his secret parts shall be discovered unto his hurt. ... When he is in trouble and great tribulation hath come upon him he shall remember the God of Jacob and he will shield him from the power of Satan.

Did Joseph's father see "the affliction of his children pass away" or did he see continuous "affliction" of his children until his death in 1840?  Did Hyrum "execute judgement" on his enemies and did God protect him, or wasn't Hyrum killed with Joseph while in jail?  This prophecy failed to come to pass.

12.  D&C Section 103:15ff (Feb. 24, 1834): 15. Behold, I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by power. ... 20. But I say unto you: Mine angels shall go up before you, and also my presence, and in time ye shall possess the goodly land. ... 24. And inasmuch as mine enemies come against you to drive you from my goodly land, which I have consecrated to be the land of Zion, even from your own lands after these testimonies, which ye have brought before me against them, ye shall curse them; 25. And whomsoever ye curse, I will curse, and ye shall avenge me of mine enemies. 26. And my presence shall be with you even in avenging me of mine enemies, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me. 

Did the angels go before Zion's Camp so as to redeem Zion?  No.  Were the Missourians cursed and avenged by God?  There is no evidence of such.  The prophecy failed to come to pass.

13.  Joseph Smith's Diary/Journal 1832-1834.  In his own handwriting for April 1, 1834 we have the following:  The Lord shall destroy him who has lifted his lifted his heel against me, even that wicked man Doctor P. Hurlbut.  He will deliver him to the fowls of heaven and his bones shall be cast to the blast of the wind for he lifted his arm against the Almighty.  Therefore the Lord shall destroy him.

This was written because Hurlbut published an expose against the Mormon Church.  Hurlbut lived until 1883 when he died a natural death at the age of 74.  Does this seem that God destroyed him?  Or does this really demonstrate another failed prophecy?

14.  D&C Section 104: 1 (Apr. 23, 1834): I give unto counsel, and a commandment, concerning all the properties which belong to the order which I commanded to be organized and established, to be a united order, and an everlasting order for the benefit of my church, and for the salvation of men until I come. 

Although this prophecy says the "United Order" would be everlasting, the order failed and was disbanded.  Is this not then a failed prophecy?

15.  D&C Section 105:15 (in Zion's Camp June 22, 1834), in regards to the Missouri war: Behold, the destroyer I have sent forth to destroy and lay waste mine enemies; and not many years hence they shall not be left to pollute mine heritage, and to blaspheme my name upon the lands which I have consecrated for the gathering of my saints. 

God said he had already "sent forth" his "destroyer," but over 180 years have passed and God's “enemies” in Missouri were never destroyed or laid waste.  How is this accounted for?

16.  Hist. Vol. 2, pp. 144-145.  Joseph's letter to the High Council of Zion, dated 8/16/34, said: “...I shall now proceed to give you such counsel as the Spirit of the Lord may dictate...[Have the churches] use every effort to gather to those regions and locate themselves, to be in readiness to move into Jackson County in two years from the 11th of September next, which is the appointed time for the redemption of Zion.”

Did Zion's redemption happen on Sept. 11, 1836?  No, it did not; this prophecy failed to come to pass.

17.  Hist. Vol. 2, p. 182.  In February 1835 Joseph Smith said, "...and it was the will of God that those who went to Zion, with a determination to lay down their lives, if necessary, should be ordained to the ministry, and go forth to prune the vineyard for the last time, or the coming of the Lord, which was nigh - even fifty-six years should wind up the scene." 

Did the Lord return within 56 years?  Of course not; this prophecy failed to come to pass.

So far we have 17 prophecies given by Joseph Smith, all of which failed to come to pass.  So is he a false prophet, or not?

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