Thursday, April 9, 2009

O Ye My Fair Ones

Written and Published by: Craig Conover on April 7, 2009
Click here for a printable version

O Ye My Fair Ones

How is it that ye could have fallen!

The scriptures are full of analogies which at times can be hard to understand. The irony is that although they may be difficult to discern, their meanings are understood only as they are searched and pondered. For this purpose the Savior said, “I perceive that ye are weak, that ye cannot understand all my words which I am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this time. Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand” (3 Nephi 17:2-3). I have been vividly taught by my seven year old daughter that something more is needed and that is a personal desire to do the thing. Often it is like pulling teeth to get her to do things, she is so determined to only do those things that are fun and that she wants to do. This is the very topic that I would like to discuss in my paper. I will use The Book of Mormon to uncover a set of keys that can be used to unlock our ability to identify, control and align our desires to those of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To accomplish this we must learn some of the ways and symbols that the scriptures use to teach the children of Christ how to develop a pure desire for righteousness. It is my humble prayer that the conclusion of this paper; will only be the beginning to the divine learning that every one of us will embark, with the Holy Ghost as our guide and exaltation our destiny.

Near the end of The Book of Mormon is found the account of the great Prophet-historian, Mormon, of who’s name this book bears as a memorial to this remarkable man. The days of Mormon and his son Moroni, who became the last Nephite Prophet, were filled with “an awful scene of blood and carnage” (Mormon 5:8). For approximately a thousand years the Nephites lived here on this land of North and South America, and during this period of time they experienced an ever rotating cycle of great prosperity by their yielding their hearts unto God and then destruction because of their swift return to their wicked ways. Satan finally gained absolute control over the hearts and the desires of the Nephites and he caused hatred and revenge to blacken every heart until the Nephites were all slaughtered by the Lamanites. As Mormon looked out at the slaughter of his people and their love of all that is evil he cried:

17 O ye fair ones, how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord! O ye fair ones, how could ye have rejected that Jesus, who stood with open arms to receive you!

18 Behold, if ye had not done this, ye would not have fallen. But behold, ye are fallen, and I mourn your loss.

19 O ye fair sons and daughters, ye fathers and mothers, ye husbands and wives, ye fair ones, how is it that ye could have fallen!

20 But behold, ye are gone, and my sorrows cannot bring your return.

22 O that ye had repented before this great destruction had come upon you. (Mormon 6:17-20, 22 emphasis added)

Mormons great anguish is so exquisite and his words wrench my heart every time I read them. His pain can only be more fully understood as our perfection in God approaches the level he had achieved. He knew the state of the wicked and because of that his words still piece my very heart. Mormons ability to rise above the desires of the flesh came from the love he had for the Lord. “I, being fifteen years of age and being somewhat of a sober mind, therefore I was visited of the Lord, and tasted and knew of the goodness of Jesus.” (Mormon 1:15 emphasis added). God was Mormon’s strength and the source of his desires, thoughts, and actions. Now, this does not mean that every thought that Mormon had, came from the Lord but rather he had by his righteousness brought the spring of living water unto himself. He was constantly being nurtured by the fountain because he had qualified himself and the fountain had been brought unto him. Here in lies the key or principle and that is that this spring or fountain of righteousness can be either found (temporary) or be brought unto the righteous (permanent).

The journey to come unto the fountain of righteousness has two important aspects. First, that it is not the fountain that moves away from us but it is us that move away from the fountain. Secondly, if the journey is not embarked and strictly pursued then the light they once had will be taken away and Satan’s power over us will increase until all is dark. I look at this as an exchange of gifts. As long as we are willing to exchange our spirituality for something of a lesser kingdom or value then we are blind and know not that what we feel in our hand is the rod of iron or the hand rail leading up the stairs to the large and spacious building. Nephi wrote “And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters” (1 Nephi 11:25). There is a reason, in my opinion why the Lord used a rod of iron instead of a compass to find the tree of life, and that is because a compass changes based on your location whereas a rod of iron never changes and is straight and immovable. Alma talking about the Liahona or compass prepared by god to help Lehi cross the wilderness, taught:

40 And it did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day.

41 Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey; (Alma 37:40-41 emphasis added)

No, a compass is only sufficient for the Nephi’s but the rest of us are too wishy-washy, always on the lookout for something worth trading for one of our coins of spirituality; after all we have a few left. Enos explains this unsteady roller coaster many seem to be on:

23 And there was nothing save it was exceeding harshness, preaching and prophesying of wars, and contentions, and destructions, and continually reminding them of death, and the duration of eternity, and the judgments and the power of God, and all these things—stirring them up continually to keep them in the fear of the Lord. I say there was nothing short of these things, and exceedingly great plainness of speech, would keep them from going down speedily to destruction. (Enos 1:23 emphasis added)

Moroni was commanded to teach us the way to come unto the fountain,, “I, Moroni, am commanded to write these things, that evil may be done away, and that the time may come that Satan may have no power upon the hearts of the children of men, but that they may be persuaded to do good continually, that they may come unto the fountain of all righteousness and be saved” Either 8:26 emphasis added). Persuasion to do good continually is the key to coming unto the fountain. We have to persuade ourselves not to trade any of our coins of spiritually for anything that “moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal” (3 Nephi 13:19). This persuasion comes by our thoughts and the source that our thoughts are coming form. If they come from the Savior we must heed them and if they come from below we must shun them and replace the thoughts with thoughts that will edify and bring us closer to the fountain and not farther away. If we fail to persuade ourselves than we will trade the light that we once had, which means the Spirit is withdrawn and Satan has full power. This is what happened in the time of Christ, the time of Mormon and is now happening in our time. Jesus taught the Nephites when he visited them instructing them of dangers of failing to persuade themselves to love righteousness:

32 But behold, it sorroweth me because of the fourth generation from this generation, for they are led away captive by him even as was the son of perdition; for they will sell me for silver and for gold, and for that which moth doth corrupt and which thieves can break through and steal. And in that day will I visit them, even in turning their works upon their own heads. (3 Nephi 27:32 emphasis added)

The fourth generation of which the Savior prophesied of is those of Mormon’s day. Alma the Younger also prophesied of Mormon’s day:

10 And these are the words: Behold, I perceive that this very people, the Nephites, according to the spirit of revelation which is in me, in four hundred years from the time that Jesus Christ shall manifest himself unto them, shall dwindle in unbelief.

11 Yea, and then shall they see wars and pestilences, yea, famines and bloodshed, even until the people of Nephi shall become extinct—

12 Yea, and this because they shall dwindle in unbelief and fall into the works of darkness, and lasciviousness, and all manner of iniquities; yea, I say unto you, that because they shall sin against so great light and knowledge, yea, I say unto you, that from that day, even the fourth generation shall not all pass away before this great iniquity shall come. (Alma 45:10-12, emphasis added)

Take note of the last verse here and compare it with what the Savior said, and you will see that they are the same. Notice the words of the Savior, “for they will sell me for silver and for gold, and for that which moth doth corrupt.” This is interesting because the Savior will not visit them in their wickedness so they could sell him, but they will sell him in their hearts which is the same as if he were there. They crucify him anew in their hearts and their state is dreadful. Now we will see the fulfillment of the Saviors word in the words of Mormon:

14 And they did not come unto Jesus with broken hearts and contrite spirits, but they did curse God, and wish to die. Nevertheless they would struggle with the sword for their lives.

15 And it came to pass that my sorrow did return unto me again, and I saw that the day of grace was passed with them, both temporally and spiritually; for I saw thousands of them hewn down in open rebellion against their God, and heaped up as dung upon the face of the land. And thus *three hundred and forty and four years had passed away. (Mormon 2:14-15 emphasis added)

The depravity continues:

8 And the husbands and fathers of those women and children they have slain; and they feed the women upon the flesh of their husbands, and the children upon the flesh of their fathers; and no water, save a little, do they give unto them.

9 And notwithstanding this great abomination of the Lamanites, it doth not exceed that of our people in Moriantum. For behold, many of the daughters of the Lamanites have they taken prisoners; and after depriving them of that which was most dear and precious above all things, which is chastity and virtue—

10 And after they had done this thing, they did murder them in a most cruel manner, torturing their bodies even unto death; and after they have done this, they devour their flesh like unto wild beasts, because of the hardness of their hearts; and they do it for a token of bravery.

18 O the depravity of my people! They are without order and without mercy. Behold, I am but a man, and I have but the strength of a man, and I cannot any longer enforce my commands.

19 And they have become strong in their perversion; and they are alike brutal, sparing none, neither old nor young; and they delight in everything save that which is good; and the suffering of our women and our children upon all the face of this land doth exceed everything; yea, tongue cannot tell, neither can it be written. (Moroni 9:8-10, 18-19 emphasis added)

Even putting these verses in my paper pains my heart but it shows the fulfillment of prophecy, the slippery slope in not persuading ourselves to love righteousness, and lastly the opposition in all things that is needed to comprehend the glorious state of those who willingly choose to dedicate their whole souls unto Christ. Now to investigate the key that will help us in bringing the fountain of righteousness unto ourselves. The Savior taught “the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14). The Savior taught Mononi, “Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain of all righteousness.” The fountain brought unto us is that it becomes a part of us. Requoting Nephi, “And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life; which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God” (1 Nephi 11:25 emphasis added).I added three spate marks blocking together the symbol with its interpretation. The rod of iron is the word of God. Nephi was given the sealing power and the Lord said, “yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will” (Helaman 10:5 emphasis added). Next the fountain of living waters which is represented as the tree of life also, is a representation of the love of God. We learn from Mormon:

47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure” (Mormon 7:47-48).

If we truly have charity then shall the fountain of righteousness brought unto us. Moroni said, “if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity. . . .Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—” (Moroni 7:44,47). If we have charity then we will have perfect faith, and our hope will be perfect and if we are possessed with those three then we will be one in purpose as our Father and His Christ are one. Then we “may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure.” I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Works Cited

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Book of Mormon. Intellectual Reserve, Inc., 2006.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The New Testament. Intellectual Reserve, Inc., 2006.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Civil War: Fulfillment of Joseph Smith’s Prophecy

Written and Published by: Craig Conover on April 7, 2009
Click here for a printable version

The Civil War: Fulfillment of Joseph Smith’s Prophecy

On September 1823 Moroni, an ancient Book of Mormon prophet, appeared to young Joseph Smith and gave him many instructions relative to events to come. Joseph quotes Moroni who said, “that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people" (Joseph Smith History 1:30, 33). Partial fulfillment of Moroni’s words is clearly seen by Anti-Mormons who seek to somehow defraud Joseph Smith as a Prophet of God. Likewise, there are some who ignorantly disregard or equivocally discredit history in a failed attempt to disprove the revelation Joseph received on December 25, 1832. History is replete with explicit evidence of the fulfillment of this great prophecy. I will navigate the reader back through time, stopping just prior to December 25, 1832, and from there begin a detailed analysis of the prophecy with its fulfillment in the events that led up to and directly stemmed from the Civil War. From this analysis the reader can walk away with a witness of the literal fulfillment of this prophecy and look forward to the fulfillment of subsequent history majestically scribed, by the Lord himself.

Several years before the prophecy was revealed, cotton was in high demand in the nineteenth century and its producers became very rich. Money generated from cotton was not the only form of wealth among the plantation owners. To meet the increasing demand for labor, African slaves were shipped into the United States by the boatloads. The slave trade with its inhuman cruelties began to instill unrest and abhorrence in the hearts of many Americans, mainly in the Northern states. In addition to concerns about slavery other factors began to threaten the Southern prosperity and wealth. Eric Foner and John A. Garraty clarify that South Carolina was “the first southern state to plunge into widespread cotton cultivation … [and] the first to see its soil lose its fertility. The consequence of worn-out soil—poor yields—paralleled a disastrous decline in cotton prices in the 1819-1835 period” (800-801). Several times during this same period higher American tariffs were passed. Adding higher tariffs to worn-out-soil put South Carolina over the edge and on November 24, 1832; they issued “an ordinance to nullify certain acts of the Congress of the United States, purporting to be laws laying duties and imposts on the importation of foreign commodities” (William McDonald, 329-333). In the History of the Church, we learn that along with this ordinance they had also vocalized threats of succession. “President 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” (301). Under these conditions was the following revelation given as recorded in The Doctrine and Covenants:

Revelation and prophecy on war, given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, December 25, 1832. HC 1: 301–302. This section was received at a time when the brethren were reflecting and reasoning upon African slavery on the American continent and the slavery of the children of men throughout the world.

1 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;

2 And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place.

3 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.

4 And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war.

5 And it shall come to pass also that the remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation.

6 And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations;

7 That the cry of the saints, and of the blood of the saints, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies.

8 Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen. (87)

Although this prophecy is only eight verses in length and equaling only 293 words, its scope and impact is remarkable. These eight verses cover a period of time ranging from the day it was revealed until the coming of the Savior the second time. Three major periods of war and destruction are laid before the world. Each of these periods are opened by specific events that have occurred or will yet occur in each preceding period; “beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina” (87:1).

In the Church Educational System Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual teaches that “while all of these differences existing between the North and the South had a tendency to drive the people apart, yet it was the question of slavery, and the contention over the expansion of new territory and the creation of new states and whether or not slavery should be permitted in such new territory, that became the crux which brought upon the people the great Civil War” (187). In verse one the Lord said, “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” (D&C 87:1). This revelation was given twenty eight-years prior to the first shots fired on April 12, 1861 against Fort Sumter near Charleston, South Carolina, by Confederate General, Beauregard. History here is irrefutable; the “rebellion of South Carolina” (87:1) began America’s deadliest war, known as the Civil War, and was a direct fulfillment of Joseph’s prophecy.

In a lecture given by Elder B. H. Roberts, he explained the attitude of some men pertaining to this prophecy, “They would generally try to destroy the force of my argument by claiming that the predictions were made after the events had transpired; that is, they were not predictions in fact, but were written by fanatics to deceive mankind” (25, 141-142). The facts will now be unequivocally laid before the reader. The Doctrine and Covenants was originally published without this prophecy, and it was added in 1876, but this did not stop it from being taught and published worldwide. Roberts said, “The elders engaged in the missionary work of the church, however, obtained manuscripts of it, and in their journeys carried it with them and read it to their congregations in various parts of the United States” (294). Orson Pratt, one such elder, stated:

I went forth before my beard was gray, before my hair began to turn white, when I was a youth of nineteen, now I am fifty-eight, and from that time on I published these tidings among the inhabitants of the earth. I carried forth the written revelation, foretelling this great contest, some twenty-eight years before the war commenced. This prophecy has been printed and circulated extensively in this and other nations and languages. It pointed out the place where it should commence in South Carolina. That which I declared over the New England States, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and many other parts in the East, when but a boy, came to pass twenty-eight years after the revelation was given (13)

Furthermore the prophecy was published in “Vol. XIII of the Millennial Star in 1851 . . . as an advertisement of a new church publication to be called the Peal of Great Price” (Roberts, 294). The whole revelation was included by Franklin D. Richards in the printing of the pamphlet entitled, "The Pearl of Great Price" in 1851 in Liverpool, England (Jeff Lindsay). After the war started the Philadelphia Sunday Mercury sent out an article titled “A Mormon Prophecy” which reprinted the whole revelation and discussed the events that had just transpired. The article states, “We have in our possession a pamphlet, published at Liverpool, in 1851 . . . . In view of our present troubles, this prediction seems to be in progress of fulfillment, whether Joe Smith was a humbug or not.” The article concluded with this statement, “Have we not had a prophet among us?” (5 May 1861).

What is interesting is the relationship the Lord had with Joseph Smith; akin to that of Moses who spoke with the Lord “face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend” (Exodus 33:11). If any man ever was the Lord’s friend it was Joseph, and in New York, on January 2, 1831, the Lord told Joseph:

29 Ye hear of wars in far countries, and you say that there will soon be great wars in far countries, but ye know not the hearts of men in your own land.

30 I tell you these things because of your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness, in a manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.

31 And that ye might escape the power of the enemy, and be gathered unto me a righteous people, without spot and blameless— (38:29-31)

About 3 months later the Lord gave him this revelation:

63 Ye hear of wars in foreign lands; but, behold, I say unto you, they are nigh, even at your doors, and not many years hence ye shall hear of wars in your own lands.

64 Wherefore I, the Lord, have said, gather ye out from the eastern lands, assemble ye yourselves together ye elders of my church; go ye forth into the western countries, call upon the inhabitants to repent, and inasmuch as they do repent, build up churches unto me. (45:63-64)

On both occasions the Lord told Joseph of wars to come in his own nation and that he was to gather his people out of the east and into the west. History shows this fulfilled in the great gathering of the saints in the Rocky Mountains, even the Utah Valley. In Utah they were able to “escape” the casualties of the Civil War to a great degree. Lastly, at Ramus, Illinois, and April 2, 1843 the Lord reiterated his last few conversations about the bloodshed forthcoming:

12 I prophesy, in the name of the Lord God, that the commencement of the difficulties which will cause much bloodshed previous to the coming of the Son of Man will be in South Carolina.

13 It may probably arise through the slave question. This a voice declared to me, while I was praying earnestly on the subject, December 25th, 1832. (130:12-13)

If Joseph Smith was a fraud and there was a chance that his so called “prophecies” would not be fulfilled, it is only logical that he would only produce one prophecy and not several. With every additional prophecy the chances of discovery would increase. On the contrary Joseph Smith is God’s chosen Prophet to restore His Church in these last days. The evidence of the prophecies literal fulfillment is a testament of Joseph’s prophetic calling, and the evidence rests and history stands firm where “no one can ever use the old infidel argument against it—that is, that the prediction was made after the event had occurred” (v. 25, 141-142).

President Joseph Fielding Smith said: “Scoffers have said it was nothing remarkable for Joseph Smith in 1832, to predict the outbreak of the Civil War and that others who did not claim to be inspired with prophetic vision had done the same” (358–359). If Joseph’s prophecy had ended with South Carolina, starting the war there would be some room for debate due to the heated events that were transpiring on both sides. Still singularly remarkable to pinpoint the start of the war but the Lord went much farther than that. The revelation continues to outline an unfathomable number and complexity of events that would be impossible to simply predict without help from on high. The Lord prophecies that the war “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” (87:1-2). Many must of thought, how could this Joseph Smith, who claims to have seen angels and translated a gold bible; in two verses, 33 words, tell America that this war or splitting of the Union will cause “that war will be poured out upon all nations” and “terminate in the death and misery of many souls”? It is not too hard to see that without a strong faith in God that these 33 words would seem to be nothing short of madness. This is where the prophecies scope begins to really take form.

America was still a young nation, not even a decade old; at the time the prophecy was given. From the birth of our nation up to 1832 only two major battles were fought, the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, and together excluding wounded and missing, America suffered 6,695 deaths. The Mexican War was fought in 1846 and America lost 13,283, so the accumulative total of deaths increases to 19,978 (US). The prophecy states, “will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls” (87:1). In the Civil War alone America suffered 623,026 deaths (US), that is a 3100% increase in deaths. The total deaths of all major wars “beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina” (87:1) totals 1,244,848, which is a 6,131% increase in deaths over what America had seen to date before the Civil War began. Again, these figures do not take into consideration deaths resulting from wounds or those missing. estimates with wounded and other deaths the total raises to 2,659,301 from Civil War through the Persian Gulf War (US). The numbers do not lie, herein the prophecy is fulfilled, but B. H. Roberts expounds even more with these words:

But this war was to end in the “misery of many souls,” and when I called to mind the sorrow of the sister who looked in vain for the return of the brother—the companion of her childhood—when I thought of the tears that had fretted channels in the pale cheek of the mother who looked in vain for the return of her son, who in the buoyancy of youth had gone to do battle in his country's cause—when I thought of the wife, who still watched and waited for the return of him whose strong arm was to be her support through life's dreary march—when I called to mind all the anguish these hearts felt, I exclaimed—That Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, is witnessed by the tears and heartrending sobs of these multitudes who have looked and waited in vain for the return of their loved ones. (v. 25, 141-142)

As seen by the number of deaths and the innumerable many that morns for their loved ones lost; the effects of The Civil War are incalculable. What could possibly be the cause which would set in motion the events that would lead to such destruction? The answer is found in the third verse of the prophecy which states:

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.” (87:3)

The events outlined by the Lord took place with uncanny accuracy. On May 13, 1861 only one month and a day after the war broke out, Britain’s Queen Victoria issued her proclamation of neutrality. This was a direct blow to the Union for it recognized the Confederacy as a belligerent power and in the eyes of Europe, a responsible government in war. To the detriment of the Union other European nations followed Britain’s course of action. James McPherson in his book The Battle Cry of Freedom explained; “status as a belligerent gave Confederates the right under international law to contract loans and purchase arms in neutral nations, and to commission cruisers on the high seas with the power of search and seizure” (388-391).

The Confederacy sent two men, James Mason and John Slidell as commissioners on behalf of the Confederacy to obtain official diplomatic recognition. The British ship, Trent, was captured by the Union on November 8, 1861. Their capture increased friction between the Union and Great Britain and threats of war followed. Union defeats on the battle front, mixing with the Union’s ongoing financial burden in obtaining funding for the war, boiled over with these possible threats of war. McPherson wrote, “The panic on financial exchanges caused a run on banks, whose specie reserves plummeted. The sequel was inevitable. On December 30 the banks of New York suspended specie payments. Banks everywhere followed suit” (367). The Union’s treasury was nearly depleted and the future looked grim for the Union.

Victory is often a great opportunity for the victor to forward boldly and September 22, 1862, five days after Antietam, was no different. William Curtis in his book Abraham Lincoln, quoted the diary of Mr. Wells, the Secretary of the Navy as writing, that Lincoln called his cabinet in session and said that he had made a covenant with God and “that his mind was fixed, his decision made, and therefore he did not ask the opinion of his advisers as to the act, but he wished his paper announcing his course to be as correct in terms as it could be made without any change in his determination” (384-389). Later Curtis continues quoting Wells who wrote that “he had in this way submitted the disposal of matters when the way was not clear to his mind what he should do. God had decided this question in favor of the slaves. He was satisfied it was right,—was confirmed and strengthened in his action by the vow and the results” (384-389). The Emancipation Proclamation was issued which states, “That on the 1st day of January, A.D. 1863, all persons held as slaves within any State . . . in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free” (Emancipation Proclamation).

The Emancipation Proclamation could not have come at a better time for the Union. Britain was now as it were, forced to rethink their motives in this war. In The American Heritage New History of the Civil War, Bruce Catton said, “The government of Britain, France, or any other nation could not . . . take sides against a government which was trying to destroy slavery” (172-180). Britain’s aggressiveness was significantly reduced and yet James E. Talmage in his Articles of Faith said, “Vessels were built and equipped at British ports in the interests of the Confederacy; and the results of this violation of the laws of neutrality cost Great Britain fifteen and a half millions of dollars, which sum was awarded the United States at the Geneva arbitration in settlement of the Alabama claims” (25–26). Thus it stands without question that the “Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain” (87:3).

Joseph also prophesied that “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” (87:3). Another prophet of God, Joseph Fielding Smith noted that:

Following the Civil War the nations, in their great alarm because of the new methods of warfare which were being developed and their fear of other nations, entered into alliances and secret agreements in order to protect themselves from other nations. At the outbreak of the World War, these alliances had reached proportions never before known, and during the war other alliances were made until nearly every nation on the earth had taken sides with the Triple Alliance or the Triple Entente. It was during the period of the World War, 1914–1918, Great Britain made her appeal to the nations to come to the defense of the standard of Democracy. Her pleadings were heard round the world.” (361)

Roberts presents the grand scope of what “shall be poured out upon all nations.” To paraphrase: the total of all armies mobilized: 59,176,864; direct military deaths: 7,781,806; wounded: 18,681,257; prisoners and missing: 7,080,580: bringing the grand total of military casualties to 33,434,443. These figures only give military casualties and do not reflect the 100,082 who were killed by military causes, or the 4,000,000 Armenians, Syrians, Jews, and Greeks starved or massacred; the 4,000,000 who caught pneumonia caused by the war; or the 1,085,441 massacred and diseased Serbians. “Making the total of deaths and civilian deaths, resulting from the war, make a grand total of 16, 967,329 deaths. And of the more than 18,000,000 who were wounded in battle 30% or about 6,000,000 were made permanent human wreaks” (294). To the sadness and misery of all the world Joseph could not have simply “guessed it right;” the events that transpired in a series of all out world war like never before seen or comprehended could only come from one source and that is God.

The rest of the prophecy has had partial fulfillment in bits and pieces but overall the events are yet to come. Verse four starts with, “And it shall come to pass, after many days” (87:4). “After many days” appears sixteen times in the scriptures: five times in the Old Testament, once in the New Testament, six in the Book of Mormon, three in the Doctrine and Covenants and once in the Pearl of Great Price. The time frame ranges significantly from a few years all the way up to when Jesus Christ will return the second time. Another entire analysis could be completed on the “what if” scenarios and detailed the modern revelations that further shed light on the remaining parts of this prophecy, but a simple quote or explanation will suffice for the purposes of this analysis.

Slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war” (87:4). Most definitely partial fulfillment was seen in the Civil War when 186,397 colored men enlisted and many of them saw active service in the field against their former masters” (Roberts, 294). Elder Joseph L. Wirthlin suggested a further fulfillment: “I believe, brethren and sisters, that it was intended that this referred to slaves all over the world.” He specifically identified the inhabitants of the former Soviet Union and its satellites and other parts of the world “where the rights and the privilege to worship God and to come to a knowledge that Jesus Christ is his Son is denied them” (32).

“That the remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation” (87:5). Another partial fulfillment was seen at the close of the Civil War in the wars with American Indians. President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:

The history of this American continent . . . gives evidence that the Lamanites have risen up in their anger and vexed the Gentiles. This warfare may not be over. It has been the fault of people in the United States to think that this prophetic saying has reference to the Indians in the United States, but we must remember that there are millions of the ‘remnant’ in Mexico, Central and South America. It was during our Civil War that the Indians in Mexico rose up and gained their freedom from the tyranny which Napoleon endeavored to inflict upon them . . . The independence of Mexico and other nations to the south has been accomplished by the uprising of the ‘remnant’ upon the land. However, let us not think that this prophecy has completely been fulfilled. (363)

“With the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations” (87:6). Wilford Woodruff explains:

It is the decree of the Almighty God, that the kingdom of heaven shall be established, and shall never again be overthrown, that judgments shall lay waste the nations, enough at least to give that kingdom room to grow, and spread, and prosper. This is the truth, and you will all find it so. Those judgments have begun, that will never leave the earth until it is swept as with the besom of destruction, until thrones are cast down and kingdoms overthrown, until each man draws his sword against his neighbor, and every nation and kingdom that exists will be at war with each other, except the inhabitants of Zion. The Lord has spoken it, and it will come to pass. (v.2, 25)

That the cry of the saints, and of the blood of the saints, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies” (87:7). Elder George Q. Cannon wrote:

There is no sin that a nation can commit, which the Lord avenges so speedily and fearfully, as he does the shedding of innocent blood, or, in other words, the killing of his anointed and authorized servants. No nation which has been guilty of this dreadful crime has ever escaped his vengeance. The thunderbolts of his wrath have been always launched forth for the destruction of the perpetrators of such wickedness. It is a rank offence against the majesty of Heaven and the authority of the Creator, which he never suffers to pass unrebuked; for such men act in his stead, and are his representatives on the earth. (Millennial Star, 361–62)

Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen” (D&C 87:8). Harold B. Lee said:

As one studies the Lord’s commandments and the attending promises for compliance therewith, one gets some definite ideas as to how we might stand in holy places,’ as the Lord commands—how we will be preserved with protection in accordance with His holy purposes, in order that we might be numbered among the ‘pure in heart’ who constitute Zion.” (22-23)

In a speech at Nauvoo Joseph Smith said, “Whosoever lived to see the two sixes come together in ’66 would see the American continent deluged in blood” (Roy Doxey, 142). It is utterly impossible for a plain man who had no more than a third grade education to be capable of predicting with such exactness the events that would take place twenty-eight year after, and even more impossible to predict those events that would take place well over a decade later. There is not to be found on earth a group of the individuals that possess the skills and wisdom capable of producing even in the smallest degree over their lifetimes what Joseph Smith the Prophet of God prophesied in only eight verses of holy write and in a single day, even Christmas 1832.

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