Last week I wrote about revelation. Today I’ll talk about a unique subset of revelation that deals with the future. We call these prophecies. God telling the Prophet that church should be 2 hours long is a revelation, God telling that prophet that he should sell City Creek mall in 2025 before a big financial crises hits is a prophecy.
One aspect of prophecies I find infesting is what I call “post-dated” prophecies. For example, what if I told you that I was looking in an old bookstore, and found a hand written diary from a truly prophetic woman named Martha. Martha lived 1850 to 1910. In her 1905 writings she predicted the following. My comments in parentheses
- In 5 years a great celestial light would move through the skies (Hailey’s Commit, 1910)
- Within ten years a great war would encircle the world (WW1, 1914)
- Another great war would happen about 25 years after the first one.
- Man will walk on the moon in less than 75 years
- In the 1970’s a child shall be conceived in a laboratory
- In 2005 a great tempest will devastate the Southern USA. (Hurricane Katrina)
- In 2020 a great plague will overtake the earth with millions of deaths
- Someday we’ll get man on Mars
- There will be a big war in the Middle East after 2025
- New energy sources will be discovered by 2100
Isn’t this amazing? She nailed all these big event so precisely! Oh, you might notice that all the prophecies that she wrote after the date I purchased the book seem vague compared to the early ones, but still, she nailed those early ones!
Or you could conclude that this is a fake, and that it was probably written in 2020, as that seems to be the cutoff of precise predictions vs the hazy ones.
Lets apply this same logic to the Book of Mormon and see what we come up with.
The Book of Mormon correctly predicted the coming of Jesus, his mother’s name (Mosiah 3:8) , his date of birth, his baptism, crucifixion and resurrection (1 Nephi 11:33). All very precise.
The Book of Mormon also predicted that it would be brought forth by a man named Joseph, whose father’s name was Joseph. Columbus would discover America:
And I looked and beheld a man among the gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many water; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land.—1 Nephi 13:12
This is pretty good, right? Now lets look at the prophecies that would be in the “future” for Joseph Smith, post 1830.
15 And I say unto you, that if the Gentiles do not repent after the blessing which they shall receive, after they have scattered my people—
16 Then shall ye, who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, go forth among them; and ye shall be in the midst of them who shall be many; and ye shall be among them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, and as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he goeth through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.3 Nephi 20: 15-16
What it implies is that is that if gentiles do not accept the Book of Mormon (blessing), the house of Jacob (Lamanites) will rise up and overtake them. In 1830, this was a real possibility, as the fight with the Native Americans (Lamanites) was ongoing. Today, where only 0.2% of the world’s population has repented and accepted that “blessing”, it seems that we are ripe for a takeover by the Native Americans, which seems improbable or impossible.
Another example is the Jews will not inherit the land of their inheritance until they accept Christ.
7 But behold, thus saith the Lord God: When the day cometh that they shall believe in me, that I am Christ, then have I covenanted with their fathers that they shall be restored in the flesh, upon the earth, unto the lands of their inheritance.
8 And it shall come to pass that they shall be gathered in from their long dispersion, from the isles of the sea, and from the four parts of the earth; and the nations of the Gentiles shall be great in the eyes of me, saith God, in carrying them forth to the lands of their inheritance.2 Nephi 10:7-8
In 1948, they returned to the land of their inheritance, Palestine, without converting to Christianity.
Finally, 2 Nephi 10: 11-14 says that there will never be a king upon “this land”, and it will be a land of Liberty. Being that “this land” at that time meant all of North and South America, I’m sure that the people that lived under dictators were wondered when the Lord was going to free them. Jorge Rafael Videla (Argentina), Hugo Banzer (Bolivia), Joao Baptista Figueiredo (Brazil), Augusto Pinochet (Chile), Fidel Castro (Cuba), François Duvalier (Haiti), and Manuel Antonio Noriega (Panama), just to name a few, were all dictators, (much worse than kings in my opinion), and took away “Liberty” of the people in one form or another. Yet many of them prospered in “this land” and lived long lives.
Also, the Book of Mormon missed the Holocaust, which considering Israel’s prominence in the book, seems like a real critical omission.
What other examples of “post dated prophecies” can you think of, in or out of the church?