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NATHAN - What would be your response to mormon critics who
claim Joseph Smith's prophesy concerning the american
Civil war was not fullfiled as suggested. Critics
often say that "war was not poured out upon all
nations, neither did Great Britain join in" and claim
that the publication of that prophesy occured after
the actual event.
JOEL - As recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants(Section 87),
on Dec. 25, 1832, Joseph received the revelation about
the American Civil War. Beginning in the 1830s, LDS missionaries carried manuscript copies of the above revelation with them in their missionary journeys, and "frequently read it to their congregations in various parts of the United States" (History of the Church, B H Roberts, p. 315). The entire revelation was
printed in 1851 in Liverpool, England, in a pamphlet
entitled, "The Pearl of Great Price."
Here is a statement from an article called "A Mormon Prophecy",
printed in the Philadelphia newspaper soon after the
outbreak of the Civil War:
"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....
Have we not had a prophet among us?"-----
(Philadelphia Sunday Mercury after the outbreak of the
Civil War. Clipping in Journal History, 5 May 1861.)
So the pamphlet was printed a decade before the first
shot of the Civil War on April 12, 1861. Thus, the
prediction was made 28 years before its fulfillment,
and was printed and circulated in England and in the
United States at least ten years before. It was later
cannonized into the Pearl of Great Price in 1880 and
then moved into the Doctrine and Covenants.
Here is a list of some of the fulfilled predictions
made in this revelation:
-The war would begin with the rebellion of South
-It would cause the death and misery of many souls.
-The Southern States would be divided against the
-The Southern States would call upon other nations for
assistance, even upon the nation of Great Britain.
-War would eventually be poured out upon all nations.
The Civil war began with a rebellion in South Carolina
and resulted in the death of about 400,000 people. The
South did indeed call upon other nations for
assistance, including France and Great Britain
although Great Britain decided not to help. The
prophecy did not say that Great Britain would help,
only that the South would ask them for help.
According to Emory M. Thomas's, "The Confederate
Nation", Harper Torchbooks, 1979, a commission was sent
to Britain and other countries to ask for help:
"The Confederacy's message to the world beyond its
borders was fairly simple. The Southern nation "de
facto" existed... To the U.S., the Southerners offered
a "fait accompli" and a determination to resist
reunion... To Europe they added the lure of King
Cotton as well... Congress consented to Toomb's
appointment..." On Feb 13, Congree resolved to send a
commission of three to Great Britain, France and
elsewhere in Europe (p. 80-81)
The prophecy was not intended to be limited to only
the Civil war. Other parts of this prophecy came to
pass in the following years including a rebellion of
slaves and other wars among other nations(World War I,
World War II, etc.)