SAMPLES OF PROPHECIES OF JOSEPH SMITH THAT HAVE BEEN FULFILLED
1. “Hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers” (D&C 2:2).
This statement of Moroni was first uttered to the Prophet Joseph Smith on September 22,1823. It is not only being fulfilled by the genealogical activities of members of the LDS Church, but by the fact that since April of 1836, when the keys of this work were returned to earth under the hands of the prophet Elijah as prophesied (Malachi 4:5-6), completely independent of any LDS church action a widespread interest in genealogical research has developed. Genealogical societies have been organized for the first time: for example, 1836 in England, 1844 in New England, and 1869 in New York. Today a new Roofs spirit is sweeping the land and many are becoming interested in genealogy. The genealogical archives in Salt Lake City are now the largest in the world.
2. Prediction of Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon
And in addition to your testimony, the testimony of three of my servants, whom I shall call and ordain, unto whom I will show these things, and they shall go forth with my words that are given through you. Yea, they shall know of a surety that these things are true, for from heaven will I declare it unto them. I will give them power that they may behold and view these things as they are (D&C 5:11-13). The fact that Joseph Smith was bold enough to predict the manner and nature of the testimony of three witnesses before the event happened is significant.
3. Early hint of Joseph Smith’s possible murder
“And that you be firm in keeping the commandments wherewith I have commanded you; and if you do this, behold I grant unto you eternal life, even if you should be slain” (D&C 5:22). Some have argued that those predictions Joseph made a few days before his death are not spectacular, because conditions had become so bad that it was inevi- table that his enemies would kill him. This early hint, then, in March 1829, is significant. When Joseph voluntarily returned in June of 1844 to almost predictable death, this revelation given fifteen years earlier was fulfilled.
4. Joseph reads Oliver’s mind
Verily, verily, I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your know concerning the truth of these things. Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God? And now, behold, you have received a witness; for if I have told you things which no man knoweth have you not received a witness? (D&C 6:22-24)
This was a revelation received for Oliver shortly after he came to Harmony, Pennsylvania, to become Joseph’s scribe. It is remarkable that Joseph would dare claim to know that Oliver, whom he had never met before, had already prayed and received a spiritual witness from the Lord. Evidence that this was a true statement is the fact that he became a follower of the Prophet.
5. Great miracles to be shown
And it shall come to pass that there shall be a great work in the land, even among the Gentiles. . . for I am God, and mine arm is not shortened, and I will show miracles, signs, and wonders, unto all those who believe on my name. And. . . they shall cast out devils; they shall heal the sick; they shall cause the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak, and the lame to walk. And the time speedily cometh that great things are to be shown forth unto the children of men (D&C 35:7-10).
There are publications that relate such events having happened in LDS history. In each fast and testimony meeting of the LDS Church in meetings around the world, it is not uncommon to hear firsthand accounts of such happenings. At a BYU assembly Elder Matthew Cowley gave a talk entitled “Miracles,” which gives examples of modern-day wonders including raising the dead. This tape is available at the BYU Audio Visual Department.
6. Jesus to suddenly come to His temple
“I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God; wherefore, gird up your loins and I will suddenly come to my temple. Even so. Amen” (D&C 36:8). This revelation given in December of 1830 was literally fulfilled when the Savior appeared in the Church’s first temple a few days after its dedication, on April 3, 1836 (D&C 110).
7. Destruction on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers
Nevertheless, I suffered it that ye might bear record; behold, there are many dangers upon the waters, and more especially hereafter; for I, the Lord, have decreed in mine anger many destructions upon the waters; yea, and especially upon these waters (D&C 61:4-5).
Much has been written about the great destruction on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, and some of this material may be found in the September 1903 issue of the Improvement Era and in the writings of B. H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church (Salt Lake City, Deseret News Press), Vol. I, p. 278.
8. Rocky Mountain Prophecy
“Zion shall flourish upon the hills and rejoice upon the mountains, and shall be assembled together unto the place which I have appointed” (D&C 49:25). It is sometimes stated by critics that Joseph Smith’s Rocky Mountain Prophecy was not significant because trouble in Nauvoo would make it inevitable that the Mormons could not stay there much longer. Nevertheless that prophecy (HC 5:85) was specific and far- reaching on those points. In any case the above revelation, given a year after the Church was organized and over fifteen years prior to its fulfillment, is significant. And it was February 1844 that Joseph stated that within five years the Church would be out of the power of its old enemies (HC 6:225).
9. End of Kirtland era
“I will not that my servant Fredrick G. Williams should sell his farm, for I, the Lord, will to retain a strong hold in the land of Kirtland, for the space of five years” (D&C 64:21).
This revelation was given September II, 1831. By 1837 loyal members of the Church had to flee from Kirtland with the Prophet (HC 3:1).
10. Greatness of work predicted
“Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great” (D&C 64:33).
To make such a bold prediction shortly after the Church was organized certainly took courage. The Church’s having grown so rapidly, already exerting significant results, is a literal beginning to the fulfillment of this assertion.
11. Enemies will not prosper
“Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you—there is no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and if any man lift his voice against you he shall be confounded in mine own due time” (D&C 71:9-10). These words of the Lord were revealed in December 1831. I cannot think of persons or groups who have turned against the LDS Church that one could consider to be prospering.
12. A challenge to duplicate a commandment
Now, seek ye out of the Book of Commandments, even the least that is among them, and appoint him that is the most wise among you; or, if there be any among you that shall make one like unto it, then ye are justified in saying that ye do not know that they are true; but if ye cannot make one like unto it, ye are under condemnation if ye do not bear record that they are true (D&C 67:6-7).
The occasion was that of a special conference which was considering the publication of the first collection of Joseph Smith’s revelations. Apparently some of the discussion was critical of the language in some of the revelations. Joseph then received and gave out the foregoing revelation. He was certainly taking a risk if it wasn’t a revelation. Under normal circumstances a learned man ought to be able to write a few words and claim it to be a revelation. One of the men, William M’Lellin, who was considered the wisest in the room, took up the challenge and tried to write a “revelation.” But M’Lellin failed (HC1:226).
13. Civil war and other wars
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. And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place. For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States . . . and then war shall be poured out upon all nations (D&C 87:1-3).
This is perhaps the most famous of Joseph Smith’s prophecies and therefore the one most often attacked. The date given is December 25, 1832, and critics point out that it was a common belief that war might begin any day and in South Carolina, so Joseph was merely up on current events; he did not have to be a prophet to say this. Although they were not as explicit as Section 87, it is interesting to note that earlier Joseph had made similar predictions in 1831 (see D&C 38:29 and 45:63).
Also, Joseph Smith again reaffirmed that this was a revelation from God on Sunday, April 2, 1843, after the tense situation in South Carolina had cooled down and the threat of civil war had temporarily subsided (HC 5:324).
Another criticism is that Section 87 did not appear in the Doctrine and Covenants until after the Civil War. So naturally deception has been charged. However, these critics are answered by the fact that the revelation did appear in print in 1851 in the Pearl of Great Price, which was published in England.
14. “Slaves shall rise up against their masters” (D&C 87:4)
This verse requires special comment since it is usually considered in connection with the Civil War. Critics correctly point to the fact that few if any slaves rose up against their masters. Since this phrase does not appear in context with the Civil War, but follows the phrase “and then war shall be poured out upon all nations” (vs. 3) it seems to have reference to our present day. The rise of anti-colonialism throughout the world and rebellions in communist countries such as East Berlin in 1951, Hungary in 1956, and Poland in the 1980s may well be at least a beginning of the fulfillment of this verse.
15. Purpose of Word of Wisdom
In February, 1833, the Prophet Joseph Smith received a revelation that said in part: “In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation” (D&C 89:4). The fact that many millions of dollars are spent annually in deceptive advertising to induce people to use harmful substances, even to counteract scientific and government findings against them, amply fulfills this portion of the revelation.
16. “Strong drinks land] . . . tobacco [are] not for the body” (D&C 89:7-8)
The prophet Joseph was way ahead of science on this point. The abundance of evidence presented by reputable medical organizations, the Surgeon General of the United States, and governments of other countries fulfills this revelation.
17. United States Constitution inspired of God
The Constitution of the United States was established under the influence of God (D&C 98:6, 101:80).
When these revelations were given it was not expected to see the United States achieve the power, prestige and leadership that it has enjoyed. This first example of the separation of church and state in modern history has certainly led to the greatest political accomplishments ever known by man. The Constitution has survived wars and Watergates, while other governments are frequently falling.
18. A prediction of the gathering
“After this vision dosed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses, appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth” (D&C 110:11).
That this is literally being fulfilled cannot be disputed. The whole LDS movement is one of gathering people in preparation for Christ’s second coming.
19. The twelve apostles to start on missions from Far West
“And next spring let them depart to go over the great waters, and there promulgate my gospel, the fullness thereof, and bear record of my name. Let them take leave of my saints in the city of Far West, on the twenty-sixth day of April next . . . ” (D&C 118:4-5).
“This is one prophecy of old ‘Joe Smith’s’ that will not be fulfilled,” : bragged those who had driven the Mormons from the state of Missouri. In order to obey the Lord’s commandment the apostles returned to Missouri on the prescribed date. Some might think this was an unfair way to fulfill a prophecy. But the fact that the apostles were j willing to risk their lives to do so is significant (HC 3:336). ‘
20. Everything consists of matter ‘
“There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter” (D&C i 131:7; see also HC 5:393). At the time of the revelation this was a new \ idea, but is in line with modern scientific thought on the permanence I of matter. ‘
21. Motion of all stars ‘
At the time of the Prophet Joseph Smith it was considered by science i that there were certain fixed stars in the universe. Yet according to the • Prophet’s translation:
And the Lord said unto me: Now, Abraham, these two facts exist, behold thine eyes see it; it is given unto thee to know the times of reckoning, and ] the set time, yea, the set time of the earth upon which thou standest, and the set time of the greater light which is set to rule the day, and the set ! time of the lesser light which is set to rule the night. … And where these ; two facts exist, there shall be another fact above them, that is, there shall I be another planet whose reckoning of time shall be longer still; and thus – there shall be the reckoning of the time of one planet above another until i thou come nigh unto Kolob, which Kolob is after the reckoning of the j Lord’s time (Abr. 3:6-9).
It appears from these verses that every planet moves in some manner, with perhaps the exception of Kolob, near the place where God dwells (Abr. 3:3). That the whole universe and all we know of what lies beyond is in motion is today maintained by almost all scien-tists.
22. Joseph predicts a widespread reputation
He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; 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 1:33).
Certainly this is being literally fulfilled. In the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., there are 2,650 volumes on George Washington. In the Church offices in Salt Lake City there are thousands of books or pamphlets that have been published for or against Joseph Smith. Even the publication of The GodMakers helps fulfill this prophecy.
23. Book of Mormon to go to the Indians
(Moroni 10:1-7) Even though this prophecy is in the Book of Mormon, it came to us through Joseph Smith and is an interesting prediction when one considers how most Americans of his day considered the Indians as some kind of a sub-species that could be hunted and shot for sport. Significant numbers of these Lamanite people have accepted the Book of Mormon, as predicted.
24. Joseph recognizes Newel Whitney and reads his mind
When Joseph first went to Kirtland, about February 1, 1831, he went to the store of Newel Whitney and addressed him by name. Newel was surprised, and could not understand how Joseph who had never met him could possibly recognize him. Joseph then told him he had seen Newel and his wife in a dream, when they had been praying that the Prophet would come to Kirtland (HC 1:146). Certainly Newel Whitney would not have become a loyal supporter if this had not been true.
25. Joseph predicts Newel Whitney’s faithfulness
Blessed of the Lord is Brother Whitney, even the Bishop of the Church of Latter-day Saints, for the Bishopric shall never be taken away from him while he liveth. And the time cometh that he shall, overcome all the narrow-mindedness of his heart, and all his covetous desires that so easily beset him. . . . Therefore he shall be preserved unto the utmost and his life shall be precious in the sight of the Lord (HC 2:288).
Newel Whitney died a faithful member of the Church in Salt Lake City in 1850.
26. Prediction of Sidney Rigdon’s character
Brother Sidney is a man whom I love, but he is not capable of that pure and steadfast love for those who are his benefactors that should characterize a President of the Church of Jesus Christ. This, with some other little things, such as selfishness and independence of mind, which too often manifested destroy the confidence of those who would lay down their lives for him—these are his faults (HC 1:443).
Sidney’s later apostasy and the fact that he did not become President of the Church even though he tried very hard are significant.
27. Brigham Young to preside over the Church
The fact that when Joseph first met Brigham Young he made a prediction that Brigham Young would one day preside over the Church is interesting. This was in September, 1832 (B. H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church 1:289, footnote). Before Joseph’s death, Brigham was only one of two of the original apostles still alive who had not turned against the Prophet at least temporarily. The other apostle was Heber C. Kimball.
28. Joseph says one of the elders will preach in Jackson County, Missouri, before end of 1838
When the Prophet made this prediction a few months previously, it did not seem likely to be fulfilled, because the Latter-day Saints had been expelled from Jackson County years before. But now Joseph Smith and others had been arrested at Far West, and while the prisoners were being transported to Independence, a group gathered around the Prophet and asked him questions, and he was able to preach to them (HC 3:201).
29. Zion’s Camp scourge
The Prophet Joseph predicted that a scourge would come upon the camp in consequence of “the unruly spirits that appeared among them'” (HC 2:80). Sixty-eight men were stricken with cholera and fourteen died. On July I Joseph said if the remainder would covenant to keep the commandments the plague would be lifted. It was (Historical Record, p. 582)
30. Joseph predicts escape from Missouri jails
When the leaders of the Church were imprisoned in Missouri, General John Clark of the state militia had announced, “As for your lead- ers, . . . do not imagine for a moment . . . that you will see their faces again, for their fate is fixed, their die is cast, their doom is sealed” (Andrew Jenson, Joseph Smith as a Prophet, Salt Lake City: Deseret News, p. 8).
As we arose and commenced our march on the morning of the third of November, Joseph spoke to me and the other prisoners in a low, but cheerful and confidential tone. Said he: “Be of good cheer, brethren, the word of the Lord came to me last night that our lives should be given us . . . not one of our lives should be taken (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, p. 192).
On April II, 1839, the Prophet made the following comment: “During this night the visions of the future were opened to my understanding, when I saw the ways and means and near approach of my escape from imprisonment” (HC 3:316).
None of the LDS leaders who were arrested lost their lives at this time.
31. Destruction in Jackson County foretold
On one occasion when the Missouri General Alexander Doniphan (who had refused to carry out the order to have Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, and other Church leaders shot at Far West) spoke with the LDS prophet, Joseph counseled him against the purchase of lands in Jackson County because that area would receive much destruction (B. H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church, 1:538). It is a known fact that Missouri suffered extensively during the Civil War (Muzzey, History of the United States, p. 137).
32. Stephen A. Douglas prophecy
Judge, you will aspire to the presidency of the United States; and if ever you turn your hand against me or the Latter-day Saints, you will feel the weight of the hand of Almighty upon you; and you will live to see and know that I have testified the truth to you; for the conversation of this day will stick to you through life (HC 5:394).
In his election campaign Douglas did speak against the Church. It is interesting to note that Abraham Lincoln received 180 electoral votes and Douglas only twelve in the election of 1860. It was considered one of the biggest political upsets in United States history. The two states that supported Douglas were New Jersey and Missouri. Less than one year after that political contest, Stephen A. Douglas, yet in the prime of manhood, died a broken-hearted man at home at age forty-eight.
33. Joseph says he will not go to Missouri
On one occasion when Joseph had been arrested by officers from Missouri and was awaiting trial in Illinois, he made a statement that he “would not go to Missouri dead or alive” (HC 5:216). Shortly afterwards he was released.
34. Dedication of Palestine for the return of the Jews
As instructed by Joseph Smith, the dedicatory prayer of Orson Hyde was given on October 24, 1841, on the Mount of Olives (HC 4:456). On December II, 1917, General Allenby of the British Army marched his military forces into Jerusalem and wrested control of the land from the Turks. And then England announced it would foster the return of the Jews to Palestine (Berrett, The Restored Church, p. 210). A movement of Jews to Palestine has gone on continually. In 1948 the United Nations officially created the State of Israel, which today is one of the most powerful countries in the Near East.
35. An adulterous person detected
When I [Joseph Smith] was preaching in Philadelphia, a Quaker called out for a sign. I told him to be still. After the sermon, he again asked for a sign. I told the congregation the man was an adulterer; that a wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and that the Lord had said to me in a revelation, that any man who wanted a sign was an adulterous person. “It is true,” cried one, “for I caught him in the very act,” which the man afterwards confessed, when he was baptized (HC 5:268).
36. Joseph senses Bennett is plotting to have him killed
I was solicited by General [John C. ] Bennett to take command of the first cohort during the sham battle; this I declined. General Bennett next requested me to take my station in the rear of the cavalry, without my staff, during the engagement; but this was counteracted by Captain A. P. Rockwood, commander of my life guards, who kept close to my side, and I chose my own position. And if General Bennett’s true feelings toward me are not made manifest to the world in a very short time, then it may be possible that the gentle breathings of that Spirit, which whispered to me on parade, that there was mischief concealed in that sham battle, were false; a short time will determine the point. Let John C. Bennett answer at the day of judgment, “Why did you request me to command one of the cohorts, and also to take my position without my staff, during the sham battle, on the 7th of May, 1842, where my life might have been forfeit, and no man have known who did the deed?” (HC 5:4)
Bennett’s later actions proved Joseph Smith’s promptings by the Spirit were correct.
37. Rockwell to get away honorably from Missouri
When someone shot Governor Boggs in Missouri, Joseph was suspected of having had something to do with the attempted assassination. Since Joseph was known to have been in Illinois at the time, Porter Rockwell, Joseph’s bodyguard, was accused. When Rockwell, returning from the East to Nauvoo, got off a steamer at St. Louis, Missouri, he was recognized and arrested. At this time Joseph said: “I prophesied, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that Orrin Porter Rockwell would get away honorably from the Missourians” (HC 5:305).
Rockwell was released after months in prison and returned to Nauvoo on Christmas Day in 1843 (HC 6:134).
38. Prediction of stakes in Boston and New York
“In the great cities, as Boston, New York, etc., there shall be stakes” (HC 6:319).
The New York Stake was organized December 9,1934, and the Boston Stake May 20, 1962.
39. The Prophet predicts his death
The following entry on Saturday, June 22, 1844, is the last item from the direct narrative of the Prophet. The remainder of the History of the Church is taken from other journals.
“I told Stephen Markham that if I and Hyrum were ever taken again we should be massacred, or I was not a prophet of God” (HC 6:546).
40. Willard Richards to escape
Dr. Richards’ escape was miraculous; he being a very large man, and in the midst of a shower of balls, yet he stood unscathed, with the exception of a ball which grazed the tip end of the lower part of his left ear. His escape fulfilled literally a prophecy which Joseph made over a year previously, that the time would come that the balls would fly around him like hail, and he should see his friends fall on the right and on the left, but that there should not be a hole in his garment (HC6:619).
When the mob attacked on June 27, 1844, Willard Richards was the only one of the four brethren in Carthage Jail not killed or wounded.
41. Dan Jones would go on a mission to Wales
This prophecy was given the last night before the Prophet’s death:
Soon after Dr. Richards retired to the bed .. . and when all were apparently fast asleep, Joseph whispered to Dan Jones, “are you afraid to die?” Dan said, “Has that time come, think you? Engaged in such a cause I do not think that death would have many terrors.” Joseph replied, “You will yet see Wales, and fulfill the mission appointed you before you die” (HC 6:601).
Before his death, Dan Jones fulfilled two missions to Wales, being the instrument in converting nearly a thousand people to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.