Question: What accounts of the Civil War prophecy were given by Latter-day Saint leaders?

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Question: What accounts of the Civil War prophecy were given by Latter-day Saint leaders?

Other accounts of the prophecy from LDS leaders

The contemporary evidence is complemented by accounts given later by LDS leaders and members:

  • I copied a revelation more than twenty-five years ago, in which it is stated that war should be in the south and in the north, and that nation after nation would become embroiled in the tumult and excitement, until war should be poured out upon the whole earth, and that this war would commence at the rebellion of South Carolina, and that times should be such that every man who did not flee to Zion would have to take up the sword against his neighbor or against his brother. These things are beginning to be made manifest, but the end is not yet; but it will come, and that too much sooner than the world of mankind anticipate, and all those things spoken by the mouths of his Prophets will be fulfilled.[1]
  • The Lord has led this people out of bondage with a high hand and an outstretched arm. No man acquainted with the history of this people is ignorant of the almighty power of God that has been manifested in the organization, growth and present condition of the Church, though they may be unable naturally to account for it. And the more we grow and prosper, the more our enemies are angry with us. They are angry with us because we told them, thirty years ago, that calamity would come upon this nation. Their anger still increases, while they are drinking of the bitter cup; and at the same time the Saints are increasing in numbers, in faith, in hope, in wealth and in power. I have talked with men who professed to be gentlemen and dispensers of life and salvation to the people, who, Pharaoh-like, declared that they would rather be damned than believe that Joseph Smith was a true Prophet of God. I promised them they should have their choice.[2]
  • We are under no necessity of sending forth the Elders of Israel in the condition that we have hitherto had to do; in fact, it would not be safe for a man to shoulder his valise and tramp through the States as the Elders used to do. Bloodshed, robbery, murder, jay-hawking (a polite name for robbery,) stalks abroad throughout the land, and the only chance for safety is for every man to pass along about his business and be silent; this is the case in many parts of the country. The fact that Joseph Smith predicted the present trouble and state of affairs—prophesied the result of mobbing the Saints in Missouri and elsewhere, enrages them; instead of the fulfillment of that prophecy making the people of the country friendly to us, it makes them bloodthirsty, more filled with hell, more eager to waste and destroy and crush out the last remaining particle of truth that may exist on the face of the land.[3]
  • These things ought to be a warning to us. We comfort our souls sometimes on the fulfillment of the prophecies of God. We say "Mormonism" must be true because Joseph Smith prophesied thus and so concerning a division of this nation, and that the calamities which are now causing it to mourn should commence in South Carolina. That is true, he did prophecy that, and did foretell the events that have since transpired, and did tell where the commencement of those difficulties should originate. Well, if this is true, are not other things true? If it is true that the Lord has revealed a certain amount of truth in relation to these matters, is it not as true that He has revealed other truths in which we are as individuals interested; and if it is true that God has commenced to deal with other nations as He is doing with this until war and desolation shall spread through the earth, it is just as true that we ought to be very careful what we are doing to secure the favor of God and to fulfill our destiny upon the earth in a manner which will meet his designs.[4]

For further discussion on the Saints' attitude to the Civil War, both before and after its outbreak, see Attitude of Saints to Civil War prophecy.

Every student of United States history is acquainted with the facts establishing a complete fulfilment of this prophecy. In 1861, more than twenty-eight years after the foregoing prediction was recorded, and ten years after its publication in England, the Civil War broke out. It is known the Confederate States solicited aid of Great Britain. While no open alliance between the Southern States and the English government was effected, British influence gave indirect assistance and substantial encouragement to the South, and this in such a way as to produce serious international complications. 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. The Confederacy appointed commissioners to Great Britain and France; these appointees were forcibly taken by United States officers from the British steamer on which they had embarked. This act, which the United States government had to admit as overt, threatened for a time to precipitate a war between this nation and Great Britain.[5]


  1. Wilford Woodruff, (July 27, 1862) Journal of Discourses 10:13.
  2. Brigham Young, (September 28, 1862) Journal of Discourses 10:4.
  3. George A. Smith, (April 6, 1863) Journal of Discourses 10:144.
  4. John Taylor, (October 25, 1863) Journal of Discourses 10:278.
  5. James E. Talmage, The Articles of Faith (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1981[1899]), 25-26.