I have wrestled with the matter of whether or not to put these pages on-line. LDS are pretty defensive about this approach, which seems like a direct attack. But the Bible does warn us to “beware” of false prophets. This info is useful in obeying that command. Further, everyone knows the standard “testimony” of Mormons relates to their confidence in the church, the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith. Yet, none of those who tell me these things have ever put Smith to God’s Biblical test for a prophet. We are told in Deut. 18:20-22 how to test a prophet. It says that if “the thing” prophesied does not come to pass, then we are not to fear (or revere as a prophet) such a person. Note that it doesn’t say “the things”...but limits the test to any ONE prophecy. With that in mind, let us look at SEVERAL of the prophecies of Joseph Smith.
The fact is that a list of over 55 (false) prophecies of Joseph Smith has been compiled by former LDS Elder, Dick Baer, who printed it up to demonstrate to his friends and family why he was leaving the church. Here are some of them:
Lyman Johnson Vol. 3:20
- July 1831, Doctrine & Covenants 51:1-3 names Independence, Missouri as the center place of Zion. And D & C 62:1, 6 and 9 say the saints would be preserved and rejoice together in the land of Missouri. But they were not preserved in the land of Missouri (they were driven out) and did not rejoice. While this was a promise to the FAITHFUL, the fact that no one was able to be preserved and rejoice in Missouri(their being driven out was a catastrophe) would indicate that all the Mormons had become unfaithful. So even if we make this conditional it would suggest a TOTAL apostasy in this new church. That would throw a question on the whole authority/priesthood issue, would it not?
- D & C 84:2-5, 31 and 114-115 say a new Jerusalem temple was to be built IN JOSEPH SMITH’S GENERATION in Zion (Missouri) on the temple lot. It was not built.
- D & C 87 (Civil War Prophecy) It is interesting to me that this is a prophecy LDS claim was fulfilled. South Carolina had already rebelled when Smith wrote of “the rebellion of South Carolina”, but that rebellion did NOT spark the civil war (1833) - the war began in 1860. Though Great Britain was called on, it did NOT get involved in the war, and contrary to the prophecy, war was not poured out on all the nation. Nor did the slaves rise up against their masters as a major part of the war... it was primarily a war of white men against white men, North against South.
- Doc. & Cov. 103:13-25 speaks to the men of Zion's camp, who were organized to march to Missouri and RESCUE the Mormons there (see vs. 24). Verse 25 promises they (those men of Zion's camp) would avenge God's
enemies. But in the History of the Church, Vol. 3, pages XXXIX and following is described the utter FAILURE of Zion's camp to avenge anyone of anything! God's OWN presence (vs. 19) supposedly went with them...but the
whole thing failed!
- D & C 111:1-11 (August 6, 1836). Regarding Salem, Massachusetts: “I have much treasure in this city for you... I will give this city into your hands... and its wealth pertaining to gold and silver shall be yours.” There is no record that either the city or any of its wealth ever came to Smith. While this promise was supposed to happen "in due time" (so it has been suggested that it may happen later), Smith and his men were IN SALEM when the revelation came, and left there
very disappointed at not having gotten any treasure, as they did not interpret the use of the word "you" in the revelation to mean some OTHER people in some OTHER century.
- D & C 112 is a “revelation given through Joseph Smith to Thomas B. Marsh at Kirtland, Ohio, July 23, 1837.” It says God knows Thomas’ heart and he has a great work for him to do; he was chosen to hold the keys of the kingdom. Marsh was president of the 12 at that time, but apostatized 15 months later (Doct. Hist. of the Church III, pp. 155-167).
- D & C 114, dated April 17, 1838, says, “Verily, thus saith the Lord: it is wisdom in my servant, David W. Patten, that he may perform a mission unto me next spring...” But Patten died October 15, 1838 (D.H.C. III, pp. 170-171).
- D & C 115:1-12. The saints were commanded to build a house to the Lord in Far West, Missouri, “until it is finished, from the cornerstone unto the top thereof, until there shall not anything remain that is not finished.” Though the foundation was laid, the temple was never built (there was a move on to Nauvoo).
- D & C 124:56-60 says the “Nauvoo House” was to be built and belong to the Smith family forever, and was to be a place of refreshment for visitors. But the house never was completed; that area is now owned by the Reorganized LDS church. In verse 63 of this section it gives instructions on issuing stock for the house that was never built. Why would a God who knew the future command such a deception to be told to his own people?
- Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 302: “I prophesy in the name of the Lord God of Israel, unless the United States redress the wrongs committed upon the Saints in the state of Missouri...that in a few years the government will be utterly overthrown and wasted, and there will not be so much as a potsherd left.” The wrongs were never redressed.
- D & C 124:16-17 speaks of God’s acceptance of the work of John C. Bennett. But D H C, V, page 42, reveals that 3 months before this revelation and beyond, Bennett was involved in adultery.
- History of the Church, Vol. 2, page 182. Joseph Smith said that the coming of the Lord was “nigh — even 56 years should wind up the scene.” (Given in 1835)
- Church History, Vol. 2, pp. 380-381. Joseph Smith said he saw in a vision of the CELESTIAL kingdom “the 12 apostles of the Lamb who are now upon the earth.” But the History of the Church later records the apostasy and final excommunication of 5 of the 12 apostles referred to in this vision:
Luke Johnson - Vol. 2:528
William McLellin - Vol. 3:31
William Smith - Vol. 7:483
Thomas Marsh - Vol. 4:284
I wish to acknowledge that Joseph Smith did give one true prophecy as follows: “For although a man may have many revelations and have power to do many mighty works, yet if he BOASTS in his own strength and sets at naught the counsels of God, and follows after the dictates of his own will and carnal desires, he must FALL and incur the vengeance of a just God upon him.” (D & C 3:4, emphasis added)
Joseph Smith did boast in his own strength - that he had done more than even Jesus Christ (D H C 6:408-409). This boast was made in May of 1844. In June of 1844 Joseph Smith did fall (dead), not as a martyr, but in a gun battle in which he killed two and wounded one (Comprehensive History of the Church, pp. 284-285). He died not as a sheep going to slaughter, but as a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
“Beware of false prophets”
by Sharon Doty