Was the Civil War Prophecy About the Civil War?

by: FireTag

April 2, 2011

During the past several weeks, as rebellion spread from country to country in the Middle East, a local evangelical church — whose members include several business clients and personal friends of our family —  has been advertising an “end-times” series on the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy regarding the Latter Days. Some of the advertising has been slick, and the personal appeals to come and hear have been heartfelt and positive. I’m not sure how quickly they think the “rapture” is coming, but the message coming across is: believe, be reassured, and ultimately escape that which is to come.

Fundamentalist Jews have been raising similar concerns about events in the Middle East on the basis of OT prophecies about all nations turning against Israel. This has been happening with increasing intensity since the rise of Iran’s alliance with Syria and the Hizballah and Hamas proxies, a process that’s been going on for several years, not weeks.

As Leon Neyfakh wrote in the Boston Globe on March 27th, 2011:

“The feeling of witnessing history as it unfolds before your eyes is one of those singular and uncanny things that really deserves its own word in German. It’s a feeling many of us have gotten used to over the past several months, thanks in large part to events in the Middle East that have appeared every bit as dramatic as anything we ever read in our high school textbooks. Processing the unrest in real time from half a world away has been humbling; the speed of events, and the fact that no one saw them coming, has made even short-term predictions seem like a fool’s errand. Even so, as bombs fall over Libya and protesters clash with government forces in Bahrain, Yemen, and Syria, the impulse to understand what’s going on is extremely strong. To that end, people have reacted by doing what they often do when confronted with high-stakes uncertainty about the future; they’ve turned to the past.”

As someone whose grandparents’ conversion to the Restoration was accompanied by miraculous signs, and whose mother took very seriously the notion that we were the church of the latter days, I became aware at a young age that Mormon scriptures have their own end-times focus.

That story has distinct LDS and RLDS versions because of the different canons embraced and the doctrinal divergences between the traditions that occurred in the 1840’s and have continued since. However, both share an emphasis on events in the Western Hemisphere that does not contradict the evangelicals’ storyline but certainly complicates it.

For example, there are lengthy prophetic visions portrayed in the Book of Mormon that basically end with “don’t write the rest of this because that’s the job of John the Revelator” (whoever John actually is). The comparison between the Restoration and Evangelical views of the end-times is a bit like looking at a pair of histories of WW2 in which one history focuses on the European Theater and the other on the Pacific Theater.

I am, accordingly,  very curious to see whether and how the leadership of the Latter Day Saints and the Community of Christ will address current world political and economic events when they address their denominations formally beginning with the LDS Conference today.  (The President of the Community of Christ gives his annual address to the church on April 10.)

_____________

Not all of the Restoration teachings about the end-times have ever made it into the canon of either the LDS or the RLDS/Community of Christ traditions, even though it is certainly recognized by both that Joseph Smith claimed them as authentic prophecies and stood by them throughout his life. One of the more interesting of these examples is the “Civil War Prophecy”:

REVELATION AND PROPHECY ON WAR.

GIVEN THROUGH JOSEPH, THE SEER, DECEMBER 25TH, 1832

“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.

“The days will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at that place.

“For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and thus war shall be poured out upon all nations.

“And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war:

“And it shall come to pass also, that the remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation;

“And thus, with the sword, and by bloodshed, the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquakes, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed, hath made a full end of all nations;

“That the cry of the Saints, and of the blood of the Saints, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabbaoth, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies.

“Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold it cometh quickly, saith the Lord.   Amen.”

I first came across the Civil War Prophecy when I undertook a personal spiritual growth project as a boy to read the official RLDS church history from cover to cover. (It was not nearly as ambitious as it sounds; the official history hadn’t even been written past the late 19th Century, as I recall.) The history was designed to be fully “faith-promoting”. It was presented as an accurate, detailed prediction of the American Civil War — right down to the starting point at Fort Sumter.

I was probably in college before someone pointed out to me that in the 1820’s, South Carolina was actually closer to rebellion than in either the 1840’s or 1850’s, so predicting a Civil War in 1832 was not an example that should be used to evidence one’s prophetic calling. Critics also note that although the southern states did call upon Great Britain for aid, Britain provided only trade to the Confederacy until it was choked off by the Union blockade. Other nations never became involved in the American Civil War. To the contrary, there were also major European-wide rebellions between the prophecy in 1832 and the outbreak of the American Civil War that had nothing to do with either America or Great Britain.

However, the time when I read the Civil War Prophecy was also the time when my English teachers were being very demanding about learning to diagram sentences and noting the proper use of antecedent pronouns. So, in reading the church history, with all of the canonized and non-canonized revelations printed in detail in the footnotes, I quickly realized two things that should never be forgotten about Joseph Smith’s writing style.

First, Joseph never met a run-on sentence he didn’t like. Periods were for scribes, not prophets.

Second, a “he” or “they” at the end or middle of such a run-on sentence need never refer to the same “he” or “they” being discussed at the beginning of the sentence. Readers are on their own to keep up with the pronoun changes.

This suggests that the Civil War Prophecy might be less about the American Civil War, and more about events to come after the Civil War.

Interpret the comma after the phrase “Great Britain, as it is called” as a period instead, and a much more intriguing further prophecy emerges:

“And they [Great Britain] shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and thus war shall be poured out upon all nations.”

Is that not a concise and correct description of World War I and World War II – world-wide violence between two alliances centered on or against Great Britain? (Remember that the US and Russia didn’t even become targeted by the Axis until 2 years after the invasion of Poland, the evacuation of Dunkirk, and the conquest of the French!)

Following such an interpretation would also suggest something about the phrase “after many days” which occurs in the next paragraph of the prophecy.

The timeframe applicable to “slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war” would be at minimum longer than the gap between 1865 and 1945, i. e., some time after 2025, because no emphasis on delay was noted in the transition from the Civil War to the World Wars. The time when the “remnants who are left of the land” (typically used to speak of the Book of Mormon peoples who archeology seems to suggest as related to the Mayan culture if they are to have an historical basis in fact) “shall vex the Gentiles” also must occur on that time frame or longer. Indeed, the historical forces might trail out over long periods of time once the process has begun. Rome fell over centuries.

What do we make of today’s events in light of such a Joseph Smith’s “Not-Civil War Prophecy”? Are the historical forces we see building toward a collision — between the third world on one side and the “colonial powers” and incipient empire of the West and North on the other — signs of slaves who shall yet rise up against their masters? Is this  “Arab Spring” to be like the European revolutions of the mid-19th century that were quickly repressed and left no great mark?

Or do we think that we are still in the phase of alliances built around Great Britain? Are we still trying to untangle the consequences of the borders drawn in the Arab world by the Europeans a century ago? Is a War that is already covering an extent (if not intensity) greater than the Western Front of WW1 a potential addition to the list of World Wars?

We also see the relative resurgence of the Mayan people immigrating and growing in power within Central America and in the US. Is the resurgent influence of these “remnants” a sign that the Western Hemisphere’s unique parts of the narrative that the prophecy suggests are coming into play more rapidly than we have imagined as well? Are we seeing only the opening rumblings of an awakening geopolitical volcano? The initial eruptions are frightening enough, but what if they are only precursors to the main blast that will reveal that our pretensions of being in control of our national fates are laughable before the unfolding drama of God?

Or is the Civil War Prophecy something we’d rather see stay buried in the footnotes as a teaching we never canonized and can ignore?

I don’t know about the Prophecy, but I do believe in and stand on one principle here. God’s will is directed toward the salvation of human souls within a new creation — the Kingdom of God — in human history: a planetary-civilization that acknowledges His transcendence even as it experiences His immanence.

The content of the prophecy can be reconciled to that overall Divine purpose if it is not interpreted as being about Fort Sumter. It is also fully compatible with God’s hand being extended in protection and mercy toward individuals and groups (as portrayed throughout the Mormon canon) which are obedient to that purpose. However, it offers no such guarantee toward nation-states and lesser institutions on which the modern world is built. What it promises is unimaginable change to our lives for salvation or destruction, not escape from anything.

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23 Responses to Was the Civil War Prophecy About the Civil War?

  1. Dan on April 2, 2011 at 10:18 AM

    I say keep it in the footnotes. The “Civil War” prophecy cannot fit with the events of World War I or World War II.

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  2. kuri on April 2, 2011 at 10:48 AM

    “The rebellion of South Carolina” wasn’t a prophecy, it was an obvious reference to something that was already happening when the revelation was given.

    I heard the World Wars I and II interpretation from an Institute teacher back in the day. I guess the prophecy is vague enough that you can make that sort of fit, since it doesn’t fit the Civil War.

    That teacher also said that the “slaves rising against their masters” part could be referring to the wars for independence waged all over Africa, Asia, etc., during the 1940s through 1960s. I think that actually fits better than anything happening today.

    The “remnants who vex the Gentiles,” according to that teacher, probably refer to “Lamanites,” maybe to South American countries asserting their own power versus that of the USA.

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  3. FireTag on April 2, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    Kuri:

    Thanks for the comment. I had not known that LDS had previously considered the WW1 and WW2 interpretation.

    I will point out that JS continued to advocate the truth of the prophecy AFTER the nullification crisis of 1832 ended in SC, as I noted in the OP. If the prophecy was not hogwash (and prophets, like baseball hitters, don’t bat 1.000), JS thought it meant something further in the future.

    While I would agree that the de-colonialization of the post-war period was certainly a period of slaves rising against masters, it was NOT characterized by the powers being marshalled and arrayed for war EXCEPT AGAINST EACH OTHER. One might better think of the “Cold War” as a third world war. It was NOT cold in proxy wars in Asia, Africa, the MidEast, or Latin America. Millions died in Cambodia alone, and that was empire versus empire.

    The “remnants”, I agree, are the Lamanites, but I would note that the leading candidate for an historical interpretation of the term among Mormon scholars is the limited geography theories that do NOT encompass South America.

    What I am really trying to get at is the question of whether Mormons, like evangelicals, can be comfortable with their own apocalyptic scriptures in times of great economic and political stress.

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  4. Dan on April 2, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    Firetag,

    What I am really trying to get at is the question of whether Mormons, like evangelicals, can be comfortable with their own apocalyptic scriptures in times of great economic and political stress.

    I’m not sure what you mean. Personally, I’ve come to realize that apocalyptic scriptures are no use to me in my personal life.

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  5. FireTag on April 2, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    Dan:

    That would be a “no” vote, which doesn’t surprise me. Apocalypse goes more with the Christian right than the Christian left, and you aren’t part of the Christian right, I know.

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  6. Dan on April 2, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    haha, no I am not. :)

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  7. kuri on April 2, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    Well, I don’t believe in prophecies, but I think Joseph deserves credit for insight. Even though South Carolina was already “rebelling” and civil war wasn’t far-fetched, it wasn’t inevitable either. So he should get some credit for correctly predicting that it would eventually culminate in a war.

    But returning to the interpretation my Institute teacher spoke of, although he didn’t say this explicitly, I think the idea was that there are a number of “thought units” in the passage, and that they are more important than the sentences or the versification.

    So you have a number of separate but related “war prophecies,” i.e.,
    1) North vs. South = Civil War
    2) Great Britain and world wars
    3) Slaves vs. masters = Colonies fighting for independence vs. imperial powers
    4) Remnants vs. gentiles = “Lamanite” countries vs. USA
    5) Near-universal wars

    In the many wars of independence during the 40s-60s, the “masters” certainly fought back in most cases, so that was why, according to that interpretation, it could be said that they were “marshaled and disciplined for war.”

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  8. FireTag on April 2, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    Kuri:

    Could you expand on the distinction you make between insight and prophecy?

    I can see a case for your point 3, but I can’t think of examples other than India of throwing off a master without first getting into the orbit of an outside imperial power. Iran maybe in the 1979 revolution, but the rise of that wanna-be empire is still very much ongoing.

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  9. kuri on April 2, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    “Prophecy” would be a god telling someone something that would happen in the future. “Insight” (in this context) is a smart person figuring out and predicting something that will happen in the future.

    I think the idea in 3) is basically decolonization (in Africa, for example), which was often (though not necessarily) accomplished through violence.

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  10. FireTag on April 2, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    Then, if you believe the colonial wars in Africa were thought block 3, we would still be in that phase, right? Because the civil wars in much of Africa have been more or less continuous, with the dead in violence in the Ivory Coast this week exceeding that in Libya, and struggles over the resources in sub-Saharan Africa enveloping multiple former colonies and killing millions) at least since the 1970’s. I just don’t think the vast majority of that fighting has been against the colonial powers.

    Relying on “Insight” as you define it gets slippery, when experts can’t seem to predict today’s disorienting events a few weeks in advance.

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  11. kuri on April 2, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    No, we wouldn’t still be in that phase, because it’s no longer Africans (“slaves”) fighting Europeans (“masters”) for independence. Now it’s Africans against Africans. So I guess that would be more like a part of stage 5).

    “Relying on “Insight” as you define it gets slippery, when experts can’t seem to predict today’s disorienting events a few weeks in advance.”

    Sure. Prophecy is much better, because you can just apply it retroactively to almost anything you want. ;)

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  12. FireTag on April 2, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    If it’s stage 5, there was no stage 4, and the prophecy would still appear to be falsified.

    “Sure. Prophecy is much better, because you can just apply it retroactively to almost anything you want. :D ”

    And here I thought being a PUNDIT meant never having to say you’re sorry. :D

    Jokes aside, this does get to the core of how and whether one believes in prophecy. A prophet, IMO, is not one who sees what is going to happen, but one who sees what God intends to do. It’s active, not passive.

    It may be beyond the scope of this post to talk about all of the issues of free will (for both God and man) that come forward in theology, particularly when modern cosmology is considered, but God is quite capable of disposing of what He proposes.

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  13. Douglas on April 2, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    The prophecy is only partly a “prediction” about the Civil War.
    Many confuse the “nullification” crisis of 1832 with the opening of the so-called “Civil War” (we Suthunuhs do prefuh that conflict being described as the “War between the States”, or “War of Southern Independece”, or “War of Union Agression” because there wasn’t anything particular CIVIL about it, folks! ). Both have South Carolina in common. However, there was no serious thought of South Carolina actually seceding from the US, merely reserving as a part of the Tenth Amendment the right to “nullify” Federal law when said law conflicted with its own. It should be pointed out that during the War of 1812 that the New England states, led by Massachusetts Bay (as it was then known, it included what is known as Maine), threatened their own secession!
    The real thrust is that the crisis that was then extant (1832), was but the beginning, and that afterwards war would be ‘poured out unto the Nations’. Specifics were only given about the so-called “Civil War’, and even then not in detail to a historian’s liking. What has transpired in the 179 years since could not have been readily foreseen by even the most astute, and Smith, though gifted by the Holy Ghost and his prophetic office, was not necessarily the most educated man. Which makes this particular prophecy even more remarkable.

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  14. kuri on April 2, 2011 at 10:00 PM

    FireTag,

    Yeah, I think my teacher would have liked to say we’re already in 5) (this was in the ’80s, BTW), but he didn’t have a good application for 4) and I think he didn’t want to skip ahead, so he never said explicitly that we were. :D

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  15. Jon on April 2, 2011 at 11:37 PM

    Interesting take on that revelation. Many people (among the Lew Rockwellians) see the Civil War as the downward spiral of the US when we forgot our roots and had our first truly bad president (Lincoln) which lead the US to become more corrupted, which would lead to the US becoming more interventionist. As we can see from that past 50+ years the US has itself been pouring out war among all nations which has caused dictators and puppet republics to rise, which is an enslavement of the people.

    This remark:

    It is also fully compatible with God’s hand being extended in protection and mercy toward individuals and groups (as portrayed throughout the Mormon canon) which are obedient to that purpose. However, it offers no such guarantee toward nation-states and lesser institutions on which the modern world is built. What it promises is unimaginable change to our lives for salvation or destruction, not escape from anything.

    …Of this scripture (I am sure there are many more, like you said).

    And it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a bland of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints of the Most High God; And the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion. And it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety. And there shall be gathered unto it out of every nation under heaven; and it shall be the only people that shall not be at war one with another. And it shall be said among the wicked: Let us not go up to battle against Zion, for the inhabitants of Zion are terrible; wherefore we cannot stand. And it shall come to pass that the righteous shall be gathered out from among all nations, and shall come to Zion, singing with songs of everlasting joy.

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  16. Watcher on April 4, 2011 at 12:49 AM

    I have always felt like virtually all of the mainstream interpretations of this prophecy largely represent misinterpretations of what was being said.

    I think it was meant to be that way but I also think that the time is at hand when some people will begin to read scripture differently than they previously have.

    Others will see what the prophetic interpretations of scripture meant, even if after the fact.

    First of all, I would suggest that every thing after “AND” in the beginning of verse two (lds editions) is referring to an end times scenario that is yet to come to pass-

    1 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;
    2 ***AND*** [new thought] the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at THIS PLACE.

    That is not to say that South Carolina will not have a place in future events since prophecy often has dual fulfillment’s.

    Secondly, the term “THIS PLACE” at the end of verse two, contrary to popular belief, is not referring to the topic of South Carolina as presented in the first verse, but rather, it is referring to WHERE THE REVELATION WAS GIVEN, which was in the Kirtland area.

    In other words, the war that is to break out in the end times upon all nations will start in Kirtland Ohio.

    I realize this suggestion will seem very strange, but I think that time will bear me out on this.

    (Kirtland has yet to play an incredible role in prophecy)

    There are two things to consider that support this supposition.

    The first is that virtually always the term “this place” in other modern scriptures has reference to WHERE the revelation was given, regardless of whether it was given in the land of Zion or Kirtland, etc.

    Here are just a few examples of how the term is being used in modern revelation when referring to Kirtland, when the revelation was given in Kirtland-

    “And from THIS PLACE ye shall go forth into the regions westward”

    “for this is not wisdom until the residue of the church, which remaineth in THIS PLACE, shall go up unto the land of Zion.”

    “Tarry ye, tarry ye in THIS PLACE, and call a solemn assembly, even of those who are the first laborers in this last kingdom.”

    Secondly, I would suggest that other prophecies support the supposition that the vengeance of the Lord that begins the desolation and wars that break out all over the world at some time in the future, will begin at the House of the Lord (Kirtland Temple).

    Here is an example-

    Section 112-

    “Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord.
    25 And upon MY HOUSE shall it begin, and from MY HOUSE shall it go forth, saith the Lord… concerning the affairs of my church in THIS PLACE, saith the Lord;

    Section 133 provides a possible second witness for the supposition in section 112 that the vengeance of the Lord will begin at the Kirtland Temple-

    The Lord who shall suddenly COME TO HIS TEMPLE; the Lord who shall come down upon the world with a curse to judgment; yea, UPON ALL THE NATIONS that forget God, and upon all the ungodly among you.
    3 For he shall make bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of their God.

    Lastly, I would suggest that “SLAVES” is not referring to a race war between blacks and whites.

    Rather it is referring to the inhabitants of this nations who for many years naively thought that they were a free people, but they eventually awake to the shocking realization that they are in financial and temporal bondage to a secret combination that controls the fiat currency, economy and political mechanisms of the nation and world.

    “slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war”

    This interpretation and the fact that an angry group of people will marshal themselves against the PTB is supported by the Book of Mormon and also by an unpublished revelation that predicts that angry men will destroy the government when they finally figure out how the PTB have enslaved Americans and stolen the wealth of the masses in America.

    I realize these interpretations seem ridiculous at this time, but things can change very quickly and time will tell.

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  17. FireTag on April 4, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    Watcher:

    You do have an unusual interpretation, but I find it an interesting one. Because Kirtland has always been a place of great spiritual insight and peace for me,

    http://www.wheatandtares.org/2011/03/05/endowment-from-the-viewpoint-of-a-dummy/

    it’s difficult for me to picture it as a place of violence in the future that is connected to the end-times, particularly since it is not in LDS hands.

    However, I suppose one could say that the fighting in the Temple in the later 1830’s was the signal that God was going to plan B as discussed in 3 Nephi 21. If the church could not avoid such violence in its holiest place at the time, they certainly were going to be an insufficient witness to the Gentiles.

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  18. Watcher on April 4, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    Firetag

    It is interesting that you bring up the fighting that took place in the temple during the 2nd watch. I believe it is a type of the fighting that will take place in the 3rd watch.

    Also, you said-

    “it’s difficult for me to picture it as a place of violence in the future that is connected to the end-times, particularly since it is not in LDS hands.”

    The fact that it is not in the hands of the LDS church is actually part of the prophetic future of the temple.

    Please keep in mind the prophetic dream that JS had the night before the Martyrdom where in he dreamed of returning to his “farm” (consecrated land of Kirtland?)

    “I was back in Kirtland, Ohio, and thought I would take a walk out by myself, and view my old farm, which I found grown up with weeds and brambles, and altogether bearing evidence of neglect and want of culture.”

    He then went into the “barn” ( the temple?) and observed that it was in bad shape. (had not been kept from unholy things as commanded-

    “I went into the barn, which I found without floor or doors, with the weather – boarding off, and was altogether in keeping with the farm.”

    While Joseph is viewing the “curse” that was upon the temple, those who do own it at the time of Joseph’s return will not greet him the way they should-

    “While I viewed the desolation around me, and was contemplating how it might be recovered from the curse upon it, there came rushing into the barn a company of furious men, who commenced to pick a quarrel with me.

    The leader of the party ordered me to leave the barn and farm, stating it was none of mine, and that I must give up all hope of ever possessing it.

    I told him the farm was given me by the Church, and although I had not had any use of it for some time back, still I had not sold it, and according to righteous principles it belonged to me or the Church.

    He then grew furious and began to rail upon me, and threaten me, and said it never did belong to me nor to the Church.

    I then told him that I did not think it worth contending about, that I had no desire to live upon it in its present state, and if he thought he had a better right I would not quarrel with him about it but leave; but my assurance that I would not trouble him at present did not seem to satisfy him, as he seemed determined to quarrel with me, and threatened me with destruction of my body.”

    After Joseph left the temple, several other factions of the apostate church began fighting over who owned the temple.

    “While he was thus engaged, pouring out his bitter words upon me, a rabble rushed in and nearly filled the barn, drew out their knives, and began to quarrel among themselves for the premises, and for a moment forgot me, at which time I took the opportunity to walk out of the barn about up to my ankles in mud.

    When I was a little distance from the barn, I heard them screeching and screaming in a very distressed manner, as it appeared they had engaged in a general fight with their knives. While they were thus engaged, the dream or vision ended.”

    One possible interpretation of the dream is that all of the different factions of the apostate saints of the LDS restoration movement will be fighting over who really owns the temple.

    God will of course cleanse it as promised.

    After the curse is removed, the promises in section 88 will be realized as the first laborers of the last kingdom return to have their solemn assembly and finish their callings in ushering in the dispensation of the fulness of times and the Marvelous Work.

    It is in this context that I believe the Lord promised the saints in Nauvoo that Kirtland would be “built up” at some time in the future however he warned them to not return to Kirtland until after the “scourge” goes forth that he has planned for Kirtland.

    “…nevertheless, I, the Lord, will build up Kirtland, but I, the Lord, have a scourge prepared for the inhabitants thereof.”

    I personally love Kirtland and the temple. I try to make a pilgrimage there every year.

    However, I have no desire to return and gather there until after the scourge goes forth from there and the curse is lifted.

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  19. Watcher on April 4, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    PS

    I found your following post interesting

    http://www.wheatandtares.org/2011/03/05/endowment-from-the-viewpoint-of-a-dummy/

    and agree that the scriptural definition of endowment has to do with a spiritual endowment from heaven, not an earthly ritual with signs and tokens and secret handshakes, etc.

    However I had a bit of a disconnect when I saw a picture of Christ appearing to Joseph and Oliver in the Kirtland Temple at the top of your post.

    Do you believe that event really took place?

    If so, are you in the majority or minority of the RLDS?

    I remember visiting the Kirtland Temple many years ago and asking a question about the visit of Moses, Elijah and Elias to Joseph and Oliver (section 110 lds version of D&C) and the RLDS tour guide looked me with a blank look on their face and said they did know what I was talking about.

    I later found out that at that time, many RLDS did not believe the event took place.

    Conversely, now when I visit the temple, the RLDS tour guides actually bring up the event and talk about it. During my last visit I asked the tour guide if they believed the event took place and they just smiled at me…

    Joseph, Oliver and Oliver’s brother who recorded the event in the journal never publicly spoke about that event during the remainder of their lives. They intentionally kept it a secret. I assume the Lord commanded them to keep it a secret.

    Brigham Young and company had the journal in their possession when they went to Utah and I suppose they were quite shocked when they read the account in the journal.

    It was not made publicly made known until many years later it was published in the Deseret News.

    40 years after the event it was finally canonized in the LDS version of the D&C.

    It would be interesting to know how your faction views that event today and if they officially accept it as an authentic part of the restoration history.

    PS
    For those interested in the history of section 110 and how it became canonized, see the Trevor Anderson Master’s Thesis located here

    http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/ETD&CISOPTR=2146&CISOBOX=1&REC=1

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  20. FireTag on April 4, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    Watcher:

    One thing about our little “faction” is that we lack all of the neat artwork the LDS has. I chose the picture primarily to illustrate the non-ritualistic view of endowment of the early church.

    Another thing about the RLDS / CofChrist tradition is that there is no longer an orthodoxy about our history that one could say with confidence that most of the CofChrist believe. In the non-American church which constitutes an increasing minority of our membership, and may soon be a majority of our active membership, many of our converts regard as unimportant teachings which most LDS (and certainly more traditional American members like me) regard as essential to bothering with the Restoration versus Protestantism.

    In the post I linked, there is a further link to a Mormon Heretic thread

    http://www.mormonheretic.org/2011/01/30/kirtland-temple-history-and-worship/

    that transcribes an interview with two of the best Temple historians in the CofChrist regarding our understandings of the temple.

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  21. FireTag on April 8, 2011 at 9:56 PM

    Tonight’s (EST) news on Israeli news sources:

    http://debka.com/article/20831/

    “Before dawn Saturday, April 9, Hamas inflicted its heaviest missile blitz yet on southern Israel – acting now on Hizballah guidelines. More than a dozen heavy Grad missiles were aimed at seven Israeli cities injuring 10 civilians. One missed Israel’s nuclear research reactor at Nahal Soreq; more landed outside Kiryat Gat, Ofakim, Beersheba and Ashkelon. The two Iron Dome systems intercepted six of the Grads fired at Beersheba, Ashkelon and Ashdod. The IDF responded by hitting three senior Hamas commanders in Gaza.”

    Still time to change your answer to the question of the OP. The polls will close when we decide we actually ARE in a general Middle East War.

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  22. Migiddos — Part 1? | Wheat and Tares on April 30, 2011 at 8:17 AM

    […] I noted in a post on the Civil War Prophecy here on Wheat and Tares at the beginning of the month the speed and unpredictability of events since the beginning of the “Arab Spring” keeps […]

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  23. Navel Gazing: One Year Later… | Wheat and Tares on October 10, 2011 at 3:02 AM

    […] Was the Civil War Prophecy About the Civil War? […]

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