Church News - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Prophecy preceeded conflict by 28 years

Published: Saturday, June 19, 1993

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On Christmas day in 1832, Joseph Smith received a revelation prophesying the war between the Northern States and the Southern States. The prophecy was made nearly three decades before the first shots were fired in the Civil War.

In Jesus the Christ, Elder James E. Talmage wrote concerning the prophecy: "Every student of United States history is acquainted with the facts establishing a complete fulfillment of this astounding prophecy. In 1861, more than 28 years after the foregoing [Section 87T was recorded, and ten years after its publication in England, the Civil War broke out, beginning in South Carolina. The ghastly records of that fraticidal strife sadly support the prediction concerning `the death and misery of many souls' (D&C 87:1), though this constituted but a partial fulfillment. It is known that slaves deserted the South and were marshaled in the armies of the North, and that the Confederate States solicited aid of Great Britain. (See verses 3-4.) 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. . . ."A careful study of the Revelation and Prophecy on War, given, as stated, through the Prophet Joseph Smith, December 25, 1832, makes plain that the conflict between North and South in America was to be, as now we know it to have been, but the beginning of a new era of strife and bloodshed. The Lord's words were definite in predicting wars `beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina'; and declared further: `And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place.' (D&C 87:2.) The great World War, 1914-18, embroiled, directly or indirectly, every nation of the earth. . . .

"The revelation cited, as given through Joseph Smith, contained other predictions, some of which are yet awaiting fulfillment. The evidence presented is sufficient to prove that Joseph Smith is prominent among men by reason of his instrumentality in fulfilling prophecies uttered by the Lord's representatives in former times, and that his own place as a prophet is abundantly vindicated."