The world economy was stagnant for much of world history until an explosion happened in 1830 (see the graph on the video thumbnail). This video discusses the dramatic fulfillment of the latter day prophecy given by the Biblical Prophet Joel after the gospel was restored in 1830. Many quotes are shared from latter day prophets and apostles from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (otherwise known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church) discussing the evidence.
Okay. On this video on the Evidences series, I’m excited to show you a phenomenal graph. One of my favorite graphs. I just love it, from one of my favorite books. But to lead up to that graph, I want to first give you a quote from Elder Joseph Fielding Smith, he became a prophet of the church, but this is when he was in the Quorum of the Twelve, General Conference, April 1966.
He said, “The words of the prophets are rapidly being fulfilled, but it is done on such natural principles that most of us fail to see it. Joel promised that the Lord would pour out his spirit upon all flesh: the sons and daughters should prophesy, old men should see dreams, and young men should see visions. Have you ever tried to associate the outpouring of knowledge, the great discoveries and inventions during the past 136 years … ” Remember this was 1966, “…with the restoration of the gospel?
“Do you not think there is some connection? It is not because we are more intelligent than our fathers that we have received this knowledge, but because God has willed it so in our generation. Yet men take the honor unto themselves and fail to recognize the hand of the Almighty in these things.”
Then if I could actually share that scripture there in Joel, but before I even do that, let’s look on the screen here of Joseph Smith History, verse 41 of that. This specific verse occurred in 1823 when the angel Moroni came to Joseph Smith, and this reads, “He, the angel Moroni also quoted the second chapter of Joel from the 28th verse to the last. He also said that this was not yet fulfilled, but was soon to be.”
Now, let’s look at some of these verses in Joel 3, Verse 28. “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy. Your old men shall dream dreams. Your young men shall see visions; And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit, and I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth.”
Now, to show you the graph, and this is from a book … Let me just show you. This book is called The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley, one of my favorite on my bookshelf in the business category here, but I just love this book. It’s fascinating. Check this chart out. 2000 years of history of the world economy, and this is on a per capita basis, so think of this as the economy overall for the world per person.
So if you look at this, this goes back to the birth of Christ, year zero basically, to the year 2000, and if you look at this chart, basically was flat. And then if you … and I actually took a ruler out and tried to figure out about where the chart started to go parabolic. Literally went almost straight up, and it was approximately the year 1830, which is when the gospel was restored. That’s when the Church started, and it is fascinating when you read about why.
You keep asking the questions, “why?” There’s lots of explanation as to why it happened here, but you have to keep saying, “But why did that happen? Why did that happen?” as light was poured out. Now, in the book here, I like what he said here. “The most fundamental feature of the modern world since 180, more profound than flight, radio, nuclear weapons or websites, more momentous than science, health and material well-being, has been the continuing discovery of increasing returns, so rapid that they outpace even the population explosion. The more you prosper, the more you can prosper. The more you invent, the more inventions become possible.”
In fact, this chapter is titled The Invention Of Invention. That happened in the early 1830s for some reason. “How can this be possible? The world of things, of pecans or power stations is indeed often subject to diminishing returns, but the world of ideas is not. The more knowledge you generate, the more you can generate, and the engine that is driving prosperity in the modern world is the accelerating generation of useful knowledge.”
Love that. Very cool. Okay, now some amazing quotes here. So, Elder Russell M. Nelson, our current prophet, when he was in the Quorum of the Twelve in conference April, 1990 said, “The Lord’s Spirit is being poured out upon all inhabitants of the earth, precisely as the prophet Joel foretold. His prophecy was of such significance that the angel Moroni reaffirmed it to the prophet Joseph Smith.
“For millennia, methods of farming, travel, and communication were largely unchanged from ancient techniques. Developments since the birth of Joseph Smith, however, have risen in remarkable contrast.”
Now 10 years later, President Faust put some numbers to this growth in a sense, and fascinating stats here. He says, “I do not believe that this great outpouring of knowledge happened by chance. All the secular knowledge did not come solely from the creative minds of men and women. Mankind has been on the earth a long time. Over the centuries, knowledge came at a snail’s pace.” You just saw the chart.
“I believe that the appearance of God the Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ in 1820 to Joseph Smith unlocked the heavens, not only to the great spiritual knowledge revealed in this dispensation, but also to secular knowledge. New ideas …” Here’s some numbers, “including scientific inventions and discoveries of better ways of doing things were being produced annually at 39 a year from 4,000 B.C. to 1 A.D. Contrast it to 3,840 new ideas a year in the 19th century. While today, they are created at the rate of 110,000 a year.”
Pretty phenomenal. Okay. President Hinckley put an exclamation point on this the next year. 2001 October General Conference. He says, “The era in which we live is the fullness of times spoken of in the scriptures, when God has brought together all of the elements of previous dispensations. From the day that He and His beloved Son manifested themselves to the boy Joseph, there has been a tremendous cascade of enlightenment poured out upon the world. The vision of Joel has been fulfilled.”
“Wherein he declared”, he quotes Joel. “…there has been more of scientific discovery during these years than during all of the previous history of mankind. Transportation, communication, medicine, public hygiene, the unlocking of the atom, the miracle of the computer with all of its ramifications, have blossomed forth, particularly in our own era. During my own lifetime, I have witnessed miracle after wondrous miracle come to pass. We take it for granted.”
So then, Elder Holland three years later told the young adults of the Church how this was benefiting the Church, the impact this was all having. We’ve been blessed, unlike any people in the history of the earth. He said, “Think about the missionaries.” At that time, this was in 2004, there were 55,000 missionaries out in 170 different countries. We published scriptures in over a hundred different languages. He was talking about all of these benefits that we have from a missionary perspective.
He talked about the temples. He said there was one temple in the old world. It was rebuilt several times in the same spot. The Book of Mormon times had just several temples and he says, “Think about all the temples throughout the world being built today.” He talked about the miracles of the computer and what that’s allowing us to do with family history work, and being able to perform the saving ordinances for our dead.
Modern transportation, allowing the First Presidency and the Twelves, and all the general authorities to travel throughout the globe, and even satellite broadcast to send the message out throughout the world, and the modern transportation allowing the work to move forward.
Then he finished with this at the end, and I’ll put this up on the screen. “Add all the elements of education, science, technology, communication, transportation, medicine, nutrition and revelation that surround us, and we begin to realize what the angel Moroni meant when he said repeatedly to the boy prophet Joseph Smith, quoting the Old Testament prophet Joel, that in the last days, God would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh and that the whole world, all humankind, would be blessed by the light coming in all fields of endeavor as part of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Then the final exclamation point on why and how. Go back to 1954, Elder Joseph Fielding Smith, a couple of snippets from this, published in his Doctrines of Salvation. He says, “Since the establishment of the gospel, these discoveries and inventions have been increasing more rapidly.” He says, “They all have a bearing upon the restoration of the gospel in preparation for the time which is yet future, but which is shortly to come when Christ shall reign on the earth, and for a thousand years peace shall be established. That is what it is all for.”
“I maintain that had there been no restoration of the gospel, and no organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day-Saints, there would have been no radio. There would have been no airplane, and there would have not been the wonderful discoveries in medicine, chemistry, electricity, and the many other things wherein the world has been benefited by such discoveries.”
“They belong to the dispensation of the fullness of times in which the restoration of the gospel and the organization of the Church constitute the central point from which radiates the Spirit of the Lord throughout the world. I do not believe for one moment that these discoveries have come by chance, or that they have come because of superior intelligence possessed by man today over those who lived in ages that are past. They have come and are coming because the time is right, because the Lord has willed it, and because He has poured out His Spirit on all flesh.”
Now in conclusion, I’m going to show you the graph one more time, and I’m going to read you a snippet about the time dividend that we’re getting from these inventions, and I want you to think and ponder about how this time dividend can help facilitate the work of God on earth. This has to do with light.
“So an hour of work today earns you 300 days worth of reading light. An hour of work in 1800 earned you 10 minutes of reading light. Or turn it around and ask how long you would have to work an extra hour of reading light, say the light of an 18 watt compact fluorescent light bulb burning for an hour.”
“Today, it will have cost you less than half a second of your working time if you are on the average wage. Half a second of work for an hour of light. In 1950, with a conventional filament lamp and then wage, you would have had to work for eight seconds to get the same amount of light.
“Had you been using a kerosene lamp in the 1880s, you would have had to work for about 15 minutes to get the same amount of light. A tallow candle in the 1800s, over six hours of work.” So think about that, the Restoration. Six hours of work for that, that would be half of one second today. “And to get that much light from a sesame oil lamp in Babylon in 1750 BC would have cost you more than 50 hours of work.
“So, let’s go back to the 1800s, from six hours to half a second. That’s a 43,200 fold improvement for an hour of light. That is how much better off you are than your ancestor was in 1800, using the currency that counts, your time.”
I hope you enjoyed this video. I thought it was an inspirational one on evidences of the restoration. Click for more videos, and subscribe.
The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley
Latter-day Saints’ Q&A is a video series not produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but by me, an ordinary member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, an independent voice, with a passion for studying Church history and defending the faith. In this series, I provide evidences for the restoration, and address tough questions posed by critics of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, offering faithful answers based on accurate research and historical references which will be posted at the end of each video.