This video goes over a number of prophecies Joseph Smith made which were fulfilled in amazing ways and are another evidence of the restoration.
So in this video on the Evidences series, we’re going to talk about the prophecies of Joseph Smith and there are a lot of them. I’m going to share my top two dozen roughly. In fact, the seminal work on this was done back in the early 80s, I think ’83, Duane Crowther, The Prophecies Of Joseph Smith: Over Four Hundred Prophecies by and about Joseph Smith and Their Fulfillment. He includes ones about Joseph and also in the Book of Mormon and things too. So kind of a broad definition.
Okay so there’s one thing I need to add for this video is there are two of Joseph’s greatest prophecies in many ways, that fulfill prophecies are on the Civil War and on The Word of Wisdom, the prophetic nature of what turned out to be the things in The Word of Wisdom. Those are so powerful. I did separate videos on both of those, so you can find those on the channel. But I wanted to add that’s why they’re not in this specific video.
These are some of my favorites, and I’m going to go in chronological order in a sense. So let’s start out with the first prophecy Joseph made. This was recorded by his mother, 1823, and it was given to his family. In fact, he said, you can lay this down. He says, “You can set it down as a prophecy.” That’s the way he worded it to his family. So if you look here he says, “You look, at Deacon Jessup and hear him talk very piously. Well, you think he is a very good man. Now suppose that one so his poor neighbors should owe him the value of a cow, and that this poor man had eight little children; moreover, that he should be taken sick and die, leaving his wife with one cow, but destitute of every other means of supporting herself and family. Now I tell you that Deacon Jessup, religious as he is, would not scruple to take the last cow from the poor widow and orphans in order to secure the debt. Notwithstanding, he himself had an abundance of everything.”
Now, we don’t have details of exactly what happened, but Lucy records this, “At that time, this seemed impossible to us, yet one year had scarcely expired when we saw Joseph’s prophecy literally fulfilled.” Interesting. Okay, 1831, Frederick G. Williams in D&C 64, verse 21 it says, “I will not that my servant Frederick G. Williams should sell his farm, for I, the Lord, will to retain a strong hold in the land of Kirtland, for the space of five years, in the which I will not overthrow the wicked, that thereby I may save some.” Now this was September of 1831. All of the problems in Kirtland really… and the violence and the persecutions reached a boiling point in 1836, 1837 just after five years. And in fact it was about six and a half years exactly, early 1838 that they were driven out there. So really interesting.
Okay. Brigham Young to someday preside over the Church. This was 1832, Brigham is a new convert, and this is recorded in the Comprehensive History of the Church. “In the evening a few of the brethren came in, and we conversed upon the things of the kingdom,” now this is Brigham Young speaking here. He says, “He called upon me to pray. In my prayer I spoke in tongues. As soon as we asked his opinion concerning the gift of tongues that was upon me, he told that was the pure Adamic language. Some said to him that they expected he would condemn the gift brother Brigham had, but he said, ‘No, it is of God and the time will come when Brigham Young will preside over this church.'”
Quite fascinating making that in 1832, especially when you hear this one. This was the very next year, 1833 Sidney Rigdon. If you recall the big succession crisis after the martyrdom between Sidney Rigdon and really Brigham Young, or the Twelve, Brigham was saying it really should be with the Twelve and he was the senior member of the Twelve, that where the key should fall, but this was in 1833 that Joseph wrote of his counselor, “Brother Sidney is a man whom I love, but he is not capable of that pure and steadfast love for those who are his benefactors that should characterize a President of the Church of Christ. This, with some other little things, such as selfishness and independence of mind, which too often manifested destroy the confidence of those who would lay down their lives for him. These are his faults. But notwithstanding these things, he is a very great and good man.”
Okay. This one is fascinating, the prophecy of the falling star. So Philo Dibble recorded the following here. This is a little long, but it’s fascinating to get a little bit of details here, what happened. On one occasion, “Joseph was preaching in Kirtland in the fall of the year 1833. Quite a number of persons were present who did not belong to the Church; and one man, more bitter and skeptical than the others, made note with pencil and paper of a prophecy uttered on that occasion, wherein Joseph said that ‘Forty days shall not pass and the stars shall fall from heaven.’ On the 39th day after the utterance of that prophecy, a brother in the Church, Joseph Hancock and another man were out hunting game and got lost. They wandered about until night, when they found themselves at the home of this unbeliever, who exultingly produced this note of Joseph Smith’s prophecy and asked Brother Hancock what he thought of his prophet now that 39 days had passed and the prophecy was not fulfilled. Brother Hancock was unmoved and quietly remarked, ‘There is one night left of the time and if Joseph said so, the stars will certainly fall tonight. This prophecy will all be fulfilled.'”
“The matter weighed upon the mind of Brother Hancock, who watched that night and it proved to be the historical one known in all the world as ‘the night of falling stars’. He stayed that night at the home of the skeptical unbeliever, as it was too far from home to return by night; and in the midst of the falling of the stars, he went to the door of his house and called him out to witness what he thought impossible and the most improbable thing that could happen, especially as that was the last night in which Joseph Smith could be saved from the condemnation of a false prophet. The whole heavens were lit up with the falling meteors and the countenance of the skeptic as he viewed the spectacle was plainly seen and closely watched by Brother Hancock, who said that he turned pale as death and spoke not a word.”
So that’s… You know, this was… It’s known as the the Leonid Meteor Shower, or falling of the stars. Now here’s a description of it from astronomers. This was in the Telescope Magazine back in 1940 talking of this event. They said, “To understand the use of the word ‘shower’ in connection with shooting stars we must go back to the early morning hours of November 13th, 1833 when the inhabitants of this continent of North America were in fact treated to one of the most spectacular natural displays that the night sky has produced. For nearly four hours the sky was literally ablaze. More than a billion shooting stars appeared over the United States and Canada alone.”
So, I just think it’s fascinating. I’m kind of into astronomy. It would be quite the sight to see. Fascinating. Okay, prophecy of scourge upon Zion’s Camp. Now, this was in June of 1834, in the midst of Zion’s Camp, Joseph calls everyone together and makes this prophecy. “After giving the brethren much good advice, exhorting them to faithfulness and humility, I said the Lord had revealed to me that a scourge would come upon the camp in consequence of the fractious and unruly spirits that appeared among them, and they should die like sheep with the rot. Still, if they would repent and humble themselves before the Lord, the scourge, in a great measure, might be turned away, but as the Lord lives, the members of this camp will suffer for giving away to their unruly temper.” Now, the scourge ended up being cholera. It came two and a half weeks later after this and reached epic proportions. After four days, even Joseph and Hyrum received it as they were administering, laying hands on the sick there. 68 suffered, 14 even died. Just unbelievable.
Now, let me tell you what Crowther mentions about this here, that Joseph Smith, it was recorded here that some men went to Lyman Wight’s house near Liberty there in Missouri and said, “A considerable number of the camp met me at Lyman Wight’s. I told them if they would humble themselves before the Lord and covenant to keep His commandments and obey my counsel, the plague would be stayed from that hour and there should not be another case of the cholera among them. The brethren covenanted to that effect with uplifted hands and the plague was stayed.” Now almost a year later, February of 1835 the prophet met with a group of brethren in Sunday services in his Kirtland home, and he had had a vision about those who had died in Zion’s Camp and he says, “Brethren, I have seen those men who died of the cholera in our camp, and the Lord knows if I get a mansion as bright as there’s, I ask no more.”
That’s quite interesting. Okay, Jackson County. So this is fascinating. Alexander Doniphan, who was a great friend, not a Latter-day Saint, great friend of the Saints, a defender of the Saints, asks Joseph’s advice on taking Jackson County as payment for debt on something that he was owed. So here’s Joseph’s response. He says, “Doniphan, I advise you not to take Jackson County land in payment of the debt. God’s wrath hangs over Jackson County. God’s people have been ruthlessly driven from it, and you will live to see the day when it will be visited by fire and sword. The Lord of Hosts will sweep it with the bosom destruction. The fields and farms and houses will be destroyed, and only the chimneys will be left to mark the desolation.” Now, Missouri was absolutely clobbered in the Civil War. And here’s just two quick quotes. One historian here, “Some whole counties were plundered, some were desolated by fire and sword.” And he goes on to say at the end there, if you see highlighted, “The non-combatant population of Missouri has suffered more than any other class of people in any state.”
And then listen to this, this Civil War soldier describing the conditions as he was on a military expedition in 1864, “I went down the Blue River, we found houses, barns, outbuildings, nearly all burned down and nothing left standing but the chimneys.” Remember that prophecy. “Which had, according to the fashion of the time, been built on the outside of the buildings. I remember very well that the county looked a veritable desolation.” So wow, he was right about Alexander Doniphan. Did not take that land. So then about when they were held captive in Liberty Jail. So the night after they were captured, that led to the long captivity in Liberty Jail, Joseph had a revelation and he shared it with the brethren. He said, “Be of good cheer, brethren; the word of the Lord came to me last night that our lives should be given us, and that whatever we may suffer during this our captivity, not one of our lives shall be taken.”
And that’s exactly what happened, they all made it out alive with lots of scary times along the way, if you study that history. So then when he was in Liberty Jail, he actually told Lyman Wight something about only having five years to live, but he would live those five years. So he said, this is Wilford Woodruff recorded this in his journal about a conversation he had had with Elder Lyman Wight. He said, “Elder Lyman Wight said that Joseph told him, while in Liberty Jail in 1839, that he, Joseph, would not live to see 40 years, but he, Wight, was not to reveal it til the prophet was dead.” He in fact did live to age 38 and a half, and in fact is about five years after this time when the martyrdom happened. So quite interesting.
Okay, so the Twelve were to leave on a mission to the British Isles and they were to leave from Far West. And D&C 118 verses four and five, the revelation was given in Far West on July 8th of 1838 but in the revelation it says, “Let them take leave of my Saints in this city of Far West on the 26th day of April next.” So that would be 1839. “On the building spot of my house, saith the Lord.” So it is fascinating, in Far West, the persecution, several months after this when the persecution went crazy, and this is when Joseph was taken captive, led to the Liberty Jail period we talked about. And then that’s also when the famous extermination order, it’s called the Missouri Executive Order 44 from Lilburn Boggs, but they call it the Extermination Order. “Mormons must be treated as enemies and must be exterminated or driven from the state if necessary for the public peace.” So that was the period.
So it was just several months after this. So the Saints were driven out of Far West. I’m sure the Lord could have viewed this as a contingent prophecy or revelation that was no longer required of them, but these twelve brethren so faithful that they actually came back risking their lives as a sacrifice to actually fulfill this here. In fact, three weeks before the date, eight of the mob members came. They knew this prophecy. I mean it was given what, nine months before it happened or something like that. They came to Theodore Turley who was one of the saints left behind to help oversee the Saints’ expulsion there. And they shoved this prophecy in his face. And they said, “What do you think about Joseph Smith as a prophet now?” And he says, “In the name of God, that revelation will be fulfilled.” And the mobs said, “Hey, if they come, they’re going to be murdered.”
And you know, they had permission by the state, from the governor to do it. So the Twelve came through back ways, very cautiously came and they came onto the site at 12:01 A.M. on the 26th of April, 1839. They dedicated the cornerstones of the temple, ordained two new apostles, sang a hymn, I’m sure very quietly, and prayed. And what an amazing thing, left for their missions from there. If you go there today, I’ve been there, but you can see on the screen actually a monument that you can see. You can see the cornerstones. It is a very sacred and special place. There’s a great spirit when you visit that place. If you’ve on a Church history tour, make sure to stop by there.
Okay, so political issue, Martin Van Buren. So, 1840 after a painful experience with Martin Van Buren going to the White House, he said, “On my way home I did not fail to proclaim the inequity and insolence of Martin Van Buren, toward myself and an injured people, which will have its effect upon the public mind; and may he never be elected again to any office or trust or power by which he may abuse the innocent and let the guilty go free.” But Martin ended up serving one term, 1837 to 1841. He tried and was unsuccessful in 1840, 1844, and 1848 and then finally gave up and he died in 1862.
Okay. Orson Hyde to go to Jerusalem and the gathering to follow. So this was a blessing Joseph gave to Orson Hyde that said, “In due time thou shalt go to Jerusalem, the land of thy fathers, and be a watchman unto the house of Israel. And by thy hand shall the Most High do a great work, which shall prepare the way and greatly facilitate the gathering together of that people.” So fascinating journey, very challenging. Lost his companion along the way. He didn’t want to go, but he… Let’s see, it was October 24th, a Sunday in 1841, on the Mount of Olives, he dedicated and consecrated the land for the return of the Jewish people. It was just several decades later that Theodor Herzl began the Zionist movement, and it was 1948 that the United Nations established once again, the nation of Israel. It was kind of fascinating to see that happen.
Okay. Now the famous prophecy of the Saints coming to the Rocky Mountains. So this was in August 6th, 1842. Joseph made the following prophecy recorded in his history. “I prophesied that the Saints would continue to suffer much affliction and would be driven to the Rocky Mountains. Many would apostatize, others would be put to death by our persecutors or lose their lives in consequence of exposure or disease. And some of you will live to go and assist in making settlements and build cities and see the Saints became a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains.” Oh boy, did that ever happen, right?
Now I want to share just a couple of interesting additional details. This is close to my heart. My fourth great-grandpa Shadrach Roundy is in this, and Anson Call who actually recorded this, my brother-in-law’ is a direct descendant of Anson Call, So I’ll share this, “This prediction was apparently recorded in general terms by President Smith,” which we just read. “Anson Call, who was president at the time, recorded it in much more detail. He stated that the prophet pointed at several individuals and said, as he pointed to Shadrach Roundy, ‘There are some men here who shall do a great work in that land. Pointing to me he said, ‘There is Anson. He shall go and assist in building up cities from one end of the country to the other, and you,’ rather extending the idea to all those he had spoken of, ‘shall perform as great a work as has been done by man, so that the nations of the earth shall be astonished, and many of them will be gathered in that land and assist in building cities and temples, and Israel shall be made to rejoice.'”
Now in Duane Crowther’s book here, he says, “These items of prophecy also received a complete fulfillment. Shadrach Roundy was among the first group of pioneers to reach the Salt Lake Valley and he was one of the three men who plowed the first furrow. He rendered great assistance to incoming groups and crossed the planes himself five times. Anson Call became the founder of several settlements in Utah, particularly Bountiful and Fillmore. He was then assigned to help build roads and mills, and this work took him from one end of the country to the other in literal fulfillment of Joseph’s prophecy.” And the the interesting note about this is that often people look to these times about the Rocky Mountains, but it was actually talked about by Joseph much earlier than that in 1834, and this is kind of a famous quote, but we often share the first part of it and not the second part.
So he said in this meeting with some brethren, he said, “I want to say to you,” and they had been predicting where the Church was going to go, he says, “I want to say to you before the Lord that you know no more concerning the destinies of this Church and Kingdom, then a babe upon its mother’s lap. You don’t comprehend it. It is only a little handful of Priesthood you see here tonight, but this Church will fill North and South America. It will fill the world. It will fill the Rocky Mountains. There will be tens of thousands of Latter-day Saints who will be gathered in the Rocky Mountains, and there they will open the door for the establishing of the gospel among the Lamanites. This people will go into the Rocky Mountains. They will there build temples to the Most High.” And if you look on that chart on the page there, each of those dots represents a temple, including those recently announced in the greater Salt Lake Valley. So that’s pretty cool.
Okay, so in 1843 Joseph prophesies he will not go to Missouri ever again, dead or alive. He says quote here, “After breakfast with Judge Adams, I prophesied, in the name of the Lord, that I should not go to Missouri dead or alive.” So he never did return. Yeah, it was remarkable because he was continually under pressure from the Missourians. In fact, he was even arrested, and kind of more like kidnapped by Missouri officers to get them across the border in an attempt for the mob to attack. So now Stephen Douglas to seek the presidency of the United States. So this is fascinating. May 18, 1843 in an after-dinner discussion, William Clayton recorded Joseph stating directly to Judge Stephen Douglas, “Judge, you will aspire to the presidency of the United States; and if you ever turn your hand against me or the Latter-day Saints, you will feel the weight of the hand of the Almighty upon you; and you will live to see and know that I have testified the truth to you, for the conversation of this day will stick to you throughout your life.”
What a fascinating thing. He was actually friendly to the Saints when this was made in 1843. And a few years later he entered politics and he followed the popular trend of denouncing the Saints. And in fact, this is how bad, in June of 1857 in a speech in Springfield, Illinois, he referred to the saints as a disgusting cancer and he gave his opinion that the U.S. should repeal the territorial status of Utah. And in fact, let me give you this. So here’s the subsequent, and I thought Crowther does a great job here. Let me just share what he says. “Douglas’ political popularity, however, seemed to increase. Three years later he received the nomination for the presidency of the United States at the Independent Democratic Party Convention. When in the convention he was declared the nominee, the whole body rose to its feet, hats were waved in the air and many tossed aloft. Shouts, screams, and yells, and even boisterous mode of expressing approbation and unanimity were resorted to.”
“Moreover, his party was the dominant party in national politics. In the proceeding election, the Democrats had pulled far more votes, both electoral and popular, than the combined total of the two opposing parties.” So basically he looked like a shoe in. “Yet Douglas felt the weight of the hand of the Almighty upon him in the election, for in that election, the Democratic Party was badly divided and factions of that party put other candidates into the field. Stephen A. Douglas was forced to run against another Democrat, J.C. Breckinridge, as well as against the Republican opposition. Thus it came to pass that the Republican candidate, the little known Abraham Lincoln, won the presidency. Douglas carried the electoral votes in only two states, Missouri and New Jersey, while Breckinridge got 11 and Lincoln 117.”
And then he says, “Less than a year later, in June of 1861, Douglas died at his home in Chicago. A disappointed, brokenhearted man, only 48 years of age. Once again, the prophetic power was manifested. It is not difficult to see the hand of the Lord in the almost miraculous defeat of Stephen A. Douglas and the election of one of the greatest of America’s presidents, Abraham Lincoln.” Pretty cool. Okay. Couple more here. Orrin Porter Rockwell promised protection throughout his life. “I prophesy in the name of the Lord that you, Orrin Porter Rockwell, so long as you shall remain loyal and true to the faith, need fear no enemy. Cut not thy hair and no bullet or blade can harm thee.” So this was given in 1843. Porter Rockwell died in 1878 of natural causes, so it truly was fulfilled and he had a lot of close scrapes, so it was quite a miracle. I will say one interesting little tidbit. He did cut his hair in 1855 to make a wig for the widow of Joseph’s brother Don Carlos Smith, it was for Agnes Smith. So that was a sweet thing and the Lord didn’t punish him for that. He continued to protect him from that one cutting of the hair.
Okay. Stakes to come in Boston and New York. April 1844, General Conference of the Church, Joseph made the following prophecy, “I have received instructions from the Lord that from henceforth wherever the Elders of Israel shall build up churches and branches unto the Lord throughout the states, there shall be a stake of Zion. In the great cities as Boston, New York, et cetera, there shall be stakes. It is a glorious proclamation and I have reserved it to the last.” This wasn’t fulfilled until 1934 for New York and 1962 for Boston, but it happened. Really cool.
All right. Now on his way to Carthage, he knew of his death happening. In fact, five days before his death, Joseph wrote, “I told Stephen Markham and then if I and Hyrum were ever taken again we should be massacred, or I was not a prophet of God.” Joseph to Hyrum, “If you go back I will go with you, but we shall be butchered.” Joseph on the way to surrender, “It is of no use to hurry, for we are going to be slaughtered.” And then as the troops approached to take them to Carthage, Joseph prophesied, “I am going like a lamb to the slaughter, but I am calm as a summer’s morning. I have a conscience void of offense towards God, and towards all men. I shall die innocent, and it shall yet be said of me, he was murdered in cold blood.” And then the famous… In Carthage, the famous… Joseph’s last prophecy, it was to Dan Jones as they were there. The night before the martyrdom, this is the conversation Joseph to Dan Jones, “Are you afraid to die?” Dan Jones to Joseph, “Has the time come think you? Engaged in such a cause, I do not think death would have many terrors.” Joseph then prophesies to Dan, “You will yet see Wales, and fulfill the mission appointed you before you die.”
The next morning, the day of the martyrdom, Dan is allowed to leave to run an errand for Joseph to governor Ford. When he comes back to the jail, they won’t let him in. This saves his life actually, but the mobs close there and he’s threatened and he’s forced to flee for his life essentially, but it saved his life. He came from Whales a few years earlier. So he ended up going on this mission two months later, and then he served another second mission from 1852 to 1856. He was one of the most successful missionaries of all time. If you look, he had over 2000 baptisms, which would be phenomenal even today. But back then it represented about 3% of the Church population. It would be like one missionary baptizing a half a million people today. It’s just stunning. So quite a fascinating thing.
Okay. And then you know about Willard Richards wasn’t injured. He was there in Carthage, but he was not hurt. Nothing pierced his clothes. This was the prophecy a year before. It says, “Dr. Richard’s escape was miraculous. He being a very large man and in the midst of a shower of balls, yet he stood and unscathed with the exception of a ball which grazed the tip end of the lower part of his left ear. His escape fulfilled literally a prophecy which Joseph made over a year previously, that the time would come that the balls would fly around him like hail, and he should see his friends fall on the right and on the left, but that there should not be a hole in his garment.” That was very literally fulfilled.
Now the last one finally, this account from Mosiah Hancock of Joseph’s son, Joseph Smith III leading people away after him. So, Mosiah Hancock records, “When the prophet has his hand upon my father’s head, I said to myself, ‘I trust that I will be as true to young Joseph, the prophet’s son, as my father is to his father.’ Afterwards at home, I told my father of my thoughts, and he said, ‘No Mosiah, for God has shown to Brother Joseph that his son, Joseph, will be the means of drawing many people away from this Church after him.'” And if you know the story of the RLDS church, the reorganized known as the Community of Christ, now Joseph III was really the inception, one of the first leaders there, that organization and did pull some people away as the prophecy foretold.
So I hope you enjoyed that. Those are some of my very favorites. Like I said, there’s over 400 in here. This is a great book. It should be on the bookshelf, in my opinion, if you’re a Latter-day Saint. So, hope you enjoyed the video. Subscribe for more.
Prophecies of Joseph Smith: Over 400 Prophecies By and About Joseph Smith, and Their Fulfillment by Duane S. Crowther
Wikipedia summary of popular prophecies: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of…
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.