False Prophecies of Joseph Smith, Jr.
Prophecy of the Civil War

False Prophecy #8 - Doctrine and Covenants 87, Dec. 25, 1832, Joseph prophesied the coming of the Civil War. This is one of his prophecies Mormons rely on very strongly. While ignoring all the other failures of his “prophetic” gifts, this one, Mormons tell us, was genuine and was fulfilled just as Joseph said it would be.

Smith said God told him that a rebellion would begin in South Carolina and that it would come to pass shortly. He added, “war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place.” He “prophesied” that the slaves would rebel against their masters and that famines, plagues and earthquakes would come from God. He said England would come to the aid of the south. His capped this off by prophesying that the Civil War would cause all nations to come to an end.

Anyone living at the time Smith made this alleged prophecy, who had a smattering of awareness, could have made this “prophecy.” It would have been virtually impossible not to know there was severe unrest throughout the nation. Andrew Jackson called on the army to be ready in response to South Carolina’s declaring a federal tarriff act null and void. Everyone in the nation was expecting war to begin.

Joseph Smith, Jr. had ample opportunity to know what everyone else knew. The newspapers were filled with news of South Carolinian resentment to the federal tarriff act. An article entitled, “Rebellion in South Carolina,” appeared in The Evening and Morning Star, a Mormon monthly publication. The article stated,

In addition to the above tribulations, South Carolina has rebelled against the law of the United States; held a state convention and passed ordinances, the same as declaring herself an independent nation.

The article went on to say that Andrew Jackson had ordered several companies of artillery to Charleston, S.C. to prepare for the war that seemed unavoidable. The Evening and Morning Star was a monthly publication. This news was readily available to Joseph Smith, Jr., and all others who may have wanted to prophesy.

Also widely known was the news of an uprising of slaves in the island of Martinique. That resulted in the slaughter and brutal murder of many slave holders. Slave holders in the United States, fearing the same might happen in this nation, were extremely uneasy. Everyone expected an uprising of the slaves. But it didn’t happen. Smith was wrong, wasn’t he?

Notwithstanding the fact that South Carolina didn’t succeed from the union till nearly thirty years later, Smith was also wrong on the scope of the war. He said it would be “poured out on all nations.” This was utterly false. Nor did the Civil War bring an end to all nations -- not even the United States!

His alleged prophecy mentioned the British as coming to the aid of the south. The British were fond of the gentile manner of life in the south. They also were heavily involved in the purchase of Cotton and other raw materials produced in the south. While they were in sympathy with the south, they never actually came to the aid of the south. No regiment of British soldiers fought against the Union armies. So Smith missed it here also. His prophecy was false and he proved himself to be a false prophet.


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