Joseph Smith’s False Prophecies

Q: There are the many false prophecies of Joseph Smith.

A: Which prophecies of Joseph Smith are you referring to as false? I can argue specifics but not general statements.

Q: Joseph Smith said “that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” (History of the Church, Vol. 4, page 461).

Regarding false prophecies of Joseph Smith

A: When Joseph Smith said “the most correct” he wasn’t making a statement about grammar and punctuation, he was saying it contained more of the pure truth about the gospel of Christ than any other book.

Here are a few responses to the page of failed prophecies, although I don’t have time to address all of them, I haven’t even had lunch yet.

Response to 56-year prophecy –

Temple built in Missouri in Smith’s generation – it actually says “an house” and doesn’t necessarily refer to a temple in Missouri. A temple was built in Smith’s generation, namely in Nauvoo.

“All Nations would be involved in the American Civil War” – This is a misunderstanding of the statement “And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place”. This isn’t saying that all nations would be involved in the Civil War, but that the Civil War would mark the beginning of other wars worldwide.

Prophesy that the earth will tremble and the sun be hidden in “not many days” – “not many days” means different things to man and God, and it would appear from the scriptures that when God says “not many days” that can easily mean 300 years and when he says “the time is nigh, even at the door” it can mean another 100 years.

“Prophecy that Isaiah 11 was about to be fulfilled” – Same argument here. We’re arguing about what God meant by “soon”.


  1. Can even a "true" prophet have false revelations?

    SETTING: Winter 1829-1830. Comp Hist 1:165 Joseph had a revelation that Hiram Page and Oliver Cowdery were to go to Toronto to sell the copyright of the Book of Mormon to raise money.

    RESULT: Unfulfilled!

    They went, according to the revelation, but were completely unsuccessful. Joseph Smith "inquired of God" and was told that some "revelations" are not from God. David Whitmer reports this incident in his book An Address To All Believers In Christ, Richmond, 1887, photo reprinting by Utah Lighthouse Ministry, pp 30-31.

    Even Joseph Smith had to admit that some of his "revelations" might be of man or even of the devil. Comp Hist 1:165. This is contradictory in concept to the Deuteronomy 18:22 test, which says that the failure of the test indicates that the prophet is false. Joseph Smith here implies that the prophecy may be false, but the prophet himself is apparently still a prophet. One might ask then, what good is a prophet?

    Hyrum Smith, who was also a "prophet," on Nov 1, 1831, commented about prophecy and said that "if you hit once in 10 times, that is alright." [quoted by Abraham O. Smoot in 1868 at the Provo School of the Prophets] This also is a contradiction of Deuteronomy 18:22.

    Note that the prophecies and promises which are in the D&C "shall all be fulfilled." If even one remains unfulfilled, then this also is a false prophecy. D&C 1:37

  2. Another one: He said his son, Joseph Smith 3, would succeed him as prophet and leader of the church.

    RESULT: Unfulfilled!

    The Utah Mormons, or Brighamites as Emma Smith called them, followed Brigham Young so they could keep the practice of polygamy to Utah. They were even worried that JS3 would come and try to claim power in Utah because Joseph Smith made this prophecy clear to many men before his death. Joseph Smith 3 did become prophet, but of the RLDS (Community of Christ) who were against polygamy. If you say this prophecy is fulfilled, then you would have to admit the RLDS is the true church, not the Utah Mormon establishment.

    Funny thing, I was never taught at the LDS church about Smith's children. I didn't even know he had any surviving! Then I grew up and got a library card, hence why I am no longer a member.

  3. Right, you should view your own sillks in high regard. Isn't self-confidence paramount?What I was trying to say was social media is inherently transparent. You can't expose something that's already in the open.As for the irony of the ad and "MormonTV", well, I think that the definition of what constitutes television is really starting to change. We debated this in a course in my program this past summer – is a TV show still a "TV show" if you watch it on Hulu, for example? Probably, but the venue has changed. Still, nobody is going to call Hulu television just like no one is going to call television Hulu. Nevertheless, the lines are blurring. In any case, people still recognize the difference in delivery method, so, with all of that in mind, it's nothing significant for anyone to label their YouTube channel with "TV" as part of their name. I don't think most people would confuse "MormonTV" for actual television (despite the morphology of mediums taking place today). Moreover, I think most people would understand that the ad stating not to believe in what they've seen on television is in reference to actual over-the-air broadcast and cable TV, considering that the ad directs people to a web-based delivery platform.This is just another exercise in semantics.

  4. Wow… you sound like a politician who is trying to back-peddal. I mean, I would have a respected a, "Joseph Smith, while he is our prophet, is also a man and not infallible." Instead, we get, "What he meant by that was…" which, quite frankly, is an insult to our intellect. He meant to say what he said, or he would have either not said it, or corrected it. How about taking so-called prophecies that "came true" and twisting those? When it works for you, you leave it as it, when it does not, you change it. Here is what I mean:

    1. All Nations would be involved in the American Civil War… Your answer is: "This isn’t saying that all nations would be involved in the Civil War.." Yes, actually, that's exactly what it is saying. If the prophecy was that the Civil War would mark the beginning of all other wars worldwide, then Joseph Smith would have made that prophecy instead. Why would he say one thing, but mean something else as a prophet? Gee, it's pretty easy for you to twist and turn the words to fit the mormon Doctrine in a way that makes it sense… to you. How convenient.

    2. You say that not many days could mean only a few to a man but mean 300 to God. But who is making the prophecy here? A man or God? The definition of a prophesy is a prediction of something to come. This questionable prophecy is a prediction of something that sounds as if it is happening in a matter of days. But it did not. Why are we arguing what God knows as soon and not what Joseph Smith meant by soon? And how do you know what God's definition of soon is anyway? God is not he prophet in question. It's Joseph Smith. Unless you are equating Joseph Smith and God as one in the same.

    Your disclaimer says that you are interested in learning more about your own religion. I've read many of your pages, and it seems to me that you are really only interested in giving all the answers, even when they have to be stretched, twisted, and skewed. Your say your learning is one-sided, but I think that it's your view that is one-sided. What have you really learned about the logistics about the Book of Mormon and the incredulous way in which it was conceived?

  5. PS The temple that was built in Smith's generation was NOT built in Missouri. What about Zion? And he doesn't actually say "an house." What he actually says is, "Yea, the word of the Lord concerning his church, established in the last days for the restoration of his people, as he has spoken by the mouth of his prophets, and for the gathering of his saints to stand upon Mount Zion,i which shall be the city of New Jerusalem. 3 Which city shall be built, beginning at the temple lot, which is appointed by the finger of the Lord, in the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, and dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith, Jun., and others with whom the Lord was well pleased. 4 Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation. 5 For verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house… 31 Therefore, as I said concerning the sons of Moses for the sons of Moses and also the sons of Aaron shall offer an acceptable offering and sacrifice in the house of the Lord, which house shall be built unto the Lord in this generation, upon the consecrated spot as I have appointed." (Doctrines and Covenants 84:2-5,31.) There is no TEMPLE or HOUSE in Jackson County, Missouri. The mormons were driven out of Missouri. When I visited Liberty in 1992, I went to the Liberty Jail, quite by mistake because I thought I was going to view some history of Jessie James, I learned the mormon version of the events that took place there, including the fact that it was still legal to shoot a mormon on that day. The threat of being shot must have stood in the way of the completion of the temple in Missouri.

    And… You say "When Joseph Smith said “the most correct” he wasn’t making a statement about grammar and punctuation, he was saying it contained more of the pure truth about the gospel of Christ than any other book." You do realize that the Holy Bible is a book, right?

    I suppose that 56 in God years is about 5,600 in human years. Is this what Joseph Smith meant?

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