Blog Tal — 18 July 2012


Joseph Smith. Jr.


 “In connection with attack on the United States, the Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith there would be an attempt to overthrow the country by destroying the Constitution. Joseph Smith predicted that the time would come when the Constitution would hang, as it were, by a thread, and at that time ‘this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction’” (Apostle Ezra Taft Benson- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints World Conference Report, October 1961 [quoted in]).

Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), was killed by a mob in Illinois in 1844. Afterward, it was rumored among the remaining Mormons that, in 1843, he had made an important prophecy concerning the fate of the United States.  Smith was reported to have predicted that at some future time the U.S. Constitution would be under attack and would “hang by a thread.”  He supposedly prophesied that elders of the LDS would come to the rescue and save the nation from oblivion. According to many later Mormon sources and leaders (see above example- Benson later served as LDS President) this was to be the fulfillment of the “White Horse” prophecy mentioned in Revelation.

More recent LDS official statements have tended to discredit Smith’s prophecy as a forgery. They argue that there is no real documented evidence that he ever said it. They say that it, along with other alleged Smith predictions, were later falsely attributed to him by some of his overly exuberant followers.

Whatever the truth is about Smith’s prophecy, there is no doubt that many Mormon leaders believed it was real even well into the 20th century.  It was referenced often by speakers at LDS conferences for decades and was generally regarded as fact.  Today, as I stated, the official LDS line is to disavow it as spurious. Nonetheless, I imagine many old-line Mormons are still looking for the time when their church will ride to the rescue to save America. 

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Tal Davis

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