Didn’t the Mormon Prophet, Joseph Smith predict there were inhabitants on the moon?
Where did he get his information? Was it revealed to him?
The idea that men were living on the moon goes even farther back than the times of Joseph Smith. But the 19th century was filled with such speculation, coming from the imaginations of men. Books like Jules Vernes’ classic “The First Men in The Moon” was published in 1801. And, there was the “Great Moon Hoax” which refers to a series of six articles that were published in “The Sun,” a New York newspaper in 1835, about the supposed discovery of civilization on the Moon by a best-known astronomer at that time. It wasn’t true, but many people thought it was real at first.
Mormons back then probably didn’t think the idea of men on the moon was that odd since they were also taught by their leaders that God had created other planets and worlds with people on them. So, why not the Moon?
There is no evidence linking Joseph Smith to the Moon-Men statement firsthand. But his brother Hyrum Smith and later the Prophet Brigham Young both believed the moon was inhabited – as well as the Sun. Human speculation is one thing, but when those who call themselves prophets jump into the argument, their statements are usually taken with a little more gravity – especially when some of them preach such things from the pulpit.
There were patriarchal blessings given in the 19th century that told of men who were going to preach the gospel on the Moon.
Can you imagine receiving that kind of promise in your patriarchal blessing?
In 1892 an article appeared in the “Young Women’s Journal” (an official church magazine) Vol. 3 pp. 263, 264. It’s author, Oliver B. Huntington wrote: “Nearly all the great discoveries of men in the last half century have, in one way or another, either directly or indirectly, contributed to prove Joseph Smith to be a Prophet. As far back as 1837, I know that he said the moon was inhabited by men and women the same as the earth, and that they lived to a greater age than we do – that they lived generally to near the age of one-thousand years. He described the men as averaging near six feet in height and dressing quite uniformly in something near the Quaker style.”
Oliver goes on to say, “In my Patriarchal blessing, given by the father of Joseph the Prophet, in Kirtland, 1837, I was told that I would preach the gospel to the inhabitants upon the islands of the sea, and – to the inhabitants of the moon, even the planet you can now behold with your eyes.”
Here is an excerpt from the Patriarchal Blessing of Lorenzo Snow (future Prophet of the Church), from the blessing book of Joseph Smith, Sr. on December 15, 1836: “Thou shalt have power to translate thyself from one planet to another – power to go to the moon if thou shalt desire it.”
Then we have this statement by Brigham Young that he preached over the pulpit as a prophet of God: “Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon? When we view its face, we may see what is termed ‘the man in the moon,’ and what some philosophers declare are the shadows of mountains. But these sayings are very vague, amount to nothing; and when you inquire about the inhabitants of that sphere you find that most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the most ignorant of their fellows. So, it is with regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain.”
Mormons will say, well, these are only opinions. But if you read those quotes in full context, you can see they are not just opinions. Brigham and others used it to teach principles of the Mormon gospel.
Also, according to Brigham Young in Journal of Discourses, vol. 13 p. 95, he said: “I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture.”
But of course, none of these predictions ever happened. There were no Moon Quakers. But it is obvious that this teaching originated from none other than Joseph Smith the Mormon prophet. The story of the Moon-men is just another example of how Joseph gave his followers information that appeared to be revelatory but could not be proven at the time – which many bought into and took to heart as true.
But even though science began replacing speculation regarding an inhabited moon, Mormons refused to give up on their belief, which they believed was rooted in revelation.
But over a hundred years later, we have another Mormon prophet Joseph Fielding Smith on May 14, 1961 making this statement: “We will never get a man into space. This earth is man’s sphere and it was never intended that he should get away from it.” Then he adds: “The moon is a superior planet to the earth, and it was never intended that man should go there. You can write it down in your book that this will never happen.”
Eight years later, in 1969, we watched our televisions as Astronauts walked on the moon.
Lesson to be learned here by the LDS – don’t risk your salvation on men who make statements and predictions like these. The Bible specifically warns in the Old and New Testaments about the dangers of listening to false prophets.
We should only entrust our lives into the hands of Jesus Christ, who said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Jesus is the only living Prophet we can put our trust in.