Chris, we have already discussed a couple of prophecies given by Joseph Smith that failed. How many more of these prophecies are there?
There are quite a few, actually. But all prophecies can be put into certain categories.
There are 4 categories of prophecies:
- There are open-dated prophecies: These are easy because they are given without a specific time frame for their fulfillment.
- There are self-fulfilling prophecies: These can be fulfilled on one’s own and require no outside action or event.
- There are conditional prophecies: These only come true if a certain condition exists. If a situation changes, the prophesy may also change.
- There are close-dated and unconditional prophesies: These are specific and must come true within a particular time frame – without any mitigating conditions.
What about the prophesy of the Temple that was supposed to be built in Independence, Missouri?
That one fits perfectly into the last category of prophecies – which are close-dated and unconditional prophesies: These are specific and must come true within a particular time frame – without any mitigating conditions.
The temple revelation was given on September 22nd and 23rd in the year 1832. Joseph Smith foretold of an LDS temple that was to be built in Independence Missouri. That prophesy can be found in Doctrine and Covenants Section 84, verses 2-5, 31. I’ll read it: “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, which shall be the city of New Jerusalem. 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. Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city of 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. For verily THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT ALL PASS AWAY until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house. …which house shall be built unto the Lord IN THIS GENERATION, upon the consecrated spot as I have appointed.”
That’s definitely an example of a close-dated, unconditional prophesy.
Over 185 years later, there is still no temple on the “temple lot” specified in this prophecy. Yet, early Mormon leaders made it quite clear the word “generation” meant those who were alive when the revelation was given in 1832.
Finally, after 140 years the Mormon church itself admitted this was a false prophesy. Joseph Fielding Smith admitted there was no expectation this prophesy would ever come to pass.
The facts are: History records that the area of Independence Missouri was built up, but not by the Mormons. And, the Mormon church no longer owns the lot. The Church of Christ-Temple Lot (another Mormon sect) owns it and plans to build their own temple on it.
Unfortunately for the LDS, Joseph Smith fails to measure up to his status as a prophet of God.
Thankfully, God gave us a fool-proof test to know if someone is a true prophet of God. It says in Deuteronomy 18:22 “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen, or come to pass, that is the things which the Lord has not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously; thou shalt not be afraid of him”
Joseph Smith has a big problem, because even one failed prophesy disqualified a Biblical prophet.
Latter-day Saints have to remember the promise of the Lord as recorded in their own scripture. Written on November 1, 1831 as an introduction to the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 1 verse 37 says: “Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the PROPHECIES and promises which are in them (Section 84 included) shall all be fulfilled.”
Well guess what? This is one of many prophecies that were not fulfilled. Joseph Smith’s status as a prophet of God must be removed and with it, the foundation of Mormonism.