FHE: Prophecy

by | Apr. 02, 2012


Conference Talk: 
For more information on this topic read “The Time Will Come,” by L. Whitney
Clayton, Ensign, Nov 2011, 11.

In 1898, President Wilford Woodruff recounted an experience he had as a new member in 1834 at a priesthood meeting in Kirtland. He related: “The Prophet [Joseph Smith] called on all who held the Priesthood to gather into the little log school house . . . the prophet said ‘It is only a little handfull of Priesthood you see here tonight, but this Church will fill North and South America—it will fill the world.’”

The little band of believers, eking out a living on the American frontier and moving to escape persecution, didn’t look like the foundation of a faith that would cross international borders and penetrate hearts everywhere. But that is just what has happened.

(L. Whitney Clayton, “The Time Will Come,” Ensign, Nov 2011, 11.) 

“Seek the Lord Early,” Children’s Songbook, p. 108.

We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

(Articles of Faith 1:5)

Read together D&C 87:1–5. Ask:

• What war did Joseph Smith foretell twenty-eight years before it began? (The Civil War.)
• What are some of the details he gave concerning the Civil War?

Share the following:

“Every student of United States history is acquainted with the facts establishing
a complete fulfilment of this astounding prophecy. In 1861, more than twenty-eight years after the foregoing prediction was recorded, and ten years after its publication in England, the Civil War broke out, beginning in South Carolina. The ghastly records of that fratricidal [brother against brother] strife sadly support the prediction concerning ‘the death and misery of many souls,’ though this constituted but a partial fulfilment. It is known that slaves deserted the South and were marshaled in the armies of the North, and that the Confederate States solicited aid of Great Britain. While no open alliance between the Southern States and the English government was effected, British influence gave indirect assistance and substantial encouragement to the South, and this in such a way as to produce serious international complications.” (James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, 23.)

Discuss the following questions:

• How many wars are predicted in this section? (More than one—verse 1.)
• According to verse 2, how far-reaching would the wars become?
• How many wars can you name that have taken place since the Civil War?
• What do we learn about Joseph Smith from the fact that he was able to prophesy with such detail, not only about the Civil War but also about World Wars, many years before they occurred? (He was a true prophet.)

Share your testimony that Joseph Smith was indeed a true prophet of God.

(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Doctrine and Covenants, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2004], p. 185.)

Heber J. Grant

The year 1848 was the year of the cricket plague. Myriads of these destructive pests, an army of famine and despair, rolled in black legions down the mountain sides and attacked the growing fields of grain. The tender crops fell an easy prey to their fierce voracity. They literally swept everything before them. Starvation with all its terrors seemed staring the poor settlers in the face.

They were saved by a miracle. In the midst of the work of destruction, when it seemed as if nothing could stay the devastation, great flocks of gulls suddenly appeared. . . . They came to prey upon the destroyers. All day long they gorged themselves, and, when full, disgorged and feasted again. . . .

Still there was a season of scarcity. The surplus of the first harvests in the Valley had barely been sufficient to meet the wants of the emigration, which had commenced pouring in from the frontiers and from Europe; and now that the crickets had played such havoc with the crops, there was danger, in spite of the interposition of the gulls, of some suffering from hunger. . . .

It was during this time of famine, when the half starved, half-clad settlers scarcely knew where to look for the next crust of bread or for rags to hide their nakedness—for clothing had become almost as scarce with them as bread-stuffs—that Heber C. Kimball, filled with the spirit of prophecy, in a public meeting declared to the astonished congregation that, within a short time, “States goods” would be sold in the streets of Great Salt Lake City cheaper than in New York and that the people should be abundantly supplied with food and clothing.

“I don’t believe a word of it,” said Charles C. Rich; and he but voiced the sentiment of nine-tenths of those who had heard the astounding declaration.

Heber himself was startled at his own words, as soon as the Spirit’s force had abated and the “natural man” had reasserted himself. On resuming his seat, he remarked to the brethren that he was “afraid he had missed it this time.” But they were not his own words, and He who had inspired them knew how to fulfill.

The occasion for the fulfillment of this remarkable prediction was the unexpected advent of the gold-hunters, on their way to California. The discovery of gold in that land had set on fire, as it were, the civilized world, and hundreds of richly laden trains now began pouring across the continent on their way to the new El Dorado. Salt Lake Valley became the resting place, or “half-way house” of the nation, and before the Saints had had time to recover from their surprise at Heber’s temerity in making such a prophecy, the still more wonderful fulfillment was brought to their very doors. The gold-hunters were actuated by but one desire; to reach the Pacific Coast; the thirst for mammon having absorbed for the time all other sentiments and desires. Impatient at their slow progress, in order to lighten their loads, they threw away or “sold for a song” the valuable merchandise with which they had stored their wagons to cross the Plains. Their choice, blooded, though now jaded stock, they eagerly exchanged for the fresh mules and horses of the pioneers, and bartered off, at almost any sacrifice, dry goods, groceries, provisions, tools, clothing, etc., for the most primitive out-fits, with barely enough provisions to enable them to reach their journey’s end. Thus, as the Prophet Heber had predicted, “States goods” were actually sold in the streets of Great Salt Lake City cheaper than they could have been purchased in the City of New York.

Referring to this incident, in a sermon, a few years later, Heber says:

“The Spirit of prophecy foresees future events. God does not bring to pass a thing because you say it shall be so, but because He designed it should be so, and it is the future purposes of the Almighty that the Prophet foresees. That is the way I prophesy, but I have predicted things I did not foresee, and did not believe anybody else did, but I have said it, and it came to pass even more abundantly that I predicted; and that was with regard to the future situation of the people who first came into this valley. Nearly every man was dressed in skins, and we were all poor, destitute, and distressed, yet we all felt well. I said, ‘it will be but a little while, brethren, before you shall have food and raiment in abundance, and shall buy it cheaper than it can be bought in the cities of the United States.’ I did not know there were any gentiles coming here, I never thought of such a thing; but after I spoke it I thought I must be mistaken this time. Brother Rich remarked at the time, ‘I do not believe a word of it.’ And neither did I; but, to the astonishment and joy of the Saints, it came to pass just as I had spoken it, only more abundantly. The Lord led me right, but I did not know it.

“I have heard Joseph say many times, that he was much tempted about the revelations the Lord gave through him—it seemed to be so impossible for them to be fulfilled. I do not profess to be a Prophet; but I know that every man and woman can be, if they live for it.”

(Leon R. Hartshorn, Exceptional Stories from the Lives of Our Apostles, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1972].)

Play “Name the Prophets” game.

All the players sit in a circle with their legs crossed. One person is picked to be the leader and is responsible for getting the rhythm in motion. The rhythm is a slap on thighs, a clap, and two snaps of the fingers (first with the right then with the left). So the rhythm sounds like this: slap, clap, snap, snap. When everyone is slap-clap-snapping at the same time, the leader starts. Players speak, one at a time, in turn, on the rhythmic snap of the fingers. Play goes clockwise.

The play goes like this:

Player 1: Slap, clap ... then on the snap, snap: “Names of.”
Slap, clap ... then on the snap, snap: “Prophets” (the word “Prophets” said to the snapping beat). 

Player 2: Slap, clap ... then on the snap, snap: “Hinck-ley.”

Player 3: Slap, clap ... then on the snap, snap: “Joseph Smith.”

Player 4: Slap, clap ... then on the snap, snap: “Hun-ter”

As people make mistakes and say a word out of rhythm, or miss a beat and don’t say something quickly enough, they are out, and the next person in line picks up the rhythm again. The people who go out can stay in the circle and not slap, clap, and snap—or they can leave the circle and the remaining players tighten up the circle.

The winner is the last one left playing.

You can play again using the names of the current Apostles.
Raspberry Sticks
Makes 3 dozen sticks

1 cup butter
3⁄4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla 
2 1⁄2 cups flour
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 tablespoons water (if needed)
1 1⁄2 cups raspberry jam

Cream butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Sift flour and salt together; add to creamed mixture a third at a time, mixing well after each addition. If dough is too stiff, add 1 or 2 tablespoons water. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease cookie sheet.

Cut the chilled dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope the length of your cookie sheet. Put ropes onto the cookie sheet, side by side. With your finger, make an indentation all the way down the length of each rope. Bake 6 minutes. Remove from oven and fill the indentation with raspberry jam. Put back into the oven for another 6 to 8 minutes. Place cookie sheet on rack to cool cookies. Cut on the diagonal.

(Lion House Cookies and Sweets, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2011], p. 20.)

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