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False Prophecies are Possible! (Part 6)

Can a prophet make mistakes, even in prophecy and revelation?  William Bickerton, a prophet in the Church of Jesus Christ said yes, prophets make mistakes.  Dr. Daniel Stone will give us more information in this great conversation.

Daniel: William Bickerton especially towards the end of his life, recognized that prophets were fallible, even I believe it was during the Civil War.

So very early on his people, including him, can even recognize that men can make mistakes even though they’re considered a prophet of God. It is possible that a prophet can false prophesy.

GT: Wow, that’s very interesting.

Daniel: And that could just be from their own wants and desires. And even people in my tradition, I brought this up during a men’s class one time that I was teaching, and I tried to bring it up, when we were talking about the gift of prophecy. I said, there are instances in the scriptures were prophets get it wrong, but they’re still called prophets. I believe Nathan is one of them. I’d have to look. There was examples and I bring up William Bickerton for one of them. I personally believe Joseph Smith. I am a believer, so I’m going to take my academic hat off for a second and say, I believe Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. Because I have to believe in the Book of Mormon, which I do, to say that. But I think Joseph Smith might have let his mind get to certain things. And that’s okay because we read prophets in the Old Testament do that sometimes, quite often.

Do you agree?  Is it possible for a prophet to make a mistake in revelation and still be a prophet?

William Bickerton, prophet of Church of Jesus Christ in Monongahela, PA said prophet make mistakes, even in revelation. Dr. Daniel Stone tells more!
William Bickerton, prophet of Church of Jesus Christ in Monongahela, PA said prophet make mistakes, even in revelation. Dr. Daniel Stone tells more!

Check out our conversation, as well as our other conversation with Dr. Daniel Stone!

200: Civil War Prophecy Leads to Black Ordination (Stone)

199: Biblical Support to Ordain Women (Stone)

198: Bickerton Becomes Prophet (Stone)

197: Sidney’s Church Falls Apart (Stone)

196: Rigdon/Spalding Manuscript Theory (Stone)

 

 

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Civil War Prophecy Leads to Black Ordination (Part 5)

On Christmas Day in 1832, Joseph Smith had a revelation that the Civil War would begin in South Carolina.  Almost 30 years later, it happened.  William Bickerton was impressed with the revelation, and thought it would bring about the end of the world.  The revelation proclaimed that slaves would rise up against their masters.  Would it allow for black ordination?  How did Church members react?

Daniel:  I believe it’s in 1871. The little Redstone branch, it’s called the racist doctrine. The Little Red Stone or that’s how I talk about it in the book of the Little Redstone branch in Pennsylvania doesn’t want to give equal partnership and equal rights to African-Americans and they believe that black people are below white people.

Most of America was racist and from our standing. The South believed in slavery and even a lot of people in the north didn’t necessarily believe in slavery, but they definitely, most people in the North didn’t believe that Africans were equal to whites.

And you start to see that even within the Bickertonite movement, there are members that don’t believe that African-Americans are equal to white people or to the average Americans. And even after the war, African-Americans, at least African-American men are given equal citizenship rights to white men. And there’s people in the congregation, that little Redstone congregation. that don’t agree with that, especially within the church. They’re going to be barred from the priesthood and all these other things.

GT: Now is this in Pennsylvania?

Daniel: This is in Pennsylvania. So, this is Union country after the war. So, what ends up happening is one of the conferences, somebody, I believe one of the apostles, it was Joseph Astin I believe has to write a letter and send it to little Redstone and tell them. I really like this letter because it’s very politically minded.

And, they use the scriptures to kind of show, to kind of ease them in, to show them. So, they say, listen, in the New Testament, we read that the gentiles were looked down upon by the Jews. They were considered unclean. But then the apostle Peter has that dream where God tells them, don’t consider the gentiles unclean anymore. The Gospel brings them up. It says, “So too have we been taught,” or “we’ve been led,” I think the term is used. “We’ve been led to believe or to think,” that black people, I think they used the term Negro or colored people. It’s colored, I believe they used. “We’ve been led to believe that the colored people are below us, but the gospel brings them up and brings them to have equal access with the supper of the Lord,” or something like that. Very political, very well read, but trying to say no, they’re equal to us and even if you don’t think that they are, secularly the gospel brings them up. So, we are to give them equal access to everything that we have and they are to be considered everything that we have.

Check out our conversation…

Joseph Smith's Civil War prophecy led William Bickerton to believe blacks were authorized to receive priesthood.   They are the first Latter-day Saint group to ordain a black apostle.

Joseph Smith’s Civil War prophecy led William Bickerton to believe blacks were authorized to receive priesthood. They are the first Latter-day Saint group to ordain a black apostle. 

 

Check out our other conversations with Dr. Stone!

199: Biblical Support to Ordain Women (Stone)

198: Bickerton Becomes Prophet (Stone)

197: Sidney’s Church Falls Apart (Stone)

196: Rigdon/Spalding Manuscript Theory (Stone)

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Biblical Support to Ordain Women (Part 4)

In our next conversation with Dr. Daniel Stone, we will discuss the similarities and differences between Bickertonite and Brighamite priesthood.  I was surprised to learn that they have been ordaining women since the 1860s!

Daniel: This is because of Joseph Smith Civil War prophecy, he’s really seeing it. This is the approaching of the end times. Jesus Christ is coming back. This is the beginning of the apocalypse and eventually according to Joseph Smith’s Civil War prophecy, it’s going to encompass the whole earth, right? So, he has to ordain a Quorum of Twelve to kind of institute that fervent missionary effort to kind of bring people in because of the approaching calamities. And in 1863, a year after, they ordain a deaconess.

And what’s interesting is because you kind of see as they’re ordaining deaconesses, they’re also saying, well we need to have midwives in the church too. That’s really important. So, you’re starting to see a real emphasis on women ministering to the church because they really believe the end times are coming. It’s going to get more and more serious and worse. So, midwives back then were much more trusted than doctors. So, they’re kind of thinking pragmatically, okay, well if we’re in destruction and there’s no help for anything, we want to have midwives to help care for the wounded or people that are sick or people who are giving birth. Obviously, they were very trusted. So, they’re trying to ordain deaconesses as a holy office, but calling or wanting to have midwives in the church to train them for the hopes of helping to minister to the church as well.

It turns out they ordain women because of a biblical precedent!

William Bickerton is very much a Christian primitivist or a Christian restorationist like Joseph Smith. He’s trying to look at the scriptures literally. So, they get the idea from deaconess because of Phoebe and some of the others that are mentioned, you know, where they use that Greek word Diakonia I believe it is, where basically means deaconess. So, they are a member of the ministry. So, they’re looking at the scriptures and they’re really scrutinizing, and they see prophetesses in the scriptures. You know, even in the New Testament there were prophetesses. So, he’s looking at this thing. Women can have this power of the Holy Ghost to move. And if they see that women were, you know, even though brief, brief mentions of it in the New Testament

Check out our conversation….

William Bickerton noticed Phoebe was a deaconess in the Bible and instituted that office in the 1860s.
William Bickerton noticed Phoebe was a deaconess in the Bible and instituted that office in the 1860s.

 

Don’t forget to check out our other conversations with Daniel!

198: Bickerton Becomes Prophet

197: Sidney’s Church Falls Apart

196: Rigdon/Spalding Manuscript Theory