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Civil War Prophecy & Joseph’s Apocalyptic Death

One of the most famous prophecies of Joseph Smith is the Civil War prophecy, in which Joseph predicted the Civil War would start in South Carolina.  When that happened two decades later, how did that affect LDS apocalyptic thought?  Dr. Christopher Blythe will let us know the answer.

Christopher:  When the Saints first get to Nauvoo, Joseph’s in Liberty Jail, and the Apostles write to the saints and say, “We know we’re going to be persecuted, guys. This is part of the plan, and eventually, your murderers will be brought to justice.” So, there’s this expectation that the saints have to be martyred, that there should be widespread persecution, and it’s part of bringing to pass the Second Coming. Joseph’s death, one of the key things here that changes all that, allegedly, one story is that Joseph as right before he goes to Liberty Jail, sends out a message for the saints to read that specific chapter about these martyrs, as he’s on his way there, that he wants them to be very aware of this idea of a last martyr. Now, after his death–this is something that Sam Brown points out, Joseph is recognized in this role as last martyr. Now, all these events can happen.

Brigham Young will give a discourse to say, “You don’t understand what’s happened here with Joseph’s death. But because Joseph has died, there’ll be much less blood demanded of us.”  This sort of message to say, “We once expected vast martyrdom, but Joseph’s actually been sort of a Savior to us physically, because the nation is sort of, can be sated by taking his life, they’re not going to come after us in the same way. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to leave town. But it’s not demanded in the same way to fulfill these events.” So, when I discovered that I thought, “This is incredible. What a sort of interesting idea of how martyrology plays here.”

GT:  When we look at the LDS Church’s view that martyrdom is to be expected, trials are to be expected, but it’s also interesting in that same time period, you have the Community of Christ, well, I guess I should call it The RLDS Church, because they weren’t the Community of Christ back then. The RLDS Church is saying, “Well, look. The reason why they’re suffering so bad is because God’s putting his punishments on them.”  William Bickerton is basically [saying] the same thing.  It’s funny, inside the church, we look at it as, “Oh, we’re martyrs.” Outside the church they’re looking at it, “No, God’s punishing you.”

Christopher:  Oh, isn’t that fascinating? Yeah. The one thing I do mention with that is Strang’s curse. Strang writes this curse on the Saints in Nauvoo, predicting, that they’re going to get these same diseases and things that the Saints believe are being put on Joseph’s persecutors and others, the idea of a curse.  So, Strang, in 1845, is the first one to kind of turn that on his fellow Latter-day Saints of how this is going to happen, “You guys are, are in trouble.” So, absolutely.

GT:  It’s interesting to see how people interpret the same event.

Christopher:  I think, one thing I didn’t read about here is, for several these small groups, Brigham Young becomes the Antichrist figure. He’s the one that’s taken over the temple and done these evil things to lead astray the church. So, forget the United States government, they’re not even part of it. They’re looking at the tyrant of Brigham.

We also talk about how Joseph’s death affected LDS apocalypticism.  Check out our conversation….

By the way, here is a link to Dr. Blythe’s book, Terrible Revolution.  It’s currently over 40% off, here’s your chance to get a good deal!  https://amzn.to/35hud6K

The Civil War Prophecy is probably Joseph’s most famous revelation.

Don’t miss our previous conversations with Dr. Christopher Blythe.

461: Mormon History of Apocalypse

460: Maxwell Institute: A Religious Thinktank

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Remnant Movement is not a Church! (Part 6 of 7)

Denver Snuffer welcomes people to join his movement but emphasizes that the Remnant Movement is not a church!  How does that work?

GT:  Your movement is the Remnant Movement. That’s kind of the name.  Do you have an official name for your church?

Denver:  No, there isn’t a church. There isn’t a church, except in the sense that the church was defined in the revelation given to Joseph Smith. The Church that existed were people that repented, came into the Lord and were baptized. That’s it. That’s the definition of the Church. And that definition preceded the organization in April of 1830. There were at least three different congregations or fellowships of people that existed before the incorporation took place in April of 1830. All of them were considered members of Christ’s church because the definition was just repent, come unto me, be baptized in my name for remission of your sins.  If you’re going to say there’s a Church, that’s it.

We don’t require. I don’t require. I don’t know of anyone that says you have to leave the LDS Church to accept the work that God has got underway today. I have said, a Catholic priest could come and be baptized for the remission of his sins, accept the restoration and go on his way, and retain his status as a Catholic and a priest, if he chose to do so. Methodists can join. Latter-day Saints can join. There’s nothing to be done except have someone that has authority to baptize, baptize you. And then the name of the person, (because we’re required to keep track of the names,) has to be submitted to another volunteer who’s keeping what’s called the recorders clearinghouse. Those names get given to him. At the end of a year, all of the names are alphabetized, and they’re put in for that calendar year and they’re entered by hand into a book. There’s no electronic version. No one can hack it. No one can go online and get into it. There’s only one hand-written copy.

Check out our conversation….

The Remnant Movement is not a church.

Don’t miss our other conversations with Denver!

441: Ascension of Brigham Young

440: Why Denver Changed on Joseph’s Polygamy

439: Denver’s Outreach to Hebrews/Native Americans

438: Is Trinity in Lectures on Faith/Book of Mormon?

437: New Scriptures in Remnant Movement

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Why Denver Changed on Joseph’s Polygamy (Part 4 of 7)

In Denver Snuffer’s book, Passing the Heavenly Gift, he argued that Joseph Smith practiced polygamy.  Since that book was written, Denver has changed his mind and now believes Joseph was a monogamist.  How did he come to change his mind?

Denver:  The Fanny Alger stuff, and you’ve got all of these points to triangulate from. What do you make of it? I can tell you that story and make Joseph Smith an adulterer, and a plural marriage practitioner, or I can tell you that story, and I can make Joseph Smith absolutely chaste, and that what happened there was not by any stretch, a sexual liaison. Fanny Alger would have nine children from a husband.

Denver:  Joseph Smith fathered eight children through Emma Smith. They were both at the peak of their fertility when the two of them had something going on, and yet there was no progeny. There was no child. In fact, there’s no child born, that was fathered by Joseph Smith, other than the children that came through Emma Smith. So if you’re going to turn Joseph Smith into something that is akin to the narrative tour by the LDS Church, one of the questions that ought to enter into your balancing of what happened, is the absence of any progeny when you’ve got a fertile man, and you’ve got fertile women who bore children to other men, but never bore a child for Joseph Smith.  What effect ought that have on your thinking and interpretation of the historical events?

Denver: You consider nothing that got written down or got introduced after June 27, 1844. You are limited, absolutely, to the material that got its existence, put pen to paper before that date. Okay. What do you have? What do you have to support Joseph Smith practicing plural marriage with sexual relations with other women than Emma?

While I understand that Denver is a lawyer, it seems inapproprate to throw out all evidence after the death of Joseph Smith.  Do you agree or disagree?  Check out our conversation….

Denver Snuffer explains why he now believes Joseph didn’t practice polygamy.

Don’t miss our other conversations with Denver!

439: Denver’s Outreach to Hebrews/Native Americans

438: Is Trinity in Lectures on Faith/Book of Mormon?

437: New Scriptures in Remnant Movement