D&C 87: The Prophecy on War
Joseph Smith's Prophecy on War (D&C 87) is a big thorn in the side of those critics of the Mormon Prophet. Some claim that 'everyone knew that the North and South were going to war, so it wasn't that big of a prophecy.' However, the evidence is against that statement. Elder Orson Hyde supplemented that prophecy in 1858, claiming the destructions and wars were about to come upon the U.S.
When he made these claims, many eastern newspapers quoted him, mocking him. There was no way the States were going to war, according to the papers. In 1862, Elder Hyde commented on this fact as further evidence that the American people did not consider this prophecy valid prior to its accomplishment.
Secondly, we shall see that the Prophecy of War goes well beyond the Civil War/War between the States, and down to our own day.
War Among the States and Among All Nations
It starts by prophecying of the Civil War, a war that will be the beginning point for all great wars . We read in D&C 87:
1 Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls;
2 And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place.Here we see that the Civil War is the beginning of wars to be poured out "on all nations." The Civil War was a great turning point in warfare. With it came modern warfare, which opened the way for wars of mass destruction to be commonplace and widespread. Also, this was the first war where new weapons of destruction were used: repeating rifles, gatling guns, iron ships, etc. All this added up to tens of thousands being killed in a single battle.
3 For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations.Here we see the South, during the Civil War, calling upon other nations for assistance, and "they" or Great Britain and other nations shall "also call upon other nations" for assistance in their defense. Imagine a nation like Great Britain, which at the time ruled the oceans and had a formidable army having to call upon other nations for assistance! And yet it happened in both the First and Second World Wars, which is exactly the time when war was "poured out upon all nations."The Fall of Communism
Now this next portion is very interesting. Many think it refers to the Civil War, but it doesn't. In terms of time, it refers to a time after the wars on all nations:
4 And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war.
The only "slaves" in the days since the World Wars, have been those who have suffered under the bonds of Communism and racism. Isn't it interesting to see how quickly the shackles of slavery have fallen off of the slaves of the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and among the blacks in South Africa, and to an extent, even in the United States. However, since their "masters" are marshaled and disciplined for war, there are few primary choices, except Communism where this has occurred.The Terrorist Connection
This is to the point where I see we are at in this prophecy. There is more to come, as well:
5 And it shall come to pass also that the remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation.At one time I thought the remnant refered to is the literal House of Israel, and particularly the Lamanites (Native Americans). It may be that a portion of this part of the prophecy will still be fulfilled by them.Now, however I feel it is the remnant of the slaves in the world that this refers to. Tyrannical dictators of Muslim nations have kept their peoples in poverty and slavery. They have stayed in power by turning the anger of the peoples against the Jews and the West. We are now feeling the pain of the remnant of Arab and Muslim slaves in the world, as they continue attacking and vexing the Gentile nations. Interestingly, the tactics they are using are very similar to the terrorist attacks used by the Gadianton Robbers in the Book of Mormon (Books of Helaman and 3 Nephi), not long prior to the First Coming of Christ in glory to the Nephites, prior to their long period of peace (akin to the Millennial era we pray for today).
Great Destructions to Come
Anyway, to continue with the prophecy:
6 And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations;
7 That the cry of the saints, and of the blood of the saints, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies.Obviously, when the remnant of the slaves vex the Gentiles, we shall see great destruction and bloodshed begin. So, the times for great destruction may not be too far away.Stand In Holy Places
8 Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen.And the "holy places" mentioned above are Zion and her stakes. People will flock to the "holy places" as places of refuge and safety. Not all will be Latter-day Saints, but all that are willing to keep the 10 Commandments, and perhaps a few other laws of righteousness will be welcome to dwell in safety, while the wicked suffer through the great destructions of the last days prior to the Second Coming of the Lord.Once again, an amazing prophecy of Joseph Smith's come forth as true.