time to find someone with access to the archives, if LDS archives means the Official "vault" of the LDS Church. In looking up the quote there is some very disturbing stuff.
did you see this information on facebook?
from Austin Arcibald...
We can't, with 100% certainty, attribute this to Joseph Smith, the prophet and presidential candidate, but that is the claim: "My brother, Noah Packard, says that he heard the Prophet Joseph say that the next great [U.S. civil] war after the war of the rebellion [the Civil War of the 1860's between the North and the South] would commence in a little town now called Chicago but at that time it would have grown to be a very large city. And another brother told me that the Prophet said that the cause of the next great trouble of the United States would be the depreciation of the currency of the United States
. I believe I have given you all the facts in as short and concise manner as possible." (A. Milton Musser papers, LDS Church Archives, letter from Nephi Packard to A. Milton Musser, July 24, 1896.)
If true, wow.
It's also interesting that TIME recently asked this very question: Will the Federal Reserve Cause a Civil War?
Another quote from Joseph Smith on currency:
“I consider that it is not only prudential, but absolutely necessary to protect the inhabitants of this city from being imposed upon by a spurious currency...I think it much safer to go upon the hard money system altogether. I have examined the Constitution upon this subject and find my doubts removed” (Scriptural Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 314).
In that same quote:
"Shall we be such fools as to be governed by its [the Illinois Legislature] laws, which are unconstitutional? No! We will make a law for gold and silver; and then the state law ceases and we can collect our debts. Powers not delegated to the states or reserved from the states are constitutional. The Constitution acknowledges that the people have all power not reserved to itself…This is the doctrine of the Constitution, so help me God. The Constitution provides to regulate bodies of men and not individuals" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 279).
Another JS reference to the next great trouble (bigger than the rebellion, or first civil war):
David Whitmer interview with Dr. Poulson, printed in the Deseret News on Friday, August 16, 1878:
Question: When will the temple be built in Independence?
Answer: Right after the great tribulation is over
Question: What do you mean by that?
Answer: A civil war more bloody and cruel than the rebellion. It will be the smashing up of this nation, about which time the second great work has to be done, a work like Joseph did, and the translation of the sealed plates and peace all over.
*More information on the Packards:
It seems A Milton Musser was appointed Assistant Church Historian in 1902. This letter was written in 1896. Noah Packard (and "another brother") apparently heard the Prophet talk about this 2nd civil war, its city of origin, and its fundamental cause. Noah told his brother Nephi. Their father was also named Noah Packard (whose father was also named Noah Packard). I found a journal entry written by Noah Packard (Nephi and Noah's father). It seems he was a good and faithful servant. Baptized by Parley in 1832, stayed faithful through the Kirtland years, preparatory anointing in Kirtland, 1st anointing, endowment, and sealing in 1845 in Nauvoo, then also received his 2nd anointing in 1845.
His son, Noah [the 3rd] Packard, was born in 1821. Noah the 3rd is the primary source of this prophecy. That means he was ~11 years old when his father was baptized, and ~23 years old when the Prophet was martyred. At least we don't discover he was like 5 years old when the prophet died - it helps to make his hearing of the prophecy more plausible - as we can sometimes find with these "I heard the Prophet say" type of statements. Nephi Packard (the primary source's brother and author of the letter to Musser) was born July 1832, so he was about one month old when his father was baptized and ~11 years old when the Prophet died.
If the letter was written in 1896, then Noah the 3rd would be ~75 years old (I assume he's dead by then?), and Nephi would be 64 years old. This helps to temper the criticism that 1896 is too late of a date for someone to mention "I heard the prophet say" - It was his brother who heard it, who was 11 years older than he was. Again, the timing of everything seems plausible. No gaping holes from what I can gather.
Here is some more information on Nephi Packard. Baptized at 8 in Nauvoo, age 14 at the exodus, moved to Hobble Creek (now Springville, UT), married at ~29, did some farming and mining, and was called as Bishop of Springville Ward in 1883 (age 51) and remained so until it split into 4 wards, in 1892. No mention of plural marriage (which wasn't uncommon). And the line that I like: "Mr. Packard is an amiable gentleman, of unusual intelligence, and a man of strict honesty and integrity." Unusual intelligence - so perhaps it was easy for him to remember the prophecy as his brother and "another brother" explained it to him. Strict honesty and integrity - we have no reason to doubt that he did not make this up.
More information on Noah Packard is a bit more difficult to find since he was named after his father and grandfather. I wish we had more detail on this "another brother" who told him that depreciation of the currency was the cause.
Edited by frankenstein, 14 July 2011 - 10:13 AM.