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SouthernMo

Evidence of a Prophet

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5 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Brother Brigham's prophetic direction in D&C 136 was enormously successful.

Apostle Orson Hyde's dedicatory prayer on the Mt of Olives in 1841 has now been fulfilled in half of its prophecy:  The final Gathering of the Jews.  He also called for the rebuilding of their temple in Jerusalem. That is the next step.

The dedicatory prayer is certainly prophetic from what I see.

Not sure about Section 136. May be wise counsel that turned out well. Maybe even inspired. But I’m missing the prophecy of a specific event and the fulfillment thereof.

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3 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

.......................I think the better question to ask is what is the role of the head of the Church of Jesus Christ. 

That is not the same question at all.  The head of the LDS Church is the corporate president, and also the President of the High Priesthood.  Those are not prophetic offices.

Jewish scholar Yohanan Muffs says that “The usual definition of a prophet–someone whose prophecies come true–is really quite superficial.”  He says that “the first function of a prophet is to announce the Lord’s punishment and to call on the people to repent,” i.e., as “the messenger of the Lord.”  In fact the word "prophet" in Hebrew means "one called of God."  Muffs, “Agent of the Lord, Warrior for the People: The Prophet’s Paradox,” Bible Review, 18/6 (Dec 2002):21-27.

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3 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

The dedicatory prayer is certainly prophetic from what I see.

Not sure about Section 136. May be wise counsel that turned out well. Maybe even inspired. But I’m missing the prophecy of a specific event and the fulfillment thereof.

Ever heard of the Mormon Exodus and the American Moses who led it?  That's what D&C 136 is all about.  If it had been a failure, you would hear it compared to the Donner Party.

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3 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Ever heard of the Mormon Exodus and the American Moses who led it?  That's what D&C 136 is all about.  If it had been a failure, you would hear it compared to the Donner Party.

Again - I have no reason to doubt that Brother Brigham was led by the spirit. He was also well organized.  Guided by God, probably.

But - the group would have failed, gotten stuck in snow and eaten each other’s flesh to survive?  Wow. That’s a bridge too far for me!  I’m not a historian in the least, but weren’t there many, many people who trekked out West without the caring hands of Mormon leadership, and somehow made it without eating any human meat?  Perhaps I’m missing what a grand miracle that was...

Also - I’m looking for credible prophecy stories, not stories about spirit-guided leadership (which is a more subjective).

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4 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

Joseph Smith seemed to have prophesied the US civil war. While some may debate this, the evidence I see points to a pretty impressive prophecy!

Is there any other evidence of latter day presidents of the LDS church having correctly prophesied something?

As I understand it, Joseph did not mean to broadcast this prophecy, and I'm sure his successors kept such "predictions" to those who need to know, which we (me, anyway!) do not need for the purpose of promoting faith or instigating extreme reactions. These points and others are addressed in this article: https://www.lds.org/study/manual/revelations-in-context/peace-and-war?lang=eng

A snippet:

"Joseph Smith seemed reluctant to spread news of his prophecy on war too widely. ...When he compiled his revelations for publication in 1835, Joseph withheld Doctrine and Covenants 87 from the collection. After the nullification crisis ended peacefully, it seemed best to set the revelation aside during his lifetime."

 

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1 minute ago, CV75 said:

As I understand it, Joseph did not mean to broadcast this prophecy, and I'm sure his successors kept such "predictions" to those who need to know, which we (me, anyway!) do not need for the purpose of promoting faith or instigating extreme reactions. These points and others are addressed in this article: https://www.lds.org/study/manual/revelations-in-context/peace-and-war?lang=eng

A snippet:

"Joseph Smith seemed reluctant to spread news of his prophecy on war too widely. ...When he compiled his revelations for publication in 1835, Joseph withheld Doctrine and Covenants 87 from the collection. After the nullification crisis ended peacefully, it seemed best to set the revelation aside during his lifetime."

 

The article on Fair Mormon about this subject seems to indicate that it was shared more broadly than commonly believed - and by many close to him.

Do you have a point I’m missing, or are you just giving context to the revelation?

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27 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

That is not the same question at all.  The head of the LDS Church is the corporate president, and also the President of the High Priesthood.  Those are not prophetic offices.

Jewish scholar Yohanan Muffs says that “The usual definition of a prophet–someone whose prophecies come true–is really quite superficial.”  He says that “the first function of a prophet is to announce the Lord’s punishment and to call on the people to repent,” i.e., as “the messenger of the Lord.”  In fact the word "prophet" in Hebrew means "one called of God."  Muffs, “Agent of the Lord, Warrior for the People: The Prophet’s Paradox,” Bible Review, 18/6 (Dec 2002):21-27.

The intent of my question was to refocus the approach to the office of a prophet in a more positive manner. Your comments lend support to the concept that the role of the prophet is multifaceted and multilayered. It is not simply forseeing the future, etc. 

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27 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

Again - I have no reason to doubt that Brother Brigham was led by the spirit. He was also well organized.  Guided by God, probably.

But - the group would have failed, gotten stuck in snow and eaten each other’s flesh to survive?  Wow. That’s a bridge too far for me!  I’m not a historian in the least, but weren’t there many, many people who trekked out West without the caring hands of Mormon leadership, and somehow made it without eating any human meat?  Perhaps I’m missing what a grand miracle that was...

Wow.  Moses would have a hard time pleasing you !!  Maybe it will be more impressive if I mention that the two main bodies of Mormon wagon trains came out in a Jewish Jubilee Year, and the miracle of the Seagulls and Crickets happened right in the middle.

27 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

Also - I’m looking for credible prophecy stories, not stories about spirit-guided leadership (which is a more subjective).

FairMormon has a list of LDS prophecies:  https://www.fairmormon.org/archive/publications/the-truth-about-the-god-makers/ic .

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41 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

Also - I’m looking for credible prophecy stories, not stories about spirit-guided leadership (which is a more subjective).

You seem to be confusing fortune teller with prophet.

Many prophets never predicted a future event that we have record of.  Some did.

Prophets can declare God's will as easily as predict future events.

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1 minute ago, JLHPROF said:

You seem to be confusing fortune teller with prophet.

Many prophets never predicted a future event that we have record of.  Some did.

Prophets can declare God's will as easily as predict future events.

Ok?  Not sure how you’re adding to the question. It seems like you’re defending the LDS office/position of prophet as if it’s under attack.  Maybe I’m wrong?

Its a valid question, I think. As I posted here earlier, depending on how one defines “prophet”, it may not mean that he/she prophecies. (Although, I must note that it is odd - it’s like saying a skier is not necessarily someone who has shown they can ski). The LDS Bible Dictionary definition is pretty broad and loose about what a prophet is.

Im only asking about one potential aspect of what a prophet does/can do/should do to see what is there.  If everyone wants to call President Nelson or anyone else a prophet even if he never foretells the future, that’s fine by me. It’s not for me to define what a prophet is for anyone.

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25 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

and the miracle of the Seagulls and Crickets happened right in the middle.

The “miracle” of the seagulls and crickets has been challenged as being an anomaly by at least one author with some credible study and evidence.

Check out William G. Hartley’s work “Mormons, Crickets, and Gulls: A New Look at an Old Story”  I read it in Michael Quinn’s “The New Mormon History”

His research of contemporary journals shows that the ‘plague’ was not uncommon, particularly bad that year (crickets came on a seven year cycle), and is a story that has been exaggerated through the years.

Bottom line (for me): another faith promoting lore that helps Mormons feel blessed.

If Hartley is correct, how embarrassing is it that at temple square there is a monument to a miracle that never happened?

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

it’s like saying a skier is not necessarily someone who has shown they can ski).

Not really.  It would be more like someone had taken the term skier and then assumed it would only be applied to those who ski jump and the more common cross country and downhill ski activities didn't really count unless they jumped as well.

Our modern expectations for what the English word "prophet" is has altered from what the biblical term translated into English as "prophet" means.  There is nothing wrong with that, it just means we need to think about our assumptions about words and connections and where they came from.

If everyone currently using the term " skier" agrees eventually that it should apply only to jumpers, that still wouldn't change that in the past it was a wider application.

I am not saying that means the LDS definition is biblical, there are translated labels I believe we use differently than the those who wrote the Bible usedin the original language (I think we typically view " faith" in a different way, though at times the cultural usage during ancient times gets mentioned).

But if we are saying our prophets are like the prophets of the Bible, that is what they should be compared to, not modern expectations based on the current common language usage.

Edited by Calm

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20 minutes ago, Calm said:

Not really.  It would be more like someone had taken the term skier and then assumed it would only be applied to those who ski jump and the more common cross country and downhill ski activities didn't really count unless they jumped as well.

Our modern expectations for what the English word "prophet" is has altered from what the biblical term translated into English as "prophet" means.  There is nothing wrong with that, it just means we need to think about our assumptions about words and connections and where they came from.

If everyone currently using the term " skier" agrees eventually that it should apply only to jumpers, that still wouldn't change that in the past it was a wider application.

I am not saying that means the LDS definition is biblical, there are translated labels I believe we use differently than the those who wrote the Bible usedin the original language (I think we typically view " faith" in a different way, though at times the cultural usage during ancient times gets mentioned).

But if we are saying our prophets are like the prophets of the Bible, that is what they should be compared to, not modern expectations based on the current common language usage.

I’m not yet convinced.

What does the word “prophesy” mean?  Check the dictionary, or just use your own definition. When we take the verb and turn it into a noun, one would think the definition wouldn’t change much. I submit that among Mormons, the definition changes more in that verb to noun transition that other verb to noun transitions.

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1 hour ago, SouthernMo said:

The “miracle” of the seagulls and crickets has been challenged as being an anomaly by at least one author with some credible study and evidence.

Check out William G. Hartley’s work “Mormons, Crickets, and Gulls: A New Look at an Old Story”  I read it in Michael Quinn’s “The New Mormon History”

His research of contemporary journals shows that the ‘plague’ was not uncommon, particularly bad that year (crickets came on a seven year cycle), and is a story that has been exaggerated through the years.

Bottom line (for me): another faith promoting lore that helps Mormons feel blessed.

If Hartley is correct, how embarrassing is it that at temple square there is a monument to a miracle that never happened?

You said it yourself:  It was particularly bad that year.  Moreover, the seven-year cycle is an important hint that the Jubilee Year is the seventh seven year cycle of sabbatical years.  Aside from which the faith-promoting biblical Exodus miracles are always similarly explained away by scholarly sleight of hand.  In addition, this was a first planting and crucial to the survival of the newly arrived Saints.  Miracles are in the eye of the beholder.  The event actually happened.  Why should it be embarrassing that a scholar can now second guess it?

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36 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

I’m not yet convinced.

What does the word “prophesy” mean?  Check the dictionary, or just use your own definition. When we take the verb and turn it into a noun, one would think the definition wouldn’t change much. I submit that among Mormons, the definition changes more in that verb to noun transition that other verb to noun transitions.

What do you want? That a prophet should tell you the winning lottery numbers? To fortune-tell your palms? To tell you what to eat for dinner? To measure the bumps on your skull to determine the IQ of your sphere of intelligence?

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Posted (edited)

SoMo,

What the word prophesy means for modern people has little to do imo with what the word we translate as prophecy meant in the past.  Our interpretation cannot impact how they saw it in the past.  Therefore if someone appeals to the past for their definition, what we need to examine is not how it matches to modern understanding but if they are accurately describing past understanding.  Looking at how the Bible uses "prophet" is therefore First and foremost, imo.

These are older references, but in using Strong's lexicon for the meaning of the hewbrew and Greek that gets translated as prophets and prophecy, it is not foretelling that is important, but revealing the mind of God.

There are 11 words that end up as "prophet" 

https://www.blueletterbible.org/search/search.cfm?Criteria=Prophet&t=KJV&ss=1#s=s_lexiconc

Dictionary references linked to "prophet":

Quote

(Psa 45:1). This Hebrew word is the first and the most generally used for a prophet. In the time of Samuel another word, ro'eh, "seer", began to be used (1Sa 9:9). It occurs seven times in reference to Samuel. Afterwards another word, hozeh, "seer" (2Sa 24:11), was employed. In 1Ch 29:29 all these three words are used: "Samuel the seer (ro'eh), Nathan the prophet (nabi'), Gad the seer" (hozeh). In Jos 13:22 Balaam is called (Heb.) a kosem"diviner," a word used only of a false prophet.

The "prophet" proclaimed the message given to him, as the "seer" beheld the vision of God. (See Num 12:6, 8.) Thus a prophet was a spokesman for God; he spake in God's name and by his authority (Exd 7:1). He is the mouth by which God speaks to men (Jer 1:9; Isa 51:16), and hence what the prophet says is not of man but of God (2Pe 1:20,21; Hbr 3:7; Act 4:25; 28:25). Prophets were the immediate organs of God for the communication of his mind and will to men (Deu 18:18,19). The whole Word of God may in this general sense be spoken of as prophetic, inasmuch as it was written by men who received the revelation they communicated from God, no matter what its nature might be. The foretelling of future events was not a necessary but only an incidental part of the prophetic office. The great task assigned to the prophets whom God raised up among the people was "to correct moral and religious abuses, to proclaim the great moral and religious truths which are connected with the character of God, and which lie at the foundation of his government."

Any one being a spokesman for God to man might thus be called a prophet. Thus Enoch, Abraham, and the patriarchs, as bearers of God's message (Gen 20:7; Exd 7:1; Psa 105:15), as also Moses (Deu 18:15; 34:10; Hsa 12:13), are ranked among the prophets. The seventy elders of Israel (Num 11:16-29), "when the spirit rested upon them, prophesied;" Asaph and Jeduthun "prophesied with a harp" (1Ch 25:3). Miriam and Deborah were prophetesses (Exd 15:20; Jdg 4:4). The title thus has a general application to all who have messages from God to men.

https://www.blueletterbible.org/search/Dictionary/viewTopic.cfm?topic=ET0003006

Quote

"one who speaks forth or openly" (see PROPHECY, A), "a proclaimer of a divine message," denoted among the Greeks an interpreter of the oracles of the gods. 

In the Sept. it is the translation of the word roeh, "a seer;" 1Sa 9:9, indicating that the "prophet" was one who had immediate intercourse with God. It also translates the word nabhi, meaning "either one in whom the message from God springs forth" or "one to whom anything is secretly communicated." Hence, in general, "the prophet" was one upon whom the Spirit of God rested, Num 11:17-29, one, to whom and through whom God speaks, Num 12:2; Amo 3:7, 8. In the case of the OT  their messages were very largely the proclamation of the Divine purposes of salvation and glory to be accomplished in the future; the "prophesying" of the NT "prophets" was both a preaching of the Divine counsels of grace already accomplished and the foretelling of the purposes of God in the future.

https://www.blueletterbible.org/search/Dictionary/viewTopic.cfm?topic=VT0002237

Quote

The ordinary Hebrew word for prophet is nabi, derived from a verb signifying "to bubble forth" like a fountain; hence the word means one who announces or pours forth the declarations of God. The English word comes from the Greek prophetes (profetes) which signifies in classical Greek one who speaks for another, especially one who speaks for a god, and so interprets his will to man; hence its essential meaning is "an interpreter." The use of the word in its modern sense as "one who predicts" is post‐classical. The larger sense of interpretation has not, however, been lost. In fact the English word prophet, has always been used in a larger and closer sense. The different meanings or shades of meanings in which the abstract noun is employed in Scripture have been drawn out by Locke as follows: "Prophecy comprehends three things: prediction; singing by the dictate of the Spirit; and understanding and explaining the mysterious, hidden sense of Scripture by an immediate illumination and motion of the Spirit."

https://www.blueletterbible.org/search/Dictionary/viewTopic.cfm?topic=BT0003456

Edited by Calm
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The Hebrew for which prophet is our translation, nabi, means the one called by G-d or the one who calls upon G-d. Thus the South Carolina Nullification Crisis and the American Civil War aren't that interesting an issue.

JSJr is both called by and calls upon G-d. So he's a prophet.

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An analogy...if someone claims "our pies are just like Grandma used to bake", does it make more sense to compare them to what we find on the shelves of stores now or to go look at old detailed descriptions and recipes from Grandma's times?

LDS doctrine claims modern prophets are the same thing as ancient prophets.  So why would we look at someone the modern world views as a prophet rather than studying how the ancients viewed prophets and prophecy?

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37 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

You said it yourself:  It was particularly bad that year.  Moreover, the seven-year cycle is an important hint that the Jubilee Year is the seventh seven year cycle of sabbatical years.  Aside from which the faith-promoting biblical Exodus miracles are always similarly explained away by scholarly sleight of hand.  In addition, this was a first planting and crucial to the survival of the newly arrived Saints.  Miracles are in the eye of the beholder.  The event actually happened.  Why should it be embarrassing that a scholar can now second guess it?

First, it was not particularly bad that year.  I worded my summary poorly.

If a natural occurrence can be counted as a miracle or prophecy, and promote faith, then sure! But I put the seagull event in the same level of miracle as the sun rising or a solar eclipse.  Not god’s intervention.

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31 minutes ago, Calm said:

SoMo,

What the word prophesy means for modern people has little to do imo with what the word we translate as prophecy meant in the past.  Our interpretation cannot impact how they saw it in the past.  Therefore if someone appeals to the past for their definition, what we need to examine is not how it matches to modern understanding but if they are accurately describing past understanding.  Looking at how the Bible uses "prophet" is therefore First and foremost, imo.

These are older references, but in using Strong's lexicon for the meaning of the hewbrew and Greek that gets translated as prophets and prophecy, it is not foretelling that is important, but revealing the mind of God.

There are 11 words that end up as "prophet" 

https://www.blueletterbible.org/search/search.cfm?Criteria=Prophet&t=KJV&ss=1#s=s_lexiconc

Dictionary references linked to "prophet":

https://www.blueletterbible.org/search/Dictionary/viewTopic.cfm?topic=ET0003006

https://www.blueletterbible.org/search/Dictionary/viewTopic.cfm?topic=VT0002237

https://www.blueletterbible.org/search/Dictionary/viewTopic.cfm?topic=BT0003456

Sure. This is fine!  Anyone can define a prophet however they want!  I’m just wondering if being able to know what will happen and state that to others is part o the definition. In Mormonism, it seems that is a very minor aspect of the role/title.

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39 minutes ago, Burnside said:

What do you want? That a prophet should tell you the winning lottery numbers? To fortune-tell your palms? To tell you what to eat for dinner? To measure the bumps on your skull to determine the IQ of your sphere of intelligence?

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Darn it heck!  It seems most people here seem to be extremely unnecessarily defensive of LDS prophets for some reason!

I don’t want anything. President Nelson, Monson, Hinckley, whoever can call themselves prophets and people can call them prophets! They’ve done some great things. I feel the Holy Ghost when they speak sometimes. I’m just addressing one aspect of what a prophet can do (per the LDS Bible Dictionary), and wondering how much of that has been done in “these latter days.”

The emotional defense I’m sensing  from y’all of this title and word is so telling!  Defensiveness often stems from insecurity.  But maybe I’m wrong.

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5 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

What do you think the purpose of sustaining the Q15 as “Prophets, Seers, and Revelators”?

Why not just sustain them as presiding keyholders?

Great question, I do thing it's something to grapple with (personally and as a church) and not brush aside and we sometimes should expect more.

I do think that it's reasonable to sustain a good Bishop as a judge in Israel, even if it so happens at the time he presides, he never executes judgement and holds disciplinary councils as an example.

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3 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

The “miracle” of the seagulls and crickets has been challenged as being an anomaly by at least one author with some credible study and evidence.

Check out William G. Hartley’s work “Mormons, Crickets, and Gulls: A New Look at an Old Story”  I read it in Michael Quinn’s “The New Mormon History”

His research of contemporary journals shows that the ‘plague’ was not uncommon, particularly bad that year (crickets came on a seven year cycle), and is a story that has been exaggerated through the years.

Bottom line (for me): another faith promoting lore that helps Mormons feel blessed.

If Hartley is correct, how embarrassing is it that at temple square there is a monument to a miracle that never happened?

Fundamentally there is no such thing as a miracle. God only works with the tools at hand, and only does what is natural and normal. 

 

Water to wine, the parting of the Red Sea and the Seagulls all fall into this category. 

 

The seagull miracle is no less a miracle for all that there is a “natural “ explanation.   This is the way God works  

 

once one learns the magic trick, it’s not magic anymore  

 

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11 minutes ago, mrmarklin said:

Fundamentally there is no such thing as a miracle. God only works with the tools at hand, and only does what is natural and normal. 

 

Water to wine, the parting of the Red Sea and the Seagulls all fall into this category. 

 

The seagull miracle is no less a miracle for all that there is a “natural “ explanation.   This is the way God works  

 

once one learns the magic trick, it’s not magic anymore  

 

Maybe. See my earlier post. Does god have to intervene for it to be a miracle?  Or can we call any natural cycle or law a miracle?  Gravity = miracle where we can see god helping those in need?

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1 hour ago, SouthernMo said:

First, it was not particularly bad that year.  I worded my summary poorly.

Put yourself in the shoes of the pioneers that year:  For them it was the first time they'd seen such a thing.  Voila, a miracle !!

1 hour ago, SouthernMo said:

If a natural occurrence can be counted as a miracle or prophecy, and promote faith, then sure! But I put the seagull event in the same level of miracle as the sun rising or a solar eclipse.  Not god’s intervention.

Do we rewrite the Bible, and other Scripture, or simply write a revealing commentary?  All ten of Moses' plagues can be explained away as natural events.  And, hey, LDS theology posits a natural god in a naturalistic universe.  In fact, according to Brother Brigham, there can be no actual miracles -- just wondrous events which we don't understand.  God does intervene, but he uses exclusively natural means to accomplish his ends.

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