Thursday, November 26, 2020

Prophetic Timeline

ca. 3300 BC The Lord prophesied to Enoch that "righteousness will I send down out of heaven." Moses 7:62. This prophecy was repeated ca. 530 BC "righteousness shall look down from heaven." Psalms 85:11. ca. 96 AD John the Revelator saw this as "another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people." Revelation 14:6. The Book of Mormon prophet Moroni realized he was that angel Moroni 10:34. Prophecy #1 An angel of righteousness, Moroni, will bring the gospel from heaven to earth.

ca. 3300 BC The Lord prophesied to Enoch that righteousness from heaven would be associated with "truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten, his resurrection from the dead..." Moses 7:62. This prophecy was repeated ca. 530 BC "Truth shall spring out of the earth." Psalms 85:11. ca. 720 BC Isaiah prophesied that the Nephites would "be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and their speech shall whisper out of the ground." Isaiah 29:4. The Book of Mormon prophets Lehi (2 Nephi 3:19-20), Nephi (2 Nephi 27:933:13) and Moroni (Mormon 8:16, 23, 26; Moroni 10:27) realized their words would fulfill this ancient prophecy. Prophecy #2 Truth, prophetic speech, will come forth out of the ground to bear witness of Jesus Christ. There is no stronger testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ than the Book of Mormon account of his visit to the Americas as a glorified being.

 ca. 720 BC Isaiah prophesied that "The Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act. Isaiah 28:21. Prophecy #3 The Lord will perform a strange act.

ca. 720 BC Isaiah prophesied that the Lord "will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid." Isaiah 29:14. The Book of Mormon prophet Nephi understood that the Book of Mormon itself would be part of this marvelous work and wonder 2 Nephi 25:17-18, 27:6, 26. Prophecy #4 The Lord will do a marvelous work and a wonder involving the words of a book.

ca. 530 BC Daniel prophesied that in the latter days a stone would be cut out without hands, that it would roll forth until it "became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth." Daniel 2:34-35. Daniel went on to explain that this stone was the kingdom of God upon the earth. Daniel 2:44. Prophecy #5 God's kingdom in the latter days will start small, then grow to fill the whole earth.

ca. 550 BC Nephi prophesied that the Book of Mormon plates delivered to Joseph Smith "shall be hid from the eyes of the world, that the eyes of none shall behold it save it be that three witnesses shall behold it, by the power of God, besides him to whom the book shall be delivered; and they shall testify to the truth of the the book and the things therein." 2 Nephi 27:12. ca. AD 420 Moroni gave instructions to Joseph Smith, "And behold, ye may be privileged that ye may show the plates unto those who shall assist to bring forth this work; And unto three shall they be shown by the power of God; wherefore they shall know of a surety that these things are true. And in the mouth of three witnesses shall these things be established...as a testimony against the world at the last day." Ether 5:2-4. Prophecy #6 Three witnesses, in addition to Joseph Smith, will be shown the plates by divine power and commanded to testify of them and their contents to the world.

ca. 550 BC Nephi recorded a vison in which he saw the Bible go forth from the Gentiles to Lehi's seed, followed by other books, including the Book of Mormon. These other books would have convincing power. 1 Nephi 13:39. Prophecy #7 The Gentiles will take the Bible to the Lamanites, followed by the Book of Mormon and other books. 

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Revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants, Church membership, and the writings of early Church leaders documented the explicit fulfillment of these seven prophecies.

5 times between February, 1829 and June, 1829 in Harmony, PA and Fayette, NY the Lord said his marvelous work was about to come forth in fulfillment of Prophecy #4. D&C 4:1, 6:1, 11:1, 12:1, 14:1. Oliver Cowdery in his Letter IV to W.W. Phelps said Moroni told Joseph Smith in 1823 that the Book of Mormon would bring to pass the marvelous work and a wonder. Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate, Vol. 1, No. 5, February, 1835 p. 79.

March, 1829 The Lord said 3 witnesses would testify of the Book of Mormon and their testimony would be included in the book itself. D&C 5:11. Their testimony would consist of two parts: 1) the truth of the words in the book authenticated by divine pronouncement D&C 5:12 and their visual experience seeing the plates and other ancient artifacts D&C 5:13. Then the Lord said that his word would be verified by historical events just as the prophesied destruction of Jerusalem was verified D&C 5:20.

Late June, 1829 The Lord commanded the 3 Witnesses to bear testimony of the Book of Mormon to the world in fulfillment of Prophecy #6. D&C 1:18 dated November 1, 1831.

Late June, 1829 The 3 Witnesses said an angel came down from heaven in fulfillment of Prophecy #1 and showed them the plates. The voice of the Lord told them Joseph's translation was true and commanded them to bear witness of it. They obeyed the Lord's command. The Testimony of Three Witnesses was first published in 1830.

April 6, 1830 D&C 1:30 dated November 1, 1831. The brethren who previously received commandments from the Lord were the ones who laid the foundation of the Church. Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, and David Whitmer all heard the voice of the Lord in late June, 1829 command them to testify of the Book of Mormon to the world. Smith, Cowdery, and Whitmer were 3 of the 6 original incorporators of the Church when it was organized in Fayette, NY on April 6, 1830. The other 3 original incorporators (Hyrum Smith, Samuel H. Smith, Peter Whitmer, Jr.) were among the 8 Witnesses. D&C 20:16, given on April 6, 1830, describes the voice of the Lord to Book of Mormon witnesses who testify of divine words in their roles as elders of the Church.  

October, 1831 D&C 65:2 The gospel will roll forth as the stone in fulfillment of Prophecy #5. At the end of 1830, Church membership stood at 280. The net increase in 1831 was 400 for a total at year end of 680 which was a growth rate of 142%. Then in 1832, immediately after D&C Section 65 was revealed, the floodgates opened. The net increase in 1832 was 1,961 for total membership at year end of 2,661. That 291% year over year growth surge, a rate not equaled since, laid a strong foundation for the modern Church.

November 3, 1831 D&C 133:36 The Lord in a revelation verified that Moroni was the angel who flew through the midst of heaven in fulfillment of Prophecy #1.

June 1, 1833 D&C 95:4 The Lord's strange act, Prophecy #3, was still in the future. 

December 16, 1833 D&C 101:93-95 Something the Lord said previously will happen, and leave all men without excuse. Wise men and rulers will hear and learn things of which they were previously unaware. The Lord's strange act, Prophecy #3, was still in the future.

September 6, 1842 D&C 128:19-20 Joseph Smith said the Book of Mormon was truth out of the earth in fulfillment of Prophecy #2. He said the Angel Moroni at Hill Cumorah (1823-27) declared that the Book of Mormon fulfilled ancient prophecy and the voice of the Lord in Fayette, NY (late June, 1829) commanded the 3 Witnesses to bear record of it.

September 15, 1842 Vol. 3 No. 22 of The Times and Seasons published at Nauvoo, IL by Joseph Smith, said information in John L. Stephens and Frederick Catherwood, Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan, 2 vols. (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1841) was part of the Lord's "strange act, and proving the Book of Mormon true in the eyes of all the people." This was fulfillment of Prophecy #3. George J. Adams gave a lecture in Charlestown, MA on February 4th and 7th, 1844 entitled "A Lecture on the Authenticity and Scriptural Character of the Book of Mormon." (Boston: J.E. Farwell, 1844). In his lecture, Elder Adams said Stephens and Catherwood proved the Book of Mormon true and that proof was "a wonder and a strange act."