The Word of God
Dan Vogel, ed.

Chapter 3
Prophetic Foreknowledge: Hope and Fulfillment in an Inspired Community
Anthony A. Hutchinson

[p.29]I have always been impressed by the Book of Mormon story in which the older sons of Lehi begin beating their younger brother Nephi (see LDS 1 Ne. 3:20-31; RLDS 1 Ne. 1:82-98). In frustration at an initial setback in obtaining the sacred records they had been commanded to retrieve, and in anger at the failure of Nephi’s own optimistic plans, they proceed to “smite” him until an angel appears and scolds them. Understandably, the brothers stop. Immediately following the angel’s departure, however, Laman and Lemuel again begin to murmur and question the angel’s optimism. At the end of the passage it seems clear that sooner or later the brothers will be pounding Nephi again.

I can never help wondering if the speed with which the brothers return to their old way stems from their depravity or from the fact that even a revelation given by a visible angel guarantees no certitude in religion. Perhaps such an experience is so out of the ordinary that it can easily be rationalized away, particularly if it entails moral or behavioral imperatives that are hard to bear. As a result, it seems that such experiences do not provide us with a certainty in spiritual matters we do not already possess by means of our faith—what Alma calls our “desire to believe” (LDS Al. 32:27; RLDS Al. 16:151).

The LDS missionary lessons teach that we came to this earth [p.30] to grow through the exercise of moral free agency, a precondition of which is our learning to walk by faith and not by sight. Thus it seems natural that nearly everything we have to deal with here will be in some way or another ambiguous. Such a confession sits uncomfortably in our religious tradition, since we frequently assert that the gospel is the wellspring of absolute truth and certitude. These assertions help us express our faith, our personal experience of God, and our deepest feelings about the things that we believe matter most. But they sometimes limit our sympathy for the ambiguities that others have had to live with. By extension, we tend to ignore our own need to walk by faith rather than by sight in this hard-to-understand world.

Ambiguity, however, is merely one of the prerequisites for moral free agency. Without some standards of judgment, no judgment can be made; as a result, there can be no real choice without standards. In the Latter-day Saint tradition, the concept of revelation counterbalances the agnosticism that might result from the ambiguity which we see about us. Although this role of revelation as a source of certainty stems in part from the emotions experienced by those who believe they have received revelation (something Joseph Smith said we all should receive), the rhetoric we employ sometimes raises false expectations about revelation and the people who receive it.

For example, many people sustain a view of prophecy that may be best described as “prophetic television,” foresight in which a prophet is graced with a panoramic and detailed view of events hundreds or even thousands of years in the future. Although this idea is usually held by its adherents to have its roots in certain scriptural passages, I think it is an inadequate image of prophetic foreknowledge since not a single example of such a power can be found. A remarkable consensus on this point exists among biblical scholars, both those who deny the possibility of miraculous foreknowledge and those who confess the possibility of miraculously bestowed objective knowledge of the future. According to Raymond E. Brown: “This conception of prophecy as prediction of the distant future has disappeared from most serious scholarship today, and it is widely recognized that the [New Testament] ‘fulfillment’ of the [Old Testament] involved much that the [Old Testament] writers did not foresee at all. The [Old Testament] prophets were primarily concerned with addressing God’s challenge to their own times. If they [p.31] spoke about the future, it was in broad terms of what would happen if this challenge was accepted or rejected. While they sometimes preached a ‘messianic’ deliverance (i.e., deliverance through one anointed as God’s representative, thus a reigning king or even a priest), there is no evidence that they foresaw with precision even a single detail in the life of Jesus of Nazareth.”1

To be sure, many New Testament and LDS sources regard their experiences as a fulfillment of the Old Testament. But such claims generally rely on selective readings of the Old Testament. This filtering process partially succeeds in giving the various Old Testament passages a semblance of having “foreseen” a specific New Testament or Mormon event. Nonetheless, the passages at issue often have a clearer, more immediate literal sense related to their Old Testament setting than they have in their New Testament or LDS interpretations.

For example, Isaiah 7:14—the oracle concerning a salvific future figure named Immanuel—usually comes up in any discussion of supposed Old Testament predictions about the life of Jesus. However, a careful reading of the passage with full attention to the actual semantic range of the words used in the Hebrew text reveals that the passage has a more immediate sense in the context of the Book of Isaiah itself. At the time the author was writing, the northern kingdom of Israel had joined with the kingdom of Aram (Syria) in rebelling against the new Assyrian monarch Tiglath-Pileser III. The two kingdoms jointly attacked Judah in an attempt to force it to join the Anti-Assyrian league in rebellion. In Isaiah 7, Ahaz is apparently reconsidering his policy of neutrality regarding the league, since he is being accosted by Isaiah while inspecting the waterworks of Jerusalem, a crucial factor in the city’s ability to withstand any Syro-Ephraimitic siege. Note in the passage the function the Immanuel oracle serves:

“In the days of Ahaz, king of Judah, son of Jotham, son of Uzziah, Rezin, king of Aram, and Pekah, king of Israel, went up to attack Jerusalem, but they were not able to conquer it. When it was reported to the house of David that Aram was encamped in Ephraim, the heart of the king and the heart of his people trembled, as the trees of the forest tremble in the wind. Then Yahweh said to Isaiah: Go out to meet Ahaz, you and your son Shearjashub, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool, on the highway of the [p.32] launderer’s field. Then say to him, ‘Take care you remain tranquil and do not fear; let not your heart be faint before these two stumps of smoldering brands [the blazing anger of Rezin and the Arameans, and of the son of Ramaliah], because of the mischief that Aram [Ephraim and the son of Remaliah] plots against you, saying ‘Let us go up to Judah and terrify it, and let us conquer it for ourselves, and establish the son of Tabeel as king there.’ Thus says the Lord Yahweh: This shall not stand; it shall not be. For Damascus is the head of Aram, and Rezin is the head of Damascus; Samaria is the head of Ephraim, and Remaliah’s son the head of Samaria. But within sixty-five years, Ephraim will be crushed, no longer a nation. Unless your faith is firm, you shall not be firm! Again, Yahweh spoke to Ahaz: Ask for a sign from Yahweh, your God; let it be as deep as Sheol, or as high as the sky. But Ahaz answered, ‘I will not tempt Yahweh!’ Then he said: Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary men, must you also weary my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: a young woman is pregnant, and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. He shall be eating curds and honey so that he may know to reject evil and choose good. For before the lad knows to reject evil and choose good, the land of those two kings whom you dread shall be deserted.”2

As is well known, this passage is beset with numerous sticky points of interpretation.3 Yet from the narrative, we can tell that Isaiah intended the Immanuel oracle as a sign to Ahaz of the reliability of Isaiah’s counsel concerning the Syro-Ephraimitic war and the prior issue concerning Ahaz’s policy toward Assyria. The “young woman” who carries the ideal king of the future is not identified in the passage as a virgin, since the Hebrew word ‘alm’ah does not mean “virgin” but merely a young woman of marriageable age. Given this, it seems that Isaiah was expecting the events envisioned in the oracle to occur in the near future, at least during his or Ahaz’s lifetime. Perhaps with the birth and reign of good king Hezekiah, the hope for an anointed future David which the oracle expressed found at least partial fulfillment.

The Old Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures paraphrased Isaiah 7:14 and heightened the miraculous element in the oracle by translating the word ‘alm’ah with the Greek parthenos. In the Hebrew text, Isaiah looked at a pregnant young woman and knew the child’s gender and future name; in contrast, the Greek [p.33] translation has him looking at a young woman who has not even had intercourse yet and foretells her pregnancy as well as the gender and the name of the child to be born. This quirk of translation allows the Greek-speaking author of Matthew’s Gospel to look at this verse (in Greek) and see its “fulfillment” in the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, whom Matthew and Luke regard as the only son of God from his conception in his mother’s womb, hence, being “of a virgin born.”

What we see here is a passage not “panning out” as its human author intended. As his original words underwent an evolution of text and language, they were reinterpreted and accommodated in light of subsequent events seen by later believers as acts of a loving God who fulfills his promises.

When one looks at the use of Old Testament prophetic scripture in the New Testament, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of examples of the same process at work. A simple example is found in Hosea 11:1, which is quoted in Matthew 2:15. Hosea makes a clear poetic reference to the Exodus in these terms: “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and I called my son out of Egypt.” Matthew, ever on the lookout for possible parallels between Jesus and the salvation saga of ancient Israel, appears to see in Hosea’s words actual foreknowledge of the flight-into-Egypt story that Matthew narrates: “This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt have I called my Son.'” This ambiguity of the Old Testament prophecy, coupled with the developing tradition which sees fulfillment by hindsight (not foresight), accounts in large part for the Jewish skepticism toward Christian use of the Old Testament.

The frustration of some of the prophets at the failure of some of their prophecies is demonstrated in at least one Old Testament text, Jeremiah 17:15. There Jeremiah complains to the Lord because of the taunts he has suffered at the hands of his detractors, who have heard his predictions and have not yet seen them come to pass. Jeremiah challenges the Lord to bring to pass the word which he had given to Jeremiah.

The same sort of dynamic seems to be present in the New Testament, with the whole question of the delay of the parousia and the fading of early Christian apocalypticism in the mainstream traditions of the New Testament.4 If any of the material attributed to Jesus in Mark 13 and Matthew 24 actually reflects sayings of the historical Jesus, it seems that the general pattern of uncertain [p.34] knowledge about the future applies even to Jesus of Nazareth. In these passages Jesus is portrayed as having an apocalyptic expectation of the immediate consummation of history, reflected also in the early writings of Paul (see 1 Thess. 4:15).

Many Latter-day Saints might believe that although the Bible’s pattern of knowledge of the future is at best ambiguous, we have clear examples of certain prophetic foreknowledge in the Restoration. But careful examination yields the same results, probably in more definitive form, since most source documents have not been lost in the course of textual transmission. In fact, the classic example used in LDS and RLDS apologetics to demonstrate Joseph Smith’s prophetic foresight, the 1832 Prophecy on War (D&C 87), thought to have predicted the American Civil War, tends to invalidate the model.

When the revelation was given on 25 December 1832 at or near Kirtland, Ohio, it clearly referred to the immediate political uncertainties provoked by the 1832 American Nullification Crisis. The 1832 Tariff Act, which favored northern industrial interests at the expense of southern agricultural concerns, because of the harm it wrought on foreign, primarily British, trade, had been declared null and void by the South Carolina legislature. President Andrew Jackson had responded by calling on federal troops to suppress rebellion in the state. In the midst of the crisis, Joseph Smith received the Prophecy on War. In the preface to the revelation in the History of the Church (1:301), he explicitly established the Nullification Crisis as the background for the revelation. In the revelation, he describes “wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning with the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls; And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place” (vv. 1-2, emphasis added). Thus he seems to state that the Nullification Crisis will result in world war.

This becomes explicit in the next verse, which originally read: “For behold, the Southern States will call upon 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 thus war shall be poured out upon all nations” (v. 3, emphasis added). Clearly a causal relationship, demonstrated by the word “thus,” is seen between the rebellion of South Carolina, the [p.35] southern states’ appeal to Britain, and a war among all nations which would engulf the whole world, destroying the fabric of society (slaves raise up in war against their masters in v. 4; American Indians vex the gentiles in v. 5) and culminating in the apocalyptic “consumption decreed” which makes “a full end of all nations” (v. 6) before the Second Coming. Note that there is no hint in the text that slavery itself would be at issue in the rebellion of South Carolina. For Joseph Smith in 1832, the prophecy predicted the immediate onset of a series of cataclysmic events preceding the parousia.

Shortly after the revelation was recorded, the Nullification Crisis was peacefully resolved and ceased to threaten the “death and misery of many souls” or any such string of events. Although the revelation apparently circulated among the prophet’s intimates, it was shelved, never to be published in his lifetime. Outside of the circle of his intimates, he only referred to the general idea of impending general war contained in the revelation, rather than to its failed timetable and scenario of coming events.5 Joseph’s further reflection on the revelation, coupled with subsequent events, produced a change in his interpretation of the revelation near the end of his life. Since he believed that the prophecy came to him from heaven and that every word of the Lord would eventually be fulfilled, he was able, even encouraged, to reinterpret the words that he himself had earlier penned.

On 2 April 1843, while giving some private items of instruction to close followers in Illinois, the prophet recounted a dream he had had on the evening of 9 March, in which an old man fleeing from mobs begged Smith for assistance, received a somewhat guarded reply from Smith, and added, running from Smith’s sight, that he himself could place any number of men at Smith’s disposal should the latter decide that his case was just. The interpretation, given by Orson Pratt apparently with Smith’s endorsement, followed: the government of the United States which had turned a deaf ear to the Saints’ pleas for protection, attacked by Great Britain, would beg for Smith’s aid in securing the western territories. After Pratt’s interpretation, Smith stated the following, “I prophesy, in the Name of the Lord God that the commencement of bloodshed as preparatory to the coming of the son of man. will commence in South Carolina,—(it probably may come through the slave trade.)—this the voice declared to me. while I was praying earnestly on the [p.36] subject 25 December 1832.”6 Of interest here is the fact that the original 1832 text has undergone serious reinterpretation: it is now linked with the hopes of Smith to aid the United States, and the cause of the wars has been changed from the 1832 Nullification crisis to perhaps the slave question.

In 1851, seven years after Smith’s death and a year after the compromise of 1850 had brought the slave/free question to the front pages of American newspapers, the reinterpreted but textually intact 1832 revelation was first published by Franklin Richards in Liverpool in the Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star and in the first edition of the Pearl of Great Price. It received great play just before and during the Civil War, which in fact began with the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor on 2 April 1861. But even granting the insight that war would begin in South Carolina, the suite of events predicted in the revelation did not occur. Although the South made overtures to Great Britain, the English never entered directly into the war, all the nations of the earth were not dragged into an American domestic conflict, and, of course, Jesus did not return in glory at the end of this unfulfilled string of events.

But the fact that the revelation when carelessly read seemed to predict at least the Civil War insured that it would not be shelved again. It was included in the Utah edition of the Doctrine and Covenants in 1876, as was an edited version of its 1843 reinterpretation, now found as D&C 130:12-13. Although dire predictions were given from the pulpit during the Civil War predicting the overthrow of the American government and citing the 1832 revelation, none survived in LDS tradition after Appomattox.7

In the wake of World War I, seen by many of the Saints as part of the “consumption decreed” and wars involving all nations to precede the end, it seemed that perhaps the revelation was right on the mark in predicting future history. After all, world war had come after the Civil War and the Indian wars. But this again was an after-the-fact reinterpretation of the revelation. For such an interpretation, one had to filter one’s reading of the text much like Christian filtering of Old Testament prophecies. One had to ignore the causal relationship in the revelation between South Carolina’s revolt and world war, so clearly indicated in the revelation’s use of the word “thus” in verse 3. But this minor problem was resolved in 1921, when James Talmage and other members of a revision committee edited [p.37] the text so that it fit more comfortably with this post-World War I interpretation. “Thus” was changed to “then.” This change weakened the causal tone of verse 3 and reduced it to a temporal sequence, allowing for the interpretive interposition of longer periods of time between Carolina’s rebellion, the call of the southern states to Great Britain, and subsequent world war. Although every manuscript copy and published form of the revelation until 1921 reads “thus,”8 the revision committee should probably not be accused of outright falsification. In the Kirtland Revelation Book, a collection of manuscripts to the published revelations, the word appears cramped at a margin, and with enough wishful thinking one might be able to wring a “then” out of it—but only if one really wanted to read “then” instead of “thus.” And this, apparently, is what the revision committee wanted to do in order to reinforce Smith’s gift of foreseeing the future. Here is a case where the predictive element of the text was maintained only through textual reinterpretation and emendation.

This example of Joseph’s role as prophetic predictor of the future follows the pattern noticed above in the biblical prophets. It does not support the prophetic television concept of prophetic foreknowledge. Other examples of this in Joseph’s writings abound. These include some which survived by adaptation in ways similar to the prophecy on war; others, neither ambiguous nor interesting enough to generate interpretive development, failed and faded; still others ostensibly view events yet to happen in the future and, therefore, have not needed reinterpretation. Examples of these various types of prophetic utterances, whether failed and abandoned, failed and reinterpreted, or whose fulfillment is still deferred, include such prophecies as the 1829 revelation concerning the Canadian copyright of the Book of Mormon, the so-called “Grease-spot prophecy” predicting the utter annihilation of the institutions of the United States and government, and various sayings about the Kirtland Safety Society and the establishment of the New Jerusalem in Jackson County, Missouri.

Clear examples of “prophetic television” are few in the Restoration, if not totally absent. The only place, in fact, where they seem to occur is in a specific class of documents brought forth by Smith, including the Book of Mormon, the new translation of the Bible (including the Book of Moses), the Book of Abraham, and one [p.38] or two passages from the revelations of the Doctrine and Covenants (especially LDS sections 7 and 93; RLDS 7 and 90). These documents, which claim to have ancient and divine origins, present a special problem. Unlike the Bible and Restoration patterns of prophecy generally, the Book of Mormon contains several examples of clear, unambiguous recounting of world events, including details of the life of Jesus of Nazareth hundreds of years before the actual event.

Some argue that the Book of Mormon gives the true pattern of prophetic foreknowledge; the Bible is deficient, since textual corruption eliminated all clear evidence of the true foreknowledge the ancient biblical prophets actually had. This position draws on certain passages in the Book of Mormon that question the textual reliability of the Bible (see LDS 1 Ne. 13-14; RLDS 1 Ne. 3:135-256). Others admit that Book of Mormon prophecy differs from biblical prophecy. This too relies on certain passages of the Book of Mormon—ones that contrast the obscurity of the “manner of the things of the Jews” with Nephite “plainness” (see LDS 2 Ne. 25:1-7; RLDS 2 Ne. 11:1-12). Again the difficulty is that this does not explain the divergence of Restoration prophetic patterns with those of the Book of Mormon.

Finally, one can look more closely at the Book of Mormon itself to see whether its portrayal of prophecy should be accepted at face value as a historical record of what ancient Americans actually said and did. In fact, the Book of Mormon presents “prophetic television”-type predictions only up to but not beyond the point in history at which the Book of Mormon itself was published by Joseph Smith in 1830: the book knows of Jesus’ life and works, the gross outlines of ancient and medieval Jewish history, the discovery and colonization of the Americas by Europeans, and the beginnings of American independence. But beyond this it couches further predictions—of the restoration of ancient things and the ultimate return of Jesus—in vague, ambiguous images and language more congruent with biblical and Restoration prophecy or in eschatological imagery borrowed from the Bible.

This conclusion is made all the more striking by the anachronistic character of many of the examples which do seem to support prophetic television. I am not saying that since prophetic television does not exist clear examples of it must be anachronisms and [p.39] therefore not trusted. The anachronisms I refer to are not the specific details of knowledge of the future but rather details of text and language that in and of themselves betray later authorship than that claimed by the document containing them.

For example, the first Book of Mormon textual example of apparent television-like prophetic foreknowledge, 1 Nephi 10:9 (RLDS 1 Ne. 3:11), has the sixth century B. C. prophet Lehi foreseeing the ministry of John the Baptist in detail, right down to the point of saying that he would “baptize in Bethabara, beyond Jordan.” The verses in the English text of the Book of Mormon are laced with language from various verses of the King James gospels. When this is recognized, the reference to “Bethabara” is troubling to a literal, historical reading of the passage. The English wording here has been borrowed from John 1:28 in the King James Version. The difficulty is that the word “Bethabara” in this text is most like a later emendation to the text, first suggested by third-century patristic writer Origen. The original text of John most likely read “Bethany,” which was changed because of the geographical difficulties it presented.9

With dozens of such examples abounding in the Book of Mormon, the unavoidable nineteenth-century provenance of its English text presents the possibility of modern interpolations and vaticinia ex eventu (backdated “prophecies” written after the event they predict—an occurrence also known in certain biblical texts). This does not impeach the inspiration of the Book of Mormon nor compromise its scriptural status. But it does disqualify Book of Mormon evidence from consideration in trying to justify the historical practice of the prophetic gift.

When the Book of Mormon is viewed under such a modern rubric, explanations of its portrayal of prophetic practice present themselves easily. Perhaps the very ambiguity of biblical prophecy inspired the literary portrait of prophecy-foretelling in the Book of Mormon. With such clear evidence of accurate prophetic foreknowledge, many of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century criticisms made of biblical prophecy were solved for the early Latter-day Saints, and indeed the Bible’s comparative failure in this regard could be chalked up to lost “plain and precious parts.”10

This same principle applies to the other books brought forth by Joseph Smith that present themselves as having been written [p.40] anciently—the Joseph Smith translation of the Bible, the Book of Moses, and the Book of Abraham. All of these works show the same kind of anachronistic contamination manifested in the Book of Mormon, and this makes them poor evidence for the actual historical practice of prophecy.11 Interestingly, their portrayal of prophecy seems to fit equally well into a nineteenth-century theological discussion concerning prophecy and biblical authority.

A few observations will help put these data in theological perspective. The Book of Mormon, regardless of its reliability as historical evidence, teaches that God does reveal himself, the objections of nineteenth-century Deists notwithstanding. What I have discussed here does not undermine that essential point; it merely places nuances into our understanding of what the revelatory process is.

It is also important to understand that the process of prophecy, accommodation, and imputed fulfillment of prophecy is based on faith and hope from beginning to end. Had Joseph Smith not felt a need to have faith that God had spoken to him on Christmas Day in 1832, he would have felt free to shelve the prophecy when it appeared to have failed and leave it there. But he did not. His faith that somehow the text had come not only from himself but also God led him to reinterpret rather than reject it.

The view of prophecy I propose sees the prophets of all ages as very much like those of the current church, in at least this respect: they are primarily concerned with addressing their own people and their own time. As Brigham Young said in 1847, alluding to Joseph’s explanation of another of his “failed” prophecies, “The difference between a revelation of God, and a revelation of man an[d] a revelation of the Devil is this: in one … of the Devil you will always see some great and dark thing which you cannot understand, and in a revelation of man you will allways [sic] see the man sticking out in it; but one that cometh from God is always plain and suited to the present condition of the people.”12

Some might find this perspective upsetting because they see it as undermining ideas that have comforted them in a troubled and uncertain age. I do not want to rob anyone of the comfort he or she finds in a principle of the gospel. Preaching the gospel should rightly give comfort to the comfortless—otherwise it could not encourage us to have hope. But at the same time, the preaching of the [p.41] gospel should make the comfortable and self-satisfied feel uncomfortable—otherwise it could not provoke us to repent. The reevaluation and reformulation required by the data and patterns discussed here should be part of a healthy and growing religious life.

A comment from the New Testament makes the reason for this clear. There Jesus addresses a call of metanoia to all, to wine drinkers and sinners and to the outwardly pious and righteous. Metanoia, a term from the Greek verb metanoeo “to change one’s noos, or mind,” can be translated variously. For those not keeping the law, the call is a call to “repentance.” For the outwardly righteous, to whom many of the parables reversing ordinary expectations are directed, the call is an appeal for a change in perspectives, in one’s way of thinking.13 Thus Jesus’ call, “Change your minds, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” should encourage us in reformulating our understanding of our faith. If we are interested in more fully understanding the prophets and their message, we must in this sense “repent” of ways of thinking that misrepresent our heritage and obscure our need to walk by faith and not by sight. Indeed, if we are not to “deny the spirit of prophecy” as it has been lived in the community and is now being lived, we must reevaluate our understandings and make them conform to what we actually know about the way he has spoken and still speaks to his people.

Anthony A. Hutchinson, a doctoral candidate in biblical studies at the Catholic University of America, works for the U.S. state department. “Prophetic Foreknowledge: Hope and Fulfillment in an Inspired Community” first appeared in Sunstone 11 (July 1987): 13-20.


1. Raymond E. Brown, The Birth of the Messiah (Garden City, NY: Image/Doubleday, 1979), 146.

2. My translation is based on a conjecturally and slightly emended Hebrew text. Compare any standard critical commentaries on the Hebrew text as well as the Textual Notes on the New American Bible (Patson, NJ: St. Anthony’s Guild, n.d.).

3. See Joseph Jensen, “The Age of Immanuel,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 41 (April 1979): 220-39.

4. See Keith Norman, “How Long, O Lord? The Delay of the Parousia in Mormonism,” Sunstone 8 (Jan./April 1983): 48-58.

5. Elder’s Journal, Nov. 1837, 28.

6. See A. Ehat and L. Cook, eds., The Words of Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1980), 169-72.

7. See Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. (Liverpool: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1855-86), 9:55, 142-43; 10:13, 15; 12:344.

[p.42]8. See Robert Woodford, “The Historical Development of the Doctrine and Covenants,” Ph.D. diss, BYU, 1974, 1,104-26.

9. See B. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (London/New York: United Bible Societies, 1971), 199; also Raymond E. Brown, The Gospel According to John (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1966), 44.

10. See Robert Hullinger, Mormon Answer to Skepticism: Why Joseph Smith Wrote the Book of Mormon (St. Louis, MO: Clayton, 1980), 140-49.

11. See J. H. Charlesworth, “Messianism in the Pseudepigrapha and the Book of Mormon,” in T. Madsen, ed., Reflections on Mormonism: Judaeo-Christian Parallels, BYU

Religious Studies Monograph Series 4 (Provo, UT, 1978), 99-138; K. Stendahl, “The Sermon on the Mount and Third Nephi,” ibid., 139-54; W. Walters, “The Use of the Old Testament in the Book of Mormon,” M.T. thesis, Covenant Theological Seminary, 1981, 95-162; Blake Ostler, “Responsible Apologetics,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 16 (Winter 1983): 140-44; Ostler, “The Book of Mormon as a Modern Expansion on an Ancient Source,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 20 (Spring 1987): 66-124; George D. Smith, “Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon,” Free Inquiry 4 (Winter 1983-84): 20-31. For a discussion of the Joseph Smith revision of the King James Version of the Bible (now called the Joseph Smith Translation), see A. Hutchinson, “The JS Revision and the Synoptic Problem: An Alternative View,” Journal of the John Whitmer Historical Association 5 (1985): 47-53.

12. In the Heber C. Kimball Journal, 19 Jan. 1847, Archives, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah.

13. This idea has been suggested by Raymond Brown, The Critical Meaning of the Bible (New York: Paulist Press, 1981), 95.