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What Did Joseph Smith Really Say?

Because the White Horse Prophecy has been dismissed by some Church leaders, there has been confusion from members of the Church with regard to other similar statements about the nation crumbling, the Constitution being on the brink of ruin and the Elders of Israel stepping up to save it. While the white horse prophecy may not be legitimate, there are several separate similar statements attributed to Joseph Smith.

The following is accepted as the most accurate, and verified, statement, and has been quoted by several modern prophets:

Even this nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground, and when the Constitution is upon the brink of ruin, this people will be the staff upon which the nation shall lean, and they shall bear the Constitution away from the very verge of destruction.

(Source: Joseph Smith Collection, LDS Church Historical Department. Joseph Smith on July 19, 1840.)

There are many similar statements attributed to Joseph Smith by Brigham Young, Orson Hyde, Eliza Snow and modern prophets such as Harold B. Lee and Ezra Taft Benson (I have found at least 41 statements along these lines). I believe there is sufficient evidence to conclude that Joseph Smith truly said the nation and Constitution would be on the brink of ruin/destruction and that this people (LDS) will be involved in saving it. All we really have to do is look around us and see the fulfillment of many of those ‘prophecies’ even including some of the statements found in the alleged white horse prophecy. What we have yet to witness is the Elders of Israel stepping up to save the Constitution. Let’s hope that happens sooner rather than later, if at all. In the meantime those who are liberty-minded have a lot of educating to do as we assist the Elders of Israel in waking up to their awful situation (Ether 8) and from ignorance and complacency.

Regardless of what the future holds, there are plenty of scriptures and teachings of modern prophets that tell us we do have a responsibility to stand up for Agency, Freedom, Liberty and the Constitution.

What The Prophets Have Said About The Constitution Hanging By A Thread

Ezra Taft Benson:

Will we be prepared? Will we be among those who will “bear the Constitution away from the very verge of destruction?” If we desire to be numbered among those who will, here are some things we must do:

1. We must be righteous and moral… 2. We must learn the principles of the Constitution and then abide by its precepts… 3. We must become involved in civic affairs… 4. We must make our influence felt by our vote, our letters, and our advice…

I have faith that the Constitution will be saved as prophesied by Joseph Smith. But it will not be saved in Washington. It will be saved by the citizens of this nation who love and cherish freedom. It will be saved by enlightened members of this Church — men and women who will subscribe to and abide the principles of the Constitution. ( Source: CHB 28-31 )

For years we have heard of the role the elders could play in saving the Constitution from total destruction. But how can the elders be expected to save it if they have not studied it and are not sure if it is being destroyed or what is destroying it?…

There is no excuse that can compensate for the loss of liberty.

Satan is anxious to neutralize the inspired counsel of the Prophet and hence keep the priesthood off balance, ineffective and inert in the fight for freedom. He does this through diverse means, including the use of perverse reasoning. . . .

The cause of freedom is a most basic part of our religion. Our position on freedom helped get us to this earth and it can make the difference as to whether we get back home or not. . . .

Now part of the reason why we do not have sufficient Priesthood bearers to save the Constitution, let alone to shake the powers of hell, is, I fear, because unlike Moroni, our souls do not joy in keeping our country free and we are not firm in the faith of Christ, nor have we sworn with an oath to defend our rights.

( Source: “Our Immediate Responsibility” 10-11; also in An Enemy Hath Done This 313-15 )

Harold B. Lee:

It was Joseph Smith who has been quoted as having said that the time would come when then Constitution would hang as by a thread, and at that time when it was thus in jeopardy, the elders of this Church would step forth and save it from destruction.

Why the elders of this Church? Would it be sacrilegious to paraphrase the words of the Apostle Peter, and say that the Constitution of the United States could be saved by the elders of this Church because this Church and this Church alone has the words of eternal life? We alone know by revelation as to how the Constitution came into being, and we, alone, know by revelation the destiny of this nation. The preservation of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” can be guaranteed upon no other basis than upon a sincere faith and testimony of the divinity of these teachings.

( Source: “Faith – An Effective Weapon Against Wickedness in Men and Nations” 912-13 )

Joseph Fielding Smith:

The statement has been made that the Prophet [Joseph Smith] said the time would come when this Constitution would hang as by a thread, and this is true. There has been some confusion, however, as to just what he said following this. I think that Elder Orson Hyde has given us a correct interpretation wherein he says that the Prophet said the Constitution would be in danger… Now I tell you it is time the people of the United States were waking up with the understanding that if they don’t save the Constitution from the dangers that threaten it, we will have a change of government.

( Source: “Founded in the Wisdom of God” 416 )

Joseph F. Smith:

Joseph Smith, the prophet, was inspired to affirm and ratify this truth, and he further predicted that the time would come, when the Constitution of our country would hang as it were by a thread, and that the Latter-day Saints above all other people in the world would come to the rescue of that great and glorious palladium of our liberty. We cannot brook the thought of it being torn into shreds, or destroyed, or trampled under foot and ignored by men. We cannot tolerate the sentiment, at one time expressed, by a man, high in authority in the nation. He said: “The Constitution be damned; the popular sentiment of the people is the Constitution!” That is the sentiment of anarchism that has spread to a certain extent, and is spreading over “the land of liberty and home of the brave.” We do not tolerate it. Latter-day Saints cannot tolerate such a spirit as this. It is anarchy. It means destruction. It is the spirit of mobocracy, and the Lord knows we have suffered enough from mobocracy, and we do not want any more of it. Our people from Mexico are suffering from the effects of that same spirit. We do not want any more of it, and we cannot afford to yield to that spirit or contribute to it in the least degree. We should stand with a front like flint against every spirit or species of contempt or disrespect for the Constitution of our country and the constitutional laws of our land.

( Source: “The Mexican Trouble – Loyalty to the Constitution” 101-02 )

Lorenzo Snow:

They will sustain the constitution and laws and institutions of the United States, and be the champions of liberty and of that constitution when its integrity shall be threatened.

( Source: Journal History of the Church, 15 Sep 1898, 3 )

Wilford Woodruff:

The Prophet Joseph Smith had said the time would come when the principles of the Constitution would be forsaken and that instrument would be rent asunder, and this people would then step forward and rescue it from entire destruction.

( Source: Journal History of the Church, 6 Apr 1882, 3 )

John Taylor:

It may not be among the improbabilities, that the prophecies of Joseph Smith may be fulfilled and that the calumniated and despised Mormons may yet become the protectors of the Constitution and the guardians of religious liberty and human freedom in these United States.

( Source: Journal of Discourses 23:266 )

Need we be surprised that they should trample under foot the Constitution of the United States? No; Joseph Smith told us that they would do it. Many around me here knew long ago that they would do this thing and further knew that the last people that should be found to rally around the sacred instrument and save it from the grasp of unrighteous men would be the Elders of Israel! When, therefore, we see these things progressing need we be astonished? I do not think we need be.

( Source: Journal of Discourses 20:318 )

Brigham Young:

Every organization of our government, the best government in the world, is crumbling to pieces. Those who have it in their hands are the ones who are destroying it. How long will it be before the words of the prophet Joseph will be fulfilled? He said if the Constitution of the United States were saved at all it must be done by this people. It will not be many years before these words come to pass.

( Source: Journal of Discourses 12:204 )

Others Quoting What They Heard Joseph Smith Say…

Eliza R. Snow:

I heard the prophet Joseph Smith say… that the time would come when this nation would so far depart from its original purity, its glory, and its love for freedom and its protection of civil rights and religious rights, that the Constitution of our country would hang as it were by a thread. He said, also, that this people, the sons of Zion, would rise up and save the Constitution and bear it off triumphantly.

( Source: Eliza R. Snow 556 )

Orson Hyde:

I believe he [Joseph Smith] said something like this – that the time would come when the Constitution and the country would be in danger of an overthrow; and said he, If the Constitution be saved at all, it will be by the Elders of this Church. I believe this is about the language, as nearly as I can recollect it.

( Source: Journal of Discourses 6:152 – quoted by Orson Hyde )

Jedediah M. Grant:

We are friendly to our country, and when we speak of the flag of our Union, we love it, and we love the rights the Constitution guarantees to every citizen. What did the Prophet Joseph say? When the Constitution shall be tottering we shall be the people to save it from the hand of the foe.

( Source: Tyler 350 – quoted by Jedediah M. Grant )

James Burgess:

…Joseph Smith made some remarks upon our condition as a people and upon our future prospects contrasting our present condition with our past trials and persecutions by the hands of our enemies. Also upon the constitution and government of the United States stating that the time would come when the Constitution and Government would hand [sic] by a brittle thread and would be ready to fall into other hands but this people the Latter-day Saints will step forth and save it.

( Source: The Words of Joseph Smith 279 )

37 posted on 02/26/2012 9:17:54 PM PST by Allon
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38 posted on 02/26/2012 9:18:40 PM PST by Allon
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