Joseph Smith's Prophecies

Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, is viewed by the movement's adherents as a prophet in the tradition of the ancient prophets recorded in the Bible. During his life, Smith made several prophecies, many documented in the Doctrine and Covenants, a book of scripture in several of the movement's denominations.

There is much dispute surrounding the known and alleged prophecies of Smith. Some critics contend that Smith could not be a genuine prophet because they claim that some of his prophecies did not come true. Latter Day Saint adherents have responded to these claims by putting forth the following six arguments:

  1. some prophecies that critics claim have failed have actually been fulfilled;
  2. some of Smith's statements have been mischaracterized as "prophecies";
  3. some prophetic statements ascribed to Smith have not been verified as legitimate by either Latter Day Saint or non–Latter Day Saint historians;
  4. some prophecies should be interpreted metaphorically, not literally;
  5. some legitimate prophecies were conditional and did not happen because the conditions precedent to those prophesies were not satisfied; and
  6. some legitimate prophecies remain unfulfilled but are expected to be fulfilled in the future.