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TitleProphecy and the Book of Mormon
Publication TypeMagazine Article
Year of Publication1918
Secondary AuthorsGates, Susa Young
MagazineRelief Society Magazine
Issue Number3
Date PublishedMarch 1918
KeywordsProphecy; Smith, Joseph, Jr.; World War I

The prophetic teachings in 2 Nephi offer great hope and comfort as America is threatened by the crisis of World War I. Other prophecies in the Book of Mormon add to the testimony that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God.

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Guide Lessons.


Theology and Testimony.

First Week in April,


The present crisis has turned the lime light on much ancient prophecy. However significant predictions from the Bible or the Doctrine and Covenants may be at this time, it is safe to say no word of prophecy has in it more of hope and comfort from the standpoint of our national life, than the prophecy found in 1 Nephi 10:10-14:

“But behold, this land, saith God, shall be a land of thine inheritance, and the Gentiles shall be blessed upon this land.

“And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there .shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the Gentiles.

“And he that fighteth against Zion shall perish, saith God.

“For he that raiseth up a king against me shall perish, for I, the Lord, the King of heaven, will be their King, and I will be a light unto them forever, that hear my words.”

Germany’s attempt at world-wide domination is not the first attempt threatening the Republican forms of government of the New World.

During the 60’s, Maximilian, the Austrian archduke, brother of the late Francis Joseph, of Austria, inspired and supported by Napoleon III of France, accepted an imperial crown and set up a government in the City of Mexico.

Mexico had become involved with Great Britain, France and Spain in relation to the treatment of their subjects and the pay­ment of certain claims. In order to get proper redress these nations landed a military and naval force in Vera Cruz.

Secretary Seward warned them on behalf of the United States against any attempt to acquire territory, which warning France saw fit to treat with contempt; thereby causing the with­drawal of Great Britain and Spain.

France dared to strive for the acquisition of territory be­cause the United States was then in the throes of her civil war, However, the termination of the war, making it possible for the United States to stand back of any demand she might make, Sec­retary Seward sent the following dispatch to John Biglow, Amer­ican minister to France. The date of the dispatch is Decem­ber 16, 1865:

“It has been the President’s purpose that France should be respectfully informed upon two points, namely:

“First—That the United States earnestly desire to continue to cultivate sincere friendship with France.

“Second—That this policy would be brought into imminent jeopardy unless France could deem it consistent with her interest and honor to desist from the prosecution of armed intervention in Mexico to overthrow the domestic Republican form of gov­ernment existing there, and to establish upon its ruins the foreign monarchy which has been attempted to be inaugurated in the capital of the country.”

Maximilian had landed at Vera Cruz on the 28th of May, 1864. From the very outset he found himself involved in diffi­culties of the most serious kind, which, in 1866, made apparent to almost every one outside of Mexico that he should abdicate. The United States had made its demands sufficiently plain to the Emperor of the French that he had withdrawn his army, thereby leaving Maximilian in the most precarious position possible.

Nevertheless, moving the seat of government from the City of Mexico to Queretaio, he resisted the Mexican forces for sev­eral weeks. On the 15th of May, 1867, he attempted an escape through the enemy’s line. He was arrested before he could carry out his resolution, and after trial by court martial was condemned to death. The sentence was carried into effect June 19, 1867.

His beautiful queen, Charlotte, daughter of the Belgian King, Leopold I, had wandered from court to court trying to get aid for her husband. At last she broke down under the strain, becoming insane.

Many forces seem to have been at work to fulfil God’s glorious promise to the Gentiles of this land.

The Monroe Doctrine of which we have heard so much in recent years has played its part.

No one can estimate how strong the British navy has been to this end. It is quite certain that before the outbreak of the present war. Germany sought the co-operation of Great Britain, that they might jointly enter Mexico.

For Germany to attempt such a thing alone, would have been absurd, with the British navy to reckon with. To attempt such a thing in co-operation with any other European nation or nations would have been equally useless with the British army in their path.

How sure are the prophecies of God, how complete their fulfillment! The prophecies in the Book of Mormon concerning the coming of the Savior Himself are clear as a stream of living water. Indeed the whole Book of Mormon is like the people it represents—without guile, simple, direct and vividly personal. Reference to the Savior’s mother is given, city of her residence, the name of Jesus, the new star which should appear. His bap­tism at the hands of John and His complete life and mission. These are all prophesied of in the most simple and clearest manner.

When the great oriental scholar and lecturer, Mme. Mount­ford, was reading the Book of Mormon, she immediately called attention to the dream of Nephi, “And I beheld the city of Naz­areth ; and in the city of Nazareth I beheld a virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white. * * * And he said unto me,

Behold the virgin whom thou seest, is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh” (I Nephi 11:13, 19).

“No one but a profound eastern scholar or an inspired man would have said that, for oriental women always dress according to their social condition. A virgin wears one style of clothing, a married woman another style, and a widow Still another. An imposter would not have dared to make such a statement, so your Prophet Joseph Smith must have been a scholar or an inspired man,” she added.

Still another marvelous prophecy given in that precious book is the prophecy concerning the choice of the Prophet Joseph Smith, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the work which the Prophet would do in behalf of the seed of Nephi and Lehi. We learn through this that the Prophet Joseph Smith is a direct descendant of Joseph who was sold, into Egypt, through his father Joseph Smith, Sr., and therefore, he is of the royal blood of Ephraim and Joseph. How precious is that blood, and yet it was spilled in Carthage jail. The prophecy follows:

“For Joseph truly testified, saying: A seer shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins.

And his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father. And he shall be like unto me; for the thing which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand, by the power of the Lord shall bring- my people unto salvation;

“Yea, thus prophesied Joseph, I am sure of this thing, even as I am sure of the promise of Moses; for the Lord hath said unto me, I will preserve thy seed for ever” (II Nephi 3:5-16).

(Note: When class leaders or organizations feel the need of and can afford to buy supplementary books to these Book of Mormon studies, there are several splendid books which have our hearty commendation. Mrs. Elizabeth Cannon Porter’s charming stories from Cities of the Sun deals with Book of Mormon times and characters. While Lew Wallace's Fair God is full of his­torical suggestions taken bodily from Prescott’s Conquest of Peru, regarding Indian customs and their traditions of a fair God.)


  1. Why is the prophecy contained in II Nephi 10:10-14, especially encouraging from the standpoint of our national life?
  2. In what way was the Republican government of Mexico threatened?
  3. Who was then Emperor of France; and what relation was he to Napoleon the great?
  4. What persons were once styled Emperor and Empress of Mexico? What misfortune overtook these persons?
  5. In what way did this fulfil the Book of Mormon proph­ecy quoted in this lesson?
  6. Who was Secretary Seward? What President was then at the White House?
  7. Give the gist of the dispatch that Secretary Seward sent to John Biglow, American minister to France.
  8. What is the Monroe Doctrine?
  9. How has the British navy protected America from na­tions with imperialistic designs?
  10. Show how the Monroe Doctrine, Secretary Seward’s dis­patch to John Biglow, and the British navy have all worked to­gether to fulfil an important prophecy of the Book of Mormon.
  11. What prophecies can you quote concerning the advent of the Savior in Jerusalem and on this continent?
  12. What can you tell concerning the vision of Nephi?
  13. What is a seer?
  14. What was the title of the Prophet Joseph Smith?
  15. How did he fulfil his office and calling?