This is probably one of the most poorly reported prophecies of Joseph Smith. We need to remember that the Prophet gave this statement before the days of any reasonably accurate recording device, including shorthand. As a result, the basic facts may vary widely.

The basis of the prophecy, however, is pretty plain. We are in for very hard times, and our basic liberties will be under increasingly greater attack.

Harold Stuart

On Tuesday, May 27, 2003, at 08:57 PM, Steven Montgomery wrote:

At 09:32 PM 5/27/2003, you wrote:
Doesn't prophesy say that the Elders will save it?


There are different versions and remembrances of Joseph Smith's statement (Given on July 19th 1840). Orson Hyde, in recalling Joseph Smith's words, put it this way:

"I believe he said something like this--that the time would come when the Constitution and the country would be in danger of 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, an nearly as I can recollect it." (See JD 6: 152)

If Hyde's version is correct then this makes the prophecy conditional. However, to be fair, President Ezra Taft Benson liked the version recorded by Martha Jane Knowleton, which is more explicit that the Constitution will be saved. Knowleton's version is this:

"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. "

I say, how can the Constitution be saved by the Elders of Israel when many of them don't even know its basic precepts? For instance, how many "Elders" know the reason the Founders setup the Electoral College the way they did? Or the reason that originally, before the 17th amendment, that Senators were elected by State legislatures?

-- Steven Montgomery [EMAIL PROTECTED]

It is no accident, then, that so many who gathered at Philadelphia to declare independence and a decade later to draft a constitution were men who had apprenticed themselves to Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, Polybius, and Cicero, and who could debate at length on the various constitutional forms of the classical world before they chose one for the new American nation. We owe our very existence as a people in great part to classical learning.----T. L. Simmons

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