The Prophecies of Joseph Smith

By Duane S. Crowther

Synopsis: According to the author, this book was written for 5 purposes: 1) Report the main events in the life of Joseph Smith, 2) Report the numerous prophecies made by Joseph Smith and the nature and/or manner of their fulfillment, 3) Report the prophecies made about Joseph Smith by those associated with him, 4) Report the scriptural prophecies which found fulfillment in Joseph Smith and the Church he restored, and 5) Report the other miraculous powers, spiritual gifts, and accomplishments possessed or performed by Joseph Smith which were a result of his prophetic calling. (see Introduction).

Strong Points: This was an engaging book with an enthralling topic. I was fascinated to read a book all about the prophecies of Joseph Smith and their fulfillment. It wasn’t quite what I expected when I started reading it, however, as the book reads like a quasi-biography of Joseph Smith. Its scope was much broader (as seen by the synopsis above). It was, nevertheless, a very good read. And even as biographies of Joseph Smith go, it was well done. I learned several things for the first time reading this book (and that is after already reading several Joseph Smith biographies), as well as enjoying old familiar stories. The author had a talent for putting historical circumstances into sharp context, and the book proves to be educational even to the seasoned student of Joseph Smith’s life. The book was well-researched, thoughtful, and thorough. While reading it, I thought that the book could function as a good missionary tool, if a nonmember could be persuaded to read it. The book also has a handy, multi-faceted index that helps the reader locate specific prophecies within the book.

Weak Points: This book made the common Crowther errors: calling the United Order a “communal” system (p. 36), as well as the implication that Peter, James and John restored the sealing power in 1829 rather than Elijah in 1836 (p. 269). Also, with so many stated purposes of the book, it seemed to lack some focus, and were it not for the title you might forget what the book is supposed to be about. And unfortunately, due to the nature of the subject matter, much of the recorded fulfillments of prophecy could only be found within the writings of the Prophet himself (in History of the Church), which might not be terribly persuasive to a skeptic. However, there were other startling fulfillments which could be corroborated independent of that source, which were very impressive.

Interesting: 4.5/5

Must Read: 4/5

Overall: 4.5/5

Selected Quote: “‘When the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the Lord hath truly sent him.’ [Jeremiah 28:9]

“Twenty-four centuries after Jeremiah set forth his challenge and test [in Jeremiah 28:9], God saw fit to raise up another prophet. Like Jeremiah, the prophet of the latter-days was a simple youth from a small village. Like Jeremiah, he was given his prophetic calling while still very young. Like Jeremiah, he became a dynamic spokesman who fearlessly set forth the word of God to all who would give heed. Like Jeremiah, he suffered intense persecution because of his faithful fulfillment of his prophetic mission. And like Jeremiah, his prophecies – literally hundreds of them – came to pass, thus substantiating his claim as a prophetic spokesman of God. When Jeremiah’s test [in Jeremiah 28:9] is applied to Joseph Smith, this prophet of the latter days, the discerning student cannot fail to find the vindication of his prophetic claim.” (Introduction).

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