Anticipations of The Civil War in Mormon Thought

Published Date: June 12, 2014

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Hyrum L Andrus
Professor of Scriptures
Brigham Young University

February 1966
Extension Publications
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah 84601
All rights reserved

Since that historic day at Fort Sumter, men have sought to evaluate the Civil War and determine its basic causes. Among others who have spoken on the subject is Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet. His views are unique not only because of their content but also because they were first expressed over thirty years before hostilities commenced. Thereafter he continually repeated his views as he and his followers, with others, felt the lash of disrupting forces that finally terminated his life and brought civil war to the nation. People referred to the tall Yankee Prophet and his associates as Mormons, but to themselves they were Latter-day Saints (abbreviated Saints), called by modern revelation to usher in a new dispensation of the Christian gospel. While preaching a message of warning, they sought to build a New Jerusalem in Missouri, that a society capable of bringing peace to the earth might be established. The story of their successive treks while spanning the continent is the more interesting in light of their “foreknowledge” of the Civil War.1


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