Mormonism and the Millennial Kingdom/Part 1

By: Marvin W. Cowan; ©2005
Marvin Cowan quotes prophecies and predictions about the Millennial Kingdom from Joseph Smith and other Mormon leaders—prophecies that never came true. How do Mormons explain this failure on the part of their leaders?

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Millennial Kingdom Contents

Our last article discussed some of Joseph Smith’s predictions about the Sec­ond Coming of Christ that never happened. Many other religious leaders have also made predictions about Christ’s coming that weren’t true. The difference is that Smith claimed to be a Prophet of God who gave his followers “latter-day” scripture. On April 6, 1830, the day that the LDS Church was organized, Smith claimed he received a revelation saying:

Behold, there shall be a record kept among you; and in it thou shalt be called a seer, a translator, a prophet, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church through the will of God the Father, and the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ… Wherefore, meaning the (LDS) Church, Thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me; For his word ye shall receive as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith (Doctrine & Covenants 21:1 & 3-4).

Our last article quoted only Smith and his scripture which he said came from God. Again in this article we will quote Joseph Smith and LDS Prophets who succeeded him as well as LDS Apostles and LDS scripture.

Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie referred to Doctrine & Covenants 77:6 & 12 and said,

This earth, according to the divine plan, is passing through a mortal or temporal existence of seven millenniums or 7000 years. During the first six of these (covering a total period of 6000 years from the time of the fall of Adam) conditions of carnality, corruption, evil, and wickedness of every sort have prevailed upon the earth… When the 7th thousand years commences, however, radical changes will take place both in the earth itself and in the nature and type of existence enjoyed by all forms of life on its face. This will be the long hoped for age of peace when Christ will reign personally upon the earth… This is the period known to the saints of all ages as the Millennium (Mormon Doctrine, p. 492).

And LDS scripture says,

In the beginning of the seventh thousand years will the Lord God sanctify the earth, and complete the salvation of man, and judge all things, unto the end of all things; and the sounding of the trumpets of the seven angels are the preparing and finishing of his work, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years—the preparing of the way before the time of his coming (Doctrine & Covenants 77:12).

McConkie also said,

When the time approaches for Christ to come and reign personally upon the earth for the millennial period, then Adam and all those subordinate to him who have held keys and authority will meet in the Valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman. There an accounting will be made of all stewardships; Christ will come and receive back the keys; and there will be “given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him” (Dan. 7:14). Following this all will be in readiness for our Lord to reign personally upon the earth, and he will soon thereafter come to usher in the great millennial era (Mormon Doctrine, p. 493).

Joseph Fielding Smith, the 10th LDS Prophet also said,

In accord with the revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, we teach that the Garden of Eden was on the American continent located where the City Zion, or the New Jerusalem, will be built. When Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden, they eventually dwelt at a place called Adam-ondi-Ahman, situated in what is now Daviess County Missouri (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. III, p. 74).

And according to Doctrine & Covenants 116, Spring Hill in Daviess County Missouri is the location of Adam-ondi-Ahman. Notice that Joseph Fielding Smith said that Christ will meet with Adam and others at Adam-ondi-Ahman or Spring Hill, Missouri to receive “keys” before His Second Coming to earth to rule for a thousand years.

Joseph Smith claims that he was told by the Lord,

I will reveal myself from heaven with power and great glory, with all the hosts thereof, and dwell in righteousness with men on the earth a thousand years, and the wicked shall not stand. And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, and it hath gone forth in a firm decree by the will of the Father, that mine apostles, the Twelve which were with me at Jerusalem, shall stand at my right hand at the day of my coming in a pillar of fire, being clothed with robes of righteousness, with crowns upon their heads, in glory even as I am, to judge the whole house of Israel, even as many as have loved me and kept my commandments, and none else (Doctrine & Covenants 29:11-12).

The 12 who were with Jesus in Jerusalem included Judas Iscariot, who be­trayed Him, said he had sinned and then killed himself. He is the only one of the 12 who was replaced (Acts 1:16-26). It is difficult to believe that Judas was clothed with a robe of righteousness and crowned in glory like the Lord or that he will be involved in judging the whole house of Israel.

In discussing the millennium, LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie said,

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on earth; it is the kingdom which shall never be destroyed or left to other people; it is the kingdom which shall break in pieces and consume all other kingdoms; and it shall stand forever (Dan. 2:44). But for the present it functions as the ecclesiastical kingdom only. With the millennial advent, the kingdom of God on earth will step forth and exercise political jurisdiction over all the earth as well as ecclesiastical jurisdiction over its own citizens (Mormon Doctrine, p. 499-500).

Joseph Fielding Smith, the 10th LDS Prophet said, “When Christ comes, the political kingdom will be given to the (LDS) Church” (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. I, p. 230). Daniel 2:44 actually has reference to Christ’s kingdom, not to the LDS Church or any other church. And Revelation 11:15 declares, “The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord and His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.” The Bible does not say that Christ will give His kingdom to the LDS Church.

Those who want to read more of the Mormon perspective on the millennium can do so in Doctrines of Salvation, vol. III, by Joseph Fielding Smith. Our next article will continue the discussion of Mormonism and the millennium.

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