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Joseph Smith/Alleged false prophecies/Thomas B. Marsh to be "exalted"
Thomas B. Marsh to be "exalted"
Question: Why did Joseph Smith claim that Thomas B. Marsh, who later apostatized, would be "exalted," and that he would preach "unto the ends of the earth"?
This was a conditional prophesy, which was not fulfilled in Marsh's case because of his apostasy
Many feel that Marsh's replacement as President of the Quorum of the Twelve (Brigham Young) did fulfill this prophecy, especially in reference to the line which reads: "thy path lieth among the mountains, and among many nations." Had Marsh remained faithful, he and not Brigham would have directed the western exodus of the Saints to the Rocky Mountains. He also would have joined in the missions abroad conducted by Brigham.
Those who offer the criticism that this is a false prophecy generally do not cite the entire text
Richard Abanes, One Nation Under Gods, for example, cites only verses 3–4, 7–8, and 11.
In DC 112:3-11, note the material highlighted in bold, which the author of One Nation Under Gods omits:
3 Nevertheless, inasmuch as thou hast abased thyself thou shalt be exalted; therefore, all thy sins are forgiven thee.
4 Let thy heart be of good cheer before my face; and thou shalt bear record of my name, not only unto the Gentiles, but also unto the Jews; and thou shalt send forth my word unto the ends of the earth.
5 Contend thou, therefore, morning by morning; and day after day let thy warning voice go forth; and when the night cometh let not the inhabitants of the earth slumber, because of thy speech.
6 Let thy habitation be known in Zion, and remove not thy house; for I, the Lord, have a great work for thee to do, in publishing my name among the children of men.
7 Therefore, gird up thy loins for the work. Let thy feet be shod also, for thou art chosen, and thy path lieth among the mountains, and among many nations.
8 And by thy word many high ones shall be brought low, and by thy word many low ones shall be exalted.
9 Thy voice shall be a rebuke unto the transgressor; and at thy rebuke let the tongue of the slanderer cease its perverseness.
10 Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers.
11 I know thy heart, and have heard thy prayers concerning thy brethren. Be not partial towards them in love above many others, but let thy love be for them as for thyself; and let thy love abound unto all men, and unto all who love my name.
Sometime in the fall of 1838, Marsh left Far West with his family and began actively opposing the Saints. He swore out an affidavit in October 1838 that detailed his concerns about acts of violence and destruction he believed were being planned or carried out by members of the Church against their neighbors in Caldwell and Daviess counties, as well as stating his fear that “all the Mormons who refused to take up arms, if necessary in difficulties with the citizens, should be shot or otherwise put to death,” and that “no Mormon dissenter should leave Caldwell county alive.” Orson Hyde added his signature in support of Marsh's disclosures....Marsh’s bitter feelings toward the Church kept him away for almost two decades. At some point in the mid-1850s, having lost his wife and suffering from health problems, Marsh determined to reunite with the Church. His regret and repentance appeared to be humble and genuine. Writing to Heber C. Kimball in Salt Lake City, Marsh lamented, “the Lord could get along very well without me and He has lost nothing by my falling out of the ranks; But O what have I lost?!" Marsh further explained that he had "met with G W. Harris and a reconsiliation has taken place with us.”
See also: George A. Smith, Journal of Discourses 3:283-294.
To see citations to the critical sources for these claims, click here