Question: Is a blessing given to Lyman Johnson that he would live until the gathering was accomplished a false prophecy?


Question: Is a blessing given to Lyman Johnson that he would live until the gathering accomplished a false prophecy?

Given that Lyman Johnson apostatized and forsook his role in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, any promise made to him in a blessing would have been forfeited

It is claimed that the ordination blessing given to Lyman Johnson of the Twelve was a false prophecy:

that he should bear the tidings of salvation to nations, tongues, and people, until the utmost corners of the earth shall hear the tidings; and that he shall be a witness of the things of God to nations and tongues, and that holy angels shall administer to him occasionally; and that no power of the enemy shall prevent him from going forth and doing the work of the Lord; and that he shall live until the gathering is accomplished, according to the holy prophets; and he shall be like unto Enoch; and his faith shall be like unto his; and he shall be called great among all the living; and Satan shall tremble before him; and he shall see the Savior come and stand upon the earth with power and great glory."[1]

Given that Lyman Johnson apostatized and forsook his role in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, any promise made to him in a blessing would have been forfeited.

"Live until the gathering is accomplished"

Even so, there is nothing in the blessing which should be classified as "failed" (though some aspects await fulfillment).

The blessing is not clear about which gathering is being referred to. Is it the gathering of all the tribes of Israel? Is it the gathering of the Jews to Jerusalem? These events were not to be completed within Johnson's day, or even our own.

But, there are other "gatherings" discussed and promised. Is it the gathering of the Saints into Zion? Johnson certainly lived to see the Saints gathered to Kirtland and the blessings of the temple within three years, in 1836. His lifetime would also see the gathering of the Saints to Salt Lake City, even if he did not participate as a member of the Twelve. Critics must rule out all of these potential readings if they are to label this as "false prophecy." They cannot do so.

"Shall see the Savior come and stand upon the earth"

This promise nowhere asserts that Johnson will be a mortal when he sees this glorious event. This promise could be fulfilled whether Johnson is alive or dead. This promise has not yet been fulfilled, but every Christian who awaits Jesus' return must admit that its fulfillment lies in the future, when "all flesh shall see me [Christ] together" at His Second Coming (see D&C 101:23, compare Isaiah 40:5, Luke 3:6).

Notes

  1. History of the Church, 2:188. Volume 2 link