Do Mormon Doctrines Change? Have Their prophecies been fulfilled?

I was in another thread about the validity of Mormon baptism* and somehow or another this topic came up.

One person said their alleged “revelations” have contradicted their prior doctrines. A Mormon on the thread claimed that, not doctrine, but only practice has been changed by revelation. Food for thought on this subject: I just found that in a quick Google search, so I cannot vouch for it but it seems relevant.

Also on a thread I was involved in a long time ago it was brought up that most of Joseph Smith’s prophecies were not fulfilled. Since it is on the subject of the veracity of Mormon revelations I think it is within the scope of this thread. A source used in that old thread was

Let’s try to be civil and not get this thread closed. :wink:


First of all, it is very hard to determine what is “doctrine” within the mormon church.

Something can be taught as doctrine, then later changed, and then be told it was originally opinion.

The current “prophet” trumps any previous ones.

On an another thread, a mormon poster admitted that their god changes his mind based on current social issues.


Here is an example of a Joseph Smith prophecy in which the ‘redemption of Zion’ was supposed to have taken place on September 11, 1836 and of course, it did not.

A Second Zion’s Camp

In mid-August, just over two weeks after his return to Kirtland following Zion’s Camp, and during the height of the Sylvester Smith controversy, Joseph Smith dictated a letter to several of the Church leaders in Missouri. One of the most significant aspects of the document is that the Prophet fully expected that during the months ahead, Mormons would continued to gather to western Missouri (particularly Clay County), such that there would come a time when there would be a sufficient number of Saints assembled there that they could return to Jackson County and reclaim their lands. Joseph even set a date. Note his words in the letter: “Use every effort to prevail on the churches to gather to those regions and situate themselves to be in readiness to move into Jackson Co. in two years from the Eleventh of September next which is the appointed time for the redemption of Zion.” In other words, the Prophet anticipated that on September 11, 1836, the Church would make another attempt—a second Zion’s Camp—to return to Jackson County. He counseled them further to keep quiet. “Let not this be noised abroad let every heart beat in silence and every mouth be shut.”[59]

God’s peace be with you all


Yes, Mormonism is inherently changeable as the President of the church can allegedly get new instructions/revelations from God at any time,as when they abandoned polygamy, anti-black racism, etc., etc.

We should pray that Mormonism migrates towards a more orthodox Christianity.

Pray rather that Mormons migrate into the Church.

Yes, Mormon prophecy has continued to fail and here’s an example.

First remember that in the Old Testament there is a test to determine whether a purported prophet comes from God. In Deuteronomy 18: 21, 22 it says:

And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. (KJV–the official Bible translation of the Mormon church)

In Doctrine and Covenants 84 (this is another book the Mormons regard as canonized scripture along with the Old and New Testaments), in 1832, The Lord spoke and said to the church (by Joseph Smith’s revelation):

DC 84: 4-5

4 Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation.
5 For verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house.

“New Jerusalem” according to Joseph Smith was Independence, Missouri and the place where the temple was to be established there was called the “temple lot”, a small parcel of land about the size of a small city block. However shortly after that revelation was given the governor of Missouri, Lilburn Boggs, issued infamous executive order 44, legalizing the extermination of Mormons in the state and as a result the Mormons fled the area. The long term result was that the parcel of land was never developed (except for a trench that the city later filled) and a temple was never built. To this day if you go to the temple lot in Independence, Missouri, there is nothing more there than an open undeveloped field.

Now, the go-to explanation that a Mormon would/could likely give for this apparent false prophecy in one of their sacred books is that the generation has not run completely out. However, in 1871, thirty-nine years after the revelation was given, the Mormon community was so concerned that this revelation was set to fail the next year that one of the leaders of the church, Orson Pratt (a general authority) said the following:

**He promised us that He would manifest Himself on that temple, that the glory of God should be upon it; and not only upon the temple, but within it, even a cloud by day and a flaming fire by night.

We believe in these promises as much as we believe in any promise ever uttered by the mouth of Jehovah. The Latter-day Saints just as much expect to receive a fulfilment of that promise during the generation that was in existence in 1832 as they expect that the sun will rise and set to-morrow. Why? Because God cannot lie.**

Here, Pratt tried to massage the problem by declaring that anyone alive at the beginning of the generation which everyone assumed was forty years long, would see the temple built at some point in their lives thereby fulfilling the terms of the prophecy.

Apparently God did lie, because as of October 2012, everyone from that generation has long-since died, and no temple stands.

Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet therefore spoke presumptuously according to Deuteronomy 18, making him a false prophet, and making the Mormon Church a false church.

It is what makes the LDS Church so difficult…the “doctrine” is a moving target. And when they change something or do something against the Bible, the response is “we got a prophet who received a new revelation”.

But the LDS god is lacking. Let me give you an example. In D&C, Joseph gives a revelation that a certain guy will will go on a mission in the next few months. Well, the guy dies and never goes. Did God not know the guy was gonna die? Mormons, in trying hard to justify this, say, “well, he was going to be a missionary in the Spirit Kingdom”.

Sad, huh?

Very well said. The Mormon argument with which I am most familiar is: “Well, he wasn’t actually prophesying when he said that. Not everything a prophet says is a prophecy”.

Yet, as you have demonstrated, when one begins their statement with the words “Verily this is the word of the Lord” the “statement” must now be qualified as an intended “prophecy”, and, in this instance, a false prophecy. To conclude otherwise is nothing short of dillusional.

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