Predestination, Part 2
Reader Comment: “I’ll turn the challenge around and ask: What scriptures do YOU have that indicate God could NOT find out the future, on a detailed level, should he choose to do so.”
You guys ought to know by now that I am always up to a good challenge.
Let us start with the book of Jonah from the Bible.
“And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. Jonah 3:1-4
First it is important to note verse one where God tells Jonah to “preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.” This is important. Otherwise we could just assume that Jonah was teaching by the seat of his fallible pants.
And what was it that Jonah taught that was given to him from God?
It was this point blank prediction:
“Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.”
Notice that Jonah offered the people no way out. He did not say repent or be destroyed. Instead he just told them they would be destroyed.
And how did the people respond?
It is written: “So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.” Jonah 3:5
Jonah must have made it clear he was speaking the words of God for the scripture says: “So the people of Nineveh believed God…”
So what was the results of this prediction? The results were that the people repented, touched God’s heart, and he DECIDED to not destroy them.
In deciding this God revealed that even he did not expect Nineveh to repent; otherwise he would have not spoken of a definite destruction with no alternative.
Jonah also did not expect Nineveh to repent for it was indeed an evil place that sacrificed children and strangers to their Gods. He was angry that Nineveh was not destroyed.
Now let us go to the Mormon scriptures:
“A revelation of Jesus Christ unto his servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and six elders, as they united their hearts and lifted their voices on high. Yea, the word of the Lord concerning his church, established in the last days for the restoration of his people, as he has spoken by the mouth of his prophets, and for the gathering of his saints to stand upon Mount Zion, which shall be the city of New Jerusalem. Which city shall be built, beginning at the temple lot, which is appointed by the finger of the Lord, in the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, and dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith, Jun., and others with whom the Lord was well pleased. 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.
“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.” D&C 84:1-5
“Therefore, as I said concerning the sons of Moses–for the sons of Moses and also the sons of Aaron shall offer an acceptable offering and sacrifice in the house of the Lord, WHICH HOUSE SHALL BE BUILT UNTO THE LORD IN THIS GENERATION, UPON THE CONSECRATED SPOT AS I HAVE APPOINTED-“ D&C 84:31
This was clearly stated to be a revelation of Jesus Christ that a temple was to be built in Jackson County Missouri within the generation that was living in 1832. That generation is long gone and no temple stands on the designated spot. Ironically the LDS church does not even own the land where the temple was prophesied to be built.
What does this tell the LDS reader? If indeed the revelation came from Christ then even he does not see all the future correctly because of the free will of man.
If Joseph had followed his last revelation and went west and not gotten killed then the temple could have been built in that generation but because of a mistake, made by his unpredictable free will, the prophesy was not fulfilled.
Here is another prophesy that indicates that God expected him to live and fulfill a different destiny than he did: “The ends of the earth shall inquire after thy name, and fools shall have thee in derision…But for a small moment and thy voice shall be more terrible in the midst of thine enemies than the fierce lion,” D&C 122:1&4
A small moment came and went yet he never became “more terrible in the midst of thine enemies than the fierce lion.”
Here are some more early Mormon predictions made in the 1830’s that were not fulfilled: (Note DHC stands for Documentary History of the Church)
Lyman E. Johnson was promised that “He shall see the Savior come and stand upon the earth with power and great glory.” DHC Vol 2; pg 188
Heber C. Kimball was promised that “He may stand unto the coming of our Lord, and receive a crown in the Kingdom of our God; that he be made acquainted with the day when Christ shall come; that he shall be made perfect in faith; and that the deaf shall hear, the lame shall walk, the blind shall see, and greater things than these shall he do.” DHC Vol. 2; pg. 189.
Orson Hyde was promised “That he may stand upon the earth and bring souls till Christ comes. We know that he loves thee O, Lord and may this Thy servant be able to walk through pestilence and not be harmed; and the powers of darkness have no ascendancy over him; may he have the power to smite the earth with pestilence, to divide the waters, and lead through the Saints; may he go from land to land and from sea to sea, and may he be like one of the three Nephites.” DHC Vol. 2 pg. 190.
David W. Patten was blessed “That he may go to the Nations and isles afar off.” DHC Vol. 2; Pg. 190. Actually, he was shot in Missouri before he could fulfill that blessing. Also None of the above lived to see the Savior come in his glory for that day has not yet arrived and all the original twelve are now in their graves. Orson Hyde was never like one of the three Nephites and he never divided the waters.
William Smith was also blessed that “He shall be preserved and REMAIN on the earth until Christ shall come to take vengeance on the wicked.” DHC Vol. 2; pg. 191.
John F. Boynton was blessed thusly: “Thou shalt stand in that day of calamity when the wicked shall be consumed, and present unto thy father, spotless, the fruits of thy labor. Thou shalt overcome all the evils that are in the world.” DHC Vol. 2; pg. 191.
Parley P. Pratt was promised: “You shall see a NATION born in a day.” DHC Vol. 2; pg. 193. Parley, of course died without seeing any such nation.
What does all this tell us?
If we examine any scripture of any people, any prophesies of any sensitives, inspired men or prophets, we will find that some predictions came true and others did not.
The exact details of the future is difficult to predict because they are impossible to predict.
And why is this?
Because the very principle of decision itself can only exist when uncertainty lies before us. Many of us do not like uncertainty so we prefer to believe in a God that has everything mapped out to the last detail.
I revel in uncertainty because it makes the future exciting, achievement rewarding and life worthwhile.
Uncertainty and the gift of decision gives me incentive to mold my destiny in the direction that the bird of joy takes me.
Feb 20, 2003
Copyright By J J Dewey
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