|About the site||WhyProphets.com|
Thankyou for asking the question, "Why does the world need prophets?"
This web site will try and suggest some answers.
In brief, the answer is very simple. We all follow prophecy anyway. That is unavoidable.
So it makes sense to examine the topic and see what is the most reliable form of prophecy, which prophets we should listen to, what has been said in the past, and so on.
Some popular pages on this site:
|101 Bible prophecies that identify the Church.
Where to find unique doctrines taught only byt he Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, plus prophecies regarding America, the Great Apostasy, the restoration, the nature of the church, and even the name of Joseph Smith! It's all in the Bible.
|Dated bible prophecies.
Some of the prophecies are very specific. For example, there are six places in the Bible where we are told the authority of the prophets would be fatally compromised in events that can be dated to AD 570, and that this Dark Age would last for 1260 years. Sure enough, the authority was restored in the year 1830, just as foretold.
Some of this web site can be heavy going, so this section makes it nice and easy: who were the apostles, why we need them, how did they die, and when were they restored. Plus, ten easy Bible prophecies that identify the key points of the true church.
Beast and horns.
Can you believe the Bible in a literal way, and also believe in mainstream science and history? What about Adam and Eve? What about the Dark Ages? What about the modern technological era? If we look at what the Bible actually says (and ignore what fundamentalist protestants say) we can see the Bible has been right on target all along.
|The Mormons have the Holy Grail.
When we look at how the Dark Ages began, some interesting things emerge. For example, the legends of the "Holy Grail" appear to reflect a longing for a lost, non-Roman form of Christianity. All the evidence suggests that the last outpose of this original faith - the Celtic church - was lost in AD 570, as foretold in the Bible. This also has implications for the famous "666" prophecy.
|The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
All about the church, and why it matters. Also, answers to critics, some historical notes, and a look at central concepts like faith and temple work.
Everything can all be summed up in one question:
If you are already believe in Christ, are you open to new revelation from God?
If you do not believe, you will have noticed that this one man has had a greater impact on the world than any other man in history. In the words of Ezra taft Benson, "Do you qant to learn more about Christ?"
This web site is not official
The official LDS web site is at http://www.lds.org. If I seem to disagree with that site on any point, then ignore me!
What is this site about?
How this site began
This site began as a hobby site by Chris Tolworthy. (The 'what's new' page can be used as a history of what was added and when). Here is how it happned, in his own words:
"I started by looking at established church teachings (e.g. JST Revelation 12 teaches that the church was in the wilderness for 1260 years). This led me to ask more questions (e.g. what is so special about the year 570?). This in turn led to more questions (e.g. what was the "man child"? What did Daniel mean when he used similar language?). Usually the answers were already given in a brief manner by modern prophets. But it is only by looking at history that we can fill in the details. The answers amazed me! I hope you find them of interest as well.
"I uploaded my findings regarding prophecy some time ago (and revise them now and then). This led to conversations with non-Mormons. This led me to study Christianity in general, humanism, and many other topics. The site just grew and grew!"
I am really not interested in predictions!
Occasionally people e-mail me with some great discovery about a future event, and ask "what do you think"? To be honest, I am really not qualified to say. I am not the prophet, and I have no wish to compete with him. In fact, I am really not very interested in future predictions.This may sound strange, since this site lists numerous predictions from the Bible, but you will notice that:
- All the predictions I study have already been fulfilled. (Occasionally I make note of future events, but only in a superficial and speculative way).
- When I interpret a prophecy it is always based on something I found in church publications (or occasionally, such as with the Joktan prophecy, in other publications that are heavily quoted from in church publications). This may sound hard to believe, but look carefully. Even the more obscure topics (such as in the beasts and horns section) are only examined insofar as well known prophecies depend on them. For example, Revelation chapter 12 (the woman in the wilderness) and chapter 14 (the angel preaching the gospel) are often quoted in the church. Yet both are intimately tied up with chapter 13 (the beast). I do not feel it is right to pull verses out of context unless we make some effort to understand that context.
In brief, I am interested in using the Bible to find God's kingdom on earth, and showing others where that kingdom is. Neither purpose is helped by speculating over prophecies that have not yet been fulfilled.
Feel free to copy anything from this site (as long as you are pro-LDS)
Since I rely so much on others' work, it seems wrong to claim a strict copyright on this. I'm happy for you to use this web site in any way, as long as you support the restored gospel. Critics can look elsewhere!
|Scriptural justification for this site|
The Lord has commanded us to spread the gospel. The main way to do this is to repeat the scriptures. But not everyone has faith, so we are commanded to also study the wars and perplexities of nations, and to seek learning out of the best books. We are to do this in order to warn people of the wrath to come.
In obedience to that command, I created this web site.
Some very famous scriptures, in context
The key text is Doctrine and Covenants section 88, which Joseph Smith called "the olive branch":
Church members are very familiar with Doctrine and Covenants 88:78 (about teaching in the church), 88:81 (a very famous missionary scripture) and 88:118 (containing the motto adopted by FARMS). But few people look at the context. These verses are about the the imminent fulfillment of prophecy. We are commanded to learn of prophecy and history, and "as all have not faith", we are to seek words of wisdom out of the best books.
That is why this site exists. To show from the Bible, and also from history, and from the best non-LDS Bible commentaries, that the prophecies are being fulfilled.
Here are the key verses in section 88:
78 Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand;
79 Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms--
80 That ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you.
81 Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor.
(And so forth. Verses 87 to 117 reveal what we are warning about: the judgements about to come. The scripture then continues:)
118 And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.
Should we leave the "difficult prophecies" alone?
Church leaders wisely recommend caution when studying so-called "difficult" prophecies such as those in Daniel and Revelation. So why did I make this web site at all? Partly to point out gospel teachings that many people seem to have forgotten. And partly because the Bible is so obviously a Mormon book that I am amazed to find other churches use it at all. Here I try to follow the example of John Taylor:
"I have never said much about the beasts, etc., in my preaching. When I have done it, it has been to attract attention and keep the people from running after a greater fool than myself."
As it happens, John Taylor gave us the clearest statements of any prophet about the beasts and horns in prophecy. I have tried to follow his logic and also the guidance of the other prophets. But unlike John Taylor, I am not the prophet. Doubtless I have made errors. If you just want the pure doctrine of Christ, straight from his inspired prophets, go straight to the official site of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
|About the original author||my testimony|
|Some people have asked for more details
about myself. My name is Chris Tolworthy.
I'm 31 years old (born on the fourth of July!), and live
on the north coast of Scotland, with my wife Shonaidh,
and children Rachel, James and Alice. We're just down the
road from where David O. McKay's father was born. For
details, and pictures, see the
Thurso website at http://come.to/caithness
I've been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since I was eight years old. I work in multimedia, after studying marketing and physics at university, but my real love is the gospel. One day I'm going to put up the web site I really wanted to write, but that will be a few years off yet.
The web site has grown a little larger than the three pages I original intended. I hope it's of interest. I welcome any comments, and almost always act on them. Please drop me a line - Chris Tolworthy (firstname.lastname@example.org )
My academic credentials
I was once asked to add more details of my qualifications here. I am in two minds about this - I'm not sure how relevant the British school system would be to mainly American readers. For example, it is possible to make my qualifications sound very impressive, or very UNimpressive, depending on how I present them. Also, as a lifelong Nibley fan (with some bad experience of bureaucracy), I see something vaguely noble in being an obscure amateur who is judged entirely on his output. So you choose. If you like the output, I am a highly educated polymath with 30 years' experience and in a unique position to make groundbreaking insights. Or, if you think this web site is poor stuff (and please tell me why!) then I am just a pretentious armchair historian who is too blinkered and myopic to see the obvious flaws in his pathetic dross.
Personally I think I only have three relevant credentials:
- I ask questions. (And continue asking when any sane person would have moved on). I also question my own stuff - I am not the prophet!
- The achievement I am most proud of is being able to entirely ditch a study I was working on for several years, when it appeared I was charging up a blind alley. (Or at least I think I was - I really got out of my depth. If you study early Arabic, I would love to hear from you).
- I have tried to avoid the common mistake of extreme rationalism - thinking that if I disagree with an apostle on something, then obviously I am right. My experience has always suggested the opposite. The apostle generally turns out to be right in the end (though not always in the way I first thought). I have seen people leave the church because of a misplaced faith in their own intellect. Many intellectuals, in their relationship with God, seem to be like spoiled children in a nursery. They either believe that adults do not exist, that the adults are definitely wrong, or that someone else's parents are much better than their own.
Some of my other web sites
King Arthur's Horses (Rebecca Tolworthy, Cornish artist) - my sister loves the medieval world. She lives in Arthurian country, and occasionally works for English Heritage (the body that owns many of the castles). This web site combines this with her love of horses, and her paintings of pets.
Thurso Branch Web Site - plus material about David O. McKay's ancestral home. ATTENTION HISTORIANS: Includes unique photos of the ruins of the McKay home in 1999. You won't find these photos anywhere else on the web or in print. I took them myself, and like nearly all the other images on this site (see below), you're free to use them.
Hey, I can make a web site with dhtml and stuff on it (this was made to impress a potential employer. It might still be up and running - I haven't checked it recently.
FREE CLIP ART
This web site contains over a hundred items of original or copyright free art. Feel free to use it. Come to that, feel free to use anything from this site in any way you wish, as long as it's pro- LDS.
Each of these charts prints quite neatly onto one side of paper. Simply wait for the large graphic to download, right click on it (if using Windows), and select "save as". Then later you can open the image in a graphics program such as "PaintShop Pro", and print. Don't forget to select "landscape" or "portrait" and to fill the page.
Chart of World History:
This is near the bottom of the "history" page. The chart contains everything from the Fall of Adam to the Last Judgement. It even has your birthday on it! This and the next item are not directly related to the prophecies on this web site, and may be suitable for lessons, Family Home Evenings, etc. (If you can read my writing!)
Where was Joseph Smith?
This has its own page. A visual guide to where Joseph Smith was on every day of his life.
Chart of Daniel's prophecies
A summary of the dated prophecies discussed on this web site.
"Proof": The ONLY complete guide ANYWHERE to ALL the evidence for the Book of Mormon.
This is something I put together years ago. It simply lists the claims that people have used to"prove" the Book of Mormon. Some claims are well supported, others less so. The book has its faults (and typos), and should probably be revised, but it is still unique.
"PROOF" in Microsoft Word format (version 6/95), zipped (141K)
"PROOF" in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, not zipped (288K)
Do you need a tool to unzip it?
Or a Word (tm) viewer?
Thanks to all of you who have emailed with suggestions or comments. But most of all, thanks to Dan Masterton, who provides the domain and web space. We couldn't do this without you!
- Chris Tolworthy, June 2000