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Who prophesied that Satan would have dominion over the waters in the last days?





Dear Pat,

The “prophesy” you refer to is probably what some have inferred from¬†Doctrine and Covenants 61:13-19. A closer reading of the passage of scripture and the surrounding incident that led to the scripture call for a much more narrow interpretation than many have supposed. On their return trip to Kirtland, the Prophet and ten elders had traveled down the Missouri River in canoes. On the third day of the journey many dangers were experienced. Elder William W. Phelps, in daylight vision, saw the destroyer riding in power upon the face of the waters. Here is the revelation:

13 And now, behold, for your good I gave unto you a commandment concerning these things; and I, the Lord, will reason with you as with men in days of old.


14 Behold, I, the Lord, in the beginning blessed the waters; but in the last days, by the mouth of my servant John, I cursed the waters.


15 Wherefore, the days will come that no flesh shall be safe upon the waters.


16 And it shall be said in days to come that none is able to go up to the land of Zion upon the waters, but he that is upright in heart.


17 And, as I, the Lord, in the beginning cursed the land, even so in the last days have I blessed it, in its time, for the use of my saints, that they may partake the fatness thereof.


18 And now I give unto you a commandment that what I say unto one I say unto all, that you shall forewarn your brethren concerning these waters, that they come not in journeying upon them, lest their faith fail and they are caught in snares;


19 I, the Lord, have decreed, and the destroyer rideth upon the face thereof, and I revoke not the decree.

Notice that verse 18 mentions “these” waters. Though we may speculate that the revelation implies all waters, the wording of verse 18 makes that claim somewhat tenuous. Both Joseph Fielding Smith and B.H. Roberts have spoken of the incident and seem to concur that the revelation applies to some specific waterways in western Missouri. I have provided references for both.

Joseph Fielding Smith, Church History and Modern Revelation (1947), Vol. 1, p. 207.
B.H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church, Vol. 1, p. 262.





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