Doctrine and Covenants 87: Prophecy of War

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 98–99


Doctrine and Covenants 87includes a prophecy of the American Civil War—which began in 1860. The details of the prophecy are remarkable when you consider that it was recorded almost 30 years before the war began. The revelation, however, goes beyond the Civil War and speaks of war all over the world. It contains a disturbing but important message for the people in the latter days.

Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 87

Terminate(v. 1)End, finish 
Marshaled, marshal(vv. 4–5)Organized 
Remnants(v. 5)Remainder, part that is left 
Vex(v. 5)Disturb, bother 
Indignation(v. 6)Anger, displeasure 
Chastening(v. 6)Punishing for the purpose of correcting 
Consumption decreed(v. 6)The full amount of this judgment determined by God 
Lord of Sabaoth(v. 7)Lord of Hosts;sabaothis a Hebrew word meaning “hosts,” or all people, and often refers to the fact that the Lord is the all-powerful Creator ( alsoD&C 95:7). 
To be avenged(v. 7)To have made right the wrongs committed 

Doctrine and Covenants 87:1—Rebellion of South Carolina

In 1832, in the United States, the state of South Carolina refused to pay a particular tax on goods they received from Europe. United States President Andrew Jackson responded by calling out federal troops to end the rebellion of South Carolina. The state backed down and war was avoided. The Prophet Joseph Smith stood by his prophecy, however (D&C 130:12–13).

About 28 years after Joseph Smith first made this prophecy, South Carolina again rebelled against the United States. On this later occasion they were joined by other states in the southern United States, and the result was the Civil War—just as prophesied.

Doctrine and Covenants 87:3—The Southern States, Great Britain, and World War

Doctrine and Covenants 87:3refers to more than the American Civil War. The Southern States did call upon Great Britain and other nations to help them during the American Civil War. Then, as prophesied in this verse, Great Britain and those other nations later called upon other nations to help them againsttheirenemies—as in the case of the two World Wars, when the entire world was in some way affected.

Studying the Scriptures

Do activities A and B as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 87.

Activity A iconGive Examples

In your notebook, write examples of the fulfillment of at least two prophecies inDoctrine and Covenants 87.

Activity B iconGive Your Supported Opinion

What do you think is the most important message inDoctrine and Covenants 87for people today? Why?