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Old 11-07-2007, 12:11 PM   #1
Solon
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Default The horse shoe prophecy and Mormon folklore

AA's thread about Joseph Smith and the Civil War sparked this. I recently read an interesting BYU Studies article from 1976 on LDS folklore:
http://byustudies.byu.edu/shop/pdfsrc/17.1Wilson.pdf

Wilson chronicles several well-known folkloric stories and analyzes how they function in LDS society and culture. One of the more interesting ones he analyzes is the so-called horseshoe prophecy, supposedly given by John Taylor in the 1880s (but not written down until the 1950s). Most notably (and famously), the prophecy is supposed to have foretold that the gutters of SLC would run with blood and that the LDS church records would be taken east across the Colorado River.

This insane website seems to have some of the horseshoe prophecy text, but you've got to scroll through some pretty crazy stuff to get there.

http://www.parowanprophet.com/A_Troj...rojanHorse.htm

According to Wilson, in 1970 the LDS first presidency wrote a letter denouncing the prophecy as untrue; Wilson explains that there was a good deal of conjecture at the time that the prophecy applied to the racial tensions that gripped the nation, and aimed specifically at hostility toward the LDS policies regarding blacks and the priesthood.

I've heard the gist of this prophecy before, but am probably not typical since my father's family is from Cedar City, where Taylor's vision is supposed to have occurred. So, I have some questions:

Are others familiar with this so-called prophecy and the subsequent refutation?

Did the 1970 First Presidency letter address the prophecy's claims, or merely undermine the racial component that was attributed to it by 1960s US culture?

Finally, does anyone have a copy of the original prophecy's text? I'd pay good money to see what it said. According to Wilson, it's available at BYU's Lee library in Special Collections, Manuscript Collection, M884.

I'm curious about both the transmission and the refutation processes. Historiography in action.
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Old 11-07-2007, 01:38 PM   #2
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Hmmm, the idea of black men raiding the temple and raping the women there, and then the white Mormon shooting the black men til the gutters run with blood.... I think Freud would have a few things to say about that.
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Old 11-07-2007, 03:03 PM   #3
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Hmmm, the idea of black men raiding the temple and raping the women there, and then the white Mormon shooting the black men til the gutters run with blood.... I think Freud would have a few things to say about that.
I love this quote from the Parowan Prophet website:

Quote:
People today don't have visions LIKE I DO, and other polygamists in the past did. BECAUSE they don't obey all the commandments, even if it is unpopular today.
You can't make stuff up that's more entertaining than this.
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Old 11-07-2007, 05:01 PM   #4
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You can't make stuff up that's more entertaining than this.
In all seriousness do you think that these men really know that what they're doing is wrong, or is this kind of a "sins of their fathers" situation going on in these polygamist groups?
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Old 11-07-2007, 05:22 PM   #5
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In all seriousness do you think that these men really know that what they're doing is wrong, or is this kind of a "sins of their fathers" situation going on in these polygamist groups?
I genuinely don't know. I'd imagine that someone raised in a polygamous family would be sympathetic to polygamy, but the guy writing this site is certifiably insane. We had some polygamous kids at my high school (i.e. kids in polygamous families) and they were as normal as you could expect - nothing like this.

It'll suck, though, if Parowan Prophet is a modern day Jeremiah and we all burn.
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Old 11-07-2007, 05:23 PM   #6
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It'll suck, though, if Parowan Prophet is a modern day Jeremiah and we all burn.
Well, he thinks I'm one of the "few million mormons who will try to return to Utah" so I figure I'd rather burn than that anyway.
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Old 11-07-2007, 05:38 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Solon View Post
I genuinely don't know. I'd imagine that someone raised in a polygamous family would be sympathetic to polygamy, but the guy writing this site is certifiably insane. We had some polygamous kids at my high school (i.e. kids in polygamous families) and they were as normal as you could expect - nothing like this.

It'll suck, though, if Parowan Prophet is a modern day Jeremiah and we all burn.
I am quite sure he has a big billboard on 1-15 just outside Parowan. It shows a mushroom cloud as I recall. I think I saw it coming back from the BYU-UNLV game.
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