I might dwell still longer on the judgments to come upon this American nation, according to modern revelation. In 1832 the Lord foretold to the Prophet Joseph Smith that there should be a great war between the Northern and Southern States. This revelation is published in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, a standard work of the Church, and also in many languages, many years before the war commenced. At that early period we were told that the Southern States would rise against the Northern States, and the Northern against the Southern States in war, terminating in the deaths and misery of many souls. We were told also that this war would begin with the rebellion of South Carolina.
When I was a boy, a little over 20 years of age, I had the privilege of taking a copy of that revelation, and I carried it around with me, often times reading it to the congregations that I preached to. Its subject matter formed a text from which I many times preached, as well as a topic of conversation with strangers, whose acquaintance I would happen to make in traveling from place to place.
How do you think such information was received by the people to whom it was imparted? They would not believe it; they had no idea of its being a revelation from God to them; they considered it one of the impositions that the "Mormons" had gotten up to delude the people. To tell them that this great government would be divided and go to war with each other, was something entirely foreign to their minds; it was something to which they paid heedless regard, oft times treating it with ridicule and laughter. I preached in the New England States, and in various portions of the Union, and such was the way these things were received. The shedding of blood was then one of the remotest feelings of the American people; yet it came to pass precisely as predicted, and we all know the results of that dreadful war. That war, we must remember, was only one solitary judgment, compared with what will come, and that, too, in the near future. It has been revealed that the time will come in the history of our nation, that one State will rise against another, one city against another, even every man's hand shall be against his neighbor, until the whole Republic will be in general commotion and warfare. How and when this will take place, the Lord, in his wisdom, has not told us; but it is sufficient for us to say, that he has told us of the facts that such and such will be the case.
For aught we know, the fulfillment of this prophecy may grow out of politics. If the people are very nearly equally divided in politics, this feeling may run so high, in years to come, as to be the direct cause of war. And if this should be the case, it would very naturally spread to every neighborhood in the Union. One class of political opponents would rise up against the other class in the same city and country, and thus would arise a war of mobocracy.