In 2001, President Gordon B. Hinckley, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter–day Saints announced in an opening statement at General Conference, "The vision of Joel has been fulfilled wherein he declared," he then quoted the KJV of Joel 2:28–32. Throughout the remaining six and a half years of his life, he provided no commentary on the fulfillment of this passage. Fulfillment of the passage is also referenced in the standard works for The LDS Church in Joseph Smith—History (JS—H 1:41) and in the New Testament (Acts 2:17–21). An array of publications before and after President Hinckley's statement, comment on the fulfillment of Joel 2:28–32. This thesis is not another voice commenting on the fulfillment of Joel's ancient message. However, in the many statements made on the fulfillment of Joel 2:28–32 a gap exists, in that, no study has been conducted looking specifically at the perceptions and all of the statements of Joseph Smith on the fulfillment of this passage. This thesis seeks to fill that gap. In this thesis I contend that Joseph Smith did not believe that Joel 2:28–32 had ever been fulfilled prior to his lifetime, and that Joseph utilized the prophecy and its fulfillment as a form of motivation for his followers to preach, gather, and build up Zion. Chapter one summarizes some of the history of Christianity's view of fulfillment of Joel 2:28–32. Because Joseph Smith was not raised in a vacuum, chapter two unfolds the Christian commentary on Joel's prophecy found in Bibles produced in the antebellum era that Joseph Smith lived in. Chapter three elucidates the beliefs about the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy which two contemporary Christians had—Alexander Campbell and William Miller—to show how distinct Joseph Smith's teachings and beliefs were in his time–period. Chapter four provides every documented statement Joseph Smith made on Joel's prophecy, and every primary allusion that points back to Joel 2:28–32. It provides analysis to show what connections Joseph did and did not make with fulfillment of Joel 2:28–32 and shows that Joel 2:28–32 was one of the several primary scriptural texts for the restoration. Chapter five demonstrates that other early leaders within Joseph's church also saw the fulfillment of Joel taking place in their day and as a part of their experiences. This thesis shows that Joseph Smith did not consider the fulfillment of Joel on a single occasion, as many of his predecessors and contemporaries had, but through publications and sermons he produced a more thorough structure of belief's regarding its place in the world and especially his church than any other up–start evangelical Christian leader in the antebellum era. He produced a number of revelations, which quote the unique language of Joel. He also pointed people to the ongoing fulfillment of the passage multiple times between 1830 and 1839, showing that he did not believe that fulfillment would come in a specific singular event.
College and Department
Religious Education; Religious Education
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Davis, Jared Heaton, ""I Will Pour Out My Spirit upon All Flesh": A Study on Joseph Smith's Reception of Joel 2:28–32" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 6999.
Joseph Smith Jr., Alexander Campbell, William Miller, Joel's prophecy, Joel 2:28–32, Acts 2:16–21, spirit, pneumatology, all flesh, Angel Moroni, 1823 vision, moon to blood, remnant, day of the Lord, antebellum