(November 12, 2015)
There has always been an interesting contrast between the prophesies that are isolated from the events that represent their culmination and those that are not. For example, the prophesies of the Book of Mormon are more explicit regarding the life of Christ than are the prophesies of the Old Testament. I think there are likely very good reasons for that – most notably the fact that awareness of the future events can create change of those future events (whether from mortal or diabolical sources).
That being said, there is much in this Section that is accurate and beyond Joseph Smith’s understanding even in light of the geopolitical realities of the days in which he lived. Yes, there was some indication (including problems in South Carolina), but there is still quite a bit that this Section gets right beyond what Joseph could have known or guessed.