The Revelation that Never Was

For a large part of Community of Christ’s history it was not uncommon for people to give prophecies regarding their little domain, whether that be their congregation, stake, or apostolic field. These prophecies were often published in the Herald, and were seen as a positive thing.

However, in 1913 we passed World Conference Resolution #709, which formally put a stop to this practice. We will go into the history of why this happened in more detail in a future post. Suffice it to say that prophecies from the people pretty well stopped around that time.

In the 1960s a document which claimed to be a prophecy written by Apostle Arthur Oakman was circulated, but it didn’t cause many problems. However, in 1976 a modified version of this document was circulated and it DID cause problems, as people were beginning to treat it as scripture. This document can be read here:

Revelation given through Arthur Oakman at a Priesthood Meeting in Wichita, KS., Spring 1974

Revelation given through Arthur Oakman at a Priesthood Meeting in Wichita, KS., Spring 1974

I am the Lord your God. I am the same who spoke to the Israelites on Mt. Sinai in the thunderous times and the people heard and know my name. I am He who has spoken to you in the still small voice, given counsel and comfort many times and have blessed you, yet many more times would I have blessed you, but you would not hear me and those blessings I have had to withhold. I have blessed you financially and materially, but you have withheld your tithes and offerings.

You have not attended prayer services as you ought, where you could have gained strength from each other, you have used the excuse of complaining of body weariness, much of this being caused by extra activities that you have undertaken in other interests of the world. Some have spent the evenings in other areas for financial gain, that there are those who have chosen to attend social organizations of this world and I have had to withhold my blessings.

My priesthood have accepted the responsibilities of the offices to which they were ordained, but many have not applied themselves and when great darkness shall cover the earth they will feel such a weight of burden upon their souls they cannot bear it. It is not long until the earth again will be drenched in blood and darkness shall cover the world, for many who have heard my voice but did not heed it, it will be too late when they call upon me, I will not answer. Yet there are many who obey my commandments, seek me in my ways in your prayers. And when those trials and times shall come I will continue to bless them. My gospel shall be preached unto all the world, and there shall be times when it will seem to stay still, but it will gain momentum and my kingdom shall be, for I am in this Work.

There will be a short season until World War III. Our country will be involved. There will be perilous times. People in America will be brought to their knees and even the saints will suffer hardships. Material possessions will be of no value and the only real value will be the quality of life. It is not time for fear but rather a time for rejoicing, for only through this means can the gospel go to all the world, including Russia. After this, other countries will be at war with one another and not bother this land, then will the gospel go to all parts of the world.

The youth today are the leaders of tomorrow so they must be alert to all of Satan’s crafty ways and traps which he set to destroy the youth.

If you have become laxed in thy duties as a mother, as a wife or as a saint, call upon me in mighty prayer, seeking the Father’s guidance. And if ye do this sincerely, I will show ye how ye might be able to bring thy children back, as well as how ye might help thy sisters or thy brothers from being deceived. If thy companion is not one of my sheep, ye cannot allow this to hinder thee. Ye must strive even stronger to set a holy example for thy children and hold the family together … for in the short time ahead if thy family ties are not strong, ye will see they children fall right into satan’s trap. He will heave his heavy cord around them as a spider weaves a web and “he” will they serve. Beware of Satan’s worse device… “free love”. I say unto ye also, teach thy children how to pray in my name. Teach thy children my Holy Scriptures with a joyful attitude, not begrudgingly. Also, teach them to love and respect my elderly. Teach thy children love and kindness by being kind and loving to them. Teach them to always obey my laws, as well as the laws of this land and to be strong and steadfast, never allowing their faith to weaken when they observe others falling. For I say unto thee, the calamity which is soon to come upon the earth is worse than anyone can comprehend.

My children, ye cannot say ye have not been warned, for ye knoweth many, many times, I have warned thee to get prepared. Soon my warning voice doth cease, for if I should prolong these coming events, how many would continue their self-glorified ways? Ye must harken unto me this day. Now, , Now is the time to rid thyself of all hate, jealousy, covetousness and hostile feelings toward thy brothers and thy sisters. Now is the time to free thyself of all debts and get thy house set in order.

Many of my children have become slothful and have taken too much for granted in the past but no longer can ye remain this way. Ye cannot feed on milk and expect to have any more than a babe. Ye have riches and wealth on earth saved to help thee feel secure in the future, but I say unto thee, only that which ye have done for me will last. Thy material riches shall become as dust before thy eyes and thy power and authority shall be dissolved unless ye harken unto my warning and serve me, they heavenly Father, no mammon. Ye cannot say “ye love me” and continue living the ways of the world. Remember, I know thy heart. Each must repent. This should be on the lips of each of my Holy Priesthood if he truly cares about my flock.

Many believe that when the tribulations time begins ye shall be stoned and tortured thereby ye may know that this is the beginning… not so. For I say unto thee, Satan has planned a different approach. he has already advised his co-workers to deceive you in this manner. They must first gain thy confidence, then make a lie appear as truth, make sin as just entertainment, common and as something ordinary, do it because the majority sins. Make filth become common place. I have warned in times past of Satan’s other plans in trying to take thee but this strongest plan you know not of which is to take place in a peaceful way.

He has said to his co-workers, he has tried to take many souls from me in times past by torture and such, he failed; for my children became martyrs and that caused the faith of others to be strengthened, so he failed. That is why it is most needed that ye pray daily for the discernment of spirit. Again I say, beware of those who teach and practice “free love”, for they are the sons of perdition. I do not say satan has given up his plans to tempt thee or cause thee pain and distress physically, mentally, and spiritually. What he plans first is to snare thee in a peaceful manner.

I say unto My Holy Priesthood, I am aware of all the obstacles which come before thee, hindering thy voice in speaking out for my gospel as ye desire to do. Soon cometh an end to this. Soon — yea, very soon ye shall be free to give the ministry which My children are in great need of at this time, for I the Lord God shall remove satan’s workers and I shall bring My Holy Spirit down upon each of my Holy Priesthood in a greater measure than ye have ever received before. Ye cannot comprehend the power and the authority with which I shall give thee.

First, there must come cleansing and this cometh soon. Do not become depressed for remember, ye are MINE and I have chosen thee for a special work yet to come, which ye know not of. Continue to have faith and remain steadfast and strong. This is the time when my handmaidens may speak out against all that is evil for they cannot silence them. This will only be for a short span of time and is not to be compared to one having priesthood authority given them, for this cannot ever be. They should speak out as concerned Mothers in Latter Day Israel and as true handmaidens. Yes, but never before has there been such a great need for this. Now is the time. Soon this span of time will pass. Then my Holy Priesthood shall be endowed with my power from on high, a hundred-fold that ye have now watched and earnestly prayed for this day.

Remember, I chose thee to watch over my flock and feed my sheep. Ye shall witness great and marvelous happenings but forget not those things which I have warned thee of which cometh soon. All shall be shaken and if ye do not have my power with thee, what will ye do my sons? Did I not tell thee ye would see men in high places fall? Is this not being fulfilled? So I say again, watch and let a prayer always be on thy lips, not for just thyself alone but also for they who are your brothers and sisters. See that ye do not become a stumbling block for them. Again I speak unto my handmaidens; ye who are older, I charge thee this day that ye should share all the knowledge ye have with thy younger sisters. This responsibility I give thee now, for many of thy younger sisters will not be able to cope with the changing events which are soon to come. Many of my young handmaidens are unacquainted with hard work. Ye have received and have not given of thyself to thy family as I have designed for thee. Now you should show and teach thy sisters how to plant and preserve thy food. Learn how to sew thy own garments and thy family’s too.

Seek knowledge in other ways. Ye can live with lesser funds though the cost of living may rise. My handmaidens who are older, be patient with thy sisters who lack in knowledge of these things. Have ye not wondered why ye have been blessed with so many talents and have never before been given the opportunity to share them. Now ye do so.

For I say unto thee, the time soon cometh when thy modern conveniences shall be taken away. When this occurs, if my children are not prepared, they shall be frightened. Many will seek to destroy their own lives and their children’s. If they do wholly and completely put their trust in me, they shall be tossed from their worldly ways and call upon me in true repentance and in humility then the windows of Heaven shall be opened up.

And forget not, my handmaidens, to whom much is given… much is required of thee. I have so much to give to thee if ye will but ask. Ye may form food and home classes, sewing classes and others. They should be for the soul purpose of helping one another to live a more Zionic life. I have given thee the Word of Wisdom, yet few follow it. Freely have I given thee — freely ye should give of they knowledge and wisdom. Do not boast of thy knowledge and do not ridicule or look down on thy sisters’ lack of knowing all of these things, for remember, there has not been such a great need for this knowledge as with this generation.

Do not allow thy classes to become just a social-gathering. Remember, time is running out. Teach in a spirit of love and concern of one another. When ye plant seeds, can, quilt, or in getting thy store house ready — do not think only of thine own family’s needs but set aside a little extra for those to come. If ye need further light on this, pray, and I will give it to thee.

Unto all my children I say… in whatsoever things ye say or do, be certain that it glorifies thy Heavenly Father. Keep thy thoughts pure and holy, striving to keep my Zion’s goal ever before thee. Sing hymns of praise unto me. Do not waste thy time away singing worldly songs for what doth it profit thee? Sing hymns of praise unto me. Sing hymns which will nourish thy soul. My children, ye may feel that I have spoken harshly with thee or that I expect too much of thee. But I say these things unto thee because I love thee. I want thee to live a disciplined life — wholly and completely in submission unto thy Heavenly Father so thereby My Kingdom might be established on earth and ye My children might shone as the Redeemed of the Lord. Soon cometh the day.


This document was brought to the First Presidency’s attention by Roy Stearns, who in a memo said:

Just a Note from Roy Stearns



Glynn Coltharp brought this in for the Presidency to see. He says it is circulating throughout his stake. Guess it has been in Center Stake also. Wishes he knew how to put a stop to is.

The Presiging Evangelist’s office just advised that they checked on this with Henry Livingston, who says it is not by “Arthur A. Oakman] and he was not in Wichita at that time.

I have seem this before. It seems to pop up now & then.

This does not appear to be either Arthur [A. Oakman’s] style or language style.

Arthur Oakman passed away in 1975, so he was not able to confirm or deny that it was actually him that wrote it. His associates believed that it wasn’t based on the language that was used.

Eventually this document became so controversial that the people in Wichita, where the “prophecy” claimed to be given, wrote in an affidavit that Oakman wasn’t even in the area when this document was allegedly written.

Letter from Wichita

July 8, 1976
Wichita, Kansas

To Whom it May Concern:

It has recently come to the attention of the undersigned persons that a paper is being circulated throughout the Church represented as being from Arthur Oakman Given in Wichita Kansas in 1974.

We, the undersigned, do know, and can positively state, Arthur Oakman was not in Wichita Kansas in 1974. His last visit to Wichita, for ministry, was October 1972. This ministry consisted of a Sermon on Sunday and 2 or 3 individual blessings. Previous to 1972 Brother Oakman was in Wichita in October 1970 for ministry of preaching. He gave a series of sermons at Central congregation.

We wish to state that to our knowledge Brother Oakman DID NOT make any such statements, as are contained in said paper, on any of this visits to Wichita

We regret that such a paper would be circulated in the nae of any deceased person, but more especially in the name of one who has been held in such high regard as Brother Oakman.

We trust this statement may be of assistance to those who have been disturned by the circulation of such paper.

(7 people signed, including a 3 High Priests, a Teacher, a pastor, and an Evangelist)

In May 1976 the First Presidency launched an investigation into the origins of this document, and found that it was a hodge-podge of several documents that had morphed over time. The bulk of the document was written by a woman in Missouri in 1973.

In a letter, Clifford A. Cole mentioned how thankful he was that we had WCR #709, which discouraged “prophecies” such as this.

Clifford A. Cole’s Letter

July 13, 1976
The First Presidency Office

Dear Brethren:

The Council of Twelve have for some time been concerned about the wide distribution of documents generally entitled a “Revelation given through Arthur Oakman at a Priesthood meeting in Wichita, Kansas, Spring 1974.” Our concern was based on the following factors:

  1. The document was being widely distributed among church members in a manner directly contrary to the official policy of the church as stated in Rules and Resolutions #709.
  2. Many individuals and groups are studying this believing it to be instruction from God which they should heed.
  3. Preliminary investigation showed that this document could not be what it is purported to be because local church officials in Wichita confirmed the fact that Brother Oakman was not in Wichita in 1974 and did not ever give the message there which is being circulated.
  4. The good name of Brother Oakman should be protected from misuse by persons who may want to promote their interests by giving them the status of divine inspiration given through Brother Oakman.

As a consequence, the Council of Twelve discussed this matter in a meeting May 19, 1976 and determined that some investigation should be made. We have lately been greatly aided by the contribution of a concerned church member who has provided us with helpful information.

We are now able to affirm the following facts about the document purportedly given through Arthur Oakman at a priesthood meeting in Wichita, Spring 1974:

  1. The documents being circulated vary in some degree and are not all exactly alike in wording.
  2. None of the documents are that they are purported to be, that is, they are not a “Revelation given through Arthur Oakman at a priesthood meeting in Wichita, Kansas, Spring 1974.”
  3. The part of the document generally represented in the first four paragraphs of the copies being circulated are with a few changes, copies of a document circulated a number of years ago and at that time purported to be a “prophecy given through Arthur Oakman in 1967 at Fayetteville, Arkansas.” Apostle Lents has discussed this with the pastor of the branch at Fayetteville, Arkansas and has been assured that Apostle Oakman did not give such a statement in Fayetteville in 1967 or any other time within the pastor’s memory.
  4. The remaining part of the document purported to have been given by Brother Oakman in Wichita, is a copy with minor editorial changes, of a paper circulated throughout the church earlier and purported to be an inspirational message given on May 17, 1973. This message was purportedly given by a woman who is enrolled in Center Stake, This quote from the message which is attributed to the lady enrolled is Center Stake makes up the major part of the document.

The document entitled, “Revelation given through Arthur Oakman at a priesthood meeting in Wichita, Kansas, Spring 1974,” had its genesis for the most part in the Central area and was widely distributed by persons we have identified in this area. It appears, however, that other persons over the church, anxious to share this with friends, have made additional copies for their use.

Those who have distributed the document from here now know that the document is not “a revelation given by Arthur Oakman” as stated in the copies distributed.

It appears that this is but one more example of the wisdom of the church’s official position on the circulation of such documents as set forth in Rules and Resolutions 709.

Fraternally yours,
Clifford A. Cole

The First Presidency then made a formal statement regarding this document in the Herald:

“Purported Prophetic Statement Attributed to Arthur A. Oakman” by First Presidency

Written on July 30th, 1976 and published in Saints’ Herald 123-9: 511 (September 1976)

In the last year and a half a document generally entitled “Revelation given through Arthur Oakman at a priesthood meeting in Wichita, Kansas, Spring 1974” has been widely circulated among the Saints. Its distribution is contrary to the official policy of the church as stated in Conference Resolution No. 709, noted in the preceding official statement. Some individuals and groups are reported to be studying this, believing it to be instruction from God which they should heed.

Investigation has shown that the document could not be what it is purported to be. Local church officials in Wichita report that Brother Oakman was not in Wichita in 1974 and did not give there the message which is ascribed to him. We are able to affirm the following facts about the document in question:

  1. There are several versions extant, and the documents being circulated vary in some degree in wording and content.
  2. None of them can be identified as “a revelation given through Arthur Oakman at a priesthood meeting in Wichita, Kansas, Spring 1974”
  3. The first four paragraphs of some of the copies being circulated are copies, with a few changes, of one circulated a number of years ago and described at the time as a “prophecy given through Arthur Oakman in 1967 at Fayetteville, Arkansas.”
  4. The remaining part of one version of the document purported to have been given by Brother Oakman in Wichita is a copy, with minor editorial changes, of a paper circulated throughout the church earlier and purported to be inspirational message given on May 17, 1973, by a woman who is enrolled in Center Stake. This section makes up the major part of the document

It will be in the best interests of all concerned to note the church’s official policy about the distribution of reports of spiritual manifestations as it applies to this matter. The material in question has no status whatever and should be so regarded by the Saints.

W. Wallace Smith
Maurice L. Draper
Duane Couey

In short, it seems like multiple people made “prophecies”, and instead of associating their own name with it they used a dead church leader’s to give it more weight and make it harder to prove it wasn’t him who said it.

This “revelation” was never given by Arthur A. Oakman