The “Prognostication” of Asa Wild

Upstate New York newspapers in October 1823 carried a statement by a visionary soul who believed that God would soon open the way for a restoration of primitive Christianity.

Asa Wild was almost a dozen years older than Joseph Smith, and it is probable the two never met. Like Joseph, Wild was born in Vermont–in 1794 at West Fairlee, about twenty miles northeast of Joseph’s birthplace of Sharon. Most of what we know about Asa Wild comes from a pamphlet he published in 1824, entitled A Short Sketch of the Religious Experience and Spiritual Travels of Asa Wild, of Amsterdam, N. Y. For many years, he resisted the faith of his parents, practicing almost every species of vice, until at age twenty-two he experienced a desire for forgiveness of his sins and looked back to Calvinism to satisfy his religious yearnings. He affiliated with the Calvinists and became more and more assimilated to their theorists before discovering that he was surrounded with professors of religion who were only wolves in sheep’s clothing, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.

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