And the Moon Shall Turn to Blood

Last week in some parts of North America we experienced another total eclipse of the moon. When the earth passes between the sun and the moon, the moon is darkened, but not completely. The brilliant white appearance of the moon is replaced with a distinctly red color caused by reflected light from the earth. This is an oft-repeated occurrence.

In case anyone is wondering, the common event of a lunar eclipse is not the fulfillment of prophecy found in Joel and elsewhere that the moon shall turn to blood. We also know that the prophets were not telling us that the moon would literally become composed of the liquid that flows through the veins of all mortal beings. That would be ridiculous.

However, it is just as inconceivable to me that Joel or any other prophet would refer to a common lunar eclipse as a viable fulfillment of this prophecy. No, I am much more inclined to believe that Joel had something more dramatic in mind when he used this metaphor. In fact, I’ll bet he was describing something that he had seen in his lifetime.

Some have argued that they have seen the moon turned to blood in the smoke of forest fires or the haze of smoke from the burning of the twin towers in September of 2001. I have written previously that I do not believe these events could qualify as they were only local phenomenon. I am convinced that Joel’s prophecy will be seen by the whole world.

Imagine for a moment that you are an astrophysicist. You have studied the motions and behavior of stars and planetary bodies for most of your career. You know from direct observation what happens when two large celestial bodies come close to each other. They heat up. Now what would happen if there was no way to dissipate that heat?

The same thing happens when you place a coil of metal in a fire. It begins to glow with a bright red color. We call that incandescence. Is it possible that the same thing could happen to the moon if there were some other large planetary body nearby? Ancient prophets may have experienced celestial events that we have not seen in many millennia.

In other words, I believe Joel was describing something that may have happened to the moon in his day and which he was inspired to foretell would occur again in our day. The question is do we believe it? Do we believe that Joel was describing an actual event? We may have never thought how it could happen but a close by planet is one possibility.

What do you think? Have you ever heard of such an idea or explanation for how the moon could appear to us to be blood red from all over the world?


Anonymous said…
Go back and re-read Pres. Hinckley's talk during the
Saturday morning session of the Oct. 2001 Conference. He states the following:

The era in which we live is the fulness of times spoken of in the scriptures, when God has brought together all of the elements of previous dispensations. From the day that He and His Beloved Son manifested themselves to the boy Joseph, there has been a tremendous cascade of enlightenment poured out upon the world. The hearts of men have turned to their fathers in fulfillment of the words of Malachi. The vision of Joel has been fulfilled wherein he declared:

"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

"And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

"And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.

"The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.

"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call" (Joel 2:28–32).

Does this mean that Joel's prophecy has been realized? I have asked several people who do not even remember the comment when it was made. Any thoughts on what it means?
Jeremy said…
The talk Anon is referring to speaks much of Joseph Smith. I tend to believe that when Pres. Hinckley stated that Joel's prophecy had been fulfilled, he was referring to the:

"...I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

"And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit"

The talk is indicative of Joseph's and other's experiences with the Spirit.

Alternatively, I have read others define "the moon into blood" as an indication of the spirituality of those living a terrestrial law. In other words, those that live according to the standards of the Terrestrial Kingdom have "turned to blood," possibly violence.

Nonetheless, I agree with Tim, I don't think we have seen this "wonder[] in the heavens".
Laurel said…
I agree with Anon.

I have a book, 50 Signs of the Times and the Second Coming. In it are listed 50 various prophecies at various stages of being fulfilled. #19 is "The sun will be darkened and the moon will become as blood." The author lists it as "Fulfilled," citing the same talk by President Hinckley.

He said, "As soon as our living Prophet said that these words of Joel have been fulfilled, I accepted it on faith ... [W]e will have to wait for a prophet to reveal the exact meaning of these words to us ... [M]any people have felt that this prophecy has to do with air pollution."

He goes on to say, "Perhaps ... the meaning could be more symbolical than literal," that, "The moon often symbolizes terrestrial glory, which implies good and honorable people ... One possibility ... could be that the sun's being darkened and the moon's becoming as blood would symbolize gross spiritual darkness in the final days preceding the Second Coming."

We're sure getting there, if that was the intended meaning!

Either way, I would think that if President Hinckley cited the entire passage saying Joel's words had been fulfilled, I believe he would do so meaning all Joel's words in that passage had been fulfilled.
yo said…
i've actually heard that it may refer to man's landing on the moon. I do agree with anon in reference to Hinckley's talk. He very plainly says that the vision of joel has been fulfilled. He doesn't say a portion of joel's vision.
Tim Malone said…
I think the consensus is mixed. There are many within the church who hold the hard-line attitude that President Hinckley was referring to all of the scripture which he quoted. I am not one of those who sees it that way. I remain convinced that we have not yet seen this happen to the degree that it was intended in Joel's prophecy. I think when it happens we will all know it and there will be no doubt.
Missy said…
I agree with Tim. I also believe that it will be a physical event. Certainly not the moon actually turning into blood, but something big enough to be witnessed by enough people that we will say, "yes this prophecy has been fulfilled." I just have a difficult time believing that these signs, when they are fulfilled, can be so vague that even the most faithful can go unwares. The idea that this prophecy had definatley been fulfilled was brought up in Relief Society last week and most everyone looked at each other and asked, "When?"
I prayed about President Hinckley's talk and the fulfillment of Joel's prophesy for a while. I was prompted to research the phrase 'blood red moon' refering to a lunar eclipse.
The only North American lunar eclipse in 2001 was on

January 9, 2001.
If you write the date with the month/day reversed, it reads 09/11/2001,
fairly interesting.
I feel my prayers were answered and have not felt the need to question President Hinckley's comments since.
Laurel said…
Almost, Angela. Reversing it would make it 09/01/2001, since January is the first month, not the 11th.

Nice to have an actual 'date' to go with Pres Hinckley's comment. Better for verification purposes.

Man, I miss him. He was amazing ...
Unknown said…
It was like 2 weeks ago I was awakened by some kind of spirtual choas I live in an old house, and it was like 5:30 am and while I was kinda grouching around I opened my front door and saw that the moon was red, actaully it looked like the sun had died and you were now able to look at the sun, and I could not stop staring. I had just got done reading the book of revelations where it said something about the sun dying. I watched it the whole time and I mean I was very calm about it but it just disapeared very slowly like it would had the run died. After it was gone I was all... uh its gonna get cold real fast and I turned on the news but they said the sun was going to come up, so I thought they were trying to hide it, But they weren't, I still hope that was the mild biblical prediction of the sun dying.
Anonymous said…
WE KNOW THAT The moon contols the tide the the flow off the ocean and that miricles are not magic but off natrul accurancce by control off the elements Kolob eing the gratest star closet to the throne off god we have had storms that john predicted this this must mean the alighnment off the plants is changing so are we being pulled towards kolob close to the thone off god for the start off second coming wich means as we pas the other plants all johns predictions will happen and the moon shall turn too bloood the dust off mars which is bright red are the plants lining up which will affect the gravationtional pull to pull the earth to wards the throne off god as a plannet we can not stop what is happening its the natrul route off the earth heading towards celestial state and glory
Anonymous said…
Ok I had a dream last night... So I searched ont he internet and came to this website.

My dream was intense so real, i could feel, smell, sense pain,sorrow,hurt,agure,and etc.. I was stand with some friends at a gas station. It was night time and the stars were out. I looked up at the moon and it started to turn blood red and parts of the moon was black, as it was turning the moon had cacks in it. People started to stare in their feelings were scary some was terrifed others were blank. they started running. I went into the gas station and the news was on and the new caster lady was talking about it and the man behind the counter said take what you can and go. no money needed. i took bottle of water and ran to my truck. i notice my children wasnt inthere but i knew where they were. peoplewere under aparchute looking threw bonocilars and the moon got deeper of blood. i left and drove off to get my children. I found them ut they were in a deep sleep i couldnt wake them. And a thought came over me to say they are withthe lord right now, there is nothing you can do for them. So I left them with love and ran out of the building. I tried to call my sons father but the phone went blank with an recording saying somethigin mean.i hung up and started running down the street and i entered another building where peoplewereatgoing crazy, killing each other with guns and knives. i could feel the stab and gun shot wounds i was crying cause thepain was hurting me. I could here chldren and people screaming for their lives. I got out the building before iwas hit. ididnt look back kept going. Iwas in the street and i saw a car burnt and i look inside and i could smell burning flesh when i open up the back door a plasticbagofan infant that was melted down to the diaper was tied up in liquared yellow and white form. the smell made me gag even out of my sleep. I ran and tried to call my sons father again and he asnwered but i could here him talking very ll manner about me to his mother and friends. I hung up and started walking down a highway full of cars and people and there was two cars a p-t curiser and a truck on the side of the road covered in gray mud with one gold lock on the diver to the passenger door of each vechile, but it was running. I felt the people in side was of God, but they were hiding from all the evil in the world. so they covered it up so it look as though it was abanding so no one would bother them. and that is when i woke up. It toom me until 1:44pm to type this becuase i still could feel and hear my dreams and i wokeup 8 this morning. 8/2/2010
Shera said…
I'm not familiar with celestial bodies heating up when they are close to each other. Can you give an example or a more detailed explanation?

Also, it there any evidence in the book of Joel that this prophecy occurred in his day?
Anonymous said…
i think all the Joel 2 is saying that the coming of the on that day will have cataclysmic events. The moon turning red could be an eclipse but there are other events as well such as earth quakes, the sun turned into darkness, the stars falling. SO its unique in that you have all these events taking place at once whcih is unprecedented. but adds to the terror and wonder of that day. That it is a day of gloom and terror indeed. like at sinai when the God came down and the people were affrighted becasue of the signs thunders, quakes etc that appeneed.
Laurel said…
But "that day" has already happened ... Many sources have been documented, including recently, of the moon turning to blood. I remember when I was very young when Mt. St. Helens erupted. The moon was red for a week, and we didn't even live in Washington!

In my opinion, rather than fearing what 'could be', live how you KNOW you're supposed to now. If YOU are living right, doing right, helping others, being the best you can be, when everything hits the fan it really won't matter (as much) because you'll be secure in your own salvation.
Senna19 said…
I agree on what Laurel said. if it is a sign or not. Leave the way that will save you in next life.
Unknown said…
The sun represents the greater light, which is Jesus. The sun will turn to darkness means that there will be spiritual darkness, such is happening in the USA as the government tries to take away our religious freedoms.

The moon represents the lesser light, which is the fallen being, Satan. Satan has often used the sign of the moon. Dagon in the Bible, (Satan) who required human sacrifices, was a moon god. Now Satan has two world powers and he uses the moon in both. One is Islam and the crescent moon. The other is communism with its sickle (deliberately crescent moon shaped) and hammer.

The moon will turns to blood means that there will be great bloodshed associated with Satan's world systems. There will be bloodshed with the rise of Islam and the use of a nuclear weapon. The other will be a war between communist nations(China, started by Russia) and America the free.

Yes, Revelation and Daniel and all the biblical prophecies are coming true before our eyes. It takes wisdom from the Holy Spirit to understand it. ASK HIM and wait on him and leave what you thought would happen. It is not easy to understand. If it was, Satan would be even more powerful in his actions.

It was the same when Jesus came. Although they were biblical scholars, they did not understand the signs of the times. it is okay not to understand, but it is not okay not to ask him. Seek him for wisdom.
Unknown said…
If it were to be a common occurance, such as to be seen and accepted by many, if not all, then the second coming wouldn't be "as a thief in the night" I believe these visions of the second coming are to be understood and witnessed on a spiritual level.
Amy said…
The Golden Rule of interpretation of the scriptures: "When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicates clearly otherwise.
Unknown said…
Maybe the moon turns blood red through solar flares from the sun? A big burst perhaps? Wouldn't a whole continent witness such an event?
After all it is a celestial event.

Love the blog.
Unknown said…
the same scripture can be interpreted in different ways and may have more than one fulfillment. also, i understand that, in the scriptures, planets and stars often are symbolic of persons and people....
Unknown said…
Char t, excellent point - "It was the same when Jesus came. Although they were biblical scholars, they did not understand the signs of the times. it is okay not to understand, but it is not okay not to ask him. Seek him for wisdom."
Unknown said…
Many people seem to think that President Hinckley's 2001 October Conference talk declared that the moon had turned to blood..
Let's look to context:
Moon to Blood Scriptures
Joel 2:31 – The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.

Acts 2:20 (quoting Joel, has slightly different wording:) “that great and notable day” Read all of Chapter 2 to get the full context.

Matt 24:29 – Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.

Rev 6:12 – …there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.

D&C 29:14 – …the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall be turned into blood, and the stars shall fall from heaven…

D&C 88:87 – For not many days hence and the earth shall tremble and reel to and fro as a drunken man; and the sun shall hide his face, and shall refuse to give light; and the moon shall be bathed in blood; and the stars shall become exceedingly angry, and shall cast themselves down as a fig that falleth from off a fig tree.

Put in context the sun darkening and the moon appearing as blood are parts of a last days major event (or series of events) that will be noticed by much of the earth, if not all.

Look at what Peter said in the 2nd Chapter of Acts.
Peter quoted the exact same Joel prophecy saying that it was being fulfilled in the day of Pentecost. I think it very likely President Hinckley was reiterating what Peter said.

President Hinckley used it the same way that Peter did in Acts Chapter 2. To say, “We are seeing prophecy fulfilled, the spirit of God is being poured out.”

Neither Peter nor President Hinckley said that the sun and moon parts, nor the great sign, had happened specifically. Not since that October Conference has President Hinckley nor any of the other Prophets or Apostles said that the sun and moon parts have specifically been fulfilled. (At least not that I could find, and I did look.)

We have to be careful about taking things out of context and making assumptions about them in that manner.

President Hinckley's talk was not about sign's of the times being fulfilled. It was to reiterate that we are living in the Last Days when the prophecies about the pouring out of the spirit are being fulfilled. Note what President Hinckley is saying as he leads up to the quoting of the scripture. He is talking about the, “tremendous cascade of enlightenment poured out upon the world “ He goes on after the scripture quote to talk about that enlightenment. He clarifies, “He has brought to pass the wondrous time in which we now live. We have seen only the foreshadowing of the mighty force for good that this church will become.“

Joel's prophecy is about the days when “I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh.” to spread the gospel to allow many people to be delivered from bondage. And in those days many great things shall occur leading up to the great and terrible day of the Lord.

If one insists on a literal “the signs of the times have been fulfilled” idea then you have to justify all of it as already happening. The sun darkened, the moon into blood, the great and terrible day of the Lord come, and the righteous delivered in mount Zion and in Jerusalem. I think it quite fair to say that all of that has not been completed. And it was not completed in Peter's time on the Day of Pentecost.

That having been said I agree with both Peter and President Hinckley. Joel's prophecies have been fulfilled in that both of these prophets of God recognized that after Christ's Atonement, Death, and Ressurection they were living in the Last Days preparing for the Second Coming of the Lord. The spirit was being poured out upon the people. We are living in those great and last days
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