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Forgotten signs of the last days

When considering the signs of the last days, most people are aware that they are all around us. One of the most obvious today is the sign of wars and rumors of wars. I’m sure it comes up every time a lesson on the last days is taught in a Sunday school class. We will probably not be without wars in the world until the time of the Savior’s return.

So also are Paul’s warnings in chapter three of second Timothy about the general state of human behavior. Men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good…the list goes on and on.

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences; and earthquakes in divers places. The Lord tells us to not be troubled as these things come to pass. He has told us in advance that these things must all happen. Can anyone doubt that so many prophesied signs of the last days are here?

Dramatic signs are yet to come

And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. All the inhabitants of the earth shall see this great sign. It will be talked about by everyone.

I have written previously about Joel 2:31 where the moon shall be turned to blood. Joel also mentions wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood and fire, and pillars of smoke. Earlier in the chapter he describes the coming of a great and strong people that come in the day of the Lord and bring with them destruction unlike any other army.

A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth. The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army. This is no mortal army. The Lord fights his battles with his own armies. What shall they be?

The armies of the Lord

Let’s look to the Book of Revelation for a great description of the armies of the Lord. John calls them locusts in chapter 9. These locusts will not hurt the green things of the earth so they are not insects. They swarmed like locusts, or appeared in droves, many hundreds or thousands at a time. When they arrived, the sound would be deafening.

If they are not actual locusts, what could John be describing? They had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. We know that prophets spoke in terms that are both symbolic and metaphoric. They had the appearance of horses prepared for battle and their faces are as the faces of men. And yet, they are not men. What are they?

When the Lord revealed the events of the last days to the ancient prophets, they described what they saw in terms of what they had experienced and seen in their own lifetimes. Perhaps what Joel and John were describing were swarms of meteorites flying in bands and taking various shapes, like horses racing in the sky or hosts of warriors leaping.

Catastrophic events of the last days

We who live in these last days have not yet seen what the prophets of old saw in vision so it seems unimaginable. But in a few short years we will be very familiar with what they were trying to describe. The Lord said that “immediately after those days,” meaning the days in which we now live, shall the prophesied signs of catastrophic proportion begin.

That is why the prophets of old warned us to look to the skies for these signs. We should not doubt or dismiss that the signs will appear. I am convinced that it will not be long before it becomes obvious to all the world that something unusual is about to happen. Then we will see the false prophets come out while the whole world pays attention.

However, the prophets of old and the Savior foretold all these things many, many years ago. The signs of the last days include more than the problems among the people of the earth. The heavens themselves will be in commotion. We will see amazing things that we have never seen before. They will be frightening and yes, some will be catastrophic.

Look to the past to understand the future

Some have interpreted locusts of Joel and John to be descriptions of modern warfare. Perhaps the hair of women they were seeing is really contrails of high altitude jets or ballistic missiles. The sound they described fits perfectly with modern jets and rockets. And yet the Lord says that the coming destructions will be sent by God and not by man.

The Lord said in D&C 29:9 that “the hour is nigh and the day soon at hand when the earth is ripe; and all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble; and I will burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that wickedness shall not be upon the earth.” It is clear that the coming burning of the world will not be caused by man but by God.

The Lord will use what appears to man to be natural events. Oh sure, "A few comets and a few meteorites," they will say. “It’s no big deal. These things happen all the time.” They also explained away the great fires of Peshtigo in 1871 as being nothing other than just really hot and dry conditions. Falling, burning sand is common? I don’t think so.

Summary and conclusion

I just want to go on record in advance before the heavens start to heat up and then drop burning things on us that the Lord foretold all these catastrophic events in advance. Let’s not act surprised and wonder why the prophets didn’t warn us. They have warned us over and over. Most people are ignorant or have dismissed it as nonsense from fools.

When the Lord speaks of the burning of the earth he is not kidding. The kind of burning we’re talking about is not your Al Gore, politically correct, give me money so we can do something about this man-made global warming. This burning will not be man made and it will not be a slow or gradual thing. It will come upon us suddenly, as if in an instant.

Call me a crackpot but I’m convinced that we are going to see events on a cataclysmic scale in just a few short years. All the signs point to it. The Lord is patient and there is much work to do in taking the gospel to all the world. But the time is not far distant that we will see the hand of the Lord fulfilled as signs in the heavens become frequent again.


Image of ancient comet swarm by permission of Don Dixon

Some of my past essays on Signs of the Times in the Last Days:

1. The Last Days are upon us
2. Signs of the Times and the Second Coming
3. There shall be greater signs in heaven
4. Just where exactly are the lost ten tribes?
5. And the stars shall fall from heaven
6. Has the prophecy in Joel 2:31 been fulfilled?
7. What kind of warnings do we prefer?
8. Eschatology - The study of what?
9. Miracles and natural laws
10. The desolation of abomination
11. Mormon Doctrine - Prophecy and the Last Days


Doug Towers said…
Hi Tim

Some interesting ideas presented here. I tend to wonder though (just a thought) whether the woman bit relates to a church. After all the woman in prophecy in the Book of Revelation refers to the church. So perhaps the hair may have some significance there.

I think far more is to come war wise. I believe that the seas heaving beyond their bonds will be an enormous movement that will destroy entire sides of continents. I believe that great amounts of death will be evident and that the death rate will be so catastrophic that 7 women will cling to one man (as is prophesied).

But you've brought up some interesting thoughts that I'll have to think more on.

Good post.
Tim Malone said…
Hi Doug,

Thanks for visiting my blog again. I know that a woman in scripture has been a symbol for a church. I think you can find that in both Isaiah and in Revelation.

However, in this case, Joel is describing something that is long and streaming so he uses hair. It fits perfectly with the tail of a comet, especially if there are a bunch of them.

To read more about this somewhat unique interpretation I suggest a close reading of the prophecy trilogy by Anthony Larson, especially the second book, And the Earth Shall Reel To and Fro. I find his explanations very convincing.

You can read more about Anthony on his blog Mormon Prophecy - Things as they are, were and are to come. He also has some insights about the cause of the seas heaving themselves beyond their bounds, even when it will happen and what causes it.
Anonymous said…
Hi Tim,

If 3rd nephi is a pattern of forshadowing for the events leading up to the second coming, then is the order of things more:
1. breakup of the church, ie. class structures, rich poor
2. breakup of government and economy
3.cataclismic events described
S.Faux said…
Tim, thanks for providing a link to Don Dixon's fantastic art. I am amazed at its beauty, and now I want it on my walls. I recommend to any of your readers to take a look using the link you provided.
Tim Malone said…
S.Faux: Don was very gracious when I asked for permission to use his photo. I had no idea he was so famous. He has done numerous covers for Science Fictions books and has illustrated many NASA publications. I too fell in love with his work. I'm now torn between his art and that of Joe Bergeron.
Tim Malone said…
Anonymous: Nah, I don't think the church is going to break up into classes or anything like that. The prophecy in Daniel is that it will continue to grow until it fills the whole earth. I believe you are right on about the breakup of he government and the economy. Aren't we supposed to have three years of great peace under a charismatic leader and then, wham - here come the catastrophic events?
Anonymous said…
3rd Nehpi 6 is an interesting read in that as President Benson said 3rd Nephi was a forshadowing. If we look closely at our church, is there not a great divide in class structure. It's as easy as looking east of I-15 to west of I-15.

Regarding your quote on Daniel,there are many meanings one of which that Joseph Smith discussed is that Daniel is talking about the kingdom of God as a political entity that will fill the whole

I think perhaps that counter to what many think, the church will not continue growing straight into the millenium on our current path... Zion will be born out of much tribulation
Tim Malone said…
Ah, I see the problem! 3rd Nephi 6:11 points it out for us: "For there were many merchants in the land, and also many lawyers, and many officers." It's that darn secret combination of business, lawyers and officers. In the previous verse they are identified as the source of great persecutions.

And yes, you are correct that "the people were distinguished by ranks, according to their riches and their chances for learning" (v 12). "And thus there became a great inequality in all the land, insomuch that the church began to be broken up" (v 14). Hmmm...I sure hope this is not what can be expected to happen in our day.

The chapter also refers to wicked judges. Anybody see that parallel happening today? And why were the judges and the people who supported them angry? It was because the prophets testified of their wickedness. Say, didn't those judges and lawyers combine into a secret combination to destroy the people of the Lord?

After digging into the scriptures you referred to, you've caused me to think about the potential parallel, anonymous. I hope we don't have to pass through some of those things that led to the breakup of the government, but I suppose it is inevitable, isn't it?

And yet, how can a government that has been broken up afford to send all the millions of soldiers that will be participating in the great wars that are prophesied to take place before the coming of the Lord? Maybe the time of all these cataclysmic events is not as close as I once believed. We shall see.
Anonymous said…
Applying the definition of what the prophets in 3nephi6:12 defined as the church being broken up, I think we good reasonably make the argument that our church today is broken up.

I get the feeling that the members of 3nephi 6 that were rich and well educated probably wouldn't have classified themselves as outside the church or has having broken up the church. Thus the breakup of the church defined by the prophets could exist while the membership believed all was well in zion, not realizing that they had been deceived by babylon.

you ask an interesting question, "And yet, how can a government that has been broken up afford to send all the millions of soldiers that will be participating in the great wars that are prophesied to take place before the coming of the Lord?"

As I have looked at this my conclusion as of today, meaning it could change tomorrow is this:
we have met the criteria for the break up of the church, we are currently in the process of the fall of the economy which will lead to a world wide depression, this is when I think that the secret combination, and this combination is the second combination of third nephi which tried to overthrough the government and the people revolted will try to bring down the final remnants of the constitution, but the american people, while wicked will fight back, causing us to go into anarchy, this is the anarachy talked about in the scriptures, brother fighting against brother, father against son ect, neighborhood against neighborhood.

It's at this point I think that the kingdom of God which is the political kingdom will be established in Utah, where the council of 50 is reorganized, the constitution Joseph wrote is enacted and the church expands it's role from the spiritual to now encompass the political and temperal aspects of society, the stone that will role forth and encompass the whole earth.

There are some interesting quotes from many of the early prophets, namely Young and Orson Pratt that talk about this time.

To me America will need to cease to become a world power and be in such a state of chaos that the rest of the world pays us little attention. It's at this point that I think the cataclysms begin and we can have our great exodus prophesied. It seems to me that the great army of millions is not on this continent but is formed over in the middle east Asia minor and perhaps that army will be made up of not just soldiers, but women and children as the great final battles in the book of mormon were.
Anonymous said…
"Aren't we supposed to have three years of great peace under a charismatic leader and then, wham - here come the catastrophic events?"

I would like to know where this comes from... I'm interested.
Tim Malone said…
Sorry Jeff, I'm not very good at clearly identifying when I am being sarcastic. I should never do that because I almost never am. So when I use sarcasm, it comes across as sincerity. In this case, I was not sincere. I do not believe that there is going to be one great world leader who will bring peace to the world for three years before the second coming of the Lord.

As Joseph Smith taught, it is sectarian nonsense associated with a very incorrect interpretation of the 13th chapter of John's Book of Revelation, specifically verse five. The 42 months gives the time frame of three and a half years and the whole idea of the beast has been misinterpreted over the years to mean an imagined super-ruler called the Antichrist.
Tim Malone said…

I've been pondering what you wrote all week as I have been reading Hoyt W. Brewster's book, Behold, I Come Quickly.. I would like to offer a couple of quotes from our prophets that I found in his great book, which I highly recommend. It contains some of the best teachings on the signs of the times and the last days. Here are the quotes. I think they are applicable to your observations about the church.

"The Old Testament prophet Daniel saw the establishment of God's kingdom upon the earth in the last days and proclaimed that it 'shall never be destroyed...[but] shall stand for ever.' (Daniel 2:44 and D&C 65:2.) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that kingdom! Regarding the Church's ability to withstand attacks and persecution, the Prophet Joseph Smith boldly proclaimed:

"No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done."

Finally, consider this declaration from President Heber J. Grant: "Any Latter-day Saint who thinks for one minute that the Church is going to fail is not really a converted Latter-day Saint. There will be no failure in this Church. It has been established for the last time, never to be given to another people and never to be thrown down."
Mom Cox said…
You'll have to go to the church website to look it up. I believe it was October general conference after 9-11 (October 2001 then), where President Hinkley said we have now seen the fulfillment of the prophecy of the moon turning to blood. I believe it was in his opening statement. I missed it while listening, someone had to point it out and I went back and checked it out.
Tim Malone said…
Hi Susan,

Thank you for visiting my blog. I'm surprised how many times this item comes up about President Hinckley's opening address in the Oct 2001 General Conference. Because it mentioned so often by visitors on my essays about the last days, I wrote about it extensively in January of 2008.

In that essay I noted that I do not doubt that President Hinckley was correct that Joel 2:28-29 and possibly verse 30 had been fulfilled. I imagine he was referring to the pillars of smoke from the world trade center bombing as being fulfillment of prophecy. It seems logical and I have no problem with that.

In fact, I can even see how this horrible catastrophe at the world trade center could be seen as a fulfillment of verse 31 as well, with the sun being darkened by smoke and the moon perhaps looking very red through the smoke. But I have offered my opinion that this verse has not been fulfilled in the complete sense that the prophet Joel intended it.

My point is that the view of the moon looking reddish through the smoke was a localized event for those in the New York City area. I also offered my opinion that the burning of the oil wells during the Gulf war could also be a partial fulfillment of this prophecy about blood and pillars of fire, the sun being darkened and the moon looking blood red.

So yes, I agree with President Hinckley that this prophecy has been fulfilled, but not completely. I am convinced that a more complete fulfillment is yet to come and will be obvious to all who see it all over the world. It will not be a localized event, but will be seen by everyone at once no mater what their vantage point on the earth. In other words, it will be an event on a planetary scale of something that comes between the earth and the sun that has a tremendous effect on the moon.

So I am not disagreeing with you. I am simply suggesting that there may be more to come in regards to these verses. We should not think that they have been fulfilled in their completion. The scriptures are replete with example where prophets have said that the prophecies began to be more fully fulfilled (for example, see 3 Nephi 1:4). I suggest we keep a watch on the skies for signs that will be much larger in scope that what we have seen so far.
Marcy said…
Hi Time,
You mentioned that Joseph Smith taught that the whole idea of an "AntiChrist" is nonsense and I have long since known about his sentiments and believe Joseph (of coarse!!!) I get so annoyed when LDS people believe the version of the second coming that is put out there by other denominations. I haven't been able to re-find where Joseph teaches this though - its been forever since I've read it. Do you happen to know off hand? Thanks a ton.
Sep 25rh. 2014. Four fireballs fall from the skyNot one, not two, and not even three -- but four fantastic fireball events were reported Tuesday along the East Coast and in the Midwest, the American Meteor Society said.

The bright fireballs all came within a 90-minute timespan, according to the society. Multiple fireball events in a single evening are considered rare.

(Story continues below)

A heat map of where and when the four fireball events occurred.

The abundance of fireballs caught the attention of the twitterverse. "Is it possible that these [four] events are related to a recent (but very small) fragmentation event from a parent body," Twitter user Kevin Heider asked the American Meteor Society in a tweet Wednesday.

Actually, the society said evidence suggests that the fireballs were unrelated.

No matter what, the fireballs put on a spectacular show--just check out the photo
Tim Malone said…

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