Tag Archives: Blood Moons

Zion Postponed

city_of_zion_platThis last year has been a very difficult and yet enlightening one for me personally.  Most of you don’t know me and so I will spare you from much of the personal information.  But suffice it to say, this has been a year where I have learned much.  Like many in the world, I have seen sickness, death and destruction all around me.  I have looked into the skies at the signs that prophets foresaw millennia ago.  I have witnessed miracles and have seen love grow in some of my most important relationships.  I have experienced forgiveness in damaged or destroyed relationships and feel as though I’ve received added light.  And yet, I am reminded of what a fool I am.  So quick to anger, vanity, fear, retaliation, judgment, greed, and laziness.  The more I study and ponder, the more I recognize my awful state before God as well as the awful state of our church.

When I first began to allow myself to consider that the church might not be what I had always defended it to be, my world began to fall apart.  I was a bishop at the time.  To some I was the poster child of Mormonism.  Son of converts, valiant in my youth, from a large active family, son of a father who had many important church callings, of a mother known for her kindness and zeal; an eagle scout, returned missionary, temple married, BYU educated, a leader in the church at a young age.  I served in my first bishopric in my early twenties.  My second bishopric in my late twenties.  On the high council in my mid twenties.  I was interviewed as a potential stake president in my early forties and was told by the outgoing stake president that they almost selected me.

I share none of this to gloat or to brag.  I merely share it to demonstrate that when it came to commitment to the church, I was all in.  I loved the church with all my energy and served it and defended it for my entire life.

But, as I have noted here in this blog, there have been times along the way where my faith in the church has been challenged.  In times past, I most often erred on the side of defending the church and the brethren.  For much of my life, I had assumed the gospel and the church were mostly the same thing.   That began to change however, as I was met with further contradictions.  Separating the two became a required spiritual survival technique for me.

The last stand for me with the church was that I had held onto the Brethren being True Witnesses of Jesus Christ.  I believed they stood where I hoped to one day stand — even in His presence.  I believed in this doctrine since first gaining my testimony as a very young man.  In reality it was my testimony.   I read of Calling and Election Made Sure and I knew that this was man’s very purpose and I believed with all my heart that these particular men, the leaders of the church, HAD achieved this end!  After all, they had always reassured me that they “knew” Him and were special witnesses of Him.  Call me naive, but I believed them until only a few years ago.

Now, lest you think me apostate, let me remind my readers that I believe in God the Father, in His Son Jesus, in His servant Joseph and in the Restoration and in the Book of Mormon.  I am not a whacko.  I’m not a wannabe polygamist.  I consider myself a very normal “LDS” person.  BUT I do not and can no longer believe that the leaders of this church are anywhere near the equivalency of Joseph Smith.  To say so is to mock God!  Additionally, my spiritual journey has led me to believe that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in a state of apostasy and has been since the early days of the Church when its members refused to accept the fulness of the Gospel.  This is further evidenced by the fact that LDS prophets today do not prophesy!  They do not see!  They do not reveal!  Ironically, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men.  They worship Handbooks and consult the learned and rely upon their attorneys.  Their lips draw nigh unto Him, but their hearts are so far from Him!  They preach the precepts of men and lead souls to Hell, yea even the very elect.  Because they do not KNOW Him!  They cannot have the testimony of Jesus nor have they received the Gospel.  If they had, there would be an abundance of signs that follow after them.  They would be healing the sick, they would be obsessed with expounding Scripture especially Isaiah, they would be focused on the poor and in building up Zion.  When’s the last time you even heard an LDS prophet speak of building Zion?  Thus we are of Paul and of Thomas and of Gordon and even of Jesus, but we do not have His testimony before the Father and thus we are damned!

I read this week in the Joseph Smith Papers that in June 1834, Joseph announced that the Lord had revealed to him that the redemption of Zion was being postponed “for a little season” (page 44, JS Papers, Volume 1, Journals also see D&C 105).  The reason for this postponement, despite that Joseph had just rallied an armed expedition of righteous and zealous volunteers to “restore and redeem Zion” was because the church refused to live by the laws of the Celestial Kingdom AND because the “leading elders of the church were not yet endowed with power from on high.”

I ask you my friends, are we any closer to the establishment of Zion today?  Have our leaders now truly been endowed from on High?  More so than the original 12?  Have they been in His presence?  Can we trust them as true messengers?  Are we living by the law of the Celestial Kingdom?   Joseph once taught, “Without a Zion and a place of deliverance, we must fall, because the time is near when the sun will be darkened, the moon turn to blood, the stars fall from heaven and the earth reel to and fro.”  Have we fallen?  Will we fall?  Are the signs and prophesies being fulfilled while Zion is yet postponed?

Do you trust these men with your salvation?  I do not!  Do you trust them to save your children?  I DO NOT!  Do they teach the words of eternal life?  Or are they just nice, good men, trying to do the best they can with what they’ve been given?  How are you receiving their teachings!?  Very well?  If so, then you will be damned for they teach the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture.

We must needs repent and be born again before it is everlastingly too late.  We must awaken and learn to discern between true and false messengers or we will die when Christ comes AND shall never be a part of Zion.  If we remain lulled and contented by these current teachings we will never recognize true messengers when and if they ever come to us.

I no longer see things as I did as a child.  I now judge of their works and am no longer fooled.  I have been in their secrets councils.  I witness that they would rather cover up the truth than expose their own hypocrisy!  They make exceptions and play favorites.  The rules do not apply to their own!  I witness that they know not God and stand not in His presence.  I add my witness that only the broken hearted and the contrite in spirit will be filled with light and be saved in Zion.  I believe that a servant has come among us who has the words of eternal life, if we will be but humble enough to read, to learn, and to hear.

The Star of Bethlehem

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Tonight Jupiter and Venus will almost overlap in the western sky.  My understanding is that the last time this took place was 2 B.C.  Some say this new “star” was the very same sign given more than 2,000 years ago preceding Jesus’ birth.  John Pratt and others more intelligent than myself offer greater insight and detail.

Is this astrological re-occurrence significant?  Is this one of the signs that Jesus is coming again, soon?  Will we be found looking for the signs in the heavens like those of times past who awaited Him and who were prepared to receive Him?  Or will we dismiss the signs, the dates, and the events that are taking place right before our very eyes?  From all that I’m reading, I’m inclined to believe that this is a very important event.

Just this year we will have also witnessed four blood moons all landing on Jewish Holy Days separated by a Solar Eclipse.  Any year this has happened in recorded history, something very significant has taken place.

We are also witnessing increased social unrest in the world.  Good is called evil and evil called good (2 Nephi 15:20).  Iniquity abounds and the love of men waxes cold (JST Matthew 1:30).

This month is also Ramadan.  A time in which faithful Muslims fast during the daylight hours for 30 consecutive days.  Sadly during this holy time, a growing number of radical Islamists are escalating the cry for the destruction of Israel, Christianity, the West, and basically any person or group who disagrees with them.  They have no value for life, not even their own.  These terrorists also seem to be fulfilling latter day prophecy:

Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver and gold, nor shall they delight in it.  Their bows shall also dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eyes shall not spare children.  (2 Nephi 23:17-18)

I am humbled by both the signs of heaven as well as by the increasing signs of wickedness.  I’m reminded that every one of us is a child of God.  Each soul is precious and our time to prepare is short.  There is no mortal and there is no institution to which we can look to be saved.

The only sure way to be saved is to come unto Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, to be literally changed by Him (Psalms 51:17, Psalms 34:18, D&C 59:8, 3 Nephi 9:20, 2 Nephi 2:7, Moroni 6:2, etc.).  We are all broken.  We all need His healing.  May we look heavenward and be found ready to receive the God of Heaven and Earth who comes again.

The Second Coming and Blood Moons

moroniOn September 21, 1823, seventeen year old Joseph Smith received another heavenly messenger.  It had been a very difficult three years since his first vision, during which time he suffered:

“…severe persecution at the hands of all classes of men, both religious and irreligious, because I continued to affirm that I had seen a vision…being of very tender years, and persecuted by those who ought to have been my friends and to have treated me kindly, and if they supposed me to be deluded to have endeavored in a proper and affectionate manner to have reclaimed me—I was left to all kinds of temptations; and, mingling with all kinds of society, I frequently fell into many foolish errors, and displayed the weakness of youth, and the foibles of human nature; which, I am sorry to say, led me into divers temptations, offensive in the sight of God.”  (JSH 1:27,28)

Like prophets of scripture, Joseph was experiencing rejection, ridicule, and disappointment from those “even who ought to have been his friends.”  The lack of support must’ve left him very discouraged.  He surely felt very alone as he approached the Lord on this night of autumnal equinox, although surrounded by his siblings who all shared the same bed in that tiny loft of the Smith residence in upstate New York.

js_bedroom“In consequence of these things, I often felt condemned for my weakness and imperfections; when, on the evening of the above-mentioned twenty-first of September, after I had retired to my bed for the night, I betook myself to prayer and supplication to Almighty God for forgiveness of all my sins and follies, and also for a manifestation to me, that I might know of my state and standing before him; for I had full confidence in obtaining a divine manifestation, as I previously had one.”  (JSH 1:29)

Interestingly, it does not appear from the record that Moroni spends a lot of time consoling Joseph nor does he pull up a chair and listen to his concerns.  Moroni is laser focused on the message he has been commanded to deliver to young Joseph.

He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people.  (JSH 1:33)

After then proceeding to tell Joseph about the ancient record Moroni does something I have always found very curious.  He begins to quote scripture, word for word, seeming to cut and paste in symphonic fashion from various prophets from various dispensations.  Imagine being in the presence of a glorious being sent from the presence of God and with the voice of an angel he begins to speak of the destruction soon to come, as pronounced by incredible prophets such as Isaiah, Joel, Paul and Malachi:

“For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly shall burn as stubble; for they that come shall burn them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch...Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord…And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.”  (JSH 1: 37-39)

In addition to quoting this slightly different version from Malachi, Moroni also:

“…quoted the eleventh chapter of Isaiah, saying that it was about to be fulfilled. He quoted also the third chapter of Acts, twenty-second and twenty-third verses, precisely as they stand in our New Testament. He said that that prophet was Christ; but the day had not yet come when ‘they who would not hear his voice should be cut off from among the people,’ but soon would come. He also quoted the second chapter of Joel, from the twenty-eighth verse to the last. He also said that this was not yet fulfilled, but was soon to be. And he further stated that the fulness of the Gentiles was soon to come in. He quoted many other passages of scripture, and offered many explanations which cannot be mentioned here.”

There are so many amazing things in Joseph’s account worth great study and attention.  But in interest of time, I’d like to focus on the words of Joel while keeping in mind that the angel would appear 4 times that night and next morning and repeat the exact same message:

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)

Why did Moroni come four times?  Why not three?  Why not five?  Why would he then ask Joseph to appear on the same day (the Autumnal Equinox) for the next four years at the Hill Cumorah?  What was the significance of the number four, if any?

What is also interesting is that since 1823 there have been many “blood moons” and “solar eclipses.”  Assuming this is what is meant by the references to blood and darkness.  Does anyone else find it odd that Moroni is quoting prophets from the Old and New Testament saying the time of burning is soon at hand, and oh by the way, it won’t happen before a blood moon and solar eclipse, when such a thing is not very unique?

Unless of course, it’s four blood moons and a solar eclipse.  What if Moroni was leaving Joseph a message with the emphasis on the number four?

bloodmoonsMany of you are aware that we are living history this year as it pertains to Blood Moons.  We are experiencing what is called a Tetrad of Blood Moons.  It’s not the first Tetrad we’ve seen since Christ’s first coming.  But, all the Tetrads have been during years of great significance for Israel.

So here we have four blood moons, all happening to fall on really important Jewish dates.  And as if that weren’t interesting enough, the four moons are separated by a solar eclipse.  It’s almost as if Moroni was trying to say, “when these things shall happen four times, while the sun is also darkened, make sure you take notice, because it will be soon after that.”

There is so much more here to study and to see and to ponder.  I found an intriguing article written on this topic by a person not of our faith.  He speaks of a prophecy by a Rabbi Judah Ben Samuel in 1217 AD.  I definitely think it’s worth a read.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

As I read and ponder such things I am reminded that our Lord must soon be coming.  It has been nearly 200 years since Joseph’s first vision and since that first visit from Moroni!  I often hear people in the church say they “can’t wait until He comes again!”  I don’t know that I share that same sentiment.

He and those that come will destroy many of us.  Or their glory will at least.  I feel the need to repent and to become more prepared before He comes.  To be a better husband and father, son and brother.  To be more humble, more trusting in Him.  I need His grace and seek His fulness.

I know many of you may relate to Joseph in feeling discouraged at this time, by rejection from those who ought to be your friends.  God bless you.  I know God hears your prayers and will comfort you as you turn to Him.

I leave you with a beautiful version of a song I wish was in our hymn book.  Amazing Grace.  I have heard it’s not included in the hymnal for doctrinal reasons, although I notice the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has sung it on occasion.  Either way, I hope you enjoy it.  It really is all about His Amazing Grace.

Amazing Grace

Produced by David Christenson.