Has the prophecy in Joel 2:31 been fulfilled?

In October 2001, just after the destruction of the world trade centers and the tragedy of the loss of all the lives of those who perished there, President Hinckley said this in his opening address of General Conference:

“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).

I have no doubt that President Hinckley was right when he said that the vision of Joel had been fulfilled. I’m sure this point has been brought up and debated on the LDS mailing lists but there weren’t as many LDS Blogs back then. As we were discussing some of the prophesied signs of the last days, a friend recently reminded me that President Hinckley specifically said that this prophecy was fulfilled. I had to think twice, especially about the part about the moon into blood.

Does the burning of the World Trade Center towers qualify as ‘blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke’? How about the burning oil fields of Kuwait from the first gulf war? Do those qualify? Is it possible that Joel saw either or both of these events in his vision? Are these events the only occurrences of the prophecy being fulfilled or are there others for which we should continue to look? I’m especially interested in determining for myself how this fulfils the prophecy of the moon into blood.

In fact, it is my personal opinion that we have not yet seen the fulfillment of the part about the moon into blood. Why? Because each occurrence of the moon looking red so far has been a localized event. I would expect that when we do see the moon appear as if it is blood red it will be something that can and will be seen from any vantage point on the earth. What if the moon were to become incandescent because it has no way to dissipate heat. Is that a crazy thought?

Maybe not. It has been proposed by Velikovsky, Dave Talbott and Anthony Larson. But then their stuff has all been debunked as bogus science, hasn’t it? If you have Anthony Larson’s book, “And the Moon Shall Turn to Blood,” read his comments on page 68. It sure seems plausible to me, but then I’m not a scientist or astrophysicist to be able to say that such a thing could never happen. I’m just a common, ordinary member of the church trying to understand this prophecy.

What do you think? Has the prophecy in Joel 2:31 been fulfilled?

7 comments for “Has the prophecy in Joel 2:31 been fulfilled?

  1. Kevin B.
    January 31, 2009 at 8:18 am

    I had recently been assuming that the sign in the heavens that Joseph Smith spoke of preceding the return of Christ which men would say is a planet, a comet, etc. would in fact be a planet/comet which comes close enough to Earth that the resulting earthquakes/volcanic activity which would accompany the proximity of a large body, would throw up enough dust/smoke/ash in the air across the globe as to cause it to appear red as a global phenomenon.I guess I’ve got more reading to do regarding this incandescent moon thory…

  2. Tim Malone
    February 2, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Hi Kevin,Thanks for stopping by. Although this essay from over a year ago continues to rank high on the hits, I have always been surprised that nobody has commented on it until now. I like what you suggested that enough dust and ash kicked up could be what causes everyone to see the moon as red.But I’m going to stick with my original proposed theory about what could cause the moon to turn red – incandescence caused by close proximity to another planetary body. There are not many places where you can read more about this because it is dismissed as ludicrous by most planetary scientists.The moon has neither atmosphere or oceans to dissipate heat caused by the interaction of the magnetic fields surrounding the approaching planetary body. I wish we had some body of scientific work we could study that extrapolates what could happen to the earth if a large planetary body were to approach it, but such a thing has never occured according to the scientists of our day, or has it?That’s why I am so fascinated by the writings of Anthony Larson, Dave Talbott and Velikovsky. All three have been rejected by orthodox scientists as being crackpots. I like the kind way in which the Wikipedia contributors labeled Velikovsky an “independent scholar.” His catastrophist theories are “out there” according to most of academia.Another essay I wrote last year addresses the idea of the moon appearing to be red as blood. Several commenters there suggested different ideas about what the moon turning to blood could really mean. I expressed there that I am not convinced that the prophecy in Joel 2:31 has been completely fulfilled as some think President Hinckley said it has.

  3. Noni
    April 28, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Maybe mine is a simple faith, but if the Prophet says a prophecy has been fulfilled, it is easy for me to trust and believe his word, completely. I think there is tremendous safety in trusting every word of counsel.Noni

  4. Tim Malone
    April 29, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Hi Noni,Thanks for visiting my blog. I can totally accept what you are saying. In fact, I said it myself in the essay: “I have no doubt that President Hinckley was right when he said that the vision of Joel had been fulfilled.”My point is that prophecy can be fulfilled on multiple levels and at multiple times in history. This is shown throughout the scriptures with the prophecy of the destruction of Babylon being a type or shadow of the destruction of the Second Coming.Thus, I accept what President Hinckley said about Joel 2:31 being fulfilled and also believe that it will yet be fulfilled in greater measure at a future date. This is consistent with the way prophecy works. The Lord provides us with advance warnings and multiple examples of how his word will be fulfilled. This is one of them. I think it is marvelous!

  5. Paul ODwyer
    November 13, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    I know I am very late to this discussion, but I have seen this discussion on many blogs over the last few years.  Many certain this has not been fulfilled, many certain President Hinckley was right… etc etc. 
    I think both are right.  The rub is, what was President Hinckley actually saying?  In my opinion he was just saying the prophecy of Joel has been fulfilled.  Ok, exit President Hinckley for a moment and now lets focus on what the prophecy of Joel says. First of all I think its hard to bank every single word placement in the King James version completely.  This is only my opinion, what my pondering has led me to.  I am no linguist.  To me its almost like it should read like this (just paraphrasing the gist)….

    “I shall pour out my spirit, many will prophecy, many shall dream dreams and see visions,
     And in these dreams and visions
     I shall show them…. the moon turning to blood and the sun being darkened, and all the other amazing things that will eventually happen.”

    So what is the prophecy of Joel?  That the dreamers shall see that in the future the moon will turn to blood and the sun be darkened. 

    See, if the moon turning to blood has already happened, then it could have only been when the moon in low in the sky or when there has been eclipses or when smoke from a local fire has tinted it red.  These types of phenomena have happened frequently before and after Joel wrote this prophecy.  They have happened before and after President Hinckley declared these things fulfilled. 

    As for the Sun being darkened, the only thing I can think of is an eclipse or a dark storm cloud covering the Sun.  And if that is the case, this will happen again.  
    Remember, the Lord said, in Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:20, “And except those days should be shortened, there should none of their flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake, according to the covenant, those days shall be shortened.”

    It now makes little sense to think that, “its a good thing God shortened the events of 9/11, or the Gulf war so that we could all still be alive.  Boy that was a close one!    

    My conclusion, President Hinckley spoke the truth, Joel spoke the truth, the Hebrew translators didn’t realize that this was what they were seeing in their dreams and visions, Anthony Larson  and Velikovsky have been right all along.

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