Not Your Typical Disaster Fiction


“We’re going to crash,” the woman in the seat next to Manny said again. Her voice sounded like brakes squealing on asphalt. She wore a green flowered dress that reminded him of the American housewives of the 1950’s, her hair steel-wool gray. She held both arms straight out, elbows locked, a vice-grip on the sides of the seat in front of her. She’d been like that for the last five minutes, eyes closed, head down, weeping.

“Stop saying that, madam,” Manny said. He fought the urge to spew at the woman in his native Russian. “You’re getting on my nerves. The captain’s doing everything he can.” The flight from Salt Lake had been uneventful until they approached Denver. At 10,000 feet a cloud of red dust choked the engines into silence. An eerie blue glow surrounded the plane. The smell of burning ozone permeated the cabin.

The woman didn’t look up. Her lower lip quivered. She sobbed, “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of death.” Even the flight attendants, who took their crash seats long ago, looked annoyed at her repeated prayer and irritating crying.

The plane jolted again. The passengers lurched forward. The woman screamed. So did several others. Manny gripped the leather case tighter to his chest. His life’s research. He looked once more through the window to the stricken engine. It sputtered, and then flamed out again.

With each sputter another lurch, then another, first one side, then the other. A coughing backfire of red dust mixed with blue flame. Some of the passengers had their phones out. The man across the aisle shouted into his phone. “I love you. Tell the kids I love them.”

A boy dressed all in black with a nose ring used his phone to shoot video, first out the window, then back to the terrified passengers. “This is so cool,” he said. The girl next to him, also dressed in black, slapped at him each time he said it.

The fields outside the Denver airport turned into runway much too fast. The woman next to Manny repeated her mantra—faster now. The strange blue glow that had surrounded the wings, which shimmered when they first hit the red dust, had now disappeared.

Another lurch. This time a whoosh and a roar. Manny turned to see the left engine catch. The woman’s chants stopped. She opened her eyes for the first time, popped her head up in the direction of the now firing engine. Her mouth opened, her breath caught on a whimper.

The engine on the other side of the plane sputtered then roared back to life. Some passengers cheered. Manny felt the plane level out. The tarmac rushed by not more than a dozen feet below. He saw the big white stripes which indicated the end of the runway. Too fast. There’s no way the captain would try to land now. Surely he’ll go around and try again.

“Brace, brace,” the captain said over the intercom. This is the first they heard from the cockpit since the power went out with the engine failure. The fine red dust still rushed by the windows of the plane. Manny put his head down, grabbed his legs with his hands. His arthritic fingers screamed in pain. “Please, please, let me live to get my research to the conference,” he said in a whispered voice to no one in particular.

The voice of a pastor in the seat behind them increased in volume. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” Stupid fool. Too much talk about death.

Manny felt the jet slam down hard on the asphalt. It bounced. Screams erupted. The plane came back down—hard. The emergency lights flickered then failed. The sound of grinding steel drowned out the screams. “Oh shit,” the boy dressed in black said. “Not cool.”

Manny clung to his legs. His knuckles screamed while the plane continued to bounce. It slid for what seemed like an eternity; then came to an abrupt stop. The grinding noise ceased. The dim lights flickered back on. The smell of jet fuel surrounded them. Passengers popped upright, heads turned first one way then the other. He saw shock on some faces, happy surprise on others. Sounds of “thank god” floated in the stuffy air of the cabin.

The flight attendants jumped up, began to open the doors. They shouted to the passengers in the emergency isle to get the wing doors open. The woman next to Manny cried again, this time happy tears. He helped her to the wing exit and through. She clung to his arm the whole way through. The flight attendant told them to jump on the yellow chute and slide to the ground. Manny jumped, moved away from the chute and looked around.

Their jet landed in a ravine, a few yards below a service road. A red and yellow fireball rocked the landscape a short distance away. A private jet had also caught some of the red dust. It was not so lucky and crashed hard. Flames shot into the red-dust-filled sky. Manny’s heart filled with grief for the unfortunate passengers.

An old pickup screeched to a halt along the top of the ravine. A young man in blue jeans and sport coat climbed out. Manny clutched the worn leather briefcase to his chest, raced up the embankment toward him. The red dust that floated everywhere filled his lungs, choked him. He wheezed his way up the steep incline, age showing in his ancient joints.

“Can you take me to the terminal right now?” The young man stopped at the sound of Manny’s voice. He stared at him as though he’d sprouted horns.

He looked to be in his early thirties, and not all that successful, if he judged by the thread-bare sports coat, worn sneakers and much abused jeans. A CU logo adorned the back window of his truck. An educator he surmised. Yet he looked vaguely familiar.

“I’ve got to catch the flight to Washington D.C. right away,” Manny said. “I’ve got important information about this red dust.”

The young man didn’t move, just continued to stare at Manny. Finally he spoke. “Are you crazy? People are hurt down there. They need help.” His voice sounded familiar. Now Manny felt certain he’d seen him somewhere before.

Manny looked behind him then back at the man. “There’s no fire. Nobody’s seriously hurt. I must catch my connecting flight.”

The young man ignored him, turned then ran down the ravine toward the plane.

Manny walked to the man’s truck, opened the door. Damn. No keys. He looked up the road toward the terminal. He’d have to walk. He slid on his way back down the ravine.

He approached the captain who looked overwhelmed. Manny grabbed his arm. “Look,” he said, “my name’s Manny Volynski. Here’s my card. I just got off that plane. Fine bit of landing, if I do say, but I don’t have time to wait for the rescue crew. Gotta go.”

The captain stared at him the same way the young man had. Had everyone lost their minds? Manny turned and hurried up to the road, determined to get to the airport.

Why wouldn’t that young man give him a ride? There wasn’t anything he could do for the passengers of the plane. Emergency services were almost there. It bothered Manny that he couldn’t place where he’d seen the man from CU before. He racked his brain as he walked.

This red dust’s not a good thing. It came sooner than he calculated. He had to get to that science conference back East. Wait a minute. David. That’s right. That’s his name. He’s that university professor from Colorado who got him thrown out of last year’s conference. Arrogant educated fool. Thinks he knows everything.

The truck roared up behind him, screeched to a halt in front of him. David jumped out, grabbed Manny by the arm. “Where do you think you’re going?”

Manny tried to shake his hand off. “I just got off a plane that damn near crashed because of your stupid comet, which, my dear professor is not a comet at all. But we don’t have time to discuss that right now, do we?”

David dropped Manny’s arm like it burned him, took a step back.

“You told people on TV yesterday we’d have some beautiful sunsets for the next few weeks.” He waved his arm in the direction of the plane. “Is this your idea of a beautiful sunset? You didn’t seriously consider what the tail would do this close to earth, did you David?”

Manny recognized the momentary look of panic in David’s eyes. He nodded his head. “Maybe you believe me now? I tried to tell you about this last year.”

The young man’s mouth dropped open. He seemed to fight for control. “Get in the truck, old man. I promised the captain I would get you back. Although why he should be worried about one crazy old goat is beyond me.”

For a prize winning scientist, this guy seemed to have fallen off the honesty cart. “This red dust is from your comet. You know it is. Why didn’t you tell people the truth yesterday?”

David’s expression morphed from annoyance to shock then concern. He started back for the truck. “Do whatever the hell you want, old man. I need to get to my lab at the observatory.”

Manny jumped in front of the truck, pounded the hood with his fist. “Didn’t you hear me? It’s too late for that. We need to get to that conference–NOW. They’ll listen to you.”

David ignored him, opened the door.

Manny ran to the door, grabbed him by the lapels. “If you don’t come clean with what you know about that comet, a lot of people will die. They have a right to know.”

David’s eyes narrowed. He pushed Manny away. “It’s too late. There’s nothing we can do. Millions of people will die anyway. Now go away.”

Manny didn’t go away. He leaned closer. David backed against the doorframe of the truck. “What was your price, David?” Manny said. “A new observatory? A seat on the NSF board?” He patted the worn leather briefcase clutched under his arm. “I have the evidence right here. I’m taking it to that news reporter you were talking to yesterday. She’ll be interested.”

For a moment neither spoke. David scowled at Manny. “Are you threatening me, old man?” He didn’t get in the truck. He didn’t push Manny away. Their eyes remained locked, neither moved. A fresh dusting of the red powder fell around them.

Manny held out his hand and caught some of the powder, then waved it at David. “Robert Blackstone isn’t paying you enough to lie about what this stuff can do.” David’s eyes grew large at the mention of the name.

“You can help save lives. People will listen to you. But communications will be cut off in a few days. You know this. We’ve got to share this at the conference before it’s too late.”

David eyed Manny’s briefcase. He licked his lips. “We’d better get you to a safe place. Get in. I’ll take you to the terminal. We can talk.” Manny smiled as the truck began to move.

Copyright 2012 Tim Malone

Journey to the South


“I don’t like travelling,” said Jason as he rolled up his blankets. “You have to pack so much food and water and all those changes of clothes, especially for a long journey.” He wanted to complain some more but the look on his mother’s face stopped him short. Instead he asked, “How long will we be gone this time?”
“Jason, come here. Sit on the couch next to me.” After he had done so, his mother continued. “Do you remember when father told us about this journey a few months ago?” Jason nodded his head and his mother continued. “The famine has become worse since that time. We may never be coming back to our home.”
“What?” exclaimed Jason, “Not coming back? How can this be?” This was the only home he had ever known. He felt safe here and loved living in the palace with his cousins. Yes, he had gone on some travels with father, but only to the next kingdom to trade spices for sheepskins. “Where will our journey take us?”
Mother paused a long time before responding. She stood up and had her back to him and it looked like she had tears in her eyes. “None of us are really certain, Jason. We will follow the trade routes as far as we have ever gone before and then…” she trailed off. “We will follow the directions in the sacred scrolls.”
Although Jason was only nine years old, he had heard his parents read from the sacred scrolls many times. He had even snuck them out and tried to read them a few times himself. But they were hard to understand. They seemed mysterious, and were written in a cryptic kind of language that spoke of marvelous treasures.
“So we’re going to find the long-lost treasures of the scrolls!” Jason was very excited now and finished his packing as quickly as possible. Mother was relieved and helped him tie everything into the bundles that would go on the backs of the horses. They were lucky to have them. Some of the people were walking on foot.
Being a prince was no easy job. He had to act so dignified around the palace. But now that they were on a journey, he could ride and talk with his cousins and their friends without having to worry. They had fun as they chased the animals and took little side trips to see things they had seen previously on these trails.
Sometimes they would walk to let the horses rest. There were several families all travelling together. They needed to stay close for safety once they got past all the friendly kingdoms they had been through before. At last they came to the end of the known realms and were entering into lands that were full of many surprises.
One day, they woke up and found outside their tents a very curious round ball unlike anything they had ever seen before. It was made out of metal and had a couple of pointers that showed the direction they should take on their journey. Father said it was a gift from those who had gone before. He read it in the scrolls.
They could only carry so much food and had to rely on the men to hunt and find food to eat. Sometimes writing would appear on the round ball that told them where to go to find food. The writing seemed to show up just when they were getting most hungry and tired from their travels. Somebody was guiding them.
The writing told them to go towards the mountains they had seen for many days in the distance. It started to get cold as they began to climb the mountains. Jason was glad that they had packed the sheepskin blankets to keep them warm at night. He looked up at the stars and wondered why they looked different than before.
One morning there was a strong earthquake. Nobody was hurt but it scared the animals and the little children. Jason was not afraid. He heard the men talking around the campfire the night before that they were getting closer. “Closer to what?” he wondered. Mother looked worried and talked quietly to his father.
They had been going south for so long that the sun did not come out during the day any more. After the earthquake, it seemed to Jason that he could see strange things in the sky. It was getting darker and darker each day, but when the clouds parted he saw stars going by quickly. Stars aren’t supposed to move like that.
There were more earthquakes, but still they kept on climbing the mountains. Some of the men wanted to turn back, but Jason’s father would read to them out of the scrolls and they would agree to go on. Finally they came to a spot that was not so cold and had some shelter from the wind that was close to the highest peak.
“Here we wait,” announced Jason’s father. “Wait for what?” Jason wondered. Even though his father was a king, Jason could see that some of the people were not happy with where the king had brought them. Although a few mountain goats and a nearby stream provided food and water, this seemed like no place to live.
“We won’t be here long,” Jason’s father told mother. “Tomorrow you will see why.” And he was right. The noise started before dawn. It was a vibrating noise, long and low, as if it were coming from deep down inside the planet. They could not only hear the noise, but could feel it too. It got louder and longer and deeper.
Then they saw it! There in the sky above them was what looked like the moon, only it wasn’t a moon, it was another planet. Now it made sense to Jason why it looked like the stars had been rushing by. They had been moving faster and faster until they caught up with the planet and overtook it. It was now right below them.
Of course, to Jason, it looked like it was above them. Astonished, he watched as his father went out a little ways from the camp and raised his long staff in the air that he always carried with him. Lightning jumped from the staff towards the top of the nearby mountain that then caused something wonderful to happen.
It seemed like the whole top of the mountain opened up. Something started to flow between the mountain and the planet up above. The same thing happened from the other planet and the two energy flows met and merged. The noise was deafening but Jason’s attention was riveted on what was happening to his father.
He was rising up in the air, going faster and faster until he was out of sight. Jason turned to mother but she didn’t seem frightened at all. “It was all in the scrolls,” she explained. Your father is going to the other world to tell them we are here. They have been expecting us. We will be able to follow him a little later.”
At last Jason understood what the scrolls meant. The long-lost treasure was the world above them. They had been broken off from this world so long ago that nobody believed the scrolls anymore. They talked about the many things they would find in the world above. Jason could hardly wait until he could go there.
They had come home. No wonder his father said they weren’t going to stay there in the tops of the mountains. They were all going to go to the new world. He looked up in amazement as the beauty of the world above. It looked like most of it was water, which he had only seen in books. Mother said it was called earth.

It came from behind the sun


I’m an avid reader of SpaceWeather.com. While it’s not as popular as Space.com, it focuses on stuff that fascinates me – asteroids, planets, comets, sunspots, auroras, geomagnetic storms and meteors. It is hosted by Dr. Tony Phillips of NASA, who is a long time participant in communicating the science of astronomy to the world.

If you go visit SpaceWeather.com, you’ll notice that Dr. Phillips is happy to post photos and videos of space phenomenon submitted by amateur observers from all over the world. They are always enjoyable and educational. He also has a table of known near earth asteroids that he keeps updated for those who follow this stuff.

Tracking space objects

There are people whose job it is to watch for these Potentially Hazardous Asteroids and notify important people if one gets too close. Of course, the media is usually all over the story when we know one is coming close and write it up in a way that generates interest. They usually throw in some element of fear of total destruction.

And just to show that we really don’t know everything that’s out there, an asteroid came within 8,700 miles the other day. That’s just slightly more than the diameter of the earth. Asteroid 2009 VA was discovered only fifteen hours before its closest approach by astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey. Luckily, it was very small.

Small objects burn up

An object the size of asteroid 2009 VA, which is a little less than twenty feet, will just burn up in the atmosphere and create a spectacular fireball as it disintegrates. The fact that it was discovered only hours before it came by should give us some cause to think. We just don’t always see the things that are coming at us in space.

I suppose if an object were bigger, say more on the scale of a small moon or planet, it would be much easier to spot in advance. I imagine the people who watch the skies for us would be able to give us months, perhaps even years of warning. Or would they? You see, it all depends on the direction from which it is arriving.

Nobody saw it coming

Just last month, an asteroid that was about thirty feet across came undetected into our atmosphere and exploded only about ten miles above the surface of the earth in Indonesia. It created quite a panic in the local area and some quick thinking individual even got it on video, or at least the trailing smoke that it left behind.

Nobody saw this one coming. It was just too small. That’s not surprising since there are so few resources dedicated to watching the skies. We have been more interested in the bigger ones, usually over 35 feet that are easier to spot. But even if we catalog all that we can find, the sun still hides a lot of them from our view.

Hard to see objects near the sun

Objects between earth and the sun are hard to spot because of the glare of the sun. Asteroids do not emit light, but reflect it from the sun. About the only way to see one between us and the sun is if we see it as a miniscule dark spot in photos taken of the sun. That’s one reason why so many amateur astronomers watch the sun.

But what about objects that are coming toward the sun from the opposite side of the solar system in such a way that makes it impossible to see until they come around or past the sun? Such objects could be quite large and we would not be able to see them until a few weeks or possibly even just days before they arrive.

Orbital telescopes watch the Sun

If you are familiar with STEREO, then you know that we have two satellites in orbit around the sun both ahead of and behind the earth. They give us a different viewing angle of the sun that is tremendously helpful in making observations. But they are designed for sun observations and are always pointed directly at it.

Canada announced that they would launch a satellite that will be the first to search for objects that are between us and the sun. It hasn’t launched yet (maybe 2010), but it is hoped that it will help us find another fifty of the little buggers that we need to be watching but can’t see from earth. These are called the Aten asteroids.

Objects hidden behind the sun

I’m sure you are familiar with the Hubble telescope, one of the greatest boons to astronomy that is used and appreciated by scientists all over the world. The images captured by the Hubble have done more to advance our knowledge of the cosmos than just about any other scientific instrument that man has imagined and created.

But what we don’t have, and probably won’t have for many years to come, is a space based telescope that allows us to look around the sun. Placed in the same orbit around the sun with the earth, but ahead or behind the earth, this would give us the ability to look beyond the sun for objects coming towards it and the earth.

The Ten Tribes are on a planet

That is of tremendous interest to me and to many who have thought about some of the teachings of the early brethren of the church in regards to the Ten Tribes and the City of Enoch. Yes, I am one of those who believe that they are off on some planet somewhere and that they will each return in time, the Ten Tribes being first.

I am not alone in this belief and have spent many years accumulating statements from early leaders of the church to support this position. However, this belief is not commonly taught or accepted today. In fact, Elder Bruce R. McConkie said it is a wholly false view of what is to be when it is paraphrased from the scriptures.

Ice shall flow down at their presence

He also said that the Ten Tribes will NOT return with ice flowing down at their presence, even though that precise phrase is used in D&C 133:26. I suspect that Elder McConkie was not familiar with the work of Talbott or Velikovsky who have explained how ice can flow between two planets in a synchronous orbit.

So the idea that the Ten Tribes are on a planet somewhere makes total sense to me. We have the word of many early members of the church who declared that Joseph Smith taught this very doctrine. The testimony of Wandle Mace is one that helps me to understand this better. He was a contemporary associate of Joseph Smith.

A portion of the earth was taken

Brother Mace said that Joseph was preaching on the subject of the restoration of all things. In the course of his remarks he spoke of the earth being divided at various times. He said, “When Enoch and his city was taken away, a portion of earth was taken and would again be restored.” He then said the same about the Ten Tribes.

Recorded Brother Mace, “These remarks satisfied me, it was no longer necessary to hunt the place on this earth where the Ten Tribes were so long hidden, for the earth was divided and taken away, and will be the first to return, as it was the last taken away. He shall command the great deep, and it shall be driven back into the north countries, and the islands shall become one land.” That makes sense to me.

The Ten Tribes will return

From the 10th article of faith we read, “We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon this the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.”

The literal gathering of Israel and the restoration of the Ten Tribes are two separate events. As we read in Section 110, the prophet holds these keys: “Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.”

Summary and conclusion

Orson Pratt taught that “…a portion of the Earth was by a miracle broken off…the Ten Tribes were taken away with it…in the latter days it would be restored to the Earth or be let down in the Polar regions.” Great changes will take place upon this earth. It will be restored and will be like it was in the days before it was divided.

Somewhere out there is a planet or a piece of this earth that is prophesied to return and be restored or reunited to this earth. The joining doesn’t have to make it one spherical unit. Think of a binary star or two planets joined together by a flow of electromagnetic energy between them. Ice will flow down when they are joined.

When prophets need to know


I have a deep personal interest in the anticipated social response to the upcoming movie, 2012.  While it looks to be great entertainment from the fertile mind of Roland Emmerich, I am fascinated by the idea of how our society will react to some sort of a major catastrophic cataclysmic event like that depicted in the film.

I don’t go in for conspiracy theories that the government of the United States has a secret plan for the survival of the race.  I am certain that we have plans in place to ensure the continuity of the government in event of nuclear war or some other disaster, but the survival of the citizens of this country is a whole different matter.

A wise investment

As I get older, I take the idea of having a usable stockpile of food and water much more seriously than when I was younger.  We have dipped into our food storage several times over the past few years as the grip of a tight economy has reached into our personal finances.  But I value my food storage for a different reason.

I am convinced that the day will come, in my lifetime, that we will not be able to leave our homes for extended periods of time in order to go out and buy food.  It could be due to a flu pandemic or perhaps social unrest, but I am more inclined to think that it will be from some sort of a plague that will keep us indoors for weeks.

A prophecy of plagues

Now there’s a word that you don’t hear thrown around much these days.  Do I mean a plague like the kind that decimated Europe during the middle ages?  No.  How about a plague like the kind that caused so many deaths at the end of World War I – the 1918 flu pandemic?  No, I’m thinking of a different kind of plague.

Perhaps turning to the scriptures will bring it to a better light.  Let’s take a look at Revelations chapter eight. There are several references to plagues contained in the next few chapters but verse seven describes the beginning of the plague to which I refer now.  What things fall to the earth when the first angel sounds his trumpet?

Hail and fire and blood

I’ve written about this previously, but my interpretation of the phrase, “hail and fire mingled with blood” is this:  The hail is actually small stones or meteorites.  The fire is a sticky, burning petroleum-like fluid found in the tail of comets. It is also known as naphtha, a volatile and flammable liquid mixture of hydrocarbons.

The blood is a description of water of the earth mixed with a red dust that is some form of ferric oxide.  This red dust is water soluble, looks just like blood when it hits the water, and is highly toxic to life.  In addition, it is irritating to the skin and can cause a plague of microbes, insects and vermin to rapidly propagate in heat.

Writings of Anthony Larson

If this all sounds familiar, then you have read either the works of David Talbott, Immanuel Velikovsky or my friend and fellow blogger, Anthony Larson.  My wife and I met with Anthony last week to talk about collaborating on a book idea that has been brewing in my head over the past little while as my wife has been recovering.

I like Anthony because he’s a bit of a controversial figure in the church.  He has written and published five books on the subject of the events of the very last days.  His explanations of the scriptures pertaining to the last days are not the orthodox and standard answers you will find in the commentaries of today’s LDS scholars.

The prophecy trilogy

In fact, his writings have been denounced by scientists at our religious institutions of higher learning, such as BYU.  That doesn’t deter me.  I’m grateful for the gift of agency and the fact that the Lord allows us to choose what we want to believe about the scriptures, even if they don’t jive with conventional accepted teachings.

Is this a dangerous approach to learning?  I don’t think so.  The Lord tells us to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good.  I have been pondering what I have read in Anthony’s books for about twenty-five years since I first read his prophecy trilogy back in the 1980’s.  I have also prayed about what he has written.

Other inspired men

Now that may seem a little odd, different or downright dangerous in our LDS culture.  Why would you pray about what someone has written who is not a general authority?  Why, that’s unthinkable, preposterous even! Don’t you know that you are on the road to apostasy if you listen to someone besides an apostle?

Yes, men can be deceived and we can all point to examples throughout history where good people have been proven fools to follow after the interpretations of the scriptures by men who were not authorized to speak on behalf of the Lord.  But that brings up an interesting question that I wonder if you have ever considered.

Some prophets are experts

Where do prophets turn when they need to know something about which they are not experts?  For example, when our apostles want to know facts about something in the medical world, I’ll bet they consult with Russell M. Nelson, another of our apostles who just happens to be a medical doctor and renowned heart surgeon.

When they want to know something about the interpretation of law, there are several excellent choices among Elder Oaks, Elder Cook or Elder Christofferson.  For nuclear physics, they turn to Elder Scott.  For managing a university, we have President Eyring, Elder Oaks, Elder Holland and Elder Bednar, all great educators.

Turning to the experts

But what do they do when they want to understand astrophysics?  To whom do the Brethren turn when they need help interpreting and explaining the events that are starting to concern and even frighten more and more of the world’s population, as the end times draw to a close?  Who will help our leaders explain all these things?

Why, they turn to the professors of astronomy at BYU of course.  Or, if they’re not particularly fans of that institution – gasp! – then they turn to the smaller faculty at the University of Utah.  I’m sure there are a myriad of faithful LDS scientists who can provide the needed background to explain meteorites and other scary things.

Turning to the Lord

You may ask, “Can’t they just turn to the Lord in prayer and receive the necessary knowledge to guide the people when the catastrophes that are prophesied to happen begin to come to pass in earnest?”  Of course you know they can.  The Lord can and will “do nothing but he revealeth his secret to his servants the prophets.”

But we are taught and believe that the Lord requires us to do our homework before he confirms to our hearts and minds that what we have studied and determined on a given subject is correct.  The apostles are no different from you and me when it comes to the right to receive revelation, though they understand the process better.

Experts can be wrong

The problem with turning to the experts in Astrophysics is that the most of them do not subscribe to the views of ancient prophets on the subject of how the planets and stars behave.  Things were different back then and there is no written record of how things really were.  They prefer to use current observations for their facts.

Yes, the idea that the heavens have always been the way we see them now is very much in vogue even among our LDS scientists.  The idea that the planets in our solar system could have once been in a different configuration sometime within the last four thousand years even is unthinkable and has no scientific basis for proof.

Summary and conclusion

Yep, Tim’s gone off his rocker.  He is claiming that scientists are wrong.  He’s gone off the deep end and thrown his cap in with the crowd of crazies who believe in planet X and that 2012 is the end of the world.  No, I don’t believe that, but I do believe that Anthony Larson has made more sense of things than most scientists.

So until an apostle or prophet comes out and says that Anthony Larson is wrong in his interpretation of the scriptures, I have decided to join forces with him and have committed to write and publish a work of fiction based on his research.  Call me crazy but I’m looking forward to the ride.  Stay tuned for the exciting adventures.

Red Sky


I’ve seen dust storms in Denver before, but there’s something different about this one.  I can’t put my finger on it.  It seems so…I don’t know…red.  And why is there so much dust in the air anyway?  It’s not all that windy right now.  It looks like the dust is falling from somewhere high up in the sky.  It’s not being picked up off the ground and blown around by the wind.  But that’s impossible.  Dust doesn’t just fall from the sky like that, especially not in the winter.  What could it be…?  Mesmerized, Mitch Johnson continued to watch the red dust fall as he drove towards the Denver International airport.
“And planes don’t fall from the sky like that either,” he said aloud.
Mitch’s attention was diverted from his thoughts about the weird weather when he heard what he thought was a car backfiring.  He looked up and saw a plane dropping much too fast for a safe landing.  He was driving to the airport to catch a flight to Washington D.C. to attend a meeting of the American Astronomical Society.  He had recently been awarded a prize for his work on the effects of planetary gravity on comets and was an invited guest to present a paper on the subject.  It was quite an honor for such a young astrophysicist from the University of Colorado.  Well, 34 seemed young to him.
It looked like the jet engines were surging and then flaming out.  He heard the popping sound of the surges a few seconds after he saw the flames.  But what really caught Mitch’s eye was the strange blue glow around the nose and engines of the aircraft.  “What the hell is that?” he asked aloud.  It was now apparent that the plane was in serious trouble.  The likelihood that the crew would be able to land the jet dead stick on final approach was looking very slim.
Mitch quickly pulled over, grabbed his iPhone out of his shirt pocket and began shooting video of the aircraft.  Just as he started recording, the engines popped once again and then miraculously restarted.  And not a moment too soon, as the plane was less than 1,000 feet above the ground.  He continued to record the landing, hoping to catch another sighting of the strange electrical glow on the leading edges of the plane, but it was not repeated.  In an amazing demonstration of deliberate control, the pilot kept the nose up as the engines came back up to speed just in time to prevent a certain crash landing.
The jet finally slammed down roughly, a ways past the normal touchdown area, bounced noticeably and careened down the runway. Denver runways are very long, but it was obvious that this plane wasn’t going to be able to stop in time.  It burst into the field past the end of the runway and ended up in a small ravine a few yards short of a roadway.  Incredibly, there was no fire.  Mitch had been on a flight from Las Vegas to Burbank that had overshot the runway back in 2000.   He could just imagine the horror the passengers and crew must be going through right now.
He put his iPhone back in his pocket and raced to the end of the runway which was less than a mile away from where he had stopped.  Even though there were many vehicles headed in that direction, Mitch was able to drive to within a dozen yards of the jet.  He was one of the first to arrive on the scene.  Most of the passengers had already escaped down the emergency slides and were milling around.  He was surprised when one of them ran up to his truck as he stopped, clutching tightly at a leather briefcase.
“Can you get me to the terminal right away?” asked an old man with wild and frantic eyes.  “I’ve got to catch a flight to Washington D.C. and I don’t have time to wait around for the emergency crews.”
Mitch stared at the old man slack jawed, but only for a second.  “What are you, crazy?  We’ve got to see if anybody’s hurt and help them!”
The old man looked around and said, “Look, nobody’s hurt.  The pilot did an amazing job and got us down safely.  We all got off the plane okay and now I need to catch my flight.  Will you take me or not?  I don’t have time to wait for a shuttle bus.”
Now Mitch was certain that the old man was crazy.  He got out of his truck and began making his way toward the plane to find a member of the flight crew.  The old man was right in step behind him but Mitch didn’t stop.  He ran quickly down the little ravine and approached a uniformed crew member.  “Is everyone alright?” he asked when he came to a man who appeared to be the captain.  Surprised, the officer whirled around and looked closely at Mitch, tying to ascertain if he was a passenger.
“I saw the landing from where I was stopped along Airport Boulevard. In fact, I got the whole thing on video.  Are you okay?” Mitch repeated.
It finally registered with the captain that Mitch was neither a passenger nor rescue crew.  His eyes left Mitch’s face and resumed looking around at the passengers.  He was trying to determine for himself the answer to Mitch’s question.  “I don’t know yet,” he said.  “I’ll be shocked if nobody is seriously hurt but so far everyone seems to be off the plane and uninjured.”
“What happened?” Mitch shouted after the captain, who had turned to find the rest of his crew.  He had to run after him and repeat the question.
“It’s this damned red dust,” yelled the captain.  “Look around.  You can see how thick it is.  It got sucked into our engines and caused them to flame out.  We lost them on the way in at 30,000 feet and barely got them going just in time to land.  It’s a miracle.  If you got that landing on video I’d like to see it.  I didn’t think we were going to make it.”
The old man suddenly jumped between them and grabbed the captain’s arm.  “Look,” he said, “my name is Manny Volynski.  Here’s my card.  I was on that plane but now I’m leaving.  I don’t have time to wait for the rescue crew.”  And with that, he turned and hurried up to the road on a trot toward the terminal.
The captain stared at the card for a second, looked up and stared at Manny, who was already out of earshot and then spun back to Mitch.  With desperation in his voice, he asked “Will you go after him?  He can’t leave until the authorities get here.”  Wanting to protest but seeing that it would be helpful to the overwhelmed captain, Mitch went back to his truck without a word to get the crazy old guy and bring him back.
He sped up the road and pulled in front of the old man cutting him off.  Jerking open the door, he jumped out and confronted him.  “Where do you think you’re going?”
“Look, Mitch.  I just got off a plane that almost crashed because it sucked up dust from your comet that is now falling all over the Western United States.  We were lucky just to get out of California let alone make it all the way here to Denver.  I’m going to Washington D.C. to try one more time to convince your buddies that this thing is much more dangerous than you’ve been telling people.  Now are you coming with me?”
Mitch let go of Manny’s arm and stepped back with a look of shock in his expression.  “How the hell do you know me and what do you mean by ‘my comet’?”
“Come on!  It’s named after you since you discovered it.  You’ve been all over the news telling people how wonderful it is that we will have such a close encounter with your great comet.  Don’t you realize by now that this dust is from your comet?  I tried to tell you about this a long time ago but you never listen to guys like me.”
It finally dawned on Mitch that he knew this old man.  He was the guy that kept showing up at astronomical conferences claiming that the earth was going to be visited by a planet in the near future.  Even worse, he argued that a rendezvous with this planet would bring catastrophic changes to the world and disaster for people everywhere.
Seeing that Mitch recognized him, Manny continued. “I told you that this would happen.  I even tried to tell you what’s going to happen next, but you had me thrown out of the last conference.  Do you believe me now?”
“Believe what, old man?” Mitch snapped back.  I only believe that you’re crazy.  I promised the captain that I would get you back to the plane.  Now get in!”
The desperation was evident in Manny’s eyes as he almost shouted, “You of all people should believe me.  You know comets and have published papers on the effects of planetary gravity on comets.  This comet is so large that when it passed by Saturn, it was pulled slightly closer to the sun.  It went behind the sun at a steeper angle and is now coming a lot closer to earth than you have told the media.  In fact, it’s coming tail first.  We’re starting to pass through the tail and you know it.  This dust is from your comet!”
Mitch did some quick mental calculations and began to put things together.  He had been too distracted by his preparations for the trip back East and hadn’t gone to the observatory last night.  Manny could be right.  He hadn’t seen the trajectory of the comet as it came from behind the sun.  Perhaps this dust really was from the comet.  He forgot all about the captain and the plane.  Now he only wanted to get back to his observatory.
“Get in,” he said to Manny.  “I need to get back to the university.”
“Haven’t you been listening to me?” replied Manny.  “It’s too late for that.  You don’t need to make any more observations. The evidence is all around us now.  We need to get to your conference and convince all the other astrophysicists what is really going on.  They’ll listen to you and the governments of the world will listen to them.”
Although he wasn’t convinced at all, Mitch realized that they still had time to catch the flight, and he didn’t want to argue with him anymore.  Manny got in and they drove towards the parking garage, arriving just in time to catch a shuttle to Concourse B where the United Airlines flight to Washington DC should have been boarding.  The gate was strangely vacant and passengers were crowded around the counters.  They had been in such a hurry that they hadn’t noticed that no planes were boarding or taking off.
“What’s going on?” Mitch asked a traveler at the back of the crowd.
“All flights have been delayed by the dust storm.  A plane from California barely made it in.  Some others weren’t so lucky.  Take a look at the news on the monitors.”
This was not good.  How could this be happening? Mitch thought to himself.  Just yesterday it had been his face up on those monitors telling the world that this comet was no cause for alarm and that we should be in for some spectacularly beautiful sunsets.  Astronomers a century ago caused great panic when they announced that comets contain poisonous cyanogen gas and that earth would pass through the tail of Haley’s comet.  People panicked, nothing happened and astronomers learned not to share some things.
Not at all certain that he wouldn’t be recognized, and not wanting to explain himself, Mitch ducked into a lounge area to think.  Yes, he knew that this comet was different.  For one thing it was bigger than any comet he had ever seen.  It was almost the size of a small planet.  In fact, nobody had been able to get good measurements because of the way it was approaching the sun.  They were hoping to make those observations today, but he had to catch the flight to the conference.  No, this was just not good at all.
“I tried to tell you, but you just wouldn’t listen.”  It was Manny again.  Mitch had forgotten about him with all the excitement of the cancelled flights and the news of the dust storm displayed on the airport monitors.  Manny sat down next to him at the bar.  “That’s not a comet.  It’s a planet and it’s going to cause a whole lot more destruction before it gets to where it’s going.  You can warn the people and help them prepare.”
“Prepare for what?” Mitch exclaimed.  “Manny, you’re not a scientist.  You are not an astronomer.  You know nothing about the world we live in.  We spend our lives making observations and making sense of the things that fly around out there in space.  You spend your days digging old myths out of books and manuscripts that contain nothing but folk tales.  There’s no precedent for all your conjecture and theory.  Your ideas of an ancient polar configuration of planets could not possibly be correct.”
It didn’t look like the falling dust was going to let up soon and Manny had wanted to talk to Mitch for a long time.  This had turned out to be quite fortuitous that Mitch just happened to show up when the plane went off the end of the runway.  Although Manny’s wife had died years earlier, he had tried to stay close to his daughter in California.  He was very proud of her.  She was a research scientist and worked at the UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory.  But she didn’t go in much for his theories either.
Manny was much calmer now.  He sensed an opportunity to finally make his case to someone who had the background to understand what he had researched, discovered and written about over the years.  He threw out an easy question.  “If I can tell you what’s going to happen next and then what’s going to happen after that, will you at least consider that there may be something to these myths and theories that can help us?”
Mitch sighed.  “Go ahead old man.  It doesn’t look like we’re going anywhere right away.  I think I already heard enough of your ideas at the last conference but I’ll listen just this one time.  Hopefully they’ll let us board the plane soon.  What have you got to say?  If this dust doesn’t let up in five minutes, I’m going back to Boulder.”
Manny pulled a picture of his daughter out of the old worn leather briefcase that he always carried with him.  It contained his charts and diagrams that he used to explain his ideas to anyone who would listen.  The flight attendant told him to leave it behind when they jumped down the emergency slide but he took it anyway.  “Do you see this picture of my daughter, Cynthia?  She’s just like you – a scientist. She’s a seismologist – graduated from Cal Tech.  She doesn’t believe me either, but she’s about to get a lot more data to study over the next few weeks than she has had in her 27 short years of life.”
As a scientist, Mitch didn’t believe in love at first sight, but there was something in those intelligent blue eyes that stared back at him from the photo.  He was surprised at how deeply he felt emotions stirring within him at the sight of the beautiful girl.  He had suppressed any kind of romantic feelings over the years as he dedicated himself to his work.  Wait a minute…this was just a silly picture.  What was he thinking?
Manny continued, “As the planet gets closer to earth, this dust we’re experiencing will be mixed with ash.  Besides bringing jets down out of the sky, the dust will mix with the water supplies of the earth and cause them to be polluted.  It will kill fish and will be a real problem to major metropolitan areas that will soon be without water.  The ash will cause much sickness and death to anyone who is exposed to it.  They must stay indoors.
“After a little while this dust is going to turn to hail sized pebbles.  That will make some racket when it comes down.  It will knock out power and communications systems all over the world. It will also take out most of our satellites.  Think about how that will affect our way of life.  Then we’ll pass though some sheets of petroleum-based material that will mix with the pebble-sized hail and catch fire as it falls through the atmosphere.  Spontaneous fires will erupt all over the world, burning forests and cities alike.  This is not unprecedented by the way.  It was the cause of the Peshtigo fires of 1871.
“The falling debris will get larger and larger until it comes down like artillery shells.  It will last for days and will wipe out the crops of the earth, burning them all up.  About this time the earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic activity will begin in earnest.  Nobody has ever felt earthquakes like the ones that are going to be caused when the planet comes close enough that the gravitational pull rips the tectonic plates apart with a force that is indescribable.  Our planet will be covered in clouds and smoke and ash that get thicker and hotter by the hour making it more and more difficult to breathe.”
“Stop!” shouted Mitch angrily.  “I’ve heard enough of your doomsday prophecies.  This is just a comet coming by.  It’s not going to cause the end of the world and you can’t go around telling people this kind of stuff.  It will cause pandemonium and mass panic.  Where did you come up with all this crap?  Oh wait, don’t tell me.  You read it in some ancient manuscript that you believe tells the story of what really happened sometime in our past.  Well, I don’t believe it and you have no evidence for all this nonsense.”
“I didn’t say it would cause the end of the world,” Manny replied.  It will just cause a whole lot of destruction.  The planet is not going to hit us.  It is going to come up alongside us and overtake us in the same orbit around the sun.  Eventually it will come so close that the magnetic poles of the two planets will align.  Because the oncoming planet is larger than the earth, they will rotate at a much slower speed.  When that happens, you had better hope that you are not living anywhere north of a large body of water.”
“I know I’m going to regret this, but dare I ask why?” Mitch questioned.
Manny was almost gleeful as he finished his description of the events of the coming weeks and months.  “You know that right now, the centrifugal force of the earth causes a large bulge of water at the equator.  When the earth slows down, where is that water going to go?  Back to the poles, of course!  Boy I would love to see that view from space when it happens.  Think of all the water in the Gulf of Mexico.  Anybody who lives in the states around the Mississippi river is going to be wiped out by onrushing water.  And the same goes for the Northern California coast and the Northeastern seaboard.”
“Are you through? Mitch asked incredulously as he stood up to leave.
“No, but that’s enough for now.  I wouldn’t want to overwhelm you,” said Manny.  Just concentrate on what I said first about this dust turning to pebbles and the possibility of fire from the sky.  You can read about all the rest of the stuff in my books.  It’s all there.  It’s just too bad that you haven’t read them. You could help save people.”
Mitch was sorry that he had agreed to listen to Manny.  He felt like he should say something to make it clear that he never wanted see this old man again but just then a news report on the airport monitor caught his eye.  Everyone was crowding around to see the live video feed of an incredible scene coming from Seattle.  It looked like heavy hail was falling; only it wasn’t hail.  It was sand and pebbles falling in sheets like rain.  But the most shocking thing was that some of it was coming down with fire.  Yes, it was fire from the sky, something he and his colleagues had said many times could never happen.
Within a few moments it was gone, but not before several fires had broken out in the city.  Looking away from the TV and out the windows of the airport, Mitch could see that the red dust had finally stopped falling.  Flights would soon be boarding and leaving.
“That’s just a sample of what we’re in for,” said Manny, at his side again.  “The dust and hail will be back and will be more widespread with each passing hour.  We’ve got a small window before travel becomes impossible.  I’m going to that conference to try to make a difference.  It would sure help if you could introduce me and let me present evidence from the historical record.  It’s all right here,” he said as he patted his briefcase.
Mitch took a long look at Manny although he was still skeptical.  He said nothing as they got in line to board the plane.  He was thinking.  It would be career suicide to associate himself with Manny Volynski.  He could play it safe, walk away right now, and go back to his telescope at the university.  In light of the events of the day, his colleagues would understand if he wasn’t at the conference.  But if what Manny said was true, then what would it matter?  A career is nothing compared to saving humanity.
“Come on, Mr. Volynski.  I want to look at those documents in your briefcase.  Let’s go save the world and that beautiful daughter of yours.”
“I didn’t think you noticed,” smiled Manny, as they boarded the plane.

Copyright (c) Tim Malone 2009 – Painting of meteoroids (c) iStockphoto

2012 – Everyone is capitalizing on the date


In a highly unusual move for me, I’m going to endorse a movie based on a trailer. It has already been panned by the critics as over the top, but I like what I’m seeing in the trailer and look forward to seeing it. I don’t go in for the 2012 timeframe, but there are a lot of interesting scenes in the movie that correspond to what I believe about events that will come to pass in the very last days. Enjoy!

Update: The trailer has been removed.

The government of the United States will collapse


Like many of you, I have been following the actions of our nation’s leaders over the past year or two as they have struggled to find an adequate response to the economic distress in which we are now embroiled. At times I have wondered if the financial crisis has been painted to be worse than it actually is until I read reports of those added to the monthly unemployment rolls.

I had to stop and think for a minute if I knew of anyone in my immediate circle of associates who had lost their job. I couldn’t think of any, but Carol reminded me of two or three. In each case the reason given by the employer was “the recession.” I also remember that the usual cost of living raise granted by my own employer at the end of each year was not offered last year.

I think there can be no doubt that we are passing through some perilous and uncertain times. There are many doom and gloom prophets having a field day with this hue and cry, and in spite of the title of this essay, I don’t want to join their ranks. I am fundamentally an optimist and believe that given America’s freedom and opportunity, we will rise above this current situation.

Short-term outlook

A large part of my optimism about the immediate future of the United States comes from my religious beliefs. I follow closely the words of the leaders of my church whom I believe are prophets and seers. While they continue to teach us about personal righteousness, I do not find their conference addresses to be full of dire warnings or immediate calls for drastic action.

Don’t get me wrong. They have been warning us for many years to be prepared for emergencies, specifically by making sure that we have sufficient food, water and supplies on hand to last for many months. Mormons are well known for storing a year’s supply of such items in their homes and I am no different. I am confident that we could last several months without replenishment.

I am also confident that the time has not yet arrived for the catastrophic events that we usually associate with the end of the world scenario that can best be found in the Book of Revelation. However, I do not dismiss the possibility that the United States may pass through something similar to what happened in Russia when the former Soviet Union collapsed back in 1991.

Long-term outlook

Is it possible that the government of the United States could collapse? If so, what could bring that on and what would be the outcome? If you have studied the collapse of the Soviet Union, you know that a large part of the cause there was economic in nature. The government owned all property and businesses, subsidized money-losing farms and factories and controlled prices.

I am not the first to point out the similarities to the collapse of the Soviet Union with what is happening in the United States right now. The United States government is moving into a very similar position of becoming the owner of our highest financial institutions, subsidizing many of the money-losing enterprises. This draws us closer to socialism and away from a free market.

I am among the ranks of those who believe that the stimulus bill about to be passed is not a good thing for our nation. I am appalled by the cost of the measures being considered. I do not see how we can go into debt like this and not be burned in the long run. Will China continue to buy our debt and if so, what will they require in return for their huge investment in the United States?

Prophecies of early LDS leaders

We don’t hear much any more about what some of our early Mormon leaders said when they spoke of the future destiny of the United States. A lot of time has passed since these statements were uttered and I suspect that most members of the church have discounted them as being made without the benefit of the additional century of history now passed, giving us added perspective.

Joseph Smith stated on several occasions that, “the government will be utterly overthrown and destroyed,” and that “Congress…shall be broken up as a government.” In addition the prophet Joseph is quoted as saying, “A terrible revolution will take place in the land of America, such as has never been seen before; for the land will be literally left without a supreme government…”

President Woodruff
was more emphatic when he asked, “…can the American nation escape? The answer comes, No; its destruction, as well as the destruction of the world, is sure…Sooner or later they will reap the fruits of their own wicked acts, and be numbered among the past.” On another occasion he said, “The American nation will be broken in pieces like a potter’s vessel…”

A nation in pieces

You may have read the predictions of the Russian academic Igor Panarin. From the Wall Street Journal we read, “…economic decline, and moral degradation will trigger a civil war next fall and the collapse of the dollar. Around the end of June 2010, or early July, he says, the U.S. will break into six pieces.” Can you imagine a civil war here in the United States in the fall of 2009?

Perhaps you recall this statement by Orson Pratt, an early LDS apostle. “State will be divided against state, city against city, town against town, and the whole country will be in terror and confusion; mobocracy will prevail and there will be no security, through this great Republic, for the lives or property of the people.” This statement was made after the Civil war of 1861-65.

Referring to the Civil war of 1861-65, President John Taylor said, “We had a great war upon this continent some years ago; but there will yet be wars pass through these United States…” He also said, “You will see worse things that that, for God will lay his hand upon this nation, and they will feel it more terribly than even they have done before. There will be more bloodshed…”

The coming civil war

“Their great and magnificent cities are to be cut off. New York, Boston…and numerous other cities will be left desolate…the whole nation will be broken up. There shall be a fleeing from one city to another, from one state to another, from one part of the continent to another, seeking refuge, from the devastations of bandits and armies; then shall their dead be left unburied.”

The above quote is from Orson Pratt, who left us the best descriptions of the great American civil war of the last days, a prophecy yet to be fulfilled. He said, “It will be a war of neighborhood against neighborhood…they will go forth destroying and being destroyed…going forth in bands and destroying and pillaging the land…the whole country…will be wasted away…”

“The time will come when there will be no safety in carrying on…peaceable pursuits…these will be neglected and the people will think themselves well off if they can flee from city to city, from town to town and escape with their lives.” In one particularly foreboding statement, Brigham Young agreed with Orson and said that the whole government will become a mob. Hmmm…

Summary and conclusion

Yes, I believe that the government of the United States will collapse and that we will then see another American civil war. I also believe that the government will become much larger before that day arrives. I am opposed to government growth and more government indebtedness. But it seems clear that we have started down that path and nothing seems to keep us from following it.

I am not so sure that Igor Panarin was that far off in his predictions of how America would become split up into six pieces. It may not happen as soon as he foretells, but the scenario he describes seems plausible. I am also fairly confident that his reasons offered for the collapse are accurate – economic decline and moral degradation. It is obvious that they are both happening.

This was all foretold by the Prophet Joseph Smith and other leaders of the LDS Church over 160 years ago. The fact that it is not being emphasized by our current leaders leads me to believe that it is not as eminent as Mr. Panarin believes. I am hopeful that we yet have time to accomplish much good before these terrible prophesied catastrophic events of the last days come upon us.

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For additional information, including the sources of the quotes from Joseph Smith, Orson Pratt, Brigham Young and John Taylor, see “The United States in Prophecy,” chapter four from The Coming of the Lord by Gerald N. Lund. Also see “Internal Wars and Collapse of the United States Government,” chapter IV from Prophecy – Key to the Future by Duane S. Crowther.

Credit for the graphic of America in six parts goes to the Wall Street Journal

The secular church


If you haven’t visited Seth Adam Smith, I encourage you to do so. I was introduced to his blog by Larry Richman a while back. Seth puts together videos that are simply amazing – so current and applicable. Check out this video he did with a 1978 BYU address from Neal A. Maxwell interspersed with stills of the protests at the Los Angeles temple. Talk about a prophet who was inspired and saw the events of our day! Thank you Seth.

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?

Rush Limbaugh and fulfillment of prophecy?



In case you missed it, there was a big hue and cry recently claiming that Rush Limbaugh called service members who support U.S. withdrawal “phony soldiers”. Supposedly, Mark Udall (D-CO) will be introducing a resolution in the House of Representatives on Monday condemning Rush Limbaugh for his “phony soldiers” remark. I would provide a link to the story but there are too many rude and crude comments everywhere it is posted. You can look it up for yourself if you are interested – just Google it. All soldiers who serve in Iraq deserve our respect and honor for their sacrifice in the line of duty. But what if they never really went there?

Rush Limbaugh doesn’t need me to defend him and I don’t always agree with what he says, but if America can’t see or hear for themselves that this is a false accusation then we have been blinded and made deaf by the shouts of those who cry foul when there was none. It is obvious to anyone who listens to what Rush had to say that he was referring to those phony soldiers who claim they speak as patriots and yet lie about their actions in the theatre of war. He even cites an example of one such phony soldier who was recently sentenced to five months in jail and three years probation for falsifying a Department of Veterans Affairs claim and his Army discharge record. He was a phony soldier who lied about what he saw in Iraq because he was never there. So yes, phony soldiers really do exist.

Is it just me or can this be characterized as another fulfillment of prophecy? “…in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be …boasters, proud…without natural affection…false accusers…fierce, despisers of those that are good…from such turn away.” (2 Tim 3:1-5) “And in that day…the scorner…and all that watch for iniquity…make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him…” (Isa 29:18-21) Well, maybe it’s a stretch but I sure read there a valid description of some people and some websites that seem so angry and so vitriolic in their speech. They obviously have an agenda and it’s to attack anyone who disagrees with them.

I’m not looking to start a debate about Rush Limbaugh or about the US policy in Iraq. I’m just pointing out what seems so obvious to me that this is another sign or evidence that we are in the last days. And I probably don’t need to convince you of that. I hope we don’t go around saying to ourselves, “Why are these people being so mean? Why are they twisting his words and taking them out of context? Don’t they know the full story and read his past record?” Of course they do. The same could be said for the way they treat President Bush, couldn’t it?

Modern prophets have counseled against criticism as a daily form of speech because it poisons the heart and mind. It is a very unchristian conduct. Disagreements can be made in civil tone and without attacking character. Here is a great quote from a modern prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley that illustrates my point. He said: “I am not asking that all criticism be silenced. Growth comes of correction. Strength comes of repentance. Wise is the man who can acknowledge mistakes pointed out by others and change his course. What I am suggesting is that each of us turn from the negativism that so permeates our society and look for the remarkable good among those with whom we associate, that we speak of one another’s virtues more than we speak of one another’s faults.” (Ensign, Apr. 1986, pp. 3-4.)

Would that more of the world heeded the words of a modern prophet.

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