Wars and Rumors of Wars


Matthew-24-7Nobody likes to talk about war, at least I don’t think so. Maybe there are those who delight in the subject. I don’t. However, the theme of war is found throughout the scriptures, indicating it is a topic about which the Lord expects us to be knowledgeable. I don’t think He wants us to become experts at waging war, but be informed about what will happen in the last days in regard to war.

We can’t go about with our head in the sand when it comes to international affairs, although one could make an argument to the contrary. For example, in my mother’s journal, referring to the timeframe of World War II, I recall this statement: “The war is so far away. We hear about it on the radio and see the boys who come home to the hospital, but for us, there really is no war.”

Now mother knew perfectly well there was a war going on. She worked on the base where she grew up in Norman Oklahoma. She was a cashier in the Naval Hospital where she met my dad, who was a cook at the same base. She saw one of the results of war first hand – the wounded and the maimed. But there were no bullets flying around her family, so in effect, there was no war.

War Always Seems So Far Away

I have never seen war. Of course I have seen videos and read the history of wars in my lifetime, but I have never lived in a war zone, so I can’t relate to those who do, such as a large population of the Middle East. I have watched lots of movies about war, some which glamorize it and others that show it in all its gory detail. But I have never experienced the heart-pounding fear of war.

Update: I remembered a time on my mission where I worked in a soon-to-be war zone. I wrote this little memoir a few years back for a writing class. The thing about memoirs is they can be “enriched” memories. I combined two separate events for this piece of writing. It’s the closest I came to feeling the fear of war some experience every day

The United States has experienced only one civil war so far and that was long before any of us were born, so it’s a distant memory in the history books. The closest thing to civil war now is experienced by those who live in downtown crime-ridden neighborhoods. Even then, it’s nothing like that experienced by those who live, for example, in Honduras, where I served my mission.

countries-at-war-2015There are over fifty ongoing armed conflicts being waged somewhere around the world as I write this. Although the Mexican Drug War can be considered close-by, most wars are centered around the Middle East and Africa. One of the longest running wars is the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, ongoing since 1948, when Israel was established as an independent state by the United Nations.

Prophecy Concerning War in the Last Days

Two of my favorite books growing up were Gerald Lund’s The Coming of the Lord and Duane Crowther’s Prophecy, Key to the Future. I have read or studied both of them almost constantly since I purchased them in the early seventies.  They are well marked-up and annotated, similar to my scriptures. Duane’s book was published before the Six Day War so lacks commentary there.

However, they both have considerable content dedicated to explaining the author’s interpretation of scripture and prophecy dealing with the subject of war. I’d like to focus on war in the Middle East in this post. I don’t believe the author of either book I mentioned above has taken sides, nor is that my intent in sharing this post. I simply desire to outline prophecies concerning that war.

Of course, one of the things about prophecy is that it is not intended to foretell the future, but to make us aware of the foreknowledge of God in such matters. Prophecy is not given to help us pin down an exact date as to when certain things are supposed to happen. It is to remind us of the love of our Savior in preparing us for that which is to come. Thus, we can avoid being fearful.

A Voice of Warning in the Last Days

sword-of-heaven“And the anger of the Lord is kindled, and his sword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth. And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed…” When I read this verse I see it being fulfilled in two ways, but primarily by the Lord. The phrase, “arm of the Lord” has special significance in terms of prophecy. It is referring to an astral event in the ancient skies.

But it can and does also refer to the destruction that is forthcoming upon the appearance of this frightening object in the skies. All the world will see it. The wicked shall fear and tremble. Even the righteous will be alarmed if they have not taken the Holy Spirit for their guide. Read chapter twenty-one of Ezekiel to learn more about the imagery of this bright sword bathed in heaven.

“For I will reveal myself from heaven with power and great glory, with all the hosts thereof…” The word of the Lord is “quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow…” There’s that sword imagery again. This time it’s applied to the word of the Lord, which will prepare our hearts for the tribulation and desolation sent forth.

War Poured Out Upon All Nations

wars-and-rumors-of-wars“And in that day shall be heard of wars and rumors of wars, and the whole earth shall be in commotion…” There is no getting around it. We live in that day now. Peace has been taken from the earth. “…see that ye be not troubled, for all I have told you must come to pass…Behold I have told you before…for nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…”

“And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations…And thus with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn…” If you think God has nothing to do with war upon the earth, think again. I’m not saying God causes war. Men are very well able to do that by themselves. But ask yourself, why would He use the phrase “war will be poured out”?

And when He says ‘all nations,” do you think He means the United States of America? I do. That day has not come yet, but is at the doors. The Lord said He would make an end of all nations. It could be through social unrest or it could be through invasion by other nations who have sworn to destroy “the great Satan,” which is their term for wickedness exported from the United States.

Sworn to Annihilate Israel

map-of-israelNow to the point of my post: Israel. As reader Linda pointed out in the comments section of my last post, nobody wants war. She linked to a YouTube video of an awesome TED talk about an Israeli designer who created an online peace sensation with his design, “Iranians: We will never bomb your country. We {heart} you.” If you haven’t viewed the short 2012 video, take a look.

Linda, you are right. Your average citizen of most any nation doesn’t want war. I believe that is true for Palestinians, Iranians, Afghanis, Israelis, Russians, Chinese or Americans. It’s true for the citizens of every nation that has weapons of mass destruction such as India, Pakistan, France, England, and even North Korea. Nobody wants war, or at least I would like to believe that’s so.

Sadly, we know that’s not true. There are individuals out there who do want war. They want it for various reasons. Some desire it to increase personal wealth, others want to change the balance of power in the world. Unfortunately, there are deranged individuals who want war for religious reasons. They have declared their intent to annihilate the nations of Israel and the United States.

Israel Not Powerless to Defend Themselves

The leader of Iran tweeted last year, “This barbaric, wolflike & infanticidal regime of Israel which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated.” I think that’s fairly clear, don’t you? Yet, John Kerry is brokering a deal with Iran to remove economic sanctions and extend time to allow weapons-grade uranium development in their nuclear program. What is the man thinking?

As the Prime Minister of Israel said in his address to congress this week, “We are no longer scattered among the nations, powerless to defend ourselves. … For the first time in one hundred generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves. This is why … as a prime minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.”

I’m not choosing sides here. I believe the reports Israel has nuclear weapons. We know Israel will act in a pre-emptive manner. They demonstrated that in the Six Day War. I don’t think the Prime Minister of Israel wants war. But I do believe the leader of Iran wants war. He wants it specifically so he can annihilate Israel. He has said so. I just want to make sure we’re all clear.

No Nation Can Do More Than God Permits

“Have I not made the earth? Do I not hold the destinies of all the armies of the nations of the earth?” In spite of wars and rumors of wars, in spite of the whole earth being in commotion, in spite of men’s hearts failing them, meaning losing courage to stand up for what is right, in spite of Satan’s seeming success in promoting war and contention, please remember who is in charge.

The adversary’s greatest efforts will not stop the work of the Lord. “The Lord rules, manipulates and manages the affairs of men, of nations and of the world, and therefore, neither this nation nor any other nation can do anything more than God permits. He sets up one nation, and puts down another, according to the counsels of his own will.” John Taylor couldn’t have said it any better.

armageddon-countriesWe know Israel will be the focus of the great battle of the last days – Armageddon. The battle is essentially religious: one ideology and theology against another. One host stands for God and his cause. The other fights against Him. Both hosts are comprised of wicked and worldly men, but one is defending freedom while the other would destroy liberty and enslave men. You choose.

Government of the United States Will Collapse

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…”

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.

The Coming Civil War

civil-unrestReferring 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 than 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…”

“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 the whole government will become a mob. Hmmm…

Gather to Zion for Protection

tent-cityThe only protection for those who will not take up arms against their neighbors is to flee to Zion. Zion as a place of refuge has not yet been established. At one time I had a dream about a large piece of land behind our Stake Center. It was filled with tents. The members of our stake had come together to protect one another. Men took turns patrolling the area, armed with weapons.

I wondered about the dream and asked the Lord for an interpretation. The impression came this was one possible scenario. It was a temporary situation. The people were waiting for word from Salt Lake to gather to Zion. But no word came. We were cut off. Communications were down. But in fact, Utah and especially Salt Lake were in worse shape. Zion was not found in Utah.

It was just a dream. The LDS Church teaches preparedness. We are counseled to have a large supply of food, water and even money although it’s fairly clear money will be worthless if the government collapses and social chaos reigns. I never cared for weapons yet I now have a small arsenal in my home, next to my food storage. What? Here in California? I hope I never need it.

Zion Prospereth, All Is Well In Zion

I close in the same way I began. Nobody likes to talk about war. Nobody likes to think about the possibilities of social anarchy or the specter of financial collapse. Surely this great nation will last forever, right? As long as we serve the God of this land we will be blessed. Once the highest court of the United States rejects the principles of religious freedom, we lose God’s protection.

I hope and pray these things I have written about do not come to pass in my lifetime. We seem to be enjoying renewed prosperity in our nation as I write this. Employment prospects appear to be the best they have been in years. Crime is down to a level not seen since the sixties. In my ward and stake, families appear to be happy and growing. All is well in Zion. Yea, Zion prospereth.

You can dismiss this post on war as irrelevant from an old man out of touch with the realities of life. You can tell yourself the scriptures and prophecies I have quoted were taken out of context and have different interpretations than those I have offered. Of course they do. The spirit will guide you how to receive these thoughts. After all, they are only the ramblings of an old man.

 

They Shall Go Into the Caves of the Earth


MeteorBombardmentThey felt the first impact before they heard anything.

“Cynthia, Get down,” David said, “This is it.”

He crouched behind the seats on the podium, reached up and pulled Cynthia close. She wrapped her arms around him, buried her face in his chest. He held her tight.

The first meteorite fragment crashed onto the grounds outside the still-packed auditorium. David could see it scored a direct hit on one of the television broadcast vans. The uplink had already been severed about twenty minutes before, evidence of satellite destruction some 24,000 miles out. He figured the speed of these things must have been about 75,000 mph when they hit the atmosphere, where they broke into thousands of smaller fragments.

The lights flickered but held for the moment.

“Oh no,” Cynthia said. Where’s dad?

“He’s over there behind the front row of chairs,” David said.

Cynthia lifted her head to look just as another fragment came down, only this time it hit the building. It crashed through one of the large east windows. Most of the remaining audience had already moved toward the center of the building, away from the windows.

Several women screamed. The fragments of glass and window structure flew into the crowd, propelled with the intensity of an explosion. The meteorite fragment slammed into the floor of the auditorium at about a 45 degree angle, digging a hole the size of a soccer ball.

The lights in the auditorium went out at the same time. Another fragment must have hit a transformer on the campus. The street lights were still on and the TV broadcast van had burst into flames. The eerie glow of red and orange came through the now empty window frame, highlighting a scene of terror and confusion.

“David, some of those people are hurt,” Cynthia said.

“I know, but we can’t move just yet. Keep your head down.”

David reached back and put his hand behind Cynthia’s head, pulling her face back into his chest. He felt her trembling. He wished they had something more for protection.

“There’s more?”

“After they break up in the atmosphere, these things come down in swarms of dozens, sometime hundreds of pieces at a time.”

He looked toward the window at the end of the hall, the one over the main entrance, just in time to see another meteorite hit. This one was angled more from the southeast. It appeared to be larger than the first one to enter the building. An unusual blue glow accompanied the shock.

Not only did this fragment decimate the window as it entered the building, it also blew out a chunk of the surrounding structure. Glass, rock from the building and the meteorite, now shattered by the impact, sprayed the crowd with devastating precision.

David watched in horror as dozens of people were hit by the flying debris. The chairs behind which they hid were simply no protection. Pieces of rock and glass ripped through them as if they weren’t there. There was no way even he could comprehend the enormous power of something travelling at the atmospheric drag reduced speed of 30,000 miles per hour.

Cynthia screamed, along with just about everyone else in the auditorium. The sound of the crashing glass and rock almost drowned them out. Pushed by the force of the blast, David rolled backward off the end of the podium, Cynthia still in his arms. The curtain behind the podium came partially down with them and under them as they fell the five or six feet to the floor. David winced at the impact, grateful for the falling curtain.

Like bullets from a machine gun, pieces of rock and glass ripped into the remaining curtain above their heads, right where they had been crouching just a split second before. The rest of the curtain fell on top of them. David didn’t dare move.

In the dark, the moans and groans of the injured agonized David’s ears. How he wanted to get up and help them. These were his colleagues, his friends. But Cynthia needed him more. She had landed on top of him, the curtain covering them both. David felt her body shake as she cried and sobbed.

“Oh, David, will it never stop?”

David did not have time to reply. Another meteorite fragment hit the building, again from the east. Although he could not see it, David could tell this piece was bigger than the others. His ears rang from the deafening sound of the impact. It must have hit at least one more window, or maybe it was so explosive it blew out all the remaining windows.

Glass and rock rained down on them. The curtain had bunched up in such a way they could only feel the largest pieces as they fell after hitting the wall above them. They were well protected in the small space between the podium and the wall where they had fallen.

Just as suddenly as it had started, it was over. Sirens wailed from police and fire trucks all over the city. The sounds seemed surreal and unrealistic to David. His ears still rang from the many explosions. He felt something wet on his leg and wondered what it was.

“Cynthia, are you all right?”

“Yes, I think so.” Her voice shook, but David was happy to hear it.

“We’ve got to find dad,” she said and began the struggle to untangle themselves from the curtain. Pieces of rock and glass were mixed in with dust and, something wet and…fleshy.

“I’m glad I can’t see what this wet stuff is,” Cynthia said.

“Cynthia, don’t get your hopes up. Before the lights went out I saw some awful things out on the floor.” David finally got enough of the curtain off them that they could stand up.

“Don’t say anything. Don’t say anything. Just help me find dad.”

“OK, take my hand and don’t touch anything. Do you still have your shoes on?

“Yes.”

“I’ll go first. Be careful where you step.”

Making their way to the side of the podium was difficult with the curtain bunched up. On the way, they ran into Stan Johnson – literally. He also had fallen behind the podium and was spared from the onslaught of glass, rock and body pieces.

“David, is that you?”

“Yes, and Cynthia.”

“Are you two alright?”

“We seem to be,” David said. “How about you?”

“If I hadn’t fallen into the curtain I would probably be dead.”

“I think we were lucky,” Cynthia said. “Will you help me find my dad?”

“I was talking to him before the first meteorite hit,” Stan said. “He had just walked down off the podium and was talking to someone in the front row.”

“Dad,” Cynthia shouted.

“Professor Volinsky,” David joined in. “Where are you?”

Moans, groans and calls for help emanated throughout the auditorium. It was still dark with only the light from the fires outside to guide them. Even the street lights were out. David could make out the shapes of others wandering around looking for loved ones. Who would have thought such destruction could take place inside such a large facility?
The trio rounded the front corner of the podium, still calling for Manny.

“Don’t look, Cynthia,” David said, still leading the way. He stepped over a dead body.

“I can’t see anything anyway,” Cynthia said. “I’ve got too much dust in my eyes.”

David pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket and turned to Cynthia.

“No, don’t. Not now,” Cynthia said. “I’m OK. I’ve got to find dad first.”

“Here. Take it,” David said, pressing the handkerchief into her other hand.

“Doctor Volinsky,” Stan called out again.

“I’m right here. Don’t shout.” Manny’s voice sounded muffled.

“Oh, dad,” Cynthia cried. “Keep talking. We can’t see you.”

“That’s because the lights are out.” His voice seemed to come from their feet.

The three of them bent down. David reached out with his hands but felt nothing.

“Under here,” Manny said. He knocked on the wood of the front of the podium.

“How did you get behind there?” Stan said.

“I have no idea. One minute I was talking to Professor Hansteen about Birkeland’s Currents and the next thing I knew, we were both under here.

“Must have been the same blast that knocked us into the curtains,” David said.

“Don’t move. I’ll see if I can find an opening,” Cynthia said.

“Careful. Watch out for glass,” Stan said.

“I’ve got David’s handkerchief.”

“If you’ll just go a little to your right, I think there’s a broken panel.”

“Here it is,” Cynthia said. “David, help me move it out of the way.”

It took all three of them, tugging and pulling, to finally get the wedged panel unstuck. Once removed, Manny and professor Hansteen scrambled out. They all stood.

“Oh, Dad,” Cynthia embraced her father. “I’m so glad you’re alright.”

In the absence of light, David and Stan patted Manny and professor Hansteen in greeting.

A pair of small emergency lights on either side of the hall flickered on.

Cynthia put her hand to her face and stifled a scream.

“Oh, my God,” Stan cried out.

The scene of death and horror before them was incomprehensible. There had been thousands of people in the auditorium for the presentation. Very few had left in the twenty minutes it took from the end of the transmission until the first meteorite fragment arrived.

Most of the chairs, and people, had been pushed toward the west side of the hall by the force of the blasts. The blood ran in rivulets through the dust from a pile of bodies in one of the corners. David estimated several hundred dead at first sight. Those who were not killed were wandering around aimlessly, some with severe lacerations and others with hardly a scratch.

A man with a huge gash on his forehead was trying to punch numbers into a cell phone he held in the hand of his obviously broken arm. A woman pushed a chair in front of her as she dragged a broken leg behind her. She seemed determined to get to the blocked back exit.

Stan ran to her and tried to help but she fought him off, dazed and determined to get to where she thought there was safety. He finally convinced her to sit on the chair and wait for help.

“There won’t be any help,” David said when Stan came back.

“What do you mean,” Cynthia said.

“There are way too many scenes like this all over the city. Think of the movie theaters, the restaurants and pizza parlors. What about the malls, the people at the baseball game, in the hotels, the homeless on the streets, the tourists and the private homes?

“He’s right,” Stan said. “There’s nothing we can do for all these people. “Even if we could get all the injured into the cars and limos, we’d find the hospitals swamped.”

“Besides,” David said, “I doubt we could get through. Too many roads are surely destroyed with bridges down and chunks taken out of the street.”

Cynthia turned to her father. “Isn’t there anything we can do?”

“All we can do to see if the central emergency command is operational, “Manny said. “We can let them know of all the people here who need help.”

“It will probably be the military that gets the assignment,” David added.

“This is only the first wave of destruction,” Manny continued. “There’s more on the way. When the planet gets closer, the electromagnetic discharge will dig up huge chunks of earth.”

“Oh, Dad,” Cynthia put her hand on her Manny’s arm. “I’m so sorry I never listened.”

“Electric discharge machining will excavate the earth’s surface in places, ejecting material into the atmosphere. It then falls back as dust, sand, gravel, and finally boulders.”

“How much time do we have?” Cynthia asked.

“It should all be over in seventy-two hours,” Manny answered.

“Seventy-two hours,” Cynthia repeated. “Where can we go to be safe?”

“To the subways, along with everyone else who thinks of it,” David said.

Cynthia looked to David, then back to Manny, who had a faraway look in his eyes.

“And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.”

Copyright Tim Malone 2014 – A work in progress – Red Sky

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