Let Them Serve As Signs


Equinox031815And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. (Gen 1:14-16)

I approach this subject with some trepidation. I feel inadequate knowing there are many among my readers who are well versed in the heavens and are in fact, experts. For instance, my friend Anthony Larson has written multiple books about this and lectures regularly. I have a lifelong interest in the stars and the planets, especially because of the role they will play in the last days.

Note Genesis 1:16 mentions the stars. I include them among the lights placed in the heavens to serve as signs unto man. In days long past, the planets were classified as stars, stars that moved was the phrase used, I believe. I hope in this short post to whet your appetite to investigate the wealth of information available about these signs, and why they should be important to us now.

Thunderbolts of the Gods

polar-configurationI’ll first suggest you spend some time on Anthony’s site, MormonProphecy.com. These days Anthony is most active in the Facebook group, “The Restored Gospel, Ancient Planetary History and Cutting Edge Science,” a closed group of about 600 members. It is an exciting group. We have been watching Ryan Darger bring media representations of the polar configuration to life.

I think the days of mocking are past now. There are too many people onboard with the models of the Electric Universe to be ignored. In my opinion, it has reached critical mass, meaning the old theories of dirty snowballs and a universe controlled solely by gravity are no longer acceptable. It is exciting to see more and more scientists take plasma-centric models of science seriously.

If you would like to know more about the Electric Universe, visit Thunderbolts.info. There are two very active Facebook groups: Electric Universe and Thunderbolts Project. In a nutshell, the EU model proposes plasma has an infinitesimally greater impact on how things work than can ever be explained by gravity alone. Just be sure to approach this science with an open mind.

Astronomy versus Astrology

My interest in the stars and planets increased tremendously with a college astronomy class. At one time I considered a career as an astrophysicist but quickly changed my mind when I learned how much math was required. I switched to business and computers instead. My fascination with the science of astronomy remained. One of the protagonists in my novel is an astrophysicist.

However, for the longest time, whenever someone mentioned constellations, my mind switched off and went elsewhere. It was as if I had an aversion to anything having to do with the way the ancient people of earth viewed the heavens. I couldn’t figure out why until I remembered this statement written over fifty years ago from Elder Bruce R. McConkie. It influenced me greatly.

“A form of divination and fortune telling akin to sorcery, astrology is a pseudo-science that pretends to divulge the influence of the stars upon human affairs; it is a false science that claims to foretell earthly events by means of the positions and aspects of these heavenly luminaries. It is, of course, one of Satan’s substitutes for the true science of astronomy and for the true principle of receiving revelation of future events from divine sources.

“Ancient uninspired peoples were frequently deluded by the snares of the astrologers among them (Isa. 47; Dan. 1:20; 2:27; 4:7; 5:7), but it is difficult to understand why people in modern and supposedly enlightened and civilized nations should submit to these same stargazing absurdities. Enlightened people in and out of the Church shun them for the abominations they are.”

Stargazing Not So Absurd After All

I think Elder McConkie intended to condemn the practice of living one’s life by a horoscope. But I think his statement does not take into account the real reason the ancient peoples of earth were so heavily invested in stargazing. At one time the earth and the planets were in a much different configuration than they are today. When that configuration broke up, life on earth was chaotic.

The day of the Lord will come quicklyProphets, true prophets, were very much aware of the signs in the heavens and what they meant. They knew the Lord placed them there for a reason. They – the planets – were not static. When they moved, there was reason to be greatly concerned. Today, nobody believes the planets were not always stable in their orbits. Everyone knows they have been there for millions of years.

Or have they? Ancient civilizations in the days of the patriarchs left us plenty of clues as to the way things were in the heavens back then. Today we reject them as idol worshipers. Perhaps we might want to reconsider such an arrogant assumptive attitude about the way things have always been. Even Joseph knew about the polar configuration and tried to share it with the early saints.

Signs in the Sun

My calendar shows spring begins Friday, the 20th of March 2015, but because of the elliptical and asymmetrical nature of the earth’s orbit, the vernal equinox will actually come to pass on March 18th, two days early. I think there is some significance to this. Some might even call it a sign. Light will be increasing in the earth earlier than expected by man’s usual calculations.

Perhaps this is a sign that a new age of enlightenment has already arrived. It came in stealth, without fanfare, actually unbeknownst, according to the wisdom of the world. Could it be the increase of light has come from lectures delivered by Denver Snuffer, our efforts to remember the restoration of Joseph, particularly the Doctrine of Christ, and new worship communities?

Another site and author whose works you should be familiar with is John Pratt. It was from John I came to the realization the constellations were defined by heaven, not man. We think we know when one age ends and another begins. But in the heavens above, Leo invades Cancer, and Pisces invades Aquarius. God may have one age begin before another ends for His reasons.

Breakup of the Church and Nation

Those last two lines are quoted from Denver’s latest post. Note he uses the word invades. That causes me to think back on an earlier post which referred to the potential fall of Baghdad. Don’t dismiss this discussion based on superstition. Remember, President Benson taught chapters six and seven of 3rd Nephi are signs for our day – first the breakup of the Church, then the nation.

I live in a blessed land and time. I have seen peace in my days, meaning in the immediate area where I live here in California. Although there is war, famine, pestilence and draught in many places, my little hometown seems to be unaffected. I am grateful. It’s as if our great nation has been protected because we have worshipped the God of the land, even Jesus Christ, until now.

If I’m not mistaken, the Supreme Court is scheduled in the next few months to hear arguments on mandating marriage equality in every state throughout the nation. I wonder if something of our protection might be lost should our nation’s highest court decide the people of this land can no longer worship Jesus Christ. He recognizes marriage as only between man and woman.

Behold, I Come Quickly

meteorimpact.gifI am convinced the catastrophes preceding the Exodus are prophesied to be repeated in our day. A careful reading of the scriptures makes this clear, especially sections 29, 43, 45, 88 and 133. I wonder if you have ever considered the prophecy in D&C 84:114 about the cities of New York, Albany and Boston being destroyed with desolation and utter abolishment. When will it happen?

I hope such prophecies as found in the sections above are not fulfilled in my day, but to me, the signs are becoming clearer. I have watched our nation turn against Israel over the last few years. Today, the Prime Minister of Israel addressed this nation, pleading that we not allow the enemies of Israel to obtain nuclear technology. I fear his words fell on deaf ears. Israel will stand alone.

“Behold, I come quickly.” When Joseph quoted the Lord thus, many of the early saints felt the Second Coming was imminent. I have always felt the true meaning of the phrase is that we will be surprised at the rapidity of events in the last days when they begin to be fulfilled in earnest. Let us be familiar with the signs, especially with the signs the Lord displays for us in heaven.

 

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.

There shall be greater signs in heaven


One of the most popular stories on Yahoo News this morning was “Real Death Star Could Strike Earth.” Somehow, we remember in the back of our minds that something like this is prophesied to happen in the last days just before the Savior returns to the earth. I suppose that is why stories like these are so popular.

Space.com has been running these regular Monday morning reports that seem to play on the worries and fears of the Last Days. Aren’t there supposed to be signs in the heavens that we should be able to look for as a warning that time is almost up – something about stars falling from the sky? Ah yes, here it is:

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. (Matt 24:29). There it is, just as clear as can be. The stars will fall from the sky.

Or, if you prefer a version from modern revelation: “But, behold, I say unto you that before this great day shall come the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall be turned into blood, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and there shall be greater signs in heaven above and in the earth beneath. (D&C 29:14)

Greater signs in heaven than stars falling? What could those possibly be? How about a huge meteorite hit? “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth.” (Rev 9:1) John actually mentioned three stars in Revelation which cause three woes or three plagues. These “falling stars” appear to be the direct cause of three major catastrophes.

How about the approach of a large comet that gets just a little too close? Couldn’t that possibly cause a huge amount of destruction as the Earth passes through the tail or the gravitational pull causes global earthquakes the likes of which we have never seen in our lifetime? How about a bunch of little meteorites, each one causing terrible destruction? Could that be a sign in heaven?

“Earthquakes rent the earth in vast chasms, which engulfed multitudes; terrible groanings and wailings filled the air; the shrieks of the suffering were indescribably awful. Water wildly rushed in from the tumultuous ocean whose very roaring under the mad rage of the fierce cyclone was unendurable to the ear. Cities were swept away in an instant…”

NOTE: I’m looking for a better source for this quote. I have one in printed form in an old book and one online in this slide presentation. I looked in the BYU online digital library but could not find it. The source is The Contributor Magazine, Vol 15, No 20, pp 638-647. It is entitled, “A Dream”. The author is Charles D. Evans, a patriarch in Springville, UT and is dated August 1894. Junius Wells was the editor of The Contributor Magazine during those years.

How about fire from heaven – could that be a sign? I am not convinced that the Peshtigo fires of 8 October 1871 were caused by anything other than natural events. But many have read into the accounts the very description of earth passing through the tail of a comet: “It came in great sheeted flames from heaven. There was a pitiless rain of fire and sand. The atmosphere was all afire.”

I know, the idea of the fires of 1871, including the great Chicago fire being caused by an asteroid, comet or meteor have all been debunked over the years. Phil Plait, author of Bad Astronomy, whose upcoming book is entitled, “Death from the Skies,” is adamant that there is nothing to the idea. But still, from the descriptions I’ve read, one could make a case for meteorites mixed with burning petroleum. I don’t know – just wondering aloud.

I suspect we will be reading more and more stories about these kinds of catastrophic events. Some of the most ridiculed are the ideas of some sort of gamma ray burst or an ultramassive body passing through our solar system. Some theorize that a comet or meteor could affect the orbit of one of the outer planets, causing it to careen into the path of another planet and so on.

Who knows? Most scientists are not known for their ability or desire to correlate their understanding of the heavens with the prophecies found in the scriptures. We are told that there will be “new heavens and a new earth,” (D&C 29:23-34) but that it shall be like the old one. (Ether 13:9)

So the heavens will look different in the future – perhaps a change in the very stars that we see. Does anybody know when this will happen? I don’t, but the Lord has told us that he will “do nothing save he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets”. (Amos 3:7)

“Wherefore, be not deceived, but continue in steadfastness, looking forth for the heavens to be shaken, and the earth to tremble and to reel to and fro as a drunken man, and for the valleys to be exalted, and for the mountains to be made low, and for the rough places to become smooth–and all this when the angel shall sound his trumpet.” (D&C 49:23)

And the stars shall fall from heaven


From my gospel study this morning on Matthew 24:29

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”

And from Rev 6:13 – “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.”

A question from Elder Joseph Fielding to Parley P. Pratt, Preston England, January 1841. “Dear Brother Pratt, – Having a desire to know the truth of all things that are revealed from God to man, and knowing in part the importance of teaching them to mankind, I take the liberty to ask you certain questions, which if you think proper, you may answer in the Star, as I ask not for my own information alone, but for all who desire and seek after truth.”

Question #7: “How can the stars fall from heaven to earth, when they (as far as we know) are much larger than the earth?”

Answer: “We are nowhere given to understand that all the stars will fall or even many of them: but only “as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs when she is shaken with a mighty wind.” The stars which fall to the earth are fragments, which have been broken off from the earth from time to time, in the mighty convulsions of nature. Some in the days of Enoch, some perhaps in the days of Peleg, some with the ten tribes, and some at the crucifixion of the Messiah.

“These all must be restored again at the “times of restitution of all things.” This will restore the ten tribes to Israel; and also bring again Zion, even Enoch’s city. It will bring back the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God; that you and I may partake of it (Rev 2:7).

“When these fragments, (some of which are vastly larger than the present earth) are brought back and joined to this earth, it will cause a convulsion of all nature; the graves of the Saints will be opened, and they will rise from the dead; while the mountains will flow down, the vallies rise, the sea retire to its own place, the islands and continents will be removed, and earth will be rolled together as a scroll. The earth will be many times larger than it is now.” Source: Millennial Star Vol 1, No 10, p. 258, Feb 1841, Questions, #7, BYU online Library

Wow! Did you know this? This is not something that is taught in your gospel essentials class is it? I wonder if the High Priest’s group would even bring something like this up. Do you believe it? I do. Parley and later Orson both said that they heard this taught from Joseph Smith:

“…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.” Source: Letter Box of Orson Pratt, LDS Church Historian’s Office, letter to John C. Hall, December 13, 1875 (does anyone have an online reference for this?)

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