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RAY - When does the moon turn to blood? The moon may turn red on Wednesday,(15th June 2011) but the sun doesn't turn into darkness and the moon into blood as described in the scriptures until after New Jerusalem is built. Here is (the prophet)Joel's account:
"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 2:31-32)
Joel specifically says the sun will not be turned into darkness and the moon into blood until there is deliverance in "mount Zion." We know that mount Zion is New Jerusalem:
Mount Zion, which shall be the city of New Jerusalem. (D&C 84:2)
Joel again describes this relationship with New Jerusalem in Chapter 3:
The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.
The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. (Joel 3:15-16)
Whenever "Zion" and "Jerusalem" are mentioned in the same verse "Zion" always refers to New Jerusalem. Would Joel have made this association twice in two chapters if there is not also a time relationship involved?
So when will New Jerusalem be built and the moon be turned into blood?
I can't see New Jerusalem being built until after the event that kills the third part of man during the Second Woe of the Seventh Seal. That event both clears out Jackson County and frees up the Saints to go there. Seventh seal destructions leading up to the Second Woe will keep New Jerusalem from being built before then.
Many authors combine the event that kills a third part of man in Chapter 9 with the Gog and Magog war in Chapter 11. They both occur during the Second Woe. The Second Woe doesn't end until Christ saves the Jews at the end of the 3.5 year siege of Jerusalem:
The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly. (Rev 11:14)
However, it is also possible that John deliberately inserted Chapter 10 in the middle of the Second Woe to emphasize the separation between the two events.
Between the event that kills the third part of man and the Gog and Magog war would be a good time for New Jerusalem to be built and for Gog to gather his Magog army. It may be why John describes the little book he eats that makes his belly bitter in his interlude chapter:
And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.
And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
And I took the little book out of the angel?s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
Joseph Smith explained the significance of the little book:
Q. What are we to understand by the little book which was eaten by John, as mentioned in the 10th chapter of Revelation?
A. We are to understand that it was a mission, and an ordinance, for him to gather the tribes of Israel; behold, this is Elias, who, as it is written, must come and restore all things. (D&C 77:14)
The culmination of John's mission to gather the tribes of Israel will be the building of New Jerusalem. John's mission to gather the tribes of Israel cannot complete until New Jerusalem has been built. His mission must include the building of New Jerusalem.
Using this logic, why else would John insert his interlude chapter where he does if not to infer the culmination of his mission and the building of New Jerusalem? There has to be some logical reason for John to split up his description of the Second Woe with an entire chapter that is otherwise completely unrelated to the Second Woe.
Are you familiar with the way Peter also quoted Joel's prophecy in verses 16-20 below? I included a few other verses so that we can recognize the occasion.
"4.And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
7 And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
"For," to finish the passage as it stands in Joel, but not in Peter's quotation -- "For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call."
Was Peter claiming that this scripture was completely fulfilled in his day? Of course not.
According to B. H. Roberts, when Peter said "this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel," he meant only: "This Spirit which you now see resting upon these apostles of Jesus of Nazareth, is that same Spirit which the prophet Joel says will, in the last days, be poured out upon all flesh. Obviously he did not mean that this occasion of the apostles receiving the Holy Ghost was a complete fulfillment of Joel's prediction."
Peter used Joel's prophecy hundreds of years ago to explain how the spirit of God was at work in his day, just as it will be at work in our day. Did President Hinckley use Joel's prophecy too in the same way? ( See Living in the fulness of Times)
President Hinckley introduced his statement of Joel's prophecy being fulfilled by saying, there has been a tremendous cascade of enlightenment poured out upon the world. He never specifically says the moon has turned to blood. He does quote Joel's prophecy of the moon turning into blood. But then, so did Peter.
Was President Hinckley simply saying that the days seen by Joel when the spirit of God is at work are finally here?
Of course, we cannot know Pres. Hinckley's intention when he quoted Joel. It appears to have been exactly the same as Peter's. There are parts of Joel's statement that have not been fulfilled in our day, just as they were not yet fulfilled in Peter's day. New Jerusalem (Mount Zion) has not been built and therefore the darkening of the sun and moon referred to by Joel has not occurred. Peter still included them in his quote of Joel. Pres. Hinckley's inclusion of them cannot be used as evidence that the moon had turned into blood any more than Peter's inclusion of them could in Peter's day.
JOEL (not the prophet) - That's some interesting research you have done on this subject. Some assumptions are made but it makes some sense. I think you are right that President Hinckley was refering to that scripture in the same way Peter was; that generally speaking much of what it says has been or is being fulfilled in this day, except perhaps for the referneces to the moon and sun.