This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.
God is indeed speaking to the world through these signs, but He also wants to speak to you. Go to Him with your questions, and focus on recognizing His answers. He can and will teach you.
Here's some information to get you started:
April 4, 2015
6:00 AM MDT
- 1st day of Passover
- 1st Day of LDS General Conference
- Day before Easter Sunday
- This eclipse had an exceptionally short peak, only lasting 4 minutes, 43 seconds
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Like the first Blood Moon, this moon appeared in the constellation Virgo, but this placement put the moon between the stars Spica and Porrima.
Spica is actually a binary star system, with the two stars so close together they cannot be separately resolved through a telescope. Unlike most star names, which are Arabic, the name Spica derives from Latin and means "ear of wheat.”
Porrima is also a binary star and also happens to carry a Latin name; it is named for the ancient Roman goddess of prophecy, specifically dealing with the future.
Virgo derives her name from Latin for “the virgin.” She is traditionally drawn with a sheaf of wheat in her hand, represented by the star Spica. The virgin is sometimes portrayed holding the scales of justice in her other hand, represented by her neighboring constellation, Libra.
Libra: Depicted as a set of scales, representing justice and judgment.
Boötes: This constellation represents the plowman, plowing the field, making it ready to sow.
Izar: This binary star in Boötes carries the Arabic name for "veil."
Princeps: This binary star in Boötes carries the Latin name for "prime" or "prince."
Corona Borealis: The “northern crown,” representing a crown or diadem.
This is the second Blood Moon of this tetrad to appear in Virgo, serving as a second witness and second warning of what the Lord has underway. God follows the law of witnesses.
As we've mentioned, Virgo is often portrayed with wheat in one hand. But she is also anciently identified as the virgin goddess Iustitia or Astraea, who is portrayed with the scales of justice (Libra) in one hand. And what's in the other hand?
As you may recall, when examining the first Blood Moon, we referenced 3 Nephi 20:19. Here's the very next verse:
And it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that the sword of my justice shall hang over them at that day; and except they repent it shall fall upon them, saith the Father, yea, even upon all the nations of the Gentiles. (3 Nephi 20:20)And in the Lord's introduction to the Doctrine and Covenants, we find the same warning:
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. (D&C 1:13)He's pointed to Virgo twice. The warning should be clear.
As you may recall, the first Blood Moon in Virgo touched Spica, reminding us of the Lord’s promise to gather the wheat from among the tares before the destruction and burning. It also reminded us of the prophesied Gentile destruction.
This second witness Blood Moon gives greater context and depth to these ideas with much more detailed information. Notice the moon in this appearance moves closer to Porrima, representing prophecy, and turning our minds to events long prophesied...by Isaiah.
Oh no! Isaiah AND Astronomy?
Not that long ago the thought of studying Isaiah sounded only slightly worse to me than the thought of studying astronomy. I considered both complicated and opaque. And yet, we’re faced with these commandments from the Lord:
And now, behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah. For surely he spake as touching all things concerning my people which are of the house of Israel; therefore it must needs be that he must speak also to the Gentiles. And all things that he spake have been and shall be, even according to the words which he spake. (3 Nephi 23:1-3)
And it shall come to pass that he that feareth me shall be looking forth for the great day of the Lord to come, even for the signs of the coming of the Son of Man. And they shall see signs and wonders, for they shall be shown forth in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath. (D&C 45:39-40)So yes, it is possible to examine both Isaiah and astronomy, and with the Lord's help, gain some understanding of the things He wants us to know. Stick with me and I'll show you what I mean.
The Drunkards of Ephraim
Open up Isaiah 28 and follow along. The chapter begins with this curious pronouncement:
Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine! (v.1).Confused already? Don't be. The opening of Isaiah 28 is actually a warning to the self-aggrandized and opulent leaders of "Ephraim."
- They are compared to drunks who are overcome with wine (1)
- Their past glory is fading, and will be devoured (1, 4)
- They have erred and they are "out of the way" (7)
- Their priests and prophets are mistaken (7)
- Their seers err in vision (7)
- They stumble in their judgment (7)
- Their teachings are compared to vomit (8)
- They shall be trodden under feet (3)
Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. (Isaiah 29:9-10)The warning, then, is directed against those who stand at the head of Ephraim, claiming to be prophets and seers, but who actually stumble and err, glorying in the works of their predecessors, while teaching falsehoods, unable to receive revelation. Ironic that this sign was given on the first day of General Conference.
Will you Receive it?
Back to Isaiah 28, where the Lord asks where he can find anyone open to learning truth:
Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. (9)This brings to mind Paul's metaphor, and the need to move on from milk to meat. Are you one whom the Lord can teach knowledge and doctrine? Are you weaned from milk? Do you seek to understand the mysteries of God?
Or are you content to be taught regurgitated falsehoods from a limited and errant lesson manual that contradicts scripture? (Such is vomit indeed.)
Are you watching for the signs, and seeking to understand them? Are you seeking His face? (D&C 93:1)
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Boötes, the plowman, directly above the Blood Moon, is preparing the fertile ground:
Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech. Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground? (23-24)The wheat will be separated from the other plants, and planted in its prepared place.
When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rie in their place? For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him. (25-26)This is how the foundation of Zion will be laid.
Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. (16)Notice that there is no hastening this work. But in the Lord's prepared time, the residue of the people who remain will receive the Lord for their crown:
In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people (5)Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown, testifies of the Lord's reward for the faithful, and directly contrasts the fading crown of glory claimed by Ephraim's failing leaders, who will fall prey to the overflowing scourge and coming destruction. (v. 1-3)
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And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate. (6)Lest we take these things lightly, the Lord refers back to the previous Blood Moon, which appeared in the bands of Pisces:
Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth. (22)The destruction is coming. The warnings have been written overhead.
The Lord's Strange Act
For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act. (21)The reference to mount Perazim harks back to the events of Exodus, when the Lord's people rejected what He offered, chose instead to "follow the prophet" and therefore lost the fulness of the Priesthood. (D&C 84:23-27) We are in exactly the same predicament today.
What could be more strange than the idea that the Lord's own church, the one He established through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the one which He founded on revelation, and to which He gave the Book of Mormon, should turn away from Him and instead insist upon loyalty to men, belief in false precepts, and denial of gospel truths? How strange it is that the church bearing Christ's own name now casts out those who actually know Christ or seek to do so!
How strange it is to insist that men who never prophesy are prophets, even with Christ's own words ringing in our ears: By their fruits ye shall know them!
The Lord's work is a strange work indeed, which points us back to the drunkards of Ephraim—the false prophets, and their fading glory.
Now, About that Fading Glory
In matters like these, I don't believe in coincidence.
Therefore, I'll present one more sign found in the third Blood Moon: A man-made satellite, or more particularly a spent rocket booster from a CZ-4B rocket, flew directly through Virgo during the extremely brief total eclipse. The transit of Virgo took only two minutes, but those two minutes fell right in the middle of the total eclipse, which itself lasted less than five minutes. The timing was exquisite.
This booster was a spent piece of a Chinese rocket, known as a Chang Zheng, which translates as "Long March." The Long March name commemorates a forced march-retreat of several thousand miles during the Chinese communist revolution, which solidified the communists in power and propelled Mao Zedong to rule China for nearly 30 years. Even today, the Chinese communist party recognizes the difficult Long March as one of the most heroic acts of its forbears, and commemorates the event with parades, celebrations, and re-enactments.
Similarly, the drunkards of Ephraim recognize the forced retreat from Nauvoo and the resulting difficult, long march to the Salt Lake Valley as one of the great, heroic acts of their forbears. The proud descendants of Nauvoo continually commemorate this march with parades, celebrations and re-enactments. This event propelled Brigham Young into his 30-year reign as President of the church.
But the glory fades. New revelation all but ceased with Joseph. The heroic acts belong to years past. The church today is a powerful, wealthy, bureaucratic, politico-corporate entity run by business interests, selling a product called "the gospel," and spending massive wealth on commercial interests, as well as hundreds of opulent temples—using access to these temples as a means to control members.
God, who knows the end from the beginning, placed the signs overhead. Fallen man, filled with pride, points to his own accomplishments. But while God's testimony will remain, man's satellite will fall. And thus it is foolishness to point to the accomplishments of our ancestors as if they could help our current situation.
Isaiah, like other prophets, saw our day and prophesied. And Moroni, upon seeing our condition, lamented:
O ye wicked and perverse and stiffnecked people, why have ye built up churches unto yourselves to get gain? Why have ye transfigured the holy word of God, that ye might bring damnation upon your souls? Behold, look ye unto the revelations of God; for behold, the time cometh at that day when all these things must be fulfilled.
Behold, the Lord hath shown unto me great and marvelous things concerning that which must shortly come, at that day when these things shall come forth among you.
Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.
And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts.
For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.
O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? (Mormon 8:33-38)How many holy churches of God are there? If you claim it's the LDS church, then you admit it is polluted. If you claim it is not the LDS church, then there's no point in defending it.
The Sign of Hope
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With all these dire warnings overhead, let's not lose sight of the hope offered in Christ. We can repent. We can seek his face. We can rise up. The Lord is warning us because He loves us, and even in His urgent warnings He has offered a symbolic path to redemption.
Notice the alignment between the Moon, Arcturus, Izar and Princeps in the picture to the right. Let's review what each represents:
Arcturus is the brightest star in the Northern sky. Izar means "veil." Princeps means "prince." And, just to the left, Corona Borealis is a crown.
And thus we see, there is a pathway laid out in a straight course before us if we will rise up. If we look to the heavenly light of the brightest star, we can rise up the straight path through Arcturus, pass through the "veil" and meet the "prince" who waits for us on the other side of the veil with a crown of righteousness. This is not a warning; it is an invitation. Christ is the Prince and He wants us to come to Him.
Will you rise up?
For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
—1 Thessalonians 2:19
Therefore, having so great witnesses, by them shall the world be judged, even as many as shall hereafter come to a knowledge of this work. And those who receive it in faith, and work righteousness, shall receive a crown of eternal life;