From verses 87-95 are many things concerning the last days. In effect, they went through basically the entire book of Revelation in 10-ish verses.
Let’s start at the beginning. But before that, I want to say that I probably won’t go as in depth because a lot of these verse I have already talked about in my Revelation notebooks. We’ll see what happens though. Can’t make any promises but I’ll do my best.
The Earth Reels To and Fro
Verse 87 talks about the earth trembling, heaving to and fro as a drunken man. In a book I read, it advocated the literalness of this. Because, the author said, the earth has to move back into the presence of God and assuming Heavenly Father lives pretty far away, we would have to travel very fast to get back to Him in a timely fashion. Faster than the speed of light. If a planet is traveling that fast, you can imagine there would be a lot of force acting on it. I’m not sure what though. There isn’t any wind in space. But the author suggested the reeling to and fro was because of these translight speed speeds. That’s quite a logical leap. There may have been little bridges of logic he crossed to get there but I don’t remember.
Cross reference D&C 43:18. This is a footnote for “tremble.” The verse makes it sound like earthquakes more. To me that seems more likely. Another theory came from my mom. I think this one may have some merit as well. She said the earth has a spirit. When the inhabitants of the earth are wicked and sinning, the earth gets “sick.” Maybe not physically in the sense we would think of it but like in the sense we feel bad when we’ve sinned. The way the earth tries to get rid of this is through natural occurrences that wreak havoc. Earthquakes, tornados, tsunamis, etc…That way, the wicked die and the earth becomes “better.” When the verse says the earth will reel to and fro like a drunken man, It could mean that there is so much wickedness on the earth that the earth could be compared to a drunken man in the condition it’s in.
Cross reference D&C 45:33. There you have it. Straight up mentions earthquakes. Also mentions that men will take up the sword and kill one another. This could also add to the image of a drunken earth in the fact that all the inhabitants thereof are blood-thirsty and like a drunken man. Cannot control their passions.
Light Refuses to Shine
The next part of verse 87 talks about the sun refusing to give light and the moon being bathed in blood and the stars being angry and casting themselves down as a fig that falleth from a fig tree. This is almost a direct quotation from Revelation 6:13. I’ll refer you to my notebook (which isn’t out yet on here but coming soon.) for commentary on this because there is only one part I want to focus on, the moon. The fact that the moon will be bathed in blood. I think there are two main theories about how people say this will happen. First, there is so much smoke from all the destruction that the smoke will make the moon appear red. Second, there is a lunar eclipse and the sun makes the moon appear red.
Destruction Prefaced By Bearing of Testimony
Verse 88-90 talk about things that will happen. Verse 88 says after “your” testimony cometh the wrath and indignation upon the people. The “your” testimony he is referring to is the call of people to preach the gospel to the world. This is backed up by a quote by Brigham Young who said something similar. I’ll copy it in but I wanted to say I believe the destruction won’t begin in its fullest, till the preaching stops. I think the quote backs it up. Here it is:
When the testimony of the elders ceases to be given and the Lord says to them, ‘Come home; I will now preach my own sermons to the nations of the earth.’ All you now know can scarcely be called a preface to the sermon that will be preached with fire and sword, tempests, earthquakes, hail, rain, thunderings, lightnings, and fearful destruction, what matters the destruction of a few railway cars? You will hear of magnificent cities, now idolized by the people sinking into the earth, entombing the inhabitants. The sea will heave itself beyond its boundaries engulfing mighty cities. Famine will spread over the nations and nation will rise up against nation, kingdom against kingdom, state against state, in our own country and in foreign lands; they will destroy each other, caring not for the blood and lives of their neighbors, of their families, or for their own lives.”
Pretty intense right? Big stuff is coming our way. Best we all be prepared for it. One thing I think is cool to point out is there are three testimonies given. God says by two or three witnesses shall his truth be made known. Look at verse 88. “Your testimony” refers to missionaries and others who are called to preach the gospel. Verse 89. Testimony of earthquakes comes after. Verse 90. Testimony of thunderings, lightnings, tempests, and waves. Three testimonies. Perhaps the testimony of all this will be more effective in reminding people of God than anything else?
All Things Are In Commotion
Let’s continue on. Verse 91 says all things shall be in commotion. Fear will be upon all people and mens’ hearts shall fail them. Cross reference D&C 45:26. I wasn’t thinking and marked the verse instead of just the cross reference. I guess that’s ok though. This verse talks about wars, rumors of wars, mens’ hearts failing etc…One thing that always puzzled me as a youth was what was meant by rumors of war. Now I know though. A rumor is gossip or an unproved statement. Knowing that coupled with living in the last days and seeing as the gossip about wars helped me understand what is meant by that. There is one part of this verse that stuck out to me. It’s the end. It reads,”And they shall say that Christ delayeth his coming until the end of the earth.” First thing that popped into my head was the time in the Book of Mormon surrounding the birth of Christ. People said he wasn’t coming and the believers were going to be put to death. Maybe it will happen again in a similar way. Things will get so bad, people will begin to wonder if he is actually coming or not. It may get to the point where people have seen so much destruction and disaster they say to themselves, “If Christ doesn’t come soon, there will be no more earth to visit.” Maybe some will begin to doubt because of all that’s happened. Cross reference 2 Peter 3:4. People are going to say he isn’t going to come because everything has just continued like normal since the beginning of creation. Also see Joseph Smith-Matthew 1:10. It says because of so much iniquity in the world, the love of many will wax cold. This is an interesting tactic Satan uses. Very fatalistic. He tries to make you feel like there is no point because you are the minority. This is a half-truth. That’s probably why people listen to it. Yes, we mormons are the minority. Truth, justice, morality, and love will never be as popular as injustice, immorality, lies and hate. But the lie Satan tries to get us to believe is that there is no point, being good is worthless. I believe there is a point in being good. I believe it is worth it to follow God. It’s harder, yes, because lots of people don’t. But when the entire world around you is screaming to give up, be immoral, give in to this or that, act this way, say those things, one voice whispers the truth, and the truth shall make you free. God’s way is freedom. God gives us every good thing in our lives. The one thing we can give him is our obedience. Once we are obedient, God, the maker of all things, the author of worlds without end, will create a life for you, you never imagined. He will refine you into a God. Obedience is Godliness.
92-95 is covering a lot of time about the last days. I’ll go through it and point out important parts. But if you want more in-depth stuff, my Revelation notebook goes pretty in depth.
The Grand Sign In Heaven
The angels are flying through the sky in verse 92. I wonder if they are related to the trumpets and angels that sound during the 7th seal as talked about in Revelation. See Revelation 8:13. Yep, it is. Verse 92 talks about a great sign in Heaven and all people seeing it together. Cross reference Matthew 24:30. It says it is the sign of the son of man. And all the tribes of the earth shall mourn as they see him. I was wondering why they were mourning at the coming of the Savior. Well, I did some more footnote following and found D&C 45:53. Gives the exact reason why they were crying. It appears for mixed reasons. Some, according to verse 53, will lament because of their iniquities, others because they realized they persecuted their king. Also, according to Zechariah 12:12, a big battle has just occurred and people will be mourning for their loved ones when he arrives.
The institute manual has something to say about this grand sign given in heaven. It is a quote by Joseph Smith given during the 1843 April conference:
“There will be wars, and rumors of wars, signs in the heavens above and on the earth beneath, the sun turned into darkness and the moon to blood, earthquakes in divers places, the seas heaving beyond their borders, then will appear one grand sign of the son of man in heaven. But what will the world do? They will say it is a planet, a comet etc…But the Son of Man will come as the sign of the coming of the Son of Man, which will be as the light of the morning cometh out of the East.”
I want to look at this a little more carefully. The sign that is going to be given people will think it is a comet or planet. Does that qualify it as an object you can see with the naked eye? Or will it only be available to those with telescopes? I would think to the naked eye. My follow up questions is how will this celestial sign appear to make people think it is a comet or planet? Comets make me think it would streak across the sky. Planet makes me think a fixed object, like when Christ was born, there was a new star in the sky. The bottom line is, I don’t know. Speculating won’t help. Maybe I’ll know it’s come when people start seeing stuff in the sky they call planets or comets. Luke 21:25 brings up a possibility. Maybe the sign of the coming of the son of man is the fact the sun, moon, and stars will do what they do. But if that were the case, why would Joseph Smith put those two things as separate events in the quote? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see it occur before we find out.
Wheat Vs. Tares
Verse 94 talks about the Great and Abominable church being the tares of the earth. And how she is bound in bundles, tightly, shackled, ready to be burned. This is something I learned not too long ago. Wheat and tares grow in the same field. Tares look very much like wheat. If you aren’t careful harvesting, you may get some tares in your wheat. But wheat is what you want. Tares are the great and abominable church, the church of the devil. That is any person, organization, group , or other entity that actively, overtly, or covertly seeks to draw us away from the kingdom, or church of God. That’s a definition from somewhere. The thing I wanted to say is the tares, the abominable church, grow around the wheat. This battle between Satan and God isn’t a field of wheat verses a separate field of tares. The tares are mingled with us. Sometimes we may not know it. Sometimes we may not want to know it. The battle between Good and Evil is taking place on one field with all participants next to each other. Ultimately though, the great and abominable church will be plucked up and destroyed-burned.
Verse 95 talks about silence being in the heavens for the space of half an hour. I talk extensively about this in my Revelation notebooks so I’ll refer you to that. When I put it up.
Stay tuned, next installment is about the Resurrection and Millennium!