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Latter-day Saints and latter days

[ by Charles Cameron — nobody knows, tiddley-pom ]

The Mormon church was first legally established in 1830 under the name, the Church of Christ, since Joseph Smith founded it to restore Christianity to its original form as taught by Christ himself. Joseph clearly viewed the church he founded as gathering together the faithful of the last days: in 1834, within his lifetime, the church took on the name Church of the Latter Day Saints, and since the time of Smith’s successor Brigham Young, it has been known as the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints.

Almost two centuries have passed since Joseph felt the Latter Days were upon him and his flock, just as almost two millennia have passed since Christ said (Matthew 16.28):

Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

But then again, as Shakespeare observed in The Tempest, his last play: What’s past is prologue.


Fast forward, then, towards September 2015, which is conveniently enough the month in which I am writing this post.

According to Nostradamus, there was presumably a 9.8 magnitude quake in California on May 28 this year. Perhaps the God, or the gods, or the four angels standing on the four corners of the earth holding the four winds of the earth (Revelation 7.1), or the purely physical and no way spiritual forces driving great tectonic plates – or some combination of the above — favored my poor self, randomly, or by virtue of my virtue, or because I write for Zenpundit, but I was not no way shaken.

Just this last week, according to a post yesterday on Patch.com -– a site still reeling from the events of May 28 which it apparently survived — “Mother Nature kept Californians humble as she unleashed a wide range of natural disasters across the state”:

It was an intense week in California as residents endured ruthless fires, a surprise summer deluge, several earthquakes and even waited out a tsunami advisory along the coast following an earthquake in Chile.


Forget about California, then.

According to the possibly-no-longer-published Los Angeles Times dating way back to September 28, 2003, ie before the California disaster, “A massive temblor could strike Salt Lake City tomorrow or a century from now, scientists say”:

The geologists cannot say with certainty when the next devastating earthquake will hit the Wasatch Front. But they say the threat is real and constant, and that a large quake could occur tomorrow or a century from now a span that represents a mere blip in geologic time.

It’s not surprising, then, that as the Salt Lake Tribune reported about a week ago, there are now Some Mormons stocking up amid fears that doomsday could come this month:

Mixing a brew of biblical prophecies, the Hebrew calendar, a volatile economy, world politics, a reported near-death experience and astronomical occurrences, hordes of Utahns have become convinced that calamitous events are imminent — maybe by month’s end — and are taking every precaution.

They are called “preppers” and are buying up food-storage kits, flashlights, blankets and tents. Some are even bracing to leave their homes — if need be.

At American Fork’s Thrive Life, which sells mostly freeze-dried food, sales have shot up by “500 percent or more in the past couple of months,” says customer- service representative Ricardo Aranda. “There is a sense of urgency, like something is up. A lot of people are mentioning things about September, like a financial collapse.”

Ah yes, a financial collapse. It might be a financial collapse that’s due any time now.


And nobody can say they weren’t warned.

You remember that catastrophic 9.8 quake that hit California — according to Nostradamus, according to PlanetXNews but also, eh, according to the UK Sunday Express [“End of the world ‘prophet’ predicts HORROR earthquake to hit America WITHIN HOURS“] on May 28th? Well, according to AOL, that Earthquake that Nostradamus predicted didn’t happen, but okay..

The Deseret News back on April 11th, over a month before that California quake didn’t happen, warned the good people of Utah:

Along the Wasatch Front, most of the more than 2 million Utahns who live here are sleeping, at home in suburban homes or aging apartments, even as thousands of others are working graveyard shifts in hospitals or other businesses.

Then it happens. The world erupts in shaking so violent, those standing are knocked to the ground. Picture frames are hurled from walls, furniture tumbles across rooms, televisions crash down.

The land cracks, shifts and, in some areas, lifts into jagged ledges. Highways fracture. Power lines snap. Water and gas lines sever; fires roar to life. Buildings and homes crumble.

The largest earthquake to hit Utah in modern times has just struck. Its magnitude: 7.0.

Except that didn’t happen either, it was scheduled for an “April Thursday” in a “what if” alternate reality, written to give Utahns a sense of how bad a quake that may indeed occur might be, if and when it does. It was a scenario, and clearly described as such:

Under this scenario, the quake’s epicenter hits Salt Lake County, and it ruptures along the Wasatch Fault, which runs 240 miles halfway through the state, from northern to central Utah. About 80 percent of the state’s soon-to-be 3 million people live and work in the region.

A scenario, a hypothetical.

Only this one wasn’t a model of economic collapse, which can also be a topic for prophecy, modeling, scenario planning, prediction and paranoid fantasy — but of a 7.0 earthquake under Salt Lake City.

Perish the thought of an economic collapse.


Ezekiel 8.13 indicates pretty clearly that earthqukes aee the result of the Lord’s wrath — inn this case, directed against Israel:

For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;

Isaiah 13.13, likewise:

Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.

And there are many more scriptures along those lines, including specifically Mormon scriptures such as Doctrine & Covenants 87.6:

And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations;


Salt Lake City, likewise, is known to the divine providence in Latter-day Saints’ history:

George A. Smith, a counselor to President Brigham Young, described how President Young first saw Ensign Peak while seeking divine guidance following the 1844 death of the Prophet Joseph Smith. “After the death of Joseph Smith, when it seemed as if every trouble and calamity had come upon the Saints, Brigham Young, who was President of the Twelve, then the presiding Quorum of the Church, sought the Lord to know what they should do, and where they should lead the people for safety, and while they were fasting and praying daily on this subject, President Young had a vision of Joseph Smith, who showed him the mountain that we now call Ensign Peak, immediately north of Salt Lake City, and there was an ensign fell upon that peak, and Joseph said, ‘Build under the point where the colors fall and you will prosper and have peace.’” Young understood that he was to lead the Church members west and that the peak he saw in vision would be a sign that they had reached their appointed destination.

On July 24, 1847, Brigham Young arrived at an overlook for his first view of the Salt Lake Valley. “While gazing upon the scene, . . . he was enwrapped in vision for several minutes. He had seen the valley before in vision and upon this occasion he saw the future glory of Zion and of Israel, as they would be, planted in the valleys of these mountains. When the vision had passed, he said: ‘It is enough. This is the right place. Drive on.’

Or as Jacob much earlier said, as quoted by Sir John Mandeville in his Travels, referencing the Vulgate’s Genesis 28.16:

Vere locus iste sanctus est, et ego nesciebam, which is to say, ‘Surely, this place is holy, and I knew it not.

Mandeville’s memory of the Latin text is a little inaccurate, but he gets the point and offers it to us with admirable brevity.



  • Maimonides, 13 Principles, 12, I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah; and even though he may tarry, nonetheless, I wait every day for his coming
  • Matthew 24.36, But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
  • Quran 31.34, Verily the knowledge of the Hour is with Allah (alone)
  • D&C 51.20, Verily, I say unto you, I am Jesus Christ, who cometh quickly, in an hour you think not. Even so. Amen.
  • Patience:

  • R Yochanan ben Zakkai. Avot d’Rebbe Natan 31b, If you have a sapling in your hand, and someone says to you that the Messiah has come, stay and complete the planting, and then go to greet the Messiah.
  • On the authority of Anas b Malik, the Prophet said, Musnad Ahmad 12981,, If the Hour arrives and one of you is holding a date palm sapling, then he should go ahead and plant it before getting up from his place if he is able to.
  • 14 Responses to “Latter-day Saints and latter days”

    1. Lynn C. Rees Says:

      Growing up, Dad, a geologist, would point out the Wasatch Fault as we passed. He like to pontificate that, if an earthquake happened along the Eastern Bench, along which the Fault runs and where I grew up, its force would grow as it moved west. The Salt Lake Valley is former lakebed. It grows more lakebed the further west you go, as you approach the depths of old Lake Bonneville.
      The intersection of tremor and unsettled lake bed can lead to soil liquefaction. Buildings can get sucked straight vertically into the ground as retired lakebed turns into quicksandish goo. When it was Earthquake Panic Day at school, the 1985 Mexico City quake was usually the precedent my teachers helpfully cited. The Valley of Mexico shares many topographic details with the Salt Lake Valley, though on a larger scale.
      During the massive reconstruction of Interstate 15, running north-south through the valley, newly raised roadbeds were left to settle for over year before road was laid as one step in combating liquefaction. Many prominent historic buildings have been rebuilt to be more earthquake resistant. There is a yearly Great Utah ShakeOut to raise public awareness of earthquake preparedness. Once or twice I shook myself to build public awareness. Since my shaking had little observable impact on the public e.g. sales of bubble wrap neither rose nor fell, I’ve let my Great Utah ShakeOuting out lapse.
      I am a non-observant Great Utah ShakeOuter.

    2. T. Greer Says:

      More worried living in Washington.

    3. Cheryl Rofer Says:

      Charles, I am in no way faulting your collection of predictions, but instead have some questions that your collection might allow some insight into. I am wondering if you can’t find predictions for almost any day or hour if you are willing to sort through a great many sects. Is that your experience in doing just such research? Do they tend to cluster together? To compete with each other for “their” dates? Any other patterns?

    4. Charles Cameron Says:

      In terms of the “end times” humans seem to have a dogged determination to know the unknowable, Cheryl, and they tend to make use of anniversaries of religiously significant events for that purpose. But the dates will differ considerably between religions, with Islam and Judaism following lunar calendars, while Christian calendars tend to be solar. For Islam, the clock really starts with the Hijra, for Jews with creation, for Christians with either the birth or death of Christ — giving a 33 year recurrence to any particularly favored date based on his assumed birth.
      Then there are such matters to consider as the specific dating of the point of origin, whether that be Archbishop Ussher’s dating of the creation in Genesis 1.1 to 4004 BC — or more precisely, Wikipedia tells me, “the entrance of the night preceding the 23rd day of October… the year before Christ 4004” — or recent calculations that posit the birth of Christ in 4 BC — Christ Before Christ, a lovely conceit!
      And then there are some spectacular coincidences. The rollover between 1999 and 2000 CE, which could be viewed as a Christian or a secular calendrical event, coincided with “the arrival of Kali Purusha (Kalki Avatara) Sree Sree Sree Veera Bhoga Vasanta-raya Maha Swami by the year Kali 5101” according to one (minor) Hindu source, and to the purificatory year 5760 according to one Jewish source — as I reported in Y2KO to Y2OK, my retrospective on the rollover, which I had tracked at the time for The Arlington Institute.
      And then again, there’s the matter of calculation, bedeviled by the fact that “a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night” — Psalm 90:4. So I’d say there’s plenty of cause for clustering, and room for a little scattering too.

    5. Grurray Says:

      The big discussion lately is about the earthquake swarms occurring in southern states like Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Western Alabama
      Arkansas also saw earthquake swarms in 2001 and 1982. There’s a big debate going on in Oklahoma about stopping shale fracking, although this just seems to me to be too convenient an explanation.

    6. Charles Cameron Says:

      Thanks, Grurray. And yes, there are also “signs” that may occur at any time — the “tetrad” of blood moons being another recent example.

    7. Grurray Says:

      According to The Gutenberg-Richter Law, earthquakes occur according to a power law distribution. I recently read a book called How Nature Works: the science of self-organized criticality by Per Bak, in which this was discussed:
      If there are 1000 earthquakes of magnitude 4, then there will be 100 earthquakes of magnitude 5, 10 of magnitude 6, and so on.

    8. Grurray Says:

      Now consider that if geological formations may have a “long reach”
      there are then unseen causal links reaching far and wide operating according to universal order.

    9. Cheryl Rofer Says:

      Given the number of world religions and the number of their commemorative days, it’s not surprising that some would overlap. I think it’s something like 26 people are more likely than not to have two with the same birthday. But yeah, that would help stoke someone inclined to see the end of the world coming soon.

    10. Charles Cameron Says:

      Here’s an extra quote from Maimonides to go with the one above:

      One is not to assign him a specific time of arrival, nor should one use Scripture to deduce when he is coming. For the Sages have said, “The souls of those who calculate the end will be shattered.”

    11. larrydunbar Says:

      “One is not to assign him a specific time of arrival, nor should one use Scripture to deduce when he is coming. For the Sages have said, “The souls of those who calculate the end will be shattered.””
      But wasn’t the Christian Bible warning in The New Testament about false prophets saying pretty much the same thing?
      Those souls “of those who calculate the end” being the aforementioned false prophets?

    12. larrydunbar Says:

      “Now consider that if geological formations may have a “long reach”
      there are then unseen causal links reaching far and wide operating according to universal order.”
      True enough. But, in the power-law, in the distribution of energy, far and wide also has to have a component that is relative to deep or shallow.
      If the relationship is shallow, the distribution has to increase velocity, and such lower pressure, unless the distribution is deep, then the pressure becomes higher, as the velocity slows, making up for the change in distance, in both sides of the equal sign.

    13. Grurray Says:

      “in both sides of the equal sign.”
      Yes, pressure and velocity in relation to elevation and density all balance out according to Bernoulli and the first law of thermodynamics. Isn’t it interesting, though, that in this tension to satisfy and equal out differing elements, an unrelated, emergent propagation results?

    14. Charles Cameron Says:


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