False Prophecies: Earth Tremble, Sun Hidden

10 Nov

This is a series of prophecies given by Joseph Smith. Each is listed on various websites as false prophecies. My purpose is to show how those claims are wrong, and that each of these prophecies is, in fact, true and from God.

See also False Prophecies, Temple

Doctrine and Covenants 88: 87

This is referenced less frequently than others, but is still common. It is among those listed at CARM.

This prophecy belongs to a group of prophecies that are dependent on unspecified timelines. They use phrases such as “not many days” or “nigh at hand” or other similar phrases. Critics of Joseph Smith try to impose the shortest possible timeline on such prophecies so they can claim that they are false and unfulfilled. The same critics seem to ignore similar prophecies in the Bible.

So, let us look at this prophecy.

For not many days hence and the earth shall tremble and reel to and fro as a drunken man; and the sun shall hide his face, and shall refuse to give light; and the moon shall be bathed in blood; and the stars shall become exceedingly angry, and shall cast themselves down as a fig that falleth from off a fig-tree.

Critics point out that the Earth has not trembled as described, the sun has not been hidden, the moon is not blood, and stars have not fallen.

At CARM they go so far as to calculate how many days have passed since this revelation was recorded. Their calculations are a bit outdated, so I will provide up to date calculations, to give you an idea of their claim.

It has been nearly 182 years since the revelation was recorded (will be exactly 182 years on the 27 of December this year).

182 years = 2,184 months = 9,497 weeks = 66,476 days

So, the conclusion is that since so many days have passed that this has to be a false prophecy. Seems logical, but it is trying to impose a man-made timeline on God, which is never a good idea.

Let us look at a few passages in the Bible that use similar language.

 

Isaiah 13: 6, 9, 13

Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty…For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine…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.

 

Joel 2: 1-10

BLOW ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand…The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:

 

Joel 3: 14-16

Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. 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.

 

You may notice that all three of these prophecies speak of the same events as D&C 88: 87; Sun, moon and stars hiding their light and the earth and heavens shaking or trembling. Now, Isaiah prophecies from 740-701 BC; Joel is a little harder to date, and may have prophesied as late 550 BC. So, let us use the latest dates for each and see how long it has been since these prophecies were given.

Isaiah: 2,765 years = 33,180 months = 144,274 weeks = 1,011,990 days.

Joel: 2,565 years = 30,780 months = 133,838 weeks = 936,687 days.

These numbers are based on our modern calendar, but they illustrate the point. If the words penned by Joseph Smith are overdue for fulfillment than surely the words of these two prophets are as well. Joseph Smith penned his words 66,476 days ago. Joel penned his 870,211 days before Joseph Smith, and Isaiah penned his 75,303 days before Joel (945,514 days before Joseph Smith). So, if Joseph Smith is a false prophet because of his words than we must also conclude that Isaiah and Joel are also false prophets.

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