The Blood Moon set to occur on September 28 has prompted many of the Christian faith to worry, due to evangelical prophecies and books making doomsday predictions, that it could augur in the end of the world. In Utah, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly known as Mormons) have apparently taken some of these ominous prognostications to heart, so much so that the Church itself has tried to play down the fears.
Christian Today reported September 12 that Utah residents are stocking up on survival supplies and foodstuffs of late, getting their “bug out” kits ready for various doomsday scenarios, including cataclysmic earthquakes, military takeover (domestic and foreign), and technological meltdowns (electrical grid failures, computer systems collapse). Mormons, the Christian sect that makes up 60 percent of Utah’s population, are providing a good portion of those rushing the stores for tents, blankets, sleeping bags, flashlights and batteries, medical supplies, and other necessities one might need to survive an apocalypse — or just a regular disaster.
In fact, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, Thrive Life, a freeze-dried foodstuffs supplier, said that its sales have jumped 500 percent recently. Emergency Essentials, a disaster preparedness supplier, noted that they have experienced an uptick in sales of their 72-hour emergency kits, among other items. Jordan Jensen of Emergency Essentials (which, like Thrive Life, is a Utah-based company), says that “this is the month it [doomsday] will all happen — with a ‘blood moon’ and a currency collapse and everything.”
Mormons appear to be doomsday prepping primarily due to the prophecies detailed in a couple of books that foretell the coming end of the world and the various ways in which it might occur. The books, A Greater Tomorrow: My Journey Beyond the Veil and The Time Is Now by Julie Rowe, describe the author’s “near death experience,” which occurred in 2004, where she says she visited the afterlife and was provided visions of the past and the future.
Many of those who think the end is nigh, some spurred by Rowe’s books (which were both published last year), believe that history is divided by world-altering events that occur every seven years. By some of the doomsday prepare calculations, September 11, 2001, occurred on the seventh year. Fast forward to the present and the beginning of the end started on September 13, which was the start of the Jewish High Holy Days, when the US will become caught up in another financial crisis (like the financial collapse of 2007-2008) that will start the time of “tribulations” as foretold in the Christian bible. Some think the recent crash of the Chinese stock market is the precipitating event.
But Rowe isn’t alone. Controversial evangelical pastor John Hagee had a bestselling book last year (Four Blood Moons) that pulled prophecies of the end of the world from biblical scripture. He tied it into the astronomical occurrence of a “tetrad” (meaning “four”) of blood moons (full lunar eclipses) occurring consecutively that coincide with Jewish holidays, which he interpreted from the verses from the biblical books of Acts, Joel and Revelations.
Social media was so awash with end of the world speculation, especially with a tie-in of a meteor strike, that NASA issued a statement that there was no astronomical evidence that an asteroid was headed toward Earth. In fact, in a rare event, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement as well to alleviate fears.
The statement read: “Although Sister Rowe is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, her book is not endorsed by the Church and should not be recommended to students or used as a resource in teaching them. The experiences she shares are her own personal experiences and do not necessarily reflect Church doctrine or they may distort Church doctrine.”
The Blood Moon will occur on September 28. It will also be a Supermoon, a lunar phenomenon that occurs when the Moon makes its closest approach to the Earth in its orbit.