“The sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light”

Frank M. Keele

By Frank M. Keele

In the previous post (When will  Matthew 24 be fulfilled?) we emphasized the fact that darkness will cover the earth when the Lord makes His first appearance, which is to His Saints and is associated with the New Jerusalem.

The reason for that emphasis was to set the stage for today’s post because the said darkness is a marker that helps us identify other passages that describe the very same event!

When we compare multiple passages covering the same event, we are able to aggregate the elements of the various passages and come away with a much-enhanced understanding of that event… So, let’s do some aggregating by looking at passages that speak of the earth being in darkness and are associated with the Lord’s first appearance. We start with JS Matthew, where we read:

32 And again shall the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, be fulfilled.

33 And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be shaken…

36 And, as I said before, after the tribulation of those days, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken, then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn; and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory;

Here we have, “the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light” and then, “the sign of the Son of Man in heaven” is manifest, and this is when “they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory”, right?

And another important element that we want to be sure to understand is that all of this unfolds “immediately after” the “abomination of desolation”, please be sure to make a mental note of this because it’s very important… Next, we go to Mark 13 where we both confirm what we’ve already learned and add to our understanding of this event:

24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,

25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

So this sequence occurs, “after that tribulation” (Abomination of Desolation) and again, “the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light”. We note that they shall, “see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory”…

And then we get a new element in verse 27, “And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.” So, in spite of the fact that He comes “with great power and glory”, it is just as obvious that this appearance is to His saints, which will only happen once they are gathered, for, “he shall send his angels BEFORE HIM with the great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together the remainder of his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (JS Matt: 37) We go to D&C 133, where we read:

46 And it shall be said: Who is this that cometh down from God in heaven with dyed garments; yea, from the regions which are not known, clothed in his glorious apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength?…

49 And so great shall be the glory of his presence that the sun shall hide his face in shame, and the moon shall withhold its light, and the stars shall be hurled from their places.

So once again we see our marker of darkness associated with this passage… we continue reading from section 133 where we are told just who, “shall be in the presence of the Lamb” at this time:

54 Yea, and Enoch also, and they who were with him; the prophets who were before him; and Noah also, and they who were before him; and Moses also, and they who were before him;

55 And from Moses to Elijah, and from Elijah to John, who were with Christ in his resurrection, and the holy apostles, with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, shall be in the presence of the Lamb.

We are given a very inclusive list of attendees in these two verses but we particularly want to note that the list begins with “Enoch… and they who were with him” and so if you didn’t know when the city of Enoch would return… now you do. 

So if we combine the above list of translated and resurrected individuals along with the mortal saints who shall arrive via “angels” who “shall gather together his elect from the four winds”, what we have is the fulfilling of D&C 65:5, which reads:

5 Call upon the Lord, that his kingdom may go forth upon the earth, that the inhabitants thereof may receive it, and be prepared for the days to come, in the which the Son of Man shall come down in heaven, clothed in the brightness of his glory, to meet the kingdom of God which is set up on the earth.

Wow… think about that for a moment, is the Lord’s first appearance here in America actually, “the days to come, in the which the Son of Man shall come down in heaven, clothed in the brightness of his glory, to meet the kingdom of God which is set up on the earth”? I think it is! We go to Moses chapter 7 and read:

61 And the day shall come that the earth shall rest, but before that day the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth; and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth; and great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve;

62 And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.

63 And the Lord said unto Enoch: Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other;

64 And there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest.

65 And it came to pass that Enoch saw the day of the coming of the Son of Man, in the last days, to dwell on the earth in righteousness for the space of a thousand years;

Here in Moses 7, we see many of the same elements mentioned in the previously quoted passages, we have, “the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth” which was our original marker.

Add to that from verse 62, “and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare”… We know from Mark 13:27 quoted above that the Lord shall, “send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven” which creates yet another tie-in and also gives us a hint as to what the Lord is addressing when He says, “and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood”, right?

In verse 63 we read, “And the Lord said unto Enoch: Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there”… and we’ve already established from D&C 133:54-55 that “Enoch also, and they who were with him… shall be in the presence of the Lamb” at a time when “the sun shall hide his face in shame, and the moon shall withhold its light”, right? So either both meetings are one and the same or Enoch has a very busy schedule… 😉

And then in verse 64, we learn that “Zion… shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made”, like the city of Enoch for example…

And finally, we are told in verse 65 that “Enoch saw the day of the coming of the Son of Man, in the last days, to dwell on the earth in righteousness for the space of a thousand years”… So we conclude that this appearance, the Lord’s first appearance to His saints, when, “the sun shall hide his face in shame, and the moon shall withhold its light” is when “the Son of Man” shall come “to dwell on the earth in righteousness for the space of a thousand years”.  And if that be the case, this is obviously the beginning of the millennium, the opening of the 7th seal, and the beginning of the half-hour of silence!

Now, for sure, one of the most  important ideas emerging from these passages is that the depth and breadth of the Lord’s first appearance go far beyond what most of us have imagined, which actually fulfills prophecy, from D&C 133 we read:

45 For since the beginning of the world have not men heard nor perceived by the ear, neither hath any eye seen, O God, besides thee, how great things thou hast prepared for him that waiteth for thee.

The next scripture is found in Rev 21 but in this case, there is no marker of the sun being darkened and the moon not giving its light as in the previous quotations. However, we have something just as good or perhaps even better…  We have Joseph Smith showing us that Moses 7:62 and Rev 21:3 refer to the very same set of circumstances, we read:

“First, I shall begin by quoting from the prophecy of Enoch, speaking of the last days: “Righteousness will I send down out of heaven, and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten, His resurrection from the dead (this resurrection I understand to be the corporeal body); yea, and also the resurrection of all men; righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine own elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, a Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming, for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion a New Jerusalem.” (Moses 7:62)


”Now I understand by this quotation, that God clearly manifested to Enoch the redemption which He prepared, by offering the Messiah as a Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world… and also righteousness and truth are to sweep the earth as with a flood. And now, I ask, how righteousness and truth are going to sweep the earth as with a flood? I will answer. Men and angels are to be co-workers in bringing to pass this great work, and Zion is to be prepared, even a new Jerusalem, for the elect that are to be gathered from the four quarters of the earth, and to be established an holy city, for the tabernacle of the Lord shall be with them.


”Now Enoch was in good company in his views upon this subject: “And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God” (Rev 21:3).


”I discover by this quotation, that John upon the isle of Patmos, saw the same things concerning the last days, which Enoch saw. But before the tabernacle can be with men, the elect must be gathered from the four quarters of the earth.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp.84-86)

So, after quoting Moses 7:62, brother Joseph says, “Now Enoch was in good company in his views upon this subject” and then he quotes what John says in Rev 21:3, after which he says, ”I discover by this quotation, that John upon the isle of Patmos, saw the same things concerning the last days, which Enoch saw. But before the tabernacle can be with men, the elect must be gathered from the four quarters of the earth.”

Now that we’ve established the indisputable connection and equivalency between Moses 7:62 and what John tells us in Rev 21, we go on to read:

2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

John “saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven” and makes the point that it was “prepared” ahead of time but this is not the earthly New Jerusalem that is to be built up by the gathering of the saints, rather, it is “the tabernacle of God”, preserved from an earlier age, it is the city of Enoch, which should be no surprise since we know how these verses relate to Moses 7, right?

In verse 3 John announces, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God”. This verse should fill those who are aware of President Benson’s statement… “You are the generation that must be prepared to meet your God”, with a sense of immediacy and destiny, are you ready?

We’ve covered quite a bit of ground in today’s post and it is hoped that the reader has taken a slow, deliberate, and ponderous approach to the material covered. Because there is so much meat contained in the above passages, a great deal more than my commentary reflects, a prayerful review is recommended.

The breadth, width, and scope of the changes that are about to sweep the earth will no doubt astonish even those who most studiously attend the word of God!

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