Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Solar Eclipse

            The big news of this week is the solar eclipse yesterday, August 21, 2017. Anchorage was not on the published path for the total eclipse, but the partial eclipse could have been seen if the sun had been visible. I did not see the sun at all because we had clouds and/or rain all day long. I do not know whether to feel bad about missing the eclipse or not.

            As I read of the traffic jams heading into Idaho and Wyoming, I sort of thought all the people were crazy to go to such lengths to watch something that lasts two minutes or less. Then I read comments from people who did make the effort to go to the area of “totality” in order to see the full eclipse. Their words ranged from “awesome” to “totally worth it.” The pictures are definitely awesome.

            I have been far more interested in the meaning behind the eclipse than the actual eclipse. Does the 2017 eclipse qualify as one of the “signs of the times” for the latter-days? It might, particularly because it is followed in 2024 by another total solar eclipse, both of which go over the United States. The time between 2017 and 2024 is seven years. This site says that seven is “the number for perfection and completeness in Jewish numerology.” From my own knowledge I know that the Lord uses the number seven in various ways: seven days in a week, the office of Seventy, the requirement to forgive others seven times seventy, etc. I do not believe in coincidences, so I wonder why the seven-year period.

            Both heavenly signs are part of the prophecies for the last days. Are the eclipses of the sun and the moon some of those heavenly signs?

And he answer them, and said, In the generation in which the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled, there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity, like the sea and the waves roaring. The earth also shall be troubled, and the waters of the great deep (Joseph Smith Translation, Luke 21:25).

            I have read several articles that discuss how the 2017 eclipse and the 2024 eclipse cross each other above the New Madrid earthquake zone located in southeast Missouri. Does a solar eclipse – or two – over an earthquake zone mean anything important? Are eclipses and earthquakes in any way connected?

            The author of this article discusses the New Madrid fault and the fact that both the 2017 and 2024 solar eclipses pass over this fault. While watching an episode that discussed the New Madrid fault, the author remembered something that he had previously learned in his studies about natural disaster.

The New Madrid fault is known to produce extremely large and damaging earthquakes. But earthquakes along the New Madrid that are similar in magnitude to those produced by the well-known faults of California can be more damaging than those in California, because the earth in the heartland amplifies the waves due to its unique make up.

It just so happens that both the 2017 and the 2024 eclipses go straight through this fault zone….

In recorded history, the most powerful earthquake to shake the USA east of the Rockies happened on December 16, 1811, and it happened on the New Madrid. Estimates put the powerful quake at around magnitude 7.5-7.9, but I’ve read the fault can produce earthquakes in the 8s. That year, in September, there was an annular solar eclipse that pathed a few hundred miles northeast of the edge of the fault zone. The edge of the path of totality closest to the fault zone went through Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. The edge of the fault zone closest to the path of totality is in the southern Illinois area.

The path of totality of the 2017 eclipse will be much closer to the fault zone than the 1811 eclipse. In fact, if I’m interpreting my research correctly, the path of totality will go directly over the northeastern edge of the fault zone.

            So, how are we to know if there is a connection between solar eclipses and earthquakes?  I believe it would be very interesting if an earthquake happened in the New Madrid zone within the next few months.

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