'Blood moon' fears lead Mormons to prepare for disaster
Some residents of Utah in the US are stockpiling food and other essentials as this month's so-called "blood moon" approaches.
The worried members of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints are among those who take seriously prophetic Bible passages such as Acts 2:20 which warn of a blood moon before the Day of the Lord.
As the next blood moon approaches, on September 28, some residents of Utah believe they will be hit by an earthquake as well as other disasters and are buying up food, torches, tents and blankets, and are even preparing to leave their homes, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
The Tribune cites the freeze-dried food source Thrive Life where sales have gone up 500 per cent and customer-service representative Ricardo Aranda described "a sense of urgency, like something is up".
Emergency Essentials also reported increased sales of items such as the 72-hour emergency kit.
Besides an earthquake, prophecies of doom around the blood moon include invasion, technological outages, chaos and hysteria. Julie Rowe, a Mormon, has detailed her vision of these possible futures in her books A Greater Tomorrow: My Journey Beyond the Veil and The Time Is Now.
Leaders of the Church have sought to play down the concerns. In a recent statement the Church said: "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." CT