Q: How can Baha'u'llah be the return of Christ when the signs in the heavens have not yet occurred?

ANSWER: Mormons are taught that before Jesus Christ can return, certain "signs in the heavens" must occur; including:

*The Sun becoming dark.

*The Moon turning to blood.

*The Stars falling from heaven.

Many Baha'is believe these "signs" have already occurred.

The Sun becoming black is known as "The Dark Day" and that occurred on May 19th, 1780; when the Sun became black all over North American, and the Moon appeared blood red on that night.

Jesus said that before the coming of "the Son of Man" there would be certain 'signs in the heavens':

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken." (Mattew 24:29)
Jesus was referring to prophecies of the prophet Joel, who wrote:
"The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come." (Joel 2:31)
The Apostle John, in his Book of Revelations, 6th chapter, wrote:
"And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind." (Revelation 6:12-13)
Most Christians believe that these 'signs' have not yet occurred. A few Christians, the Seventh-day Adventists, and a few others, believe they already have occurred. Adventist author Glen Walker has written:
"These are the opening signs announcing that Jesus would come again soon. First the earth shook mightily--this was commonly called the Lisbon earthquake of November 1, 1755. It was the most terrible earthquake every recorded. It involved most of Europe and Africa and even reach America, Great Britain, and Ireland. It covered more than four million square miles. Next came the great dark day. The Great Dark Day of May 19, 1780. Since the time of Moses no period of darkness of equal density, extent, and duration has ever been recorded. Joel prophesied "The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord." Joel 2:31. After midnight the darkness disappeared and the moon, when first seen, had the appearance of blood. Next was a vision of the stars falling as thick and fast as late-ripening figs fall from a tree when shaken by a strong wind. Read in history books about the fulfillment of this great meteoric shower of November 13, 1833." (Project Lighthouse, Lesson 15, pp.4-5 online)
The "Night of the Falling Stars" took place on November 13th 1833. Joseph Smith himself believed that Nov. 13th was the fulfillment of the Matthew 24 signs! In his journal for that day he wrote:
"About 4 o'clock a.m., I was awakened by Brother Davis knocking at my door, and calling me to arise and behold the signs in the heavens. I arose, and, to my great joy, beheld the starts fall from haven like a snow of hailstones; a literal fulfillment of the word of God, as recorded in the Scriptures, and a sure sign that the coming of Christ is close at hand." (History of the Church 1:439)
Mormon apostle Parley P. Pratt wrote:
"About 2 o'clock in the morning, we were called up by the cry of signs in the heavens. We arose, and to our great astonishment all the firmament seemed involved in splendid fireworks, as if every star in the broad expance had been hurled from its course, and sent lawless through the wilds of ether. Thousands of bright meteors were shooting through space in every direction, with long trains of light following in their course. This lasted for several hours, and was only closed by the dawn of the rising sun. Every heart was filled with joy at this majestic display of signs and wonders, showing the near approach of the coming of the Son of Man." (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, p.110)
According to Mormon writer Philo Dibble, Joseph prophesied (praw-feh-side) of the Night of the Falling Stars over a month beforehand. Philo Dibble wrote:
"On one occasion Joseph was preaching in Kirtland [Ohio] sometime in the fall of 1833. Quite a number of persons were present who did not belong to the Church, and one man, more bitter and skeptical than others, made note with pencil and paper of a prophecy uttered on that occasion, wherein Joseph said that 'Forty days shall not pass, and the stars shall fall from heaven.' Such an event would certainly be very unusual and improbable to the natural man, and the skeptic wrote the words as a sure evidence to prove Joseph to be a false Prophet. On the thirty-ninth day after the utterance of that prophecy a man and brother in the Church, by the name of Joseph Hancock... and another brother were out hunting game and got lost. They wandered about until night, when they found themselves at the house of this unbeliever, who exultingly produced this note of Joseph Smith's prophecy, and asked Brother Hancock what he thought of his Prophet now, that thirty-nine days had passed and the prophecy was not fulfilled. Brother Hancock was unmoved and quietly remarked, There is one night left of the time, and if Joseph said so, the stars will certainly fall tonight. This prophecy will all be fulfilled. The matter weighed upon the mind of Brother Hancock, who watched that night, and it proved to be the historical one, known in all the world as 'the night of the falling of the stars.' He stayed that night at the house of the skeptical unbeliever, as it was too far from home to return by night, and in the midst of the falling of the stars he went to the door of his host and called him out to witness what he had thought impossible and the most improbable thing that could happen, especially as that was the last night in which Joseph Smith could be saved from the condemnation of 'a false prophet.' The whole heavens were lit up with the falling meteors, and the countenance of the new spectator was plainly seen and closely watched by Brother Hancock, who said that he turned pale as death, and spoke not a word. After that event the unbeliever sought the company of any Latter-day Saint. He even enticed Mormon children to keep him company at his house. Not long afterwards, too, he sent for Joseph and Hyrum to come to his house, which they did, but with no noticeable results, for I believe he never received the gospel." (Philo Dibble, "Recollections," JI 27:23)
Clearly, Mormon leaders used to believe that the "signs in the heavens" (Sun becomeing black as sackcloth, moon turning to blood, stars falling from heaven) had all occurred by the year 1833. But, Mormon leaders today see the "signs in the heavens" as something that has not yet occurred and will not occur until sometime in the unforeseen future. But Bahá'ís know these signs all appeared before the declaration of Bahá'u'lláh in 1863.

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