Doomsday Fears Have Some Mormons in a Panic

A blood moon and a popular apocalyptic author aren't helping
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2015 2:25 PM CDT
Doomsday Fears Have Some Mormons in a Panic
This 2013 photo shows an 1844 advertising poster for the Book of Mormon.   (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Leah Hogsten)

There's a reason sales are up 500% at one Utah store that specializes in freeze-dried food: doomsday. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that "hordes of Utahns" are operating under the belief that the world could be in for something catastrophic by the end of the month and are preparing accordingly. The reason for the fear involves a strange confluence of events, one being a belief that history is divvied up into seven-year increments. In 2001, we got 9/11; in 2008, we got the stock market crash; and in 2015, well, time will tell. Factor in shaky world currencies, chaos all over the globe, and a full "blood moon" later this month, and, voila, you've got "preppers" prepping for the end times, or something close. (Gizmodo takes note of the phenomenon on Pinterest.)

"You can’t blame them for wanting to make sure that, no matter what happens, they’re going to be able to take care of their family," a foreman at Ultimate Bunkers tells Fox 13 Utah. Sales of underground bunkers are booming, too. Both stories cite the influence of Mormon author Julie Rowe, who wrote of apocalyptic visions after a near-death experience in A Greater Tomorrow: My Journey Beyond the Veil and The Time Is Now. The 2014 books are so popular that the Mormon church took the unusual step of reminding teachers that her views are not endorsed by the church and that the books shouldn't be used as teaching tools. No matter: Blankets, food-storage kits, flashlights, and tents are flying off the shelves. (Another scenario involving the alignment of planets swept the Internet earlier this year.)

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