And now I am prepared to say by the authority of Jesus Christ, that not many years shall pass away before the United States shall present such a scene of bloodshed as has not a parallel in the history of our nation; pestilence, hail, famine, and earthquake will sweep the wicked of this generation from off the face of the land, to open and prepare the way for the return of the lost tribes of Israel from the north country. (Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols., introduction and notes by B. H. Roberts [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1932-1951], 1: 315 – 316.)
We ask thee, holy Father, to confound, and astonish and bring to shame, and confusion, all those who have [p.178] spread lying reports abroad over the world against thy servant or servants, if they will not repent when the everlasting gospel shall be procla=imed in their ears, and that all their works may be brought to nought, and be swept away by the hail, and by the judgments, which thou wilt send upon them in thine anger, that their may be an end to lyings and slanders against thy people:
(Joseph Smith, The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, compiled and edited by Dean C. Jessee [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1984], 176.)
There seem to be some hard-hearted people in the world trying to fire the indignation of ungodly men against the Latterday Saints. But he that sits in the heavens puts hooks in their noses and leads them into the pit they had dug for their neighbor. So, knowing that there are other judgments in store for the whole earth, we will venture a prediction, and that shall be storm and hail enough to cause a famine, and show the whole of the earth that Jesus Christ, and not the Mormons, vexes the nation. Enough of the present generation shall see, hear, and feel it, to be witnesses that the servants of God tell the truth.
Watch, for you know not the hour, nor the day; and you cannot accuse the Mormons of making hail, so, watch! for the hail, the earthquakes, and war shall come and vex all nations.—Nauvoo Neighbor, August 6, 1845.(John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom: Selections from the Writings and Discourses of John Taylor, selected, arranged, and edited, with an introduction by G. Homer Durham [Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1941], 349.)
Ezra Taft Benson
Yes, peace has been taken from the earth, and “if prophecy is to be fulfilled, there awaits the world a conflict more dreadful than any the world has yet seen.” (“The Predicted Judgments,” p. 9.)
President Brigham Young said:
When the testimony of the Elders ceases to be given, and the Lord says to them, “Come home; I will now preach my own sermons to the nations of the earth,” all you now know can scarcely be called a preface to the sermon that will be preached with fire and sword, tempests, earthquakes, hail, rain, thunders and lightnings, and fearful destruction. (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 123.)
Why is the Lord angry with the wicked? Because they have rejected the gospel.
(Ezra Taft Benson, God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974], 93.)
What are some of the calamities for which we are to prepare? In D&C 29 the Lord warns us of “a great hailstorm sent forth to destroy the crops of the earth.” (D&C 29:16.) In D&C 45 we read of “an overflowing scourge; for a desolating sickness shall cover the land.” (D&C 45:31.) In D&C 63 the Lord declares he has “decreed wars upon the face of the earth.” (D&C 63:33.)
(Ezra Taft Benson, God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974], 265.)
In Matthew, chapter 24, we learn of ‘famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes,…’ (Matt 24:7) The Lord declared that these and other calamities shall occur. These particular prophecies seem not to be conditional. The Lord, with his foreknowledge, knows that they will happen. Some will come about through man’s manipulations; others through the forces of nature and nature’s God, but that they will come seeks certain. Prophecy is but history in reverse – a divine disclosure of future events. 1
Proclamation of the Twelve
For lo! he will descend from heaven as the defender of the Jews, and to complete their victory. His feet will stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which shall cleave in sunder at his presence, and remove one half to the north, and the other to the south, thus forming a great valley where the mountain now stands.
The earth will quake around him, while storm and tempest, hail and plague, are mingled with the clash of arms, the roar of artillery, the shouts of victory, and the groans of the wounded and dying.
(Various General Authorities, A Proclamation of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) 7.)
And there shall be a great hailstorm sent forth to destroy the crops of the earth.
And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.
Bruce R. McConkie
Before the Lord comes, the whole earth will be in turmoil. Wars and rumors of wars will spread death and destruction and disease that will dwarf anything ever known among men. Plagues and pestilence and pain will punish the people to a degree never before known. Men will be cursed physically and spiritually; the flesh of many will fall from their bones and their eyes from their sockets. Earthquakes will destroy many cities and bring death to their municipals; fire and hail will destroy the crops of the earth; rivers and seas and deserts and mountains will be contaminated; the waters of the world will be polluted; famines and poisons and dead bodies will be commonplace. No tongue can tell the desolations and sorrows that are yet to be, all of which will be climaxed by the burning of the vineyard, at which time every corruptible thing will be consumed
(Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1985], 633.)
There is something in the Doctrine and Covenants, which says, “And there shall be a great hailstorm sent forth to destroy the crops of the earth.” (D.&C. 29:16.) I said hail. What are you going to do when that happens? Ah, brothers and sisters, put your $2.90 in your welfare project, and when that happens and if you have your year’s supply of food in your home, let the hails come, and the winds blow, and our storehouses in our homes, in our wards, and in our stakes will be full just as they were in the days of Joseph, and we will be preserved.
I like that plan. What good will be our greenbacks that we get from the government for security when all the crops of the earth are destroyed by hail? (Matthew Cowley, Matthew Cowley Speaks [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 172.)
Of the nation that shall rise to fight his people in that day, the Lord says: “And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.” (Ezek. 38:22.) By these means a third of all the trees and green grass on earth are to be destroyed. The plague of hail and fire rained upon Pharaoh’s Egypt, in the days of the deliverance of Israel from bondage, was perhaps symbolical of this greater deliverance of the Lord’s people by the forces of nature in the latter-days. (Ex. 9:22-26.)
Unbelievable upheavals of nature and the unloosing of near unlimited power shall bring to pass the destruction of a third part of all life in and on the oceans of the world! (Jer. 51:25; Amos 7:4.) Perhaps the turning of the waters of Egypt to blood was in similitude of this great latter-day plague. (Ex. 7:19-25.)(Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 3: 500.)
The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.” Is this the “overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone,” of which Ezekiel spoke? (Ezek. 38:22.) Could all this be brought to pass through atomic warfare, or will it come by natural disasters, as when God rained fire and brimstone upon Sodom and Gomorrah? Speculatively, most of the plagues and destructions here announced could be brought to pass by men themselves as they use the weapons and armaments they have created.
(Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 382.)