Saturday, October 4, 2014

Changing Land of Promise—Part X – The Biblical Time Scale and Length of a Day

The Biblical record, as well as the Pearl of Great Price, tell us the Earth was created in seven days. It seems obvious that would not be a 24-hour day—so how long is the Lord’s day? How does He measure time, at least as it is compared to our time on earth? 
    The ancient texts have several references to this and provide us with insight into both the dwelling place of God, the time of its reckoning, and the length of time of the Lord's day.
    Pertaining to Kolob, this star was discovered by the ancient patriarchs Methuselah and Abraham while looking through the Urim and Thummim (Grammar & Alphabet of the Egyptian Language 1835, p 24, 34). This star (or planet) evidently takes one thousand of our years for a single revolution.  From this we might surmise that the orb is extremely large.  We do know that it was the first of God’s creations and that it resides near where God dwells. 
"And the Lord said unto me: These are the governing ones; and the name of the great one is Kolob, because it is near unto me, for I am the Lord thy God: I have set this one to govern all those which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest"
    Joseph Smith said “One day in Kolob is equal to a thousand years” (Book of Abraham, Facsimile No. 2); Orson F. Whitney (1920) said that Kolob was “a mighty governing planet nearest the Celestial Throne, a planet revolving once in a thousand years.” And Orson Pratt (Millennial Star 28 (1866) claimed Kolob’s diurnal rotation on its axis equals one thousand of our years,” and (16 1873) “a certain great world called Kolob placed near one of the celestial kingdoms, whose diurnal rotation takes place once in a thousand of our years.”
    The Psalmist said, “For a thousand years in [God's] sight are but as yesterday when it is past” (Psalm 90:4); and Peter the Apostle said, “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years” (2 Peter 3:8).
    Sidney B. Sperry considers that God had from the beginning a definite plan concerning man's existence on this planet, and that all the spirits that were to come here would do so in seven days, or seven thousand years, plus a little season.  And the doctrinal scholar Roy W. Doxey claims that the days of creation were after the time of Kolob where a day is one thousand years (Latter-day Prophets and the Doctrine and Covenants 1978, pp 349-350).
    "Kolob, signifying the first creation, nearest to the celestial, or residence of God.  First in government, the last pertaining to the measurement of time..the measurement according to celestial time.." (Book of Abraham, Facsimile 2)              
    “The last pertaining to the measurement of time,” signifies that Kolob rotates, and its time is based upon the celestial time of the heaven where God dwells. Not only is there a celestial time, that time, at least where Kolob's reckoning is concerned, is the same time as that of the Lord—which is one thousand years. "One day in Kolob is equal to a thousand years according to the measurement of this earth..."     
Abraham was told, then, that a thousand years to us on earth is equivalent to one day in the rotation of Kolob, or the heaven near where God dwells.
    From this we learn that the Lord's day is the same as one thousand years of earth time. This is further verified in the Book of Abraham as he received the information directly from the Lord through the Urim and Thummim:
    "And the Lord said unto me, by the Urim and Thummim, that Kolob was after the manner of the Lord, according to its times and seasons in the revolutions thereof; that one revolution was a day unto the Lord, after his manner of reckoning, it being one thousand years according to the time appointed unto that whereon thou standest.  This is the reckoning of the Lord's time, according to the reckoning of Kolob."
    Peter verifies Abraham's pronouncement as to the length of time for a day to the Lord. Regarding the time when the Lord would come again, Peter said, "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."  
    Consequently, when God mentions a day, it is often related to his own reckoning near Kolob, that is, one day of His time equals a thousand years to us on earth.  Nor can we assume that this information was unique with Peter, for his answer was apparently sufficient to dispel further doubt in the minds of the disciples.  For though the Lord had testified to His disciples that He would return "quickly," Peter made it clear that this great "day" was not to be during their lifetime, for the Lord's time was not man's time. 

In addition to Peter's comment of a thousand years, the ancient Psalmist also gives us insight into the Lord's time frame of a day.
    "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.  Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.  For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night" (Psalms 90:2-4).                     
    That is, a thousand years to man is but yesterday to the Lord.
    John, in Revelations, also equates a day to the Lord to a thousand years, when he talks about the thousand year millennium, that Satan would be bound for “a day to the Lord.”
    Modern Revelation in the Doctrine and Covenants also sheds light on the length of a day to the Lord:
    Question:  What are we to understand by the book which John saw, which was sealed on the back with seven seals? 
    Answer:  We are to understand that it contains the revealed will, mysteries, and the works of God; the hidden things of his economy concerning this earth during the seven thousand years of its continuance, or its temporal existence. 
    Question:  What are we to understand by the seven seals with which it was sealed? 
    Answer:  We are to understand that the first seal contains the things of the first thousand years, and the second also of the second thousand years, and so on until the seventh . . .
    Question:  What are we to understanding by the sounding of the trumpets, mentioned in the 8th chapter of Revelation? 
Answer:  We are to understand that as God made the world in six days, and on the seventh day he finished his work, and sanctified it, and also formed man out of the dust of the earth, even so, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years will the Lord God sanctify the earth, and complete the salvation of man.
    Thus we see that one day to the Lord is the same as one thousand years on Earth, or to us in our time. To clarify the organization of the Earth, “God made the world in six days, and on the seventh day he finished his work, and sanctified the beginning of the seventh thousand years, will the Lord sanctify the earth" (D&C 77:12). And those six days were six thousand years.
    So how does this relate to the organization of the Earth and the time frame geologists use in the Geologic Time Scale?
(See the next post, “Changing Land of Promise—Part IX and the Biblical Time Scale,” for an understanding of when South American changes took place and how they are recorded in the Book of Mormon)

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