Saturday, September 29, 2012

Three Very Important Questions – Part IV – Summation

The three questions covered in the previous three posts should show to even the most novice of geographers that the Land of Promise in the Book of Mormon could only be located in one area—the Andean coastal plain of South America. Or more specifically, northern Chile, Peru, western Bolivia, Ecuador and southern Colombia, when the eastern part of the continent was mostly under water, which was shown conclusively in the several previous posts.
When we consider the three questions asked and answered earlier, we find that 1) the earth is 13,000 years old, 2) the earth did not always have the physical appearance it now has, and 3) during the events in 3 Nephi, the Andes fault line was raised as a result of the Nazca tectonic plate subducting beneath the South American Plate, thus raising the Andes Mountains and the land mass east of the Andes.

Left: The magma pushed up by the subduction of the Nazca Plate beneath the South American Plate creates volcanoes and granite masses in overlying plate, bringing the continent higher; Right: Marine sediments and rocks on the top of the subducting plate are scraped off and stick to the edge of the overriding plate to form an accretionary prism or wedge

Off the coast of South America, along the Peru-Chile trench, the oceanic Nazca Plate is pushing into, and is being subducted under, the continental part of the South American Plate. In turn, the overriding South American Plate is being lifted up and folded, creating the towering Andes mountains, the backbone of the continent, and dragging upward with them the lowlands of the eastern portion of the continent. Partial melting of the subducted oceanic crust gives rise to andesitic volcanism parallel to the subduction zone.
Where an oceanic plate is subducted beneath continental crust, the magma produced by subductive melting erupts from volcanoes situated among long, linear mountain chains, such as the Andes in South America 
Because continental crust is less dense than oceanic crust, oceanic crust will always be subducted under continental crust, creating strong, destructive earthquakes and the rapid uplift of mountain ranges, which are common in this region.
According to the National Oceanography Center in Southampton, the most obvious features of continental-oceanic destructive margins during subduction are the linear belts of fold mountains which run along the boundaries of the overriding continental plate. “An example of such a belt is the Andes in South America.” The mountains are formed when rocks and sediment on the edge of the overriding plate gets compressed and crumpled.
The Nazca’s Plate movement sliding beneath the South American Plate has given rise to great volcanoes, and the squeezing of South America results in great earthquakes, and the entire continent, as it rose, crumpled South America permanently, building the Andes. This is supported by the SNAPP Project GPS findings showing this subduction and the resultant events.
That the above events happened in the short period of three hours according to the prophesy of Samuel the Lamanite, and the record of the Disciple Nephi, differs greatly from the geologic record scientists have compiled, but when we eliminate the 4.55 billion year Earth age and realign it to the 13,000 years of scripture, the events make far more sense, and shows the great power of the Lord.
That knowledge is accruing at unprecedented rates on the Earth is certain. God is pouring forth this knowledge for our benefit in these latter days, that we might understand what has, is and will happen on the earth, in the earth, and beneath the earth.
Truly one of the “signs of the times” and “what is expedient for [us] to understand,” we “shall be shown forth in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath” (D&C 45:40), and “of things both in heaven and in the earth, an under the earth, things which have been, things which are, things which must surely come to pass” (D&C 88:79).
Because it is important to understand this evolution of a continent, we are repeating it here as to how the South American continent formed, and how the eastern part raised out of the sea long after the western part:
The Rising of the Continent: A: Initially there was oceanic crust convergence with oceanic plates, forming a western plain; B: Sediment was shed from the arc and was compressed and pushed against the arc, forcing land upward extending the narrow plain above the surface; C: The continent was eroded and quartz, feldspar, and clay-rich sediments accumulated around its margins, while subduction pushed up new folded mountain belts, accompanied by metamorphism and granite plutonism as the Andes fault line rose and the mountains pushed upward; D: The rise of the mountains brought accretion and the eastern lands higher toward and above the surface [1=continental rise; 2=continental shelf; 3=western coastal plain; 4=Andes mountains; 5=lowlands, including the Amazon Basin]
Scientists tell us the earthquakes of Ecuador and most of western South America are due to strains generated by ongoing subduction of the Nazca plate beneath the South America plate. At this latitude, the oceanic Nazca plate moves east relative to the South America plate at a rate of about 7 cm per year. It is overridden by the South America plate at the Peru-Chile trench, west of the Ecuadoran coast, and sinks into the earth’s mantle beneath the South America plate. The subducted Nazca plate is seismically active to depths of about 400 miles. At the time of the Lord’s crucifixion, when this plate activity was heightened, the subducting of the Nazca Plate lifted the Andes fault line into mountains, “whose height was great,” tilted the continent as it rose with the Andes, from west to east as the South American Plate rose over the Nazca Plate, creating the continent as we now see it. This subduction created enormous earthquakes that lasted for three hours and brought about the terrible destruction we read about in 3 Nephi. Had this "sudden" 3-hour subduction lasted longer, we would see the continent toward the southeast more or less above sea level all the way to the Falkland Islands.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Three Very Important Questions – Part III – Changes to the Land of Promise

Continuing from the last two posts with the three questions we need to answer, question #3 is:
3. After the destruction outlined in 3 Nephi took place, what changes in the Land of Promise occurred?
We can determine that there were some significant changes in the Land of Promise, such as the elimination of the East Sea—it is never mentioned after this destruction, and also in the narrow neck, since it was never mentioned after the events in 3 Nephi. What other significant events occurred can also be inferred.

Nephi, son of Lehi, Samuel the Lamanite, and the Disciple Nephi, son of Nephi, all saw that there were great tempests, whirlwinds, and lightnings
As an example, in about 6 B.C., Samuel the Lamanite prophesied that “There shall be great tempests, and 
there shall be many mountains laid low, like unto a valley, and there shall be many places which are now called valleys which shall become mountains, whose height is great” (Helaman 14:21-23). In addition, he proclaimed that the solid mass of subterranean rock would be broken up, and forever found in seams and cracks and broken fragments, both above and below the Earth. All of these predictions were told Samuel by an Angel (Helaman 13:3-5, 7; 14:28).
Left: Solid rock broken up into fragments; Center: Mountains crumbling into valleys; Right: Mountains rising from level ground to a great height
While Samuel only said that mountains would be laid low, Nephi saw in his vision the “mountains tumbling into pieces,” and where Samuel said the rock beneath the Earth would be broken up, Nephi also saw “the plains of the earth broken up” (2 Nephi 12:4). While Samuel prophesied that many cities would be sunk into the ground, Nephi actually saw cities disappearing beneath the earth in his vision.
It is interesting that while both prophets foresaw these events happening in the future, the Disciple Nephi actually observed their happening and reported it in very similar language (3 Nephi 8:5-22), often in much the same language—such as “the rocks were rent in twain; they were broken up upon the face of the whole earth, insomuch that they were found in broken fragments, and in seams and in cracks, upon all the face of the land” (3 Nephi 8:18).
The events were staggering. Mountains crumbled and fell, disappearing into level ground. The earth rose up out of valleys to become mountains whose height was great. The shaking of the earth was so great, that solid rock above and below the earth was broken up into seams and cracks and visible fragments scattered about. Cities sunk into the ground, others were buried by moving earth, still others sunk into the sea, and others were shaken to pieces and fell to the ground. Highways were broken up, level ground was broken up, and even greater destruction occurred in the Land Northward where the “whole face of the land was changed.”
All of this took place in a three-hour period (3 Nephi 8:19). Mountains crumbled as they toppled, while level ground rose majestically into tall mountains, all within a three hour period. Obviously, when geologists say a mountain took millions of years to form, and millions more to erode, they have no understanding that the Lord can do this in a matter of a couple of hours. How little modern science understands about the very Earth they have spent lifetimes studying and developing all sorts of hypotheses and theories—much of which, especially the time it takes for things to happen, is completely wrong.
Geologic Time Scale begins about 4570 million years ago in the Precambrian, which is divided into several eons of chronological development. According to scientists, not much is known about the Precambrian, despite its making up roughly seven-eighths of their so-called Time Scale history
It was Paul who warned Timothy about men in the latter days who were “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
It should be obvious from the above descriptions of the changes in the Land of Promise that wherever it is one might want to claim it to be, there has to be a range of mountains “whose height is great.” This one fact is inescapable. Also, consider an event where a mountain would rise to a great height. To make such an impression, it would have to be rather sheer—that is, straight up, rather than the gradual rising of ground, like in the Rocky Mountains.
The Andes Mountains of South America, and specifically those in Peru, obviously meet the criteria of mountains “whose height is great,” and those that shoot basically straight up with very obvious prominances
Thus, we need to find a location where mountains are of great height. As an example, in Peru alone (not including Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia and Chile), there are 37 mountains between 19,767 and 22,132 feet high—this compared to the highest nine mountain in Mesoamerica with 3 at 13,000 feet, 4 at 12,000 feet and 2 at 11,000 feet. Mexico has 1 at 18,000 feet, 2 at 17,000 feet, 2 at 15,000 feet—the highest mountain east of the Mississippi in the U.S. is in North Carolina at 6,683 feet, the next is in Virginia at 5,728 feet, then Maine at 5,269 feet, Vermont at 4,081 feet, and New Hampshire at 4,068 feet. In the Great Lakes, Eastern U.S., Heartland, and alolng the Mississippi, where some theorists claim the Land of Promise was located, the tallest mountain in their area is in Catskills in New York at 3,179 feet and in the Hudson Highlands of New York at 1,339 feet. This, of course, is excluding the tallest mountains in the U.S. which are all west of the Mississippi: Alaska, California, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Hawaii, New Mexico, Nevada, Washington, Arizona and Oregon.
In addition, the sheer size of the mountains should be such that they would be impressively high—like those of the Andes in South America. Stated differently, there are no such tall or sheer mountains in the eastern U.S., and those in Mesoamerica are minimal in height. There are no such mountains in Baja California, the Malay Peninsula, or in any of the other locations some people want to claim the Land of Promise was located.
(See the next post, “Three Very Important Questions – Part III – Summation,” to see how these three questions answer the location, in part, of the Land of Promise)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Three Very Important Questions – Part II – What Did the Earth Look Like?

Continuing with the three questions begun in the last post that we need to answer, question #2 is:
2. What did the Earth look like in that day, and specifically what did the Land of Promise area look like?
It is poor scholarship to think that the location of the Land of Promise looks the same way today as it did 2600 years ago at the time Lehi landed. In addition, we need to understand that in the beginning, all the seas or oceans were gathered together in one place. In fact, we are told in Genesis that God said, “Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear, and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good”
Thus we see that in the beginning all the oceans were gathered together in one place (Genesis 1:9-10; see also Moses 2:9-10). And during the time of Peleg, one of the two sons of Eber, the 2nd great grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:24), the earth was divided. What that division encompassed, we are not told, but obviously, the oceans were also divided, that is, they flowed into areas where land had once been, after it was divided.

The Earth’s major tectonic plates, which even today are still moving apart or into one another. Is it possible that at one time these plates were the surface land, and during Peleg’s time, after the Flood when they sank beneath the surface, this is what was divided?

Luke, who wrote Acts, tells us that before the second coming of Christ, “There will be a restitution of all things (Acts 3:21), and the Lord said that this restitution includes the returning of the Earth into its original condition—that is, “He shall command the great deep, and it shall be driven back into the north countries, and the islands shall become one land; and the land of Jerusalem and the land of Zion shall be turned back into their own place, and the earth shall be like as it was in the days before it was divided” (D&C 133:23-24).

In the Doctrines of Salvation, Joseph Fielding Smith said: “There was no Atlantic Ocean prior to the earth being divided,” and Orson Pratt said in The Seer, that “The waters were in the Polar Regions” before this division of the land.
Consequently, at the time of Peleg’s birth, all the land was connected, and all the oceans were in the north country. Since Peleg was born 101 years after the Flood and died 339 years after the Flood, he lived a period of 238 years—and it was during those 238 years that the Earth was divided. How long that division took is not known, but it would have been between 2243 B.C. and 2005 B.C.
By the way, as a side note, Peleg’s brother was Joktan, and they were the last Shemite generation before the tower of Babel was built. Through Eber came Abraham, but while Joktan’s posterity of 13 sons is mentioned, their posterity is not—specifically that of the fourth son, Jerah, and the 11th son, Ophir. For an interesting insight into who these two sons of Joktan were, and what else happened when the Earth was divided, see the book: Who Really Settled Mesoamerica.
It is likely, as the low points of land spread, creating large depressions, the oceans from the north country moved into these areas combined with that from the Flood waters a hundred years earlier
When the Earth was divided the land was stretched, moved, and placed where we now find it—how that was accomplished, we are not told; however, scientists believe that continents have moved and do move based upon their tectonic plate structure. While these scientists claim this took millions upon millions of years and have even given names to various ancient land masses, we know that this event took no more than 238 years, and based upon the Lord’s statement about it being returned to its original position during a restitution of all things, it sounds like it doesn’t take long at all for the Lord to accomplish such earth movement.
In past posts, we have illustrated the various circumstances in support of a continent’s submergence, its rising, and connection to other continental land forms. Specifically in South America, where scientists agree that this took place. While they claim it took place millions of years ago (recently when compared to their geologic time scale), when we show an Earth that is 13,000 years old—and that all events took place during man’s time on Earth, we can see that these ancient events took place in very recent times.
At the time Lehi landed, Jacob tells us that the Land of Promise was an island (2 Nephi 10:20), therefore, without changing, altering, or shifting Jacob’s meaning, we need to accept that 1) The Land of Promise was an island at the time of Lehi, Nephi and Sam, and 2) Undoubtedly remained an island until the destruction stated in 3 Nephi.
We should also recognize, from the 20-some posts that preceded this one, that at one time South America, east of the present-day Andes, was submerged beneath the sea (except for the Guiana and Brazilian highlands). The last two things in this equation we need to keep in mind is that 1) the time frame involved in the Earth’s creation was a mere 13,000 years or so, not the 4.55 billion years claimed by scientists. Should one still be in doubt about this idea of a young earth covered in the last few posts, the book Scientific Fallacies & Other Myths is recommended, that show beyond a shadow of doubt that the C-14 radiocarbon time clock, the Long-Term time clock, and the other methods science has developed to measure time are all out of sync with the truth, and 2) the earth was formed (not created) out of existing materials (matter unorganized) and would have included matter that was ageless in the form of rocks, etc., that were formed billions of years ago, perhaps as the makeup of other planets.
When we put that all together, we see a South American continent whose land surface was west of the Andean fault line, an island as previously described in these posts and in the book Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica, an island as Jacob described, and one that lasted for some 600 years until the crucifixion of the Savior when the entire face of the Land of Promise was altered, where mountains crumbled into valleys, where mountains rose to a great height (the Andes), and where numerous changes in the land occurred.
(See the next post, “Three Very Important Questions – Part III – Changes in the Land of Promise,” to see what occurred at the time of 3 Nephi and how the land was altered from that point forward, and why certain land forms and seas were not mentioned after that time)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Three Very Important Questions-– Part I – Three Important Questions

When we start thinking about where the Land of Promise might have been located, there are three very important questions we should consider, and answer if we can:
1. How old is the Earth, that is, when was it formed and when was man placed upon it?
2. What did the Earth look like in that day, and specifically what did the Land of Promise area look like?
3. After the destruction outlined in 3 Nephi took place, what changes in the Land of Promise occurred?
The first question deals with the most significant problem facing anyone trying to place the Land of Promise—the time frame of Creation. Put differently, the Earth is either 4.55 billions years old as geologists and earth scientists claim, or it is about 13,000 years old as the scriptures say. There is no other alternative. Because this is such a critical issue, it was the subject of the 4th book in the series about the Book of Mormon shown here on this website (Scientific Fallacies & Other Myths).
Since the attitude that the Earth is 4.55 billion years old is so steeped in the American conscience, even to LDS people, when talking about things ancient, they have a tendency to think in terms before man. However, that tendency eliminates a clear and accurate understanding of the way things were when Lehi set sail, and where he landed.
As has been pointed out in the several previous posts, the South American continent was definitely under water at one time and emerged when the plate tectonics drove up the mighty Andes Mountain chain, creating mountains whose “height is great.” Only the Himalayas in Asia are taller and considered younger (mainly because geologists consider they have not had time to weather like the Urals and the Appalachians).

Left: Peruvian Nevado Alpamayo Peak in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range of the Andes Mountain stands at 19,511 feet. Its Quechua name is Shuyturahu, meaning long and thin snowy mountain; Center: Yerupaja Peak in the Cordillera Huayhuash, stands at a staggering 21,768 feet; Right: Huantsan, a mountain in the Ancash Region and part of the Cordillera Blanca, which is a sub-range of the Andes, and stands at 20,895 feet

But what if the Andes did rise suddenly, as Samuel the Lamanite foresaw and the Disciple Nephi witnessed in the Land of Promise? What if this event was out of the norm of other, slower developments science claims to have happened elsewhere? This then brings the question of how quickly the mountains attained such heights into a very important area—and has been a contentious question in geological circles for quite some time. Some researchers claim the central Andes rose abruptly to nearly their current height and others maintain the uplift was a more gradual process.
No matter where we want to place the Land of Promise, we know from the scriptural record that some mountain range rose up out of the level ground to a height that the Angel told Samuel was great. Could this have been the Andes? It certainly is the only range in the Western Hemisphere that meets such a criteria.
So how old are the Andes Mountains? Depending on what you are looking for, who you want to listen to, and how you accept the basis of the different arguments, depends entirely on your answer. First of all, the Andes are claimed to be 7 to 8 million years old—that is, when they started to rise. On a geologic scale that covers 4.55 billion years—7 to 8 million is extremely recent. Lately, however, science is pushing back that start date to about 25 to 30 million years ago—still extremely young on the geologic scale.
But what caused this revision? Actually, it is the location of sediment that has been washed down from the mountain and accumulated in nearby lake bottoms, and the belief that the oxygen-16 level (oxygen has two main isotopes—Oxygen-16 and Oxygen-18) once believed to have existed in the Andes has now been determined to be Oxygen-18, and had not risen sharply, but been based on greater rainfall.
The problem arises, however, like it does with all of this type of science, no one was around that long ago and consequently, the mountains could have risen sharply, or there could have been a high increase in rain—no one can ever know this. So what does science do? They rely upon their belief in the very slow process of change they see about them today, thus the Andes are older than they thought and did not rise as fast as they thought.
The problem is enhanced when we start trying to equate science’s dating of events with the far lesser time frame of God’s creation. It is not that these geologic events did not happen, it is that they happened within a far shorter time frame than science wants to believe. Which leads us to the method of dating events that science uses, which brings the method into question.
Science rejects that the Earth was divided in Peleg’s time; science rejects that there was a flood; science rejects that there was a mighty change at the time of Christ’s crucifixion. Thus, science sees only very slow change and refuses to consider any other factors—even when they are shown to have not only happened, but actually answer problems much more accurately.
On the other hand, accepting the word of God causes us to realize that there has been both slow and sudden changes that have formed the world, from the creation, to Noah’s Flood, to the dividing of the Earth, to the changes at the crucifixion. These instances occurred suddenly, within hours or days, or in some cases, perhaps months or a few years—but not the millions of years science attributes to drastic change.
All of this lays the ground work for an understanding of the scriptural record of the Book of Mormon regarding then location of Lehi’s Isle of Promise and the location of the Land of Promise.
(See the next post, “Three Very Important Questions – Part II – The Second Question,” for a continuation of these questions and their answers)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Length of Time for the Earth

Scientists like to show that the earth is billions of years old.  The latest count sits at about 4.55 billion, while the age of the solar system is placed at 4.6 billion, and the universe itself is said to be 13.7 billion years, or by some between 10 and 20 billion years old, though recent work in what is called plasma cosmology, suggests a much longer period of time—in fact, endless.
However, regardless of what science might say, it would be impossible for the premortal life prior to the Fall to have produced any fossils. Lehi, in his teachings to his son Jacob, proclaimed that the life in the Garden of Eden was one in which there was no death or change.
"And now behold, if Adam had not transgressed, he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the Garden of Eden.  And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end."
Obviously, one cannot believe in the special creation as indicated in the scriptures, and also believe in the theory of evolution as espoused by Darwin and others—phyletic gradualism, sybiogensis, molecular evolution, quantum evolution, macro evolution, lamarckanism, zoogenesis, emication, orthogenesis, gangenesis, or any of those who have suggested such combination theories as the Gap Theory, Theisic evolution, or creative evolution, which latter three are incompatible with the scriptural creation.

The pre-mortal earth was a terrestrial (paradisiacal) one to which the renewal of the Tenth Article of Faith refers and in which reproduction and death were unknown.  Such a state of life could hardly have filled the sedimentary rocks of the earth with fossils.  Yet fossils exist.  Therefore, they must have come from one of two sources:
• They were deposited by other creations then extinct.  That is, in the remodeling of the earth, or its organization as indicated in the first two of the three methods indicated earlier, left over bones (fossils) from the previous tenants remained in the matter used to remodel or organize the earth;
• They were left by the posterity of those creatures that were with Adam and Eve in the Fall.  In this sense, biologists and other evolutionary theorists have misread, mislabeled, or misunderstood the fossils that have been found, which non-evolutionary scientists claim have happened.
Obviously, we are living in the latter days, and many great and wonderful things are being manifest to us.  We know more about the cosmos, more about the principles by which God made this world, than ever before.  Why is the Lord pouring out this knowledge unto the earth if not to verify His word and to provide answers to the questions about creation, the heavens, and scientific matters that for so long have escaped the learned men of the earth?  Is this important for us to know, and if not, why did He tell us He will reveal things that are above, and things that are beneath, things that are in the earth, and upon the earth and in heaven. Can we say that this scripture is more important than that scripture, or that this revealed fact is less important than another?  Perhaps the Lord expects us to know more about our world than we might think (D&C 124:41).
To understand the age of the earth and to determine just how plant and animal fossils exist that are claimed to be millions of years old and, in many cases, of creatures long extinct on the so-called evolutionary ladder, two important points must be recognized:
• The age attributed to living things is based upon Radiocarbon dating (Carbon-14 or C-14).  Though this is widely accepted, there is every indication that this time clock was originally set incorrectly based upon carbon-14 having achieved equilibrium despite evidence to the contrary.  When the clock is set in an unequilibrium method, Radiocarbon dating shows the earth to be less than 13,000 years old.
• The remodeling process which organized this earth.  That is, was it a gathering together of elementary, unorganized matter, or was it more like a remodeling job where parts of previously used planets or earths were brought together?
While the actual age of the earth as a whole, or as a celestial body in the scientific sense, is not given explicitly either in ancient or modern scripture, the Lord gave a particular definition of "earth" based upon which an approximate age may be assigned from scriptural references:
"And God said, let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear:  and it was so.  And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters caIled he Seas..."                             
Since the beginning of "earth," in this sense, was after the "second day" of creation, based on the scriptural time scale, the age of the dry land called by the Lord earth, is between ten and eleven thousand years. It is interesting to know that Radiocarbon dating of once living organisms, when using the Libby time clock in an unequilibrium state, shows the earth to be about 10,000 years old!
Scripturally, of course, the universe is ageless, from everlasting to everlasting. Age is thus meaningful only as regards specific stages in a changing, yet never ending universe.  The real prehistory of the earth pertains to its existence in a form or forms unknown prior to the remodeling process known as "the creation." In this sense, element, or matter, has and will always exist, however, it can be formed, molded, and organized into different “creations.”
A truly meaningful age is thus that of mortal life on the earth.  It began on the "earth" and in the "seas" six to seven thousand years ago (5th and 6th days) according to the literal interpretation of biblical history and modern revelation. The scriptures are literal; they tell the true story of the creation and the time scale placed upon it by the Lord—beyond such eminent testimony there is really no need to go.
"So far as the philosophy and wisdom of the world are concerned, they mean nothing unless they conform to the revealed word of God. Any doctrine, whether it comes in the name of religion, science, philosophy, or whatever it may be, if it is in conflict with the revealed word of the Lord, will fail.  It may appear plausible.  It may be put before you in language that appeals and which you may not be able to answer.  It may appear to be established by evidence that you cannot controvert, but all you need to do is abide your time.  Time will level all things.  You will find that every doctrine, every principle, no matter how universally believed, if not in accord with the divine word of the Lord to his servants, will perish.  Nor is it necessary for us to stretch the word of the Lord, in a vain attempt to make it conform to these theories and teachings.  The word of the Lord shall not pass away unfulfilled, but these false doctrines and theories will all fail.  Truth, and only truth, will remain when all else has perished."
An educated man, according to Thomas Monson, is not one whose memory is trained to carry a few dates in history.  He is one who can accomplish things.  A man who cannot think is not an educated man, no matter how many college degrees he may have acquired.  Thinking is the hardest work anyone can do, which is probably the reason why we have so few thinkers.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

Insertion into the Solar System – Part III – The Length of God’s Day

Continuing from the last post, clearly the temporal existence of the earth was to last a full week of the Lord's time, to be finished by the "great and last day," a millennium or one thousand years of man's time. In a modern-day revelation the Lord said:
"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."

These straight-forward and explicit statements leave very little uncertainty and permit little individual interpretation.  For those who believe literally in the scriptures, we are in the evening of the thirteenth "day" after the morning of the first "day" of creation.  Or stated differently, it took six thousand of our years to form the earth, some portion of a seventh day, the day of rest following creation, and then another six thousand years of earth life. In all, the earth has existed for approximately thirteen thousand years.
While Moses used a word in Genesis meaning a period of time, the word he used in the Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price, as translated by Joseph Smith, is rendered day. In Abraham's writing, again as translated by Joseph Smith, the word he uses to describe the creative process is time. Careful study, then, of the scriptural meanings of the two terms indicates that a creative time is synonymous with a creative day.
Now if this creative day was different than the living day as referred to in the scriptures—that is, one of God's days is one thousand years to us—we have no indication.  Certainly, the seven days of earth life, as indicated in the previous post in the Doctrine and Covenants, is synonymous with seven thousand years, or one thousand years for each day. If this living day is the same as the creative day, then it would appear that the earth was created in six days of the Lord's time, or six thousand years of our time.
Certainly, earth life will be completed somewhere near the end of the sixth thousand years since Adam's fall. And assuming we are living toward the end of that sixth thousand year period, then we are indeed living in the Saturday Night of time as it relates to this world. 
The seventh day, or seventh thousand years, then, will be the millennium. This would suggest, from the scriptures at least, that a day is equal to a thousand years and it has been six thousand years since Adam's fall. But what about the period of time that it took to organize the earth and the heaven?
Adam's Time in the Garden of Eden:  What we do not know, of course, is how long Adam and Eve spent in the Garden of Eden.  We can surmise that they were in the garden during the seventh day of the Lord's rest, which might imply a thousand years.  A careful reading of the Doctrine and Covenants, particularly section 77, would indicate that Adam fell within the "day of the Lord" in which he was placed in the garden.  Thus, our first parents might have been given a thousand years to be in the garden, but that period of time was cut short by the acts that led to the Fall. In any event, this period of time is not indicated in the scriptures and we can only surmise its length based upon the determination of the length of time for the creation process itself—that is, a seventh period of time following the placement of Adam and Even into the garden—that period of time, or day, in which the Lord rested from His labors.
It should also be kept in mind that God warned Adam while he was in the Garden that if he partook of the forbidden fruit: "... in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die...."
Adam then lived for 930 years, dying within a thousand years of leaving the Garden, or within one day to the Lord.
For those because of the so-called Geologic Ages, or for other reasons, cling to a belief that evolution and creation can be compatible, such as in the Gap Theory, it should be recognized that Paul in the scriptural record tells us that there was no sin or death until man (Adam) brought them into the world: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).
On the other hand the evolutionary process would require billions of years of suffering and death in the world before Adam or man had sinned, and that means that God Himself would be directly responsible for sin in the world, but God, of course, could not be the author of sin. So the evolutionary process where there had already been billions of years represented by the fossils and the sedimentary rocks of the earth’s crust, which are supposed now to identify the geological ages, with death recorded in the fossil remains in rock and strata, dinosaurs, and cave man simply does not fit the scriptural record. The two are not conceivably compatible in any manner.
(See the  next post, “The Length of Time of the Earth,” to see the actual age of the Earth according to God’s word—not that of man)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Insertion into the Solar System – Part III – The Length of God’s Day

How long is the Lord’s day?  How does He measure time, at least as it is viewed by us 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.
Time in the Pearl of Great Price:  The planet or star called Kolob 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.
"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.."               
“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.  And Abraham tells us exactly how long that rotation is:
"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.  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 Doxey claims that the days of creation were after the time of Kolob where a day is one thousand years.
From this, one seems completely justified, by way of being explicit, in equating the Lord's day with one thousand years of earth time as we understand it.  Thus, it might be said, that one day to the Lord is the same as one thousand years to man on earth.  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."
According to the Hebrew, Urim and Thummim means Lights and Perfections, or the shining and the perfect, signifying a light that shines in the darkness and provides a perfect understanding.  In the Septuagint it is rendered manifestation and truth, and St. Jerome interprets the term to mean doctrine and judgment. These were two stones or crystals worn in or attached to the breastplate of the High Priest when inquiring of God.
Time in the Bible:  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."   
Peter well understood the time frame of the Lord.  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."                         
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.”
Time in the Doctrine and Covenants:  Modern revelation is explicit in its reference to the Lord's time scale.  Particular significance is found in a discourse on the Sabbath Day, the millennium that is to follow the six days of the temporal existence of the earth.  In a series of questions and answers we find the following:
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.
(See the next post, “Insertion into the Solar System – Part III – The Length of God’s Day a for a continuation of the Lord’s Time)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Insertion into the Solar System – Part II – The Lord’s Reckoning

Ancient texts are replete with indications that the Lord's time of reckoning is quite different than that found on earth.  To us, a day is one full rotation of the earth, a period of 23 hours, 56 minutes, 4.09053 seconds.  Actually, the earth's rotation is so precise, scientists claim that it is off only one second in 5,500 years.
According to Abraham, he was instructed how time was reckoned throughout the heavens when he received the principle by which worlds revolve: 
"And the Lord said unto me:  Now, Abraham, these two facts exist, behold thine eyes see it; it is given unto thee to know the times of reckoning, and the set time, yea, the set time of the earth upon which thou standest, and the set time of the greater light which is set to rule the day, and the set time of the lesser light which is set to rule the night."                
There is little question that the sun rotates on a different scale, the moon yet different than that, and both different than the earth.
"Now the set time of the lesser light is a longer time as to its reckoning than the reckoning of the time of the earth upon which thou standest."                                          
As we go further out, each planet in our solar system has a different time of reckoning, or revolution, and their days are different in length from that of the earth:
"And where these two facts exist, there shall be another fact above them, that is, there shall be another planet whose reckoning of time shall be longer still;"
   Planet                                                 Earth Days                                                       Earth Years
Mercury                                 58 days, 15 hrs, 36 mn                        0.24
Venus                                   243 days                                                  0.62
Mars                                       24 hrs, 37 mn                                        1.88
Jupiter                                      9 hrs, 55 mn                                      11.86
Saturn                                     10 hrs, 40 mn                                      29.46
Uranus                                   17 hrs, 14 mn                                      84.00
Neptune                                 16 hrs, 7 mn                                      164.8
Pluto                                         6 days, 9 hrs                                    248
"They give light to each other in their times and in their seasons, in their minutes, in their hours, in their days, in their weeks, in their months, in their years--all these are one year with God, but not with man" (D&C 88:44)

Nor does it stop here.  We learn from Abraham that stars, solar systems, galaxies, clusters, and superclusters have set times by which their rotation is measured, and each orbiting body has a different time for its rotation.
Abraham said: "And thus there shall be the reckoning of the time of one planet above another, until thou come nigh unto Kolob..." (Abraham 3:9); And the Lord has said: "There is a law unto all things, by which they move in their times and their seasons; and their courses are fixed, even the courses of the heavens and the earth" (D&C 88:42-43). In addition Moses said: "millions of earths like this" were created by God.

In this sense, each planet or system would measure a day differently, based upon its revolution.  When Abraham saw his vision, he was told that a certain number of orbs "are the governing ones," meaning that these great, governing bodies control all others in their revolutions, or are the centers around which the others revolve. By example, within our solar system, the "day" of each planet varies as it spins upon its own axis, and its revolution determined as it revolves around our sun, which governs the revolutions of each heavenly body in the solar system (see table above).  Then our own sun revolves around a center, and that center revolves around another or governing planet or star which, with its attendant systems of suns and worlds revolves, and so on until we come to Kolob. 
Galaxies, Super Galaxies, String, Nebulas and Clusters--billions upon billions of stars in the Universe. Moses said, "Were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth, yea, millions of earths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of thy creations"

In addition to its rotation time, every heavenly orb spins on its axis at its own speed.  As an example, the earth revolves at the rate of 18.5 miles per second while Pluto's speed is 1.5 miles per second.  The hierarchy of this universal law, which the Lord saw fit to instruct Abraham upon, stretches throughout the entire universe and embodies every heavenly orb.  It would also appear from Abraham's instruction that every earth organized for inhabitation by God's children is given the same reckoning of time.
"Which Kolob is after the reckoning of the Lord's time; which Kolob is set nigh unto the throne of God, to govern all those planets which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest.  And it is given unto thee to know the set time of all the stars that are set to give light, until thou come near unto the throne of God."      
It should be kept in mind that while modern science has verified this concept of the different times of rotation of different orbs that can be measured, this idea was unknown in Abraham’s day, nor was it known in the day Abraham’s ancient writings were translated in 1830. And, too, according to Flavius Josephus in the Antiquities of the Jews, Abraham went down into Egypt, where he taught the Egyptians this concept, who later taught the Greeks, who later taught the Romans.
(See the next post, “Insertion into the Solar System – Part III – The Length of God’s Day,” to see how the lord reckons time based upon the scriptural record)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Insertion into the Solar System – Part I

Evidently, the earth was formed and organized in an area outside its present location in the Solar System, or at least in an area where there was no Sun shining upon it. Moses wrote from a vision given him that on the first day, when the earth was without form, and void, and after darkness was brought upon the face of the deep, light covered the earth, a description also written by Abraham, who said that “after the earth was formed, it was empty and desolate, because they had not formed anything but the earth.”
However, this light was not from a Sun, but from the glory and majesty of God, himself, for it was very bright. Then, on the fourth day, there were organized lights in the firmament that provided for the first time a division of night and day and of seasons and of days and of years, wherein two great lights were made, the greater light to rule the day (the Sun) and the lesser light to rule the night (the Moon).  These lights were then placed in the firmament for the sole purpose “to give light upon the earth.”
On the following day, life was established on earth, once the Sun was in place, which provided life to plants and, in turn, gave life (through ingestion) to other animals, which also supplied other animals with life—which then supplied humans with life. And, of course, it is the sun that provides radiation, filtered through the atmosphere, and as the earth rotates on its axis, it allows all parts of the earth to obtain sunlight. Thus, once the water was divided from the land, and the dry ground prepared for planting, and the Sun was in place, the earth could be moved into its rotating position around it, which allowed animal, fowl and sea life to be established during the fifth and sixth days, including the placement of man on the earth.
In all of this, Abraham tells us that the gods, that is, those beings who Elohim had fathered, ordered the elements and matter in the forming of the world throughout the six-day formation process, and the gods were obeyed, actually “watching those things which they had ordered until they obeyed.” From this we can conclude that the gods, under the direction of Elohim, the father of the gods, had the power and authority to command the elements from the sub-atomic level to the final structure of finished and organized matter and life.
The sixth day, then, was the culmination of the “creation” period—the heaven and earth were finished. At this point in the vision, Moses was informed that “these are the generations of the heaven and of the earth, when they were created, in the day that I, the Lord God, made the heaven and the earth…”
Today’s scientists—particularly, evolutionary scientists—would scoff at such “prattle” as this, however, their idea of life evolving out of nothing, by some chance act in a primordial soup randomly struck with lightening or some other energy source until life in a simple atom was created that eventually grew into an RNA and then a DNA protein and began the life process, is the worst kind of “prattle” since it not only makes no sense, cannot be shown, even through assumed steps, and violates all the known laws of physics.
The Earth was inserted into its current orbit after it was organized
On the other hand, according to the ancient text, it was on the morning of the fourth period of time that the earth was placed in its current celestial position relative to the sun, “let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth.” Whether this means the other planets in the solar system were already in place, or put in place at the same time, is not known. What we are told is that this light was in the firmament of the heavens and its purpose was to divide the day from the night, create the signs of the seasons, and to establish the days and years. That is exactly what the rotation of the Earth around the Sun does!
At the same time, we are told the moon was put in place, since its light was set “to rule the night.” In addition, Moses in Genesis tells us that the “evening and the morning” were the fourth day, which should suggest that the creation period called a “day,” was measured from the darkness (setting of the Sun?) through the light (setting down of the Sun again?) was the period of a day.
In addition, there had not been set any time of reckoning for the earth until after Adams' actual placement in the Garden of Eden. That is, the earth had not been given a rotation of time. This becomes clearer when Abraham, adding almost as a parenthetical note, wrote of this statement regarding Earth's time:
". . . Now I, Abraham, saw that it was after the Lord's time, which was after the time of Kolob; for as yet the Gods had not appointed unto Adam his reckoning."                            
It would seem likely that the earth would have been spinning on its axis so that gravity existed, but we can only surmise this fact.  Abraham’s ancient text only tells us that when Adam was in the Garden of Eden, he had not yet been given his reckoning of time.
(See the next post, “Insertion into the Solar System – Part II,” to learn about the Lord’s time reckoning and the time period of the formation of the Earth as well as when the Earth’s time was put in motion)