Friday, 13 March 2009

21 Questions about Mormonism - Kolob: Where God Lives?

To find out what this series is about look here.

Again we find the Mormon Church giving a pro forma answer to two questions; answers that don’t really explain anything.

Q: Does the Church believe that God lives on a planet named Kolob?

A: 'Kolob' is a term found in ancient records translated by Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith did not provide a full description or explanation of Kolob nor did he assign the idea particular significance in relation to the Church’s core doctrines.

Q: Where is the planet Kolob? What significance does the planet have to Mormons?

A: 'Kolob' is a term found in ancient records translated by Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith did not provide a full description or explanation of Kolob nor did he assign the idea particular significance in relation to the Church’s core doctrines.

C: This is a classic Mormon “How can we bury this?” idea. It is found in the Book of Abraham, Pearl of Great Price, which Joseph Smith claimed was a translation of papyri he bought from a travelling exhibition. The Pearl of Great Price has long been discredited as a serious translation but some of the most controversial Mormon teachings come from this source. Kolob is said to be the translation of a hieroglyph in the document. In Mormon cosmology the worlds move in concentric circles around a central point where an exalted man that Mormons call god lives. Time is reckoned according to the relative distance of each world to the centre and the world nearest that centre place is Kolob.

Qu. "Kolob, signifying the first creation, nearest to the celestial, or the residence of God. First in government, the last pertaining to the measurement of time. The measurement according to celestial time, which celestial time signifies one day to a cubit. One day in Kolob is equal to a thousand years according to the measurement of this earth, which is called by the Egyptians Jah-oh-eh."

(Book of Abraham, Facsimile 2, Figure #1 explanation)

What is informative is that there is a reckoning of god’s days:

Qu. "...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.

"... The planet which is the lesser above or greater than that upon which thou standest in point of reckoning, for it moveth in order more slow; this is in order because it standeth above the earth upon which thou standest, therefore the reckoning of its time is not so many as to its number of days, and of months, and of years. [This is in reference to the moon: see Genesis 1:16.]

"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; and thus there shall be the reckoning of the time of one planet above another, until thou come nigh unto Kolob, 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." (Book of Abraham 3:4-9; see also Book of Abraham, Facsimile #2, explanation to Figure #2.)

Confused? Surprised? Basically, what is being claimed is that as you move away from the earth and nearer to Kolob time slows down so that on “the lesser light” (the moon) time goes more slowly. As you move further towards Kolob again so time slows down further until you come to Kolob where time is reckoned in the same way that God reckons time, i.e. a day on earth is a thousand years on Kolob. In other words, the Mormon god is subject to time.

Mormons use Ps.90:4 and 2 Pe.3:8 to show that time is relative, even to God. This doesn’t work however because the psalmist compares a thousand years with a day and with a watch in the night. A watch in the night is a part of the night during which a person is set to watch over a ship or camp, or to patrol a community before the introduction of police forces (Judges 7:19). The point is that a watch in the night is usually four hours. The Psalmist is not saying that a day to us is a thousand years to God but that is demonstrating that God is not subject to time however it is measured. A day or a watch in the night, it is all the same to God.

Interestingly Mormon apostle Bruce R McConkie said that God had been presiding over our universe for almost 2,500,000,000 years (The Seven Deadly Heresies pp 146/7). From this we may safely infer that the reign of the Mormon god is subject to linear time. We may also infer that 2,500,000,001 years ago he did not preside over our universe.

Kolob illustrates again the idea that the Mormon god is relatively omniscient (an oxymoron), not an eternal God but an exalted man who is only eternal going forwards; going backwards he clearly decreases until that time when he did not reign. It does seem that, even for the Mormon god, tempus does fugit. A worrying thought.

Previous Posts:

Mormonism: A Cult?

Jesus: God the Son, or the son of a god?

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