Abraham 3:4 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.
Seasons are things that cycle. They cycle between life and death.
The Lord speaks to Abraham of one star being above another, or of one planet being above another (including our moon as a planet). The Lord says “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.”
The Lord set “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. And where these two facts exist, there shall be another fact above them, that is, there shall be another planet who 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”.
What Abraham describes to us is closely related to Joseph Smith’s visions of the degrees of glory, combined with the vision Joseph Smith called “the olive leaf”. Abraham’s vision of the stars and their progression one above another is another form of Joseph Smith’s vision of the degrees of glory, for those stars are all different kingdoms, as was revealed in the vision Joseph Smith called “the olive leaf”.
Our earth will one day become a terrestrial world, and later a celestial world. It will follow in the path of the worlds and stars that stand above it until it becomes like Kolob itself is now. The number of steps it will need to take is the number of stars or planets that stand in order one above another between Earth and Kolob, for we follow in the track of those that are above us. Each of them moves in order more slow.
But what does this mean? What are these times God speaks of, that are related to stars, planets, and moons, that are so spiritually interesting that God reveals them to Abraham? What is being conveyed about seasons? What does it mean that the higher ones move in order more slow?
Well, Abraham’s vision was meant for Abraham, and the tiny bit of it that he wrote down for the residue of mankind is given to us to glean what we can from. So let me talk about those themes for a bit. I don’t know anything in particular, but all these things seem related to Abraham’s vision.
Children and adults
I would not be capable of listening to a sermon that was literally a week long. I could not gain important lessons from it that really required it to be a week long.
And my very young children are not capable of listening a sermon that is 30 minutes long. It is almost as if things move along more quickly for them. I can punish one of my little children in one moment, and then comfort them about their sorrow over the very punishment I gave them almost immediately thereafter.
Whereas a single day for God is one thousand of our years.
Joseph Smith’s translation of the Egyptian Alphabet
One thing that Joseph Smith did that practically everyone tries to ignore is Joseph Smith’s translation of the Egyptian alphabet.
Everyone wants to ignore it because it seems like no earthly language.
But of course it isn’t. What was interesting about Egyptian was that Ham sought diligently to imitate the order of God. But wicked men never let the proper meaning of such things stand, and so the meanings changed very quickly. When God changed the languages, who knows what happened to Egyptian. The language of Egyptian as it existed over thousands of years of apostasy is meaningless to us. It has no relevance to revelation. But the meaning of Egyptian as it was when it still reflected the ancient order of things is very meaningful to us, and is worthy of revelation to restore to us. We see things in the concepts of Joseph Smiths translation of the egyptian alphabet that seem worthy of the language of Adam.
It appears that the translation of the Egyptian alphabet was done as instruction to a group, or as instruction to one individual after another, as there are multiple copies of the same alphabet with translations for the same characters that convey the same ideas across copies, but are not verbatim.
And one of the most prominently unusual parts of Joseph Smith’s translation of the egyptian alphabet is his translation of the character Za Ki oah hiash. I quote it here with reference to figure omitted: “By inserting a straight mark over it thus it increases its significance five degrees, by inserting two straight lines, thus its signification is increased five time s more. By inserting three straight lines thus its signification is again increased five times more than the last. … In translation translating this character, this subject must be continued until there are as many of these connecting parts of speech used as there are connections, or connecting parts found in the character. But whinever the character is found with one horizontal line the subject must be continued until twice five times the number of connecting parts of speech are used,; or the full sense of the writer is not conveyed. When two horizontal lines occur, the number of connecting parts of speech are continued five times further – or five degrees. And when three horizontal lines are found, the number of connections are to be increased five times further… increase by one straight line thus 5×5 is 4, by 2 horizontal lines thus 25 x 5 = 125; and by 3 horizontal lines thus 125 x 5 = 625.”
Now it is rather inconceivable to us that any writer needs to inform his readers to continue by 625 of anything in order to get the writers proper meaning. But we are like infant children in understanding. And we are so used to facebook and twitter. Our eduction has taught us to be snippet thinkers, who have never really learned to ponder.
To my mind there is something in this nugget from Joseph Smith’s translation of hte egyptian alphabet that is akin to what is found in Abraham 3.
As we progress from one world to another, we will follow in the track of those who have proceeded us. This world will become terrestrial. It will become celestial.
And the times will be longer. And the discourses may well require that we need to proceed 625 parts of speech beyond a point to get the full meaning of a writer in a given part of his text. This smacks of concepts lost to us that sound as if they were once part of the language of Adam.
We have somehow lost this teaching, which was taught was plainly taught in the early church. It was plainly taught by the leaders that if we are wicked here, we are eventually thrown back in the potters clay. Our redemption to a kingdom of glory will involve trying again on a different mortal earth. That is, apparently, part of the thousand years of torment the Lord spoke of that the wicked undergo. Though make no mistake that if we are wicked we will have suffer the pains of hell just as Christ said we would.
Some such statements are:
“If death is not destroyed, and him that hath the power of it, and every man and woman who are not prepared to enjoy a kingdom where angels administer, then much of the Bible is exceedingly erroneous. Every kingdom will be blotted out of existence, except the one whose ruling spirit is the Holy Ghost; and whose king is the Lord. The Lord said to Jeremiah the Prophet, “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hands of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.” The clay that marred in the potter’s hands was thrown back into the unprepared portion, to be prepared over again. So it will be with every wicked man and woman, and every wicked nation, kingdom, and government upon earth, sooner or later; they will be thrown back to the native element from which they originated, to be worked over again, and be prepared to enjoy some sort of a kingdom.” – Brigham Young JD 2:124
Heber C. Kimball | 11/22/1857
Joseph always told us that we would have to pass by sentinels that are placed between us and our Father and God. Then, of course, we are conducted along from this probation to other probations, or from one dispensation to another, by those who conducted those dispensations.
Will any man ever be redeemed upon any other principle than what we are redeemed upon? No. Men must abide the same law, or God Almighty will never redeem them. If they violate that law, they bring damnation upon themselves, and must suffer the consequences of it. Still, I believe the greater part of the inhabitants of the earth will be redeemed; yea, all will be finally redeemed, except those who have sinned against the Holy Ghost or shed innocent blood; and they never can be redeemed until that debt is paid. And I do not know any way for them to pay it, unless they are brought back again to a mortal existence, and pay the debt where they contracted it. God will make every man pay off the debt he contracts; for a restoration must take place, which has been spoken of by the mouth of all the holy Prophets since the world began. | JD 6:63, 67 |
Orson Pratt | 10/06/1853
And thus, all the different portions of the earth have been and will be disposed of to the lawful heirs; while those who cannot prove their heirship to be legal, of who cannot prove that they have received any portion of the earth by promise, will be cast out into some other kingdom or world, where, if they ever get an inheritance, they will have to earn it by keeping the law of meekness during another probation. | JD 1:332-333 |
Heber C. Kimball | 10/05/1856
We have not as yet any durable location; we are merely probationers in this present state, and we shall always be so until we obtain a permanent exaltation, by following in the footsteps of our God. | JD 4:119 |
An artists drawing
Many beginning artists have felt the pain of drawing two parts of a body with great care and detail, and then realizing that they don’t fit together properly. They labor on drawing a hand well, and then realize it is placed wrong. All of the refining work must be erased, and started over from scratch.
After experiencing that a few times, they learn to work more diligently at ensuring things are placed properly before they move on.
Frequently they learn to place a quick rough sketch that establishes basic placement quite well. Each attempt at placement in this rough sketch is usually done quickly, in rapid iteration.
This is frequently refined into actual poses of figures and placement of objects. Each of those refinements takes more time.
The placement and look of those figures and objects is then refined. Each refined part takes more time to complete than either any one attempt to place it, or one attempt to give it a basic shape took.
This is sometimes further carried on in a more refined stage where far more detail is added. If this stage is done, it can be rather painstaking, creating a fully finished look to the drawing, and adding in many details.
The point is that the rougher stages that place things are brief, and involve courser rapid changes, getting things roughed out in their place so that the rest can be filled in properly. Once these are in place, there is another stage in which the picture really begins to take shape. Then there is a stage in which the many more refined details are added. Each stage is much longer than the one that preceded it.
And this is, I think, related to what Abraham is describing do us. If our life is not sufficiently good, then we will eventually be placed on another mortal world. Our very short life here is like the placing of a few lines. It is quick and brief, and to be useful for the next stage requires that we get things measured out quite precisely. If we fail to do so, our efforts will be erased, and eventually we may get to try once again on another mortal world. Our families will be lost to us, having not done what was necessary to keep them.