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Kolob, time and temples.

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One of my favorite LDS writers is Hugh B. Nibley, and one of my favorite books by him is "The Temple and The Cosmos". In this book Nibley gives a very good definition of the temple. Upon first reading of this book I didn't fully comprehend the significance of its message, but several days ago I reread it more carefully and I became aware of a fundamental concept which I had failed to recognized the first time. In fact, this concept has a meaning deeper than it would seem at first glance. In preparing this talk I am deeply indebted to a brother from S. Remo, Italy by the name of Alberto Pilloli because he gave me some of the basic knowledge which allowed me to proceed further in my study of this topic.

There are many people within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who believe that God lives on the planet Kolob, but this is not correct. As I understand it, God doesn't even live in this universe. Let me explain. This entire universe exists in "time." By that I mean, everything is measured in terms of space and time. This concept was first postulated by Albert Einstein. According to the scriptures, God lives outside the bound of “time.” Where He lives there is no such thing as "time.” For Him, all things are “present." As such there is no past or future. Therefore, “time” as we understand it, is a meaningless concept in His world.

That means that the kingdom of God must be in another dimension in which time doesn't exist. The logical conclusion to this is that God cannot live in our universe because its very nature is made of “time.” In Revelation 10:6 it states, “And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that are therein, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be TIME NO LONGER.” For this same reason, the kingdoms of heaven in the resurrection
are likewise not part of this universe.

The planet Kolob is not the place where God lives but is the planet nearest to God. Abraham 3:16 tells us, “Kolob is the greatest of all Kokaubeam that thou hast seen, BECAUSE IT IS NEAREST UNTO ME.” However, we’re also told that one day for Kolob is one thousand years to us. Therefore even Kolob has time.

The significance of all of this becomes more clear when viewed in conjunction with the study of Alberto Pilloi and Bro. Nibley. Since we know that Kolob is the planet which governs all other planets in the universe, perhaps this is a representation of Christ. In that case, maybe Kolob, like Jesus, is the physical doorway to the kingdom of God.

In the his book Nibley gives us an interesting explanation regarding the word "Temple" On page 19 he writes, "Civilization is hierocentric, centered around the holy point of the temple. The temple was certainly the center of things in Babylon, in Egypt, in Greece and many other civilizations. This was certainly so in pioneer Utah. This pattern descended, of course, from ancient times to the LDS church. The pioneer saints throughout the half explored wastes of "desert" oriented their streets with reference to the temple. The street is designated first, second, third, east, west, north, or south, depending on its orientation to the temple. the temple is boxed to the compass. On the west end of the Salt lake Temple you see the Big Dipper represented, a very important feature.

“Like the Egyptian temple at Dendera there, representing the north star, around which all things pivot. The main gate must face east. the sun, the moon, and the stars, the three degrees are represented there. It is a scale model of the universe, for teaching purposes and for the purpose of taking our bearings on the universe and in the eternities, both in time and in space. And of course as far as time is concerned, we take our center there.

“We are in the middle world, working for those who have been before and who will come after. We are, so to speak, `transferring’ our ancestors in the sense that the work for people, who lived long ago makes it possible for them to project their existences into what is to come in the future. We stand in the middle position. This earth is the old English middan -(g)eard, the middle - earth. The markas sameu erseti of the Babylonians means the knot that ties heaven to earth, the knot that ties all horizontal distances together, and all up and
down, the meeting point of the heavens and the earth. It is the middle point at which the worlds above and
the worlds below join. Of course, the word for temple in Latin, templum, it is a diminutive of the word `time.’ `Tempus’, denoting that it measures the DIVISIONS of time and space in a single pattern. There all the records of the past are kept and all the prophecies for the future are divined.”
I have always thought that the VEIL mentioned by Joseph Smith put on our mind, that it doesn't allow us to remember our past was just the "Time", we don't know much about it Just like the veil that’s been put over our mind so we can’t remember our pre-mortal past, the temple, which leads man to eternity, also has a veil that divides the two different dimensions. Only with the help of God is it possible to go from one side to the other side. Paul explains in Ephesians 4:10 “He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)” It seems that Paul is referring to something that is beyond our knowledge of heaven. In 2 Corinthians 12:2,3 he wrote, “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)”

At the time of Paul no one was aware of the concepts of different dimensions, therefore it is only logical that he would instead talk about different heavens rather than using words that no one, including Paul, understood, nd it is interesting that he specified that (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)

Genesis 28

17
And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

This gives us many new implications to consider. One of them is that in the beginning the earth was in the presence of God. That means Adam and Eve lived in “eternity.” It wasn’t until after the fall that “time” as we know it was introduced. There are two theories of how this happened. The first is that the earth was originally created near Kolob, but, after the fall it was cast off to the end of our universe. The second theory is that our earth was created in another dimension and maybe Kolob is near or is the doorway to the other dimension. The scriptures tells us that after the millennium will come the “last day.” Perhaps then the earth will
again be returned to the presence of God. This would imply a change in space and time. As it says in Alma 40:8 “Now whether there is more than one time appointed for men to rise it mattereth not; for all do not die at once, and this mattereth not; all is as one day with God, and time only is measured unto men.”

In his book "The Temple and The Cosmos" Hugh B. Nibley writes on page 11, “Recently Philippe Dercain has rediscovered a very important Egyptian temple document, The Salt Papyrus 825. Though known for a hundred years, no one realized what it was known until he discovered it again. He begins by noting that the Egyptians felt themselves surrounded by an omnipresent and ever-threatening chaos. They were intensely conscious of the second law of breaking down- it haunted them. They were hypnotized, almost paralyzed, by the terror of that breaking down; and of course you will find in no place more dramatic and uncompromising descriptions of the process of decay and the evil of death, than in the Egyptian funerary texts. They hated death, they loathed it, but they looked it in the eye anyway. Scientist, now tell us about the great "Permo-triassic catastrophe." The great German biologist Otto H. Schindewolf calls the movement neocatastrophism, and it is indeed a different picture. How un-Victorian it is to give to books titles like the Violent Universe, or the restless Earth. The earth is stability itself, as lasting and unshaken as the hills. If you but look at the daily paper, you realize that that is not the case at all.

“It was the same in Babylon. We read in Abraham traditions that the prototemple of Babylon, the tower of Babel, was built as a place in which to accumulate data and master the knowledge necessary to counteract, to meet, to check, to soften any major catastrophe. The Babylonians were scare to death, they had vivid memories of the flood, and desperately determined to avoid involvement in another debacle; they thought that technical know how could save them.

“The Egyptians believed that by the mind alone, chaos is kept at a distance. This implies that the cessation of thought would ipso facto mark the end of the universe. This was the great fear of the Egyptians: the most constant preoccupation of endlessly repeated rites was to achieve unlimited, everlasting stability. It was not the earthly temple, which one could pretend to be built for eternity; eternity was static time, hierophantic time which could be attained only by constant effort of the mind. You have to work at it all the time. It was by
the operation of the spirit alone that things could be effectively preserved from annihilation. I am reminded here of the marvelous book of Fourth Nephi, which described the model society and how it disintegrated. And you retort,`My land, they lived in a happy time, didn't they?’ And, of course, happy are the people whose annals are blank.

“Nephi doesn't tell us anything about it, because there was nothing to report. It wasn't catastrophic, there were no crimes, no wars. But why did they lose it all? Because it was too strenuous, it required great mental exertion: they spent their time constantly in meetings and prayer and fasting, in concentrating on things (see 4 Nephi 1:12). The exercise of the mind was simply too exhausting. It was less wearing just to give up and let things drift, to go back to the old ways. This principle is illustrated in the ancient prayer circle in the
temples. Concentration of thoughts in a single structure has a definite significance. For the Egyptians and the Babylonians, as for us, the temple represents the principle of ordering the universe. It is the hierocentric point around which all things are organized. It is the OMPHALOS ("navel") around which the earth was organized. The temple is a scale model of the universe, boxed to the compass, a very important feature of every town in our contemporary civilization, as in the ancient world. In the temple we are taught by symbols and examples; but that is not the fullness of the Gospel.

“One very popular argument today says: `Look, you say the Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the Gospel, but it doesn't' contain any of the temple ordinances in it, does it?’ Ordinances are not the fullness of the Gospel. Going to the temple is like entering into a laboratory to confirm what you have already learned in the classroom and from the text. The fullness of the Gospel is the understanding of what the plan is all about, the knowledge necessary to salvation. You know the whys and wherefores; for the fullness of the Gospel you go to Nephi, to Alma, to Moroni. Then you will enter into the lab, but not in total ignorance.

“The ordinances are mere forms. They do not exalt us; they merely prepare us to be ready in case we ever become eligible. We have been assuming almost unconsciously, note well, that our temple is of the same as temples of the Egyptians. Let me explain that. The ordinances of the Egyptian temple were essentially the same as those performed in ours. And that can be explained very simply: they have a common origin. The clue is given in Abraham 1:26 “Pharaoh, being a righteous man, established his kingdom and judged his people wisely and justly all his days, seeking earnestly to imitate that order established by the fathers in the first generations, in the
days of the first patriarchal reign, even in the reign of Adam, and also of Noah, his father, who blessed him with the blessings of the earth, and with the blessings of wisdom, but cursed him as pertaining to the Priesthood.’

“Pharaoh imitated diligently the order that went back to the fathers, but they didn't have the power and authority and they knew it. So they sought to imitate it. Pharaoh was worried sick about this problem. He spent his days in the archives in the house of life, searching through the genealogical records with the nobles of the court turning over the records, looking for some genealogical proof that he really had authority. Abraham 1:27 `Now, Pharaoh being of that lineage by which he could not have the right of Priesthood, notwithstanding the Pharaohs would fain claim it from Noah, through Ham, therefore my father was led away by their idolatry.’ So the Egyptian result is a very good imitation of our temple ordinances.

“In this connection, there is an interesting sidelight to the word `telestial’ a word long considered as one of Joseph Smith's more glaring indiscretions. We know now that there are three worlds: the telestial, in which we live, the celestial, to which we aspire; and in between them another world, called terrestrial. It is of neither the celestial nor the telestial. According to the ancients, this world is represented by the temple, the in between world where the rites of passage take place. Indeed the root telos is a very rih word in this regard and has been treated a lot recently. It deals with the `mysteries.’ Telos means `initiation’. Teleiomai means `to be introduced into the mysteries.’

“Professor Werner Jager of Harvard was much exercised with that word `teleiotes’ when he was editing Gregory of Nyssa. He claimed that Gregory was talking about mysteries. A teleiotes is a person who has been initiated into some degree or other of the mysteries, and the completion of the degree qualifies him as complete or `perfect’. This word root first appears as indicating various steps from beginning to end of the initiation ordinances of the mysteries.

“In a recent book, Morton Smith has shown at great length that the word `mystery’ as used by the early Jews and Christians (taught in secret to the apostles), was nothing else than a series of initiatory ordinances for achieving the highest salvation which today are lost and unknown to the Christian world. He says we don't know what they are; but that is what Christ meant by the mysteries of the kingdom. He meant ordinances, which were necessary; and these He revealed to the apostles during His very confidential teachings of the forty day after the resurrection.

“The purpose of such ordinances is to bridge the space between the world in which we now live, the telestial world, and that to which we aspire, the celestial world. Therefore, the events of the temple were thought to take place in the terrestrial sphere. Recall that you leave the creation, and you end up at the celestial; but nothing happens in the celestial. Everything happens in the telestial and in the terrestrial, but not until after you leave the garden. Then the fun begins, until you arrive at your celestial rest. The whole temple,
represents `teleiotes.’ It is also in the `telestial’ world below, a word that nobody used BUT Joseph Smith. And it means that very thing, the lowest world, the world in which we are placed below the other two. Because the ordinances bridge the two worlds the terrestrial and the celestial, the events of the temple were thought to take place in both terrestrial and telestial spheres, the world of the mysteries or ordinances. But the Coptic text called the in-between world the world of transition. This is a beautiful score from Joseph Smith.”

On page 27-28-29 Hugh B. Nibley gives us the meaning of temples. He wrote, “The word `templum’ is also a diminutive of the word `tempus’, denoting that it measure the division of time and space in a single pattern. There all the records of the past are kept and all the prophecies for the future are divined.” So the temple could easily be defined as a bridge between to different dimensions. As such, the temple is a symbol of the cosmos.

From the same author on page 49: “The temple at Jerusalem was called specifically the Dwelling, ha-bayit, which does not mean that God dwelt there all the time, for the other name for it was `Ulam’ meaning vestibule or `passage’. It was also miqdash, or place sanctified or set apart; the naos or heykal, meaning shrine or sanctuary; to hieron, the holy. The most common word with the Jews today is the `House’, Herod's temple being `the second house’. Josephus calls it the Deuteron Hieron. `All this must be done at a certain place.’ He tells Israel; `And I will send an angel to direct you to it. Behave yourselves and pay attention to his voice, because he is acting in my name.’ (cf. Exodus 23:20-21) The temple is the link between the seeming chaos and dissolution of this temporal world and the beautiful configuration (cosmos) and permanence of the eternal order. The mystique of the temple lies in its extension to other worlds; it is the reflection on earth of the heavenly order, and the power that fills it comes from above.

“What was done in the temple? The central rite of the temple was certainly the offering of sacrifice, the slaughtering of beasts, yet the activities we read about in the Bible simply takes that for granted and tells us of preaching, of feasting, and of music. The place seemed to be a general center of activity. The huge outer court allowed for this; the inner court was limited to Jews over twenty who had paid their tax for instruction or teaching, for the temple was a school. In fact, it was all those things for which the Kirtland temple was
dedicated in D&C 109. However, through the years both the structure and the uses to which it was put have remained completely baffling to scholars. What the temple really looked like remains today, as puzzling as ever.

“Welcome light has finally come with the discovery of the great `Temple scroll’ from Qumran. This, as Yadin noted, was not a spiritual temple or an ideal model of a heavenly temple, but the temple which these people actually intended to rebuild as soon as the Lord would command them, a more perfect temple than that which men at Jerusalem had defiled. Its purpose was the renewal of the covenant made at Sinai, i.e., the temple ordinances that were presented before; from the beginning, the building was merely to accommodate them. This temple was to be in three levels, in three concentric squares or in three cubes, as Frank Cross sees it, the
tabnit being `a model of the cosmic tabernacle of Yahweh.’

“ Why the secrecy? The ordinances are not deep, dark secrets to be kept as such from the world. It is easy to get a temple recommend and then later apostatize and spread abroad the so called secrets of the temple. The basic idea of the ordinances from Moses back to Adam is separation from the world. The endowment represents steps by which one disengages from a corrupt, secular, imprisoned environment. Segregation is the first step in the law of Moses. The people must give up their worldly practices and avoid contamination. The Mosaic rites and especially the Temple Scroll show an almost fanatical preoccupation with being qados, `sanctified’ (cf. Gk. hagios, Lat. purus). All these words for holiness mean specifically `set apart,’ `cut off,’ not mingled to any degree, because we are dealing with two worlds, the one eternal and incorruptible, the other corruptible and temporal. The slightest taint of corruption means that the other world would be neither incorruptible nor eternal.. The object of the rules laid down in Leviticus 1;10-12 is to make a sharp distinction between what is holy and unholy, clean and unclean.. (Pag 61 op. cit.) Leviticus 10:11 `And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.’ Exodus 19:21, 22 `And the
LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish. And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them.’

“Purification is the beginning and end of the temple scroll. The ordinances are not secret, and yet they are, so to speak, automatically scrambled for those not authorized to have them. Satan disobeyed orders when he revealed certain secrets to Adam and Eve, not because they were not known, but because he was not authorized in that time and place to convey them. Likewise he conveyed certain secrets to Cain. (pag 63 op. cit.) Hebrews 9:5 `And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercy seat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.’”

Paul taught this very clearly in Hebrews 9:8,9 when he wrote, “The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience.”

Here we see that Paul taught that after the death of Jesus it would be necessary for there to be changes in the temple ritual. Continuing, he said in Hebrews 9:11-15 “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions [that were] under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”

It seems that the pattern of three dimensions is something that is repeated in different ways. (see my article on "The Dimensions of Mortality"). Even in a general context: there is a spiritual dimension, we live in a material dimension, and we there is an exalted dimension for those who are worthy.

But why does God asked us to build Him a House? 2 Samuel 7:5-13 “Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in? Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle. In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of
cedar? Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel: And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth. Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, And as since the time that I commanded judges [to
be] over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house. And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.”

David couldn't build the temple because he was a man of war. He had shed a lot blood and blood is the power of the atonement which  is the power of redemption. Further, the temple was the house of the Lord and the Lord Jesus is the prince of peace. According to Josephus, Melchisedec had a temple during his time period, and he had the same title of prince of peace. It is very interesting to note that God declared to David that his son would be permitted to build the temple. That may be the reason why David gave him the name He chose the name Solomon, which literally means "peaceful." We have to note that Solomon had a second name given to him from God Himself. “And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him. And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he
called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD.” (2 Samuel 12:24,25). This name means "Lord's friend."

The temple is the convergent center of the different dimensions and it is really the house of the Lord because in this place God is at the center of it all. Whether we are alive or dead we can find the full realization of why we are here. When a temple was not on the earth, the tops of the mountains were a substitute for it. The symbolism of temples is evident: they are the places closest to heaven and they are uncontaminated from the presence of man it is there that mankind can have his closes communications with God when temples are not on earth.

To conclude my discussion about temples, let me share with you what I received from Alberto Pilolli on this topic. He wrote, “In 1989 I was in Turin, and I had the chance to visit the Egyptian museum, where I could see, in a great room at the first floor, some Hipocefal disks. They resembled in many ways the drawing that we have in the Pearl of Great Price in facsimile n2 of the book of Abraham which is the translation of some Egyptians papyri that Joseph Smith had in 1835 . In the main picture we can observe a character between two baboons and in the middle there is an X. To this character the prophet Joseph Smith gave the name of Kolob.

“In the same period I had read from the book `Astronomia’ (Curcio editore) an essay in 3 volumes pages 790-791 and the title was `Sirio, I Dogon e gli extraterrestri’ (Sirius, Dogon and the aliens). It was written by two anthropologists, Griaul and Diertelen, who had learned from the Dogons (people living in the Mali territory), the knowledge of the existence of a star which they named Po Tolo, which was rotating around Sirius every 50 years.

“The American writer Robert K. Temple in 1976 wrote a book entitled, `The Sirius mystery’ in which he held
the theory that the information could have been brought to earth from aliens living on a planet rotating in the Siurius system. In the Dogon's idea, Sirius A is symbolized with an X and it is inclusive in an ellipse that it would represent the orbit of Sirius B. Since this symbol is the same, we can deduce that Kolob and Sirius A are the same.

“A deeper study of Sirius shows us several interesting things. In Mr. Temple’s first chapter he states that the hipocephal disks that I saw in the museum were seven or eight. I took some pictures but they didn't come out very good. Nevertheless, one of them was the exact reproduction to facsimile 2 in the Pearl of Great Price. In the middle of the picture there is a rectangle in which is possible to see three characters. In the middle an explanation is given that the number one, which is clearly visible in the middle, is an X which is the same symbol used by the Dogons to represent the star Sirius A. The two baboons that are to the right and to the left of the character in the middle (numbers 22 and 23 in fig 5) are explained as representing two stars. Therefore, near Kolob there should be two stars. One is no doubt Sirius B. The other one could possibly be another star (Sirius C) which was discovered by two astronomers in 1995. Kolob being the creation nearest to God could be a doorway to the dimension of God. From the encyclopedia Atlantica we read, ` Sirius, main star of the constellation of the major dog, is the BRIGHTEST IN THE SKY. It is a double star, with a partner (Sirius B) which is bigger, and which is rotating around the main star every fifty years. The existence of Sirius B was foreseen by Fr. Bessel in 1844 (the same year in which Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were martyred) by the commotion that they produced on the main star. Sirius B was discovered officially by A. Clark. Sirius B is a star of a heavier density and it was the first dwarf star ever discovered.

“The Egyptians identified Sirius with Iside. Consider this: the brightest star in the sky could easily symbolize Jesus. This star is visible to the naked eye, and, can be likened to Jesus who, as God, became visible to the world. Sirius B is invisible to a naked eye, but can be detected by the commotions that are produced on the main star.”

Jehovah, the God of Old Testament was well known. But Jesus said in John 17:25,26 “O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

Sirius B is bigger than Sirius A.

The reader can disregard all of this or keep it in mind as they choose.

Another interesting thing is "the Hebrew word "gan Eden" or garden of Eden means "temporal sphere" Eden was not just a  physical space but even a temporal space. God created a bead inside the eternity to welcome Adam and Eve. Both the word point out time. In  the Bible is written that this garden was in east, but east to what? Probably the correct word should be anterior, in fact the Hebrew at the time of Moses imagined the eternity divided in two parts "anterior eternity (QDM)  and eternity to come (OLM) divided from the present time. The temporal sphere in which God can fence in Adam and Eve it is the anterior eternity.

Last Updated on Monday, 17 May 2010 09:34  

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