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Time The great secret of eternity

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This it is not intended to be a theological talk, but just a perspective on something that our minds would like to grasp completely.

Einstein, one of the greatest scientists of all time, taught a theory that time and space (I mean space and time like we usually understand them) are related to one another in a way that is hard for us to fully comprehend. We are not sure if Einstein is perfectly correct because we know that every few years science revises its ideas. For example, space, as we know and understand it, only exists in mortality and nowhere else. Einstein said that the absolute speed of anything is the speed of light. Nothing can go faster than the speed of light. Through the orbiting Hubble telescope we've been able to see galaxies that are 12 billion light years away. That means, traveling at the speed of light (the fastest possible), it would take us 12 billion years to go from here to that galaxy. Yet God can go to any place in the universe in the blink of an eye. You can't do that and still have "space" as we know it. Here's another way to look at it. As LDS, we believe that the spirit world is on this very planet. That means there are two worlds inhabiting the same "space" at the same time. Furthermore, both of them operate under different laws of physics. I also have reason to believe there are more than two worlds existing in the same "space" at the same time. According to earthly physics, that's impossible because two objects cannot occupy the same "space". Therefore, it's obvious that in eternity, there is no such thing as "space" as we now define it. In other words, we can only get a sense of how these two interact, rather than completely understanding it. In the same way, we can only get a sense of time but we don't fully understand it. For example, a deaf person can feel the vibrations of sound but he cannot actually hear it and appreciate it's value and beauty. And the same goes for us regarding time. We have a notion of it but we don't have a perfect knowledge.

We know our present and we remember our past, even though we will gradually forget it as time goes on. Furthermore, there is no way for us to have any knowledge of the future. But, for God everything is present. There is no past and there is no future. And because of this, He knows the end from the beginning. Are not prophecies a glimpse of what is to come in the future? And prophecies are always fulfilled for the simple reason that they are already written and can't be changed.

Don't misunderstand me, I am not speaking about predestination. Man is the owner of his own future. There are two kinds of prophecies. One is to foresee actual future events that cannot be changed. For example, the coming millennium, the last judgment, resurrection and other future events. These things will surely happen because they are part of God's plan. There is a second kind of prophecy which is a warning from God to help us change. This is illustrated in the story of Jonah. If Ninevah didn't repent God's prophecy would have been fulfilled, but by repenting they avoided the punishment. These kinds of prophecies are used as a warning from a loving Father by showing what punishments await them if they don't remain faithful to Him. This kind of prophecy clearly demonstrates that mankind is not predestined, but each individual has the opportunity to build his future for himself. How could prophecy be used to warn people, if they have no opportunity to change the outcome?

I said that man doesn't fully understand time, but he is starting to better grasp it. A century ago man could live only in the present. However, since the coming of television, and VCRs we can at least, watch the past happen again and again if we want, even if we can't actually relive the past. Even more than this, we can also see things that are currently happening in every part of the earth. If this is possible for us, how much more so is it for God?

According to latter-day revelation, when man comes to earth he forgets his celestial past, and the scriptures tell us that a veil is placed over our minds. But, how does this veil work? It's simple. God doesn't allow us to remember the past and prevents us from seeing our future. There may

be some who point to prophecies as seeing into the future, and that is true, except it is God who is showing us the future, rather than us seeing it on our own. While in mortality, man is forced to live in the present. The present is a telestial condition. "Time" only exists in mortality. In the pre-existence, in the spirit world, and in the resurrection, there is no dimension of "time." In other words, "time" only exists here in mortality. We have a valid explanation of why it was necessary for us to experience this dimension while in mortality, because it didn't exist before we came here. And once we die, we go back to the dimension we grew up in and the dimension we will live in forever. In other words, "eternity" is the very opposite of "time." That means, when we die, the dimension of "time" ceases to exist for us and we go back to living in "eternity."

The glory of God is Intelligence and intelligence is the sum of all things, or wisdom; that means the perfect application of the right principles. That the principle of time, as we know it, was introduced at the beginning of the creation (see Genesis 1:5) shows us that our time had its beginning at that point without the division of space from light and darkness and we know now that time is influenced by space and vice-versa (see D&C 130:7).

Alma 40:8 All is as one day with God, and THE TIME ONLY IS MEASURED UNTO MEN.

This it is not intended to be a theological talk, but just a perspective on something that our minds would like to grasp completely.

To have a pretty good understanding of time I have found this from the book "Unraveling the big questions about God" by Kenneth Boa "What do clocks and watches really measure? In some way time is the measure of motion, but in other ways motion seems to measure time. Since everything in our universe is in motion, we must pick something (usually the sun) as a point of reference and measure our time in relation to it.

Traditional concepts of time have also suffered severe wounds at the hands of modern physics. Newton thought that time was something absolute, flowing "equally without relation to anything external." This meant that what we call now is not only our now but also the now for the entire universe. Albert Einstein, however, discarded this idea of absolute time in his special and general theories of relativity. Einstein held that man's sense of time, like his sense of color, is a form of perception. It is therefore subjective and intuitive. We try to objectify time by measuring it with clocks and calendars, but we should remember that all clocks relate to the motion of our solar system. "What we call an hour is actually a measurement in space, an arc of 15 degree in the apparent daily rotation of the celestial sphere.

Now if we consider 2 Peter 3:8 we have a problem, God is not limited as we are to one time framework or the other, anyway the problem comes just because we don't know how God can move through both frameworks at once. Clearly Peter was referring to some celestial body in our universe to have this measure, but since he didn't clarify the whole thing we can't perfectly grasp his notion or explanation.

But what if we could travel at the velocity of light? Theoretically, time would stand still. The smallest moment of time for the travelers could be equivalent of billions of years in the universe. No one really knows what would happen in this case because even relativistic physics may not be sufficient for this.

What would happen if a material object could move faster than light? Many say that time would run backward, making time trips into the past possible. But the idea of going faster than light is a real problem because, according to relativity, "no material object can move with a speed that equals or exceed the speed of light" (sure Jesus is the Light of this world), One of the reasons for this is that the inertial mass of moving objects increases with speed, and would become infinite at the speed of light (this is interesting if you consider that all the celestial beings are always full of light see my talk Light and truth. But this does not mean that things having no mass could not exceed this barrier (what would be the "speed" of thought of prayer?)

Time is not only affected by speed; it is also affected by matter itself. Einstein's general theory of relativity says in effect that matter produces gravitational fields that in turn affect the properties of space and time. Time intervals vary with the gravitational field, so that a clock on the sun would run slightly slower than a clock on earth.

Gravitational fields can even have an effect of curving space time. We can see from this overview of time and physics that the universe we live in is amazingly strange and complicated. All scientist ( whether they admit it or not) must exercise faith in believing many things about this creation that are beyond comprehension.

In this idea is now more easy to better comprehend "precognition" "prophecy" and "dreams", probably there is nothing supernatural in these things but just devices that mankind possess in order to perceive time at the best, pratically we have the means by we don't know how to use them or probably these devices are meant to be used by the Lord at the appointed time for His purposes especially "prophecy" and "dreams"

Montgomery suggest that such examples of precognition and ESP (extrasensory perception) represent a natural faculty that is no more "demonic" or "angelic" than a faculty of lightning calculation or the ability to play the piano by ear. It appears that the future somehow exists even though we have not experienced it yet.

But how are the people sometimes able to look through the veil that separates the future from the present? To explain this, different writers have proposed a second or even third time dimension. To avoid confusion, Priestly calls these dimension Time One, Time Two, and Time three. Time One involves our normal experience of a linear past, present, and future. But our minds cannot be a completely contained by Time One (consider ESP, precognition, and deja vu). So Time Two (the time of our dreams) is needed. But even Time Two does not explain how people can sometimes change the possibilities revealed in Time Two (the possibility to change the future). This bring in Time Three, which contains all the alternative possibilities. It is possible, then, that time, like space, may be multidimensional. We just don't know. The only thing we can say with much certainty is that our conventional idea of time is inadequate: we are more ignorant than we think, for there is so much that we do not know.

If the future and the past exist, they must exist in another kind of time (Time two or Three). We could not travel into the past because we do not belong there. We did not belong to Time one BEFORE WE WERE BORN, and we do not belong even to our own past as we are now. Nevertheless it is possible to go into the past or future in the non-chronological times Two or Three (Time one is chronological time). A good example of this is the revelation of future things that John the Beloved received (Revelation) John saw the future "in the spirit" Revelation 1:10. he was actively there but not in the ordinary Time One sense. John's revelation covers over a thousand years of the future.

Time and eternity

"He has made everything in its TIME. He has ALSO set ETERNITY in the hearts of men" Eccl. 3:11

Time and eternity are connected but separated in this scripture and though many have tried to repress it, people HAVE a longing for eternity deep in their hearts.

What does the Bible say about eternity? It is simply endless time or is it timelessness? Cullman correctly argues that eternity for man is not a state of timelessness. he points out that the New Testament describes a future in time for man. Time will not cease, but it will go on and on in such a way that only God will be able to see the entire infinite succession of periods. Time is a part of God's creation and creatures must live in it. Nevertheless, there will still be some kind of qualitative change between time and eternity. For one thing, we may exist in a different kind of time. The one dimensional line of time that we now normally experience may in eternity be like a plane or solid. Another qualitative change between time and eternity will relate to our experience of time in our resurrected bodies. We will have a different taste of time and new quality of life. Time will no longer be able to slowly suck the life out of us. Neither will we experience time as a burden or a constantly limiting thing. God is not time's servant.

Alma 40:8 All is as one day with God, and THE TIME ONLY IS MEASURED UNTO MEN.

Our experience of the new time of heaven is beyond our present ability to imagine. here will be no particular ages in heaven since the physical aging process will cease.

Last Updated on Monday, 17 May 2010 09:09  

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