How Long is Long and How Old is Old?

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While reading Jim Faulconer?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s blog over at the Times and Seasons on growing older, I had a thought that I would like to share.

Nephi?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s brother Jacob said: ?¢‚Ǩ?ìand also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream?¢‚Ǩ¬ù (Jacob 7:26).

From an eternal perspective, the length of time we spend here is like a dream, and yet of great consequence.

In Facsimile #2 we are told that 1000 years of our time are equal to 1 cubit (about 18?¢‚Ǩ¬ù) to God. As Allan Fletcher mentions in his book, ?¢‚Ǩ?ì A Study Guide to the Facsimiles of the Book of Abraham, p77, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìCould that mean that when we lived with the Lord in heaven, we lived in an environment so advanced that in the time it took for us to move the distance of one cubit (about the space it takes to turn halfway around) a thousand years according mortal time would have passed.?¢‚Ǩ¬ù

So, if a half turn would equal 1000 years, then what distance would we have to move to go 60 or 70 years.

When we return home it will seem as though we never left, yet as we pass from day to day here, it seems that we are going to live here forever.

This raises some interesting questions about what we are called upon to endure here and the challenges and other experiences we face. How long do they really last? If we had an eternal perspective, or were able to visualize it, would we look at our trials and tribulations, our joys and happiness, differently? Would the irritations of life bother us as much? Would the bothersome characteristics of others bother us as much? Would we be patient and long-suffering? Would we strive harder to find the good ?¢‚Ǩ¬¶?

5 thoughts on “How Long is Long and How Old is Old?

  1. fascinating questions Larry. I couldn’t begin to understand what “eternity” means practically. I’m not sure if the comparisons we’ve been given are literal, but perhaps to show that man simply cannot fathom or understand what eternity is. Perhaps it is important the fact that when we get married in the temple, we get married for “time” AND “all eternity.” Time is apparently to signify our earthly existence, while Eternity is to signify the rest. Time is a measurement of movement, but is time even required in an eternal sense?

    This is just my personal feeling (I have no scripture to back this), but I think there is no time in Eternity, and no method of measuring eternity that we, mortal man, know of, or can comprehend. And I think God doesn’t even bother trying to explain it to us because he’s just gonna get exasperated at our lack of understanding. Just look at how poorly we understand our own time.

    I think this is one of the reasons why He’s kept the Gospel very simple. In a world where we’ve got an enemy trying to undermine our every effort to get closer to God, why add to our confusion? Keep it simple.

    That said, I love hearing about further advancements whenever they come. I’m anchored down well in the gospel and its simplicities and don’t let outside distractions in the way.

  2. Eternity depends upon how you look at time. A bee for example lives about 3 months before it dies. To a bee, a human that lives 90 years would seem like eternity.

    If you have a beginning, then you have an ending.

    The examples above remind me of a Star Trek show. The beings move so fast that humans cannot see them and humans move very slow almost like they are not moving compared to these aliens. Perhaps you have seen the show.

    Could it be we move fast compared to the gods and our lives seem short compared to theirs?

  3. Bill,

    How could a god move slower than a bureaucrat, or a politician?

    Good comments fellas. Time is a mortal concept and even though it feels like a long time, it really is just a blink of an eye.
    As Stephen said, “this is a core part of why life is fairer than we think.”
    This was just a thought I had … it would be fun to expand it at some time in the future.

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