You are probably assuming from the title that the subject matter for this blog is about waiting for God to answer prayers. I’ll admit Gods time table in answering prayers does connect, but is not the main subject of the matter. The scripture that has been on my mind lately is:
“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 Lords time, according to the reckoning of Kolob.”
Here we find Abraham receiving communication from the Lord through the Urim and Thummim. If we remember what little we know of how the Urim and Thummim was used by Joseph Smith, you might be able to imagine Abraham placing these stones to his eyes and seeing clearly the Lords communication to him.
Then we learn that Kolob is after the manner of the Lord, according to its times and seasons in the revolutions thereof. It doesn’t state that Kolob is “the Lord” or even “the planet” upon which He resides, but it does say later on that it is nearest to the place were God resides. We do know that Kolob is “after the manner of the Lord” based on:
- its times in the revolution thereof
- its seasons in the revolution thereof
Something seems to jut out to my mind an importance placed upon “revolution of time” and “revolution of seasons.” When I think about revolutions I think about cycles. There are cycles of increasing order (eternal progression) and cycles of decreasing order (the pride cycle). Since this Kolob is nearest to God, then we can deduce that it is on an increasing cycle, rather than decreasing. Which comes to the next point about time ratios.
One day unto the Lords reckoning is compared to one thousand years unto our reckoning or “…unto that whereon thou standest” (Abraham stood on the earth at the time of the vision). This is a ratio of 1:1,000. Now I have heard many a person break this ratio into minutes and seconds to our years, but that’s not the point here. The idea I have been pondering is the relationship between time and nearness to God. The further one gets from God the greater amount of revolutions are necessary. The closer one is to God the smaller the amount of revolutions.
I must say that there are different kinds of numbers in the scriptures. There are numbers that are exact. And then there are numbers which are symbolic. An example of numbers that are symbolic include the number 7, which is symbolic for perfect. Joshua marched around Jericho 7 times, the earth was created in 7 days, Peter and Joseph Smith talk about the seventh heaven, Enoch was the 7th generation from Adam and the millennial reign is in the seventh dispensation. Another cloaked example is the number 490, or put another way 7×70, which is the amount of times we are commanded to forgive. Christ didn’t intend for you to keep count of the number of times we forgive, but wanted to express perfect forgiveness. Another symbolic number is 1,000 which simply means many. This number is used in the ratio. It is my belief that it doesn’t do us much good to calculate the ratio of 1:1,000. Instead I think it is pointing to the fact that the further we are from God the more time we need to come unto him, because we are so dark.
A loving Father in heaven placed us in this position to give us time. Alma refers to this life as a “probationary state.” He said:
“10. Therefore, as they had become carnal, sensual, and devilish, by nature, this probationary state became a state for them to prepare; it became a preparatory state.”
Can you see it? They increase there distance from the Lord by becoming carnal, sensual, and devilish. But the Lord doesn’t destroy them, he gives them time. I have often wondered how a parent is supposed to teach a child without applying the same penalty for different offenses. For me, time out seems to apply to almost everything a child does wrong… and it just doesn’t make sense. It seems that every parent has a general penalty-theory, that we apply the same penalty for most broken laws. In reality we just choose the penalty that manipulates the child to do what we want them to do.
God does not work in generalisms, God is very intentional and specific. If there is a law irrevocably decreed in heaven, before the foundations of the earth, upon which all blessings are specifically predicated…, then there must obviously be specific penalties for each law that has been offended. The Lord has always been lenient to those who are ignorant to the law (The Lamanites whose sins are on the heads of the fathers because of ignorance). To the same token God completely destroys those who had the law and used their agency to reject it (The Jaredites and Nephites to name a few.) I have personally struggled to understand the concept of blessing and penalizing a child for their growth, while avoiding using compulsory means, to get what I think is best. I have tried inviting. I feel like I have suffered long sometimes. At first I consider myself to be gentle, meek, humble, etc. But when I have decided that I have waited far too long for their obedience, my game plan suddenly changes to look more like Satan’s game plan- compulsory means. Threats of penalties and consequences fill the air, the temperature seems to rise a few degrees, and the Spirit is gone. My “time frame” over-rided waiting on God and I take matters into my own hands (trusting in the arm of flesh).
The repeated scenario has caused me to think deeply about seeking the Lord for greater understanding so that I could wait on His time-frame, rather than on my own. It was in this frame of mind that I read the following scripture:
“18. And the Gods watched those things which they had ordered until they obeyed.”
This piece of the puzzle was missing in me. The Gods ordered and waited until they obeyed. I didn’t wait for them to obey, I only waited until I didn’t want to wait any more. There is a blessing for every law obeyed and a penalty for every law consciously broken. However, just as God gives us time for us to adjust by agency, we too must trust in His time-frame and wait “…until they obeyed.” God’s time is simply the time each person needs to understand His will, repent, and align so that we can all become of one heart and one mind. Each person comes to this earth with different struggles. Each struggle takes a different amount of waiting time. As we understand each child, or each person for that matter, God can give us revelation to understand the proper amount of waiting time. Then we can see our situation for what it is- a preparatory state. A time for all men to prepare to meet God.