Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Revelation and Relativity: Modern Science in Abraham 3

Abraham 3, Verses 2 through 12 reflect several features of General Relativity, including black holes and time dilation. The 4.1 million solar mass black hole at the center of our galaxy, closely surrounded by thousands of more ordinary (typically 25 – 40 solar mass) black holes, is “the great star,” Kolob, with “many great ones near unto it.” Every galaxy, as far as is currently known, contains one and only one of these “supermassive black holes” (SMBHs), that controls or “governs” the galaxy.
Many well respected physicists, including Nobel Laureates, now also believe black holes likely involve higher-dimensional portals leading out of our universe and into an alternate reality. This is almost certainly the sense in which Kolob is “nearest to the throne of God.”
Another feature of Relativity is the warping of time in the presence of mass, called “time dilation.” Understanding Verses 4 through 10 in terms of time dilation, obscure terms and phrases such as “set time” and relative “reckoning of time” become clear.
Verses 10 and 11 then answer a common question regarding Kolob and our galaxy relative to other galaxies, and neatly wrap up Abraham’s lesson on galactic astrophysics.
Kolob is the Supermassive Black Hole “Sagittarius A*.” Source: Author
Abraham 3:2-10 is scientifically correct in terms of modern galactic astrophysics and General Relativity. Yet Einstein did not publish his seminal paper on General Relativity until 1915, 73 years after first publication of Abraham’s revelation. No one alive in Joseph Smith’s day could have known anything about Relativity’s predictions of black holes, Einstein-Rosen bridges (AKA wormholes), and the warping of time and space (time dilation), except by revelation. Yet there it is, in the first few verses of the chapter!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Terryl Givens Seeks to Weaken Church Doctrine re: “Becoming Like God”

            A couple of years ago (Nov. 2017), Terry Givens (now with the Neal A. Maxwell Institute) was interviewed for an LDS Perspectives podcast, giving his views on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ gospel topic essay “Becoming Like God.” As he answered questions, he made a concerted effort to diminish or weaken or dilute the long-standing settled doctrine of the Church that man (men and women) can become like God; can become gods themselves.

            Some of Mr. Givens’ disturbing comments are these:

There is a good deal of folk theology that has developed around this notion, especially during the Brigham Young years. Because of the theologizing of people like Orson Pratt and others, the emphasis was often on world creation. Joseph Smith, of course, in section 132 referred to the possibility that men and women sealed in the everlasting covenant of marriage would produce seed eternally. That was extrapolated to mean that men and women who were exalted would create their own worlds and people them with their own spirits, then preside over those planets as God does over His. There isn’t, as far as I can find, any authoritative scriptural or prophetic pronouncements with that degree of specificity. I think it’s an unfortunate misdirection that serves the church poorly, both because of the delusions of grandeur which it can lead to and because the last thing we want to be known for to an outside community is the aspiration to have planets of our own.

            Setting aside the troubling issue of discounting the teachings of such inspired apostolic timber as Elder Orson Pratt and President Brigham Young, not to mention their contemporaries; and forgetting for a moment the temerity of labeling of their teachings as “theologizing” and “folk theology”; and setting aside for a moment that the Book of Abraham and modern apostles have taught that in the pre-existence the “noble and great ones” already helped create this earth as practice; the most startling comment found in this narration is that Mr. Givens has been unable to find “any authoritative scriptural or prophetic pronouncements” that directly speak of or teach that exalted men and women would one day become gods and preside over worlds/planets, “as God does over His.” And further that Mr. Givens states as a reason that Latter-day Saints don’t want to be known to “outsiders” (also known as non-members) as aspiring to have planets of their own.