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Psalms 90:2 and Joseph Smiths King Follet Discourse

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Psalms 90:2 says "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from Everlasting to Everlasting, thou [art] God."

Joseph Smith in his King Follet Discourse says "We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see."(History of the Church Vol. 6 pg. 305)

How do you explain Joseph's contradiction of the Bible?

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Psalms 90:2 says "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from Everlasting to Everlasting, thou [art] God."

Joseph Smith in his King Follet Discourse says "We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see."(History of the Church Vol. 6 pg. 305)

How do you explain Joseph's contradiction of the Bible?

There is no contradiction with the bible. That simple.

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Psalms 90:2 says "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from Everlasting to Everlasting, thou [art] God."

Joseph Smith in his King Follet Discourse says "We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see."(History of the Church Vol. 6 pg. 305)

How do you explain Joseph's contradiction of the Bible?

First, Joseph Smith

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So Latter-day Saints can reconcile this biblical passage with Joseph

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Psalms 90:2 says "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from Everlasting to Everlasting, thou [art] God."

Joseph Smith in his King Follet Discourse says "We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see."(History of the Church Vol. 6 pg. 305)

How do you explain Joseph's contradiction of the Bible?

How long is "everlasting"?

Genesis 49:26 The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.

Habakkuk 3:6 He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting.

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How long is "everlasting"?

Genesis 49:26 The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.

Habakkuk 3:6 He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting.

This is actually a very important observation. The term "everlasting" in these passages and in Psalm 90 is a translation of the Hebrew word 'olam which the Koehler-Baumgartner Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament defines as "long time, duration (usually eternal, eternity, but not in a philosophical sense)."

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How long is "everlasting"?

Genesis 49:26 The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.

Habakkuk 3:6 He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting.

Apparently... everlasting isn't long enough...

Heb 1

10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:

11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall awax old as doth a garment;

12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.

How does something that is described as "everlasting" or "eternal", perish or wax old?

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In the ancient Hebrew culture, the language had no term that directly, in one word expressed the idea of Eternity, Eternal or Everlasting. In Psalm 90:2 the Hebrew word for Everlasting is olam-- which signifies the idea of something like a vanishing point on the horixon of the world-- or beyond sight from our worldly prespective, and implies in Psalm 90:2 from the beginning of the world or ages. For example Tikkun olam (Hebrew: ????? ?????) is a Hebrew phrase that means "repairing the world, with olam here meaning 'the world '- or this present age.

The English translators inserted the word Everlasting,(for olam) and this is what is called an interpolation. It is a pretty good one too- but not perfect. The French version of the word we articulate in English for Eternal was developed to be what it is today in around the 14th century. And is closely associated with Ever lasting and For Ever in the KJV.

Translators of the KJV so it appears replaced this literal 'vanishing point on the horizon' concept of the Hebrew olam-- with the English term Everlasting. The reasoning behind this interpolation is very good. And would requires an elaborated explanation. But what is amazing about this word "Eternal" is that it means that Eternal Life in our English Bible really would be more accurate and meaningful it translated "Life of the Ages to Come"

So before doing an analysis of Joseph Smith's writings or understanding Mormonism such word translations need to be considered.

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There is no contradiction with the bible. That simple.

Yes and No as far as a contradiction.

Joseph Smith's later usage of the term Eternal and Eternity can be a matter of great wonder, analysis, and discussion- and lead to great insights concerning Mormonism and Orthodox version of Christianity.

For example----The Book of Mormon describes God as being from all Eternity from Everlasting to Everlasting. This is in the Book of Mormon only One and Two pages away from the Book of Mormon Promise in Moroni. This 'from everlasting to everlasting' attribute of God in the Book of Mormon is used to describe why God was able to see the future and make prophecy- to give men hope about the coming Christ.

When this is contrasted against the King Follet discouse-- it renders something about the Mormon universe , and something the Joseph Smith thought of the universe that is amazing-- and it is a missing dimension in Mormomism today-- and in the Christian world at large.-- it is the multivalence of the universe that Joseph Smith saw as a multiverse.

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How long is "everlasting"?

Genesis 49:26 The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.

Habakkuk 3:6 He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting.

In a technical modern sense. For ever is all time. But Eternity is beyond or above time.

This is even true in Mormonism

D&C 39: 22

22

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In a technical modern sense. For ever is all time. But Eternity is beyond or above time.

Very true. however "everlasting to everlasting" designates every thing in between or in other words "all time".

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This is exactly right. I guess another term that comes to mind is "forever".

And a bit more than forever

The Psalm 90:2 can be seen as an actual overlap between Orthodox and Mormon cosmology.

The Psalm 90:2 interpolation is an orthodox expression of the notion of Eternal or Everlasting. So in order to get the fullest meaning out of the text you have to consider English, the history of the English word Everlasting, and the Hebrew word olan. IMO the Hebrew olam as it is used infers that God and sons of God (bene elohim) existed before the ages of this present universe, world and heavens. But the nature of what was beyond this universe is beyond the scope of our understanding.

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And a bit more than forever

The Psalm 90:2 can be seen as an actual overlap between Orthodox and Mormon cosmology.

The Psalm 90:2 interpolation is an orthodox expression of the notion of Eternal or Everlasting. So in order to get the fullest meaning out of the text you have to consider English, the history of the English word Everlasting, and the Hebrew word olan. IMO the Hebrew olam as it is used infers that God and sons of God (bene elohim) existed before the ages of this present universe, world and heavens. But the nature of what was beyond this universe is beyond the scope of our understanding.

I can agree with this. Try and think or comprehend of things eternally. A person can go nuts thinking about it.

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Very true. however "everlasting to everlasting" designates every thing in between or in other words "all time".

Yes, but I think it implys with the full body of Biblical script that God and his associated sons (bene elohim) existed before time, before the worlds or ages. And again this is aligned with a tiered universe-- that very Early Israel modeled before the exile. And which Joseph Smith modeled with the Three Degrees of Glory in the D&C. Some of those tiers are within time or the ages, but the higher tiers represented the spheres of Eternity.

Anyway Psalm 90:2 with its everlasting to everlasting-- but is in Hebrew olam is suggestive of a before all time existence of God and His divine sons on a higher tier or sphere of existence. While we are here in the realms of time.

I have this view because of the way that the New Testament writers attempted to express the ideas of Eternity (a modern word) in ancient Greek-- writing of God outside of time, creating time.

For Example

2 Tim 1: 9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, (Greek "pro chronon aionion"- before time began).

(

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I can agree with this. Try and think or comprehend of things eternally. A person can go nuts thinking about it.

And yet we make covenants which we agree to abide by that last for eternity. Do we even understand the enormity of what we are doing when we enter into these covenants?

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I can agree with this. Try and think or comprehend of things eternally. A person can go nuts thinking about it.

Yes, we cannot comprehend this.

Modern theological thinkers have tried to explain this to people but it a brain twister. It will ruin you career as a theologian to try and tell too many people these things.

From the third to fifth century the ECF tried to use Greek metaphysics ideas, representations and terms to explain a lot of this--that is why we have creeds.

Before the third century certain Christians tried to communicate this with secret endowment initiations. We see this in the Gnostic gospels-- Dead Sea Scroll people before hand too. It is part of the Great Mystery of Godliness, and from it can learn about the ultimate destiny of we humans in God's plans for is-- the NT term plan of the ages.

The Gospel of Judas has a very distorted version of the era before time began of the Gods and Gods in heir realms. The book is probably some distorted tradition of things that were alleged to be given to Judas from Christ. Nevertheless, is shows that this idea of a God before time, above time in a higher sphere/tier existed in ancient Christianity among even the Apostles of Christ.

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Yes, but I think it implys with the full body of Biblical script that God and his associated sons (bene elohim) existed before time, before the worlds or ages. And again this is aligned with a tiered universe-- that very Early Israel modeled before the exile. And which Joseph Smith modeled with the Three Degrees of Glory in the D&C. Some of those tiers are within time or the ages, but the higher tiers represented the spheres of Eternity.

Anyway Psalm 90:2 with its everlasting to everlasting-- but is in Hebrew olam is suggestive of a before all time existence of God and His divine sons on a higher tier or sphere of existence. While we are here in the realms of time.

I have this view because of the way that the New Testament writers attempted to express the ideas of Eternity (a modern word) in ancient Greek-- writing of God outside of time, creating time.

For Example

2 Tim 1: 9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, (Greek "pro chronon aionion"- before time began).

(

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And yet we make covenants which we agree to abide by that last for eternity. Do we even understand the enormity of what we are doing when we enter into these covenants?

The Book of Mormon baptismal covenant, stipulated by Christ in 3 Nephi is an in time, in this sphere/tier of existence covenant. It appears to be monotheistic, and simi-consistent with the Creedal Trinity of the Fifth Century. The 20th Section of the D&C in many ways is like a paraphrased Nicene Creed- it is the other place where LDS the Baptismal Covenant is legally stipulated. An effort to harmonize this baptiamal ccovenant was done in 1916 by the LDS First Presidency, and Apostle James Talmage. This "The Father and the Son': A Doctrinal Exposition of the First Presidency and the Twelve". This declaration accommodated Eternal Progession ideas by retrofitting Book of Mormon interpretion to fit new consistent bland LDS theology. In effect this conflated or compressed the tiers of Joseph Smith's spheres of existence and spheres of truth for each sphere.- and/or combined the Canaanite/Proto-Isreal's spheres into a univalent monistic universe. This made Mormonism more consumable by the gentiles in the general public.

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I don't know how the poetry of the Psalms can be viewed in any way as establishing Theological facts about deity. They are useful and valuable for many things, but not as authoritative declarations of eternal unchanging doctrinal facts.

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I can agree with most of this. But... you have to admit that the world being created crossed the boundary, some of it being created prior to and some of it being created after time started being counted. "The Lord said let there be light... and it was the ___ day..."

In the Bible we are told next to nothing about the little bit of time (ie everlasting) just before creation and very little about the time (ie everlasting) just after the ending.

Yes God and sons of God used the matter drawn out of the waters of creation to make this universe within this time or these ages (aion or eons). But I tend to think that God created the matter when time was created. So there never was a time when there was not matter. So Matter had its origin at the brink of eternity, but is not actually eternal matter. God and His sons could have been the "US" of Genesis, but I am not sure.

This is an overlap between orthodoxy and certain LDS assertions.-- But was taught by at least one orthodox ECF that I know of( Irenaeus).

The Bible only hints at what is beyond time. I do not think it is the mission of the Bible or its canon to reveal all about our ultimate human destiny in Eternity. The Bible is designed to deliver the Gospel which saves us in this age and guides to become Christ-like-ready to meet out Father in Eternity. So the Bible canon can prepare us and make-up presentable to God ready to undergo our next step. There is quite an explanation to this view of the Bible.- and I think this is why Traditional Churches say the Bible is complete. It would be very hard to explain on a forum like this-- but that is the gist of it.

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Did the ancients have any concept of infinity? From what I understand, they had no concept of infinity and so, their use of their word for "everlasting" or "eternity" would be very different from our use of those words. It's a text and context problem.

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Did the ancients have any concept of infinity? From what I understand, they had no concept of infinity and so, their use of their word for "everlasting" or "eternity" would be very different from our use of those words. It's a text and context problem.

RE: Infinity

Infinity

The ultimate in large numbers was, until recently, the concept of infinity, a number defined by being greater than any finite number, and used in the mathematical theory of limits.However, since the 19th century, mathematicians have studied transfinite numbers, numbers which are not only greater than any finite number, but also, from the viewpoint of set theory, larger than the traditional concept of infinity. Of these transfinite numbers, perhaps the most extraordinary, and arguably, if they exist, "largest", are the large cardinals. The concept of transfinite numbers, however, was first considered by Indian Jaina mathematicians as far back as 400 BC.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_large_numbers

Hmmm... even "Infinity" had a limit. And something out side of that was only devised after much of the OT had been compiled.

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Did the ancients have any concept of infinity? From what I understand, they had no concept of infinity and so, their use of their word for "everlasting" or "eternity" would be very different from our use of those words. It's a text and context problem.

I guess this is directed toward me but others should give opinion too.

From what I recall ancient cultures, and meso-americans too had on concept of zero or infinity. And Hebrews thought in terms of ages- so had no developed ideas of Eternity-- but started to around 600 B.C. with no single word to represent the growing concept. So around the time of the Josiah and the Deuteronomic reform the idea became integrated into Hebrew thinking officially.-- This is roughly by the time of the post-exile period--- SO the notion of a God and select sons of God "before time" developed late on in Israel. I have not specifically studied this for 25 years or so. But it seems clear to me that it was around the post-exile the idea that the highest God was strictly Eternal developed. This probably was a considerable factor in the development of what became monotheism. In my view this development was guided by God, in preparation of the coming Christ-- so that we could understand his nature.

Language is associated with the formation of concepts too (in theory)-- so we do not see even Early Christians or Christ expressing what would be before time as

"eternity'. This is why our modern term "Eternal Life" is not something that Jesus literally promised us. Literally translated it is Life of the coming Ages, meaning a life beyond this world, realm-- or in a higher sphere-- or in Canaanite terms on a higher tier, where the rules of existence differ from that of this earthly tier. This is because time on a higher tier is somehow different than time on this earth on this tier or sphere. This idea is in the Bible too-- Peter mentions that a day in heaven is 1000 years on Earth.

But this is just off of the top of my head-- I was studying these things mostly in the 1980s, and had cooresponded with Eugene Seaich, Kirk Holland Vestle and a little with Reed Duraham on these ideas. But recently one can draw the lines between the dots from the other newer stuff that Bakker, and Mike Heiser has made accessible on the WWW about the Divine Council.

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This is because time on a higher tier is somehow different than time on this earth on this tier or sphere. This idea is in the Bible too-- Peter mentions that a day in heaven is 1000 years on Earth.

In the same verse Peter says that 1000 years is also as a day. "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." So time on a higher tier is very different than this earth according to that.

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