First, time is measured differently according to where it is measured. (D&C 130:4-5) Where the Lord dwells, one day for God is 1000 years for man. (Abraham 3:4; 2 Peter 3:8) This means that a lifespan on earth of 80 years is about 2 hours of God’s reconing.
Times and events are appointed beforehand. Alma notes that the life of all mankind “is as one day with God, and time only is measured unto man.” (Alma 40:8) This could mean that appointed “times” for things to happen, such as the Second Coming, a new dispensation or a birth or death, are only set up for man. God does not have appointed times, or a schedule of deadlines directing His course. The other possible meaning is that God does not recognize, or measure the passage of time.
Sometime after the Second Coming and probably prior to the Millennium, time, as we experience it now, will come to an end. At least, our enslavement to time will end. It may continue in some place or places, but we will no longer be subject to it. (Rev. 10.6; D&C 88:110; D&C 84:100). We will no longer age. Time will no longer have an effect upon the earth and all things will remain in the state in which they are created.
God lives where all things are before His eyes, past, present and future. (D&C 130:7) As mortals, we view time as a law which demands that time only marches forward, with “now” the only portion of it that we can see or affect. With God, “now” is where He chooses to look and be. He can see and interact with the past as easily as our “now” and see the outcome in the future. He need not guess what will happen because it is all “continually before the Lord”. (130:7)
We must not view God as a brilliant statistician who can nudge past events to produce calculated future outcomes, and who can keep nudging them until He gets it right. God is infinitely more vast that “brilliant”, whose gathered intelligence exceeds anything mankind can understand or measure. He doesn’t just see selected snippets of “now” in the past, present and future, but He sees all things. It is all simultaneously before his eyes – and he comprehends all things (D&C 39:1-2; 88:7-13). He isn’t figuring it out – He possesses a “fullness of truth, yea, even of all truth” (D&C 93:11, 26); He has “all power, all wisdom, and all understanding” (Alma 26:35); is infinite in understanding to the point of naming all the stars, (Ps. 174:4-5); comprehends all things, (Alma 26:35: D&C 88:41); and governs all things by instituting laws to each kingdom according to that vast understanding. (D&C 88:42)
In the premortal world, when we were presented with a choice between the Father’s plan for our lives with Jesus as our Savior, and Lucifer’s alternative plan, those of us who understood Father’s vast love and infinite and infallible understanding chose His plan for our lives and “shouted for joy”.
Joseph Smith taught, “Without the knowledge of all things God would not be able to save any portion of his creatures; … and if it were not for the idea existing in the minds of men that God had all knowledge it would be impossible for them to exercise faith in him.” (Lectures on Faith, p 44.)
I find deep comfort in God’s infinite and eternal knowledge which penetrates all darkness and removes chance from the equation of my life when I let Him direct me. It has taken many years to be able to comprehend that God is infinitely knowing, and combined with His infinite love, I can trust Him to govern my life, and to speak to my soul words that are the nectar of that eternal wisdom. I have had many discussions with friends who cannot comprehend such vast godly perfections. They just can’t see past the ticking clock which seems to say with each beat that time is only “now” and even God can’t see the past or future.
But, the scriptures teach otherwise, and the few times I have seen past the veil, the heavens testify that God is all of what we hope, and far more than we can comprehend.
We can consecrate our lives into His hands because He knows the past, present and future of our lives.
We can believe Him because He possesses all truth and all knowledge.
We can trust Him because He loves us without limit.
© April 2012, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted