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The Israelites in general, but what of Abraham? I don't expect Walton to know of the BoA, but it should be recognized on this blog so as to keep perspective and know Walton's view versus a 'Joseph Smith' view.
I concede that even Abraham didn't use modern terms, yet understood somewhat a natural world and comprehended a bigger picture that God gave him.

"the BoA...should be recognized on this blog so as to keep perspective"

dallske: I respectfully couldn't disagree more. The Book of Abraham has a whole boatload of problems - particularly in chs. 1 & 2 - separate and distinct from it's retelling of the Genesis story. It needs to be examined on it's own terms.

Actually, there's a debate about the nature of the BoA: does it represent the universe as it actually is, or does it reflect ancient cosmological thinking? In the book Astronomy, Papyrus and Covenant, thee are two essays taking these very different approaches to the issue; I highly recommend a reading of both essays. (I personally am in the ancient cosmology camp.)

I think that the visions that Moses wrote as recorded in the Pearl of Great Price come closer to describing a more modern cosmology. I suspect that Abraham was shown much the same type of visions but couched the descriptions more in terms that people of his day would understand.


Being examined on its own terms is quite different than staying aware of it to realize that not all ancient thinking was ancient. Prophets were given enhanced views of astronomy as it was quite relevant to the Plan and the Atonement.
Don't pretend that it doesn't, and don't use the BoA 's problems as an excuse.

If you showed a one hour video of say Brian Greene's excellent Nova series on cosmology to an ancient and then asked them a year later to describe it, what do you think you'd get? Let's not pretend that even people shown more than the superstitions of their culture could comprehend it all.

What I get from the endowment's rendition of events is that the Big Bang never happened and that the modern cosmologists are waaaay off. It comes down to choosing which quasi-religious dogma to believe.

Is that a serious comment Bradley?

I like Jared's take as well. I think it is unwarranted to assume that either Moses or Abraham had a particularly modern understanding of what we call "cosmology" in mortality. Why should they? What preparation did they have? What need did they have to understand stellar fusion and universal gravitation?

On the other hand I do believe that Abraham and Moses had (and continue to have) an excellent understanding of God's plans, purposes, and character. I have a testimony that they were prophets of God and true witnesses of our Savior Jesus Christ. I hope to be worthy to stand in their presence one day.

I study the scriptures, go to the temple, and serve others to learn the things of God, but I listen to modern astronomers and physicists to learn of "cosmology". They certainly do not know everything, but the Spirit bears witness of truth *everywhere* to those who want to know the truth and are willing to do what it takes to learn it and put off the traditions of men (see Moroni 10:3-5). I have felt the Spirit very strongly both at church and in college physics classes.

I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. It is the *only* organization authorized to perform the ordinances of God on the earth at this time. It is led by true prophets; however, I do not believe that it has all truth yet. There are still plenty of interpolations of men in circulation. I think we really must be humble and charitable about how much we really know both at church and in the world. It isn't all that much in either case (says someone who usually sounds like a know-it-all :-) ). Take care.

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