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The Visitor--an inspirational short story series

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"...Choose only entertainment and media that uplift you. Good entertainment will help you to have good thoughts and make righteous choices...Do not participate in entertainment that in any way presents immorality or violent behavior as acceptable."
For The Strength of Youth

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    Ch. 44 The Wisdom of the Wise
 
Submitted by Steven ODell on 2 December 2010 - 1:42pm. | | | | |

In Mine Own Due Time
Steven G. O'Dell (C) 2010

Einstein was correct...time is entirely relative.

Word had gotten around that LeAnne had shaken Gerald from his basic beliefs in science alone and that several others in the building had shown interest in her position also. Nelson Taylor thought it shameful that Gerald had been 'beaten by a girl.' Nelson didn't know how well-informed and well-studied LeAnne was, however. Nonetheless, he was confident he could cast doubt on her claims. He would take a different approach. LeAnne had discussed the cosmos. He would discuss the earth.

"I have some concerns about your beliefs, LeAnne. Mind if we discuss them?"

Gerald was sitting beside LeAnne today and he wondered what would be the outcome of the discussion. He had yet to get an answer to his prayers, but he was actively being taught and was impressed with what he had read in the Book of Mormon, the second witness of Christ. It made sense to him that God would speak to all nations if He spoke to anyone at all.

"No problem. What concerns you about my beliefs?" LeAnne smiled in an openly friendly manner.

"Well, I assume you believe the Bible to be the word of God, right?"

"Insofar as it is correctly translated, yes."

Nelson was surprised by her answer. "Are you saying you don't think it is infallible and the final word?"

"I mean just what I say. I believe it insofar as it is correctly translated. I would be foolish to believe anything that isn't accurately recorded and translated, wouldn't I?"

"Well, yes, I would tend to agree." Nelson was caught off guard already. The answer was totally unexpected.

"What are your specific concerns, Nelson?" LeAnne prodded him from his reverie. Unafraid and confident, she was plowing ahead. Nelson had half expected she would cower a bit, but there was no indication of it.

"All this stuff about the earth being only a few thousand years old, frankly. That flies in the face of science."

"Well, first of all, why would you think I have to believe such a thing?"

Again, LeAnne surprised Nelson with her response. How had he figured wrong? Didn't all Christians believe such nonsense?

"The Bible says one day is equal to a thousand years, doesn't it?"

"This is where proper translation comes into play, Nelson. I don't claim to be an expert in Hebrew or Greek, but I would guess that any proper translation, in order to be realistic and accurate, would have to reflect true science, wouldn't you?"

"Umm, yeah...yes, of course."

"Then we agree on that. In this case, the verse you refer to is an example of a Hebrew poetic style called Chiasmus. They would often restate something in a reverse order. This one says 'One day is a thousand years and a thousand years as one day to the Lord.' That's a perfect Chiastic form."

"Then I was correct. If a day of the Lord's time is a thousand years, you must believe the earth to be only seven thousand years old, right?"

"Wrong."

"Okay, you confuse me. How can it be understood any other way?"

LeAnne smiled again and it bothered Nelson to see it. She didn't look the least bit flustered. He thought he had her with the obvious contradiction she showed. Now he wasn't too sure.

"If you look at it simply as a statement and restatement, it would certainly be confusing. But I have learned that God often does double duty and hides other meanings, much deeper meanings, into a single verse."

"Okay, so enlighten me. How do you interpret the verse?"

"I see it as a mathematical equation. You need to begin at the beginning and follow it all the way through. And you need to understand that the comparison is being made between two categories of time. One is man's time and the other is God's time."

"Okay, isn't that what I said; a day of God's time is a thousand years for man? That would make the earth only a few thousand years old, right?"

"Wrong. Stay with me here. Again, it's an equation. The verse starts by defining the relationship of the two categories of time. You need a place to start and that is it. A day equals a thousand years. Then what would a year of that kind of time be equal to?"

"Three hundred and sixty-five thousand years?" Nelson already appeared to be stunned, as if he was beginning to see where this might be going. Others had gathered about and were leaning in to hear the discussion.

"Exactly. But we aren't done with the equation yet. A thousand years of those years would be...." She paused to let Nelson figure it out.

"Umm, that would be...three hundred and sixty-five million years?" He looked as if the starch were beginning to be drawn out of him.

"Right again. Now we have to remember that this is just one day to the Lord. If you recall, there were six days that He labored and on the seventh He rested. So now you need to multiply that period by seven and if you like, you can add another six thousand years of our own history to it."

"Whew! I need a calculator." Nelson laughed nervously to relieve the tension. No one else was laughing. They were seriously considering the deep implications of this new interpretation of the verse.

"Let me save you the worry. It comes to three point five five billion years, without the extra six thousand tacked on. Now we are talking geological time periods, I believe..?"

"Okay, you are getting closer, but the scientists say the earth is four point two billion years old." Nelson was actually shocked that LeAnne had an explanation that was anywhere in the ballpark. Still, he felt compelled to corner her and make a point.

"That would make a difference of...point six-five billion years. Tell me this, Nelson; how long do you think it would take for a hot planet to cool off before it would sustain water without boiling all of it off? It might need to be hot enough to form a water canopy around the earth, as evidenced by the huge plants and animals early on in the world's history, but could not be so hot as to be allowed to boil it off entirely, if any life were to be supported on such a planet."

Nelson didn't know how to answer. It seemed he wasn't doing any better than Gerald had. And he had the same audience they had gathered previously. They seemed quite impressed with LeAnne's logic, judging by the nodding of heads and the comments heard. Yet she seemed humble and unmoved by it.

"I think well over half a billion years seems adequate, don't you? Do you have any other concerns?"

LeAnne spoke as if that were the end of the subject and frankly, Nelson was so stunned and speechless, he had to concede that it most likely was the end. He had to think fast to recall what else he had wanted to talk about.

"Well, uhh...I was wondering how anyone could believe in a worldwide flood that covered the tops of all the mountains. There doesn't seem to be enough water in all the world to do that. And if there was, where did it go afterward?"

"Again, it's a matter of reading it right. There are a few verses connected to the record of the event that are often ignored, Nelson. It says the fountains of the deep were broken up and it says the waters continually came and went. What do you think that means? I still believe the answer must fit the record as well as good science. I don't toss science aside, ever. Science and religion can and must go hand in hand, if they are sound interpretations.

"The reference to the fountains of the deep can mean only one thing in my mind. The Lord had said he placed waters above and below the firmament. The firmament would be the rocks and soil. What water would be below that could well be the layers of the water table and the Artesian springs that come forth. If the waters of the deep break up and come forth, the collapsing rock layers might put tremendous pressure on that water. I have seen scientific recreations and estimates that predict the waters could have shot forth as high as twenty miles into the atmosphere when the rocks collapsed upon them. The water canopy over the earth would have been affected and rains would have likely begun in torrents.The other verse says the waters continually came and went. What does that sound like to you, Nelson?"

"Waves?"

"Not just any waves, but waves big enough to make a special mention of them. Ordinary waves wouldn't be worth such mention. Tidal waves of immense proportions would, however. Imagine waves a mile high or more, smashing into mountain ranges and pouring over them. Imagine tremendous amounts of water rushing across the landmasses and scouring them clean with all the debris carried in the waters. Wouldn't that qualify as a worldwide flood?"

"Well, yes, but what would cause such a tidal wave?"

"Signs in the heavens. What are those signs? Comets, planets, stars, meteors, etcetera. What would happen if a large astral body came very close to the earth? We know our moon can cause large tides in some areas of the world. What would a planetoid do?"

Nelson felt he was losing the debate and could only ask LeAnne to tell him what she thought would happen in such an event.

"It would have a tremendous effect upon the tides, causing waves that would encircle the earth over and over, even after the planetoid had passed and was gone from our solar system, perhaps. And if it were passing close enough, the gravitational pull could actually cause the crust of the earth to split. The result of that would be the fountains of the deep being released, the upwelling of new mountain ranges, floods of lava being released and pehaps even the movement of the continents themselves, due to tectonic plate fracture and shift."

Gerald couldn't remain silent. He was quite impressed by her knowledge. "Where do you learn these things, LeAnne?"

"A little place called the library. But I also like the internet." Her enthusiasm was infectious as she grinned from ear to ear.

"Okay, okay...what about the way the Bible claims Daniel could make a prophesy based on four words on a wall? And two of the words were the same." The sudden change of subject amounted to a concession on the previous subject. Nelson knew it all too well, but hoped LeAnne would be too kind to point it out. She was.

"This is another one the Lord has revealed in His own due time. The words were MENE MENE TEKEL PERES. In this record, God again hides two meanings. The words are the Babylonian equivalents of the Hebrew weights and measures known as Maneh, Shekel and the word 'halved' or 'divided'. Thus the pronouncement that the kingdom was weighed in the balance and found wanting. A Maneh was equal to a thousand Gerahs, much like our pound might be sixteen ounces or a dollar is a hundred pennies. The Shekel was equal to twenty Gerahs. Since the Maneh is mentioned twice, that would be two thousand Gerahs, the Shekel adding twenty and the 'half' being five hundred Gerahs."

"How do you know it isn't half of the Shekel and only ten Gerahs?"

"Good question, but the other meaning is totally compatible with the first interpretation and supports that line of reasoning. The interesting thing is that the first interpretation was taken under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost to mean that the Kingdom of Babylon would fall that night and be divided between the Medes and the Persians, as evidenced by the other term mentioned to be parallel to PERES. That term was a play on the word 'Persian". being U'pharsin or pharsin. And if you know your history, you know that very thing happened; the kingdom fell that very night and was divided between the Medes and Persians.

"The other half of the prophecy is a calendar, having to do with two thousand, five hundred and twenty years of coming history. It predicts the future of Israel, both northern and southern kigdoms, and of the restoration of Christ's ancient church and the Kingdom of God in our modern times."

Nelson's head was reeling beyond belief. He didn't know enough about the Bible to argue the point with LeAnne and he had no desire to do so. Nelson asked no more questions, but thanked her and excused himself, feeling fortunate to get away with some small degree of dignity left. This was not going to be easy by any means.

"LeAnne," asked Gerald, "can you share any other prophecies that are hidden, as you say, in plain sight?"

"Yes, one of the most impressive, to me, is the one contained in the fifth chapter of Genesis. In what appears to be a enign record of the lineage of Adam down to Noah, the Lord hides a prophecy so sublime it should be common knowledge. The amazing aspect of this is that the most recognized prophet of the House of Israel to this day has recorded a uniquely Christian prophecy in the very names of this lineage.

"The meanings of names was important to the ancient Israelites, but not so much to us today. And that is why we miss so much when we read the Bible. For example, the name Adam means 'man'. Seth means 'appointed'. Likewise, each of these names has a specific and pertinent meaning.

"The message that results from proper interpretation of this string of names is amazing and beyond coincidence alone. What are the odds that over so many generations a family would name their sons in such a manner as to form this message?

"Man appointed mortal sorrow. The great God shall come down, teaching. His death shall bring the suffering rest."

A few gasps were heard in the general overall silence and little could be added to the discussion from then on, as all seemed overcome with the magnitude of meaning in those relatively few names. LeAnne felt she had powerfully made her point regarding the veracity of the Bible, but she was sorry that Nelson had not been there to hear this last revelation. She had hoped it would provide the means to soften his heart somewhat.

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