Did God really just rest after 6 days of creation? Hang his hat up and go golfing? He’s done that hard work of creation and now it’s time for a break?
I’m going to freely speculate on some things because the full truth hasn’t been revealed about the duration of creation and how the timeline works. As such, I’ll just remind the reader that this is a work of personal opinion and obviously not official church doctrine. I’m just sharing scriptures and trying to connect some dots in the best way I can.
Scientists tell us the earth is millions of years old. The Bible says creation took place over a period of 6 days and then God rested.
Many scientists mock this notion, of course, thinking how silly it is to think the earth was created in 6 days.
However, God is a being of light. The theory of relativity says as we approach the speed of light, time slows. At what speed does God operate? Is his time different than ours?
The scriptures tell us that a day to God is about 1,000 years to us (2 Peter 3:8).
So now we’re up to 6,000 years for 6 days of creation.
We have also been blessed with modern day revelation and see in the book of Abraham translation, that the word day is replaced with the word “time.” There are no more days, there is only “time.”
We also know there was a spiritual creation prior to the physical, so that all things were prepared with intelligence to inhabit matter (Moses 3:5).
We know there was certainly light in the universe and the presence of God was filled with light, yet the first command was to “let there be light.” I picture this as an infusion of the Spirit of God, the Light of Christ, into all matter that would be part of this round of creation. God opened up a dimension for a new universe or whatever, took unorganized matter, and infused it with intelligence such that when he commanded, he would be obeyed. Matter by itself can only be acted upon, while intelligence or light or truth, can act (D&C 93:30). The combination of matter and light allows the matter to respond. When we don’t respond to light, we come under condemnation (D&C 93:31-32).
Now things start to get tricky. A careful reading of the creation story cannot be done by reading straight through the various chapters of Genesis, Moses, and Abraham. It requires a side-by-side reading which you can do with Scripture Notes in multiple columns comparing the text and making notes, but I found for this particular project, it was also helpful to open an Excel spreadsheet to make simple notes about unique things I was finding.
This all happened because of a simple verse in the Doctrine and Covenants which threw my whole perspective on creation into commotion.
D&C 77:12 Q. What are we to understand by the sounding of the trumpets, mentioned in the 8th chapter of Revelation?
A. We are to understand that as God made the world in six days, and on the seventh day he finished his work, and sanctified it, and also formed man out of the dust of the earth, even so, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years will the Lord God sanctify the earth, and complete the salvation of man, and judge all things, and shall redeem all things, except that which he hath not put into his power, when he shall have sealed all things, unto the end of all things; and the sounding of the trumpets of the seven angels are the preparing and finishing of his work, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years (of the earth’s temporal timeline)—the preparing of the way before the time of his coming.
Was man formed on the 7th day? How do we reconcile this with the accounts of creation?
What about Moses 3:7?
7. And I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also; nevertheless, all things were before created; but spiritually were they created and made according to my word.
Wait a minute… Was Adam created before other life on earth? Was he the “first flesh” and also the “first man”? Abraham 5 seems to confirm everything up to the 7th day was planning.
Abraham 4:21 “…And the Gods saw that they would be obeyed, and that their plan was good.” (5th day)
Abraham 4: 31. And the Gods said: We will do everything that we have said, and organize them; and behold, they shall be very obedient.
They haven’t DONE it yet. They are going to DO what they have merely SAID and planned. This is the concluding statement of the 6th day.
Then Abraham 5:2-3?
2. And the Gods said among themselves: On the seventh time we will end our work, which we have counseled; and we will rest on the seventh time from all our work which we have counseled.
3. And the Gods concluded upon the seventh time, because that on the seventh time they would rest from all their works which they (the Gods) counseled among themselves to form; and sanctified it. And thus were their decisions at the time that they counseled among themselves to form the heavens and the earth.
It hasn’t happened. Physical creation hasn’t taken place yet. On days 1-6 they have spiritually created everything (as I read it), and now on the 7th time, they will enact the plan.
This doesn’t even contradict the account of the 7th day in Genesis where it starts with:
Genesis 2:1 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.”
The word rest in Hebrew comes from “Sabat” which not only means to rest, but also means to cease or desist. He ended the work. One can read that he was still working on the 7th day, or even started working on the 7th day.
Isn’t the purpose of the Sabbath for us to enter into God’s rest? That doesn’t mean we do nothing. It means we are actively pursuing it, focusing our worship on the Lord to enter into his rest. As we reach to him, he is reaching to us.
God’s purpose is to bring man into his presence. Therefore we should examine the possibilities of what the 7th day means.
What does it mean to enter God’s rest? It is to be redeemed from the fall and return into his presence. There are numerous examples of this in the scriptures which explain the “rest” of the Lord. Doctrine & Covenants 84:20-24 is a great example.
The Lord told Adam that “in the day” he partook of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he would surely die. Is that in the 7th day? Or within the day of the Lord meaning 1,000 years?
It may be that the creation finished, Adam and Eve fell, and entered into the rest of the Lord through redeeming ordinances all on the 7th day, and that the 7th day ended approximately 3000 B.C.
It’s possible that everything was physically created in a single day of God’s time, though it’s important to understand that God’s time is not our time.
God can step into a timeline, command the elements to form and take an action, and having all things before him, an instant later be 10 million years into the future of that creation to observe that it has obeyed and everything is on track. It doesn’t take God 15 million years to create an earth. The earth might go through that temporal existence, but God would not be affected by that temporal restraint of waiting.
Now I don’t know exactly how creation worked, or how this speculative timeline really happened. I am merely pointing out a few observations that come from a careful reading of the accounts of creation, and then I’m trying to prayerfully fit my current beliefs into the things I see. I 100% reserve the right to change my mind as better information comes to me. ;)
In the Bible it says Adam died at 930 years of age. Joseph Smith changed that (and it turns out, other ancient records have different ages for the patriarchs so it’s not unreasonable that the Bible has some serious timing issues as dates are definitely debated all through the Biblical text).
This next statement can be found from this article.
An early Latter-day Saint source may reflect Joseph Smith’s teaching on the age of Adam. Edward Stevenson (1820–97), an early Church member, pioneer, and member of the First Council of the Seventy, wrote the following in his autobiography in the context of a sermon by Joseph Smith about Adam and his priesthood. Adam “was within 6 month of 1000 years old, which is one day with the Lord’s time thus fulfilling the Lords decree in the day thou eatest of the fruit of that tree thou shalt shurely die and he did 6 months before the day was out.” In the context of the Saints’ 1839 expulsion from Missouri, Stevenson wrote: “Father Adam began his work and finished what was to be done in his time liveing to be 1000 years old with the exception of about 6 months. Truely the bible gives Mathuselaw the credit of being the oldest but the Prophet Joseph had it revealed to him otherwise, it is only an error of Man in translating the record.”
What happened during Adam’s lifetime?
After the fall, he sought God. God responded to Adam and called on him to repent, believe, and be baptized in water in the name of his Only Begotten Son, and he would receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Moses 6:52). All this prior to the actual birth of the Savior. Why? Because in another incomprehensible manner, an infinite atonement covers all of creation in both directions from the event.
What happened when Adam repented?
The Lord forgave him (Moses 6:53). Then the Lord expanded on the first principles and ordinances of the gospel and told Adam that through the blood of Christ, all may become “sanctified from sin and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory” (Moses 6:59).
Adam and the line of patriarchs were preachers of righteousness and called upon their posterity to repent and believe the gospel (Moses 6:23). They had been sanctified and cleansed by the blood of the lamb and now would become missionaries.
Now if the 7th day of creation was the 1st thousand years of earth’s temporal existence (measuring from the fall and going back far enough that temporal creation was included), that means the beginning of the 8th day was around 3,000 B.C.
Why is this significant? The number 7 in Hebrew means complete and perfect. The number 8 signifies a new beginning.
Enoch was the 7th patriarch in the line of Adam. He was born around 622 years after Adam. After he turned 65 years old, he received his call in the priesthood and a command to go throughout the land preaching repentance just as his fathers had done.
Enoch also established Zion.
It was shortly after the 8th day started, after 3000 BC, that the city of Enoch was taken up into heaven. It is entirely probable that Adam and other patriarchs lived in or visited the city of Enoch. Adam live to around 3000 BC and Enoch was preaching from around 3300 BC till around 2950 BC when the city was taken up.
The Lord brought his righteous patriarchs into his rest on the 7th day. The city of Enoch represented that rest, and when it was taken from the earth in the beginning of the 8th day, it was a new beginning for the earth. During the 8th day around 2400 BC, the great flood wiped out the wicked and Noah and his family began the human race anew.
Where does this put us today?
We are in the 7th thousand years of earth’s temporal existence. Zion, gone for the last 5,000 years (3,000 BC to 2,000 AD), will again return to bring man into God’s full and complete rest (presence) as a people and usher in the millennium, roughly covering 2,000-3,000 AD.
Since Christ came in the “meridian of time,” that’s the half-way point. That means the 8th thousand years would be from 3,000-4,000 AD and would be the end of time on planet earth. A new beginning after the millennium. We don’t know what that will entail at this time, but it it’s possible that when the earth receives its paradisaical glory at the end of the millennium, something else amazing will take place that we don’t know of yet.
With that, I hope you will take a closer look at the text of the scriptures. I hope you’ll reexamine the creation story, or other favorites of yours and look at every word and phrase.
There are many mysteries in the scriptures that a careful reading, a parsing of words very closely, even the difference between “a” and “the,” can reveal. “A” thing, is not the same as “the” thing. Happy seeking.
(Featured Image by tujuh17belas @ 123rf.com)