Thank you so much for your answers to questions. It is so enlightening. I am wondering about the earth’s renewal to it’s previous state of glory. I know that Brigham Young stated that when the earth was created that it was near the throne of God, and when Adam and Eve fell that the earth also fell into our solar system. Is there any statement that when it is renewed it will return back to where it previously was? It makes sense to me. The reason I ask is because one of the signs of the second coming is the sun being darkened and the stars falling from the sky. It would seem to me that if the earth were suddenly thrust from where it now is to somewhere else in the cosmos that our sun would suddenly seem to be darkened and it would appear the stars were falling from the sky. Do you have any comments or references on this subject. Thanks so much.
There are many scriptural references which speak of the darkening of the sun and moon and the falling of the stars as it concerns the second coming of Christ. When we remember that much of what is written in these accounts is symbolic and that the concepts of light, spirit, and intelligence are all intricately connected, we can see that what is to come is a type of things which have already been.
If, for example, you were to read Revelations 8 and 9 with our premortal existence in mind, you would notice some interesting connections. Take Revelations 8:12-
“And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.”
Replace stars with spirits, and you will recognize its correlation to D&C 29:36 –
“And it came to pass that Adam, being tempted of the devil—for, behold, the devil was before Adam, for he rebelled against me, saying, Give me thine honor, which is my power; and also a third part of the hosts of heaven turned he away from me because of their agency.”
Before Christ comes to earth again, we will see a literal manifestation of these signs in the heavens, just as they did at his resurrection and before he visited the Nephites.
“But behold, as I said unto you concerning another sign, a sign of his death, behold, in that day that he shall suffer death the sun shall be darkened and refuse to give his light unto you; and also the moon and the stars; and there shall be no light upon the face of this land, even from the time that he shall suffer death, for the space of three days, to the time that he shall rise again from the dead.” Helaman 14:20
Even now, there are stars which will blink out for various periods of time, refusing to shine (D&C 34:9). We can see the light of these pulsar stars as they rotate, but for reasons still unknown to scientists such stars will “turn-off” and after a certain time turn back on. There is hope that research into these stars will bring us a better understanding of the nature of light itself. We do know that it is a regular phenomenon, which has nothing at all to do with the movement of the earth but rather with the nature of the stars themselves and the light which shines forth from them. So these signs have happened, are happening, and will continue to happen without the earth having to be knocked out of it’s orbit at all.
Brigham Young’s statement that the earth was once close to God and will return there is actually related to an entirely different scientific theory- the Big Bang. Here is Brigham’s statement:
“When the earth was framed and brought into existence and man was placed upon it, it was near the throne of our Father in heaven. And when man fell – though that was designed in the economy, there was nothing about it mysterious or unknown to the Gods, they understood it all, it was all planned – but when man fell, the earth fell into space, and took up its abode in this planetary system, and the sun became our light. When the Lord said – “Let there be light,” there was light, for the earth was brought near the sun that it might reflect upon it so as to give us light by day, and the moon to give us light by night. This is the glory the earth came from, and when it is glorified it will return again unto the presence of the Father, and it will dwell there, and these intelligent beings that I am looking at, if they live worthy of it, will dwell upon this earth.” Brigham Young Journal of Discourses, 17:161
According to the Big Bang Theory, all of matter, even time itself, was created and began with an explosion. Everything is expanding outward from the center point of that explosion and will continue to do so until the purposes of our time and creation have been fulfilled. It is believed by scientists that at some point in our future, the universe will reverse its expansion and instead be drawn inward. Abraham’s vision of the heavens supports this theory and give us an even greater understanding of the placement of the stars:
“And the Lord said unto me: These are the governing ones; and the name of the great one is Kolob, because it is near unto me, for I am the Lord thy God: I have set this one to govern all those which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest.
And the Lord said unto me, by the Urim and Thummim, that Kolob was after the manner of the Lord, according to its times and seasons in the revolutions thereof; that one revolution was a day unto the Lord, after his manner of reckoning, it being one thousand years according to the time appointed unto that whereon thou standest. This is the reckoning of the Lord’s time, according to the reckoning of Kolob.
And the Lord said unto me: The planet which is the lesser light, lesser than that which is to rule the day, even the night, is above or greater than that upon which thou standest in point of reckoning, for it moveth in order more slow; this is in order because it standeth above the earth upon which thou standest, therefore the reckoning of its time is not so many as to its number of days, and of months, and of years…
And thus there shall be the reckoning of the time of one planet above another, until thou come nigh unto Kolob, which Kolob is after the reckoning of the Lord’s time; which Kolob is set nigh unto the throne of God, to govern all those planets which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest.” (Abraham 3:3-5 & 9)