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By Jeff Borders
What is Kolob? How important is it in LDS theology? Wiki says there’s reference to it in an LDS hymn.
Those are good questions. Kolob seems like a really strange word to many.
The first reference to Kolob (pronounced co-lob) comes from ancient records that we believe were translated by Joseph Smith through the gift and power of God. In the scripture that we refer to as the Book of Abraham, we get the description of what Kolob is. It is important to note that the Prophet Joseph Smith never gave a full description or explanation of Kolob, neither did he reveal it as part of the core doctrines of our faith.
The website Fairmormon describes it as thus:
“Kolob is the name given to the star closest to the throne of God in Abraham 3:3. It is introduced in an effort to teach Abraham that there is a hierarchy in all things. There are many stars, and one star is “closest” to God. In a similar way, there are many intelligences, or moral agents, some greater than others. The greatest of these is God. Thus, “Kolob” is introduced in a rather peripheral way in an effort to teach about the supremacy of God.”
In the Book of Abraham we learn a few more things, namely Kolob is the governing body, lending its light to other stars. In addition we learn that the reckoning of time is different for Kolob than it is to us.
As far as the mention of Kolob in the 19th century hymn, “If you could hie to Kolob,” the song describes what life can be like in God’s eternal presence. Quoting the hymn, “There is no end to glory; There is no end to love; There is no end to being; There is no death above.”
The minimal teachings of Kolob that we have in our possession do not detract from the glorious message of God’s eternal plan. In fact it is a simile. God, our Eternal Father, exists in physical form in a place that is or could be beyond the current understanding of our mortal and fallible minds. Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten, stands nearest to God and radiates his light for all to see. Through the governance and higher laws of the Gospel of Jesus Christ we maintain order in our lives, and we can find a greater supply of that precious light. Likewise, our understanding of time is from a mortal framework. We often do not understand that God’s timing is different than our own, as anyone who has prayed for something knows all too well.
It would be easy to get caught up in ancillary teachings of any faith and find something strange because it might be different than what we know. Or we can look for the truths contained within and marvel at the great precision and care with which a loving Heavenly Father has used in creating this universe.
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