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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Einstein Vs. Abraham and Joseph Smith

When I was in the 9th Grade at Cody Junior High School (in Cody, Wyoming. Where else?) I had a science teacher named Mr. Hurr. Now, Mr. Hurr was an intimdating dude who at one time had suffered an injury where he lost one of his hands. The prosthetic hand that replaced it must have been made out of cement, because on one occasion when an experiment required a bag of ice, Mr. Hurr felt the young female student was being too gentle with her hammer breaking the ice apart. He proceeded to pulverize the ice with his prosthetic. At the time we kids were very much into Steve Austin, "The Six-Million Dollar Man" whose lost limbs had been replaced with superhero counterparts. Yes, Mr. Hurr and his cement hand were certainly intimidating.

One day while lecturing Mr. Hurr made a statement that stuck with me for years. He declared, "The only unique, original idea ever conceived by another human being in the last century was that of Albert Einstein with his theory of relativity."

I thought about that statement for a long time: "Huh. The only unique idea in a century? Nobody else has ever offered an original thought since?" Over the years this statement has struck me as less and less credible when considering all of the progress of the 20th century. But let's just indulge Mr. Hurr for a moment, shall we? Let's think about this "unique" idea called the Theory of Relativity.

In referencing such theories we have to actually break them down into two separate theories: that of Special Relativity--published by Einstein in 1905--and that of General Relatively, published in 1916. One of the fundamental concepts that emerged as a result of these theories was--simply put--that time itself could be dilated or compressed and had to be measured differently depending upon the "sphere" or point of reference of a particular observer in the universe. Many experiments have been conducted to prove Einstein's theories. Perhaps a more dramatic of these was an experiment conducted in 1971 wherein two physicists, J. C. Hafele and Richard Keating, flew four portable caesium clocks around the world in high-flying passenger jets. They compared these atomic clocks at the beginning and end with reference clocks located on the ground at the US Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. Two airplanes few east in their circumnavigation, and the others, west. After about three days, the eastbound clocks lost, on average, 59 nano seconds whereas the westbound clocks gained an average of 273 nanoseconds.

This was only one experiment that dramatized and "proved" Einsteins theories of time dilation and compression. So, according to Mr. Hurr, prior to Albert Einstein, the very concept of time as a maleable thing, moving differently depending upon one's point of reference had never crossed the mind of any other human being. It had hatched exclusively in the brain of Albert Einstein.

After I joined the Church in 1981 I soon had the privilege of reading the Pearl of Great Price, and in particular, the Book of Abraham. The origins of the Book of Abraham are as dramatic and mysterious as the doctrines it reveals. I won't take go into much of that. Suffice it to say that Joseph Smith translated, by the gift and power of God, a segment of a book attributed to the Prophet Abraham from some ancient papyrus (papyri?) found inside a number of Egyptian mummies sold to the Church in 1838. Various samples of these papyrus found their way into several locations over the decades after the Prophet's death. However, the prevalent belief is that the specific document from which Joseph Smith made his translation was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire in 1871.

In any case, certain declarations found in the 3rd Chapter of this work clearly elaborate upon the precise principle of time dilation and compression later proposed by Albert Einstein. Read Abraham 3:4-10. These scriptures are, quite simply, astonishing, especially when considering the era when they were first presented. In all fairness, there is a scripture in 2 Peter 3:8 which states: "...one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." Today some might credit Peter with offering a similar idea. However, prior to Joseph Smith and Einstien, this verse was never ascribed to anything beyond the mysteries affixed to mortal and immortal realms. It doesn't really elaborate upon the deeper concepts of time dilation and compression as expressed in the Pearl of Great Price. It took Abraham (through Joseph Smith) to layout the kind of complex ideologies later suggested by Einstein.

It would  take up too much space to reprint these verses here, and yet it seems an injustice to print only a few, so before continuing, please take a moment, find Abr. 3:4-10, and digest them thoroughly.

Done? Okay. Let's go on.

Now let's return to Mr. Hurr's suggestion that Einstein was the only person in the 20th century to hatch a truly original idea. If this is in any way true, what does that say about Joseph Smith, who presented the same essential concepts seven decades before Einstein (albeit by virtue of a unique resource known as revelation and sans all the math)? Perhaps a more intriguing question is: When will Joseph Smith and the LDS Church be recognized for presenting some of the more fundamental concepts of Special Relativity some seventy years before the great Albert Einstein?

I'm certainly not one to begrudge (at present) the world's failure to recognize the contributions of modern prophets and the fullness of the Lord's gospel. But it seems unimaginable to me that even the most hardened skeptics who have at least a rudimentary knowledge of physics would not find themselves awestruck, impressed, or at the very least puzzled when presented with these seven verses. Try it on someone sometime. I'd love to hear the responses.

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I couldn't help but notice that most of those who have pre-ordered Escape From Zarahemla, book or audio book, have failed to provide instructions as to who these books or CDs should be signed to. It may be that Amazon and www.frostcave.com doesn't really provide a clear way to give such instructions. Let me declare that it's not too late to provide me with the name of the book's future owner, whether signed to an individual or a whole family. Especially if this book is meant to be a gift, I think it's incumbant upon the buyer to take a moment and provide me with this info and, if necessary, declare the occasion (whether a Christmas or birthday present, etc.). Just reply to this email and I'll happily staple your instructions to your printed order. Thanks again for all your support!

@ Copyright 2011, Chris Heimerdinger


  1. Thanks for sharing! How's the new baby? Mine's almost two months old now and he's big! He's a sweetie too.

  2. 47, 167, 1097, 09007? Are we (and Eddie Fanta) going to track down the meaning of those numbers anytime in the near future?