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Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more. DC 58:42
How can an omniscient God forget? First of all, forgetting is something that requires time. It requires that an event in the past be erased from present memory. But for God, time is not measured because, all things, pertaining to this earth, are present for Him! Even Gethsemane is in the present for our Savior, as is the opening of the tomb.
All is as one day with God, and time only is measured unto men. Alma 40:8
The presence of God…where all things for their glory are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord. DC 130:7
Jesus Christ which knoweth all things, for all things are present before mine eyes See DC 38:1-2
For finite man, this is already hard to grasp. We only have experience with things that have a beginning and an end, a past and a present, which allows us to expect and imagine a future. But then to have God promise that if we repent, He not only will forget our sins but that He can!
I cannot claim to understand quantum physics, but one day while reading,1 I found something that has evoked much thought and wonder! It was about quantum physics and the mysterious stuff we call “light” and its implications about reality; past, present, and future.
“Newton’s laws allow one to calculate a complete picture of the past. This is consistent with our intuitive understanding that, whether painful or joyful, the world has a definite past. There may have been no one watching, but the past exists as surely as if you had taken a series of snapshots of it.“(791-2)
“Quantum physics is a new model of reality that gives us a picture of the universe. It is a picture in which many concepts fundamental to our intuitive understanding of reality no longer have meaning.” (Kindle locations 631-2)
“In quantum Physics the universe doesn’t have just a single history, but every possible history, each with its own probability; and our observations of its current state affect its past and determine the different histories of the universe.” (820-822)
Without even trying to comprehend the mathematical models, this could mean that, until observed, reality exists in infinite parallel probabilities. What if God has sent us to this earth “to see”;2 to observe our choices, thereby establishing them as our eternal reality. It has been puzzling, until reading this possibility, why Jehovah (the omniscient) would say to Abraham, after halting the sacrifice of Isaac, “Now I know that thou fearest God…”3 I had expected that since Jehovah knows the end from the beginning that He would not use the word “now.” But, once Abraham was observed in this mortal state, choosing to obey, it was, as Paul said, “imputed to his righteousness.”4 The judgement is, therefore not done subjectively by God’s perfect predictive capacity. Nor are we predestined, but rather live and make choices that, by some laws of physics, determine our becoming.5 Once observed (by God), then the quantum models show that all other parallel probabilities disappear. It could mean then, that repentance gives the opportunity to literally change the past, not just regret it. All of us have struggled wondering if we have been forgiven. Repentance, according to the laws given by our Divine Observer, then allows us to literally change our past, not just say we’re sorry and hope that we were sorry enough. This probationary state allows us to determine a our “truth”,6 and with the Savior’s succoring assistance, be perfected by Him.7
This gives impetus to, “For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors… do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.”Alma 34:32-33
I have stood between mirrors and tried to count the number of reflection repetitions. One day, I realized that if the mirror behind me (the past) were changed, then the repeated reflection in front (the future) would change. I realized that the only time to act is present, and that action would change the future. I then also realized that, with the right authority, my actions, in the present, to change someone else’s past, would then change their future too.
Not only do we participate in our becoming and the becoming of those with which we share this preparatory state across the generations, but quantum physics again suggests that this is a special time in our eternities we don’t want to waste!
The findings from quantum physics indicate that the universe may in some strange sense be “brought into being” by the participation of those involved? The vital act is the act of participation. “Participator” is the incontrovertible new concept given by quantum mechanics. It strikes down the term “observer” of classical theory, the man who stands safely behind the thick glass wall and watches what goes on without taking part. It can’t be done, Quantum mechanics says.” John Wheeler, Princeton. As quoted in “Dancing Wu Li Masters” by Gary Zukav, Bantam Books 1986
Since Christ is the creator of all we know here, He too is a participator in our becoming. This is a time when He offers to perfect us in participating with us in our choices and carrying our burdens. We all remember His invitation to those of us burdened and heavy laden. But there are some implications in the Greek that expand His offering:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt 11:28-30
We may at first only accept to take His yoke upon us when we have time, when we are finished with our own yoke stuff. But there are some things about “His yoke” we may not understand. He tells us that His yoke is “easy.” “Easy” just didn’t seem consistent with my experience; my mission was difficult, my Sabbath days end with my falling into bed exhausted, serving doesn’t come easily. It felt like He had given me His yoke or shoulder harness, to carry the weight of my little part of His world.
But, the Greek word is “Chrestos” which means two things; it means firstly, “pleasing,’ which is consistent with the idea that it brings “rest” to the soul making His burden ultimately “light,” but only if we are willing to endure the work.
The second thing it means is: “about people” meaning that whenever we desire to serve Him, carry His yoke, we just need to change our focus and repurpose our activities. Instead of just going to work, getting the kids out the door, or struggling through our church assignment, we do what we do by asking, “How would Christ use this activity to bless the people within my circle of responsibility?” This very realization helps us see that He isn’t handing His burden to us to carry; He is offering to use our work and activities as His, by inviting us into His people-yoke WITH Him!
As we go about our daily activities, our yoke becomes His yoke as we reach out to bring His Atonement to others as He guides and capacitates us through our fears and awkwardness. But, a yoke only works if both parties pull together equally! It is this divine synergy that allows Him to change us while we come to intimately know Him as He encourages and empowers us to pull more than we ever could alone. We receive His grace “after all we can do”8 or while we are doing all we can! This probationary time is in reality, His offer to mentor us, coach us, work right with us to comfort, encourage, and capacitate us. When we get so involved, so focused with our own agendas, forgetting or ignoring the people affected, or those simply around us; our own yoke, we miss out on the enabling, transforming power of this divine synergy.
Oh, how merciful is our God 9 whose atonement transcends time, being infinite and eternal! 10
1 Hawking, Stephen; Mlodinow, Leonard. The Grand Design , Random House, Inc. Kindle Edition.
2 Abraham 3:25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them.
3 Genesis 22:12
4 Romans 4:16-22 therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.; see also James 2:23
5 Alma 9:28 Therefore, prepare ye the way of the Lord, for the time is at hand that all men shall reap a reward of their works, according to that which they have been
6 DC 93:23 Truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come.”
7 come unto Christ, and be perfected in him
8 2 Nephi 25:23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.
9 Alma 24:15 Oh, how merciful is our God!
Jacob 6:4 And how merciful is our God unto us,
10 Alma 34:10 For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice.