clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Ancient Testaments: A lesson from the Creation

The earth whirls on its axis every 24 hours. The sun, with so much more

to haul around — surpassingly bigger than the earth, and a whole solar

system to hold together — is much slower. And it doesn't seem to mind.The

pattern was shown to Abraham; the planet that \"is above or greater\" in

the hierarchy \"moveth in order more slow\" (Abraham 3:5).As the

Savior said, \"he that is greatest among you shall be your servant\"

(Matthew 23:11). The one who leads the most serves the most. God is the

ultimate illustration. But we all get a turn at this pattern.When

we are in charge — holding people together, giving support and order

— there are delays. Like the sun, we slow down for those who need us.The

impatient kind of leadership often shows up in public places. Like the

irritated parent in a grocery store, jerking a toddler along and

carping, \"What's the matter with you? Why are you so slow?! Hurry,

hurry.\"Of course, what's the matter is simply that the child is

on a different schedule. Time is reckoned differently when everything

that meets the young eye is new and needs to be absorbed. A thoughtful

grasp of the world takes time.But it's easy for the leader to

demand that everybody in his or her solar system should go faster than

they are able. Rushed, impatient dominion can foster a stressed,

unabsorbent, even thoughtless culture on any scale. It can tempt people

to leave the system and find an orbit somewhere else.No wonder

a warning flashes at all leaders from the Doctrine and Covenants: \"it

is the nature and disposition of almost all men ... to exercise

unrighteous dominion\" (D&C 121:39).By contrast, those who

carried out the Creation \"watched those things which they had ordered

until they obeyed\" (Abraham 4:18). They didn't grab the elements and

jerk them around, but called out to them and commanded. In righteous

dominion, the Creators watched and waited — peacefully — for the

response.Abraham doesn't speak as if the creation periods were

locked in to a schedule. They went on as needed, until everything was

\"good.\" Only then did the great enterprise move on.Sometimes we

hear that something or someone \"took forever\" to arrive, to finish

cooking or get built, to boot up or shut down. Of course, it wasn't

forever — only a year or a week or a minute, as the case may be. But

in God's kind of life, Eternal Life, waiting truly is part of the

program forever.He does a little commanding. He does a lot of

waiting. It doesn't make him grumpy or anxious. Real patience is ...

well, patient. It isn't agony.The Creation story — no matter

how much \"time\" you suppose it took to unfold — is a story not only

about divine wisdom and divine power, but about divine patience.Even

mortal artisans say that if you want to make something fine and

beautiful — something to inspire and to last the ages — you shouldn't

have a clock in the room.It is so with building a soul.Thus,

a senior apostle of long ago, describing our path to the \"divine

nature,\" lists patience as the step that leads to godliness (2 Peter

1:4-7).One day at lunch, a grandson removed the vegetables from his plate and stacked them on mine.\"Do vegetables bother you?\" I asked.\"They do now,\" he answered, \"but when I grow up they won't.\"Waiting can be spinach for the soul. When we grow up, it won't bother us.