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JOHN_ I read the scriptures and there are numerous mentions of Eternity. So verses sound like eternity is a time. Others, make Eternity sound more like a place. Which is it? Is it both? How do we differentiate?

JOEL - People and the scriptures often speak of the past or future as if it is a place, but eternity is usually described as endless time; something that goes on into the future(or the past) forever. As it relates to God and the gospel, eternity is more like a condition rather than a time or place. Eternal life is a condition of exalted immortal existance in the presence of God forever (1 John 5:11, Rom 6:23, Moses 1:39). The only instance where eternity may actually refer to a place is when scriptures are speaking of the universe, such as the following two verses:

"Thus saith the Lord your God, even Jesus Christ, the Great I Am, Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the same which looked upon the wide expanse of eternity, and all the seraphic hosts of heaven, before the world was made;" (D&C 38:1)

"And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Enoch, and told Enoch all the doings of the children of men; wherefore Enoch knew, and looked upon their wickedness, and their misery, and wept and stretched forth his arms, and his heart swelled wide as eternity; and his bowels yearned; and all eternity shook." (Moses 7:41)

But even these verses could also refer to endless time as well as meaning this universe, which to our perspective is endless. Quite often the scriptures will say "from eternity to eternity";

"And thou art after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years, from all eternity to all eternity." (Moses 6:67)

the first eternity meaning eternal past; that time in the premortal life with God before this world existed and the second eternity meaning the eternal future, which encompasses eternal life with God and those who have become exalted with the continuation of their seed forever. I guess you could say the Celestial Kingdom is the "place" and eternity is how long we will be there.

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