I present a way to understand the plan of salvation using the scriptures and the knowledge we have of the Universe. The symmetry between the plan of salvation and the laws of matter opens a wide and promising field of study. For that we need first to review some concepts.
Concept of symmetry
We say that an object has symmetry when in its rotation or reflection we do not notice the difference. In the image of the sunflower, if we rotate it, its appearance and properties do not change. It has rotational symmetry.
If we move it to a certain distance it remains with the same aspect, it has spatial symmetry.
Regardless of the movements, the sunflower also has internal symmetry, it does not depend on external movements such as rotation or displacement.
We check this if we change the position of the petals or the seeds inside, it still retains the same aspect. Therefore it has internal symmetry.
In the same way a sphere like our planet, also has rotational and external symmetry. In our planet, the physical laws on its surface are the same in any direction in which we move and although the Earth travels in a translational motion through space its properties do not vary.
However, it does not have internal symmetry, the northern hemisphere is not the same as the southern hemisphere, if we vary the point of view the aspect changes.
An advantage of symmetry
A symmetrical object retains the same properties, no matter from where we observe or how much we look at it. Therefore, by analyzing a part we can compose the whole of that object. In the case of the sunflower, if we look at one part, we could compose the whole flower.
If its shape were irregular and had no symmetry, we would have to visualize the whole to compose a complete image.
This principle applies at all scales in the Universe. It is important to understand this point in order to follow the reading.
I intend to point out the symmetry that exists between the plan of salvation and the Universe. I will try to seek a greater vision starting from the natural properties we know and taking advantage of their symmetry with the divinity.
Like the sunflower, we can analyze a part of creation and construct a novel proposal of the kingdom of heaven without having to calculate the whole system. And the result may retain symmetry with the rest of creation. Thus we can infer some properties of divinity that we cannot access from a limited view.
Symmetry in the plan of salvation
The temples teach with their image this principle of the construction of the Universe and of the plan of salvation.
A view of the scales
If we look at the image (3) through the lens of the gospel we experience an expansion of our vision. Read the following verse and look again.
«Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power.» (D&C 88:47)
Let us consider kingdoms to everything that is subject to a law. My intention is to find in this «kingdom» the correspondence not only with God but with his plan for us.
«And there are many kingdoms; for there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser kingdom.» (37)
Symmetry rules also in atomic spaces «And unto every kingdom is given a law». Knowing some of these laws, we can establish their symmetry with the plan of salvation.
Preservation of symmetry in the plan of salvation
The plan of salvation has internal and external symmetry. Rotational and spatial, just like the sunflower in our example. The consequences of this are marvelous, but laborious to obtain. That is why we need patience and work, dear reader.
Expansion of justice and space
Justice is the starting point for the creation of the Universe or any society. I am not referring to divine justice but to the previous one, that of the heavens. Before the existence of the plan of salvation there was only it, having to its credit both symmetries. Its laws are the same in any place and with any observer.
Like our sunflower, justice has resonance in equity, respect for agency and an exact calculation of what is due to each intelligence of her principality. It is the same from any turn and in any path of space and time.
Justice in the beginning, was a point without more dimensions because «And the earth was without form» (Moses 2:2) When the earth also saw «that light was good» (4) it accepted the light that shone, then justice expanded and the earth could obey «the law of a celestial kingdom,» (D&C 88:25).
The righteousness of the heavens is unrolled as intelligence and its agency in the work of the Heavenly Father is expanded which is his glory «or, in other words, light and truth.» (D&C 93:36)
Similarly, in the beginning the four fundamental forces of the Universe: strong nuclear force, weak force, electromagnetism and gravity, were unified into one. That great unification unwinds as space expands, which is its vineyard.
A careful reading of D&C initiates us into the contemplation of these two expansions, space and intelligence. A study of the standard system of physics, with the optics of restoration, shows us a reduced version of the primordial voice of that justice and its intelligences.
By bringing man Adam and Eve into the garden, justice, being unified before, now unfolds and manifests its folded forces, law and punishment. These form a triad which maintains the first symmetry. The prophet Lehi explains it clearly.
«…the ends of the law which the Holy One hath given, unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed, which punishment that is affixed is in opposition to that of the happiness which is affixed, to answer the ends of the atonement. For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.» (2 Nephi 2:10)
The terms righteousness, law, and punishment, which are strung together in 2 Nephi 2, form a body in opposition to happiness. Without space here, I invite the reader to scrutinize it in his personal study.
Before the plan of salvation the plan of the righteousness of the heavens is executed. If we rotate the image (4) we see that its content does not change. If you change the order of any of them, you will see that like the sunflower it maintains the internal symmetry.
Lehi clearly shows the strong cohesion of this new «particle» of the plan of salvation. In reality the opposition detailed by Lehi is the symmetry of the plan of salvation.
«the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter.» (15)
That sweet/bitter set. That at a short distance they seem to us individual, if we move away a little, we observe that they are complementary.
Symmetry breaking in Eden
«But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.» (Genesis 2;16-17)
The testimony of atoms
Now we have to make an exercise of comprehension because we are going to move to the smallest of matter to look for the testimony of the similar, the voice of the intelligences. I will do so by quoting Lisa Randall, American theoretical physicist, specialized in particle physics and cosmology in her book «Hidden Universes». I will also quote Brian Greene, PhD from Oxford University, and Professor of Physics and Mathematics at Columbia University, specialist in superstrings in his book «The Elegant Universe».
«…only certain combinations of particles are consistent with the internal symmetries involved in the forces and these are the only combination.» Lisa Randall
We are in the ultimate constitution of matter.
The internal symmetry of each elementary particle of matter (remember the sunflower and its petals) makes the particle associate only with its fellows. In the same way that to create white light, the participation of red, green and blue light, belonging to a common frequency spectrum, is required. So, that internal symmetry selects only the associations with other particles similar to it.
Note this. Neutrons and protons are formed by three compatible quark particles (up and down in the image below). To interact with a quark, a field is needed, the field of the strong nuclear force and the associated particle, the Gluon. This «ministration» of the strong force on the quarks requires that they share symmetry, that they are similar, but not exactly the same.
Once they interact, the symmetry is conserved in both the field and the quarks.
Symmetry decides interactions
«In particle physics, symmetries are useful as a method of prohibiting certain interactions: those that do not preserve symmetry are not allowed» (Hidden Universes, Lisa Randall).
For that reason the Universe retains its shape and does not migrate to the infinite possibilities offered to it.
» Therefore, why is it that ye cannot understand and know, that he that receiveth the word by the Spirit of truth receiveth it as it is preached by the Spirit of truth?
Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together.»(D&C 50:21-22)
It is impossible to read this verse without experiencing the amazement of discovering the perfect symmetry with the elementary particles. If you substitute word for interaction, Spirit of truth for field, preach for transmit. Both are edified and rejoice. Symmetry is maintained.
It is amazing!!!
Light comes to light
In this D&C scripture we can observe the same principle by which the Quarks interact.
«For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things.» (D&C 88:40)
There is a symmetry from atoms through all scales, up to the gospel. In this case the Lord’s language treats spiritual aspects as objects and describes how they interact with each other. For that he chooses words like allege, receive, embrace and love as the way to interact. Thus he shows perfectly that it is necessary to share symmetry and to preserve it afterwards.
Just as in nature, in the heavens «those [associations] that do not preserve symmetry are not permitted.»
There are abundant scriptures where the Lord speaks in the first person as the executor of the action, so when he does not do so we must be especially attentive.
The uncreated nature
In this scripture, the Lord speaks in the third person. He does not assign a subject to execute the action of wisdom, truth, virtue, light, mercy and justice. I believe there is no literary or aesthetic intent in doing this. I think he is giving us a clue about the uncreated nature of elements and their agency as participants in the plan of salvation and its mechanics.
However he ends by revealing that the result of these mechanics «goeth before the face of him that sitteth upon the throne» and immediately clearly assigns to the Heavenly Father the governance and execution of the plan.
The strong bonds of the Quarks in protons and neutrons provided by the gluon belong to the gluonic field. Without that strong binding, there would be no atoms and our world would not exist. And I insist, this necessary interaction occurs because both parts share symmetry. Like our brain is symmetrical or our face or our body.
An accelerated search
In the restoration an accelerated symmetry between the heavens and the earth is sought. Now we understand more deeply this scripture.
«wherein it is granted that whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.» (D&C 128:8)
The ordinances of the gospel, conform the messenger particle, the local manifestation of the eternal field of the power of the heavens. In symmetry with our soul, they bind us with intense force to a divine reality that alters as we bind or unbind just like the gluon, in perfect symmetry.
If we blame God for the injustice of the world, we show that we do not understand the world. With this complaint, we request that the whole Universe adopt the necessary symmetry to «come closer» to us. A certainly absurd pretension.
The achievement of the plan of salvation
As you can see in the graph, the plan of salvation designed by the Father (mercy, forgiveness and repentance) has rotational and spatial symmetry with that of justice, law and punishment. Each of these three components is the mirror image of its opposite in justice. With which they compose an incredible system of correspondences. And all this in symmetry with matter, which follows the same pattern as we have seen with the Quarks.
The Heavenly Father designed the plan of mercy to create a tribunal in the heavens and rescue man from the cold path of primordial justice. This justice, which is prior, is not a creation, it is eternal like the elements. That «particle» of elemental power is naturally deployed when conditions demand it, as in the fall and » is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself,» (D&C 93:30) In fact its verdict is of an immediate character, «ye shall surely die» is an announcement not the action of God «I will cause you to die», the scripture conveys the action of another agent. Like the intelligence or light of truth, the righteousness of the heavens «was not created or made, neither indeed can be.» (29)
Having created a perfect plan of salvation, it should nevertheless be able to interact with or modify that of «righteousness [which] runs its course and claims its own» I would almost say goes its own way.
That task is not at all easy, just as the Quarks are powerfully bound by the Gluon, which transmits the strong nuclear force, the most powerful in the Universe. In the same way that «Quark» Justice-Law-Punishment, compose the most powerful construction by which all things are governed. The designed plan of salvation compromised the very architecture of the Universe.
Prepared the way by creating the symmetry of the plan of salvation with justice How to get the plan of mercy «close» to that of justice, to «embrace» it and at the same time «claim its own» without breaking the eternal rules?
Influence in particle physics is achieved by a field and its messenger particle. For example, the electromagnetism we are familiar with when playing with magnets or turning on the television is transmitted by the electromagnetic field and its particle, the photon. Particles that transmit force are called bosons. They transmit the information of changing the symmetry without losing it, it does it with those particles of similar symmetry. For example the photon and the electromagnetic field interacts with electrons but not with Quarks, the Gluon and its field do.
The problem posed in the plan of salvation is that there was no field, particle, power or person that could break the scheme of justice without breaking its internal symmetry. This would mean a comisco disaster.
The solution came from the hand of the only being that could do it.
The power fields in the skies
The power fields in the skies
Each member of the trinity has an associated field of influence.
As John says » For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.» (1 John 1:7)
And it is no coincidence that there are three. That very symmetry that reaches from the smallest to the highest is a great mystery to me. In past articles in the Cosmology of the Gospel category, we have distinguished three lights or fields.
- The light of truth. Allied to the Father, «Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space» (D&C 88:12). It has power to act independently. It pervades all objects in the Universe. It operates on a basic plane, it does not influence human consciousness.
- The light that shines is the light of truth through Christ. In Christ it shines, adds to the former and vivifies all that the former illuminates. It operates in the immensity of space with life and its subtleties, reaching also the human consciousness.
- The Holy Spirit. Third person whose field of activity is not universal but local. It coincides with human space, wherever there is a human being, he interacts to testify of the Father and the Son.
These three fields, from each vertex of divinity, are added and at the same time operate independently. A simile can be seen in our use of the electromagnetic field to communicate in the distance by radio or TV. We apply our knowledge to use an eternal object such as this field and its photons in a «ministration» of the population in every point of the earth.
Believing what we read
Something similar to the influence of the field of Light shining on people. That is why when we read in D&C 131:8 «We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter.» we should believe.
The field of the light of Christ
Who ascended on high, as he also descended below all things
Let us now answer the previous key question
Having prepared the way by creating the symmetry of the plan of salvation with justice, how do we get the plan of mercy to «come close» to the plan of justice, to «embrace» it and at the same time «claim its own» without breaking the eternal rules?
In the scriptures the growth of the power or strength of a field is taught. The meaning I give to field is the same as in particle physics, in Lisa Randall’s words.
«The fields that create electrons and photons have to exist everywhere to ensure that all interactions can happen at any point in space-time. This is essential because the interactions are local.»
This description coincides with that expressed in D&C 88:12 «Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space» In this case the field is that of light and truth. Filling space can only be done by the spherical idea of field.
The field of light and truth «was not created or made, neither indeed can be.» (D&C 93:29)
Of interest are the adjectives used by Lisa Randall for the description of fields.
«quantum field theory is the tool with which we study particles, it is based on eternal, omnipresent objects…»
The field created on the uncreated
But for the interactions of the field of light and truth to be local, i.e. to affect and inspire us all, another is needed. Since the fall, we do not share symmetry with light and truth, we were excluded.
We need the field of the light that shines, and this is that of Christ.
«and all things which are good cometh of Christ; otherwise men were fallen, and there could no good thing come unto them.» (Moroni 7:24)
Through the field of the shining Light all good things can come to us, without it we cannot gather any good things of light and truth. Truly the shining Light, that of Christ, is a created field, but upon the uncreated one of Light and truth, is its increase.
The light that shines
Construction of the field of the light of Christ
The quarries of the heavens, the eternal fields
«He that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth; Which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ» (D&C 88:6-7)
For the sake of brevity I will explain it in a schematic way
- Christ receives a special training to understand and embrace everything.
- His aim is that Light and truth be in all things, not referring to himself but to that field of power.
And through all things, he suggests that he exerts a profound influence, an aspect that in our case is impossible because we are fallen.
- For that to be possible, he presents something special, a Light and truth that shines and affirms «This is the light of Christ«, this is the second field of the Trinity. That brightness does have symmetry with our understanding because «[it] enlightens [us], it comes through him who enlightens [our] eyes, and it is the same light that enlivens [our] understanding» (D&C 88:11).
The origin of the glowing light field
We can read in this scripture, how the field of Christ’s light or the light that shines can be formed.
«That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.» (D&C 50:24)
We see a process of accumulation. The one who receives the light is the Savior. In intimacy, he accessed the private and reserved landscapes of his Father. There at the source of his power, his relationship with the Light of truth was privileged. It grew and accumulated in him in such a way that he was able to transmit his Father’s radiance over that cold and impersonal field of the Light of truth. Therefore «which truth shines.»
Just as over the nondescript electromagnetic field shines Handel in transmitting his Messiah to millions.
The field of atonement
Not one falls to the ground without God knowing about it
The field of atonement, in addition to the field of shining light, is the savior’s greatest achievement. This field affects all mankind and is activated by repentance. This diagram is a representation of the distribution and relationship of its components. It is the result of translating the symmetry in the quarks and their interaction with the strong force through the gluon with the plan of salvation and its interaction with justice through the atonement and its carrier who is our Savior. Letting ourselves be guided by the symmetry principle, the results are marvelous, at least to my eyes.
While writing this article it was a surprise to find the classification scheme by Gell-mann under the name «Eightfold Way».
The curious thing about this is that I found this scheme after sketching my own. This encourages me to further develop this principle of symmetry for scriptural study.
The interaction of justice
«But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth; otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the claw, and the law inflicteth the punishment; if not so, the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would cease to be God.» (Alma 42:22)
This movement on the left side is one-way and is the first that occurred. Divinity depends on it since «Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.» (D&C 93:29) therefore God deals with this governing entity of the Universe which can be guessed when we read «…For, behold, the mystery of godliness, how great is it! For» (D&C 19:10)
The interaction of mercy
This movement circulates in several directions, it is the plan of mercy, which is coupled with the plan of justice.
«and mercy claimeth the penitent, and mercy cometh because of the atonement» (23)
and the idea is completed by reading.
«But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth;» (22).
If you notice, in the upper scheme the axis of symmetry S4, provided by the field of atonement, places repentance in symmetry with the law. And it manages to place mercy with the power to reclaim its own. It invests mercy with the status of Universal law. What our Savior has accomplished is incredible, an unthinkable feat. Thus we answer the question we asked in the beginning.
How to bring the plan of mercy «close» to the plan of justice, to «embrace» it and at the same time «claim its own» without breaking the eternal rules?
The words of the plan of mercy, to the right, are solicitous, bestows and claims, because the exercise of the priesthood is by «persuasion, by longsuffering, gentleness, meekness» (D&C 121:41).
However, the words of righteousness are of power as exercises and rights. The Savior already left his cloak and walked two miles, out of love for us long before we existed.