JEH discusses the cosmology of the BOA; mentions Kolob; classifies it as a star.

May 1916
Josiah E. Hickman

J. E. Hickman, "Astronomy Attests the Truth of the Book of Abraham," Improvement Era 9, no. 7 (May 1916): 592–593

Improvement Era
William Herschel, Joseph Smith, Jr., Simon Newcomb, Edmond Halley, William Huggins, Josiah E. Hickman, Gustav Robert Kirchhoff
Latter-day Saints, Reading Public

Let us now review, somewhat in detail, the above facts in the order of their mention, and compare them with the body of astronomical truths and theories which have been discovered since the translation of the Book of Abraham.

(1) "It is given unto thee [Abraham] to know the set times of all the stars," etc. (Pearl of Great Price, p. 64). Halley and Herschel thought that the sun and two stars (Arcturus and Sirius) moved, but the real proof came after the invention of the spectroscope (1843). It was not until 1861 that Sir Wm. Huggins applied the spectroscope to the stars (Science History of the Universe, Vol. 1, p. 272). Since that time it is shown that all the stars are in motion. Newcomb says that we may assume that all the stars are in motion. Wherever examination has been made the stars are moving. If one were to be at rest it would be set in motion by other stars (The Stars, p. 75).

(2) Again the Lord says that the planet which is the lesser light (moon) is above or greater than this earth in point of reckoning, for it moves more slowly (P. of G. P., p. 61). This infers that as a planet advances in development from the primitive state to that of the moon — frozen, desolate, dead — it slows up in its movements, which fact astronomers now admit. (Refer to conclusions of Hale, Newcomb, Lowell, Todd, and Young.) '

(3) Worlds (stars) not only move in their own orbs but groups of them revolve about common centers. To quote: "It is given unto thee [Abraham] to know the times of reckoning, and the set times, yea, the set time of the earth and the set time of the greater light" (P. of G. P., p. 61). God said that Kolob is nigh unto his throne to govern all those planets which belong to the same order as this earth. "And it is given unto thee to know the set time of all the stars until thou come near unto the throne of God" (p. 64).

(4) Abraham was shown the time of the revolution of the sun and the stars. He was shown, though they had their orbits, that they were in turn governed by other stars. Kolob governs the class to which this earth belongs (p. 64) ; hence, of necessity, it would govern the suns or stars of this class as well. Vast systems revolve about Kolob. There are other great stars, and they are governing ones also (p. 60, 61).

The movements of all stars in their orbits, and the revolving of one system around another center, were unknown to modern astronomers at the time Joseph Smith translated the Book of Abraham. But since Kirchhoff more perfectly discovered (1859) the principle of spectrum analysis, "astro-physics has advanced by leaps and bounds." It is now known that each star not only revolves around some center, but groups of stars revolve around a common center. Hoeffler found that five of the seven stars in the Great Dipper lie nearly in the same plane and have an equal motion in one and the same direction. "May it not be that there are systems of stars in which each star revolves around a center of its own while all these systems are in revolution around a single center?" (The Stars, by Newcomb.)

We now know that the sun, carrying with it the solar system, is plunging through space at twelve miles a second, and is headed toward the constellation of Lyra — perhaps near the star Vega, the brightest of that constellation. Yet the orbit of the sun is so great that too little evidence is at hand to compute the center of its orbit. Yet Abraham knew the time of the sun's revolutions; and modern astronomers are patiently waiting to get enough of the arc of its orb that they may compute the form and immensity of its path. There are other governing stars besides Kolob. To quote: "And there were many great ones (stars) which were near unto it (Kolob): and the Lord said unto me, These are the governing ones" (p. 60). Inasmuch as Kolob governs a certain class of worlds, and there are other "governing ones," then they must govern other systems. This is what modern astronomers have found. Astronomers say that our sun is one of a cluster, or group of stars, having a different motion from the more distant stars. The Pleiades are moving together about a center with an exactness that no difference in their proper motions has been detected. (Stellar Evolution, by Hale.) Isn't it very startling to think that Joseph Smith could have known such far-reaching truths concerning the infinite deeps long before they were discovered by the aid of the spectroscope and astrophotography; especially since some scholars are claiming that he was a deceiver, totally unacquainted with the significance of those hieroglyphics; and absolutely ignorant of the simplest facts of Egyptian writing? Pray, tell me by what law of mind an ignorant deceiver can project a system of truths which antedates the discoveries of modern science.

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