In Process of Time

Growth is gradual. We all know this, but it can be hard to maintain our effort and enthusiasm over time, especially when our progress is indiscernible.

When Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit, God prevented them from accessing the tree of life. (See Genesis 3:24.) Alma later explained that this was necessary because Adam and Eve needed time to prepare to return to God’s presence. They weren’t ready, and they couldn’t become ready all at once, so He gave them a “probationary time:” a time to prepare. (See Alma 12:23-24, Alma 42:2-10.)

The Hebrew word for “day” is yom (יוֹם). The plural—yamim (יָמִ֑ים)—is often used in the Old Testament to describe an indeterminate length of time, sometimes implying a long duration. Instead of translating this word literally, the King James translators sometimes convey a sense of open-endedness with the phrase “in process of time.” (See, for example, Genesis 4:3, Genesis 38:12, Exodus 2:23, Judges 11:4, 2 Chronicles 21:19.)

I particularly like that last passage, where the original Hebrew reads “l’yamim m’yamim” (לְיָמִ֣ים מִיָּמִ֡ים), literally “to days from days.” Other translations of the Bible render this phrase: “in course of time,” “day after day,” “after many days,” or, following the King James Version, “in process of time.” (See 2 Chronicles 21:19 on biblehub.com.)

Enoch established a holy city called Zion. The people there lived in peace and happiness because they were unified, righteous, and supportive of one another. The city remained on the earth for a while, but “in process of time,” it “was taken up into heaven” (Moses 7:21).

Elder Gerrit W. Gong counseled:

Trust what the scriptures call “in process of time.” With God’s blessing, process of time, and continuing faith and obedience, we can find resolution and peace.

Trust Again,” General Conference, October 2021

Today, I will be patient with my own gradual growth. I will be grateful for the time I have, over many days, to become more like God and to prepare, with His help, to return to His presence.

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