What is Kolob?
Kolob is a celestial body mentioned in the Book of Abraham and in Facsimile 2. It is a star or planet, a "great" and "governing" celestial object, is "near unto" God and "nigh unto the throne of God," was used to tell relative time, and was associated with creation.
Is Kolob a star or a planet?
It's unclear. The Book of Abraham appears to describe it as both, and historically Latter-day Saint leaders and scriptural interpreters have used both the words "star" and "planet" to describe Kolob.
Is Kolob where God lives or near where God lives?
Isn't Kolob just a symbol for Christ?
Possibly. Some Latter-day Saint writers have drawn a symbolic connection between Kolob and Jesus Christ, but the Book of Abraham itself doesn't seem to make this connection explicit. The text seems to describe Kolob as if it were a literal celestial body.
Did we live on Kolob in the pre-existence?
It's unclear. In the early twentieth century, Orson F. Whitney wrote a poem depicting Kolob as the location of the pre-mortal council. Some other Church leaders have also taught this, but the Book of Abraham doesn't explicitly say so.
Do people live on Kolob?
It's unknown. Some early Latter-day Saints seemed to hold this view. Brigham Young mentioned on one occasion there being inhabitants on Kolob and other "distant planets."Others taught that Kolob had inhabitants but did not specify if that's where souls return to after death. The Book of Abraham isn't clear on this.
Did the earth fall from Kolob's orbit or the presence of God at the Fall of Adam and Eve?
Do we know where Kolob is?
No. It's most commonly associated with the star Sirius (Canis Majoris). It's also sometimes associated with other stars or star patterns, like Thuban (Alpha Draconis) or the Pleiades star cluster, or even placed at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. There is no official doctrine on where Kolob is or otherwise what kind of celestial object it might be.
Is it known where the name Kolob comes from?
Not definitively, but there are some possibilities. Some Latter-day Saint scholars have proposed various ancient roots for the word, listed below.
Table of proposed origins for the name Kolob
Why do people believe that Kolob might be Sirius?
There are a couple of potential reasons. The consonants in the name Kolob (klb) match the consonantal root for the word "dog" in ancient Semitic languages. Since Sirius has been known as the "dog star" (Canis Majoris) since ancient times, some draw a connection between the two.
Others have also compared the Book of Abraham's description of Kolob with the ancient Egyptian understanding of Sirius.
Do people actually believe that God lives on the star Sirius?
Not exactly. The connections some scholars have suggested between Kolob and Sirius are based on perceived similarities between the Book of Abraham and ancient cosmology, not necessarily because they themselves believe God physically dwells on Sirius.
Is there any scientific explanation for Kolob?
Maybe? Some Latter-day Saints have attempted to place Kolob into a modern scientific context but there is no consensus on how to harmonize the cosmology of the Book of Abraham with modern science.
If Kolob is a physical place, is it in our same universe?
It's unknown. The proposals matching Kolob to any celestial body or object (a star or star system or something in the center of the Milky Way galaxy) are speculation.
Is Kolob a central concept in Latter-day Saint theology?
Has Kolob influenced Latter-day Saint culture?
Did Kolob inspire Battlestar Galactica?
Seems like it. Glen A. Larson,[BIO] an executive producer for the sci-fi TV show Battlestar Galactica, was an active Latter-day Saint. He reportedly "infused his series mythology with too many Mormon references to ignore," including a planet called Kobol and other Latter-day Saint themes and concepts.
Why do people make fun of Kolob so much?
It is a strange concept. For example, in the Book of Mormon musical song "I Believe," it's sung: "I believe that God lives on a planet called Kolob! I believe that Jesus has his own planet as well."
Critics have discussed the idea of Kolob since the nineteenth century.
But it is weird, right?
- Justin I.
“I think Kolob is explicitly a metaphor for Jesus Christ. The first 9 words in Abraham 3:18 introduces the interpretation of verses 1-17. The rest of the chapter uses language mirroring the language used in the first 17 verses as well. It is also probably a real place.”
- David M.
“With God, all things are possible. Ancient Scripture relies a lot on symbolism. So do we.”
- Patrick T
“If you could Hie to Kolob. The beginning and the end, are through Kolob. It is the First and the last. Like the birth and resurrection of our Savior. It the most brilliant, for it is the Light of Christ that lights the Universe. All things bear witness of Him.”
“I love the concept of Kolb. It gives me an excuse to exercise my imagination. I've been LDS for over 70 years and love the account from Abraham.”
- Paula M.
“I don't get Americans' obsession with something we know so little about and that it's so UN-essential to our Salvation. I think we have bigger fish to fry.”