GPS or Come Follow Me

Trust in GPS?  Or God?

When Christ began his ministry he invited Peter, and Andrew his brother to follow him: “And he saith unto them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.  And they straightway  left their nets, and followed him.”  At that moment, he became the GPS or guide for his apostles and for all mankind.  “Come follow me” and gain eternal life.

During my 82 years on this planet, we spent 32 of them in Boulder, Colorado, (1960-1992) helping develop the nation’s official time — based on atomic clocks.  During that time I also helped in the development of GPS.  It has been an inspiring ride. I spent many man-years on GPS alone – helping with the atomic-clock part of that system.   The GPS usage is growing rapidly, and the GPS user device market is expected to be $3 billion in four years.  Everybody loves their GPS, which Google Maps has taken over.  How did people get along without it?

The heart of GPS is atomic clocks; it would not work without them.  From a physics perspective it is interesting that GPS is the first engineering utilization of Einstein’s theories of relativity.  When GPS was being designed and built up by the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), the Air Force, and The Aerospace Corporation, these folks came to Boulder to our seminars to learn about atomic clocks.  NRL invited me to come to them in Washington D.C. and do a special atomic-clock characterization seminar.

Colonel Brad Parkinson, who I consider to be the father of GPS, was in one of my classes in Boulder, as GPS was being developed in the ‘70s.  I was in many meetings with him over the years.  In 1999, Brad agreed to write the forward to a college text I was asked to write for John Wiley and Sons on GPS and Precise Timing.  Instead, I pursued some fascinating physics regarding the Unified Field Theory  that we felt guided to do.

Using My Internal GPS

Ironically, I purposely avoid using GPS – desiring to follow my heart and the Spirit as best I can.  I had a special experience in that regard in 2015 when I was invited to give a talk at an international navigation conference in St. Petersburg, Russia.  To avoid jet-lag I arrived on the Saturday before the conference.  Desiring to go to church the next day, I got the address of the closest ward from the hotel where I was staying and gave it to the taxi driver.  It was about five miles away in this convoluted-river-system city of six million people with fascinating cathedrals and architectural edifices.

I was hoping to get a ride with a member after the services, but had a feeling I might have to walk back.  When the taxi dropped me off, I could clearly see I had the correct address, but I could not find anything associated with our church or its members after poking around for about a half-an-hour.  Saying a prayer and enjoying the beauty of this city, I started walking toward the hotel where I was staying with no descent map of the city and with no GPS!  Listening to my heart, I walked straight back to the hotel.  I joked with the people at the conference the next day that I had found something better than GPS; “LISTEN TO YOUR HEART!”

Learning to trust in the Lord is fundamental to our mortal journey.  The center message, literally, of the King James Edition of the Bible is, “trust in the Lord…”  And with Divine design, as I point out in my book, it shows the Lord inspiring the translators and compilers over the millennia.  That verse is Psalms 118:8; if you divide 1188 by 2 = 594, which is exactly the number of chapters before and after that chapter; amazing.  Furthermore, that chapter is between the shortest chapter (2 verses) and the longest chapter (176 verses).

In the Hebrew Bible, Psalms 119 has eight verses for each of the 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, and each of the eight verses begins with each Hebrew letter, sequentially.  If that were not enough to show the Lord’s fingerprint in this book, the Bible, which has influenced more people for good than any other book ever published. Psalms 117:2 is the center verse: “For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord” — a most appropriate center verse.

In 2019, we have the opportunity to examine the New Testament using the new LDS study  guide, “Come Follow Me.” Our homes are to be the places of study with our families gathered around.  We are individually encouraged to use our personal GPS systems to guide our study as we depend upon the spirit for insight into this marvelous biblical manuscript.  As you trust in the Lord and follow Him, the Lord’s blessing will follow you.  The best thing we can do is live and share this glorious gospel message.  HAPPY NEW YEAR.

David W. Allan