John saw the opening of the seventh seal and learned of his mission to participate in the gathering of Israel in the latter days.
Divide students into pairs, and ask students to explain to their partners what they learned in their study of Revelation 6–7 that can help them remain joyful and positive amidst uncertainty and turmoil.
Write on the board the following principle identified in the previous lesson: If we endure tribulation faithfully and become pure through Jesus Christ’s Atonement, we will enjoy celestial glory with God. Encourage students to look for how this principle relates to the events they will learn about in today’s lesson.
Provide the following chart as a handout, or draw it on the board:
According to this chart, how many verses in the book of Revelation deal with events of the first six seals? (25.)
How many verses deal with events of the seventh seal? (211 + 15 = 226.)
Point out that John wrote more about events pertaining to the seventh thousand-year period than he did about events pertaining to any of the others. He wrote particularly about the events that would occur from the time of the opening of the seventh seal to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Why do you think John focused his writings on the events of the seventh seal?
Summarize Revelation 8:1–6 by explaining that these verses describe the Savior opening the seventh seal. John saw seven angels who were given seven trumpets. Anciently, trumpets were used to “sound an alarm, signal [an army] for battle, or announce the arrival of royalty” (Gerald N. Lund, “Seeing the Book of Revelation as a Book of Revelation,” Ensign, Dec. 1987, 50). In this instance, blowing the trumpets would signal the onset of various plagues and destruction in preparation for Jesus Christ’s millennial reign.
Invite students to write “The Seventh Seal” at the top of a piece of paper or in their class notebooks or scripture study journals and to draw seven trumpets down the side of the page.
Write the following references on the board, but omit the questions that follow each reference. Invite students to write the references next to the trumpets on their papers:
First—Revelation 8:7. What happened as a result of the “hail and fire” that fell to the earth when the first angel sounded his trumpet?
Second—Revelation 8:8–9. What three things were affected when the second trumpet was sounded?
Third—Revelation 8:10–11. What was the name of the star that fell? (Explain that wormwood is a bitter herb used to denote “bitter calamity or sorrow” [Bible Dictionary, “Wormwood”].) What happened when it fell?
Fourth—Revelation 8:12. Following the sounding of the fourth trumpet, what three things were partially darkened?
Fifth—Revelation 9:1–3. What came out of the bottomless pit when the fifth angel opened it?
Sixth—Revelation 9:13–16, 18. How many soldiers were involved in the great battle that John saw after the sixth trumpet had been sounded? What portion of mankind did he see killed in this battle?
Divide the class into six groups, and assign each group one of the first six scripture references listed on the board (if your class is small, you may need to assign multiple references to some groups). Ask the groups to read their assigned scripture passages aloud together, looking for what happened after the sounding of the trumpets. Invite them to write what they find next to the corresponding trumpet on their papers.
After sufficient time, invite a student from each group to report what they found. Invite students to write each group’s findings next to the corresponding trumpets on their papers. As students report, if necessary ask the question(s) accompanying their group’s assigned scripture reference.
How can the principle we identified in the previous lesson help those who are living during the events of the seventh seal?
Invite a student to read Revelation 9:20–21 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how the wicked who survive these plagues will respond. Invite students to report what they find.
What does this teach us about the wickedness of these people?
Explain that Revelation 10 contains a pause in the narrative of the seven trumpet soundings and their associated plagues. We read in this chapter that John was instructed by another angel.
Write on the board the words Sweet and Bitter.
What are some experiences in life that could be considered both sweet and bitter?
Invite a student to read Revelation 10:1–3 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the angel was holding.
What was the angel holding?
Invite two students to take turns reading aloud from Revelation 10:8–11. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what John was told to do with the book.
What was John told to do with the book? How did it taste?
Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 77:14 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what John’s eating of the book represented.
According to this verse, what did John’s eating of the book represent? (John’s acceptance of his mission to help “gather the tribes of Israel” and “restore all things” in the latter days.)
Point out that John had been blessed that he would not die so that he could bring individuals to the Savior (see D&C 7:1–4).
What might John experience in fulfilling his mission that would be sweet? What might be bitter?
Explain that Revelation 11 begins with John’s description of the events that will precede the sounding of the seventh trumpet and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. During this time, the wicked will have more power and control over the earth, and an army will seek to overrun Jerusalem.
Invite a student to read Revelation 11:3–6 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what two witnesses will do in Jerusalem during this time.
What will the two witnesses do?
Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 77:15 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for who these two witnesses will be. Ask students to report what they find.
Invite a student to read Revelation 11:7–12 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what will happen to these two prophets after they have finished their ministry among the Jews.
How will the wicked react when the two witnesses are killed?
What will happen to the two witnesses after being dead for three and a half days?
How will the people react when the two witnesses are raised from the dead and taken into heaven?
Invite a student to read Revelation 11:13–15 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what will happen prior to and when the seventh trumpet is sounded. Invite students to write what they find on their papers next to the seventh trumpet.
After the sounding of the seventh trumpet, who will reign over “the kingdoms of this world”? (verse 15).
Summarize Revelation 11:16–19 by explaining that the 24 elders gave thanks and praise to God for rewarding the just and punishing the wicked. John also saw in vision the heavenly temple of God and the ark of the covenant, which represents God’s presence.
Conclude today’s lesson by sharing your own feelings of thanks and praise to God for His goodness and justice.