Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Hiram, Ohio, about March 1832. Joseph Smith’s history states, “In connection with the translation of the Scriptures, I received the following explanation of the Revelation of St. John.”
1–4, Beasts have spirits and will dwell in eternal felicity; 5–7, This earth has a temporal existence of 7,000 years; 8–10, Various angels restore the gospel and minister on earth; 11, The sealing of the 144,000; 12–14, Christ will come in the beginning of the seventh thousand years; 15, Two prophets will be raised up to the Jewish nation.
2 Q. What are we to understand by the four beasts, spoken of in the same verse?A. They are afigurative expressions, used by the Revelator, John, in describing bheaven, the cparadise of God, the dhappiness of man, and of beasts, and of creeping things, and of the fowls of the air; that which is spiritual being in the likeness of that which is temporal; and that which is temporal in the likeness of that which is spiritual; the espirit of man in the likeness of his person, as also the spirit of the fbeast, and every other creature which God has created.
3 Q. Are the four beasts limited to individual beasts, or do they represent classes or aorders?A. They are limited to four individual beasts, which were shown to John, to represent the glory of the classes of beings in their destined border or csphere of creation, in the enjoyment of their deternal efelicity.
4 Q. What are we to understand by the aeyes and bwings, which the beasts had?A. Their eyes are a representation of light and knowledge, that is, they are full of cknowledge; and their wings are a drepresentation of epower, to move, to act, etc.
5 Q. What are we to understand by the four and twenty aelders, spoken of by John?A. We are to understand that these elders whom John saw, were elders who had been bfaithful in the work of the ministry and were dead; who belonged to the cseven churches, and were then in the paradise of God.
6 Q. What are we to understand by the book which John saw, which was asealed on the back with seven seals?A. We are to understand that it contains the revealed will, bmysteries, and the works of God; the hidden things of his economy concerning this cearth during the seven thousand years of its continuance, or its temporal existence.
7 Q. What are we to understand by the seven aseals with which it was sealed?A. We are to understand that the first seal contains the things of the bfirst thousand years, and the csecond also of the second thousand years, and so on until the seventh.
8 Q. What are we to understand by the four aangels, spoken of in the 7th chapter and 1st verse of Revelation?A. We are to understand that they are four angels sent forth from God, to whom is given power over the four parts of the earth, to save life and to destroy; these are they who have the beverlasting gospel to commit to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people; having power to cshut up the heavens, to seal up unto life, or to cast down to the dregions of darkness.
9 Q. What are we to understand by the angel aascending from the east, Revelation 7th chapter and 2nd verse?A. We are to understand that the angel ascending from the east is he to whom is given the seal of the living God over the twelve tribes of bIsrael; wherefore, he crieth unto the four angels having the everlasting gospel, saying: Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their cforeheads. And, if you will receive it, this is dElias which was to come to gather together the tribes of Israel and erestore all things.
11 Q. What are we to understand by sealing the aone hundred and forty-four thousand, out of all the tribes of Israel—twelve thousand out of every tribe?A. We are to understand that those who are sealed are bhigh priests, ordained unto the holy order of God, to administer the everlasting gospel; for they are they who are ordained out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, by the angels to whom is given power over the nations of the earth, to bring as many as will come to the church of the cFirstborn.
12 Q. What are we to understand by the sounding of the atrumpets, mentioned in the 8th chapter of Revelation?A. We are to understand that as God bmade the world in six days, and on the seventh day he finished his work, and csanctified it, and also formed man out of the ddust of the earth, even so, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years will the Lord God esanctify the earth, and complete the salvation of man, and fjudge all things, and shall gredeem all things, except that which he hath not put into his power, when he shall have sealed all things, unto the end of all things; and the sounding of the trumpets of the seven angels are the preparing and finishing of his work, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years—the hpreparing of the way before the time of his coming.
14 Q. What are we to understand by the little book which was aeaten by John, as mentioned in the 10th chapter of Revelation?A. We are to understand that it was a mission, and an ordinance, for him to bgather the tribes of Israel; behold, this is Elias, who, as it is written, must come and crestore all things.
15 Q. What is to be understood by the two awitnesses, in the eleventh chapter of Revelation?A. They are two prophets that are to be raised up to the bJewish nation in the last days, at the time of the crestoration, and to prophesy to the Jews after they are gathered and have built the city of Jerusalem in the dland of their fathers.