Come, Follow Me Resources
John testifies that Jesus is the Lamb of God and presents his visions, which include images that depict the depth of evil and the height of good. The visions are designed to help us prepare for what is to come.
“The Revelation of John the Apostle”: BYU New Testament Commentary New Rendition, by Michael D. Rhodes and Richard D. Draper
Here is a new rendition of the text of the book of Revelation, free to read online or as an ebook. Calling this a new “rendition” clarifies that it does not seek to replace the authorized KJV adopted by the LDS Church as its official English text. Rather, it aims to enhance readers’ understanding conceptually and spiritually by rendering the Greek texts into modern English with LDS sensitivities in mind. Helpful headings guide the way.
"Why Is the Book of Revelation called 'The Apocalypse'?" Richard D. Draper and Michael D. Rhodes, BYU New Testament Commentary
The word apocalypse comes from the Greek ποκάλυψις which means revelation or disclosure. This title is quite fitting since one of the main signatures of apocalyptic literature is that it reveals or discloses heavenly secrets to its readers.
"For whom was the book of Revelation written and why?" Richard D. Draper, BYU New Testament Commentary
The book of Revelation is the story of Christ’s work through the end of time. It shows the active involvement of the Lord in the ongoing progress and, unfortunately, regress of his Church and its people. Fortunately, it also tells of its restoration and describes its mission in the last days. Thus, Revelation was not just for John and the Saints of the seven Churches but for other Saints then and now. Indeed, as we will see, the book speaks to our period even more than that of the seven churches.
"Revelation 1:6 and Priesthood," Richard D. Draper and Michael D. Rhodes, BYU New Testament Commentary
Revelation 1:6 focuses on the end result of the resurrection and supremacy of the Lord: he is able to make his followers kings and priests unto God. The seven servants mentioned twice in Revelation (1:4, 20) had apparently achieved these ranks and attendant blessings. They were not the only ones. “John said he was a king,” Joseph Smith reported. The kingdom to which the Seer and the others belonged was to endure forever, and those who became members therein were, therefore, eternal heirs of glory.
"In Revelation chapter 4, John describes certain animals that inhabit the throne room of God. What are these animals and what is their function?" Richard D. Draper and Michael D. Rhodes, BYU New Testament Commentary
The description of the animals with their various faces like a man, an ox, a lion, and an eagle is highly symbolic. John seems to epitomize the orders of beings—mankind, domestic animals, wild animals, and fowl, and thus all living things—through the representation of the creatures’ faces. The living creatures, as the text of Revelation stands, form the first of the concentric circles around God’s throne, the Elders the second.
A Message to the Latter-day Saints from the Book of Revelation, Richard D. Draper and Michael D. Rhodes, BYU New Testament Commentary
The real horror of the last days is not the locusts with their vicious scorpion tails or the horseman and their deadly mounts so vividly described in Revelation chapter 9. It is that there will be men and women who will live through the evil day and not be humbled, who will continue to cling to their gold and silver as though these lifeless and powerless things were gods.
Chart 17-1: "The Number Seven in the Revelation of John," Charting the New Testament
In Revelation 1:4, the Lord tells the seven churches in Asia about the blessings promised to those who endure the trials of mortality. "To readers living in the first century, an age when the symbolism of numbers was common, the number seven was thought to represent fulfillment or completion." Chart 17-1 lists fourteen places in the book of Revelation where the number seven occurs.
Chart 17-2: "The Seven Churches," Charting the New Testament
Each branch of the church is criticized for a particular weakness and admonished in various ways. These seven messages at the beginning of the book of Revelation follow a pattern, as chart 17-2 demonstrates.
Chart 17-3: "Key Themes Common to Genesis 2-3 and Revelation 2-3," Charting the New Testament
The Garden of Eden was a holy, sacred place. In many ways, it was a prototype of the temple built in Jerusalem, where mankind could again seek to stand in the presence of God, as had Adam and Eve. Chart 17-3 identifies seven temple elements in the primal account of Genesis 2-3. For example, the tree of life is present, clothing is given by God, and names are given. Prominent in the book of Revelation is the New Jerusalem, which houses the heavenly temple in which the Lord and his Saints shall dwell (Rev 21).
Chart 17-4: "Earthly and Heavenly Temples," Charting the New Testament
Temple themes are prominent throughout the book of Revelation. Echoes from the Old Testament are conspicuously present in the revelation of John. Chart 17-4 lists these elements, together with their corresponding references, where applicable, from the Hebrew scriptures. It is difficult to understand the book of Revelation without a clear picture of the Jewish Temple.
Chart 17-5: "Joseph Smith's Explanations of the Revelation of John," Charting the New Testament
With a testimony of Christ, Satan can be overcome. In this article, Lowell M. Snow uses his experience flying small airplanes to teach about trials as a necessary part of mortality. He says, "the tender mercies of a loving Father and His Only Begotten feel after us seeking to lift us out of this fallen world back into the heavens. The gospel of Christ draws us to Him so we can be perfected in Him."
For purchase: New Testament Commentary: The Revelation of John the Apostle, by Richard D. Draper and Michael D. Rhodes, hardcover or ebook, 918 pages
This commentary presents a comprehensive analysis of John's book through the lens of the LDS doctrine and Mormon experience. God delivered his messages in the form of images housed within discrete visions, with each symbol explaining, exposing, or emphasizing various aspects of the message conveyed. The challenge is getting beyond the symbols to the represented realities. One of the strengths of the BYU New Testament Commentary Series is that it brings together all the elements revealed during the Restoration that help to interpret the book and disclose its messages. Information is drawn from all the Standard Works of the Church as well as the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. In addition, insights from the modern Prophets and Apostles have been included. Even so, the best of world scholarship has not been overlooked. The work also presents a full rendering of the Greek text into English, set side by side with the King James Version for easy comparison. The commentary also contains translation notes on and analysis of every verse. The work strives to be as up-to-date, comprehensive, scholarly and doctrinally sound as possible. Most important, the commentary emphasizes the primary focus of John's work, "the revelation of Jesus Christ" (Revelation 1:1).