“December 9–15. Revelation 1–11: ‘Glory, and Power, Be unto … the Lamb for Ever’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“December 9–15. Revelation 1–11,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2019
Record Your Impressions
Have you ever struggled to express to others what you felt during a powerful spiritual experience? Everyday language can feel inadequate to describe spiritual feelings and impressions. Perhaps this is why John used such rich symbolism and imagery to describe his majestic revelation. He could have simply stated that he saw Jesus Christ, but to help us understand his experience, he described the Savior using words like these: “His eyes were as a flame of fire,” “out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword,” and “his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength” (Revelation 1:14–16). As you read the book of Revelation, try to discover the messages John wanted you to learn and feel, even if you don’t understand the meaning behind every symbol. Why might he have compared Church congregations to candlesticks, Satan to a dragon, and Jesus Christ to a lamb? Ultimately, you don’t have to understand every symbol in Revelation to understand its important themes, including its most prominent theme: Jesus Christ and His followers will triumph over the kingdoms of men and of Satan.
The book of Revelation can be hard to understand, but don’t get discouraged. John’s promise may inspire you to keep trying: “Blessed are they who read, and they who hear and understand the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein, for the time of the coming of the Lord draweth nigh” (Joseph Smith Translation, Revelation 1:3 [in the Bible Appendix], emphasis added).
The following questions and resources can provide insights as you study Revelation:
How is the book organized, and what are some themes to look for? (See Bible Dictionary, “Revelation of John.”)
It might also be helpful to look for insights in the Joseph Smith Translation of various Revelation passages. (See the footnotes and the Bible appendix.)
As you begin studying the book of Revelation, think about how the things you read connect to what you know about Heavenly Father’s plan for the redemption and exaltation of His children. You could start by reviewing the overview of the plan of salvation in Preach My Gospel (pages 47–59). Then, as you read John’s account of his vision, ask yourself questions like these: What truths do I learn from Revelation about what Heavenly Father has done to help me return to Him? How can this help me understand God’s plan for me?
It may help you to know that in general:
The Savior’s words in Revelation 2–3 reveal that He understood the successes and struggles unique to each branch of the Church in John’s day. He reassured the Saints in several congregations that He was aware of, among other things, their “works,” “tribulation,” “poverty,” and “charity” (Revelation 2:2, 9, 19)—along with some ways they could improve.
These chapters can remind you that the Savior understands your strengths and weaknesses and wants to help you overcome your earthly challenges. What does Jesus Christ promise to those who overcome? What changes do you feel prompted to make to overcome your challenges?
Although you don’t remember it, you were likely present for the events John described in Revelation 5. As you read about these events, consider what it must have been like when we all realized that Jesus Christ (the “Lamb”) would make Heavenly Father’s plan possible (open the book and loose the seven seals). Why could Jesus Christ alone do this? How can you show your faith in Him as your Savior?
Revelation 6–11 describes events that will take place during the earth’s temporal existence (see D&C 77:6), including the Restoration of the gospel in the latter days (see Revelation 7). As you read about the events John prophesied and watch some of them unfold, what are you inspired to do to better prepare yourself and your family for the Second Coming?
As you read the scriptures with your family, the Spirit can help you know what principles to emphasize and discuss in order to meet the needs of your family. Here are some suggestions:
Pretend John was asked to give a message to your family like the ones he gave to the churches during his time. What would he say is going well? How might you improve?
Show the picture of the Savior knocking at the door (see the picture that accompanies this outline). Invite your family to read Revelation 3:20 and discuss questions like the following: Why does Jesus knock instead of just coming inside? How can we invite His influence into our home?
What can these verses teach us about why we wear white for temple ordinances?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.