“December 4–10. Revelation 1–5: ‘Glory, and Power, Be unto … the Lamb for Ever,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2023 (2022)
“December 4–10. Revelation 1–5,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2023
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).
One way to study Revelation is to look for connections to the plan of salvation. This general overview may help you:
As you read, ask yourself, “What does this teach me about God’s plan? What has God done to help me overcome evil and return to Him? What are His promises to the faithful?”
It might also be helpful to know that Doctrine and Covenants 77 explains some of the symbols used in Revelation. In addition, the Joseph Smith Translation clarifies several passages in Revelation, so check the footnotes and the Bible appendix regularly.
The first chapter of Revelation describes Jesus Christ’s appearance to John in a vision. Perhaps you could make a list of everything this chapter says about Jesus Christ, including who He is, what He does for us, and what He is like.
Some things you learn will come from symbols. Ponder what the Lord might be trying to teach you about Himself through these symbols. For example, notice that the Savior calls Himself “the beginning and the ending” and “the first and the last.” Why do you think these titles are significant? What do these titles teach you about the Savior?
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 praised the efforts of the Saints and also warned them of things they needed to change. What do you learn from the Savior’s praise and warnings?
The Savior also understands your successes and struggles, and He wants to help you. Note the frequent promises He offers to those who overcome. What impresses you about these promises? What might the Lord want you to overcome? What can you do to receive His help?
What do you learn about Heavenly Father from Revelation 4 and about Jesus Christ from Revelation 5? Consider what it must have been like when we all realized that Jesus Christ (the “Lamb”) would make Heavenly Father’s plan possible (the Savior could “open the book, and … loose the seven seals” [Revelation 5:5]). Why could Jesus Christ alone do this? How can you show your faith in Him as your Savior?
Revelation 2–3.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?
Revelation 3:15–16.After reading these verses, your family could drink something lukewarm that tastes better hot or cold. What does it mean to be lukewarm spiritually?
Revelation 3:20.Show the picture of the Savior knocking at the door (see the end of this outline) as your family reads Revelation 3:20. Why does Jesus knock instead of just coming inside? Family members could take turns knocking on a door. Then someone else in the family could suggest a way we can “open the door” to the Savior and let the family member in. How would it feel to have the Savior in our home?
Revelation 4:10–11.What does it mean to worship Heavenly Father? What do we know about Him that makes us want to worship Him?
Revelation 5:6, 12–13.Why is Jesus Christ called the “Lamb”? What does this title teach us about Him?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested hymn: “Jesus, Once of Humble Birth,” Hymns, no. 196.