Monday, April 15, 2013

Interfacing between Nephi’s Vision and John’s Revelation

20 And the angel said unto me: Behold one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
 21 Behold, he shall see and write the remainder of these things; yea, and also many things which have been.
 22 And he shall also write concerning the end of the world.
 23 Wherefore, the things which he shall write are just and true; and behold they are written in the book which thou beheld proceeding out of the mouth of the Jew; and at the time they proceeded out of the mouth of the Jew, or, at the time the book proceeded out of the mouth of the Jew, the things which were written were plain and pure, and most precious and easy to the understanding of all men.
 24 And behold, the things which this apostle of the Lamb shall write are many things which thou hast seen; and behold, the remainder shalt thou see.
 25 But the things which thou shalt see hereafter thou shalt not write; for the Lord God hath ordained the apostle of the Lamb of God that he should write them….
27 And I, Nephi, heard and bear record, that the name of the apostle of the Lamb was John, according to the word of the angel. (1 Nephi 14:20-25, 27)
We are familiar with this block of scriptures that points out that Nephi’s vision as he recorded it dovetails into John’s Book of Revelation.  And it does, probably starting about Revelation 6.  But I wonder how many of us have actually jumped to the Book of Revelation after Nephi’s vision?

Recently, I decided to try it.  And I have found out that it is actually very helpful to do that.  With the opening of the first through fifth seals, John glosses over much that Nephi explains in detail, but his view becomes very thorough where Nephi stops. (Remember, Joseph Smith received revelation that the seals of the book represented a thousand years each, so it is a view of past and future history.)  You simply must stop after 1 Nephi 14 and go to Revelation 6 and read to the end of Revelation to get the full sweeping view of the thing before you can move on through the Book of Mormon!  Here’s the next part that should be read:
12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
 13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
 14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
 15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Revelation 6:12-17)
So this brings me to a question—why did the Lord separate the story like that among two different prophets?  Why give to Christendom John’s more distant account first?  (The Lord could have easily have given Nephi’s vision to John and John’s vision to Nephi instead.) 

I think that the Lord wants His prophets to all contribute important information (or restore/reveal important info) so they are given pieces of the puzzle.  Giving John’s more distant future account has galvanized some of the best religious minds to find how his words apply now.  And Nephi’s more present words contain an angelic vote of confidence that backs up what John says.  Also, we can see Nephi’s vision coming to pass right now, this builds our faith that the rest of it will be fulfilled, as well as John’s prophecies. 

So, if I may suggest a scripture reading assignment for you—tomorrow in your personal study, start at  1 Nephi 11, read to 1 Nephi 14, then jump to Revelation 6:12 and start reading to the end of Revelation.  See how it helps your comprehension.


Ramona Gordy said...

Thanks Michaela
I am going to read this; I have often thought, that the original "translators" of the Bible, seemed to add and subtract on a whim.

I've heard that the book of Daniel should also interface more with the book of Revelation, and possibly become a complete "book". The teachings of the revelations of Daniel concerning Nebuchadnezzar second dream of the statute would seem to flow into Revelation, because it is also a dream of the past and present too.

What has helped me to gain a better perspective in reading "apocalyptic" scripture was to remember the words of the Lord pertaining to "all things are before him, past and present". So what is past is really present and so the "future" is present also.

Michaela Stephens said...

You bring up a good point, Ramona; there is Daniel's apocalypse as well. I don't think we have looked at that one much.

Becky Rose said...

Where is the info that you used to have on the side? I like the color but where is the other good stuff?

Michaela Stephens said...

I'm sorry, Becky Rose; I'm not exactly sure what you mean. Could you explain? Do you mean my new blog template or do you mean something else?