Answers to Questions, between circa 4 and circa 20 March 1832 [D&C 77]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Revelation Explained
What is the Sea of Glass spoken of by John 4 Chap. and sixth verse of revelations?
AnsIt is the Earth in its sanctified immortal and eternal state
QWhat are we to understand by the four beasts spoken of by John in the 4 Chapt. & 6 verse of Revelations?
AThey are figurative Expressions used by the revelator John in disscribing heaven the paradise of God the hapiness of men 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 Spirit of man in the likeness of his person as also the spirit of the beast and every other creature which God has created
QAre the four beasts limited to individual Beasts or do they represent classes or orders?
AnsThey are limited to four individual beasts which were shewn to John to represent the glory of the classes of beings in their destined order or sphere of creation in the enjoyment of their eternal felicity.
QWhat are we to understand the Eyes and wings which the beasts had?
AThey Their eyes are a representation of light and knowledge that is they are full of knowledge and their wings are a representation of power to move to act &c.
QWhat are we to understand by the four and twenty Elders spoken of by John?
AWe are to understand that these Elders whom John saw were Elders who had been faithful in the work of the ministry and were dead who belonged to the Seven Churches and were then in the paradise of God.
QWhat are we to understand by the Book which John saw which was sealed <​on the back​> with seven Seals which John?
[p. 141]
Ans.We are to understand that it contains the revealed will. mystery mysteries and works of God. the hidden things of his economy concerning this Earth during the seven thousand years of its continuance or its temporal existence.
QWhat are we to understand by the Seven Seals with which it was sealed?
AWe are to understand that the first seal contains the things of the first thousand years and the second also of the second thousand years and so on until the seventh.
QWhat are we to understand by the four Angels spoken of by John 7 Chap & first verse of Rev.
AWe 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 everlasting Gospel to commit to every Nation kindred tongue and people having power to shut up the heavens to up unto life, or to cast down to the regions of darkness.
QWhat are we to understand by the angels ascending from the east Rev 7. Chap. & 2 verse?
AWe are to understand that the angel ascended from the east is he to whom is given the seal of the living God over the tweleve tribes of Israel wherefore he crieth unto the four angels having the everlasting Gospel to preach saying hurt not the earth neither the Sea nor the trees till we have sealed the Servants of our God in their foreheads and if you will receive it this is the Elias which was to come to to gether the tribes of Israel and restore all things.
Q What time are things spoken of in this chapter to be accomplished?
[p. 142]
AThey are to be accomplished in the sixth thousandth year or the opening of the Sixth seal.
QWhat are we to understand by the one hundred and forty four thousand out of all the tribes of Israel twelve thousand out of every tribe?
AWe are to understand that those who are sealed are 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 first born.
QWhat are we to understand by the sounding of the trumpets mentioned in the 8th. Chap. of Rev.
AWe are to understand that <​as​> God made the world in six days and on the seventh day he finished his work and sanctified it and also formed man out of the dust of the earth evens so in the begining of the seven thousandth year will the Lord God Sanctify the earth and to complete the Salvation of man and Judge all things and shall redeem 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 begining of the seven thousandth year the preparing of the way before the time of his coming
QWhen are the things to be accomplished which are written in the ninth Chap. of Rev.
AThey are to be accomplished after the opening of the seventh seal before the coming of Christ
QWhat are we to understand by the little book which was eaten by John as mentioned in the 10th. Chapt. of Rev.
AWe are to undeerstand that it was a Mission and an for him to the tribes of Israel Behold this is Elias who as it is written must come and restore all things.
[p. 143]
QWhat is to be understood by the two witnesses in the eleventh Chapt. of Rev.?
AThey are two prophets that are to be raised up to the Jewish nation in the last days at the time of the restoration and to prophesy to the Jews after they are gathered and have built the city of Jerusalem in the Land of their Fathers
[p. 144]


  1. 1

    That is, the book of Revelation. It is unclear whether this title appeared in the original manuscript.  

  2. 2

    The sea of glass described in Revelation 4:6 lay before a throne in heaven on which sat a being—apparently God—and from which “proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices.” (Revelation 4:5.)  

  3. 3

    The four beasts were “in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne.” The beasts were “full of eyes before and behind.” The first one was described as “like a lion,” the second as “like a calf,” the third as having “a face as a man,” and the fourth as “like a flying eagle.” Each beast had six wings. (Revelation 4:6–8.)  

  4. 4

    In JS’s revision of the Bible, the two creation accounts in Genesis 1–2 are cast as an initial “spiritual” creation in heaven followed by a “natural” creation on earth. An 1830 revelation explained that God created “all things both Spiritual & Temperal firstly spiritual secondly temporal which is the Begining of my work & again firstly temporal & secondly spiritual which is the last of my work.” (Old Testament Revision 1, pp. 3–5 [Moses chap. 2; 3:5, 9]; Revelation, Sept. 1830–A [D&C 29:31–32].)  

  5. 5

    See Revelation 4:8.  

  6. 6

    The twenty-four elders sat on seats “round about the throne.” They wore white clothing and had gold crowns on their heads. (Revelation 4:4, 10–11.)  

  7. 7

    See Revelation 1:4.  

  8. 8

    The book was “in the right hand of him that sat on the throne.” (Revelation 5:1.)  

  9. 9

    The four angels stood “on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.” These four angels had it “given” to them “to hurt the earth and the sea.” (Revelation 7:1–2.)  

  10. 10

    See Revelation, 2 Jan. 1831 [D&C 38:12]; and Revelation, 30 Aug. 1831 [D&C 63:53–54].  

  11. 11

    This angel had “the seal of the living God.” (Revelation 7:2.)  

  12. 12

    See Matthew 11:14; 17:11. JS’s Bible revision changed the explanation of Elias’s identity in Matthew 17:13 from “Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist” to “Then the Deciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist, & also of another which should come & restore all things, as it is written by the Prophets.” (New Testament Revision 2, p. 32 [first numbering] [Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 17:13].)  

  13. 13

    These 144,000 were the servants of God who had been “sealed . . . in their foreheads.” (Revelation 7:3–8.)  

  14. 14

    Philo Dibble, who claimed he was present when JS and Sidney Rigdon experienced their 16 February 1832 vision of the afterlife, implied to a congregation in Payson, Utah, in 1877 that in the course of that vision, JS and Rigdon saw the “hundred and forty four thousand [that] should stand on the earth in the last days as Saviors of men.” (Payson Ward, General Minutes, vol. 5, 7 Jan. 1877; see also Vision, 16 Feb. 1832 [D&C 76].)  

    Payson Ward. General Minutes, 1850–1892. CHL. LR 6814 11.

  15. 15

    Seven angels stood before God after the seventh seal had been opened and each subsequently blew a trumpet. (Revelation 8:1–12; 9:1, 13; 10:7.)  

  16. 16

    Archbishop James Ussher of the Church of Ireland composed an influential and widely referenced biblical chronology in 1658 that dated the creation of Adam to 4004 BC, meaning that the opening of the seventh thousand years would not occur until around AD 2000. Some of JS’s followers, however, apparently believed that the opening of the seventh thousand years would be much sooner. William W. Phelps, for example, contended in the August 1832 issue of The Evening and the Morning Star that Adam was created 4,159 years before Christ, which meant that there remained only “NINE years” until “the begining of the seven thousandth year, or sabbath of creation.” (Ussher, Annals of the World, 1; “Present Age of the World,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Aug. 1832, [5]–[6].)  

    Ussher, James. The Annals of the World. Deduced from the Origin of Time, and Continued to the Beginning of the Emperour Vespasians Reign . . . . London: Printed by E. Tyler, for J. Crook and G. Bedell, 1658.

    The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.

  17. 17

    This chapter of Revelation covers the sounding of the trumpets of the fifth and sixth angels. It describes John’s vision of the pestilences and wars that occurred at the sounding of these trumpets.  

  18. 18

    The “little book” was held by an angel who came down from heaven and placed his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the earth. John was told to take the book and to eat it. “It shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.” (Revelation 10:1–2, 8–10.)  

  19. 19

    An 1829 revelation stated that John the Revelator did not die but was physically transformed so that he could remain on earth until the second coming of Jesus Christ. At a conference in June 1831, JS reportedly “prophecied that John the Revelator was then among the ten tribes of Israel who had been lead away by Salmanaser King of israel, to prepare them for their return, from their Long dispersion, to again possess the land of their father’s.” (Account of John, Apr. 1829–C [D&C 7]; Whitmer, History, 27.)  

  20. 20

    The two witnesses were to prophesy for 1,260 days. They were to have “power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy.” After this period, they would be killed and their bodies would lie in the street “of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified” for three and a half days. They would then come back to life and ascend to heaven in a cloud. (Revelation 11:3–12.)