The book of the Bible entitled "The Revelation Of Saint John The Divine" is a
mystery to most people, yet Joseph Smith considered it plain and simple and the
least polluted with the precepts of men. For Joseph, inspiration unveiled the
mystery and for the rest of us revelation can do the same.
Keys to unraveling the mystery of Revelation are numerous when one realizes
that one must cease reading the book as though everything proceeds in sequential
and chronological order. This is not the case. When we realize this and begin to
look for the keys, the book will begin to reveal itself.
We all know that the book of Revelation is apocalyptic but it begins in John’s
own time. It includes a critique of the churches and the saints of his day. This
critique is also applicable to the churches and Christians of our own day. We then
encounter the book with seven seals which recaps the world’s history through seven
dispensations of time ending at the millennial closure. In the sixth or present
dispensation, the narration becomes apocalyptic. Then the seventh dispensation
opens and the first few years are the most devastating part of the apocalypse.
To confront the apocalypse with peace of mind, one must understand what’s going
on and why. We must be familiar with the pertinent scriptures. The prophesies are
there because God intended for us to read and understand them. He didn’t want to
just fill us with fear, but He wanted to offer us hope. He wants us to anticipate
these times with joy and peace.
We must read the scriptures, pondering what we read, probing the depths, and
studying the convoluted text carefully. We must watch for keys to meaning and we
must observe when certain text relates back to previous passages, adding detail
and meaning. There is a tendency to read the prophets as though everything flows
in a linear sequence but confusion is the result. This is not only true of the
book of Revelation, but also the Book of Isaiah, the Book of Daniel, and the books
of other ancient prophets.