Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

That Strange Mormon Book: Revelation

In Sunday School yesterday as we studied the Book of Revelation, I marveled at the density of LDS themes it contains. The call to overcome, abundant temple imagery and symbolism, references to prophets and ongoing divine revelation in the last days, a Jesus with a physical body, a lofty role for humans in the next life, and so on. There is also the LDS approach to grace and works resolved in Rev. 22 where we learn that the grace of God manifest in the tree of life is made available through (or rather, that that the right to access that supreme gift is conditional upon) keeping the commandments. Overcome, endure to the end, keep the commandments, prepare for the temple, listen to God's prophets--it's a great book for LDS folks to dig into and enjoy.

But what would happen if the Book of Revelation hadn't made it into the canon of the New Testament? What if it had been hidden, buried, and preserved for our day? If Joseph Smith had been the source through which it came into the modern era, how would the Christian world react to this new text allegedly written by John? Can you imagine the howls and the outrage over the blatantly non-Christian doctrine?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron.

Clearly a refernce to Mitt Romney. The Mormons really are going to take over the world!

;-)

Darren said...

"If Joseph Smith had been the source through which it came into the modern era, how would the Christian world react to this new text allegedly written by John? Can you imagine the howls and the outrage over the blatantly non-Christian doctrine? "

I hear them already regarding non Revelation sources.

Darren said...

Anonymous;

Heh! :>)

J said...

Revelation is the bedrock of Christianity. Regardless if it was found buried or revealed to Joseph Smith, current Christians would have had trouble accepting it.

Lets not forget that they wouldn't insert it into the Bible since it would be "adding" to the Bible.

Anonymous said...

Nice thought experiment, Jeff. Here's another one: imagine that someone were to take the language of the Sermon on the Mount, put it in legalese so nobody recognized its source, and then proposed it as legislation. Imagine the howls and outrage you'd get from the churches!

Just because something is canonical doesn't mean people actually believe it.

-- Eveningsun

Anonymous said...

I think it is so cool that all over in the church the same subject is covered at the same time. In our class it was pointed out that the Book of Revelations is the least read of all the books in the Bible amoung all Christians. Wonder why that is so. Is it because it is so hard to understand? If you read in the Bible Dictionary of LDS scriptures under Revelation of John, Joseph Smith is quoted as saying this is the most plain of all the books God had written.

Papa D said...

"Just because something is canonical doesn't mean people actually believe it."

It's good to see areas where we agree completely, Eveningsun - and what you said applies to each of us in some way, not just "others". I know it applies to me.