Discourse, 8 April 1843, as Reported by William Clayton–B
JS, Discourse, , Hancock Co., IL, 8 Apr. 1843; handwriting of ; notations in handwriting of and unidentified scribe; docket in handwriting of Jonathan Grimshaw; six pages; JS Collection, CHL.
which I am about to make so that the young Elders who know so much may not rise up and choke me like hornets. There is a grand difference and distinction between the visions and figures spoken of by the prophets and those spoken of in the Revelations of John. None of the things John saw had any allusion to the scenes of the days of Adam or of Enoch or of Abraham or Jesus, only as far as is plainly represented by John and clearly set forth. John only saw that which was “shortly to come to pass” and that which was yet in futurity (He read Rev. ch 1 v. 1) Now I make this declaration, that those things which John saw in heaven, had no allusion to any thing that had been on the earth, because John says “he saw what was shortly to come to pass” and not what had <already> transpired. John saw beasts that had to do with things on the earth, but not in past ages; the beasts which John <he> saw had to devour the inhabitants of the earth in days to come. The revelations do not give us to understand any thing of the past in relation to the kingdom of God. What John saw and speaks of were things which were in heaven, what the prophets saw and speak of where [were] things pertaining to the earth. I am now going to take exceptions to the present translation of the bible in relation to these matters. There is a grand distinction between the actual meaning of the prophets and the present translation. The prophets do not declare that the[y] saw a beast or beasts, but that the[y] saw the image or figure of a beast. They do did not see an actual bear or a Lion, but the images or figures of those beasts. The translation should have been rendered “image” instead of “beast” in every instance where beasts are mentioned by the prophets. But John saw the actual beast in heaven, to show to John and to those [2 words illegible] that that being did actually exist there. When the prophets speak of seeing beasts in their visions, they saw the images; the types to represent certain things and at the same time they received the interpretation as to what those images or types were designed to represent. I make this broad declaration, that where God ever gives a vision of an image, or beast or figure of any kind he always holds himself responsible to give a revelation or interpretation of the meaning thereof, otherwise we are not [p. 3]