I recently had to have a major surgery and while I was gathering reading material to keep me busy during my recovery, I came across a book written by an LDS author that I simply love and adore concerning the Book of Revelations. It was entitled:
"Who Shall Be Able to Stand? Finding personal meaning in the Book of Revelation."
The author is S. Michael Wilcox. Needless to say I invested in the book and for the first time I am seeing the book of Revelations with new eyes. He commented that "Perhaps the most important commentary on the Book of Revelation is the Old Testament...As you begin fitting the pieces of the Old Testament into the puzzle of Revelation, you will notice that what John leaves out is often as critical, or even more critical, than what he includes. Many times understanding Revelation will depend on turning to the Old Testament and receiving the entire subject to which John is alluding.
Frequently inspiration, counsel, and insight will be found in the verses of the Old Testament associated with the allusion. It is therefore essential that we find the allusions, turn to them, and read the entire account." (Who Shall Be Able to Stand? pg 5)
He continues, "I cannot stress the notch of poetic imagery. We must approach Revelation with a different mind-set than the one we usually use...So it is with images of Revelation. When reading it, we must leave our prose minds at the door and pick up our poetry minds. We should read Revelation the way we study serious poetry..." (Who Shall Be Able to Stand?" pg 6)
He then goes on to give one a visual understanding of poetry, "Poetry aims at awakening thoughts and feelings within us. It draws upon familiar objects, stories, and events giving them added significance...More than one meaning can be held by a single image...With each new image, we must stop and ponder...Our Father in Heaven wants us to use our minds, and nothing stimulates the mind quite like figurative language. Jesus was a master of this type of teaching, particularly the parable..."
(Who Shall Be Able to Stand?" pg. 7)
He comments that "Acknowledging that Revelation will require much more of the reader than other scriptures, the Lord wants us to know that our labor will be well worth the reflection: