The Book of Revelation is considered by many to be the most difficult book in the New Testament to understand. Notwithstanding the initial challenges of the text, the book and its teachings are emphasized by prophets and apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the Prophet Joseph Smith to President Thomas S. Monson.
A recent commentary by Eric D. Richards guides readers through the overall context of the book while emphasizing principles of personal application.
Richards introduces each chapter of the Book of Revelation with a threefold approach. First, he examines the overall context and provides general commentary. Second, he identifies important principles and shares insights from living prophets. Finally, he provides thought-provoking questions designed to catalyze personal revelation and make timely the timeless principles found within the scriptures.
For example, readers will find opportunities in each chapter of both the scriptures and the commentary to ask themselves questions such as, “Do you feel that the Savior is the center of your worship and the center of your life?”; “How often do you share your testimony? Do you find ways to testify and let your voice be heard through social media and other means?”; and “What can you do to decrease your pride and increase your virtue?”
The book also includes a short appendix divided into two succinct sections: First, a bullet-point list of “single-sentence sermons from the Book of Revelation”; and second, a section briefly introducing readers to some of the symbols associated with prevalent numbers used throughout the Book of Revelation.
“Preparing for the Second Coming” weighs in at just over 150 pages and is easily consumable in one or two sittings. At the same time, the deliberate choice of the author to focus on principles and applications allows readers to slowly digest the book and return to it over a lifetime of study.
Richards teaches at the Logan Institute of Religion and is a popular fireside speaker.