Comprehending the mystery of the 144000 is critically important to our understanding the sequence of events sounding the Second Advent of our Lord. Conflicting theories on this subject abound and only serve to create even more confusion. In today’s blog we shall attempt to simplify and demystify this subject by relying heavily on the standard works and the following statement, give by the Prophet Joseph Smith:
“I attended prayer-meeting with the quorum in the assembly room, and made some remarks respecting the hundred and forty-four thousand mentioned by John the Revelator, showing that the selection of persons to form that number had already commenced.” (HC, J SMITH 6:196)
This statement sheds great light upon our subject because we learn that “the selection of persons to form that number had already commenced” in the days of Joseph Smith. From this precious gem we are able to conclude that:
1- The selection of the 144000 is apparently not to be held in abeyance for the return of the ten tribes.
2- Those selected are apparently not mortals, since all of Joseph Smith’s generation is now deceased.
3- If our first two conclusions are correct, then it follows that those selected could come from multiple generations and from anywhere Israel may have been scattered. This is perfectly consistent with D&C 77:10, “for they are they who are ordained out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people”.
We shall now endeavor to support our thesis by seeking further scriptural conformation. We go first to Rev. 14 where we read:
1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.
2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
We learn form the above that “the hundred and forty and four thousand… were redeemed from the earth”, ya even “These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.”
This ties in perfectly with 1 Cor. 15:20 where we read, “now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept”. We further learn form D&C 88:16 that “the resurrection from the dead is the redemption of the soul” and so conclude that “the hundred and forty and four thousand” are to be resurrected beings. If the be the case, it is perfectly clear how individuals sealed unto this calling in Joseph Smith’s day could come forth to fulfill the prophetic word in a future day.
In D&C 77:9 we are told that “the angel ascending from the east (In Rev. 7:2) is he to whom is given the seal of the living God over the twelve tribes of Israel” and so we conclude that the sealing of “the hundred and forty and four thousand” does not depend on any mortal authority or action.
This same “angel… crieth unto the four angels having the everlasting gospel, saying: Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” We interpret that to mean that since some from the present dispensation (sixth seal) are also to be a part of “the hundred and fourty four thousand”… the final work of sealing must be accomplished prior to the great calamities associated with the opening of the seventh seal and the coming of the Bridegroom.
Conceivably, someone reading this very blog may yet pass over and therefore qualify to be one of that number… an intriguing thought for sure! In D&C 133 we read:
17 For behold, the Lord God hath sent forth the angel crying through the midst of heaven, saying: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight, for the hour of his coming is nigh—
18 When the Lamb shall stand upon Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand, having his Father’s name written on their foreheads.
19 Wherefore, prepare ye for the coming of the Bridegroom; go ye, go ye out to meet him.
Truly “the hour of his coming is nigh” and we apparently need not concern ourselves with any need of the ten tribes returning in order for it to happen! We learn from the above that “the Lamb shall stand upon Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand”, to be fulfilled at “the coming of the Bridegroom”.
So far as their resurrection is concerned, all of those who attained this status when the Lord rose from the grave would be complete and “redeemed”. However, it may be that the balance of that number will attain the resurrection at the Second Coming. We continue reading from section 133:
56 And the graves of the saints shall be opened; and they shall come forth and stand on the right hand of the Lamb, when he shall stand upon Mount Zion, and upon the holy city, the New Jerusalem; and they shall sing the song of the Lamb, day and night forever and ever.
Those of “the hundred and forty and four thousand” are “ordained unto the holy order of God, to administer the everlasting gospel” and work in tandem with “the angels to whom is given power over the nations of the earth, to bring as many as will come to the church of the Firstborn”. Their status as resurrected beings uniquely qualifies them to accomplish their mission in a time of unprecedented tumult and tribulation.
The fact that “the hundred and forty and four thousand” assist to “bring as many as will come to the church of the Firstborn” is further evidence that the preaching of the gospel shall not only continue but will actually be accelerated after the Lord’s first millennial appearance!
After all, with the appearance of “the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” and the “new heaven and a new earth” (Rev 21:1-2) folks are going to notice… right?
Thanks for reading… If you have found the above to be edifying, please pay if forward by sharing a link with friends and family. Until next time, may God bless!