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Question

 

Gramps,

What do you think about the 144,000 and will they be translated beings ?

Russell

 

Answer

 

Russell,

About the number 12, “The Lost Language of Symbolism” by Alonzo Gaskill, says,

“The number twelve is a symbol for priesthood, including its power and right to govern. Examples of this in scripture and the temple are legion.

 

“In Matthew 10:1-4 we are told that Jesus called twelve Apostles and gave them the priesthood. When he appeared to the Nephites, Jesus again called twelve men as ministers to the people and gave them ‘power and authority to baptize’ (3 Nephi 12:1). In the dispensation of the fulness of times, the Lord has again called and commissioned twelve Apostles to further his work (see D&C 18:27). The number twelve in relation to the Apostles suggests that they are the epitome of priesthood authority and governance.

 

“The number twelve appears over and over again in relation to priesthood holders, the temple, the covenant people who have received the necessary priesthood ordinances, and the celestial kingdom. Hence there are twelve tribes, twelve stones on the breastplate of the high priest, twelve foundations and gates into the heavenly city, twelve priesthood-holding patriarchs from Seth to Noah, and another twelve from Shem to Jacob. . . .

 

” . . .Because the number twelve symbolizes priesthood, multiples of twelve are traditionally understood to be a symbol for the fulness of the priesthood, or making one’s calling and election sure. Thus one commentary notes, ‘Anytime the number twelve is multiplied by another number, it symbolizes an increase in power and covenant responsibility.’

 

“So in Revelation 7 we read, ‘And I hear the number of them which were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel’ (v.4). Of these 144,000 individuals, ‘we are to understand that those who are sealed are high priests, ordained unto the holy order of God, to administer the everlasting gospel; for they are they who are ordained out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, by 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’ (D&C 77:11). Contrary to the teachings of some churches, this number is not intended to be taken literally. Rather it serves to highlight the necessity of priesthood and priesthood ordinances (e.g., “twelve thousand” of each tribe). It emphasizes the fact that those who partake of the ordinances required by the Lord, and then keep the covenants associated therewith, shall become members of the Church of the Firstborn and have their calling and election made sure. This is available to all of God’s children, not a predetermined, limited number.  Of this verse one commentator wrote:

 

“Twelve represents the priesthood. Biblical people squared a number to amplify its symbolic meaning. Thus, 144 suggests a fulness of priesthood authority. But John is not satisfied with that. He gives the image a superlative quality by multiplying 1,000, representing completeness. In this way he shows the strength and breadth of the priesthood in the latter days, in this dispensation that is, indeed, the dispensation of the fulness of times. During this period that complete priesthood authority will operate.”

 

144,000 represents all those worthy to return to live with God. It is used as a symbol of the perfection and completeness of the Priesthood that will exist at that time.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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