I was driving yesterday with my son and we had an interesting conversation. Someone in his third grade class told him that the number of the beast was 666 and the number of God was 111. Interesting. The things kids talk about! Well, I don’t think there is any scriptural evidence for any special numbers for God. But his comment started me thinking, and we discussed it.
Mark of the Beast
In Revelations 13, John talks about an evil beast that will kill the saints of God and rule the earth. It says that beast will deceive the people and cause his mark to be on people’s hands or foreheads. There is SO much symbolism in the book of Revelations that just reading the verse, it’s hard to understand anything. You must know the symbolism and the people that John is speaking to. So, unless you are a Bible scholar, most of us speculate on what he could be talking about.
Revelation 13: 16 is key
16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
And then it hit me. What if the mark of the beast, the numbers mentioned in Revelations, is symbolic too? The scripture says that those who serve the beast will have the mark in their right hand or in their foreheads. So, what if that mark isn’t visible, and (stay with me) what if it is something the people put there themselves?
Amlicites marked themselves
I remembered that in the Book of Mormon, there was a group of former Nephites who left to join the Lamonites. They called themselves Amlicites. They hated the Nephites and wanted NOTHING to do with them. But because the color of their skin was like the Nephites, they marked themselves to show they were different.
Alma 3:4 says:
And the Amlicites were distinguished from the Nephites, for they had marked themselves with red in their foreheads after the manner of the Lamanites; nevertheless they had not shorn their heads like unto the Lamanites.
Is it possible that the scriptures are talking about a similar time, where people will mark themselves to show they are different?
As my son and I talked about special numbers in the Church, I remembered the Godhead. They are three Heavenly beings working together for one cause: to bring each of us back to live with God again. And there are twelve apostles, twelve men who have devoted their lives to serving God and teaching us how to be more like Him.
Are you still with me? Okay, so the mark of the beast may be something the people put upon themselves. But the adversary is cunning and often imitates the way the Lord works. Did you notice that the numbers of the Lord’s kingdom all refer to groups of men and women working to bring about the Lord’s work? I did, and it almost made me crash the car BECAUSE I realized that the mark of the beast is something that people put on themselves by their actions.
Are We Serving the Beast?
Those who serve the beast use their hands to do that work, thus marking their hands, and have dark thoughts in their heads, thus marking their foreheads. So, what if the mark of the beast isn’t what we have always thought? If it is something people mark themselves with by choosing to serve the beast, or the adversary, that changes everything. I have always known that it’s important to watch our thoughts, because thoughts lead to actions. But with this new thought, I can see how the saints of God can turn to serve the beast.
It also reminds me that there is repentance. And maybe the condition of serving the beast doesn’t have to be a permanent thing! If someone cleans up their thoughts, then the mark will no longer be in their foreheads. And if they stop doing harm, but instead choose to aid in the Lord’s work, couldn’t the symbolic mark disappear from their hands?
I honestly will leave it up to the Lord whether I am right or not. (Currently, there is no revelation about what the “mark” is.) But it was such a new and marvelous thought that I had to share. It encouraged me to work harder to help in the Lord’s work and to be sure my thoughts are ones He would be proud of—and anything that leads you to God, to be more like Him, and to serve Him is a good thing. So I wanted to share and hopefully inspire you too.
Abby is capable and caring. She is learning more about Autism and parenthood every day. And even though she is the first to admit she makes a lot of mistakes, she is so grateful to be on this journey. She comes from a family with many autistic members. She invites us to join her, as she shares her adventures. She wishes to emphasize that Autism is a difference not a defect. If you or a family member have autism, Abby wants you to know that this isn't a bad thing. And you or your loved one are not sick or broken. Together we will teach the world this new language.