This is a follow-up to my other question about the meaning of the "harlot" and the "scarlet coloured beast" mentioned in Revelation 17:3-5.

In this case I wanted to ask about verses 16 and 17 where the beast attacks the harlot. These verses read as follows in KJV:

16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. 17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

Presumably the above verses and the context refer to something that was still in the future from John's day because the preceding verses 10-14 say the following about the kings (particularly the parts I marked in bold text) , according to KJV:

10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. 11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. 12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. 13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. 14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. (emphasis added)

According to LDS church, what event are verses 16 and 17 referring to?

Update: I wanted to ask this question because the student manual linked to in the answer to the previous question did not state what event this attack was a reference to. As a side note, since these "10 kings" that destroy the "harlot" also fight against "the Lamb", both events (i.e. the destruction of the harlot and the battle against the Lamb) probably will happen during end-times

2 Answers 2


Depperm pointed you to the student manual in the other question. Here it is again:


I don't suppose you were satisfied with what is written there.

Mormons really don't take official positions on such questions very much, as a church.

The general teaching of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to believe in Jesus Christ, to repent, etc.

Beyond that is pretty much up to the individual to learn through study and prayer.

If one individual member finds some parallel between the ten horns and the harlot being made desolate, and certain events in history, that member should pray for further understanding and instruction. The instruction received should be treated as sacred, not as doctrine to show off or try to convince others that they should believe, because it was given to an individual.

In other words, there really isn't an answer that a Mormon could give you and say, "This is what Mormons believe."

(afterthought:) This is a little bit about the general approach to prophecies in Mormon thought.

I noticed a related question that had been closed for being a bit too controversial, apparently trying to tie recent events to apocalyptic revelation, and someone pointed out that seven-of-three-of-a-committee sorts of events can be seen in many of the organizations of the world.

Many of the prophecies are considered by Mormons more as patterns than as specific fore-tellings. 1 Nephi 19: 23, 24 might help with this concept. And there is a Church magazine article ( The Ensign, March 2009, Likening the Scriptures to Our Personal Lives ) that talks about the idea in more depth.

And there is a reference page on signs that sort of speaks to the idea that signs are less about making people believe and more about helping believers figure out what to do next.

Sorry that I didn't think to bring this to the table in my first try at an answer. (end-afterthought)

So, if a well-known Mormon some eighty or so years ago gave it as his opinion that verses 16 and 17 indicated historical events many centuries ago, it would not preclude a repeat of similar circumstances in our time.

I could tell you what I used to think about the woman and the ten horns, and that would be an opinion I used to sort of think might be the case, but I've since seen other interpretations that work as well, so I'll just say, if it's important to you, ask God.


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    Hi @JoelRees, thank you for your answer. I read through the student manual and it did not state what event this attack was a reference to. Thus the question. But if no doctrinal viewpoint exists on it, that is ok too. As far as I am concerned, it qualifies as answer.
    – user100487
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 3:11
  • There is one doctrinal viewpoint I forgot to mention. We consider many prophecies to such that they will be fulfilled multiple times. I think I'll edit the answer to include that.
    – Joel Rees
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 4:55

There's no official answer because the Latter Day Saints are under limitations. Meaning, just as Jesus of Nazareth taught in parables and gave tests for people to figure things out on their own, the same doctrine is used from the highest to the lowest hierarchy in the latter day saint org.

It's also a good way to avoid deception and human fallibility. The more predictions and doctrines people make, the more it turns out to be wrong as time proceeds.

A persuasive non dogma answer I found was from this site. http://johnpratt.com/items/docs/2016/clothed_with_sun.html#3.3

The executive summary is that prophecies can duplicate themselves. Partially in order to ensure that the enemy doesn't easily counter or predict them. It happened in the past, so presently can be used as proof for the present events, which also foretell the future events. The prophecies concerning Jesus of Nazareth being the Messiah that will undo the corruption of humanity, often got fulfilled in ways that people didn't expect.

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