Men and women of the Bible

 

 

The apostle John did not die

 

 

 

Mormons teach that the apostle John did not die but was given power over death. Here is what we read in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism: ‘Later, the Lord told Peter that John would remain (on earth) until the Lord’s second coming, giving rise to the early Christian tradition that John did not die. The prophet Joseph Smith confirmed and corrected that tradition in a revelation that states that John, having been given ‘power over death’, remains on earth as flaming fire and a ministering angel …. For those who shall be heirs of salvation’ until the Saviour returns (D & C 7). The resurrected Christ also mentioned John’s continued earthly ministry during his visit to the people of the Book of Mormon’ (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York-Toronto 1992, vol. 2, page 758). According to the ‘revelation’ of Joseph Smith, the power over death was given by the Lord to John because John asked the Lord for it, as we read in Doctrine and Covenants: ‘And the Lord said unto me, John, my beloved, what desirest thou? For if you shall ask what you will, it shall be granted unto you. And I said unto him: Lord, give unto me power of death, that I may live and bring souls unto thee. And the Lord said unto me: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, because thou desirest this thou shall tarry until I come in my glory, and shalt prophesy before nations, kindreds, tongues and people’ (D & C 7:1-3. This revelation is a translated version of the record made on parchment by John and hidden up by himself).

 

Confutation

 

The Scripture teaches that the apostle John did die, for it is written: “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true” (John 21:15-24). As you can see, Jesus did not say to John that he would not die but he said to him a different thing. That John did not receive power over death is confirmed by the fact that before His death Jesus had said to John and his brother James: “Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized” (Mark 10:39).

In the light of the above mentioned Scriptures I affirm, therefore, that the above mentioned revelation of Joseph Smith is a false revelation; reject it for it has nothing to do with the truth.

 

 

 

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