After the Lord’s Resurrection, when Peter asked about John’s future, the Lord replied, “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?” (John 21:22; see vv. 20–23). Prior to the time of Joseph Smith there had been uncertainty over whether John had died or whether he would tarry until the Savior came again. Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery turned to the Lord with this question and received Doctrine and Covenants 7 in answer. Their experience can be an example to us. As we study the scriptures, we should also seek the Lord’s help to understand His words.
Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For
Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 17–18.
Suggestions for Teaching
Doctrine and Covenants 7:1–3, 6. John the Beloved was translated and will continue to minister to the righteous on earth until the Second Coming.
Ask students: What do we know about translated beings? Show a picture of a crowd and ask: If you saw a translated being in a crowd of ordinary people, do you think you could tell the translated individual from the others?
Explain that following His Resurrection, Jesus spoke of John the Beloved’s future on the earth. Have students read John 21:20–23 and choose one of the following explanations of the Savior’s words:
John would die like everyone else.
John would live on the earth until the Savior’s Second Coming.
During the translation of the Book of Mormon, the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery had a difference of opinion on this subject (see the historical background for section 7 in Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325,
“The Spirit of the Lord fell upon Joseph in an unusual manner, and he prophesied that John the Revelator was then among the Ten Tribes of Israel who had been led away” (History of the Church, 1:176 n).
Have students read 3 Nephi 28:7–9, 19–22, 30, 37–40 to learn more about translated beings, and review their findings. If desired, draw the accompanying chart on the board, leaving the answers in the right-hand column blank. Have students look up the references in the left-hand column, and complete the chart.
For added insight, see the commentary for 3 Nephi 28 in Book of Mormon Student Manual: Religion 121 and 122 (1996, p. 127).