One of the Twelve; son of Zebedee and brother of James. In his early life he was a fisherman in fairly comfortable circumstances (Mark 1:20). We may assume he is the unnamed disciple of the Baptist mentioned in John 1:40. Later on he received a call to be a disciple of Jesus Christ (Matt. 4:21–22; Luke 5:1–11). He was one of the inner circle of three who were with the Lord at the raising of Jairus’s daughter, at the Transfiguration, and in Gethsemane. In his own Gospel he refers to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20) and that “other disciple” (John 20:2–8). From Jesus he received the name Boanerges, “a son of thunder” (Mark 3:17). Other incidents that reveal his character are recorded in Mark 9:38; 10:35–40; Luke 9:54. There are frequent references to him in the accounts of the Crucifixion and Resurrection (Luke 22:8; John 18:15; 19:26–27; 20:2; 21:2). In the Acts he appears but seldom (Acts 3:1, 11; 4:13; 8:14). Paul refers to his meeting with him in Jerusalem (Gal. 2:9). In Rev. 1:9 John tells of his banishment to Patmos.
John is mentioned frequently in latter-day revelation, as in 1 Ne. 14:18–27; 3 Ne. 28:6; Ether 4:16; D&C 7; 27:12; 61:14; 77; 88:141. These passages serve to confirm and to clarify the biblical record of John and also give us a hint as to his greatness and the importance of the work the Lord has given him to do on the earth, not only in the time of the New Testament, but also in the last days. We especially have a clarification of John 21:20–23, ascertaining that John did not die but has been allowed to remain on the earth as a ministering servant until the time of the Lord’s Second Coming (3 Ne. 28:6; D&C 7).