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John the Beloved, the Revelator

Jesus Christ Fishermen Mormon
John the apostle is also known as John the Beloved, because he calls himself "the disciple that Jesus loved" in the Gospel of John, or John the Revelator, because he authored the Book of Revelation. He wrote more of the New Testament than any other writer except Paul. He is the only one of the apostles of Jesus' day (except for Judas Iscariot) who, according to tradition, did not die as a martyr. God gave Joseph Smith several revelations that refer to John the Beloved, and he is also mentioned in the Book of Mormon.

The Life of John

John, like Peter and James, was a fisherman before becoming a disciple and then an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. Before meeting the Savior, he followed John the Baptist, and followed the Baptist's counsel to follow Jesus. He and James, sons of Zebedee, were named by the Lord the "sons of thunder." They were the only two apostles to accompany Peter and the Savior as far as they could on the night of the Atonement.

The Writings of John

The Gospel of John

The Gospel of John is the most unique of the four Gospels. According to the Mormon Bible Dictionary, "John's account does not contain much of the fundamental information that the other records contain, and it is evident that he was writing to members of the Church who already had basic information about the Lord" (Gospels, pg. 683).

The First, Second, and Third Epistles of John

Without modern technology, the primary means of long-distance communication were letters. John wrote these letters to communicate with people who already understood the basic doctrines of the gospel in order to strengthen them.

The Book of Revelation

Because of its deep symbolism, the book of Revelation is one of the most controversial books of scripture. The Doctrine and Covenants contains several clarifications on certain passages as offered by the prophet Joseph Smith.

Mormon Beliefs about John

At the end of the book of John, the author hints that John may tarry until Christ comes again. In April 1829, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery asked the Lord what had happened to John the Beloved. The Lord revealed that John had asked for the privilege of inviting people to come unto Christ until the Second Coming. The Lord granted this desire, and so John is still alive, going wherever the Lord needs him. The Book of Mormon reveals that three ancient American disciples asked for the same blessing and received it. That the Lord would let these men go through the world, blessing people's lives, for centuries, is a wonderful reminder that God never abandons His children. The full revelation can be read for free online here. John is also referred to in the Book of Mormon. A prophet named Nephi had a vision, including the entire vision recorded in the book of Revelation. However, Nephi was commanded by an angel not to write the vision, because that was another man's work--a man named John (see 1 Nephi 14:18-30).

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