Nine of the Twelve desire and are promised an inheritance in Christ’s kingdom when they die—The Three Nephites desire and are given power over death so as to remain on the earth until Jesus comes again—They are translated and see things not lawful to utter, and they are now ministering among men.
This is an incredible chapter! I really want to quote 80% of it, but I wont. I definitely recommend that you READ IT.
Christ asks his chosen 12, "What is it that ye desire of me, after that I am gone to the Father? (v.1)"
9 of the12 asked that, "after we have lived unto the age of man, that our ministry, wherein thou hast called us, may have an end, that we may speedily come unto thee in thy kingdom.(v.2)"
And Christ responds, "Blessed are ye because ye desired this thing of me; therefore, after that ye are aseventy and two years old ye shall come unto me in my bkingdom; and with me ye shall find crest."
How positively wonderful! Isn't that what we want? I know that is what I want more than anything! How amazing is our Savior and Father in Heaven!
The other 3 are hesitant to tell the Savior what they desire, but he knows their thoughts. He knows that they desire the same thing as John the Beloved. Versus 7-10 tell us what Christ thinks about this:
"Therefore, more blessed are ye, for ye shall anever taste of bdeath; but ye shall live to behold all the doings of the Father unto the children of men, even until all things shall be fulfilled according to the will of the Father, when I shall come in my glory with the cpowers of heaven. And ye shall never endure the pains of death; but when I shall come in my glory ye shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye from amortality to bimmortality; and then shall ye be blessed in the kingdom of my Father. And again, ye shall not have pain while ye shall dwell in the flesh, neither sorrow save it be for the asins of the world; and all this will I do because of the thing which ye have desired of me, for ye have desired that ye might bbring the souls of men unto me, while the world shall stand. And for this cause ye shall have afulness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are bone; "
Then we learn of the events that took place, (13-17) "And behold, the heavens were opened, and they were acaught up into heaven, and saw and heard unspeakable things. And it was aforbidden them that they should utter; neither was it given unto them bpower that they could utter the things which they saw and heard; And whether they were in the body or out of the body, they could not tell; for it did seem unto them like a atransfiguration of them, that they were changed from this body of flesh into an immortal state, that they could behold the things of God. "
Here is something I found very interesting from the Book of Mormon Student Manual about the definitions of Transfiguration and Translated Beings...
Translated beings. “Persons who are changed so
that they do not experience pain or death until their
resurrection to immortality” (Guide to the Scriptures,
“Many have supposed that the doctrine of translation
was a doctrine whereby men were taken immediately
into the presence of God, and into an eternal fullness,
but this is a mistaken idea. Their place of habitation is
that of the terrestrial order, and a place prepared for
such characters He held in reserve to be ministering
angels unto many planets, and who as yet have not
entered into so great a fullness as those who are
resurrected from the dead” ( Joseph Smith, History of
the Church, 4:210).
Transfiguration. “The condition of persons who are
temporarily changed in appearance and nature—that
is, lifted to a higher spiritual level—so that they can
endure the presence and glory of heavenly beings”
(Guide to the Scriptures, “Transfiguration”).
The three were transfigured and then translated if I'm not mistaken. Fascinating!
They are now known as the "Three Nephites" and they were able to endure some pretty incredible situations like...
- being cast into prison, and "the prisons could not hold them (19)",
- they were buried and "they did smite the earth with the word of God, insomuch that by his power they were delivered out of the depths of the earth...(20)",
- "they were cast into a furnace and received no harm(21)", and
- "they were cast into a den of wild beasts... and received no harm(22)"
I find it interesting in verse 25, Mormon tells us that he was about to "write the names of those who were never to taste of death, but the Lord forbade; therefore I write them not, for they are hid from the world." He also tells us that "great and marvelous works shall be wrought by them" both among the Jews and Gentiles and they shall know them not.
Mormon also explains that he inquired of the Lord, "and He hath made it manifest unto me that there must needs be a change wrought upon their bodies, or else it needs be that they must taste of death; Therefore, that they might not taste of death there was a achange wrought upon their bodies, that they might not bsuffer pain nor sorrow save it were for the sins of the world. Now this change was not equal to that which shall take place at the last day; but there was a change wrought upon them, insomuch that Satan could have no power over them, that he could not atempt them; and they were bsanctified in the flesh, that they were choly, and that the powers of the earth could not hold them. And in this state they were to remain until the judgment day of Christ; and at that day they were to receive a greater change, and to be received into the kingdom of the Father to go no more out, but to dwell with God eternally in the heavens. "
Incredible, absolutely incredible!