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Dear Gramps,

When I was a Catholic school teacher, we were told to teach our students that there has been no new revelation since the last apostle died. Now that I am a Mormon, I have learned that the last apostle is still alive, which certainly puts a new perspective on revelation. My question is: has anyone seen John? Has his presence been detected anywhere in the past two millennia? Thanks.





Dear Colleen,

Yes, John continues his work and has been seen by many. We have specific records of only a few of those to whom John has appeared, but as you will see below, he has a great mission and is very active among those to whom he administers; and more is yet to come.

In the first place, John appeared with Peter and James to ordain Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to the Melchizedek Priesthood.

And again, what do we hear? Glad tidings from Cumorah! Moroni, an angel from heaven, declaring the fulfilment of the prophets–the book to be revealed. A voice of the Lord in the wilderness of Fayette, Seneca county, declaring the three witnesses to bear record of the book! The voice of Michael on the banks of the Susquehanna, detecting the devil when he appeared as an angel of light! The voice of Peter, James, and John in the wilderness between Harmony, Susquehanna county, and Colesville, Broome county, on the Susquehanna river, declaring themselves as possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fulness of times! (D&C 128:20)

Also, see Joseph Smith History 1:72.

At the dedication of the Kirtland Temple, the Savior, Moses, Elias and Elijah appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and committed to them the keys of their dispensations. Elias committed to the prophet the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed (D&C 110:12). This Elias, we understand, was the Apostle John (See D&C 77:14).

Elder Bruce R. McConkie and others have said that John is now laboring with the lost tribes of Israel, but that others among whom he is yet to prophecy are yet to be revealed.

John was translated. He has been made ‘as flaming fire and a ministering angel,’ and ‘he shall minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation who dwell on the earth.’ To him the Lord said: ‘Thou shalt tarry until I come in my glory, and shalt prophesy before nations, kindreds, tongues and people.’ (D. & C. 7:1-5.) Except for his work among the lost tribes of Israel, the ‘nations, and tongues, and kings’ to whom he has and shall prophesy have not yet been made known (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, Vol.3, p.508).

Joseph Fielding Smith, quoting David Whitmer, has added this comment about the activities of John.

When we see things in the Spirit and by the power of God they seem to be right here present. The signs of the times indicate the near approach of the coming forth of the other plates, but when it will be, I cannot tell. The Three Nephites are at work among the lost tribes and elsewhere. John the Revelator is at work, and I believe the time will come suddenly, before we are prepared for it (Life of Joseph F. Smith, p.244).






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