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We know that the Apostle John was the last of the original Twelve. We also know that he was translated so that he would not taste of death until a much later time. And when we think of the Great Apostasy, usually, we imagine it taking place after the first century, after all, there were still authorized ministers on the American continent until long after that.

My question is this: Is it possible that John could have served as church president as a translated being?





Dear Andrew,

In order to answer your question, we need to first ask another question.  When did the “Church” cease to exist in the eyes of God? Unfortunately, we have no good way to answer that question.  We simply don’t know. It seems reasonable to suppose that John, the only surviving apostle, might have been the titular head of the Church so long as God’s authority resided in that Church. Maybe that even transcends “reasonable” and becomes “likely”. But even so, it makes little difference. At some point, the Lord chose to take the Priesthood from the earth.  While some gospel teaching survived in diluted form thought the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the authority and power to act in the name of God was removed.  To me that implies that the Lord chose not to have John serve in that capacity at that time.

This question also brings up the question of what constitutes apostasy. If you have a living prophet with Priesthood and with some faithful members, can the Church as a whole really become apostate to the point that it is taken from the earth? The answer is clearly yes, because that is exactly what happened.

We are fortunate to live in a time when we have also been promised that the Church will not again be taken from the earth.

“Daniel, who foresaw and foretold the establishment of the kingdom of God in the latter days, never again to be destroyed nor given to other people.”  D&C 138:44


Why not? Perhaps because a majority of the Church or of its leaders will cling to the iron rod. Again, we can’t know for certain, this is just speculation.  It is interesting to contemplate though.






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