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Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.  What dose Jesus mean by this?





Does this mean Peter is on the earth today? What does this mean?

22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?





In St John 21:20 last verse ” which is he that betrayeth thee” my friend says this is talking about Judas tarrying on. I can’t understand why this verse is where it is. Can you enlighten me sir? Also I explained Judas is dead but you know how that goes. Thank you for your time.





Dear Diane,

You asked a question about John 21:18, which is answered in the verse you skipped over in your two questions (19). “This spake he [Jesus], signifying by what death he [Peter] should glorify God.” It is generally believed that Peter was crucified as Roman persecution of Christians intensified.

Following this exchange between Peter and Jesus, another apostle comes on the scene. It is this other, unnamed apostle who will tarry (more on that shortly). We have since learned more about this exchange between Jesus and Peter, as well as what it means for a disciple to “tarry” (see 3 Nephi 28:4-10). John initially included more information on this topic, but decided the world was not yet ready to receive it and wrote an alternate ending for his Gospel. The original record has been revealed anew through Joseph Smith and can be found in D&C 7.

Hi Michael,

Building on what I’ve already told Diane, verse 20 identifies the unnamed apostle who is following Peter and Jesus. John seems too shy or modest to directly refer to himself by name in his Gospel. Instead, he will often refer to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved”, which has given rise to calling him John the Beloved. The verse in question tries even more indirectly to refer to John as the disciple who will be translated (tarrying on). John lets you know who it will be by referring you back to the last supper and matching the character who there asked Jesus to identify Judas as the traitor as the same one now (in chapter 21) talking to Jesus (see John 13:21-25).

Putting it all together, these verses can be clarified thusly:

“Verily, verily, I [Jesus] say unto thee [Peter], When thou wast young [thou was free, and] thou girdedst [dressed] thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands [in a T-shape, on a cross], and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not [- thy execution and death]”.


This spake [Jesus], signifying by what death [Peter] should glorify God. And when [Jesus] had spoken this, [Jesus] saith unto [Peter], “Follow me.”


Then Peter, turning about, seeth [John] following [- that same John] which [back in chapter 13] leaned on [Jesus’] breast at supper, and said, “Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?”


Peter seeing {John} saith to Jesus, “Lord, and what shall [John] do?”


Jesus saith unto [Peter], “If I will that [John] tarry till I come, what is that to thee? For he desired of me that he might bring souls unto me, … therefore I will make him as flaming fire and a ministering angel; he shall minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation who dwell on the earth. follow thou me.” (Strikethrough intentional)


Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that [John] should not die: yet [technically,] Jesus said not unto Peter, “John shall not die;” but, “If I will that John tarry till I come, what is that to thee?” [So don’t go teaching this abroad because we don’t want it getting out.]






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