“More Blessed Are Ye for Ye Shall Never Taste of Death”

Alan C. Miner

About A.D. 34, Jesus translated the Three Nephites according to their request. Christ said that the Three Nephites were “more blessed” than the other nine disciples who requested to die after their missions were completed. (3 Nephi 28:7) On the other side of the world, John the Beloved asked Christ to translate him which He did. (John 21:21-23, D&C 7) But John was not the only disciple that was translated at that time in the Holy Land for Jesus testified to the people: “There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom [the second coming].” (Matthew 16:28; see also Mark 9:1; Luke 9:27) Obviously, there were others who were translated that we have no record of as Jesus revealed: “Wherefore, I will that all men shall repent, for all are under sin, except those which I have reserved unto myself, the holy men that ye know not of.” (D&C 49:8; see JST Genesis 19:15, D&C 45:11-14)

Apostle Franklin D. Richards believed that when the Three Nephites were translated that the Lord “took them into the heavens and endowed them with the power of translation, probably in one of Enoch’s temples, and brought them back to the earth.” (J.D. 25:236) It was written that the Three Nephites said of their translation experience: “for it did seem unto them like a transfiguration of them, that they were changed from this body of flesh into an immortal state, that they could behold the things of God” (3 Nephi 28:15). [Vicki Alder, Mysteries in the Scriptures: Enlightenment through Ancient Beliefs, pp. 272-273]

3 Nephi 28:7 More blessed are ye, for ye shall never taste of death ([Illustration] Christ with the Three Nephites. Artist: Gary Kapp. [Thomas R. Valletta ed., The Book of Mormon for Latter-day Saint Families, 1999, p. 572]

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary