These chosen men taught the people with power and authority, received and administered the ordinances of the gospel, enjoyed angelic ministrations, administered the sacrament to the people, radiated light in their countenances as they prayed, determined from the Savior the proper name of the Church, received the commission to be judges of the Nephites, and reflected the Spirit of the Lord in all of their service. This was readily granted them by the Savior. The remaining three, whose names were withheld by Mormon at the command of the Lord, harbored in their hearts a special desire, which the Savior discerned and graciously granted.
And he said unto them: Behold, I know your thoughts, and ye have desired the thing which John, my beloved, who was with me in my ministry, before that I was lifted up by the Jews, desired of me.
Therefore, more blessed are ye, for ye shall never taste of death; 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 powers 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 mortality to immortality; 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 sins 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 bring the souls of men unto me, while the world shall stand.
And for this cause ye shall have fulness 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 one.
The work of the twelve disciples following the ascension of the Savior contributed to an era of unprecedented peace among the people, one that endured for four generations, in accordance with the promises of the Lord. By the end of the first century AD, “the disciples of Jesus, whom he had chosen, had all gone to the paradise of God, save it were the three who should tarry; and there were other disciples ordained in their stead; and also many of that generation had passed away”. The work of the twelve disciples continued through times of peace and war, times of righteousness and spiritual decay, times of the outpouring of the Spirit and the withholding of it.