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Why the three disciples tarry

Below is the text of an email I sent to my older children April 26, 2015. It is on how I learned the names of the three disciples who tarry and how and for what purpose they are currently laboring among us. This initial email is then followed by a question I received from my oldest daughter regarding my testimony, which in turn is followed by my answer to her question.

These are momentous times in which we live. As we seek first the kingdom of God and to establish His righteousness on earth, know that we are not alone in this calling and work.  The Lord and His hosts are laboring greatly among us for the will of God to be done on earth as it is done in heaven.  Let us not faint, therefore, though the work/battle seems great.  Remember, that when the enemy comes in like a flood (Isaiah 59:16-21), the Lord promises to lift up a standard against him, a standard unto which all the nations may come and learn of His ways (Isaiah 2:2-4 & Micah 4:1-4 with D&C 45:2a-2h).  Until then, we can expect tribulations, for as the Lord and His apostles have said, we enter the kingdom through much tribulation.  Be of good courage.  Don’t be faint in heart, for the battle has already been won.  Now is the time for choosing and each person alive is, in fact, choosing their eternal abode, whether it will be with or separate from Jesus Christ.  So choose life by living in such a manner that God may lift you up at the last day to ever be with Him in glory and righteousness.  He is our Sovereign Lord, our Savior, our Redeemer Friend.  He loves you.  And as He has repeatedly brought to my thoughts this past week, He holds those guiltless who trust in Him, even those who repent of their sins, are baptized in His name, are filled with His Spirit of truth, and endure to the end (see III Nephi 12:29 & Mormon 3:24-33).  To God be the glory and praise forever.

Original email from Apr 26, 2015

This week I learned the names of two of the three disciples often called “the three Nephites” (even though they are no longer “ites”).  My testimony of the occasion in which I learned their names is connected to a testimony Gary related in his sermon last Sunday and to a post I was then led to write about this testimony.  The post, linked below, was published yesterday.

For our Wednesday morning devotions, [my three youngest children] and I read from the 16th chapter of Matthew.  When we got to Matthew 16:31 IV [16:28 KJV] we stopped to discuss why it is written in this verse that Jesus spoke of “some standing here” who would not taste death “till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”  Given that Jesus spoke of “some” (plural), I asked the children who these “some” might be.  They mentioned John as well as “the three Nephites,” but I reminded them that the “some” Jesus spoke of were standing with Him as He spoke the words recorded by Matthew.

Still, the question of the names of “the three Nephites” kept coming up.  So I reminded the children of how the names of these three disciples are not written in the Book of Mormon, at least not in such a way that we can identify them as the three who have remained on the earth.  Therefore, we do not know for certain their names. At that moment, and to my astonishment, Timothy, Nephi’s brother (see III Nephi 9:4), appeared to me in this brief but vivid vision.  I saw him very distinctly with my spiritual eyes.  His name was also very distinctly impressed upon my thoughts as I looked at him.

Timothy’s countenance was beautifully clear and bright and he looked at me with a pleasing and confident but determined look. In his presence, I was also given to know why he had a strong desire to remain on the earth to bring souls unto Christ until the Lord returns in glory.  Unlike the “some standing here” of Matthew 16:31, Timothy had in fact tasted death and was then raised from the dead by his brother Nephi.  This did not disqualify Timothy in any way from being one who would not taste death (again, in his case) before Christ’s return – this is simply because Timothy was not one of the “some standing here” mentioned in Matthew 16:31.

Having been raised from the dead, Timothy knew what awaits mankind after death. This experience fostered in him a great desire to prepare people to meet God, the importance of which may be found, for example, in Alma 3:50-60.  He longed to bring light and truth to others through God’s word so they too might, by faith, obtain eternal life.  When asked by Jesus their desire, this great compassion for souls anchored within his heart simply could not be hidden from his Lord.

In the moment that Timothy appeared to me in vision, I also saw that Nephi’s son, Jonas, was with Timothy in the vision and that he too was one of the three disciples who have remained among us. Why was he one of the three?  Jonas had both heard and believed his uncle’s testimony about being raised from the dead.  Jonas had also received of his father’s ministry and knew of the many other miracles that had been wrought through him by the Spirit of God.  Being so moved, and as one called of Jesus Christ to minister to His people, Jonas too held a deep desire to remain on the earth where he could bring souls to Jesus Christ through the word of God before they die and are brought to stand before the judgement seat of Christ.

When Timothy and Jonas appeared to me (along with others) I was also given an understanding of why I was given this experience of briefly but convincingly seeing them in vision. Timothy and his fellow laborers were the ones by whom the Lord had brought me confirmation of a testimony Gary shared in his sermon from a man named Tom living in Kenya.  Now the three witnesses were confirming to me that, given what I had written in the post I had drafted of the experience, I did indeed understand their witness to me of these things and that I also needed to complete it and post it in a timely manner.

I was also given to know that it is incumbent upon us to continue bearing witness of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and of all men according to Genesis 7:69,70. In this regard, I was shown that the posts I have written under the title of “Why three glories” are pleasing to the Lord and that I need to continue this work.

Preparing people to come forth in the resurrection of the just is at the very heart of the ministry of the three disciples and the “some” spoken of in Matthew 16:31 (along with others like them).  Accordingly, they are laboring among the peoples of the earth to bring forth a clear knowledge of the resurrection to the children of men in concert with the word of the Lord in Genesis 7:69,70 IV.  Through such means the Lord is preparing a place for His people to prepare themselves for His coming.

All of these things bear witness to me of the truthfulness of Matthew 13:42 in which it is written “For in that day, before the Son of Man shall come, he shall send forth his angels and messengers of heaven.”  This is also a confirmation of Mormon’s statements found in III Nephi 13:42-62 which tell us of the work to be wrought by the three disciples before our Lord’s return.  Clearly, as this day approaches, these three will be very active among us in preparing souls for eternity.

I hope you will listen to Gary’s sermon from last week. You can access it by selecting the April menu on the webpage linked here and then selecting the April 19 sermon.

If you just want to hear Tom’s testimony of the Book of Mormon at this time, that link is provided as well below the full sermon link. The excerpt is just over 2 minutes in length.  I would also like to encourage you to read the post I published yesterday linked above.  Through the many experiences I have had this week, the Lord has connected Mormon’s words in III Nephi 13:42-62 to the new covenant spoken of in Hebrews 8:8-13.  He has also connected III Nephi 13:42-62 to the condemnation outlined in D&C 83:8.  Obviously the Lord is intent on fulfilling the new covenant He has made with the house of Israel.  Will we continue to treat it lightly?  Or will we thrust in our sickles with all of our might?  After this week I am convinced that we have the support of the three disciples to rise up and reap while the harvest lasts.

I love each of you very much. And because of my love and concern for you, I feel compelled to share these things.  As I told your mother this morning, I sense that the day of the Lord is near at hand, so I pray you will take this seriously and seek to understand what the Lord would have you do with your lives.


“If I remember correctly … the writer of that passage said he was about to write the names of these three, but was forbidden from doing it. Out of curiosity, why do you think the Lord chose to reveal these two names now?”


Thank you for your note. And thank you for your question about the names of the three disciples.  The answer to this question is actually a key part of the testimony that I received about the post I published this past Saturday and the related testimony about their names.

Here is Mormon’s statement on how the Lord forbade his publishing the names of the three disciples while preparing his abridged record of his people.*

And now I, Mormon, make an end of speaking concerning these things, for a time. Behold, I was about to write the names of those who were never to taste of death; but the Lord forbade, therefore I write them not for they are hid from the world. (III Nephi 13:37,38)

*(Last Wednesday morning when replying to the children’s questions, I had remembered that these words were in 3rd Nephi, but I had forgotten Mormon was the one who actually authored them.)

Obviously the names of the three disciples were available to and known by Mormon. Perhaps they were included in the record of Nephi (see III Nephi 12:5) and/or perhaps they were given directly to Mormon when the three disciples ministered to him (III Nephi 13:39).  In any case, when Mormon was making his account, he was told their names are hid from the world.  However, as we shall see by reading more of Mormon’s words, this statement is not the final word on their names being hid from the world.  There are more scriptures on the subject that help us understand why they are hid from the world and what we can and should do about such things not continuing to be hid from the world, that is of course, if it is wisdom in the Lord that they are brought forth.

First consider Mormon’s commentary at the beginning of the previous chapter, III Nephi 12:

Behold I was about to write them all which were engraven upon the plates of Nephi, but the Lord forbid it, saying, I will try the faith of my people; therefore I, Mormon, do write the things which have been commanded me of the Lord. (III Nephi 12:5)

What do these words indicate about how long all things written in Nephi’s record shall be hid from the world?  As Mormon explained later in 3rd Nephi 13, there is to be a time in which, according to God’s wisdom, the Lord will bring forth revelations and prophesies which Mormon associated with the work these three disciples would carry out in the days leading up to our Lord’s return.  See especially verses 13:42-62 where we read of how these three disciples will be fully engaged in the great and marvelous work which is to take place among us, as well as in God’s work of restoring His covenant peoples to Himself.

Mormon also makes it clear in III Nephi 13 that we must be careful to not deny or dismiss these revelations and prophesies the Lord will give in bringing forth His work among us prior to His coming in glory.  For those individuals or groups who do, there are multiple “wos” pronounced upon them as explained in verse 13:59 and the connecting verses.

I’d also like to point out here how Mormon’s commentary in III Nephi 13 relates directly to the post I published this past Saturday, particularly as evidenced by the closing words of the last verse (62) of chapter 13.

…unto the fulfilling of the covenant which he hath made unto the house of Israel.

With these words topping off, if you will, all the words penned by Mormon in III Nephi 13, we can see how they clearly connect the work of the three disciples to the fulfillment of the covenant the Lord has made with the house of Israel (which is to be accomplished in these latter days). This is precisely the topic of the post I was led to publish this past Saturday.  And this is why it was the three disciples who ministered this work to me and why they revealed themselves to me.

Note: In this regard, I would encourage you to consider III Nephi 13:42-44 in light of Moroni 7:30-33 and how it was Mormon who authored both of these passages of scripture. Hint: key off of the word angels.

So, while it was not wisdom for Mormon to identify their names in his abridgement of the record of his people, recall also how the Lord promises to cause truth to sweep the earth in these last days, as written in Genesis 7:69,70, to gather His people into one body. As the Lord causes this work of restoring His covenants to the knowledge of the world in these latter days, we can expect Him to also make known things which have been hid for generations.  Given the impresses I have received, I freely confess that this is now my understanding, that these promises include the Lord providing more information about those He will send to carry out this work prior to His coming in glory.

For in that day, before the Son of Man shall come, he shall send forth his angels and messengers of heaven. (Matthew 13:42)

To summarize to this point, Mormon does not say that the names of the three disciples would be kept back from the world for all time, or even during this time of restoration of the Lord’s covenants. Rather, as he states, many things will be revealed at the appropriate time according to God’s wisdom, and when they are revealed we must take care not to despise them.

Here again I am compelled to confess that the witness I was given from these three disciples (and another) was meant to be a witness to me which confirmed that what I had written in Saturday’s post is indeed true and that the Lord is indeed fulfilling His covenants in these latter days. It also bore an encouraging witness to me that the Lord is pleased with what I have written.  So, briefly comprehended, the Lord is making preparation for the latter rains as spoken of by Joel and Peter (as stated in the post).

The question now is this, what can we do to assist in this work? Consider again the words of Mormon at the beginning of III Nephi 12.

And when they shall have received this [the Book of Mormon], which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things, then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them. And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the greater things be withheld from them, unto their condemnation. Behold I was about to write them all which were engraven upon the plates of Nephi, but the Lord forbid it, saying, I will try the faith of my people; therefore I, Mormon, do write the things which have been commanded me of the Lord. (III Nephi 12:3-5)

Notice here again the Lord’s reason for forbidding Mormon from writing all of Nephi’s record.  It was to try our faith and that of His people.  As such, we would be wise to not despise revelations and prophecies that come from God in fulfillment of His work in these latter days.  Instead, we must come to Jesus Christ and learn of His ways (Matthew 11:28-30).  Then we will receive the knowledge of that which has been hid up because of unbelief.

Come unto me, O ye Gentiles, and I will shew unto you the greater things, the knowledge which is hid up because of unbelief.  (Ether 1:109)

This is my testimony and belief: that the Lord faithfully rewards everyone who believes in His word and who seek the knowledge of His Spirit of truth, the Comforter, who is able to teach us and guide us into all truth (John 14:16-18,26 with John 16:13). Why?  Such people seek first to build up His kingdom and to establish His righteousness.

As a concluding statement, recall again how Mormon wrote, “the Lord forbid it, saying, I will try the faith of my people,” in III Nephi 12:5 when he was about to write all that was in the record of Nephi.  Well, as I have written this email to you, I have been assured that these names have been given to me to write them for the same purpose, but in the reverse, so to speak.  It is to try the faith of His people in these days.  Why?  Again, as it is written, those who ask, knock, and seek in humility will receive His witness.  Luke 8:18 and elsewhere describes what happens if we do not receive His words.

As always, please pray about what I have written. The Lord will continue to prove His people as He goes about restoring His people to Himself according to the covenants He has made with them.

May you continue abiding in God’s love through Jesus Christ.

Related Correspondence: The following is a part of a reply to another individual in which I provided the name of the third disciple that has remained among us, etc.


God is comforting us in many ways regarding Zion.  As He demonstrated in Genesis 1 and 2, He first creates spiritually, then temporally.  This He is doing now in our day as well.  Let me explain.

I’ve been praying for sometime now that the Lord would again move the cause of Zion, and I have the testimony that He is indeed doing so.  To illustrate, the Lord has drawn my attention to Genesis 7:69,70 IV over the past year or so.  In these verses we are told that in these days of tribulations the Lord will prepare a city for us to prepare ourselves for His coming (by girding ourselves with righteousness and truth).  In fact, it has been impressed upon me that Jesus Christ will not come in glory until He prepares this city for His people to prepare themselves for His coming in glory (compare Alma 10:23 with Ether 5:7-9).

In a word, the renovation is under way.  That is, the Lord is in fact moving again the cause of Zion such that the redemption of Zion is now being prepared spiritually so that it can be realized physically on earth soon! And all of this is occurring so it might be fulfilled according to the prayer our Lord has taught us to pray, that our heavenly Father’s will may be done on earth as it is done in heaven according to D&C 65:1a-1f with Matthew 6:9-15.

This knowledge has come to me in very particular ways through much activity that I have been made aware of by members of the heavenly hosts who are sent by the Lord of Hosts.  Since the Sunday evening before this past Thanksgiving I’ve received the ministry of angels on many occasions, nearly daily, all with a clear understanding that the Lord is getting things ready for His people to be gathered together in one so they may be prepared in righteousness and truth for the return of Jesus Christ.

Last month I sent my older children (those who have moved away from home) an email about one such occasion …  It describes how I was ministered to by Timothy, who is Nephi’s brother, and Jonas, who is Nephi’s son.  As described in this email, I now know, by the convincing power which is in them, that Timothy along with Nephi’s son, Jonas, are two of the three disciples people commonly refer to as the three Nephites.  (Because they are no longer “ites” I can only refer to them now as “the three disciples.”)  Nephi is the other one of these three, but the testimony is particularly about Timothy and Jonas and what they have taught me about their current work among us.

If you would like to know more particularly about what these three disciples are doing among us in these days of preparation, I’d encourage you to read all of III Nephi 13.  We are now living in the time described in the second half of that chapter.


As a postscript, I would add that if you would like to have fellowship with these three, do not be an “ite.”  Rather, become a child of Christ as described in IV Nephi 1:17-21.


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