Question: Since John the Apostle and the three Nephites did not die, then how could there have been a "complete apostasy" on the earth?

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Question: Since John the Apostle and the three Nephites did not die, then how could there have been a "complete apostasy" on the earth?

Latter-day Saints believe these men were "translated," meaning that their bodies were changed to a higher state, preliminary to the resurrection, and now "they are as the angels of God"

Does the existence of these four men on the earth, Paul and the Three Nephites, who were obviously "church members," contradict the notion of a "complete apostasy?" The fact is that Latter-day Saints believe these men were "translated," meaning that their bodies were changed to a higher state, preliminary to the resurrection, and now "they are as the angels of God." (3 Nephi 28:30) If, as Joseph Smith said, translated beings are "held in reserve to be ministering angels,"[1] how could the fact that God left priesthood-holding angels on the Earth (who did not transmit their priesthood to others) have any bearing on the question of whether the apostasy was "total?" Rather, this illustrates the LDS belief in God's loving concern for His children even during periods of apostasy.

Notes

  1. ↑ Joseph Smith, Jr., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected by Joseph Fielding Smith, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1976), 170. off-site