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Is there evidence that others besides Enoch’s people were translated?

TitleIs there evidence that others besides Enoch’s people were translated?
Publication TypeMagazine Article
Year of Publication1979
AuthorsWaters, Max L.
Issue Number6
Date PublishedJune 1979
KeywordsAlma the Younger; Elijah (Prophet); Enoch (City of); John the Beloved; Nephi (Son of Helaman); Three Nephites

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Is there evidence that others besides Enoch’s people were translated? And what are their missions?

Max L. Waters, high councilor, Provo Utah Sharon East Stake, and professor of business education at Brigham Young University Moses 7 records that Enoch (after Zion was taken up into heaven) beheld all the nations of the earth before him, and he “beheld angels descending out of heaven, bearing testimony of the Father and Son; and the Holy Ghost fell on many, and they were caught up by the powers of heaven.” (Moses 7:27; italics added.)

Prior to and just after the Lord’s mission on earth, there were accounts of holy men also experiencing the change called translation. Of Elijah we read, “There appeared a chariot of fire, … and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” (2 Kgs. 2:11.)

The possible translation of two other prophets is referred to in the Book of Alma:

“And when Alma had done this he departed out of the land of Zarahemla, as if to go into the land of Melek. And it came to pass that he was never heard of more; as to his death or burial we know not of.

“Behold, this we know, that he was a righteous man; and the saying went abroad in the church that he was taken up by the Spirit, or buried by the hand of the Lord, even as Moses. But behold, the scriptures saith the Lord took Moses unto himself; and we suppose that he has also received Alma in the spirit, unto himself.” (Alma 45:18–19; italics added.)

Under similar circumstances Nephi, the son of Helaman, departed out of the land of Zarahemla, “and whither he went, no man knoweth” (3 Ne. 1:3) and he “did not return to the land of Zarahemla. (3 Ne. 2:9.)

Four of Christ’s disciples—John in Jerusalem and three in America—desired to remain on earth and continue their ministries until the Lord comes in his glory. They also experienced this change. Mormon records the Lord’s instructions to the three Nephites about their mission and labors:

“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.” (3 Ne. 28:7–8.)

Mormon continues:

“And behold they will be among the Gentiles, and the Gentiles shall know them not.

“They will also be among the Jews, and the Jews shall know them not.” (3 Ne. 28:27–28.)

“And men having this faith, coming up into this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven. …

“And [Melchizedek’s] people wrought righteousness, and obtained heaven, and sought for the city of Enoch which God had before taken, separating it from the earth, having reserved it unto the latter days, or the end of the world.” (JST, Gen. 14:27, 32–34; italics added.)

While the disciples were assigned to work specifically with inhabitants and former inhabitants of this planet, it is apparent from Joseph Smith’s teachings that Enoch and his brethren, as well as others taken from the earth, have received a different calling:

The Lord “appointed unto [Enoch] a ministry unto terrestrial bodies, of whom there has been but little revealed. … He is a ministering angel, to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. …

“Now the doctrine of translation is a power which belongs to this Priesthood. … Many have supposed that the doctrine of translation was a doctrine whereby men were taken immediately into the presence of God, and into an eternal fullness, but this is a mistaken idea. Their place of habitation is that of the terrestrial order, and a place prepared for such characters He held in reserve to be ministering angels unto many planets.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 170; italics added.)