Eugene Onéguine: A Romance of Russian Life in Verse
History, tinged with tradition, affirms these to be the circumstances under which those words were uttered: The Savior had chosen Twelve Apostles, and had commissioned them to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. Obedient to the divine mandate, they had gone forth, and within fifty years had lifted the Gospel standard in every considerable city of the Roman Empire, which then had sway over the known world. One by one the Apostles had been taken: James was slain with the sword at Jerusalem; Peter was crucified, and Paul beheaded, at Rome; all had suffered martyrdom for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus—all save one, concerning whom Peter had inquired: "Lord, what shall this man do?" And the Savior, answering, had said: "If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?" (St. John 21:21-22.)
Modern revelation confirms the ancient tradition that John, the beloved disciple, did not die, but obtained a promise from the Lord that he should remain upon earth, not subject to death, and bring souls to Him. He was to "prophesy before nations, kindreds, tongues and peoples", and continue till the Lord came in His glory. (Doctrine and Covenants, Section 7.) An attempt was made upon John's life, but it proved ineffectual. He was thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil, but escaped miraculously.