Magically having a wish granted has been part of people's imagination for many years. When I was a kid my friends and I would challenge each other to see who could come up with the greatest wish. One of the most common wishes I've heard is, "I wish to live forever." A couple thousand years ago that is exactly what happened. On two occasions a select few men were granted one wish. The first account can be found in the Bible.
"Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me.
"Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?" (John 21:20-23)
To some people that scripture can be a bit confusing. Joseph Smith was one of the people confused about this and so he asked the Lord if the apostle, John the beloved, truly was granted to wish to live forever. Through the Urim and Thummim, a tool used to receive revelation, Joseph was shown "a translated version of the record made on parchment by John," (Doctrine and Covenants section 7 heading).
This is the record they received in revelation:
1. And the Lord said unto me: John, my beloved, what desirest thou? For if you shall ask what you will, it shall be granted unto you.This second record of John's clears up any confusion from the first record in the Holy Bible. Both John and Peter were granted their wishes. John was granted power over death so that he could teach the gospel to more people. Peter was granted place in God's kingdom when he life on earth was finished.
2. And I said unto him: Lord, give unto me power over death, that I may live and bring souls unto thee.
3. And the Lord said unto me: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, because thou desirest this thou shalt tarry until I come in my glory, and shalt prophesy before nations, kindreds, tongues and people.
4. And for this cause the Lord said unto Peter: If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? For he desired of me that he might bring souls unto me, but thou desiredst that thou mightest speedily come unto me in my kingdom.
5. I say unto thee, Peter, this was a good desire; but my beloved has desired that he might do more, or a greater work yet among men than what he has before done.
6. Yea, he has undertaken a greater work; therefore I will make him as flaming fire and a ministering angel; he shall minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation who dwell on the earth.
7. And I will make thee to minister for him and for thy brother James; and unto you three I will give this power and the keys of this ministry until I come.
8. Verily I say unto you, ye shall both have according to your desires, for ye both joy in that which ye have desired.
As I have said earlier, this is not the only time someone has been granted this wish to live forever. The second time this happened was not long after the first, but took place on the other side of the world. The first was in Jerusalem and the second was on the American continents. After Christ was resurrected he visited the faithful people in the western hemisphere of the world. Like before, he called twelve apostles to teach his gospel with him and after he left. Just before he left these people he asked each of the twelve the one thing they wanted Christ to do for them. The record of this can be found in the Book of Mormon.
The account of the twelve apostles' wish, as found in 3 Nephi chapter 28:
1. And it came to pass when Jesus had said these words, he spake unto his disciples, one by one, saying unto them: What is it that ye desire of me, after that I am gone to the Father?This time nine of the twelve asked the same thing Peter asked before, to live in the kingdom of God after their life on the earth. And three asked for the same that John asked for, to live forever on the earth to teach the gospel.
2. And they all spake, save it were three, saying: We desire that after we have lived unto the age of man, that our ministry, wherein thou hast called us, may have an end, that we may speedily come unto thee in thy kingdom.
3. And he said unto them: Blessed are ye because ye desired this thing of me; therefore, after that ye are seventy and two years old ye shall come unto me in my kingdom; and with me ye shall find rest.
4. And when he had spoken unto them, he turned himself unto the three, and said unto them: What will ye that I should do unto you, when I am gone unto the Father?
5. And they sorrowed in their hearts, for they durst not speak unto him the thing which they desired.
6. 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.
7. 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.
Both accounts are really cool to think about. These took place roughly two-thousand years ago. Although it has been so long, if these men were really granted what it says they were it means they could be living near us at this moment. That's a cool thought.