Casting Pearls


Dear Un-Blog Family,

Someone asked for us to share our personal stories of speaking of great personal spiritual experiences with friends and family. There were some great comments on the previous Un-Blog “Walking on Water” and I hope some of them will be repeated or further experiences shared here.

As you all noted, the key is to wait until the Holy Spirit moves you to share. But, there is another key I hope comes out, it is to not withhold due to fear when the moment comes. One commenter mentioned that she never knows beforehand, but that the prompting is in the moment. This highlights the need to live “in the Spirit” so that we are always prepared.

Lastly, I think we need to look at (and comment upon if you will), the consequences of remaining silent, hoarding our spiritual pearls to ourselves and letting fear close our mouths. The latter days are (not will be, but are) perilous times. I can count many people to whom I know I promised in some premortal day, that I would open my mouth and call to their souls to seek after the greater things.

I believe I personally have a God-given obligation to warn my neighbor as the Lord identifies them to me. Of what are we testifying? It is that the church is true, the priesthood is true power, and the promises of the scriptures and in sacred places are coming to pass in our day, ourselves being a witness. I believe our witness is essential to the whole unfolding of the latter-day scene.

What say you, my wise and beloved UnBlog family?

Brother John

© April 2012, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.

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41 Responses to Casting Pearls

  1. Jennifer says:

    Brother John,

    When reading something (either the post or a comment) this quote came to my mind to share. I had the concept but not the quote and so now I return to share the quote with you.

    A man [or woman] receives only what he [or she] is ready to receive, whether physically or intellectually or morally, as animals conceive at certain seasons their kind only. We hear and apprehend only what we already half know. If there is something which does not concern me, which is out of my line, which by experience or by genius* my attention is not drawn to, however novel and remarkable it may be, if it is spoken, we hear it not, if it is written, we read it not, or if we read it, it does not detain us. Every man [woman] thus ‘tracks himself’ through life, in all his hearing and reading and observation and travelling. His observations make a chain. The phenomenon or fact that cannot in any wise be linked with the rest which he has observed, he does not observe. By and by he may be ready to receive what he cannot receive now. I find for example, in Aristotle something about the spawning, etc, of the pout and perch, because I know something about it already and have my attention aroused; but I do not discover till very late that he has made other equally important observations on the spawning of other fishes, because I am not interested in those fishes.
    Henry David Thoreau — A Writer’s Journal

    *Genius for Thoreau (as I read his words and implement his thoughts) reminds me of our Celestial Spirits and their memories of the pre-existence.

    Jennifer

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  2. Chris says:

    As Sherlock once pointed out, it is the most obvious that is often the hardest to see. Do we not all, at some point, share a most precious pearl with others, even our own testimony? Is that not one of the most sacred things we have in our lives? For those who would hand out stones when we are seeking bread, who believe we should not share spiritual experiences for whatever reason, I would ask if I should then keep my testimony to myself.

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  3. cheyenne brashear says:

    I had an experience about a month or so ago that has, I feel, forever altered my life. I was wondering if I should share it on here. As I thought about it, the thought came to me that these brothers and sisters on this this unblog are seekers and might benefit from this experience as I have from theirs.

    The closest way I can explain this event is to say that it was like a near death, or out of body experience. I don’t completely know what happened. When I came back from it I was laying in bed shaking, with a huge lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. My wife asked me what was wrong. I asked her if I had stopped breathing in my sleep; she had been awake for awhile and said I hadn’t, I then explained to her what happened:

    I remember going to sleep that night, but the next thing I knew I was floating above the clouds. After a moment or so, I dropped beneath the clouds and noticed below me a beautiful mountain valley. I heard a soft voice that sounded vaguely familiar ask me, “Do you know where you are?”

    As he asked me this, I noticed that I was continually descending closer to this mountain valley. I looked to the northwest and noticed some snow capped peaks that looked very familiar. I looked down and recieved a thrill of wonder when I realized that I was looking down at Vermejo Park ranch headquarters; the ranch(home) that my twin brother and I lived at with our dad when we were kids.

    This ranch was located in the Rocky Mountains of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado, and was one of the most beautiful places I had ever seen, and the favorite home of my childhood.

    I continued to look, and as I did, I noticed the bunkhouse we lived in; I saw the cookhouse that we used to eat in, and the river near our house. While I was looking at these things, I noticed that I was drifting in a southeasterly direction. The next thing I knew, I was looking down at the house where my best friend lived.

    While I was pondering what all of this meant, I looked down and saw a small, white Toyota pickup truck leaving headquarters heading towards town. I couldn’t beleive it! This was the truck my dad used to drive when we lived up on the ranch. By now I was looking directly into the passenger side of the truck; I saw two blonde headed kids, one with a gray jacket on and one with a brown jacket on. What I was looking at was my brother and myself when we were 12 years old(my first thought was how badly we needed a haircut) .

    This was like no dream I had ever had. I was there, taking in everything from the cool spring breeze to the afternoon sunlight shining through the trees and the grass. I drifted behind the truck and to the other side where my dad was. He looked strong and healthy and younger than I remembered. My dad died 5 years ago of lung cancer. Seeing him again brought such a joy, but also a longing, aching, feeling that I can’t explain. I was like a breath of wind floating alongside the truck. It seemed at this point that I was moving according to my own thoughts and desires.

    I couldn’t hear the conversation that was going on in the truck, but apparently something I said tickled my dad and my brother Darrell because Darrell laughed and my dad smiled and grabbed my knee and shook it(this was something he used to do that I had almost forgotten about.)

    The next thing I knew we were coming into town. we stopped at all of my favorite old stores; it had occured to me that it was spring break in the year 1986. We were going to stay at my uncle Glen’s house for the night, and then head south to Albuquerque, N.M. the next day to spend spring break with my mom and sister. As we were leaving town, we came up over a rise where you could see a hundred miles around. I looked to the southeast near mount Capulan and Eagletail mountain and realized with great joy that in this time my aunt Billie was still alive. I then looked to the southwest where my uncle Earl lived and again recieved a wonderful thrill as it again occured to me that he was also still alive. As I thought about it, I realized that this was one of the most unencumbered, free, joyful, times of my life. I had at this point in my life never suffered any loss.

    When we arrived at my uncle’s house, he had the door open waiting for us. I could smell dinner cooking.

    As we walked inside and closed the door, the vision closed and I was suddenly sitting in the celestial room in the Atlanta temple sometime in the near future. Again I saw myself looking almost as I do now, but there was something different about my face and bearing,something greater. It occured to me that I(my future self)was in deep and thoughtful prayer and meditation. There were 4 other people in the celestial room with me. Two of them were sisters that worked in the temple and the other two were brothers each deep in their own thoughts.

    As I got up to leave, I saw standing before me my dad and uncle Glen(neither of which were members of the church in their mortal lifetimes),both looking young, strong, and better than I had ever seen them look in this life. I looked around me to see if anyone else was seeing what I was seeing, but amazingly enough no one seemed to. My dad told me that he had always loved me greatly but apologized that he had never taken Darrell and I seriously as individuals when we were young. He said that he and all my loved ones are much closer to us and with us more often than we realize. He said that the decisions we make in life also causes them to feel joy and pain. Then he said, ” son, the choices you and Darrell have made in the last few years has brought us great joy. You two have become the joy, and the honor of the whole family.”

    It occured to me then that we are so intertwined with our loved ones even beyond the veil that when we draw close to Christ in this life and we gain truth and righteousness through Him, because our loved ones are so close to us, they know and feel the changes that are made in our lives and it helps them to progress in their own spiritual climbs; then, they in turn are able to do things there that benefit us here. It is a reciprocal process.

    As I saw myself leaving the temple, I was allowed to see through the mind, and feel through the heart of my future self. The feelings and thoughts I had were otherworldly in nature. This was a time that was even greater than that spring of 1986. My life was even more uncluttered, free, and joyful then it was during that wonderful time of my childhood. The last thing I remember feeling was a sense of absolute purpose and clarity; I was on a path I would never turn away from. As I dwelled on this, I realized what the glorious conclusion would be.

    Then that same soft voice that spoke to me at the beginning of this experience said”this is the path of the blessed; this can be your path if you choose to walk it.” As I heard these words I noticed that I was drifting back up into the clouds, when I came back to myself.
    I’m sorry Brother John that this is so long. I didn’t see how I could leave any of it out. God bless you and the members of the unblog. Brother C.

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    • This is a great story, Brother C. It speaks to the turning of the hearts of the fathers to the children. I can’t see how you could shorten it either, so I’ll happily let it through as is. Thanks.

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  4. Forest says:

    Over the years, I have participated in many conversations in various settings about topics of a spiritual nature. I have noticed that there are some people who will appear to be arguing with you but actually in their hearts, they may really agree with you or they might “half agree with you”. Sometimes they are arguing for the opposite case, just to draw out of you the answers for which they have already been seeking for a long time. They may want to test the solidity of your belief or rational. And in a quiet moment alone, they will reflect on your answers and may choose to adopt them as their own. Meanwhile, they are really putting you to the test and it may seem that they will just never see it from the same point of view.

    So how do you know if someone is an honest seeker looking for answers, or if someone it is really trying to just tear down testimonies? Of course, contention is not of the Lord. So the type of disagreement I am describing here is a difference of opinion expressed with a tone of mutual respect and consideration. An immediate red flag to recognize if that mutual respect is absent is found in the following verse Ether 12:26 “…the Lord spake unto me, saying: Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness;”

    So the key here is if the communication is delivered in a mocking way or a meek way. “Fools mock”…a fool lacks wisdom, wisdom comes from God, a person who despises God will also despise wisdom and will indicate that state of heart by mocking wisdom or mocking God. Truth is always delivered in meekness (Doctrine & Covenants 121:41-42). We learn line upon line and may not have all truth, but that truth which we do have is obtained through humility (Ether 12:27). Therefore, a meek or humble inquiry, although differing in opinion, may still be expressed by a person who loves God, but does not know God in the same manner that I do.

    There is more about what it means to mock others in 1Nephi 8:27 “And [a great and spacious building] was filled with people….and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit.” And then in 1Nephi 11:35-36, we are told why these individuals really do this…. (paraphrasing) those individuals who enter into the great and spacious building do it because they love the pride of the world and they fight against the twelve apostles of the lamb.

    So, when it comes to deciding what to share and what to not share when speaking of spiritual things…. you have an immediate red flag to warn you if the conversation is peppered with mocking. If the individual is mocking another in some way, even if it is “just a joke” or “no big deal”, it is a sign of the state of heart that they are in at that moment and you may want to save the sacred experiences for someone who is “holding fast to the iron rod”, but hasn’t quite reached the tree yet.

    Just some thoughts, thanks for reading this.

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  5. Linda Mamone says:

    Brother John and FJC, I was so disturbed by the experience you had FJC that I could not sleep for thinking about it. Those experiences do happen I know, but I could not help thinking that the one spiritual experience that we should not share is whether our Calling and Election has been made sure. Am I right about this Brother John? I do believe in sharing spiritual experiences when prompted by the spirit and I have done so on a few occasions, BUT if I hear someone espousing their experiences too often and talking about their C&E I have a red flag go up and I think they are untruthful or a fanatic! I worry for our young people experiencing something like FJC did because they are so vulnerable and taken in by charismatic individuals like this woman! Had I come across a lady like this I would have been very suspect! And to think she was so respected by so many educated and important people! Where were the red flags before all the damage? I hope we will all be so close to the spirit that we can see through this sort of thing for ourselves and our children. Sometimes I think we need to be very careful that we are not the only one who is ALWAYS sharing those sacred experiences. That may sound harsh but wrong conclusions can be formed about a well meaning person. Like you said, “Share only by the prompting of the spirit” I would like to add “sparingly” but then I guess that would be over riding the promptings wouldn’t it!?
    L.M

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    • I know of several people who have not told their spouse about their C&E because their spouse would respond as you said, with doubt, thoughts of untruth or fantacism. They yearn to be able to share this most-sacred experience, but the Spirit restrains them – as it should in that case.

      My thoughts are this, that we have an obligation to be inspired as a speaker of truth – but there is a corresponding obligation to be inspired as a hearer of truth. We can’t set up walls out of fear and say “no matter what” something is wrong. The key to all of these things, speaking and hearing, is to be inspired. Jesus Christ walked the streets full of the Spirit, and would and could have taught them everything about the kingdom, but they did not have ears to hear. They had built their safe walls that kept him out. These are the “traditions of the fathers” that kept entire nations in the dark.

      Inspired lips – Inspired ears. They go together.

      JMP

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    • Steve H. says:

      I’m always amazed about people in leadership positions not picking up on things like this. I suppose since I’ve been blessed by such a portion of the gift of discernment (I usually know right away if someone is to be trusted, not taken seriously, or simply avoided like the seven plagues of Egypt), I expect others to notice as I do. I often wonder if people just won’t listen to the voice of discernment because they don’t want to be rude or disrespectful or they’re blinded by a person’s ancestry. Spiritual blindness and/or deafness is a choice, though, isn’t it?

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  6. Linda Ayre says:

    I have recently discovered Bro. Pontius’ firesides on his website. I have listened to them multiple times and they have changed my life. I forwarded the link to several friends and family members with my sincere recommendation that they listen to the firesides. One dear friend, who is currently a stake president, happened to start with one in which Bro. Pontius openly admits to his own personal sacred experiences. My friend liked the fireside, but was very concerned that Bro. Pontius spoke openly about these things. He said, “We have been told to be very careful about sharing sacred experiences. You don’t hear general authories talk about their own.” I didn’t really have an answer for him, but I must admit I had the same question, especially since the fireside was being taped. I must assume that Bro. Pontius was inspired to do it, because I have felt so strongly a witness that what he teaches is true.
    Thank you,
    Linda

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    • Dear Linda,

      It is interesting that this is the very topic we are currently discussing – when it is appropriate to speak of sacred things. When it comes to firesides, it helps to remember that I am speaking to a dozen or so people, and that the recording is only available to people who really search for it, or who are referred to it by a friend. It is a semi-private forum. These things are going out to a very small audience and to people who love the Lord and are seeking His presence. You might enjoy the last few UnBlog articles on this very subject. The whole of the scriptures is from people recording their sacred experiences. If it wasn’t appropriate, we would have no scripture at all.

      As an aside, I can’t think of a single talk or statement by a prophet that says we should be “very careful about sharing sacred experiences.” I think the Spirit shuts our mouths at times, but I’m not aware of a general commandment or church policy to that effect. There is a definite LDS cultural reluctance in this ragard, but I do not believe it is doctrinally justified. We believe in personal revelation and bearing testimony of the Lord’s blessings to us. Now that I’m thinking about it, I think I’ll do some research to see if there is an actual policy in this reagard, or if it is just cultural.

      Good comment,

      JMP

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  7. Chris says:

    Thank you all so much for sharing such intimate experiences. I’m so grateful for a place I can go to be encouraged, knowing that there are others like myself who want to know and who sincerely believe the Lord’s promises and counsel. It seems to me that we experience different pieces of the bigger picture based on what we need and what we’re ready for. Were there enough time and desire, I’m sure we could all have every type of experience shared here.

    I so desperately have sought to receive the Lord and for so many years have never known how or fully believed it could happen to me. Your testimonies and discussions, not just Bro John’s, stoke my fire. When you share I feel like Joseph (in Katheryn’s Christmas story) when he was told by the angel that Mary’s story was true. I revel in the assurance that these things we discuss are true and can’t run fast enough to get where I want to be.

    Thank you.

    Chris

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  8. Kathy says:

    With the Spirit’s approval I transmit the following: About 15 years ago I was a single mother of many children and we were all traumatized from abuse from my prior spouse. I was struggling to handle two jobs and I was very afraid.
    I had been reading the scriptures and ran across my Patriarchial Blessing tucked in the pages so I pulled it out and read it completely.

    The expectations contained within the blessing overwhelmed me. How could I possibly accomplish all those things being a single mother raising many children and working two jobs.

    I dropped to my knees and began to pray to know how on earth I was ever going to be able to accomplish so many big things, when suddenly, I felt my whole body filled with such power that I felt like Super Woman and could leap a tall building in a single bound. It was an amazing and wonderful feeling.
    Then, the thought rushed into my mind that I would be able to do those things when my mother died and left me an inheritance. I was then given her entire eulogy, none of which I remembered ten minutes later, sadly.
    Immediately thereafter I was worried that she was getting ready to die quickly so I made sure all her legal affairs were in order. Nope, it was twelve years later that she passed and I currently feel the weight of the responsibilities upon me.

    I have had so many spiritual experiences that I cannot count them but this one stands out because of the power that filled my frame, the eulogy given, and the immense rush of knowledge.

    I have learned too that Heavenly Father has a special language and by constantly being obedient and desiring with all my heart, I am learning to understand the meanings of terms like “make haste” as opposed to “soon” in time calculations in his messages to me. “Make haste” means do it immediately! or you will miss out. Soon can be years down the road.

    I know that I am no one special but the Lord is no respecter of persons and it is our obedience and the intent of our heart and our desire which opens spiritual doors.

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  9. darrell brashear says:

    John, I felt impressed to share this spiritual experience I had a few weeks ago. I had already shared it with you, but I feel to share it with my brothers and sisters of the unblog as well. I hope it helps those who read it because it applies to all of us.

    I was sitting in the chapel during the passing of the sacrament and my thoughts were carried away to the degree that I became unaware of my surroundings.

    I saw myself in the days of Christ. I was in a crowd of people and the Lord was walking past. The Spirit then spoke to me and said, ” Think of that which causes you the most suffering and take it to the Saviour and ask Him to remove it”. I thought of the chemicle imbalance in my brain which has caused me so much emotional and mental anguish, and I became desperate to get to Him so He could take it away from me.

    I couldn’t get to Him because of the great crowd of people between us, so I started shouting out to Him with all the desperation and energy of my soul. My need to go to Him was so great that I didn’t think to be embarrased or ashamed to be shouting out to Him as though my life depended on it. As i kept crying out to Him, He stopped and started coming toward me and I started making my way toward Him. Suddenly the crowd between us parted and I stood before Him and He looked down at me and I looked up at Him, and a feeling of love passed between us that I have no words to describe.

    The vision then closed, and I thought to myself….”That’s what it would have been like if I had lived in those days”…The Spirit then whispered to me….”That’s how He wants you to call out to Him now”. I was touched and amazed at such an invitation. It has greatly affected me.

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    • What a beautiful experience. Thanks for sharing.

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      • Chris says:

        Darrell,
        Your experience couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Thank you for sharing. Though it was your experience, it speaks to me powerfully.

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    • Steve H. says:

      How wonderful of you to share this. As I read I felt your desparation to reach the Savior. Who cares what the world thinks of us when we are here to follow Christ? I felt the Spirit witness to me, before I read what the Spirit said to you, that we need to seek the Savior with just as much desparation. How awful it would be to miss out on a personal relationship with Him because we’re too worried about the esteem of man.

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    • Mila says:

      I want to thank you for sharing your experience. It has really uplifted me in time of need. Thank you!

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  10. RC says:

    Dear Bro. John:
    I wish to share also but totally anonymously for reasons I’d prefer not to detail
    but in general because of all the nay saying I got when I unwisely talked about it soon after it occurred.
    I was a young mom with 3 very closely spaced little ones and had been married (temple marriage) for abt 4-5 years.
    My married life had not been easy: there were lots of challenges because I had the Cinderella syndrome (and they lived happily ever after) and my parents split when I was abt 4. Most telling of all was that my mom didn’t have a testimony, having been inadequately instructed and having what she had destroyed by a family lie. I’m sure the perps meant well but oh the unforeseen
    consequences. My mom tried to give me the gospel basics: prayer but it was a rote sort of one, sent me to Sunday School, Primary and so on but was mostly absent from the picture herself. I didn’t realize it but I had a very weak spiritual foundation: I liken it to a foundation, mmm, a basement whose walls have large gaps in the concrete.
    An outside observer would never have suspected how uninformed I was. My membership record would have been no clue to my real spiritual state. In fact many concluded that because I was 1) a “lifelong” (what baloney that term is)
    member ie name and blessing probably before I was 6 months old, baptism a little late (6 mo) past my 8th birthday, 2) patriarchal blessing 3 weeks shy of my 14th birthday, 3) endowed and married in the temple about age 19 and 1/2, well all that was “proof” I was a rock solid member of the Church
    Well, that pretty much was my state spiritually at that time. Oh, I was also so uninformed that I called promptings and personal revelation ESP.
    We (my husband, me and our three (number then) had recently moved from another state and rented an old brick house in the Salt Lake valley. The lot it stood on was bordered on one side and along the front by a deep (3 ft) steeply walled irrigation ditch. Since the two, which joined at the SW corner of the property, were main carriers of the water, for irrigation turns at least a mile west and north of where we resided, those ditches were almost always full to overflow, with swiftly flowing and bitterly cold water.
    Having grown up in Utah I was very aware of how dangerous irrigation ditches were. Every summer the ditches claimed little victims. (Bro John my apologies to you if this stirs pain, was not my intention)
    So I watched my own children like a hawk and was very thankful when our then landlord, at his own expense, fenced the lot side ditch so thoroughly that it was child proof. Too high (4 and 1/2 ft) good quality closely spaced chain link with the top support rail cleverly left off so’s not to support an attempt to climb over. Climbing under was likewise skillfully blocked.
    I let my guard down and thought that it was safe to let my two oldest play in the unfenced (from the side yards and front yard) back yard so long as I regularly checked on them. I remember very emphatically telling the two of them to stay in the backyard.
    Then I went back in the house to tend to the house chores and keep an ear out for the youngest child waking up from a nap. I was walking past the bathroom and happened to glance into it. There suspended in midair was a picture, a motion picture(years later “hologram” best described it) of my little daughter taking the last few steps that ended in a tumble into the front yard ditch and her being swept away to drown. No sound just that awful moving picture.
    I was seized with fear and an overwhelming urge to get to the back door and
    check on her whereabouts. I dropped what I had in my hands, and sprinted for the back door, yanking it open and straight arming the screen door and urgently asking the older child “………, where’s sister?” He lifted his arm to point down the side of the house, and I dashed over to where I could look down the side of the house. There, in the front yard was my little daughter, just a few
    (Maybe 3) of her little steps away.
    To this day I cannot figure out how I covered probably 50 ft fast enough to stop what was in progress. I am not a runner of any sort. If I were it would be longer distances. In high school I always did very poorly in sprints. Regardless
    I was able (enabled?) to cover enough distance to get close enough to grab
    the back of her gathered shirt just as she took the final step that would have tumbled her into that deep and brim full ditch.
    I startled and frightened her plenty and she started to cry. I swept her up in my arms, turned around to go back to the backyard and couldn’t take more than about 4 steps. I ended up cross legged on the ground, my daughter cradled on my lap, rocking us both and totally torn between paddling her little behind (anger) or dissolving in tears (gratitude and/or relief). I don’t recall which action I chose.
    I did not fully appreciate or understand what had happened then. It is only now many years later that I’ve begun to appreciate what a wonderful rescue, a very tender mercy was extended to me, my daughter, her siblings and her dad. I don’t think my marriage would have survived an awful happening of that nature. Blaming was all too frequent a thing then in the marital relationship and the “scapegoating” would probably have topped Mt. Everest
    I hope no one is offended by this. I did not then nor do I now view myself as especially deserving or worthy just incredibly awed, amazed, at the grace and tender mercy given me, by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
    All Glory be to His Name,
    RC

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    • Thank you RC. It is a beautiful account of how the Lord intervenes in our lives. One thing I truly believe is that no righteous soul leaves this life before their time. It just was not her time.

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      • RC says:

        Yes, I agree because it (prompting) was perfectly designed for my then current state of ignorance and unbelief. His “tender mercies” are so perfectly designed for each person: I am awed beyond words at how perfect each one is.
        RC

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  11. kathryn Hughes says:

    Dear John,
    When I read your unblog this time a prompting came to me to share a vision I had a while back . As a matter of fact on Christmas day . This past Christmas was a poor one to some people because we had no gifts to give but to me it was the greatest Christmas I ever had . I was alone while everyone else in the house had places to go . I asked my Heavenly Father to show me what Christmas was all about when Christ was born . A vision unfolded to me and I saw a young girl who seem to be very humble and sweet . She was alone in a small room when an angel appeared to her and told her how pleased Heavenly Father was with her and how she was to bear a child that would save all mankind. I could feel the joy she was experiencing and her humility.
    After this the vision closed it reopened to this young girl standing before a man explaining about being with child but still not knowing a man . This young man couldn’t believer her and it broke his heart in two . I felt all the feelings of both parties and the pain and suffering he went through as she tried to explain the miracle that had come upon her. He loving her knew he would not be able to marry her and sent her away crying. She half walked, half ran to Elizabeth because she needed to talk to someone . Her heart was breaking too as she went and I could feel the hurt she was going through along with the young mans hurt. But at the same time a joy was there because of the child she was carrying. She desparately wished that the man she loved would have believed her.
    It broke my heart for both of them because I could also feel their love for each other. This scene closed when another one opened. The young man was trying to rest . While tossing and turning in his bed, the same angel appeared to him that had appeared to the sweet young girl and told the young man that all the girl had told him was true . The joy that filled his heart was great and he couldn’t get to the young girl fast enough to ask her forgiveness and bring her back home . The joy seemed to be so great as this vision closed and reopened. The young girl was big with child and very warmly dressed riding a donkey while the man lead him through a hot and dry land. I could feel her body and how uncomfortable it was riding this gentle beast for so many, many miles. I felt tired, uncomfortable, and too hot from the heat of the day . Dust being strirred up as the donkey took each step . I seemed to hurt all over and knew this was how the young girl was feeling .
    Finally I saw a town and was glad the jouney was over . As they passed through the town tired and hungry, the young man knew it was getting close to the time of the birth as the hurt I felt told me also that he was right. He desparately tried to find a place for her to rest but each time I felt the disappointment of them being turned away along with the discomfort of the child I felt I was carrying. The young man was desparate and a hopelessness came over me .
    Once again the scene closed and I was left to ponder what all I had seen and felt . The last vision I saw the young girl laying down and the a babe wrapped in her arms . I knew then the Lord didn’t just show me Christmas but had me feel that Christmas too . If I live to be 100 I will never ever forget that very special Christmas so long ago. I was given the greatest gift of all that Christmas day.

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  12. Jennifer says:

    Brother John,

    I have an interesting experience with those words, “. . . neither cast ye your pearls before swine . . . “. Several years ago, shortly after having our roof done the roofer needed to come back for a repair. When he finished the first stage of the “repair” and was loading his things into the truck he explained he would be back next week to finish. However, as he climbed into his truck the mood and conversation changed rapidly. He began by asking me if I knew where the Book of Mormon was located in the library. I had no clue. He stated the fiction section and then told me I was going to hell for believing . . . you get the idea. He asked several question, which I tried to answer. Finally, after about ten minutes of his bombarding me with questions and then talking over anything I began to answer or share–The spirit distinctly said to me, “Do not cast your pearls be swine”. From that moment on the only words he heard from me were, “I will take my chances” (in reply to going to hell for my beliefs), or something along those lines basically I no longer tried to answer his “questions” –accusations more like it– but simply stated that I was sure in the knowledge I held.

    It seemed forever and it may have been a very long time this went on. A neighbor (about ten houses down the street) walked to our home and heard this man waved, walked into my house (we were good friends too), came back out and told me my husband needed me for something in the house. Thus, ending the bombardment and accusations from this man. My husband did not need me and was actually still sleeping (he worked graveyard at that time), but I am grateful for my neighbor.

    The following week came and there was no sign of the roofer coming to finish the job. I called his home his wife answered and informed me he had passed away over the weekend. Here comes the carnal man [woman] in me. My first thought was, “Yeah! now you’ll see . . . “, however, within minutes I was on my knees asking for this man’s heart to be soften so that he could come to learn of the Savior’s love for him and be receptive to the fullness of the Gospel.

    This is a significant event for me personally; I do not have a problem with not sharing, but with sharing. I share so easily that afterwards I wonder if I should not have shared as much as I did. I have comforted myself on several occasions since the spirit constrained me to speak, that the spirit would also stop me when I begin to share more than others may be ready to hear at the moment.

    Thank you,

    Jennifer

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  13. John D says:

    I shared this before, but to add to what I posted earlier. This following experience came after some of those with the darkside.
    This is from my missionary journal

    11-14-1979 Nevada, Las Vegas Mission

    The Lord has blessed us this month; we’ve picked up some great people and we baptized Marvin in the 3rd ward, he’s a cool guy! I feel so good about things, I’m doing all I should, and I’m where I should be, It’s a wonderful feeling to know that. I feel very close to the Lord, I have been studying the Savior and praying for a confirmation of my testimony of him. I want so much to know him better. We are working as hard as we can; my prayers are different now 45 – 90 minutes at night. I have to wait for my companion to go to sleep to have my real prayer or I feel funny and can’t concentrate.
    I had an experience last night, one that I don’t know how or if I should explain, but I don’t want to ever forget it.
    We live in the basement apartment of a member’s home and once you turn out the lights its pitch black, even after your eyes adjust. I had just finished Jesus the Christ for the 3rd time, I love that book! After my prayer I got into bed, I felt wonderful, so I continued to pray while in bed, but the spirit was so strong I got back out of bed and knelt down and prayed some more, I have never had a prayer like that, I really did speak to my father in heaven. After I finished I got back into bed, the spirit was stronger than ever. I was in tears with love for the Savior. My bed is in the corner of the room and as I sat there I realized that I could see the entire room, and that the light was coming from above and behind me, but as I turned to see what it was it moved and then I realized it was me, my head was glowing to the point that our completely dark room was light. I knelt down again and prayed some more and was blessed with the spirit in a way that is beyond words. It was wonderful. I think something more was going to happen but I started to feel a little overwhelmed, I was afraid to look up from my prayer and open my eyes, I think there was an angel in the room, but I think it was just more than I could handle, I didn’t feel worthy or ready for more, I don’t know, but the spirit lessened some and I got back into bed and thanked the Lord for what had happened and asked for forgiveness of my weaknesses. I was given complete peace with the Lord. My room was still light, when I fell asleep; the Holy Ghost spent the night with me it was beyond anything I have ever experienced, it’s impossible to put into words. I think I had a very special experience not many people have and more could have happened had my faith been stronger. I’m pretty sure an angel was in the room but for what ever reason I was afraid to look up.

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  14. John D says:

    DC Thanks for your comment, I guess I had’nt considered that.
    I also have had more experiences with the dark ones than I would like, and have been pushed down into my bed and shaken, slapped in the back, had my tongue bound, literally having a hand put over my mouth while attempting to cast them out, and had a door hit while praying, just to share a few. As to whether they can actually cause harm? I don’t know!
    But always after these experienced followed a spiritual break through or blessing of some kind!

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  15. Steve H. says:

    My own interpretation of Job is that evil and unclean spirits will sometimes have power to injure, but only according to God’s plan. My own opinion is that they will often try, but trying does not always beget success. How often is it that they direct their mortal slaves to injure or kill Saints, I wonder? How often are they prevented, when agency, that is, their desire to do harm because they think it’s their own desire and are choosing to follow an evil prompting, is part of the equation? I also met someone who claimed to have been physically attacked by devils, but my impression was that he was lying to get attention…sad.

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  16. DHP says:

    I believe the “evil ones” do have power to injure. I often use the example of the missionaries in England that is recorded, I believe, in the Life of Heber C. Kimball by Orson F. Whitney. I don’t know what my husband’s mission on earth is, but I know of at least two instances where forces tried to end his life in ways that should not have been. I feel strongly that evil beings were the cause.

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  17. DC says:

    To JohnD, the gift of discernment will be most important in these days when peace is no longer found in the land. There will be those to wish to join in the ranks of the LDS and someone will need to know their true designs before allowing them in. The gift of discernment will be paramount in order to protect the saints from those who would take advantage of them.
    To Flash, I’ve had to call upon what I call “warrior angels” to provide protection on several occasions. They are in the realm of spirits and can deal with any spirit on the other side, we only need ask. We cannot do everything on our own, its OK to ask for help. Just some things from my own experiences. Hope this helps in some way.
    And many thanks to Brother John, for this opportunity to share.

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  18. Flash says:

    Re the evil ones having power to injure or not, maybe they don’t. I do believe I was specifically protected from that fall. The way those slices of glass came at me, we calculated, logically, that I should have been hurt. Neither my husband nor I could understand why I wasn’t cut.

    And I’m remembering the story early in the Restoration, when apostles in England were physically attacked. They were assaulted but not killed.

    Hmm?

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  19. Flash says:

    A gift I have been praying for is to distinguish the voices (still and small) that whisper counsel. With a long time program of line-upon-line, and precept -upon precept education, I believe I now have this gift….but I had to diligently ask for it. I generally get a lot of suggestions from both sides of mortality’s battlefield.

    I would like to relate one of my spiritual experiences that came to mind twice this morning before reading your Un-Blog message about having the courage to share. I seldom shared this experience because I always supposed few would believe it:

    I once carried a large sheet of glass (about 3′ x 4′) into the house, and as I carried it through my kitchen door, a warning sentence came into my mind: “Satan will try to injure you with this glass.” I was surprised and stunned with the idea, but every time I looked at it I remembered the warning.

    Circumstances developed that I couldn’t install it right away, and I ended up moving it three times to different locations, each time using great caution because I remembered that original message. At last it ended up in an unused bedroom, where I leaned it against the closet doors—-and then put it out of my mind.

    A couple of weeks later, I went into that bedroom on and errand (with my husband right behind me), and as I entered the door, I tripped and fell forward into the glass, breaking it in several large pieces, two of which came down like the blade of a guillotine, missing me by inches. I asked my husband if he could determine what had tripped me, and neither of us could figure it out.

    I have wondered many times since about the physical powers which the opposition has. I don’t understand it, but I know it’s true.
    . .

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    • Dear Flash,

      Thank you for sharing this story. Personally I have experienced many things from the dark side of the veil that scared the bejeavers out of me, but never physical harm. I have never believed the evil ones have power to injure me physically. But, I do not know the meaning of all thigns, as Nephi said.

      Let’s ask the UnBlog family to weigh in on this. I have come to trust their judgment and insight.

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  20. djkroc71 says:

    Why do you think we don’t hear more testimonies of the sacred by apostles? They are designated as special witnessess and I believe some certainly have, but I wonder what you think it means to be a special witness of Christ?

    I don’t have a perfect memory, but I can’t recall an apostle sharing anything about a visit with the resurrected Lord. I’m not trying to be negative in any way, but I assumed I would have heard at least a couple in my 25 years in the church.

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    • I have heard several bear their “special” witness. I posted part of Elder McConkie’s testimony here. http://unblogmysoul.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/bruce-r-mcconkies-last-testimony/ Most of the time you have to listen with spiritual ears to hear what they are saying, but they do say it. You also have to remember that their words are going to the world, and there is a limit to what can be said in on that stage. It is my testimony that all is as it should be in the matter you bring up.

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    • Look up a talk that Elder Haight gave in general conference 1989. He had several visions of the Savior during a near death experience.

      The title “Special Witness” is revealing. The word “special” comes from the root word “spec”, meaning “to see”. The word “witness” comes from the root “wit”, meaning “to know”. So “special witness” means “one who sees and knows”. Sometimes the apostles will be rather emphatic that they are a “special witness”.

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  21. JohnD says:

    Amen to all the comments, although this is not about a spiritual event, I would like to share something that has been in my life the last year and a half. It is obviously a gift of the spirit (the spirit of discernment I’m guessing) but been struggling with how I should be using it fully. First I’m a single father and the ward executive secretary. I have been given the ability to see people’s testimony, and further information, just by looking in their faces or even sitting next to them. It’s obviously very helpful in my calling and with my family, but, I found myself not really wanting to know this information about everyone, it can be discouraging, and in one case I had to meet with the bishop after multiple promptings by the spirit regarding a high profile individual in the ward leadership, information I didn’t want to know or believe, let alone tell someone. It is information I haven’t shared with anyone until that occasion with the bishop. I have to assume there is a reason I’ve been given this gift, but why me? Why not the bishop? Why this particular gift?
    At this point I have decided to share the information I thought was” for me only” with the others when appropriate, this is only my second time telling others of the gift.
    As I look back to when these impressions first started, I find it remarkable how I rejected it as me being weird, “unbelief” and actually had it taken away for awhile. As difficult as the information can be at times, I felt blind without it, and was eventually able to get it back,, now I plan to magnify this gift as best I can, not sure how, but be willing, until further light comes regarding the gift.
    Open to any thoughts from the unblog family.

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  22. Sister Harris says:

    As I experience the witness of last day scripture being fulfilled before my eyes is a tremendous testimony builder. I cannot deny it. I talk to others about it and they too feel that witness.

    I had an experience this morning with one of the young girls that used to be in my ward. She is now an inactive single mother and is working hard to raise her little boy. She commented about time going so fast and I felt prompted to tell her that there was a scripture that prophesied that the Lord would speed up time for the elects sake in the last days. Matt 24:22 And it is definitely happening. Whenever my husband and I see her (he used to be her families home teacher) he will always ask her to come back to church. She tells him that she’s working on it. I pray that it will happen.

    If I remember correct, it seems like the closing prayer of one of the General Conference session. The brother prayed for His time to hasten.( paraphrasing)
    Does anyone here pray for the Lords work to hasten? I would love to hurry up and be in the Millennium, but I also want the time for my family and others who are wayward to turn their hearts. Also, to fill my calling and election.

    And DC, I talk to the flowers, trees, butterflies, birds etc. I even threaten the weeds in my yard. I can feel their spirits and know that they are living their creation. My kids get a kick out of it. Now my daughter is grown and gardening. I learn that she talks to her plants as well. It makes me smile.

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  23. FJC says:

    I’ll try to keep this short. Some 43 years ago I was introduced to the gospel. My 1st Sunday School teacher was a descendent of the Kimball clan. President Kimball was her uncle. She had the largest collection of original editions of the Book of Mormon in the west coast. She made annual trips to SLC to pour over diaries and old books written by ancestors and pioneers. She was a favorite of some of the BYU professors because of her teachings and her large followings. Once while in her home, she pulled me aside and taught me the Adam God theory, told me all about her calling and election and visit from Christ. She taught me and many other young men and women how special we all were and that we were the elect. She invited many into her home for one on one conversations to teach them personally the doctrines and mysteries and pearls that she had received by revelation. Eventually she got involved with missionaries, some who left their missions early because of her. She became physically intimate with at least one young man, who was one of her “special ones.” She was extremely gifted and talented and bright beyond words. All of this before I was baptized. After I joined the church and went on my mission, she left her husband and 6 sons and never spoke to them again. She and many others were excommunicated along with her. Still others were disfellowshipped. My last communication with her was when she invited me to consummate my relationship with her. This was after I came home from my mission. I never saw her or heard from her again. She died a lonely old lady in a trailer all by her self. It saddens my heart beyond words.

    This was the first of numerous such experiences.

    One of the signs of the times is to be aware of wolves in sheep’s clothing. I have witnessed this time and time again. Counterfeits, liars, deceivers of men, are easy to find.

    I am convinced that only those whose eyes are single to the glory of God in every sense of the word, as is Jesus, can be trusted. This is a much longer story, but enough said.

    That being said, I love the teachings of Brother John. I am so grateful. The vista is much grandeur now!

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  24. DC says:

    A few years ago, on a Saturday morning in October, I was engaged to putting my above ground swimming pool to sleep. Mainly cleaning out the leaves and putting the cover on. The key element in this task was having a day where there was no wind. You see, I have a 25′ cottonwood tree 6′ from the west edge and it still had lots of leaves to shed. And this day was sunny, bright and windless. I have a 15′ aluminum pole with a leaf net and immediately began cleaning one side of the pool of floating leaves. Then I went to the other side cleaning the last of the leaves. As I looked back at the other side I surprised to see more leaves in the pool. I was puzzled because my back was only turned for a couple of seconds while I flipped out the leaves. I thought I would have seen these leaves floating down. So I went back to the other side to again clean out about 10-12 leaves. When finished, I was surprised to see more fresh fallen leaves on the other side. The thought came to me that this cottonwood tree was dropping leaves while my back was turned with perfect timing. So now I faced the tree, and in my mind I said to the tree, “You must think this is pretty funny, and I have to admit it really is, you are good. But I’m seriously trying to clean out all the leaves.” The thought came to me that Adam was given dominion over all the earth, plants and animals. So I commanded the tree to cease dropping leaves into the pool, until I get the cover on!
    At that time my wife came out to say that lunch was ready and I turned to leaf (leave.) I looked back at the tree and said, “I can still cut you down.” The tree knew I was bluffing I think.
    Lunch time went a little long, about 1 1/2 hours. As I walked out on to the deck, there below in the pool was ZERO leaves. I got out this big green cover that is 30′ in diameter and pulled in over the edges. As soon as it was covered, although not secured all around–leaves are now pouring out of the tree onto the cover. The wind is not blowing, not even a breeze. I’m thinking ‘Holy Cow’ not only do they have spirits, they have a sense of humor too. Then I had a vision open up of Moroni placing the rock over the stone box he had built, and as he left the area, the trees covered the area with leaves to leave no trace of what was buried there as well as guarding the box to the best of their abilities, from generation to generation.
    Since that time I have a new appreciation for plants, and yes I even talk to them silently.

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  25. Valerie Shuck says:

    Thank you, John, for not being afraid to speak about your “pearls!” I had an experience in R.S. a while back where I was attacked for voicing one of my “pearls” and it shook me for a little bit. However, the Lord patiently reminded me that I knew what I knew to be true and it doesn’t matter if anyone else agrees. My first instinct was to cling to those beautiful truths and never share them with another soul. Luckily, it was just a few hours before the Spirit was able to persuade me otherwise and gave me an opportunity to really help someone by sharing some of those precious truths. I was able to help her have a life-changing experience and it helped me to see how crucial it is to rely on the Spirit! I have a firm conviction now to share when prompted to do so and to keep my mouth shut otherwise! LOL! Anyway, I thank you from the depths of my soul for sharing your experiences and giving the Spirit opportunity to teach me about those truths! May the Lord bless you!

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  26. Kevin says:

    In speaking from personal experience, sharing sacred experiences with others, when authorized by the Spirit, can change the life of all involved into the eternities. It is a powerful, most confirming witness of God’s love for His children as they help each other on the path back into His presence. In reflecting back on my life, I am so thankful for those who have shared with me their pearls – for they are now mine.

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