The Ever-Present Danger

Please forgive me that it has been almost a week since my last Un-blog. This has been a chemo week. Everything they say about chemo is true. I also find that having a sick body makes spiritual attunement that much more difficult.

I have been pondering why so many of the faithful of days past and of today who have attained a seemingly more blessed spiritual stature seem to struggle with criticizing the church or the brethren.

Here is the problem as I view it. Anyone, I believe, who studies the gospel, who fasts and prays, who truly studies and cross references the scriptures and inspired writings of the latter-day prophets, who searches and seeks and asks, will come to view the doctrine of Christ in a particular way – a perspective illuminated by a brighter light than most achieve through casual investigation. These are the greater things of the Gospel. The scriptures invite us to seek and obtain them, and promise us joy and eternal life for our efforts. The problem is that once a seeker obtains this brightly-lit view, they might look back upon the pathway they just walked, and feel inclined to say of others still on that path, “What’s wrong with you? Can’t you see there’s more? Are your eyes closed like new-born puppies? Awaken from your sleep and lay hold upon these great and glorious things! What is wrong with the church that these things aren’t openly taught in Sacrament meeting and General Conference? Why did I have to acquire them through such a hard journey?”

The ever-present danger lies in the fact that nobody but the prophet has a voice authorized to say such things. Such words are in their very tone apostate-leaning.

The Gospel system is designed by God to allow every plateau of growth to bring joy and peace, to lift and to instruct in the nearby presence of “greater things”. No mortal has the right to say, from a more blessed footing, that those upon the growing pathways are amiss or unguided, or failing in some way by being there.  These are upward paths, and steeply heavenward climbs all.

Here is the great danger that has taken away salvation so many times, it is that when we think we have obtained some greater light, that we feel obligated to use it to show shadows where there are none. When we receive some greater truth or principle by revelation, we are almost always prohibited from attempting to dispense that truth or principle or doctrine to others. (Alma 12:9) That truth remains preciously and privately ours.

It can be a hard road to walk, to remain verbally circumspect about things you think you know, but it is not optional. Unless we have a specific mandate from the Holy Spirit to speak in special settings, or in private places, then we must remain silent.

The greatest reason for this mandated silence is that it harms, it siphons virtue away from those who don’t understand, and it attacks and damages. It can also militate against the growing testimonies of others. More than all of these things, it is wrong, and the Holy Spirit will not abide with us when we walk in the pride “revealing” things that don’t belong to us.

There is a joyful reason that it isn’t even necessary for mortals to speak of these things. The pathway of revelation comes from directly over our heads – there are no mortals involved. We need not interpose ourselves in the process of our fellow Saints unless when acting upon a prompting from the Spirit of God. This process will work better for them, if we are not acting out of fear, concern or even out of a desire to bless. They will find the path as quickly as they need to, and as quickly as their personal discipleship allows. Anything else will just slow them down.

After all it is the Christ’s work and His glory, not our own.

Brother John

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The Ever-Present Danger

  1. Karen prier says:

    I think it would be wise for us all to be careful not to judge each other. Idk what denver snuffer has been asked to do by the lord, I assume it has purpose and I don’t think he would do it with out a direct commandment from the lord. I know his blog has taught me not to pick up a critical spirit even when there are errors in the people or the way things are done. And it has taught me to have empathy for those who see more than I have because of their experience. It had also opened my eyes to my own complacency. If we each could look at truth with out judgment and look to find the flaws in ourselves instead of others what ever was said would not offend but strengthen. my family have problems with this web site because it says too much in their opinion. I choose to love them even though they do not want more. Each of us have out hang up’s of how others are going to do things. thats humanity.


  2. ST says:

    Well said.


  3. ST says:

    I have been following Denver Snuffer’s blog for a couple of months. I love his insight and his books. What you have written describes my feelings exactly though. Although I believe his intentions are nothing but honorable, he is more geared in some of his posts towards those who have been disenchanted with the church and its history. His thought is “if it helps to bring back at least one, it is ok” But pointing out the many (yes I agree there are many) flaws of the past and current administration of the church presents a problem. You stated the problem with this very succintly “ siphons virtue away from those who don’t understand, and it attacks and damages. It can also militate against the growing testimonies of others.”


    • Raleigh Johnson says:

      His posts, despite the wonderful flowering language, so often sounds like murmuring and backbiting to me.

      2 Corinthians 12:20
      20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults:


      • ST says:

        I actually enjoy 99% of his posts. But it’s that 1%. I can see where he is coming from though. He is a strong personality and doesn’t hold back his views. I admire that but I do think some of what he says can be done in a nicer way. Unfortunately, those who fragile in their testimony, if they don’t take his comments in their full context and read his books, and perhaps listen to the podcasts on Mormon stories (gave me a better feel for where he was coming from), may misinterpret and fall away from the church because it is flawed. I just hope that is a very small minority of those that read his views.


        • As I said, I love Denver. I think he is a great man, but it is not reasonable to hope that someone will read ALL of his books and posts and podcasts before forming an opinion. I have written nearly 500 blog articles and millions of words in books, and all the time people ask me questions about things I have written extensively about elsewhere. I answer the same questions over and over and over because people simply don’t search for answers, and they seem very inclined to judge you based upon a single paragraph.

          If you light a match and burn someone it doesn’t matter that you were swimming in the ocean that could put out the match if you took the whole scene into context. The burn is no less real.


  4. Jyl says:

    You are so right. The Gospel DOES work! The POWER is present! I have found that the higher I reach, the lower I feel.

    The Church is TRUE and Perfect, but the Lord allows us in our imperfection to be a part of it and to grow from those weaknesses that we all share.

    It’s often a very lonely climb up that mountain and if if were not for His Tender Mercies scattered kindly to mark our pathway, we might not ever make it to the top.



  5. Raleigh Johnson says:

    Thanks Bro John for this comment. I have several friends who follow the blog of a person who fits the description of the person you describe. I followed his blog for many months, but was always bothered by his constant murmuring and even outright criticism of the status of the church today. I realize the church is not perfect, but constant murmuring is not the proper response, in my opinion. Instead we simply need to seek to make sure we ourselves are following the light, and pray for the day that the church individually as well as collectively will follow the light, and with the prayers of many, that day will soon come. You have explained that church leaders have to do what is best for the church as a whole, and sometimes that is less than what would be the ideal. It seems to me that in our time the church collectively is growing younger, that is becoming more like babes which need milk rather than mature Christians who can feed on the real meat of the gospel. There are so many things that I personally would like to see changed in the church, some little things like showing preference to a person when passing the sacrament, some much larger like turning the power of individual initiative (guided by the Spirit) loose to grow the church around the world, instead of just relying on church bureaucracy to do it for us. (Individual vs collective salvation, as Glenn Beck would say.) But I look on these desires as my test to see if I will follow the Lord’s anointed leaders.
    So thanks to you for this comment, and your marvelous book that seems to me, at least, to be the equivalent of good scripture.
    And may our Loving Father continue to bless you. My prayers and tears are for a great improvement in your state of health and vigor.


    • unblogmysoul says:


      Thanks for taking the time to leave your comments. I am of the opinion that nothing needs to be improved in the church. It is kind of like a medicine that successfully cures a specific disease 100% of the time, yet people don’t like the texture or the flavor, or the bottle it’s in. That’s just cosmetic. The higher truth is that the Gospel works. The power is present. The priesthood functions. The blessings are real and being claimed. Zion will be built, and we will all rejoice.

      If the church were in fact “perfect” then this would be the millennial day, and there would be nothing to try our faith, or motivate us to look heavenward. The discomfort serves a purpose, and it is by divine design.

      God Bless us to always have scratchy underwear unto Zion actually glows in the millennial day.

      Brother John


Please review the Comment Guidelines Page

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s