Glorious and Everlastingly Significant

Some years ago I had an interesting visual experience. I was pondering prayer, and how Heavenly Father views those who diligently seek Him, when I saw the earth, dark and cold as if from the vastness of space. The image was sudden and real, but I couldn’t tell if it was my imagination, or a spiritual view of things. It seemed as if I was looking at the night side of the globe, with the sun hidden behind the earth. There were shafts of intense white light blazing into the dark skies like laser beams. Some of them were pinprick lights, others seemed larger. As my perspective grew closer I realized that each of these shafts of light originated with a single person in prayer. The light originated both at the person, and in the heavens, forming a two-way exchange of glory. The more perfect the prayer, the brighter and broader the pillar of light reaching into and from the heavens. I was also aware of millions of people praying who did not have a pillar of light above them.

What was interesting to me was how many of them there were – millions of prayers penetrating the heavens, reaching out to gather godly light back into the lives of the humble.

While I watched I saw several extraordinary pillars of light that seemed a million times brighter and stronger than all the others. Sometimes there were many of these glorious beams, and sometimes there were none. These greater lights began as a pencil-thin beam, then grew brighter until they lit up the entire hemisphere of the earth, and then they grew dim and winked out.

My viewpoint shifted quickly. I wanted to know who was making these bright pillars of light. I wanted to know whose mighty prayers were lighting up the skies. My eyes saw a young man kneeling by his bed, and on either side there were angels kneeling beside him. They were speaking, filling his heart with worship and praise, giving him words to send into the heavens. The angels clearly loved him. The light originated with the angels, entered the young man, and then was amplified into the skies of eternity. The effect of his prayer was the wide circle of light which surrounded him and many others, in the blessings of heaven.

The vision closed, and I was left to ponder what it meant. I was not the young man I had seen. The emotion that remained as the experience closed was one of love and deep affection, not for me, but for everyone whose little lights had lit up the sky. I think the message was how lovely it is to the eyes of God when we pray with enough faith to send even a flickering light upward, and how glorious and everlastingly significant it is when our prayers allow the heavens to reply in blessings which light up the world upon which we kneel.

Brother John

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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2 Responses to Glorious and Everlastingly Significant

  1. K-Jo says:

    Hi John,

    I don’t know how to ask you a question without replying to a blog. And i don’t know how you are advised that you have a comment,so I hope you see this. I was thinking today about every blessing being granted because of obedience to law. What are all of the “laws” or requirements necessary to clearly hear and recognize the spirit. I dont do it very well, so there must be something that I am not doing that I should be….some law that I am not keeping. Your thoughts, please? Thanks.


    • kb says:

      Typically, I am pretty much inclined to just quietly in a corner and read Brother John’s unblog from afar and I am not the type to speak much if not spoken to, and surely not in an open forum like this. I am certainly not John and I do not claim to have anything like his talent – which K-Jo seeks for an answer, but I feel prompted to answer from my own experience. I have learned from many experiences that there are times when I should step out of my comfort zone and risk embarrasment when the promptings are such. Forgive my foray into your open forum but perhaps there is one person out there for whom this is intended and I can’t ignore the prompting. The person for whom this is intended may just be myself. It is certainly not polished – just a train of thoughts that is pouring out. If anyone seeks to be critical, you will likley find an easy target in the details. But I think the basic premise is on track. Normally, I would hesitate to say anything without a lot of preparation and ‘proof’, but that is not in following with the current prompting which is pretty much just saying ‘shut up and type!’


      I suspect that K-Jo’s (and likely most of our) percieved lack of success in discerning the Spirit at all times has more to do with experience than from being in violation of any particular ‘law’.

      I believe you paraphrase D&C 130:21 – “And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.”

      I think “law” in this context must be anything that governs the universe, as directed by our Father in Heaven – the majority of which He makes known to us through prophets, scriptures, books, teachers, friends, family, experience, (& etc.) and ultimately through the Holy Spirit which is the only true means by which He can actually teach us (typically using the list above – and others means not listed – as a ‘catalyst’ to get us thinking so the Spirit can then truely teach and confirm).

      I think one of the ‘laws’ must be as found in James 1:5 – “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

      This certainly sounds like a law given from God – in this case through James as found in the scriptures – and in this particular case, at this particular time, through this unblog.

      We are taught that the Spirit attends those who righteously seek and flees individuals when they are unrighteous. Fortunately for me, it would appear that the Spirit is VERY good at looking deep into our souls and identifying the pure intent of what lies within us. We often worry about the fact that God (and the Spirit) can know our thoughts – fearing that They hear our often less than perfect thoughts and feelings. However, They don’t just listen to the imperfect thoughts. They also see the pureness that lies in the depths of our souls, sometimes just under the surface of our imperfections. They know our good and our bad. Thus, the ‘law’ given in James can safely use words like “any” and “all men” and “upbraideth not”. It would seem that God (and the Spirit) can give to ‘any’ man (even the less than perfect in living any or all laws) without upbraiding. Fortunately for me (I can only speak to my own exerience) it would appear that one does not have to be perfect (or even close) to obtain wisdom from God. Of course, blatant disregard for the commandments and lack of strong desire to try to do all one can to live them will surely make it difficult for one to draw upon the Spirit in thier lives. But this is not likely the disposition of one that would ‘ask of God’. Thus, I think the asking in itself could very well be satisfying the ‘law’ required for having wisdom “given him”. Mathew 7:7 – “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (sounds like yet another ‘law’ in our favor). I believe “wisdom” clearly implies pretty much ANY knowledge or guidance one would like to obtain from God – certainly no bounds to what we can seek is implied in the very open ended “it” found in Mathew. We do need to consider D&C 9:7 “Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.” which is followed by instruction (‘law’) to REALLY ask by studying it out carefully (thus allowing the Spirit more opportunities to work with us by using the mediums of our study – remember the list of means above – as catylists to inspire our thinking and feeling).

      In a nutshell, with regards to the ‘law’ connected to reciveing the guidance of the Spirit I think it is safe to say that sincerely asking and seeking is all that is required by ‘law’.

      It has been my experience that the Spirit actually seems to be inclined to want to talk to us always – even at our worst. It is probably our own lack of faith in ourselves or judgement in of our own worthiness that forms a barrier. Again, I think God and the Spirit see good in us that we likely overlook or believe we possess within ourselves. Fortunately, They can see past our faults and still want to help us.

      That said, if we can thus agree that the Spirit is there, justified by ‘law’ to answer the sincere seeker I would pose a challenge that can very likley lead anybody to learn to recognize the Spirit. Try an experiment this week. Pray that the Spirit will ‘oversee’ this experiment and work with you on it – let Him know of your plan. Then, for, for just one week, act on ANYTHING (that is of course not contrary to a commandment) that pops into your prayer prepared mind. Start taking note of what happens as a result. There will likely be many things that go without significant consequence but I am almost certain you will learn that a very large number of promptings actually turn out to have been by the Spirit. You will be amazed at how often the Spirit may be guiding you.

      I first tried this experiment on my mission. I very nearly wrote about that experience when Brother Pontius began requesting that people unblog such things here last month. Maybe this posting will get me off the ‘back row’ and get me to participate as he has requested. Not sure I am ready to start telling personal stories just yet, but who knows – I can’t believe I got this far already. For now, I will just say that the idea popped into my head to try this, my companion was willing to join in and the result was a miraculous baptism. The reason I bring this up is that having experienced something as incredible as my first experince in this regard, one would think that it would be easy to just keep doing it for life – that is, just act on every prompting and see how it comes out. Unfortunetely, it is actually not easy. As was pointed out above, the ‘law’ is simple – ‘ask and you shall recieve’. The practice however takes a LOT of focus and effort on our part – thus the chastisement given to Oliver Cowdery in the D&C passage cited above. It was much easier in the mission field where you life is pretty much focused on the gospel 24/7. ‘Real’ life – kids, spouse, job, daily disasters, etc – constantly take away your focus. The trick is, how does one make the Gospel central to all of these distractions. How does one feel and identify the Spirit amidst such ‘chaos’. It is NOT easy, and if I waited to be perfect at it to talk about it, I would remain even more silent than I already am. But I have in fact experienced short spans of time when I have been able to conduct this expereiment successfully in the ‘real’ world and it is even more startling than it was in the mission field. Oh that I had the strenght to maintain it. Fortunately, an occasional lesson to give or believe it or not a blog like this one offers me the opporutnity to stir up old thoughts and give it another go. Perhaps one day it will stick. Thanks John for the chance you have opened up here for me to stir this line of thinking up in my own mind once again. This site is INVALUABLE to me – and I suspect every one else fortunate enough to have found it.

      The experiment I mentioned goes VERY closely with what Brother Pontius seems to put at the center of most of his teachings – certainly the apparant theme of FTL. In fact, first read FTL as a result of having this very discussion with a guy that eventually became my home teacher and gave me a copy – another story (incredible – at least to me) I may tell some day if I actually hit the send button on this one and my ‘shell’ gets easier to come out of. I think I also read something John wrote once about a notebook exercise he has done that is very close to the same idea as this experiment. I need to go find that one and give it a try. I was going to try it when I read it, but my natural man forgot. Typing this message got me thinking again. I guess that is the power of bearing testimony – typically helps the bearer more than anyone.

      Wow, that ended up being a lot of typing. Hope it is of use to anyone. As it turns out (as suspected from the begining) it has at least helped me – I am ready to go give the experiment another try.



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