Into the Sunlight


I used to worry about things like, are we, as the Gentiles, rejecting the “fullness of the gospel” (3 Nephi 16:10)? Is the latter-day church moving forward fast enough? Will we ever get around to building Zion? These questions burned in my mind.

Then, something marvelous happened in my heart and mind. I was reading D&C 45, regarding the condemnation under which all of us dwell for taking lightly the things we have received, when the Holy Spirit warmed my soul, and simply said, “You can lift this condemnation from your own head and from your family.”

It had never occurred to me that there was anything I could personally do about a sweeping general condemnation. I felt trapped in the tide of the general lack of saintliness of the church as a whole. In that moment I realized that the church is only millions of individuals, and that any overarching condemnation is due to what those million individuals are doing. That being said, I – all by myself – had the ability to step out from under that behavior and enjoy the full light of every blessing the scriptures are promising. Even though God treats us as a group, he judges us as individuals. I am not culpable for what everyone else is doing, unless I’m doing the same things.

From that moment I quit worrying. I began to seek and to obtain the light and blessing I had seen with an eye of faith. It was only a small leap of logic to realize that if I was stepping out of the condemnation, so were many others – perhaps millions of others. I also realized that whatever was generally occurring – I had to do something different – more – better – with greater insight.  I had to do this by choice, by personal worthiness, and by my personal quest. I found this to not only be true, but to be relatively straight forward and very available. I wouldn’t say “easy” because it is not, but it is a straight path that was meant to be walked by the weak but obedient souls among us. It isn’t a tightrope only the spiritually skillful can navigate.

I also realized that if I could overcome those things which instigated the condemnation in the first place, that I could perhaps influence others to do the same – if the Lord accorded. I could be a small light that was no longer under a bushel. I never even guessed that it would lead to writing books, giving seminars and doing this Un-Blog. I didn’t see that coming. It’s probably a good thing it was hidden from me until it occurred, because it has done violence to my comfort zone.

The danger of 3 Nephi 16:15 is that “if they will not turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice,” then God will take away the “fullness of my gospel from among them.”

Therefore, by choosing for myself to come unto Christ, and hearken to His voice, I have insulated myself from these destructive events, lifted the condemnation upon my own head, kept the fullness of all gospel blessings within my reach, and stepped into the sunlight of the latter-day glory that will become Zion.

Brother John

© April 2011, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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3 Responses to Into the Sunlight

  1. John Pontius says:

    Thank you for this inspiring comment. Hurrah for Israel!

    Like

  2. hyunhochang says:

    Very insightful. Made me think of what the Lord told Moroni in Ether chapter 12: whether or not the gentiles had charity, Moroni had been faithful, and would be duly rewarded.

    Even though we are collectively the Kingdom of God on the earth, salvation is a personal, individual experience, independent of the comportment of others. We can only do what we know we ought to, and, as you said, be a light that is no longer hidden under a bushel. The world changes one person at a time.

    Like

  3. TDG says:

    Speaking of the blessings we might be missing out on due to the condemnation for our unbelief or taking the things we have received lightly, I would like to quote a story from F. Enzio Busche. This story is found in his book “Yearning for the Living God” pg 233:
    In one assignment I was called to watch over what was happening in various temples throughout the world. One of my responsibilities was to safeguard the translation of sacred texts into various languages. At a Christmas social once I was sitting next a woman from a recently opened country in Eastern Europe who was in the West for the first time and who was helping with the translation work. She was a convert of a little over a year.
    I asked her how she liked America, and she was enthusiastic and positive and had many good things to say. She told me that she was living with a family in Salt Lake City. She went to church with them every Sunday and enjoyed the meetings and admired the members of the ward. Suddenly, she stopped and said, “one of these days, I wish I could invite all the members of my Salt Lake ward to come to my home branch.” I asked her about her branch.
    She told me about the poor circumstances that they were all living in and how difficult it was for the members to get to their Sunday meetings and the many sacrifices they joyfully made. She said the most inspiring time for the members of her branch was testimony meeting that was held on the Sunday of fasting. They all looked forward to hearing their fellow members report about the Lord’s working in their lives. They, of course, would not leave until everyone had given testimony because they were all anxious to share the many miracles happening around them. They could not say enough about the love and most gracious love of the Lord. Then she said, “once in a while we have holy angels visit and comfort and strengthen us.” She added with a smile, “Can you imagine? I have found people in Salt Lake City who have never seen an angel.” She laughed as if that were the strangest thing she had ever heard.

    Liked by 1 person

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