Your Chance to Answer


Clarice asked this very important question. Since ALL of us feel this at some point, and we have discussed it several times, I would like to hear your answers to this question. I want Clarice to understand that she is not alone in this struggle.

There really is a reason for it, and a right way to deal with it. What say you?

Brother John

        I am curious about this: “Even if it happened today, we may actually be counted unworthy if we knew the way, had the ordinances, understood the path, and just failed to walk it.”
        I have been a member since I was 8.  I have only learned of the possibilities of the Second Comforter, being re-born, and everything that comes with it, this the last year.
        When I first realized what the scriptures were really saying, I was a little upset that I have gone my whole life and NEVER heard anything about these things.  I soon realized, from talking to others, that hardly anyone else knows anything about this either.  Talk about the blind leading the blind!
        My question is when do we become responsible for finding these mystries out?  I have friends(all of my friends actually) who just don’t want to know.  They like having the gospel on their terms.  They are all active, lifelong members.  At first I kept talking about these things because I could hardly restrain myself.  I was(and still am) so thrilled at the possibilities that I would constantly bring these things up.  The response has been likewarm at best.  I have stopped talking about it for the most part now, only when I feel promted to say something, but nothing seems to change.

        I guess I am just frustrated.  People have said that you shouldn’t talk about these things with people before they are ready.  But these same people read the scriptures and the scriptures are always talking about this!  I was so thankful when I began to understand and be taught these things.  I don’t understand why someone would not do as King Lamoi(I think) and give alway all their sins, everything to know Him.

        Sorry I’m going on here.  I don’t know what my questions is.  I guess I just wonder if we all, who have access to this gospel, reach a point where enough is enough, and if we can’t see these things then it is because we don’t want to see them.  And it becomes as you said…we are found unworthy.

        I want more than anything in the world to be worthy of these things, I don’t understand anyone who doesn’t. 😦

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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31 Responses to Your Chance to Answer

  1. Karen Prier says:

    In response to the question about teaching chilldren these things I have done the same in teacing from the book FLC but the greatest experiences my children have had are those where I sent them directly to the Lord. I think that we often try and take His place in these matters. Yes we need to teach them how to hear the Spirit and the law and council with them, but the most important experience they can have is WITH HIM! For example I have two daughters that are adopted and four that aren’t but one of my adopted daughters has been so difficult and being her mother has been one of the greatest trials of my life. She has had so many horrible experiences (she came from a drug home at age 4 to us) and had horrible habits and behaviors that were destroying her and our whole family at times. So after years of therapy, using every method of teaching and disciplining that I cound get my hands on and deep prayer and fasting and casting out evil spirits, I finially completely turned her over to the Lord. I told her that she had to go to Him and that she had to get Him to tell her what I was to do with her. She had to get Him to give her the consequences that she needed for her horrible behaviors. She of course came to me after a few minutes and gave me all of the regular consequences that we would normally give her, but I told her that they hadn’t worked and that she needed to really talk to the Lord and get His will for her. After several hours of being left in her room she finially came out and told me that she was “sorry for all the things she had done from the time she came to us”. After that she was a different child from that time forward. I am sure that all of the things that we had done had prepared her for her “re-birth” but she could not be changed by me or anyone else. He had to do it and she had to go to Him for it to happen. She still messes up every once in a while but it is different now. I can tell that her heart isn’t in it. She isn’t the same. She is new! She is 11 years old and re-born! I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the Spirit that reminds me often that she is His child and that He wants a relationship with them and that I must not get in the way of that. How often do we send our children to Him for answers to situations in their lives instead of trying to answer them ourselves? I think we try and do what we should allow the Lord to do. We really do not know what is best for them, He does. I now do not spend much time counseling my children beyond listening to them and loving and empathizing with them and then SENDING THEM TO THE SAVIOR! It always works and they are all having sweet experiences with Him that will take them back to Him. They are all gaining confidence in their ability to hear His voice and call on His name. I testify that it works, no matter the age, no matter the child. He will get them back, not us. Send them to Him and He will work out their salvation with them, not us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Toni says:

    That would be great to have them on paper. Thanks for posting this.

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  3. Toni says:

    I just found this post. I hope it’s okay to comment so late. Some awesome answers here.

    I am surprised how many people came here after reading Denver Snuffer’s words. I did too, but didn’t know I was in the majority. I think Denver Snuffer and John Pontius complement each other. Besides that, it fulfills the law of witnesses (God always sends two or more witnesses).

    As for sharing, I learned a long time ago to be careful what I shared about what I really thought. After I got DS’s book on the Second Comforter, I wanted to share a copy with my sister, or at least ask her if she’d heard of it, but the Spirit told me not to. On the other hand, the Spirit told me to get that book and the one DS wrote on Christ and give it to my oldest daughter (a 19 year old).

    When I gave it to my daughter, she looked at me like, “Why are you giving me this weirdness?” I told her that the Spirit had told me to give her the books; when I told the Spirit, “She won’t read them,” the Spirit said, “Give them to her anyway.” After that, I totally did not pressure her.

    A couple of months ago, she and I were talking and it turned out that she had begun to read one of the books. We had some good discussions. It turns out that she decided to read a little in one of the books and was impressed/touched by the fact that the man “spoke” with authority.

    The reason I say all of this is, basically, to repeat what some others have said or implied. Follow the Spirit. He will tell you when and with whom to share. It is most definitely discouraging and even heartrending to have a jewel in your hand that you want to share, but others act as if you are offering them nothing (or worse). Follow the Spirit. That’s the key to everything, isn’t it?

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    • John Pontius says:

      Dear Toni,

      It is definitely appropriate to sare. The only drawback to doing it late is that fewer people go back and find it. It does become part of the Un-Blog archive though. At some point I hope to take the best of the Un-Blog and the best comments, and publish them on paper.

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  4. James says:

    A little late but I sill want to add my 2 cents – I think we all share Clarice;s experience to some degree. Follow the Spirit is the simple but not always easy answer. ‘Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’. I know because I was blind once and then I saw. And later I saw more and realized how blind I still was, and as time goes on I realize there is so much more to see, even though I have seen and experienced things I never thought I would. Being a ‘member’ of a church doesn’t make it happen. Testimony is born from personal desire. I believe the Lord does everything in his power to help every individual develop that desire. Obviously it doesn’t happen to everyone because of agency.

    To someone who has experienced the desire to ‘Come Unto Christ’, it can seem almost impossible that someone else with access to the same doctrine and teachings wouldn’t share that desire – to the point that spiritual things become most important to them. Yet we see it all the time, exactly as it is written, ‘Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world’, which often include, as Bro. John points out, even the temporal ‘good works’ of the church. It’s a strong carnal desire to want to be ‘done’, which those kinds of feel good tangibles like baking cookies and helping people move can provide. Those are good things but still pertain to the ‘lesser portion’.

    Ever notice how rare it is in the scriptures that the Church of God (referring to the members, not the ‘Church’ in abstract) is just abounding in love and spiritual maturity and enlightenment? Not counting early times when everyone lived 100’s of years, I think the longest the church was ‘true’ was 4th Nephi – and that took wiping out all but the ‘more righteous’ among the people, plus multiple appearances of the Resurrected Lord and many miraculous manifestations. It was about 200 yrs of unabated spiritual growth. The rest of known history the Nephites/Jews/Gentiles were lucky if they could hold it together a few years or decades at best. So here we are, 180 yrs after the organization of the Church of the last dispensation… The powers of darkness at their peak of efficiency and where is the church spiritually today? As much as it struggles its probably doing pretty good from a historical perspective. I would hope that many across the globe like those of us in this forum can help it along even farther.

    These are some of my observations over the years of attending church feeling alone and out of place. Although, The Lord always sends a few, or even one, who understand.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Cami Gygi says:

    The voices that are being raised here on this “unblog” are a miracle indeed. The Savior is rejoicing with us. I stumbled onto the “unblog” while searching for some “meatier” LDS church books to read and I stumbled onto this website. I have read every entry Bro. John. Many tears of happiness have been shed and I have shared this website with my closest friends who I feel are on the same journey. I have since purchased TOZ and have devoured it. I would have purchased FTL, but it was not at Deseret Book at the time.

    I have often felt the desire to share my growth and learning, but feel it will not be well received so I listen, learn, and wait for someone to share and exchange thoughts. Even though I have been reading for over two months, this is my first entry to date. I am grateful to be able to read your thoughts Bro. John as well as the others who comment.

    During the summer months, I too have had a sincere desire and sense of urgency to teach my children (9,7,3) these deeper truths – we indeed have a role of not only gatherers but preparers as well. I was glad to read that others are sensing this same urgency.

    We are on the Road to Zion! Thank you for sharing it with me and sharing your truths.

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  6. Amy Weston says:

    I am in total awe of this outpouring of love. I wished to also share my feelings and experiences with these same things, but reading all of your replies I truly see I am not alone.
    I just wish now to thank everyone for their faith filled comments. It really feels like you all are cheering and rooting me and each other on. This post has lifted my spirits so much.
    Though all of you (who are searching for greater things) are miles away, I know you really do exist. I can’t express one tenth of my feelings but I can say I thank God for you all. Once again, Brother John I thank you for making this available for us all. I know God blesses this Unblog.

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  7. Birrd says:

    Brother John, I think you need to do a separate post about the question of how to teach these things to our children. I feel moved to share a few things on that topic, but it seems out of place here since this thread was really supposed to be about Clarice’s question. I think more people would read and share if this important topic had a thread of it’s own.

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  8. Kim says:

    Dear “Pondering”-
    When you finish creating the study guide I wonder if you’d be willing to share a copy with our family?

    Years ago as I struggled with a wayward child, I would tell him again and again “I don’t care if you go on a mission, but whatever else you might do, just get to know the Lord”. I was so happy because this child did serve a mission after all, and was able to bless lives because of it (his own life, especially). He’s still a long way from the finish line and has suffered painful set-backs to his progress, but I’ve been so grateful he remembered those few words I’d said, and took them to heart. It’s hard to reach your kids with the gospel message in this day and age. I struggle with it constantly, as doors are shut on my words, and the world seems to take over as parent and teacher in my place. A simple guide such as you are putting together would help tremendously to distill down the basics for parents like myself who only get short teaching moments to work with.

    Kind regards-
    Kim
    PS- though my child couldn’t get through FTL, he did read Bro. Pontius’ fictional works before his mission, which brought the spirit strongly home to his heart and opened his eyes to possibilities he hadn’t considered before. Sometimes doctrinal books aren’t as easy for young people to digest as “story” books are. Just leaving this comment for all of you out there who have trouble getting good information into their kids (like me).

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  9. darrell brashear says:

    Dear Sister Clarice,I can only say what I’ve learned by my own personal experience in the hopes that it might be of some comfort and reassurance to you. I can definately relate to your frustration. There is a scripture that I would like to share with you that to me is one of those necessary things to know in life. It has brought me a lot of peace and comfort. The scripture reads, “For behold, my beloved brethren[and sisters], I say unto you that the Lord God worketh not in darkness. HE DOETH NOT ANYTHING SAVE IT BE FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE WORLD; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men[mankind] unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.” (2 Nephi 26:23-24) What that scripture tells me is that since EVERYTHING the Lord does (or allows to happen) in my life is for my good, and there is nothing that He brings into my life that is not for my good, then I can trust that even the rejection I have had from other people when sharing things is also for my own good. Even that rejection you have felt sister Clarice is designed to draw you closer to Him. To me, even this rejection is an invitation to come to Him and lay even this at His feet. There is a scripture in Alma that reads, “Counsel with the Lord in ALL thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; AND IF YE DO THESE THINGS, YE SHALL BE LIFTED UP AT THE LAST DAY.” (Alma37:37) I don’t think the Lord is preparing any of us to receive these things just to keep to ourselves. I think there is a reason you have had the desire to share these things placed in your heart. I think it’s pleasing to the Lord that we have desires to share the beautiful things of the Gospel with others, and I also think we have a right to take those desires to Him and ask Him to place people in our paths that will be receptive to the truths we have learned through the Holy Ghost, and to give us the words that will move thier hearts. I believe that if we do those things, He will answer those petitions and actually increase our desire. Don’t lose hope dear sister, if you have the desire to bring souls to Christ, I think you’ll see that desire fulfilled if you take it to Him. I think He will bless you beyond your wildest dreams. You’re not alone. I hope these things might be of some help to you. Sincerely, Brother D.

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  10. Clarice says:

    KB wrote something important in response to my question, that I think is very important.
    -“I think it is important to remember to cheer everyone on wherever they are at in this journey. We should not feel frustrated when others are not ready to hear something wonderful we have learned. The Lord is working with them in tenderness and love. He was patient with me as my thoughts and desires (coupled with His influence) brought me to that moment that changed my life.”

    This is something I have to remember. The Lord loves everyone else just as much as He loves me, and He is working with them as much as they will let Him. I cannot give in to the temptation to be prideful about that fact the I can see and understand these things!

    Like King Benjamin said, we are beggars before the Lord.

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  11. Michelle says:

    I think the number one reason people don’t want to hear is fear. Listening to you means that they would have to make changes in their life and that can be very daunting and scary. Fear is a lack of trust in the Lord and it (fear) is Satan’s greatest tool. The fear may be about any number of things. Listening to you, they may fear that they are leaving the mainstream of the church and thus going astray, they may fear the added responsibility, they may fear the reaction of loved ones. They may just be super comfortable where they are which has led to apathy and then when they have others telling them that chances are they’re going to make it just doing exactly what they are doing.
    The best thing you can do,I think, is just what you are doing. Follow the Spirit. You may not see the fruition of the seeds you plant but, just like the missionaries, you have at least introduced them to a higher way of thinking. Perhaps even, someone somewhere spoke to you of things and you weren’t ready at that time but, in the last year you have learned enough to take the next step.

    I know for myself for instance, that I received Brother John’s book FTL 18 years ago. I even tried to read it but it was way over my head at the time. So, it sat on the book shelf until about 6 years ago and then , I couldn’t put it down! The Lord had humbled me and taught me enough that I was then ready. I still feel like the least of these. I still have days when I feel like I can’t walk this path and that for some reason, I am not as worthy as others. It’s been a path of highs and very deep lows. I do know, however, that with Christ I can do anything He asks of me. I am one of the most prideful of all of His children. I struggle daily with it and if He can soften my heart and turn me ,even if ever so slightly , then He can soften the hearts of those you love. Try not to get discouraged.
    Your sister in Christ…

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  12. Bro RJ says:

    A good question. I have had the same experience. But I was forewarned. Brother John or someone told me that after reading the first 60 pages of TOZ a person would feel the Spirit if they were ready, but otherwise it would not be an enlightening experience. Some do and some don’t, and it is not always possible to predict what the response will be. I keep wondering why these principles seem “hidden”, but the Savior Himself explained that some will hear and some wiil not. I like the thought expressed above that we can be “gatherers”.

    As for teaching children, do not forget Samuel’s experience as a young child. We need to teach our children that the Gift of the Holy Ghost is very special, and that it should and can make a great difference in their lives. They need to be taught to listen to the still small voice. They can begin at a very early age to discern between desires and promptings. Tell them stories of the Spirit speaking to us and others so they will expect to hear the Spirit speak to them. Also remember the glorious experience Joseph Smith had while only a lad fourteen years old. Our children can be our guides if we will teach them properly to follow the light.

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  13. Pondering says:

    It can be disheartening, I know. I keep wondering about the power of a good example. If we are truly becoming who we need to be, I imagine that others might begin to notice a difference and wish to learn more about our changed hearts. Has anyone had this experience?

    It is probably not fair to offer up another question, but I wonder if anyone has ever thought about this: Once you have learned more about the process of coming to Christ, when do you teach this to your children? And how? My children are young (8 and under) but I do not want them to grow up like so many of us did– without a real knowledge of the scriptures.

    I was thinking of taking Brother John’s book (Following the Light…) and trying to prepare lesson plans/a study guide from it for my children.

    I think that once an 8-year-old is baptized, these things become important. I’m just not sure how to explain things so that they are both clear and age-appropriate.

    Has anyone taught these things to young children? Is it possible? Too much for them to handle?

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    • jareth says:

      I definitely do not know the responsibility of taking on children, thus i do not seek to draw a false spirit of knowing on the particular question, but i wonder if you mind hearing my thougts on the question you have posted. I remember when i was eight, i entered my baptism like most members of the church do, i went through the motions, not seeing any important symbols, ordinances, covenants, or promises. I went for years after that as any regular child i suppose would going through the motions and believing that only that outward active way of living was the real thing. Yet low and behold here i find myself thiking and knowing the Gospel, not just the church in a total opposite feeling and way compared to how i used to believe. As a little kid i didnt see the importance of family home evening i only know we did it because it was what we were supposed to do, i diddnt understand the priesthood i only knew it was my duty. Later after much hardship i had to come to a point in my life where the Savior had to become important to me and to me alone. I could no longer ride on the coattails of what my family knew about the Gospel. Thus my knowlege and life change came through a hard faith finding expereince in which was required of me to lay my whole being and what i only believed for myself before the Savior, this happened to me five years ago, but that one experience and several inspired family home evenings and inspired family members have helped me along in my spiritual journey. I now have my knowledge because i seek the savior out as he as partially been personally revealed in my life. I find it is remarkably hard to teach deeper things to children, for instance i was given a calling a year and a half ago as the sunbeems teacher, this was very hard for me as i had to drop down to a whole level different from my level of understanding of course. Because most parents dont teach their children even the basics, children only mimic what they experience in their every day lives. In my opinion i think i would pray with all of my heart and soul to know the will of the Savior in this matter, he will guide you as to what to share with your children, he will show you the revelations needed to teach them in ways that not only open doors for them but learning experiences that are there for you as well. Im not saying it is not a good idea to share with them the things you know, im only saying to use prudence. Remember also that this knowledge that you have is hard for adults in the church to even grasp. The advantage with little ones is that their minds havent been indoctrinated in full yet, and since this is your own children you have an even better chance. I think it is a matter of both sides i keep thinking of how many of the ancient prophets raised thier children on what seemed to be the deeper knowlege, however we must not think that we know what is best for even our own children, Thus the spirit is the only true guide. Overall i think it is a mixture of the two; everyone must taste of the lesser portion, meaning they must know what it is like to feel the condemnation of the lower law, in order to teach them one day that thier own works are not sufficient to save them, else how else could they find this knowledge out. I have found in my life that following the Savior isnt just seeking and reading deeply, it is also a hands on experiment and the law and the lower part of the church begin that hands on experiment by teaching us that we cant do anyting according to our own works alone. Like i said before i would pray earnestly, open the doors of your heart, the savior will guide you what to teach to your children and you will find them growing up quickly with faith as long as it is the Savior teaching them and you the instrument for his work in hand. That is only my opinion, it can be taken or left behind. As i said i dont have any children , and as far as my exprience has gone has been the sunbeem class. I do know that children are highly apt to listen and follow examples, they are mimics and representations of what we believe and what we teach. I think you asked an excellent question and it is one that i believe takes much faith and pondering in the matter. I empathize with the fact that you dont want them being taught the same dead things that most of us had to learn because we had noone to teach it to us, that is true. but it is also true that you dont have to let them grow up with that, falsehood will never be supported by the savior and that goes for anyone no matter what age they happen to be. Brother Jareth.

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    • Clarice says:

      Pondering, I too want very much to teach these things to my children. I have 2 teenagers, and a 7 and 4 yr old. The teenagers are a little easier to talk to about this. I use Following the Light as a base for FHE all the time. Particularly in teaching my children how to recognize the differences between our own voice, verses the devil’s, verses the Lord”s.

      With my younger children I have felt that the most important thing I can give them is a solid trust and perfect faith in Christ. I want them to know He will always be there for them, that they can call to Him and He will come, one way or another. That He has the power to save them. In a way it is easier to teach this to younger children, because they trust so easily, they have this yearning to know and understand things. They are an open book in which we can write what ever we want. We have the power to instill these truths deep inside of them, so deep that they will never leave them. My P.B. promises me that if I teach my children when they are young, they will have the power to draw on those teachings and endure to the end. Thankfully I now know exactly what things I must teach them.

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    • cheyenne brashear says:

      Pondering, that’s a neat name by the way. I can’t speak from personal experience, because my wife has Lupus and the medicines that she takes makes having children an impossibility right now. I do however, know of a perfect scripture that answers your question better than any other I can think of. The scripture is in the Book of Mormon, in Mosiah 4:9-15. In verses 9 through 11 there are great instructions on how to become spiritually reborn and how to retain the rebirth once a person receives it. Verses 12 through 15, and even 16 speak of the blessings and character refinements that will naturally follow doing those things mentioned in verses 9 through 11. Verses 9 through 11 reads as follows: “Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend. And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them. And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls,even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness(not in worth,but in our ability to do good without Him),and his goodness and longsuffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come….” What follows in verses 12 through 15(verse 16 also)is not a list of further commandments and obligations heaped upon us, but a gift list that our Father in heaven gives us because of our doing those things mentioned in verses 9 through 11. Notice that what follows in the next 5 verses aren’t commandments, they don’t say “you are commanded to do this”, or “you should do this”, it states “you will or will not do this”.Verses 12 through 15 reads as follows: ” And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this(those things mentioned in the previous 2 verses)ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true. And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is due. And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry( both spiritually and physically),or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness. BUT YE WILL TEACH THEM TO WALK IN THE WAYS OF TRUTH AND SOBERNESS; YE WILL TEACH THEM TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER, AND TO SERVE ONE ANOTHER.” Again, these things aren’t commandments or obligations, they are character enhancements,revealed knowledge, and power that God blesses us with when we continually do those things mentioned in verses 9 through 11. These promised blessings are marvelous and beautiful and another example to me on why the Book of Mormon is the most correct book in the world. This book teaches us more of the promises and blessings of God than any other book. Anyway, I tend to get longwinded at times. I hope these passages of scripture bring you insight and comfort. Brother C.

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  14. jareth says:

    This is interesting that a question such as this one should arise, and i to can empathize with the particular matter at hand. Sister Clarice, i think you should know that you are moving in the right direction, worthiness to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is a total reverse world compared to what we fathom in our own minds as worthiness. I have found that in my Personal relationship with the Savior, that worthiness is in most cases if not always judged based upon the status of my heart. Allow me to explain, i had an experience one time, a hard experience. I had been dealing with a particular problem in my life that required great sacrifice and great counsel from the holy ghost to overcome, preceding this counsel i used to be an individual full of self doubt, inadequacy, total fear, and i constantly listend to the mutterings of satan and believed these mutterings. One day i took a walk, and felt it necessary to communicate with my Savior as i took this walk i began telling him of my concerns, about the doubts in myself , about the hatred i held for myself and how much i abhorred the person i was. Satan had impounded with great force many lies about myself into my head, many of them in which i held great belief, but as i contiuned to seek the Savior and draw upon his answer for me a shocking revelation soon came to me and it is as if i heard his voice for one of the first times in my whole life. This is the manner in which he spoke to me within my heart. I felt the spirit say this to me, “My dear son if only you could see the way i see you now, i dont see you as you envision yourself, but i see you as the person that you really are, i see you as the person that you shall become” This was extremely comforting to me at that time, and i still remember it always, because this was during a time when i felt unworthy, even though i had knowledge greater than what most usually find, or want to find. This revelation to me was not only shocking but completely countered everything the deciever had made be believe about myself, i remember crying as i felt the warm hand of the spirit grasp me in a tight and loving embrace. I soon then felt the guilt leave, i felt a huge burden being lifted off, and felt a new sense of who i was to my Savior, no matter how bad the vision only seemed by looking through my own lost and blind eyes. But to have your eyes renewed to see how things really are in matters between yourself and the Savior is so much a different story. One piece of truth i have come to find in this life is that everyting that is seen is temporary therefore it is never eternal, but all unseen things will last forever. Knowing this i have come to find that in matters of worthiness the Savior is concerned with our heart in the matter. It doesnt matter right now how many people turn you away because of the knowledge you are seeking out, only know that because of this knowledge you will see a brighter version of who the Savior is to you, and who you are to him, thus the outside world that you used to be a part of begins to become old, dingy, and ugly. And i totally empathize with you ,it does have that exciting feeling of wanting to share it with everyone—yet the trial is that most of everyone will not except it at first–but here is the comforting part, one day they will as they are guided to see the truth based upon whatever measure they allow for themselves to recieve. When you see it that way, the Savior has been totally merciful to all, you have no need to worry about anything. As long as you remain faithful to knowing your own heart based upon your relationship with your Saviors power alone, there will never be anyting that can befall you, and that includes the devil himself and his lies, i can bare a testimony of that. Another thing to remember is that when you are headed down the right path, Satan likes to point the finger of ridicule and blame, he likes to make you think that you are going down the wrong path based upon the judgements of your other brothers and sisters. Remember the great and spacious building spoken of in the book of mormon, this is just like that. Just remember you never need feel guilt or shame for coming and partaking of more of the Saviors light, there will never be anything wrong with this and there will never be anything wrong with gaining higher knowlege. It is hurtful when you know something that has so much power and you know that most people dont want to pursue it i know. It has a very defeating feeling, especially when some of those people are the very people you hold dear in your life. I have come to find that most people are this way because they fear the pursuit of something new and they fear it because it challenges thier comfort zone, it begins to show them that sacrifice is actually required in order to draw upon the Saviors light, truth and power. Most people strain at this, because sacrifice is seen by the majority of the church as a duty on thier part. No, as long as the church sees sacrifice as a duty, and based on their works, it will always reap the condemnation of the law. Why most people are happy with that way of thinking is puzzling yes, but remember we were all once there too, and has hope come for us? yes , and so does this mean there is hope for our loved ones who feel this way still? yes, so dear Sister as i see it, keep on doing what your doing according to the spirit, dont listen to satan, and if you feel him pointing the finger of guilt or worry come to the Savior and know him better. And if you feel unworthy because of some kind of responsiblity that you feel on your part, remember the true work, glory and rightousness lies with the Savior alone, he will fight our battles, he will make us worthy, and when we are ready with our hearts bound in him, he will guide us to reveal these wonderful things to others in a way that will seal them to us and the Savior in unimaginable and beautiful ways, iam only beginning to find this simple road out for myself in life , and sometimes it doesnt seem all that simple, yet it is. Come to him with your heart, he will open the gate, he will shut the gate, and none other can do it save he alone. He is our protecter, master, lord, Savior and one day when we are ever so ready he becomes a close and personal Friend. I hope my own personal experience in the matter could help. I know you are moving in the right direction as i know that anyone who is seeing the truth, and following after the Light of the Savior is on the right path, no matter matter how many obstacles only seem to stand in the way.

    Thank you for asking this question , it helped me broaden the perspective of my own mind and heart.
    and it caused me to rememeber an experience that was ever so important to me and still is.
    Brother Jareth.

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  15. Chris says:

    Clarice,

    I too have felt like you. I find it interesting so far that many of us, like myself, were introduced to these concepts by Denver’s book.

    I have experienced many frustrations when trying to share these truths with family, friends, and ward members. I know from experience, that they can’t be taught in lessons unless the spirit approves your desire to do so. Sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn’t. It is the same with sharing with family and friends, you must listen to the Spirit and obey what you are prompted to do.

    Be a good and loving example always. Testify of these things when you are prompted to. Some of those who you testify to will sincerely ask about these teachings. I usually then lend them either Denver or Brother John’s book. I warn them that they will see increased opposition ( busyness with seemingly harmless things ) that will distract them and try to prevent them from reading and learning. They will need to push through this.

    Have hope. I have seen people change and learn from these things when they are ready, not necessarily the first time that I told them about it.

    Those being gathered also have a work to do as gatherers.

    Chris

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  16. cheyenne brashear says:

    Dear sister Clarice, I think that everyone on here(this un-blog) can empathize with your feelings of frustration. I know that in my own life, when I first started to discover the glorious blessings that are available to us in the gospel even in mortality, I was so excited I tried to share these things with everyone. Like you, I received lukewarm or even unfavorable responses. People in my ward were saying that my brother and I were trying to start our own church, that we were crazy, and other such things. Thanks be to God we did have a few close friends in our area that have also come to love and cherish the real truths and blessings that the gospel of Jesus Christ offers. The most beautiful truth that we are discovering is that these truths and blessings keep becoming greater and greater the more we seek after them,and even more importantly, the more we seek to come unto Christ. I have learned over the years that a person can be a member of the church, recieve all the ordinances, hold callings, and even be active in the church and still not have the gospel of Jesus Christ in their life. The gospel is much more than the doctrines, ordinances, or even introduction of covenants; The gospel is the glad tidings or good news, and it is more than truths written down in scripture. This good news has to be revealed to every individual on a personal basis from heaven by the Holy Ghost, and eventually by angels, and the voice of God Himself(see Moses 5;58-59,D&C 20:34). The ordinances open the door to the covenants, and the covenants(once revealed),open the door to the knowledge of God and the divine gifts and graces which enable us to be partakers of His divine nature, and overcome the world through faith on His name. I think that brother John gives us 2 keys in his statement above: “Even if it happened today, we may actually be counted unworthy if we KNEW THE WAY, had the ordinances, UNDERSTOOD THE PATH, and just failed to walk it.” Sister Clarise, I want to ask you a question, when you learned the way, and started to understand the path, did you feel content with living your life as it was before you learned these things, or did you feel a great desire to obtain what was placed in your heart and mind by the power of the Holy Ghost? The difference is that the Holy Ghost placed this burning desire in you, not another person. Brother John and others might have written or spoken words of truth, but it was the Holy Ghost that taught you the truths and gave you the desire and power to seek and eventually obtain. There is a key in the scriptures that’s mentioned over and over again because of its importance. That spiritual key is to seek, ask, and knock. In Luke 13:24 it says many will seek to enter in by the strait gate but will not be able to. For years this troubled me because in another place (Luke 11:9-10) the Savior said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” I later came across this scripture in 2 Nephi 32:4 that answered my question: “Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ASK NOT, NEITHER DO YE KNOCK; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark.” This scripture mentions nothing about seeking. These people were obviously seeking, they just weren’t asking or knocking. This answered my concern in Luke 13:24 where Jesus said that many who sought to enter in at the strait gate wouldn’t be able to; they missed the other two ingredients-the asking and knocking. It seems to me that desire is connected with seeking, faith is connected with asking, and humility is connected with knocking. Another scripture I would like to share in connection with this is in Alma 17:2, the scripture reads, “Yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched[seeking] the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God. BUT THIS IS NOT ALL; they had given themselves to much prayer[asking], and fasting[knocking]; THEREFORE THEY HAD THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY, AND THE SPIRIT OF REVELATION, AND WHEN THEY TAUGHT, THEY TAUGHT WITH POWER AND AUTHORITY OF GOD.” I think part of this power and authority of God is not just speaking the truth with power, but also in knowing who to share these things with, and to what degree. I think those that are prepared to hear these greater things show signs themselves. It makes me think of a line in C.S. Lewis’ book “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” where the professor says…”Don’t mention it to anyone else unless you find that they’ve had adventures of the same sort themselves. What’s that? How will you know? Oh, you’ll know all right. Odd things they say-even their looks- will let the secret out. Keep your eyes open.” (pg. 206) People show signs in the things they say and do that manifest thier desires; the thoughts and intents of thier hearts. What it all boils down to is to come unto Christ and learn of Him. I hope I haven’t been too long winded and that these words will be of some help and comfort to you.
    Brother C.

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    • Clarice says:

      Thankyou Brother C, thankyou. I will be printing this off and doing some scripture searching instead of the dishes, I think.:)

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  17. Marc says:

    I have felt several times that the words of Christ and of Zion should be on our lips, so I can feel your frustration. I have been careful in approaching any depth of these types of topics with friends and family, though I leave enough bread crumbs in hopes of them asking a few questions.

    You’re right that there is a movement. I think we are waking to our own awful state, and the greatness of Christ in his mission. The contrast between ourselves and the world is what started doing it for my family. We are not as peculiar a people as perhaps we should be, and while that worries me, the fact I can see it brings hope that I can change my course.

    I believe as we continue to work out our own salvation, and speak with people of like mind, it will awaken others. The fact we have this and other similar communities to draw strength from is something for which I am extremely grateful. Some will come alive quickly, some more slowly, some perhaps not in this life. The pattern for us, is to work on ourselves first, then outward.(overly simplified I know)

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  18. Kim says:

    When I turned my prayerful inquiries towards these subjects, the Lord provided the answers in the shape of friends who’d discovered a few things on their own, and books they shared with each other (among which is bro. John’s beautiful book).

    It’s possible these concepts were introduced to me previously, though I don’t remember them. I think it’s because I wasn’t ready to see it then, or wasn’t prepared to recognize the clues for what they were. I can’t say with any certainty that if they had been presented to me before I was ready, that I would have understood their deep import at that time. My soul had to learn how to yearn.

    Hindsight is like that, we can only conjecture what might have been. We can’t really be sure.

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  19. Clarice says:

    Brother John,
    Thanks for posting this. It occupies a significant part of my mind. I am looking forward to the dialogue that follows.(Right off the bat I want to say that obviously I should have used spell check before hitting submit!)
    I have come to some sort of peace with the whole issue. I have come to the understanding that it is a test, actually it is THE test. It is not meant to be taught at church in great detail. If we want it we are responsible for searching it out.
    It is just so hard to see people I care about, mis-interpreting the most important parts of the gospel. Really Satan must be so happy with himself. If he can cause a blindness and misunderstanding of the most important doctrine, the doctrine of Christ, then he does not care how active of a church member we are. If he can keep us from knowing how to come to Christ, then he could careless if we come to church for the rest of our life!
    We give Satan so much power over our lives and we don’t even see it. My heart breaks for our Savior, as I see how we disreguard Him and His great sacrifice, I never want to let Him drop down to anything less than first priority and focus in my life. I hope He will forgive me for taking so long to finally see Him, and come to Him, for putting so many things in front of Him(nothing bad, just distractions that can never compare to Him).

    It seems as if there is some sort of movement going on, some underground movement of people who are searching for their Lord. People who are willing to walk away from everything for their Lord, to help establish His Zion. I want so much to be part of that group, the group that will stand in the presence of their Lord. And the amazing thing is, that my husband and I have talked to our older(teenagers) children about this stuff, and they really want it too. My 13yr old son came home from school and we talked for an hour about what it means to be re-born because he wanted to know more. I was up until midnight talking with my daughter about it the other night. I am so blessed. And I am so thankful for your efforts on this blog. I guess I am not alone, it just feels that way sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Chris says:

    Clarice,
    We were introduced to this whole new level of thinking by a friend of my wife’s about 1.5 years ago. She gave us one of Denver Snuffer’s books and we reacted just as you have. We haven’t stopped studying, seeking, discussing, etc. What we learned from our friend is that of all the people she’s given similar books to, only my wife and I have reacted like you – everyone else just doesn’t get it or see the importance. I am so eager to discuss it with anyone I can, but I’ve also stepped back and won’t open up about it without a prompting because most of the time it goes nowhere.

    I’m not clear yet on it completely, but those comfortable with how they are now, not having to strive for more, who don’t have a clue what is possible or expected in order to receive exaltation, won’t get there. At least, not in terms of this earthly existence. It’s all part of “growing up”. One day they will get it, though perhaps too late for this go-around. It will be like Mark Twain said about his son: When he was 14 I was the stupidest man in the world; when he was 21 he was surprised at how much I’d learned in the past 7 years.

    Pray for your friends, family, etc., but don’t let them hold you back. The only way you can help them is to progress and receive the rich blessing that come with successful progression. Then you will have the power to bless their lives.

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    • Clarice says:

      Chris, when I first read Snuffers book I was floored. I could hardly believe it. I remember asking a woman at the book store where I bought it, if she had read it. She “Yes, it was pretty good.” I could not beleive her lukewarm response. It opened a door for me that has changed my world. And I keep coming across more people like Brother John, who are saying the same things. Its amazing to me! My world has shifted, and I will never go back!

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  21. K-Jo says:

    I totally relate to what is being said. I am 54 and have just begun to understand these things also. Part of my delay, I believe, was my lack of faith and lack of self esteem. I always looked to someone else for answers….leaders. I am coming to a point in my life now where I believe that I can find these answers myself….I don’t need to lean on anyone else. People like Brother John and his experiences and ability to teach them in such a loving and easy to understand manner help me stay focused and for the fire inside me to burn brighter. As far as others not being really excited about these things, I have found the same to be true. If a person is not prepared to hear, they will not hear and they will be skeptical. I keep wishing too that I would have had some of the knowledge I now have so much earlier, but I have to trust in the Lord that with His help, the years of not knowing have their purpose and their learning lessons that will be of benefit to me….especially in being able to relate to other people and where they are on their spiritual journey. So, Clarice, just keep moving forward and try not to be frustrated and I will too 🙂

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  22. Ken says:

    Most have been indoctrinated or convinced not to say or do anything un-popular unless the prophet explicitly advises it in conference, and then only if they can’t figure out a good rationalization.

    Some say that they would rather not know about it so that they do not come under more condemnation.

    Some say that if it were so important, the prophet would tell us about it in no uncertain terms… as if they are awaiting a hand-written invitation signed by the Twelve.

    The pride of some keeps them from seeking a more bounteous blessing (If it were needful, I would already know about it because I am a card-carrying member of the only true church with the fulness of the gospel)

    Some have heard and read about it since they were teens (in books by McConkie and so forth) but without the maturity, and/or without any direct mention of it whatsoever in recent church lessons and publications, put the whole idea on the back shelf and bumble around trying to figure out what is so plainly expounded in books like FTL and Triumph of Zion. Until you get good at listening to the Spirit, it is ever so helpful to have some clear advice and encouragement. Lest we get discouraged and just set the cruise control through life.

    Some think it can happen, but simply think that is something reserved for the general authorities, etc…

    Some get excited at the possibilities and promises and make a renewed and determined effort to “hold to the Rod,” with such great promises within their grasp.

    It is most helpful to see and know that “ordinary” people like John Pontius and Denver Snuffer have experienced things that give greater hope and assurance that even I, in my miserable state can apply the same principles and obtain the same promises without having to be a big “muckety-muck”, so to speak. The promises are even to the least of the saints that are willing to give away all their sins to know God and to live by every word…

    A simple invitation is all it takes. Many are yearning to understand and live it, but just need a little invite. Buy some extra copies of the book FTL or Triumph of Zion and invite them to read at least the introduction. After that, it is up to them.

    Well, that was long-winded…

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