My Chance to Answer


Thank you all for your answers and testimonies. If you haven’t read them, or the question that generated them, please read “Your Chance to Answer”. You did exactly what I hoped you would, and gave us to further know that each of us is not alone.

Speaking When Inspired

Every truth we can gain in mortality comes to each person individually through personal revelation. Your testimony of the Jesus Christ is unique to you. You didn’t acquire it from your parents or the missionaries. You acquired it via revelation to you personally. This means that other mortals can’t transfer an inspired understanding to another mortal. The best we can hope to do is speak the words the Holy Spirit gives us in any moment – and if the hearer is ready, they will hear by the Spirit and will thus gain their own knowledge directly from heaven.

When we speak of ourselves, or because we feel anxious or excited, but not necessarily inspired, those words have a very small chance of lifting another person toward their own inspired understanding, and can in fact prejudice the hearer against truths they must eventually acquire.

When we have a divine commission to teach, or are called as a missionary, or an authority in the church, then we must open our mouths to everyone within the boundaries the Lord has set. When we are the worker bees, we best teach when the Holy Spirit opens our mouths, and the rest of the time we teach by example alone.

The Mission of the Church

We oftentimes confuse the mission of the Church with the gospel of Christ. The church has a commission to build the churches and temples, perpetuate the priesthood, safeguard the priesthood and keys, and preach the gospel according to the heed and diligence we as a people give to it. This is the “lesser portion” of the word.

These things are being done as the Lord directs. Nothing is missing, and nothing needs to be “fixed”.

If truths were marbles, then the gospel of Christ is a marble bag which contains every possible marble, and the Latter-day church consists of a “lesser portion” of the total marbles in the bag. The gospel of Christ is administered by the Church, and every “greater portion” gift we obtain flows only through the ordinances the Lord has established within the Church.

The glory and beauty of the Lord’s church is that it administers the ordinances, arms us with the Holy Ghost, provides the higher ordinances, and prepares us in all things to continue on. From these beginning moments we are given everything necessary to seek and obtain the greater things. The scriptures allude to them often, but the church does not teach them because they are not within the portion of the word the Lord has commissioned to be publicly dispensed.

Having access to these greater things only makes the lesser things more important. One does not arrive at a mountain peak and then think less of the mountain they climbed to arrive there. It is the height and correctness and inspired power of the latter-day church which makes these mountain peaks exist in our day. These greater things are the “Mysteries of Godliness” the scriptures dangle before us. They are life changing, pure and glorious, and they are given to the individual as worthiness stipulates – but they are not given to be taught by those people to the church in general.

We should say nothing more than what our authorities are teaching. We must obey the same laws of what constitutes the “portion” granted unto the church. When we speak out we are disobeying law.

When we speak in private as moved upon by the Holy Spirit, we are obeying law, and acting as directed by the Lord, dispensing His Love.

The Love of God

One of your comments included the wonderful idea that God loves all of His children no matter their present state of spiritual evolution. This is verily true. This great love provides equal access to all of the same blessings and privileges of the WHOLE gospel process. We can trust and be patient with the standing and process of every single mortal because their process is being directed by Love as quickly as they are able. The only thing we can add most of the time, is our personal example of joy in Christ and in blessings unseen by most.

Teaching Children

Even children walk their own path of personal inspiration. We as parents teach them first, best and loudest by our example. Consistent daily scripture study and family prayers provide a familiar and loving venue for teaching as the Holy Spirit gives us words. Inspired words will reach them when they are ready. Obtaining the ability to hear and speak under inspiration can only be the result of a lifetime of seeking and preparation in our own pilgrimage back into the presence of Christ.

Brother John

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

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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9 Responses to My Chance to Answer

  1. Lisa says:

    This past year I discovered these concepts and began feasting on them. I still have a long way to go, but my life has gone to a new level and expect it will continue to do so. After reading FTL I felt inspired to buy copies of the book for two of my children who seemed ready for the concepts. My 19 year old, who is now on a mission, a wonderful, exceptionally spiritual young man, read FTL and seemed to really absorb it. I was looking for the right opportunity to discuss it with him. Then one evening he went to the temple with his singles ward. The temple president spoke to them before their session. My son came home and reported that the temple president told them: “some people have taught that the endowment teaches about an experience you can have in this life. I want to be clear that it does not refer to something that will happen in mortality.” I was shocked and deflated. This is not where I expected the opposition to come from! I was not confident in my new found knowledge and understanding and even though my heart felt his statement was in error, I did not know if I should try to flounderingly reteach the concepts in a way that might look like I was taking sides against a temple president. I pondered in my heart whether to try to reinforce the principles that are taught in FTL, but I ended up deciding that right now my son’s mission was to focus on helping people begin their journey to Christ and his understanding of entering the presence of the Lord could wait 2 years. He left on his mission mere days after this and we never got to really talk on the topic. To be honest, sometimes I have regretted this and worried I made the wrong choice (sometimes I second guess my decisions, I’m still learning to have confidence in my own understanding of The Voice). But I am praying that I will have an opportunity to teach when the time is right again.

    I have hope that the Lord will tell us when to teach our children these concepts. I think teaching them how to recognize the spirit and how it speaks to us is the doorway, and we definitely should be teaching that and it will open up the way to the line upon line that follow after that.

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    • John Pontius says:

      A big Amen on your concepts of teaching children.

      I love temple presidents. I’ve known several who truly understood these things better than I did and do. Some are righteous and worthy, but they are not seekers. It isn’t a problem. The Lord will give you words when it is time.

      Great comment.

      Like

  2. Donald says:

    When we keep commandments and covenants we are blessed and given more light.

    When we neglect (or even reject) what we have been given, light is taken away.

    Both seem to be gradual processes…. at times.

    Like

  3. K-Jo says:

    Thanks for your commentary on the things that others wrote. It clarifies a lot of things I have been thinking about lately.

    Like

  4. Clarice says:

    Brother John, I hear you, thankyou. And I am sorry but I have another question. Actually I want to know how you deal with this.

    I have been blessed by the Lord with an understanding(somewhat) of what the future holds for us.

    The problem that I stuggle with is knowing what kinds of things will be happening in the world when Zion is being established. When I hear that not everyone will be called to go to Zion that terrifies me. Because it seems to me that to not go to the safety of Zion is some form of punishment. And then when I experience the lack of interest among so many memebers I get conflicted.
    Am I being to extreme? It seems that the requirements for Zion are rather extreme. I can’t see the Prophet making a general announcement that we will now be going to build Zion, who wants to go? It can’t be that easy.
    And yet everyone that I know seems to think it will work like that. I know a bishop who purchased an RV, saying that they will be driving it to Zion! And he is serious. I just feel like I am looking at a totally different page of the book than most people. And sometimes I question whether I am facing the right direction, or rather if I am making a mountian out of a mole hill.
    Your book The Triumph of Zion is amazing. It clearly shows that the requirements for Zion are very high. Yet within each of our grasp, if we will just take what is being offered to us.

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    • John Pontius says:

      Clarice, you are wonderfully curious. The answer to every one of these questions is to continue to develop your ability to “hear” and “see” and obey. When you know you are in the Lord’s care, and you know you will hear anything He speaks to your heart – then you have living faith in Christ.

      Fear is a pair of muddy boots unseemly worn beneath the flowing white gown of living faith.

      Just keep reaching – you will make it.

      Like

  5. Pearl says:

    I’m coming into the whole question and answers a bit late, but wanted to add a little something.

    My urges to learn/be “more” have always come from the scriptures. The first time was reading about Abraham’s desires. After a big long trial and “pulling myself together” again (that doesn’t explain it well but if you know what I mean, you’ll know what I mean 🙂 ) these desires for more began stirring in me again.

    I was in a calling at Church where I felt underutilized. (Whomever said they were one of the Father’s most prideful, I’ll give you a run for your money.) I concluded I would not be getting much spiritual nourishment from the Sunday meetings. What to do?

    I decided to read the Book of Mormon. I was going to pick it up as if I’d never seen it before. I was going to read every word… the intro, the copyright page, everything. And not use any “helps.” No study guides. No commentaries. No lesson manuals. No one else’s interpretations or comments. Further, I didn’t even want my own comments (or highlighting), so I got a little blue copy from DI with clean text and began.

    It was amazing. I got so addicted to this book, the only thing I can compare it to was when the sisters in RS would go off on how wonderful the Twilight series was. I felt the same way, only about the BOM. I couldn’t WAIT to get the kids in bed at night so I could dive back into the book. I finished it and stared at the bookcase to see what I should read next. Nothing even held a candle to the BOM. I started it again (with another clean text DI copy). Then again. I read it 6 times that year.

    After this, I learned about Denver’s blog, which I read. It was a good experience and supported things I had learned reading the BOM. Then I learned of Brother Pontius’s blog and books. This is where I am now. I’ve mentioned before that the gift of translation is a huge motivating factor for me – the actual possibility of it thrills me. I have also been told that translation does not belong to the Seventh Dispensation. People in all the other dispensations have been translated but not in the Seventh because translation is the means, the only means, by which keys are taken from the earth. And none will be taken away during the last dispensation.

    So this is where I am. Still pondering through it all. The “belief” factor.

    I’ve also experienced trying to share something when not directly moved upon by the Holy Ghost and having less than great results. I try to remember I am not even responsible for the results! I am only responsible for following the Spirit… the results are God’s. Just like we are responsible for sharing the Gospel, not whether the person commits. I have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay and that’s what I must focus on.

    None of us are alone… there is a movement going on and people are waking up. I loved the C.S. Lewis analogy… absolutely true!

    Thanks, all.

    Like

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