The Censure of Condemnation

I used to have a long commute to work years ago. I got up at 4:30 a.m., drove for about 90 minutes, then clocked in at 6:00 a.m. I worked 12 hours with few breaks, drove home 90 minutes, and got home about 8:00 p.m. I did this for years, often in very bad Alaska weather. The longest commute I had was one day when there was zero visibility and many cars off the road. It took me five hours to get home around midnight.

At first I listened to music on the drive, which got boring real quick. Then I listened to talk radio, which got depressing. I listened to recorded scriptures, which seemed hard to focus on for that length of time. After a few months of struggling to hang onto sanity on these long commutes, I started to pray.

Soon, I looked forward to the commute because I would being praying as soon as the car began to move, and end when I was pulling into the parking garage. Sometimes I would get so caught up with the Spirit, that I didn’t notice the actual driving or passage of time. This was where I learned to pray for long periods of time, and to truly pierce the heavens. There were very few times when I actually asked for something. Mostly I was seeking knowledge, delighting in truth, and worshiping with all of my joy, and listening very carefully.

One day I was driving home and the thought occurred to me to listen to the news. I hadn’t heard the news for weeks, so I turned on the radio and immediately began listening to the account of Rwanda and the slaughtering that was occurring there at that very moment. The commentator quoted an American journalist as saying “There are no devils in Hell anymore. They are all in Rwanda.”

I turned off the radio feeling sick at heart – actually vexed and burdened by this news. I hated the fact that I had turned on the radio and heard it. I hated even more that it was occurring. I began to beg the Lord to just cleanse the world by fire and stop this wickedness.

The Spirit came upon me and spoke to me for most of the drive home. I don’t remember the actual words, but the message was this: The Lord is in control of everything that happens in this world. He is allowing these people to suffer to condemn the world, and to bring about a just punishment upon the wicked, and to establish a just cause to cleanse the world by fire. This had to be done before he could judge the world in righteousness.

The Spirit also said that when these people died to fulfill His plan, that He healed their wounds of heart and soul at death, and that they did not look upon their sacrifice as painful or horrible, but are grateful for their part in Christ’s plan, a part which they agreed to before they were born.

The Spirit commanded me “Let not your heart be troubled.” Immediately the heaviness of my soul departed and a feeling of peace and purpose replaced it. It was in that moment that I quit worrying about wars, politics, crime or the spread of evil. I still hate it, but I’m not vexed and overwhelmed by it.

It was quite a few years later that I learned the principles regarding the building of the latter-day Zion. When I realized that Christ could not return until we build Zion, and that Zion would be built only after people sought it, and sacrificed for it, and reordered their lives to Zion worthiness, that I realized that I could personally do something about the horror and darkness of our world. I realized that by reordering my life to be worthy of the blessings of Zion, and actually building it in my heart, that I was doing everything I could do to end all this horror and suffering by preparing the world for Christ’s return.

According to the D&C 84 the whole church is under condemnation for taking lightly the things that we have received. I used to sorrow deeply about this, and wonder how we as a people could ever lift this dark burden. Then, in a moment of inspired understanding, I realized that the condemnation rests upon individuals, and that this individual could lift the pointing finger of censure personally by taking everything I have received with utmost seriousness.  I have since done everything I know how to, believing and seek with total sincerity, everything the Lord has given me, but also to share that urgency and understanding in every way I could conceive.

I believe that the censure of condemnation lifts upon each individual as they identify the voice of the Lord in their hearts and minds, and choose to obey with flawless determination. Then, the heavens open, the blessings of prior covenants and ordinances are poured out, and the condemnation evaporates like a serpentine morning mist before the cleansing warmth of the rising Son.

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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11 Responses to The Censure of Condemnation

  1. Anja says:

    Dear Brother John
    I thank you so very much for your comforting words. I am so grateful to have your knowledge of the gospel principles so easily accessible. I love unblog my soul.


  2. Chris says:

    Thanks for the idea of praying while commuting. I have done short prayers while driving, but I never had the idea to pray the whole time. I tried it this morning. It was a wonderful experience and I am sure it will get better. I have been struggling a while to not get angry and worked up over my fellow drivers and praying the whole way in to work has helped more than any other thing. Thank you for suggesting it.


  3. Anja says:

    Brother John,
    My question to you about prayer is a little awkward for me to ask. However, I feel I should seek your opinion.
    As a mother I have found myself praying almost constantly throughout the day and night over various things. The part that makes me unsure is how I pray. So for example one day I was struggling with my children in cooking dinner, doing homework, stopping arguments, ect. I called upon Heavenly Father completely worn down and asked “are you just like my dad? Are you waiting for me to cry my eyes out in order for these problems to stop?”.
    I don’t want to be disrespectful or hinder my progression by saying what I did, but at the same time I feel so close to Him that I should say what is on my mind. This is what I am so unsure of though. I don’t know if it is even worth an answer.
    Thank you though.


    • John Pontius says:

      Dear Anja,

      My personal experience with prayer is like yours. I feel very close at times, and at times feel like using common language -like “Thank you”, instead of “thank thee”. I believe any respectful and loving question or language is met with approval.

      Prayer is something I have had to learn and relearn. The spectrum seems to go from the “Oh, God, if there even is a God”, to a child’s prayer, to mighty prayer, to speaking with God in open conversation because He is present but unseen. I have posted several times on reaching for this type of prayer. I think we should just keep reaching, keep inviting the Spirit into our prayers, and pray as long as we can. I have found that 20 minutes is a daily minimum prayer if we expect to really claim the blessings of heaven and improve our discipleship.

      Brother John


  4. Randall says:

    I think there are a lot of us who have said more than one prayer whether it was a long commute or a short drive to the office in the city and have recieved valuable inspiration we have been able to apply to our personal and daily life. I am sure you can see why the adversary would much rather have us drive angry, cutting others off, cussing at other drivers since we do that the spirit leaves us and we are no different than any other driver on their journey.

    The influence of the adversary once again showed up in the recent movie by the same title (which I have no desire to see) called “Drive Angry”. What is worse than to partake of the sacrament on Sunday and have someone cut you off on in traffic on Monday get you worked up in anger. It is just one more way Satan has of sneaking up on you and catching you off guard.

    Sorry for the diversion. Your unblog actually had two good tracks for comments…


    • John Pontius says:

      Hi Randall,

      The opposition doesn’t miss a single chance to entangle us. I think you have stumbled onto something here. Driving must be a big one because I’ve seen more obscene gestures (none of them at me, actually) here in 10 months in Utah than in 33 years in Alaska. It makes me sad, and a little ashamed.

      No “sorry” needed. I’m interesting in every relevant comment. Out of 750 comments so far, I’ve only declined to publish one, and that was more because it was too long and rambling, than for content.


  5. Clarice says:

    Brother John,
    Thank you for this post. I have spent many hours and many tears learning about the horrors that are forced on people. I have always been particularly sensitive to this, I remember struggling with the Lord over this in my teen years, and many, many times since.

    Just a week or so ago I was crying out to the Lord over this after coming across some atrocities from WWII, in a book that I was reading. I had an understanding given to me that I would like to share.

    It was made very clear to me that while I can hardly bear to learn of these horrible things(and my understanding barely scatches the surface), my Savior suffered all of them. Of course I already knew that, but His pain was so tangible in that moment, my heart was breaking for Him, and my love and respect for Him was overwhelming.

    The one question I was seeking an answer to when that happened, is “Why?”. Why?, there has to be some reason, something to make it worth it, some higher good. I was really struggling with this when I had that understanding open to my mind.

    And now you seem to have provided me with an answer. I will be taking this to the Lord, because I really want to know from Him for myself.

    I can relate to your looking forward to the drive/pray home. I have gotten in the habit of praying at my 4 year olds bedside everynight as I put him to bed. I used to dread it because he always wanted someone to stay with him because he was scared. Now I look forward to it each night, a half an hour, or more of uninterupted prayer at 8:00pm every night! I am thinking that I will have to start getting up at 6:00am for more quiet time, now that school is out and chaos rules at my house!


  6. Gary says:

    In the 105 sec. verse 5 the Lord states that he can only accept us in the celestial law. The law he is referring to is the united order. The law of consecration. This law is the automatic outcome of living the 2nd commandment. Their are no covenant blessings or protection without living the law upon witch they are predicated. This love is a blessing of god and only he can bestow upon us as such. Our part was to live, pray, fast, search until we find the pearl of great price. From Gods perspective he only wants to know one thing of us. That being Do WE Individually Want To Have A Personal Relationship With Him. gary


  7. Kim says:

    That was gorgeously put. Thanks for the visuals as well as intellectuals. (not sure that’s correct English, but you get what I mean =).


  8. darrell brashear says:

    A very comforting comment 🙂 I love it when you add your personal experiences to these un-blogs, it enhances the beautiful truths you share on these un-blogs. These un-blogs continually reinforce my desire and commitment to sacrifice my will for His.
    Brother D.


    • jareth says:

      I too think that this ublog is very beautiful and perhaps one of the most comforting ones. It outlines principles to people from a well-rounded perspective, and gives people hope no matter what circumstances they are placed in or what trial they are called to bear. It gives hope that we can all overcome our personal insanities by yielding or sacrificing our will to the Savior, very simple answer and beautiful to think about. 🙂 Jareth.


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