Not only is it True


I have Un-Blogged about this several times, but I want to say again, for the record, that after years of study, seeking, research, prayer, fasting and sacrifice, that I do not find any valid reason to criticize this latter-day church. As far as the Lord will reveal it to me, the Church is fulfilling its latter-day calling in exactly the way Jesus Christ desires. Nothing more should or can be done. Nothing more should or can be taught. Nothing more can or should be revealed.

I understand better than most that this Church is not perfect – but I also understand better than most that it is – for this moment in history – functioning exactly as it should.

The reason I say this is because I am a personal witness of the fact that every blessing mortals may seek, is presently available to us because there truly is power in the priesthood ordinances and promises received within the bosom of the Church. If the Church were defective, or apostate, or strayed from the correct path, then that power would evaporate. If the Church was teaching false doctrine, or perverting the true meaning – the power would evaporate. If the Prophet was not actually a prophet – the power would evaporate.

I will stand up and say this for the remainder of my life and on into eternity, I have sought and obtained, and the promises are vast and valid. All this tells me, by the exact logic used above, that the Prophet is a prophet, and all other things are as they should be.

Do I think it is flawless? No.

Do I think there is nothing that could be improved? No.

Do I think doctrine is flawlessly taught in every class and every sacrament meeting, or that people’s pride doesn’t muddle the work, or that wrongs are not perpetuated, or the true seekers are not at times misunderstood or persecuted – no, I have unfortunately seen otherwise.

But, I have also seen the windows of heaven open. I have seen the priesthood power manifest to raise the dead and instantly heal, and to qualify us for the visions and proclamations essential to whatever quest we are led to seek. I have seen hundreds of inspired leaders minister to and bless the humble. I have sat in counsels where the Spirit of God was so profoundly present that everything that was said and done was the will of God. I have shared in revelation that led and inspired a new Bishop to correctly fill every office and officer and teacher in his new ward from the Elder’s Quorum and Relief Society to who plays the piano for Primary. These things are the norm, and the pattern of this church. If Jesus Christ, for reasons of misconduct on our part, was not leading this great work, then these things would not occur.

If anything is actually amiss, it is that we, the people, live below our privilege, that we do not seek and obtain the voice of the Lord throughout our lives, and that instead of inspiration we use human philosophy and logic.

If anything is amiss, it is that many who complain do not seek and study and extend themselves in searching sufficiently to obtain an inspired view of what our privileges and powers truly are, and how to obtain them. Instead of seeking and obtaining them where they are actually enthroned – in the privacy of our own obedience and ordinance-powered quest – we want the Church to teach advanced spiritual concepts to us that we are not sufficiently evolved to hear. Then we feel cheated and disillusioned that we are not seeing the visions and working the miracles we read about in the scriptures.

The scriptures clearly teach that there is a mighty struggle that qualifies us for these gifts. Every powerful practitioner of pure priesthood power obtained their gifts after sacrifice, searching, struggling, repenting and willingly suffering the schooling of the purification process that must proceed such blessings.

But, when we at long last understand the path, and walk it to its conclusion, then whatever flaws might exist in this divine drama of mortal errors, simply do not matter because we have obtained.

When one struggles through university, and finally obtains one’s PhD, it simply does not matter anymore that the professors were boring, the classrooms too crowded, and the cafeteria too costly.

And so I repeat – not only is this Church true, but it works. It works today as in any generation of the past.

Brother John

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

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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16 Responses to Not only is it True

  1. Tammy Jensen says:

    Well said!

    Like

  2. Trevor says:

    Thanks Michael. I know the Church is set up according to the laws of the Land. I personally know many many people who have trouble with that particular element to the legalities of the church. My point was to show an example of how it doesn’t matter, one can notice something, yet not get too caught up in it and, as John says, obtain all the Gospel’s blessings.

    John: If you do not feel my comment was uplifting or edifying, or offered something worthwhile to think about, please remove it. I never said I was disillusioned or bitter about the Gospel. In fact I supported you, and the content of your two part post openly. My example was intended to reach out to those who may be struggling, those who may have relied on the church and been let down, and show an example of coming across something in the church that troubles us, but still moving on, living the commandments personally, and receiving the Gospel’s blessings personally. And finding joy in it.

    In all honestly my purpose wasn’t to criticize. If working to correct bugs in our religious mindset or in our cultural understandings isn’t your thing, that’s totally fine. I would be in a thick darkness if someone had not helped me see the errors of my thinking and religious mindset and instead helped me see the truth. My purpose was only to shed light on a potentially lethal error, “the church is true, and perfect, therefore I can sit back and rely on that as my anchor and salvation” and then to promote the truth, the same truth you were presenting. I support you. I was advocating the content of your post. Maybe I’m just a terrible writer and so it didn’t come across.

    Trevor

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    • John Pontius says:

      Trevor, I apologize but I did apparently misunderstand your previous posting. My goal is to allow comments that are positive and relative to the Un-Blog. I usually try to err on safety’s side. Sorry. I appreciate your comments.

      John

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  3. Michael says:

    Trevor,

    The Church is incorporated in the United States because it is “organized and established agreeable to the laws of our country” (D&C 20:1). [In Brazil (where I served my mission) the Church’s legal organization, under Brazilian law is the “Associação Brasileira de A Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Últimos Dias“. In every country where the Church is established I’m sure the Church is (per D&C 20:1) organized according to the laws of said country.]

    Remember from the dark days of Church History that the Edmunds-Tucker Act of 1887 (upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1890) disincorporated The Corporation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and escheated all Church property above $50,000 to the United States government.

    In 1923 the Church was formally re-incorporated under Utah Law as The Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (I’d guess the name variation is because the Edmunds-Tucker Act hadn’t been repealed yet–it remained on the books until 1978), and the president of the Church serves as its trustee-in-trust. (See, for example, The Solemn Assembly [Ensign, May 1974].)

    “Corporation of the President” is about all that would fit on the rubber stamp used to endorse checks. It is simply an abbreviation.

    I serve in my ward as ward clerk. Some people write their tithing checks out to the name of our ward. Others to “LDS Church” or “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (though they have to have pretty fine handwriting to fit that all in). A few even write “Corporation of President”. It all ends up getting deposited and sent to Church HQ and used the same way (see D&C 120:1).

    Like

  4. Trevor says:

    I suppose it’s comforting to hear that the church is not off track. I would prefer to know that “I” am not off track, as opposed to gathering comfort from the standing of an institution. That’s just me though and from what I read on this blog that is implied by John. The institution can be on track and my soul remain unsaved. But I saw within the post a call to be on track personally regardless of anything else around us. What a good post.

    My comment is intended in the most positive of light. As you’ll see by the end I am a happy member, and love the Gospel. What I don’t love is the loss of truth, the mixture of Babylon and Zion, and cultural traditions replacing truth, all carefully leading us away into distraction and self deception that all is well.

    I recently viewed the digital image provided by my bank of the back of my tithing check cashed last Sunday. The endorsement stamp to cash the check read “The corporation of the President”. I was absolutely shocked. I thought I was paying my tithing to a church. The name of the church was not even there, even under a corporation title. And come to find out the financial aspect of the church isn’t a church at all, it’s a corporation. “The Corporation of the President.”

    Nevertheless I still pay tithing and do so willingly. It’s a private matter between me and the Lord anyway. I believe we can become what the Lord had in mind by the principle of tithing, regardless of who cashes my tithing checks or what they do, or don’t do with it. The Church may not be off track but there seems to be other corporations, agenda’s, and tools of Babylon mingled in that make that statement loose it’s helpfulness.

    I find John’s words true: That we can obtain the Gospel’s highest blessings regardless of what others do around us. I love the phrase from this post that when we, by faith and obedience, obtain something from God; that truly makes the errors and flaws of this estate simply not matter.

    That being said, we can never correct a flaw we refuse to see. It is all of our responsibility to help build the kingdom and replace error with truth. So with love I think we can address what errors exist, receive the Gospel’s blessings, and find our souls in good standing with the Lord.

    I support the church. I support the leaders. I don’t support gaining personal comfort from the perceived stability or “on trackness” of an institution I belong to. That to me will rock someone carefully to sleep meanwhile they are sinking.

    I love the Gospel and serve happily in my ward, pay my tithing, and love any light and truth available. And I’ve found lots from John. So thank you. This comment was intended to contribute, not criticize in any way.

    Like

    • John Pontius says:

      Trevor,

      I have been thinking about your comment for a couple days. I posted it with reservations because of its critical content. Saying you love the gospel, and being bitter or disillusioned about it at the same time doesn’t track well. The point isn’t that the church is perfect, I don’t believe it is. I said this plainly in a two-part post. The point is that all of the blessings we seek are truly available. It really doesn’t matter how our tithing checks are endorsed. We don’t rely upon the church for anything. We only rely upon Christ, and He does not let us down.

      Each dispensation of the gospel that has existed, but for a few, has fallen into apostasy. This won’t happen in the latter days if we, the people of the latter days embrace and employ the “fullness of the gospel” by preparing ourselves and then building Zion. If we individually don’t conquer in this quest, then it won’t matter how perfect or flawed the church is, because there will be nobody to welcome Christ when he comes. If we the people prepare ourselves and build Zion, it won’t matter how perfect or flawed the church is, because the purpose of the Church will have been fully accomplished.

      It really is up to us, and trying to find and fix bugs in the latter-day software won’t change the outcome of what is to be, because WE are the outcome.

      Like

  5. Quenten B. (Melbourne, Australia) says:

    Thank you Bro. Pontius you have succinctly distinguished the real issue. I have found through experimentation that everything we desire is hidden in plain sight.

    The Voices
    Baptism of Fire
    Calling and Election
    Translation
    The Language given to Enoch

    They are not taboo its just that we often cast them “because of unbelief”. We also wrongly assume that they are only available to prophet types. The cost to become acquainted with deity is very high but worth the price (never the thought at the time however which is the point) The worst part of the process is the bit “Endure” because you never really know where the “end” is. All children hate waiting right?

    Like

  6. Steve says:

    Awesome! The Church is not off track and never was. Members get off track and suppose the Church should come along with them. As CS Lewis says, the proud create their own God, because they can’t conceive the notion that God is greater than they are. The Saints who refuse to become meek, humble, submissive, etc. I pray will one day wake up to the realization that God is truly in control and they need to give over to Him.

    Like

  7. Clarice says:

    I’m not sure where I fall on this one yet. I do have some concerns that I have a hard time reconciling. Mostly that the Book of Mormon clearly condems us(meaning those who have the gospel), right along with the wicked. Moroni says we have polluted the Holy Church of God. Nephi says all is not well in Zion, not to mention all that Christ says about us…

    Also I beleive that Nephi and Alma are saying that if you are not receiving MORE of the word of God, then you are losing what you have. There is no just sitting in the middle keeping what you’ve got. Your either gaining more and new truths or your losing the ones
    you’ve got.

    I have not gained the same assurance as you Brother John. But one thing I do know for sure is that it does not matter one way or the other. I have access to saving truths, and if I apply them in my life, I can receive all of the promised blessings. Clearly history in dicates that Israel was in some level of apostasy through out most of their history. And yet there were a few who still chose to “come to their God”, and they did.

    I think we are in much the same boat as Israel. This is the Lord’s church and His gospel, just as it was then. What we do with it is up to us. Christ told us in 3Nephi that we, as a whole for the most part, would reject the fullness of His gospel. Perhaps we already have, I don’t know. And yet none of that changes the fact that I can come to my Savior and be healed by him.

    I use to be more concerned about if we are heading in the wrong direction, or even being led in the wrong direction. But thankfully the Lord has eased my mind, and shown me that reguardless of any of this, my responsibility is still the same. My focus must remain on my Savior as I wade through all of these things.

    And you Brother John have done much to show me how to do just that.
    Thank you.
    Clarice

    Like

  8. Sharon Cox says:

    Well said! – ” …we want the Church to teach advanced spiritual concepts to us…” – This is the tone of the the complaints among some apostate groups that I have encountered. Whilst few members of the Church may be “sufficiently evolved” to hear advanced spiritual concepts, the Prophet and leaders must craft their messages to speak to the broad membership, the majority of whom cannot bear those things yet.

    I was privileged to have met a gentleman many years ago who pastored a pentecostal congregation in New York but promptly left his flock to join the LDS church when he found and read the Book of Mormon and discovered for himself that it was true, He was a black man and could not hold the Priesthood at that time, but he never faltered in his church attendance and sat quietly in the back pews of the chapel, sustained by a personal revelation that he was “…a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek”. (Hebrews 7:17). It was many years later that this promise was fulfilled in his life, when the Church opened up the Priesthood to every worthy member including Blacks.

    I relate that story to make the point that many who are followers of this blog and others like us, have received personal revelation relating to things that are not yet discussed at the pulpit in our Church, yet we remain faithful because we have a firm testimony that the Church is true, that it is being led by a true Prophet, and that Jesus Christ is directing its work and all things are done in wisdom and order.

    Sharon

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  9. Chris says:

    Thank you for your clear, profound and unrestrained declaration. Amen!

    Like

  10. Jared Eastley says:

    It also seems to me that there needs to be a clear distinction made between the priesthood entity of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the members of said church.

    On one hand, the organization of the church, the leadership, the priesthood, the scripture, the policies, and so forth, are certainly functioning properly. The power is there. The doctrine is correct and inspired. The leadership is spot on—especially the apostolic leadership.

    On the other hand, our leaders and scriptures have made it abundantly clear that we as a people, the members of said church, are to a large degree in deep trouble. To say otherwise is to suggest that “all is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth.”

    In a leadership training video prepared for Stake Presidents back in the mid 90s, President Packer stated that in the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon, when the prophet refers to the “churches,” we can substitute the word “stakes.” Mormon chapter 8 comes to mind.

    The Lord has promised us that the Church and the keys of the priesthood will never again be taken from the earth; rather, that the stone cut from the mountains without hands will fill the earth. But this promise in no way guarantees that there will not be abundant apostasy along the way. On the contrary, our scriptures and conference addresses provide stern warning relative to our “awful situation” and for our “walking in darkness even at noon day.” It is noon day because the gospel has been restored, the blessings and privileges of the priesthood are fully available, and the system works perfectly according to our faith in Christ”.

    However, as I have searched the scriptures, especially The Book of Mormon, it seems quite clear that the Saints of the Latter Days stand sternly rebuked for their lack of obedience and faithfulness. Not only that, but the prophecies predict that the Gentiles (that’s us) will fail to establish Zion. Of course, the Lord has planned on that. When the “times of the Gentiles” comes to a close and the gospel is brought to scattered Israel, then Zion will be established in its purity and fullness. In the mean time, we remain under condemnation for choosing to walk in darkness.

    Our individual responsibility is to be true and faithful in all things so that we might be numbered among the few Gentiles who are given the privilege of being a part of that Zion through faithfulness.

    “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.”
    (Doctrine and Covenants 82:10)

    The Lord inspires us according to our willingness to hear and obey. The leaders of this church are blessed accordingly. But how much more blessed would they be if they were more faithful and obedient? I have seen, in a conference for bishops and stake presidents in Utah, an apostle of the Lord rebuke them for their disobedience. He had to change his address because the men there were unprepared and unworthy to receive what he had prepared—and he said as much.

    It really is vastly overly-simplistic to say the church is functioning as it should, that nothing more should be revealed, said, or done. The restoration is far from complete. If we were more faithful we would receive more; we could receive much, much, much more. I have been in enough priesthood presidencies and seen first hand church leaders slacking off and not doing their duty to know the “church” is far from perfect or correct as far as local leadership goes.

    The church is made up of people. If those people are fully committed, converted, and consecrated, then marvelous miracles happen. If they are only partially committed, converted, and consecrated, then less marvelous miracles happen. You really cannot say that the church is functioning as it should, from top to bottom, until Zion is established. This doesn’t give us license to criticize our leaders. Neither does it create excuse to stick our heads in the sand out of blind loyalty.

    If the church was perfect, and if nothing more needed to be taught, done, or revealed, then the apostles would stop holding General Conference and would stop training our leaders. We all need to improve, even our leaders.

    The Lord wants us to be spiritually aware and to wisely proceed according to the dictates of His Spirit.

    It is what it is.

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  11. Donald says:

    Speaking of destiny…I love this quote by the Prophet Joseph:

    “I want to say to you before the Lord that you know no more concerning the destinies of this Church and Kingdom than a babe upon its mother’s lap. You don’t comprehend it. It is only a little handful of Priesthood you see here tonight, but this Church will fill North and South America–it will fill the world. It will fill the Rocky Mountains. There will be tens of thousands of Latter-day Saints who will be gathered in the Rocky Mountains, and there they will open the door for the establishing of the Gospel among the Lamanites. …This people will go into the Rocky Mountains; they will there build temples to the Most High. They will raise up a posterity there, and the Latter-day Saints who dwell in these mountains will stand in the flesh until the coming of the Son of Man. The Son of Man will come to them while in the Rocky Mountains.” (In Conference Report, 6 April 1898, p. 57; see also Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, ed. G. Homer Durham, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1946, 1990, pp. 30–31, citing Millennial Star 54[1892]:605.)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. darrell brashear says:

    What a great comment. With all the understanding I have gained throughout my lifetime, one thing I am certain of is that the Church is true. I also know that within the Church itself there are people living different laws: some Telestial, some Terrestrial, and some Celestial.

    It would be amiss to think that the Church was on the wrong track just because some of its members choose to live a Telestial law. I also feel that anybody can change through the atonement of Christ. It would be an insult to His love and mercy to think that a hardened person will never be anything other than hardened.

    The thing that is so reassuring to me is that we belong to a church that has true Priesthood power that administers the ordinances of the Gospel, which ordinances contain covenants, which covenants contain promises, which promises enable us to make the sacrifices necessary to obtain.

    These glorious things transcend human weakness and error, and even though one might possibly suffer at the hands of others in this same Church, noone can take away or diminish the glorious blessings it offers from one who will continue to seek.

    Brother D.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jared Eastley says:

    I agree, with this reservation: It seems like the further down the line we get in the church administration, the more common we find errors in doctrine and direction.

    I have received testimony after testimony that the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve is absolutely correct in 99% of what it does. The remaining 1% is there to test our faith and loyalty.

    It seems like with those men of the Seventy I have known, the percentage drops a few points. I have known them to say things that certainly do not agree with the scriptures and the position of the apostles. I have no problem with this. We are all allowed to be human and make mistakes. And perfection is only possible according to ones ability to recognize and follow the Spirit. Of course the Seventy are slightly less dependable; but they are certainly dependable enough by a large margin.

    Where I frequently find myself raising my eyebrows is in the wards and stakes. I have never known a bishop or stake president that wasn’t on the whole, very inspired and inspiring; on the other hand, I have never known one that didn’t struggle with doctrine. If they would always teach and administrate on a scriptural foundation, they would be just fine; but too often they don’t; rather, they rely on gut feelings which may or may not be inspired. Inspiration should always be verified with scripture and church policy.

    Of course, in every calling there will be deviations. This is fine, provided one knows one is deviating and has received clear revelation to do so. What is alarming is the frequency of deviation which is obviously oblivious to the fact that it constitutes an irregularity.

    When I see these irregularities, I usually say nothing. Happily, it is not my responsibility to correct any of the church leaders. I attend Church because of my covenant relationship with Jesus Christ, not because the men in His organization are perfect, because they obviously are not.

    What I dread is the time I spend in church leadership. I often wonder how many defects others find in me. And so I hope that others will be as charitable and patient with me as I try to be with them.

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