Gun Shy

Pearl, I understand your feeling gun shy. That’s the way I feel every time I go under anesthesia – I really, really don’t want to. The outcome is always unpleasant. I have never submitted to anesthesia because I wanted to wake up with a new scar and months to years of recovery. Every time I did it, it was because I had no choice. If I wanted to live, this was the only way.

I Un-Blogged about this in “Let Go and Let God” last November.

The only difference between having these trials – which we all will – is that when they come, when we surrender, when we let go and let God, we enter the domain of the divine.

I do NOT believe our trials will increase, or that we will experience or suffer more than is common to man. It is my experience and my faith that through these very elevated spiritual acts of consecration and surrender that we turn the common clay of human experience into spiritual gold and eternal glory.

Paul the Apostle, who knew and gave so much for Christ, said:

13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

The Greek word for “temptation” used above can also be translated to mean “test” or “trial”, and “tempted” is footnoted in the LDS scriptures as meaning “seized upon” and references the story of Job.

Let us happily pay the price, and not fear.

Brother John

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

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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12 Responses to Gun Shy

  1. Toni says:

    Pearl, just now I read this in Pg 13 of the download called Seek the Face of the Lord: “Disciples contemplating whether to seek this blessing must eventually cross this bridge, and fear may be the keeper of the toll booth, and the coin required may appear far too dear to contemplate – especially if the whole journey is eternally optional.

    “It may also be that anyone truly contemplating this journey should take off their jacket, sit back down and relax. In my opinion, this is not a decision one can actually make, but one that was forged in the spiritual genetics that followed us into this world. It seems to me that if one must contemplate, either the timing is wrong, or the journey is wrong. When the timing is right, the journey will be right, and the spiritual power will arise, the cost will seem trivial, and the end goal more desirable than breath.”

    All of a sudden it made sense, and fear left me. I thought of you, and hoped sharing this would help you as well.


  2. Pearl says:

    Thanks, everyone, for the comments. I have not felt the brotherhood and sisterhood before that I feel from this website… just wonderful. Great things to ponder and a blessing to know there are unseen saints out there treading where I too, wish to be.


  3. judy says:

    This is the wrong place, I know, but is there any update on the fireside in Boise for the 21st?


  4. darrell brashear says:

    Dear Pearl, I know exactly what you mean by feeling the fear. I wanted to share a few things with you that have brought me a lot of comfort. The first is a scripture in Isaiah. I like to insert my name when the Lord makes promises in the scriptures because I know that He wants those things for me just as He did for those to whom He made the promises to anciently. So in this scripture I’m going to put your name in brackets.

    “But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O [Pearl], and he that formed thee, O [Pearl], Fear not; for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire , thou shalt not be burned; niether shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour…” (Isaiah 43:1-3)

    I also wanted to quote the words of hymn. Think of it as though the Lord is speaking directly to you because in reality He is; He’s speaking to you and I and to everyone who desires to come unto Him even though they may be fearful.

    1. How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord,
    Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
    What more can he say than to you he hath said,
    Who unto the Savior, who unto the Savior,
    Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?

    2. In ev’ry condition—in sickness, in health,
    In poverty’s vale or abounding in wealth,
    At home or abroad, on the land or the sea—
    As thy days may demand, as thy days may demand,
    As thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be.

    3. Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
    For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
    I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
    Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
    Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

    4. When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
    The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o’erflow,
    For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
    And sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee,
    And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

    5. When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
    My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
    The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
    Thy dross to consume, thy dross to consume,
    Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

    6. E’en down to old age, all my people shall prove
    My sov’reign, eternal, unchangeable love;
    And then, when gray hair shall their temples adorn,
    Like lambs shall they still, like lambs shall they still,
    Like lambs shall they still in my bosom be borne.

    7. The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
    I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
    That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
    I’ll never, no never, I’ll never, no never,
    I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!

    Lastly, ” And now… [my daughter, Pearl], I would that ye should remember , that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day”. (Alma 38:5)

    God bless you.


  5. Toni says:

    Pearl, I should have pointed out that this comment is the one that describes my feelings exactly:

    “If I analyze my thoughts further, it’s as if I’m “negotiating” with Satan. If I don’t give it my all, maybe Satan will let me be. He won’t see me as such a big threat to his kingdom.”

    I thought I was the only one who felt that way.


  6. Toni says:

    Pearl, that is exactly how I have felt. (How could I possibly go through more hell than I already have? Yet, it seems that that is what is supposed to happen. I can’t deal with what I have, let alone more.) I appreciate your comment on the other post, that generated this post (as well as your comments on this post).

    Brother John, thank you for your posts. I have come here a couple of times before, and found your words soul-touching and strengthening.


  7. Pearl says:

    Okay, you made me laugh. At least we can look back on things and laugh, eh? “Laugh or cry” as my mom says. 🙂

    *Man walks in house and sees wife reading Holocaust memoir.*
    “Bad day, hon?”
    “How’d you know?”

    LOL. Good laughs at night makes for a better sleep.


  8. Pearl says:

    Stepping stones into eternity… that’s great. And turning our loss to gain… what great ideas.

    There was a time after my divorce where only Holocaust memoirs and the book of Job gave me any comfort. God bless those who’ve gone before us and have kept the faith through heavy trials!

    Thanks again.


  9. Pearl says:

    Yes, you are right.

    If I analyze my thoughts further, it’s as if I’m “negotiating” with Satan. If I don’t give it my all, maybe Satan will let me be. He won’t see me as such a big threat to his kingdom. And yes, when it’s all out there in writing it’s easy to see the futility or deception in that line of thinking.

    “…and thus we see that the devil will not support his children at the last day, but doth speedily drag them down to hell.” -Alma 30:60

    I guess I’ve always held the belief that my trials will increase, the more serious I serve Him will all my heart, might, mind and strength. I think of Joseph Smith’s words:

    “And now, beloved brethren, we say unto you, that inasmuch as God hath said that He would have a tried people, that He would purge them as gold, now we think that this time He has chosen His own crucible, wherein we have been tried; and we think if we get through with any degree of safety, and shall have kept the faith, that it will be a sign to this generation, altogether sufficient to leave them without excuse; and we think also it will be a trial of our faith equal to that of Abraham, and that the ancients will not have whereof to boast over us in the day of judgment, as being called to pass through heavier afflictions; that we may hold an even weight in the balance with them…” (Section Three, 1838-39, pg. 135)

    Trials, to me, are the big ones. Divorce. Losing children in death. Losing a child to kidnapping, never knowing what becomes of them. I think your cancer sounds like a big one.

    But this is what I want. These are the people I want to spend eternity with. So this is the path I will take. I’m trying to strengthen my mind to do it. I know this is what I want, but I am weak.

    Thank you, Bro. John.


    • John Pontius says:

      Dear Pearl,

      You are right on. It takes time, and experience with good and bad. Be patient with yourself and banish fear. Our lives will unfold how they will, choosing righteousness focusses our loss into gain. Otherwise it is just loss. Millions of children have died, and millions have divorced. Few people have the tools and the spiritual altitude to turn those inevitable trials into stepping stones into eternity.



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