We Talk of Christ


As I have grown in my adoration of Jesus Christ, my language has changed from wonder to worship. I don’t refer to Christ any more as my “Elder Brother” because it so magnificently understates our relationship. He is my God, my Salvation, and the lover and exalter of my soul. I depend upon Him for every part of my life and my hope of exaltation.

Like Darrell, I have wondered why in the LDS culture we speak so little of the reverential and worshipful language of Christ. It came to me one day that the reason is simple – we are in post Nauvoo stress disorder. When our former brethren in the cause of Christ were thrown out of Nauvoo, in that dark time they were killed, raped and beat and driven from their homes by evil people shouting authority from Christ.

At some point, our former latter-day fathers decided to never be like them, and even while believing in Christ and teaching of Christ, they eliminated the language of Christ because it had wounded their ears and hearts and loved ones long ago. I am also pretty sure this is why we don’t have stained glass windows and crosses on and in our buildings, not because they are bad, but to not be like “them”.

As I have said many times, I believe there is a growing and powerful revival taking place in the latter-day arena. Doctrine which has been known but obscure for 175 years is now commonplace, and the language of Christ is being spoken again.

When I was in the Stake Presidency in my previous stake, I constantly pressed to make every Stake meeting and event Christ-centered. It made a difference. While in the Bishopric, I always assigned Sacrament Meeting talks to be about Christ, and urged people on Fast day to testify of Christ. It really does make a difference.

In our new Utah ward, almost every fast and testimony speaker speaks of their adoration of Christ. Little kids stand up and say first, “I love Jesus Christ,” and then on with their little testimonies of family and Joseph Smith and other things. The reason this is so is because the leadership of this ward speak the adoring words of Christ, and the leaders of the Stake speak this way. The children’s words mirror what they see.

So, here is a gift we of the Un-Blog possess, and one we can share. Whenever you talk, teach or testify – have courage and speak the words of Christ. Adore him openly, and thank Heavenly Father for the gift of His son every time you testify. Don’t push the envelope beyond where the Spirit leads you. Just say a little more than others who testify.

This is a powerful thing, because others will feel the Holy Spirit warm their souls, and they will open their mouths in their time. We can begin to do as Nephi taught us about 2600 years ago.

“We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we prophecy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” (2 Nephi 25:26)

What say you?

Brother John

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

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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10 Responses to We Talk of Christ

  1. Ken h says:

    I was my oldest son’s primary teacher for age 11 year olds. I have been given a talent for writing lyrics. I wrote the following for him and the other boys to sing in primary. I had the music composed by a ward member.

    “I Know That My Savior Lives”

    I know that my Savior lives
    I feel the love that He gives
    When I count my blessings from above
    The Spirit tells me that I am loved

    I want to be like the Savior
    Take all that He is and fill my life
    By knowing God’s will and doing what’s right Chorus
    When I choose to obey His will
    I can feel the Spirit whisper, “Peace, be still”

    I know Jesus never sinned
    I must try to be like Him
    Learning to forgive along the way
    Forever with Him I’ll be someday

    Chorus

    With my fam-ly helping me
    We will have eternally
    The blessings of joy and happiness
    Because we loved Him in righteousness

    Chorus

    Copyright © 2002

    In our ward we have been asked for the invocation and benediction prayers in sacrament meeting to thank God for Jesus’ sacrifice and atonement for us all.
    The more we personally speak of our Savior as you stated John, then hopefully others will follow our lead and those days of praising Jesus as by them of old we will all draw nearer to Him who seeks to save us all.

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  2. darrell brashear says:

    Dear Brother John,
    I have noticed a change in direction in this unblog and I know it is an inspired one. A few weeks ago you said that the unblog would continue but it would about all of us sharing with each other our experiences along with you sharing yours. Since that time I have noticed that you have asked us our thoughts and feelings on different subjects as well as sharing your own, and I know that this is pleasing to our Father in Heaven.

    I love reading about your experiences and the experiences of many others who had shared them on this unblog. I also love sharing my experiences when I feel moved to do so, and so at this time I would like to share my experience with Christ.

    I have mentioned before that this past two years has been the most spiritually tragic years of my life: I went through a divorce and had lost everything. I fell inactive from the Church. I felt totally alone with no one to turn to. Day after day I was filled with hopelessness and despair, leaving me empty and numb.

    I turned to Christ with all of the strength I had, which wasn’t much, and I discovered that He was with me even in the hell I was in. I have come to discover that not only does He live, but He also knows and loves me and has the power to heal my wounds, as I have witnessed Him doing in my life.

    I have discovered the feelings of indescribable love and mercy, of kindness and constancy. I cant say even a part of what I feel. Spiritual miracles have become commonplace over the past few months. I am hearing His voice more and more every day giving me comfort and guidance, giving me hope and assurance, teaching me the mysteries of my life and filling me with His love.

    He has stripped me of most of the pride I used to have and has placed within my heart a great love for people and a great desire to serve them and ease thier burdens. His love and goodness is becoming more desirable to me than anything the world has to offer and I am yearning to know Him more and more.

    It is quite an experience to go from feeling unclean, empty, and alone to feeling hope and joy, peace and love….to feel clean and to feel my heart enlarged beyond anything it has ever felt. The amazing thing thing is that I haven’t done anything to earn this miracle He has given me. The only thing I have done is turn my mind and heart back to Him, but these things are the result of His love and mercy.

    He lives and loves us! He lives for you and for me. He lives for us all….This I’m coming to know. Brother D.

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  3. Amy Weston says:

    Dear Brother John,
    I way just laying here in my bed this morning as I awoke and was thinking of my Savior. I was thinking of times He has answered my prayers, times He has delivered me from temptation, times He through His spirit has taught me sweet and precious truths, and times I feel so close to Him I can almost touch Him. Then I thought my Savior loves me so much, oh how I want to love Him back.

    The Spirit then whispered for me to check the blog this morning and here I find your post on testifying of Christ. So here I am and here I testify The Savior loves us and He lives for us. I am thankful for Him and to Him for all that I have, all that I am, and all that will be.

    Thank you Brother John for giving us the opportunity to testify of Christ today.
    Sister Amy

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  4. Chris says:

    Thank you for reminding us of the focus of our journey. We live to become like Him, we rely on Him to become like Him and our primary tool in that process comes from Him.

    I have a witness that Jesus is the Christ. I love Him and love you, John, for your service to Him through your service to us in teaching us what you can. I long for the day when we all stand together as Friends after preparing a people for His Second Coming.

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  5. James says:

    Bro.John, I appreciate your sentiments here, I agree completely. First, as far as the ‘Elder Brother’ title, it has never resonated with me and I’ve never adopted it. To me its a vast oversimplification and doesn’t reflect how I feel or how I perceive the prophets’ feelings in the scriptures.

    The other chord you struck with me is the seeming lack of worshipful expressions and true testimony of Christ in the church culture. For the last few years I’ve been really attuned to the fact that just about everywhere in the region I live where I’ve attended F&T meetings, they hold thankimony meetings with probably less than 10% actually bearing testimony of the Savior. Too often He is not mentioned at all. Gratitude is certainly a virtue but there is a difference that is very noticeable when someone is ‘thankful’ for Jesus rather than to declare they ‘know’ Him. There is a certain joy and confidence in the faces of those who truly testify of Him. I’m certainly thankful for the Lord Jesus Christ, and have received sublime comfort through His spirit in times of trial and by that and many other evidences I know that He lives. Because of that and my observations at church I’ve been doing exactly what you suggested, to openly speak worshipfully of Christ, testify that He lives and of His great love and invitation to all to come unto Him. Nothing too long, just the simple truth along with what else I know concerning the Restoration. I have noticed some fruit from that effort (although I wouldn’t call it ‘effort’ because it seems more natural than not). I would love to see it blossom into the kind of communication you are describing in your Stake. Thank you for helping to confirm the feelings I’ve been having. Your words give me encouragement.

    James

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  6. Denise says:

    I teach Gospel Doctrine. I testify of Christ continually but will be more diligent in making sure EVERY lesson includes rejoicing in Christ. Thank you.

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  7. Sharon Cox says:

    Brother John, I am so glad that you shared your feelings about this because I have felt the same way for a long time. I admire the way evangelicals worship Christ and wish I could use such expressive language in church sometimes. You are right, I think we have gone a bit out of balance.

    To give an example, In my former LDS life, I was given to much laughter and gaiety, but after converting to the church and learning that too much laughter is not good, I suppressed my tendency to laugh until I came to a point where I did not laugh at all. I had thought that this was the way Latter Day Saint Christians should behave because most members were like that – they smiled, but rarely did their teeth show and they mostly looked somber. Years later, I started to feel like there was no joy in me, and that’s when the Spirit revealed that it was because I needed to bring laughter back into my life to balance the soberness. I did, and my joy returned.

    I accept your challenge and will no longer “quench the Spirit” but will express worshipful praise and love of my Lord and Savior in church or wherever and whenever the Spirit directs.

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  8. Elizabeth Jenson says:

    I say yay!

    I am the Primary music leader and I enjoy bearing testimony when we end our singing.

    The past decade I have only born my testimony in Sacrament meeting every few years or every couple years when giving a talk. As my spiritual progression has become more rapid recently, I have felt the spirit urge me to bear testimony of Jesus Christ these past 2 fast Sundays. In fact, my complete love and adoration for Him could hardly hold me back!

    I usually inwardly complain that there is hardly any mention of Christ in the testimonies we hear month after month. I lament how everyone seems to only tell a presonal/vacation story and then express their undying love for their wife (which makes me feel very awkward). I rationalize that I can’t go up there myself because I have 5 young children who will cry if I stand up.

    However, as the spirit prompted me, I stood and bore short, concise testimonies of the divinity of Jesus Christ at the opening of the meeting these past two months, and then sat down. I was amazed to see others rise and go up and do the same! It felt miraculous to see people, some whom I haven’t seen up there before and some who are usually long-winded, bear a powerful, concise tesimony of our Savior without much personal interruption! I know that the spirit used me to get the ball rolling in those two instances.

    I like what you said about children doing what they see their leaders do. I learned that I shouldn’t have been complaining and lamenting when I wasn’t willing to hold up my light to be an example first.

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  9. CCM says:

    I’m so greatful for the un-blog. My life has become very difficult. I love coming and reading here because some days, it’s the only place I can feel the spirit. There are so many things I don’t know and so many ways my faith has become weak. One of the only things I “know” is that somehow everything has to go through the Savior. He is right in the middle like the hub of a wagon wheel or the narrowed middle of an hourglass. There is no way to get to eternity without going through him.

    After reading today’s post I guess if I’m only going to “know” one thing, that Christ is the only way, I’m not completely missing out.

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