Reflections


I had an interesting email exchange this week with a brother who wrote to tell me that I was wrong in allowing sacred experiences to be published. He argued several different ways that “those who know, keep quiet, and those who don’t know, teach.” He suggested I was like the Pharisees who were praying to be seen of men.

Two things came out of that exchange for me. One is that I looked carefully inward to see if there was any truth in how he was judging me. Being human still, I do enjoy the Un-Blog, and interacting with people like you. But, in my core self, I do not self-promote. I started life as a shy, insecure and lonely person, and found out who I really was on my mission, when I learned that as I spoke with the Spirit, people were blessed, and I felt Father’s love for me. I learned who I was when I realized that God actually loved me, could use me for his work, and that he valued me. It was a great revelation. In His eyes, I had value. His love was motivation enough to be the very best missionary I could be. I wanted to please Him, and to remain within the sunshine of His approbation.

That desire still fires my boiler. I have mentioned this before, but there are many new readers, so forgive me for retelling this story.

I started the Un-Blog as a journal of my spiritual journey and blessings for me to give to my children. My doctor had given me a few months to live, and I didn’t want to take these precious things into my grave. I wanted them before my children, so they could read my testimony all their lives. After I had written a few of these accounts, the  Spirit plainly told me to put them on the internet where they would bless others. I asked my son, Matt, how the best way to do this was, and he helped me set up this blog. As I was searching for a name, the Spirit said I was not blogging, I was Un-Blogging my soul. The name struck me as funny, and appropriate, so I accepted it with gratitude.

I was amazed when the first person read it, then a dozen – and I thought that was good, that was more than enough. The Lord had let my words bless a dozen people, and I was content. I thought that was as far as it could go. Now there are thousands of readers, and over 350 Un-Blog entries. — And I’m still alive — which things I never supposed.

At the end of our email exchange. I felt love and patience for this brother as I responded to his dim assessment of my motives. At the end, I felt his good will emerge, and I felt no anger, I think, because I felt no truth in his words – and for that discovery I really am grateful. I’m glad we had that exchange.

Thank you for reading  my words and understanding the spirit in which I offer them. Thank you for being my friends, and brothers and sisters in Christ,

Brother John

 

 

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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33 Responses to Reflections

  1. heansweredme says:

    Bro. John. You know that for a long time in your life, this man was right. You kept sacred things to yourself as directed by the holy spirit. However we are in the latter days when all things will be revealed from the rooftops. Who are you to quell the voice of the spirit?

    You have been a profound force for good in my life, and it is so easy to feel the spirit in which you convey your messages.

    Like

  2. darrell brashear says:

    That’s one thing anyone who knows you cannot accuse you of….being self-promoting. The words you have shared along with others on here has made me realize to an even greater degree how much I love my Father in heaven and my Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing can do that and be from the wrong source.

    Thanks brother John, and thank all of you fellow un-bloggers. Your words have touched my life.
    Brother D.

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  3. ken h says:

    Well John,
    I have always believed in the principle,”As the Holy Spirit prompts, so do, so say and thus so live.” Therefore, when the Holy Spirit blesses each of us and prompts us to share any experience then it is from God. We are commanded to stand as witnesses of Christ always, under all circumstances and at all times. Mostly, we do this as we live as the Holy Spirit and the Light of Christ prompts each of us to do so. But there are many times when it is the will of our Heavenly Father that we are to open our mouths and testify of what the Holy Spirit has revealed and blessed us with personally. I feel that the blogs that you have be inspired to share with us John are from that heavenly source for I have received a witness from the Holy Ghost which each one that I have read. Many of the comments are equally insiring and thus from the same heavenly source. Thank you John and the many others who have be so willing to share and edify my soul with such witnesses from heaven.

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  4. Steve Evans says:

    Bro John,
    Don’t let one who makes a comment like “those who know, keep quiet, and those who don’t know, teach” influence your sweet spirit. Remember that in our Church, unless you “have” the spirit you “shall not teach”. It is only through the spirit the soul is edified. We are here to learn “line upon line” until we come to a full understanding and filled with the Spirit.
    I look forward to your UnBlog words of wisdom. There are days that it is the one thing that keeps me going.
    I love you, my Brother and you sweet understanding of the Gospel.
    You make more of a difference than you will ever know. Besides that there are days that we feel lost and without hope. It is only by reading these Words of Inspiration that continue to provide the “hope” in Christ.
    Bless you in your efforts my brother!

    Like

  5. John H. Schoppe says:

    I agree with your position, Brother John, for many reasons. Most importantly is that the spiritually blind will not see, and the deaf will not hear your words, nor is it likely they would even bother to read them. Your books, and writings have been of immense value in my life. Please do not stop sharing. The Internet is such a blessing in the Latter Days. Of course, we do not cast our pearls before the swine, but I haven’t seen any “swine” here yet. Have you? Since the decline of Sunstone and other outlets for LDS discourse it has been more difficult to have such valuable discussions. Thank you for sharing. Keep it up, please.

    Like

  6. Diane says:

    I am one who believes that special experiences should be shared to enhance and strengthen testimonies. In the earlier days of the church such experiences were shared and valued – without reservation and I liked that. I believe that experiences that are given to an individual are sincerely treasured and ought to be shared as a testimony to others. I am all ears, heart and mind…I love my Heavenly Father and I am grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ. I believe that Joseph Smith was the prophet of the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ.
    I believe that when we are given enlightenment beyond that it is a glorious gift, much like our testimonies, and should be shared to help others to understand who they are.

    Like

  7. jimmy tetuanui says:

    My wife and I were just talking 2 days ago about how our lives have ‘dramatically’ changed since last year, time when I read your books. I am reminded of the scriptures that say whichever inspires people to believe in Christ, to serve him and to do good comes from God. Your books and blog entries have literally inspired me to better serve the Lord and others. Most importantly, your writings and teachings have and are still inspiring me to become a better disciple of Christ. Judging from these facts and speaking for myself at least, I have no doubt that you have truly been inspired by the Lord in all that you have and are still doing. You are our modern day ‘Moroni, Mormon, Nephi and Alma’ just to name a few examples. Thank you for your teachings and experiences.

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  8. Kim says:

    I’ve always been grateful for your refusal to spin-doctor things. They are what they are. If you didn’t enjoy this, if it wasn’t at least a little bit fun, something would be so wrong. I find the older I get, the more I have to remember how to have fun, and I also become persuaded more and more that Christ must also appreciate fun.

    People are fun. Loving is fun. Sharing is fun. Helping is fun. Laughing is fun.

    We’ll keep our end of the deal if you keep yours: you keep sending along your sweet and joyous messages, and we’ll keep on enjoying them.

    Like

  9. Elizabeth says:

    You haven’t said anything that’s not in the scriptures which are full of people who explain and reveal their deep spiritual experiences from being born again to receiving the Second Comforter — in great detail. How come it’s not okay for us to talk with each other about such things? I just can’t figure out how come the spirit leads me to and confirms truth so easily, yet other like-minded brothers and sisters can not even tolerate the mention of such things. Knowledge that is second nature to me is shunned by many who claim the same faith as me. I remain baffled constantly. Help with judgment is my daily prayer so I may love and respect those who reject the things I hold dear. I have been immensely blessed by you as well, Brother John.

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  10. loralcl says:

    Thank you for sharing. I am a convert to the church since my late teens (I am currently 57 and proud of it) under difficult circumstances….could not wait to serve a mission and wondered why everyone else wasn’t jumping at the opportunity…..have lived most of my life in the “mission field” and have found living in Idaho a very different experience. Like you, I love to engage in gospel discussions, to feel the Spirit testify to truthfulness in the process, to feel my spiritual bucket fill. I am single and so study alone with my hectic schedule. Sometimes engaging in meaningful conversations around gospel topics, faith-promoting experiences, and delving into the vast and wonderful “whys” and how’s of the gosple is very refreshing and enpowering. I work in an office that is very supportive of its employees and gives us a fair amount of lattitude during the day. Most of us are very staunch LDS and frequently end up discussing politics, current events, the state of our nation, etc, through the lens of eternal truths- I love it. Thank you for this website.

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  11. Gwen says:

    Dear Brother John, After I read this post, I was thinking of all of the ways that your books and your blog have brought me closer to Christ. I have read all of your books, including the fiction ones and the ones on-line. In all of these, I have never felt that you were seeking glory in any way. Just keep on un-blogging please. Also, so many of us are looking forward to the book you are writing with Spencer to be published. Thank you so very much for all that you have written. Your books & blog point the way, ever so plainly,to the path into Christ’s Presence. I am so thankful that you were obedient to the voice of the Spirit in publishing what you were prompted to.

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  12. Wendy says:

    I’m pretty skeptical about people like you, for reasons I won’t bore you with but that include excommunications, bankruptcies, and obvious hallucinatory experiences by people professing revelation, some of whom I once deeply trusted. I’ve never met you, but after tentatively and skeptically reading your books and blogs over recent months I can say that I’ve learned things from the spirit that have been enormously helpful and that are changing the way I do life. I might not concur with every detail of how you have come to understand the scriptures, but I can’t argue with your overriding premise and conclusion: absolute obedience to the light of Christ within us is what unlocks the gifts of the Spirit the scriptures promise. As obvious as this seems, the way you have discussed this principle has allowed me to connect the dots in ways I never have before. I am enormously grateful for what you’ve been able to share, and look forward to more. Thank you for your witness and your faith.

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    • John Pontius says:

      Dear Wendy,

      I like your balance. I’m skeptical of many things and many people too, but when the Holy Spirit is present, then I embrace. This is a healthy thing I think. Thanks for sharing it with us. I’ve met people who want so badly to have revelation and to find brighter Light, that they let themselves be convinced by wrong ideas (like polygamy) and obey voices that didn’t originate with Christ. Your way is better. Let’s call it inspired skeptecism.

      JMP

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  13. Gina says:

    SO WHAT ARE THE SCRIPTURES FOR!! THOSE ARE SPIRITUAL THINGS THAT HAPPEND THAT HELP US IN THIS DAY AND THEY GOT PUBLISHED!!! OUR LIVES ARE TO BE SHARED, WE LEARN FROM THOSE THAT HAVE HAD SPIRITUAL EXSPERIENCES, WE HAVE THOSE EXSPERIENCES FOR A REASON SOME ARE PERSONAL AND SHOULD BE ASKED IF THEY NEED TO BE SHARED THAT WE HAVE TO DISCERN, OUR TESTIMONIES ARE STRENGTHEND FROM THEM, MINE HAS BEEN FROM WHAT YOU SHARE, WE ARE TO DISCERN FOR OURSELVES WHAT BE TRUE OR NOT THAT IS HOW WE GROW. THIS IS HOW WE END UP DOUBTING OURSELVES BECAUSE OF WHAT OTHERS THINK, AND THEN WE QUESTION OURSELVES. OH KEEP BELIEVING JOHN IN THE GOOD YOU ARE DOING, WE ARE BEING THROWN ABOUT EVERYDAY OF THIS WORLD AND ALL THE DECIEVING GOING ON, BRING ON THE REAL! I WILL TAKE ANY DAY SPIRITUAL EXSPERIENCES OVER ALL THESE BAD VOICES! I NEED THEM AND WE NEED THEM. YOU DONT HAVE TO EXPLAIN TO HIM OR ANYONE IT IS ONLY HIS THOUGHT, TELL THE STORY NOT FROM YOUR EMOTIONS BUT FROM THE SPIRIT WHICH GUIDES YOU, THE WHISPER IS IN YOUR HEART, NOT HIS. SOUND YOUR TRUMPET DEAR JOHN!! GINA~

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  14. S in ID says:

    Those of us who know John intimately would never describe him as one who seeks the accolades of the world, in fact it is quite the opposite. His nature is very quiet and he does not seek attention. I have known him since he started writing FTL and he wants nothing more than to glorify God and His beloved Son.
    I am glad John first look inward to see if there was any truth in the statement. It would be wise for all us when accused to first look inward and see if there is a grain of truth to the charges. We also need to be loving to the person who accused us and truly pray for them.
    I happen to be a Bishop at this time in my life and I see too many people complaining about someone or something where they should instead be praying to help there fellow man. John is a great friend and agreat teacher and is pure in his motives. Love ya Bruder

    Like

  15. Jared says:

    Brother John,

    Thank you for this post. When I first read it I found myself somewhat shocked and a little frustrated. I was immediately reminded of the parable the savior gave to us of the talents. I can’t imagine the implications of what would have happened to myself or others who have read your previous works or the unblog if you would had taken your talent of writing/spiritual insight/etc, buried it in the ground after discovering it. I have gained so much from your words. The spirit has shared so much with me because of your work and I strive to share these things (spirit willing) with those I come in contact with daily. True there are some things that should not be shared in the open but the spirit will dictate those things and if that spirit is obeyed I do not see the problem. John thank you for your willingness in continuing to bring light and truth to the unblog family. We are eternally grateful for your love and sacrifice.

    Like

  16. Marty Judd says:

    Brother John,

    When my wife and I met you recently at the St George fireside, her comment was delight at how meek you were. To say the least, she was pleasantly surprised. My son, who met you at a fireside in Utah Valley and similarly gifted has the same opinion of you. They are both very intuitive and are rarely wrong in personal assesments. I am not surprised when someone expresses a dissenting view, but to me it is a commentary on themselves rather than on you.

    I have been reading your books and studying references you have proposed for about 5 years now. I am very grateful for what you share. It has none other effect than to lift, enlighten and help confirm things that I could otherwise only weakly wish were truly possible. And then, grow into a faith strong enough to take them to Lord for confirmation of the spirit. The effect has been to enrich my study, strengthen my prayers and encourage us onward.

    Thank you again,

    Marty

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  17. Jason says:

    He certainly has plenty of quotes that he can interpret for his cause. From my side though I know I feel a powerful Spirit everytime I read the blog, and that’s what keeps me coming back. Thanks for all that you do despite the opposition.

    Jason

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  18. TDG says:

    John, I am very, very grateful for the sacred things that you have shared in your books and here on the unblog. I’m sure these things have blessed the lives of others in the same way, and to the same extent that they have blessed mine.

    Luke 11:33 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.

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  19. Dan L. Hobbs says:

    Jon,

    Just wanted you to know Jon that I very much appreciate your exchanges and look forward to reading you commentary and feeling the strength that comes from hearing about your experiences and words of wisdom. The scriptures are repleat with people who have taken the journey to seek the face of the Lord. The course of God is one eternal round. If it can happen to someone else then it can happen to me. That’s what faith is all about and hope for a brighter day. You have blessed my life in a way that I will be always grateful. I have often wondered why we read about such instances in the scriptures and why we don’t hear much about them today. I know that sacred events should be kept sacred (you have done this well by not divulging the particulars); however, the spirit that you have and the testimony and the method (this unblog) you share, is faith promoting. It gives me great hope. Your message comes via inspiration. I have felt the Holy Ghost witness to me as I have read your words. I pray that someday I can have the “image of HIS countenance” in my face and being. I continue to seek Him as you have done and have experienced great hope in my heart by knowing individuals like you. The church is true, the work is true, we should all be seeking to become members of the “Church of the Firstborn”; something I think many have forgotten or do not know.

    Thanks for the your words of wisdom and encouragement. You have done nothing wrong. You have made it clear that what happened anciently CAN happen and should be happening to us as members of His church TODAY. I am most grateful to have been reminded of that principle.

    Thanks for everything. I’ve been reading, but not commenting for over a year. The comments from this brother seem unwarranted.

    I love you good brother.

    Like

  20. KC says:

    Brother John, I thank you for sharing your tender words. Your words have greatly blessed me. When I read your blog there is always an abundance of the sweet Holy Spirit. There have been more than one occasion when I have been sad or feeling frustrated, that I have read your words and they have been comforting and have brought peace to my soul.

    We are all brothers and sisters in our journey here on earth, When we share our trials, and our joys with others of the same mind, we help to buoy each other up. When we share our Testimonies with others we are baring witness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Where would we be if Nephi and others did not write and share their testimonies. When we are told to do so, we are being obedient. Your blog has been a blessing to me. Thank you again, KC

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  21. Mike says:

    I am glad guys like Joseph Smith, Lehi, Nephi, Jacob, Enos, Moroni, Mormon, Nephi son of Helaman, Paul, numerous biblical examples, Christ Himself in His days on earth… did not think to keep quiet about all their many exeperiences and their great connection with heaven. Look at the amazing use of priesthood power and blessings in those scriptures! They sure help me to see just how great people can be when they have the Lord on their side! We are in a much better situation today for having ALL the many testimonies and witnesses of how heaven can and does interact with mankind. I think it is absolutely fabulous that lay members are “going therein”. This is additional testimony to me that if others are connecting, so can any of us who build a personal relationship with heaven. As long as these things are being shared to bring others to the Godhead, let your light so shine brothers and sisters! How can we rid the darkness and unbelief around us, if we bottle up the light God wants to be set on a hill? Only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

    Maybe we just fear, because of the way organized religions and governments have excercised priestcraft to obtain central power and gain at the expense of others. Or some fear that only one man (or 15) in our religion should only have and/or share these things, as if God is a respector of persons? God is no respector. If the Lord is actually connecting with His friends on earth, and tells them to open their mouth to bless the lives of others, others who are searching for answers, we should do what the Lord or the HG says, fearing not what men will say or do.

    The organized priesthood in Christ’s days were upset as well that Christ was connecting with the Father, without going through them… I mean they had priests with some priesthood, ordinances, ownership of the temple, built many synogogues, the “keys of Moses” some how passed on man to man over the ages, they followed the Torah, they were “God’s chosen people”, at least they thought. The Lord then teaches that the world will hate you when you follow Him. Even if your family and religious friends are rejecting you, you may be following the Lord’s path. He was rejected too by His own. Did not the Lord state, “Come Follow Me?”. Can those who connect with heaven personally, expect not to experience the same? You brother John and many others proclaiming great truths and experiences to bless the lives of others, are in the right way, as you already know. You and other’s testimonies and experiences shed great light on the path we need to take to connect with our Lord and receive of His promises. Others who do not yet “know”, they just misunderstand for now. They’ll have a change of heart when they too “know”. We must still love and tolerate them, even those who mis-judge or despitefully use or despise. Those in the know, have already been tested and humbled by the Lord to be able to handle and tolerate these complaints well. Carry on brother John, carry on.

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  22. Donald says:

    John, I’ve appreciated your un-blog. They have blessed my life. I’ve also appreciated your books. They’ve also blessed my life. Thank you.

    I feel we don’t share our sacred experiences with each other enough. I suppose that must be one of the consequences of living in a telestial world.

    It is my understanding that in Enoch’s Zion and Melchizedek’s Zion, they had all things in common… and were of one heart. I sometimes have to stop and think about what that means.

    -next year in new Jerusalem!

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  23. Angie T says:

    I am new to your Unblog site and I must say, I am HOOKED! I have been so spiritually fed and feel the Spirit as I read, learn and absorb your inspired message.

    My heart hurts for this brother who wrote “those who know, keep quiet, and those who don’t know, teach.” As we have learned, at a very young age, we are to follow the Savior’s example. So I ask, Did the Savior keep quiet? Did He teach because He knew not?
    Thank you so much brother John for truly being an example, a man after the Savior’s heart. Keep the your inspired messages coming, ever so loud, because we want to listen.

    My our Lord bless and keep you and your family in His tender loving care.

    Angie T

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  24. Sharon Cox says:

    Oh Brother John, I can imagine how difficult it must have been for you to engage in such a conversation. I am so very sorry that you had to endure that. If I had the opportunity to speak with this gentleman, I would tell him how long and hard I searched the internet (many years in fact), looking for a site such as this one where I could associate with like-minded souls who love the Lord, love His restored gospel, and deeply desired to live it at a higher standard.

    I am convinced that your starting this Unblog, was inspired of the Lord in answer to my prayers and the prayers of all of us here.

    Thank you Brother John!

    Like

  25. Pearl says:

    I’m amazed how prevalent that attitude of “those who know, don’t talk” is lately. “Lately”? I don’t know… I don’t ever recall hearing that philosophy growing up in the Pacific Northwest. It’s just lately, maybe the last few years and mainly from Utah Mormons that I hear it. It seems the more people are gaining wonderful spiritual experiences, the more this counter-doctrine is coming to the forefront. Some people I know dismiss claims as false simply because they have been uttered outloud – what a measuring stick!

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  26. George Boyd says:

    Thank you, your sweetness and sincerity brings a warmth to my bosom and tears to my eyes.

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  27. M.L. Castor says:

    Brother Pontius I appreciate your experiences and willingness to share your insights with us. After attending one of your firesides here in Boise I was changed. You had taught eternal truths and principles that my mortal body and mind had forgotten. But once those words rolled out of your mouth my eternal spirit conveyed to me the truthfulness of what you were saying, and that I had been taught and prepared with these principles before I came here. I have since had many wonderful experiences. I have a question though, that I am having a hard time understanding. Actually I am very confused. I would like to discuss this with you in private if you will allow? Thank you!

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