The Journey


Since I’ve had my head and my spirit into Spencer’s book all month, every time I start an Un-Blog that’s what I think of. So, I’m going to share with you one more of my favorites, and then get back to regular Un-Blogging. Thank you for being patient. I know the Un-Blog has felt like the orphan child for a while, but we’re back now.

I know we have all experienced the mortal phenomenon of “When it rains, it pours”. When something dramatic happens in life, many other bad things pile upon us too. We have even named it, Murphy’s Law, which is: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong, and at the worst possible moment.” I used to think whoever Murphy was, he was pretty pessimistic – until I experienced it multiple times in my life.

One of the main themes of Spencer’s book is why this happens. He tells of being in a company that was assigned by the Lord to go from SLC to Missouri. He recounts how they left in trucks loaded with food, horses, guns, medicine – everything they needed. As their journey progressed, things broke down, they ran out of things. They shared things and then had none. They sometimes were attacked, robbed and some of their party were kidnapped. They were attacked by bands of robbers and by troops. Some died during these attacks.

He said they healed people by the priesthood, and raised many from the dead. They were led to recover their lost ones, but there was loss and sorrow and suffering every day. But, each time they suffered a major loss, they became more dependent upon God, and less upon what remained of their supplies.

He told about one brother who was a leader in their camp, but who was a diabetic. He started out with a good supply of his medication, but after a year he had no more, and none could be found. He got sicker and sicker, and priesthood blessings did not heal him until he finally decided that the Lord had commissioned him to go to Zion, and the Lord would therefore be his salvation. He jumped up one day, announced he no longer needed medication, and from that day he was completely  normal. But, he had to decide on whom he trusted, then the miracle happened.

The journey in all took 3-1/2 years. When they finally arrived in Zion they had nothing. All of their vehicles were out of fuel or destroyed. All of their food was gone. They had been robbed of everything, even shoes and clothing except for rags. And, when they finally arrived in Zion, they had a pillar of fire before them, and a pillar of fire behind them, and they wanted for nothing. They were in perfect health, and every need had been, and would forever be, provided for them. He didn’t give them food, he gave them faith to only need tiny amounts. He didn’t give them fuel for their trucks, he changed them so they didn’t need anything on the truck. He didn’t give them guns, he gave them pillars of fire. They didn’t need civilization for anything ever again because now, they had Christ, and their faith had been forged in fire and was now diamond hard.

This is “The Journey” not just to arrive in the city of Zion, but also into a heart worthy of Zion. It is to be stripped of everything we depend upon other than Christ. This process, as painful as it may seem, is the only way to come to Christ and obtain perfect faith that He will provide for our every need, including those things from which life dangles. That’s the reason it took 3-1/2 years, not because of the distance to walk, but because it took that long for them to learn total obedience, and total dependence upon Christ. When they finally learned it, God himself protected, provided, healed and fed them by His constant presence, and then, Zion was just over the next hill.

Brother John

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

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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17 Responses to The Journey

  1. dmarie says:

    Hello John,
    I have been truly enjoying reading the things you’ve shared with us concerning Spencer’s visions of the near future and the trials that will bring us closer to the Lord. At times it seems very scary, and then I try to get myself to think of the rewards that await the faithful and obedient ones. Thank you so much for sharing these things with us. I would like to volunteer my services to you if you need any proof-readers. I would feel it an honor to be of help to you. You don’t need to post this to your un-blog, as I’m not adding anything more, or even equal to the other replies already posted. I’m so glad to read of others who are really seeking to know the Lord and are willing to sacrifice to do it. Sometimes, it seems like we are surrounded by many who don’t see the picture of how much sacrifice is really going to be required for us to truly know the Lord. I know I’m not there yet, but I want so much to become someone the Lord recognizes as having become like He is. Thanks so much for all your wonderful and inspiring posts.
    dmarie

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  2. Craig R. says:

    There is a story I ran across of a migration of Christians from the Ukraine in the 1930’s before the purges. Their story is very much the same as described in Spencer’s story. They were led by the spirit to migrate all the way across Russia to China and then they were led to the United States. They had nothing and were forced to rely on spirit to direct them. These were not LDS, but it is plain to see that they were led by spirit. Here is the Link http://temcat.com/06-HiddenHistory/AMAZING%20TESTIMONY.pdf

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  3. John D says:

    John
    In response to your response to my response!
    I’ve made great progress this last year in learning my new language “the whisperings of the spirit” I have been guided with family matters and with my church calling in ways that have been breathtaking, BUT, when it comes to MYSELF I feel at times I’m deaf to the spirit, where it absolutely flows loud and clear for others! Am I alone on this? And any Ideas?

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    • John Pontius says:

      Yes, that’s pretty much the human condition. Our desires and fears get in our own way. You’re definitely not alone. I think it it is intended to take a lifetime to perfect these lofty spiritual gifts. Just keep walking in the light, and it truly will grow brighter and brighter.

      JMP

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  4. Jared says:

    This is an amazing account. Oddly enough, this is a subject which the Lord has seen fit to bless me with peculiar insight.

    Some years ago, I had a brief vision of the Missouri area in three scenes: past, present, and future; but it was with symbolic detail. I saw that when this company of Saints finally arrives at the site of the New Jerusalem (future), the land is almost completely barren except for pools of water scattered about. I saw these people dressed in white. They were clothed in glory and holiness. They gathered together and used the power of the priesthood to heal and prepare the land.

    This is rather sacred and personal. If you choose not to publish it, I’ll understand.

    Jared

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    • John Pontius says:

      Very interesting. Thanks for sharing that. You will definitely love Spencer’s book when it is finally published. I believe it will validate your experience and add a great deal of detail.

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  5. ken h says:

    This experience reminds me of the Lord commanding his early missionaries to go without purse or scrip. They were not to worry about what to put on or what to eat if they had faith. The greatest struggle for the last day American saints I think is what this story is all about. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Prov. 3:5–6.) With all that we have be given and are able to accomplish on our own yet without truly completely trusting in the Lord in all things we can’t see Zion much less live there. I am amazed at the great faith of the humble saints of the third world who have next to nothing but truly trust the Lord faithfully. These saints that Spencer shared with you truly learned obedience by the things which they suffered. You are correct, John, now is the time to let the Lord purify our hearts and souls for the trials that are coming ahead. Thank you again.

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  6. John D says:

    I’ve been thinking about this very thing the last few weeks, and I find the struggle is coming to the place of KNOWING where my efforts are to be relinquished to the hand of the Lord. I know I must do all I can, then lean on the Lord to make up the difference, but that’s where I struggle, where and when do we do that, without showing lack of faith or on the other hand, be slothful when I should be self reliant.
    The world teaches trusting in the arm of flesh from childhood.
    I think we’re back to learning to listen to the spirit, stripping ourseves of pride and making sure our faith and trust isn’t in “our own” self reliance, but in the Lord. For instance, its great to be educated and gain a degree in the things of the world, but, your heart, faith and trust must be in the knowledge of the Savior and his gospel.
    I guess simply put, our faith and trust had better be in the Lord and not in our awesome food storage, because it could be buried under 10 ft of rubble or stolen, while the Lord will always be there and in whom all things are possible!

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    • John Pontius says:

      Dear John,

      I should point out that this is the first time I’ve written a “Dear John” letter.

      It seems to me that you answered your own question very well. I don’t subscribe to the philosophy that we must do all we can – and THEN lean on the Lord to fill in the blanks. I think this is perhaps “Comfortable Deception #7” (Inside joke if you’ve been following along.)

      The truth is that we must take the Holy Spirit as our guide (which is the voice of Christ) and rely upon Him for EVERYTHING, without ever getting “I” “me” and “my” will, strength and genius involved in plotting the course of our lives. After He gives us a prompting or inspiration – then we apply all of our might mind and strength in following that inspired path, but never the other way around. We never use our might mind and strangth to find a path, and the ask the Lord to make it happen, or to fill in the blanks. It seems to me that such a path would end up being a complete blank no matter what we thought we had accomplished.

      I love your summation of the matter.

      God bless, John

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      • exalted2b says:

        Brother Pontius,
        I am a little confused then, ” study it out in your mind,… then pray about it …will feel if it is right that our boosoms will burn in you” is that not the same as “doing our part” then relying on Father to provide the rest??? Am I missing the boat here?

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  7. SD says:

    Possible title: “A Glimpse”

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  8. Mila says:

    Dear Brother John and the Unblog Family,

    I want to tell you a little bit about myself and show you the great love the Lord has for us, even an insignificant Russian girl, a nobody. I am a convert to the Church. I am Russian. I joined the Church 11 years ago when I came to the US as a foreign exchange student. Heavenly Father lovingly led me into an LDS host family. When I was growing up in the Soviet Union, I was never exposed to religion. Nonetheless, I always wondered and sought even when I didn’t know what I was looking for. When I got a little older, I often thought about God before falling asleep. I believe that desire to know Him was put in my heart by Him, not due to my own nature, for I am by nature a very selfish person. How kind and sweet is our God! 

    The Soviet Union collapsed and several years later I joined Russian Orthodox Church. I read Bible for the first time. The love for Jesus Christ was starting to burn in my heart. I wanted to know Him better. A year later I came to the United States as a foreign exchange student. I was 18. I was led into an LDS home toward the end of my year here. I immediately felt the difference in their home. I believe their Christ-centered life made the Spirit very present in their home. I had a very special experience when I first prayed about the Church. As I knelt down to pray, I felt physically enveloped by God’s love. It is very hard to find the words to explain. I was baptized some time later. That special experience has helped me and sustained me throughout the years especially when I am surrounded by the mists of darkness.

    I met my future husband before I left. My sister and my mother both joined the Church after my return home. I came back to America five years later and was sealed to my husband in the House of the Lord. We are now blessed with children. My sister is also married and raising children in the Church.

    Before I returned back home, I received a Patriarchal Blessing. I am of the House of Israel through the lineage of Naphtali.

    I love my Lord and my Savior Jesus Christ!  I love His Gospel and I love His Church. I am very grateful to my Savior for letting me learn some precious and beautiful principles from inspired sources like FLC and this blog in the last several weeks. I thank God for helping and guiding everybody on this path. Thank you Brother John and thank you Unblog Family.

    2 Nephi 4:35
     Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.

    I don’t know, Brother John,  if you will post my comment. It is long and personal. Whatever you decide, it is ok with me. : )

    Thank you for your example of faithfulness!

    Mila

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  9. dahlia says:

    Wow. How inspiring. Thanks so much for sharing that. I can hardly wait to read the book. I want to learn how to be totally obedient and totally dependent on Christ before those times arrive, but maybe going through experiences like those described is what will be required for me to reach that point. Maybe I’m not progressing as much as I’d like right now because my life is going too smoothly. One way or the other, I need to put all my effort into spiritual preparation and pray that I make it to Zion.

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  10. jeff says:

    After reading this post, D&C sec. 101 takes on greater meaning. Thanks for sharing.

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