Some of the comments following the UnBlog “Journey to C&E” was that you are seeking and hoping and striving to believe that these great things do still happen in our day. By way of bearing testimony that these great blessings do flow in our day, I would like to share a personal experience I have alluded to in a few firesides. I do so with only the hope that it will add to your belief and hope and willingness to continue to seek after these great things until you obtain them. The path is not easy, but it is true, and many are finding it.
Many years ago I had an experience in prayer which began as deeply searching and needing. After about an hour of spiritual struggle I felt a pure flow of knowledge which answered my need and ended my searching. It was like being plugged into a computer with the ability to download insight, wisdom, truth and enlightenment in an instant. I felt so grateful for this powerful and timely answer to my prayers that I remained on my knees to thank God. I didn’t want to leave. I felt welcome, at peace and at home. I prayed on into the night, sending my gratitude as high as my spiritual voice would launch it. As the Spirit filled me with greater and greater light, my words became more powerful than language, more beautiful than poetry, more profound than English can be. It was speech and song, worship and wonder that far eclipsed language. I found myself rejoicing as I have never rejoiced before, and so enveloped with love that it consumed me. I felt on fire, my skin was burning and I had the sensation of floating.
In the midst of this experience, the Spirit whispered to me that I should get into bed. “Look, you’re cold and shivering. Get into bed.” I realized for the first time that I was icy cold. I climbed into bed and the experience continued. The primary feeling within me was of being loved by God, of being welcome in His presence. My mind was filled with light. I opened my eyes to the darkness of night, but saw light everywhere. I was given questions to ask, and received the answers. These were not questions I would have thought of, but questions I should have known to ask. Every answer expanded my mind with more than words. I “saw” the answers, felt them, assimilated them in my soul and marveled over them. This continued for about an hour.
A moment later I felt a great presence of power. The previous feelings of great wisdom and truth, of vast love and acceptance were still present. But, this additional presence was power greater than if you were laid upon a million volt power line. It was power so vast that I was fully aware that if I had not come through the earlier process of prayer and worship, enlightenment and protection, that this greater power would have rendered me to atoms. I could feel this great power all through me, but felt no fear. I felt very humbled and tiny in comparison, like a child who had been unexpectedly ushered in to see the King. I felt welcome, but unprepared to be there. I heard a voice which sounded to me like the voice of eternity. It was as if a planet had acquired lips and was speaking. The voice was every sound humans can hear combined into one sound, like the rushing of a mighty wind or the sound of creation moving mountains and planets into place and setting them spinning on their path.
This voice said two sentences, both of which startled me to the core. I could hardly imagine what I had even heard. I wasn’t even sure I had heard it correctly. My mortal mind wanted to doubt. After I heard these things I saw two small visions which I will share some other time. Then, the experience stopped abruptly. I was left to myself to ponder what I had seen and heard. I laid there for quite a few minutes, pondering what I had seen, unsure that I could ever remember the whole of it – when it began again. I saw and heard exactly the same thing a second time.
During the second iteration of this experience I grew very tired. It was by then early morning and my body was exhausted. I felt myself going to sleep even though I willed myself to be awake. I felt something reach out and touch me like how someone strokes a child to sooth them. Sleep fled from me. I was suddenly fully awake until the experience concluded exactly as the first time.
Again I laid there pondering what had happened, reviewing it in my mind, rejoicing over and over. All doubt was gone. I simply knew all that I had seen and experienced. I was trying to understand what I had done to trigger this experience, and why I would be worthy of such a thing when the familiar voice of the Holy Spirit said “Get up and write it down.”
I went downstairs to my computer and turned it on. I had gotten up so quickly upon hearing the instruction to write it down that I forgot to pick up my glasses. I had to put my face right into the screen to start my word processor and open my journal. I sat there and knew in all of my heart that I could never remember every word. Each of the prior two experiences had taken about an hour. The Holy Spirit said, “Just write.” I put my fingers on the keys and wrote “I just had one of the most amazing experiences of my life…” when the same experience opened up a third time. The entire experienced again happened as I wrote. I wrote with wild haste. I ignored spelling, punctuation and capitalization. I just wrote as furiously as I could. At the end of the experience I knew I had only captured a small portion of it, but what I had written was true and it was astonishing. I saved the file and turned off the computer. The clock beside my desk said it was 5:00 a.m. I dressed and left for work having spent the entire night in vision.
Throughout the day I was invigorated and awake. I pondered all day long what had happened during that long sleepless night. When I finally got into bed that next evening I was no more tired than any usual night. I prayed for a long time, hoping to again have a vast experience, but it did not come. I closed my prayers and climbed into bed and soon fell to sleep.
Since that experience I have wanted to share both what happened, and why, but the Lord has laid a blanket of silence over those things for many years. In those years I have written extensively about how it happened. It happened because I was taught how to hear and then to obey the voice of the Holy Spirit, which is the voice of Christ. That is the only “how” there is. I have written volumes on this subject adding up to millions of words describing this process. The only reason I know it is because God very gently led me through that process until I experienced blessings I didn’t even know I was seeking. I had to look back to see that they were the very things the Gospel, the priesthood and the temple had promised me. It was a startling insight.
It has only been recently that Father has allowed me to describe “what”. What happens is that the heavens do open, and miracles do occur. What happens is that the promises of the latter-days are fulfilled to the letter. We can approach the veil and accomplish everything we hope for.
I don’t even know why I can say these things now. Perhaps it is because my life is nearing its conclusion and I would not feel I could report my life as having been fully accomplished if I leave mortality with these things in my head. Perhaps there is a sense of safety in knowing once life ends nobody can take away what you said while yet alive. They can doubt, but they can’t erase the fact that it was said.
When the Spirit suggested “Un-Blog My Soul” as the name for this blog I thought it was ironic. The idea of doing this blog and its purpose came to me in a flash of insight. I was to publish all of these precious things in my soul so that death could not erase them. I wanted them to not be lost to my wife, to my children, to my brothers and sisters and to anyone who could be blessed by them. To me, “Un-Blog” and unclog and unload and unburden all mean the same thing, that my life not end before my soul has been emptied of these precious things. There seems to be a great deal more to Un-Blog than I envisioned, which means the Lord apparently isn’t yet ready to draw the curtain on my life.
Until that day arrives,
© April 2012, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted