It Really Does Happen

UnBlog # 506

Childhood seems to demonstrate that rules stop us from enjoying life to the fullest. We want to eat cookies for every meal, and our mother tells us no. When we do it anyway, she probably punished us. Rules, it became very clear, are in the way of our happiness.

That thinking persists as teens and beyond until we become mature enough to see that these rules were actually saving us from unpleasant experiences and lasting consequences. As teens and sometimes adults, we try eating cookies for every meal, we realize it can’t be done without sacrificing our happiness, and mother knew it all along.

I remember a particular event when I was about ten. My parents would not buy soda pop because they said it was too sweet, and they wouldn’t buy potato chips very often because they were not healthy. When they brought home a bag, it was shared by many kids, and was gone very quickly. One day I was at my cousin’s house out in the country. We decided to walk to the local country store, which was several miles away, and buy potato chips and soda pop. We had a little money, and got permission to go. We walked and walked and walked, and finally arrived at heaven – a whole counter full of potato chips, and a cooler full of soda, and no parents to stop us. We each bought several bags of chips and a soda, and began walking home. I was hungry from the long walk and really plowed into the chips. I couldn’t believe how good they tasted. I ate them even faster. But, before we got back to his house, I got increasingly more nauseated, and ended up returning home with an empty stomach. My cousin did the same. It was literally a dozen years before I could eat another potato chip.

When a prompting comes to us from the Holy Spirit, it often seems to be trying to deny us some mortal form of happiness we were just reaching for. Like little children with a bag of potato chips, we don’t heed the prompting to not partake until we have experienced the bilious result of disobedience a few thousand times.

Then, we realize that promptings and commandments don’t limit our enjoyment of life, they protect us from unknown hazards – but far more importantly, they open new vistas of possibility where there were none before. Disobedience to God’s plan invariable destroys freedom, in this life and in the next. But, the greatest reason to school our hearts and hands to obedience is that there is an eternal world of glorious mortal blessings that can only be glimpsed by revelatory insight and obtained by obedience to the voice of Christ. Then, as the blessings begin to flow, and the heavens begin to open, and as our souls begin to expand, we understand why law is so liberating.

Obedience is the Aladdin’s lamp of mortality which by continually polishing we unleash the mighty genie of all mortal blessings, the least of which is peace and joy in this life. The greatest blessings are an assurance of our eternal reward, power in the priesthood, eternal families, miracles, visions, prophecy, knowledge, angelic visitations and the knowledge of God.

My home teacher was visiting us yesterday evening and told of living in the same stake as President Kimball for a while. He said in a Fast and Testimony meeting that President Kimball stood up and among other things, he quoted D&C 93:1. “It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am.” He then said “This scripture is fulfilled more often than you might ever imagine – many times daily.”

It really does happen.

Brother John

© July 2012, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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8 Responses to It Really Does Happen

  1. Rusty says:

    Brother John – I hope it’s okay, but I’m going to use the last 2 paragraphs in my FHE lesson on Monday. We have a group of “empty nesters” that meet for FHE twice a month. Last time, the bishop gave a lesson on the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood from D&C 84…but he stopped with verse 42 or 43. So, this week I’m teaching and I’m going to start where he left off and your posting this week added just what I needed. Thank you.


    • Hi Rusty,

      You are certainly welcome to use that. I am sure it will be wonderful. I also have an essay on the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood here



      • Rusty says:

        I’m reporting back…we had our largest group, yet – 18 or 19 people at the Empty Nesters’ FHE. The lesson went really well (thanks to your materials, Bro. John) and there was lots of good discussion and the Spirit was there. We read the scriptures and talked about power in the priesthood and learning to listen to the voice/Spirit of Christ and building Zion and C&E made sure being possible and doable in this life. It was awesome! I’m really grateful to have had the chance to share what I’ve been learning with people whom I admire and really love.


  2. Roberta Bryant says:

    Brother John:
    I am on my second reading of “Journey to Zion.” This book is marvelous. Having experienced a couple of items in my life that I still cannot understand and other miscellanious things Spencer talks of, all I want is to glean from every experience he has had. Thank you so much for letting us have a sneak peek. Thank Spencer for Sharing such a wonderful gift to all of us who are searching for answers too.. It is like Manna from Heaven…..
    Roberta Bryant


  3. Anonymous says:

    I had no idea this was happening in our church. A few months ago my world was changed and since that time it has been a step-by-step process of rediscovery except everything is different now and my vision is clearer.

    It was the testimony of a first hand witness that provided a life-altering invitation to me to return to faith. It pulled me out of a defeated nihilistic state. My heart was broken with overflowing gratitude at the grace extended to me because I could have been left there.

    I’ve never had more hope that this blessing could actually be granted to someone even as pathetic as myself if I continue to progress in the path. The witness to these testimonies is unmistakeable. Thank you!


  4. Beautiful analogy! Yes, it was promised in my PB and took place when I was in the MTC.


  5. M.L. Castor says:

    AMEN and AMEN…..I too can and do testify of this great blessing!

    We must remember that He wants to come to us, and have an audience with us too. He wants to share His testimony, love, and witness to us, so that we can go forth into the world, and be another that has the more sure knowledge of Him. We are to share with all who are seeking and willing to receive Him, and help them!


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