O Divine Redeemer


UnBlog # 515

As we approach the UnBlog Family Reunion this Saturday, I feel to reflect a little about how it has come together so miraculously. Every time a need or obstacle presented itself, someone would call me, usually out of the blue, and offer an elegant solution to that very thing.

This happened with finding the venue at UVU. I don’t want to embarrass anyone, so I’ll just say Rick K. offered to find the venue, and worked many inspired hours to find and put it together. He’s also kindly offered many other solutions. It also happened with finance and legal matters when Bill M. called me out of the blue to offer just that. It happened again with sound and lighting when Michael N. who owns a large AV company offered to take over. It happened when Eric C. offered to construct and maintain the website, and when dozens of you offered to volunteer your time to help usher, register and other needed services at the event.

It also happened last Saturday in a quiet but significant way. Terri, my best friend (and wife) offered to sing the opening hymn with her two sisters. They met last Saturday to pick the song and practice it. She said they tried many songs, all of them appropriate and beautiful, but each one didn’t feel right. They sang for several hours trying out songs. She said the ones that weren’t right they couldn’t even get the harmonies right. Finally, they stumbled across the music to “O, Divine Redeemer” by Charles Gounod, who was born in 1818. They had passed over it several times. They finally decided to try it. She said as they began the Spirit filled the room, their voices became more powerful, the vocal parts became very familiar even though they had never sung it together before, and were singing from a solo rendition. She said they had to stop several times to weep.

Terri told me that this was the most powerful spiritual experience she has ever had with music, which is a significant statement because she has performed her whole life, including with the Tab Choir, Handel’s Messiah both conducting and singing, and many other special musical circumstances. The thing that we both realized is that this musical piece, written nearly 200 years ago, is the perfect introduction to the theme of the reunion, as if Gounod had written it just for this event. Her final statement to me was, “I didn’t realize until that moment how much the Lord really cares about the UnBlog Family Reunion.”

This is what I have found to be true as well. Judging by the amount of inspiration flowing to so many different people, this event is important to the purposes of the Lord. His care and intervention has been manifest in every aspect of our attempts to bring it to pass.

I am anxious and spiritually delighted to be a part of the first UnBlog Family Reunion with you this Saturday.

Brother John

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

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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18 Responses to O Divine Redeemer

  1. John says:

    I cannot help but weep when hearing this song. The lyrics are of the heart and soul. “Hear my cry. Hear my cry.” My thoughts and even prayers turn to God concerning my salvation and His atonement for me. ” Shield me in danger.” It is as if Charles Gounod was inspired from Him on my behalf. It is a prayer I have often had to The Almighty on some of the most hardest times of my life

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  2. James says:

    I was not familiar with that hymn. I googled the lyrics, and I can say I’ve prayed that prayer many times. My wife who knows every hymn and camp singalong ever conceived reminded me that the instrumental for the hymn was played at last Easter sacrament meeting. I remember everything about that meeting being exceptional with the spirit. I do not recall ever hearing it sung, or at least i was not cognizant of it. I anxiously await hearing it sung truly for the first time at the Unblog family reunion.

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  3. ker says:

    how can we get a copy

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  4. kathryn Hughes says:

    Dear Brother John,
    I hope you plan on recording this reunion for the ones that would be there but can’t . It will seem almost like we are there and can enjoy it in our hearts and in our minds . Jesus teachings are a never ending journey that we can grow and learn all we want to . I feel this reunion will be a part of our journey.

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  5. Lisa Roseman says:

    Hi Brother John,
    I was sitting in the Conference Center when the Tabernacle Choir sang ‘O Divine Redeemer’. President Monson stood to give his remarks and said “That is my favorite song”. Since then it has been my favorite song as well. You would think only those with grevious sins could relate to the words of that song. But, as I have come to understand more, I feel that the words represent those like Enos praying for his redemption. Those like me praying for my redemption. Those who want to be saved from the perilous times in which we now live in, as well as those more perilous times which are quickly approaching. Everytime I have listened to the song, it has brought deep spiritual feelings and tears streaming down my face, as well as a closeness to my Redeemer Jesus Christ that is indescribable. I am so thankful for the opportunity to join you all for the Unblog Family Reunion. Thanks to all who have helped to make it possible.

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  6. K-Jo says:

    Can’t Wait!!!!

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  7. darrell brashear says:

    I’m glad you said “first” unblog family reunion brother John, because I plan to be there in the future. It saddens me that I won’t be able to make it this year. It feels like it does when family comes into town and I have to work. I have never been in the company of so many people that cherish the same things I do. I’m sure it will be a very profound experience.
    With Love….brother D.

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  8. Debra James says:

    I am so pleased there will be recording for those of us far away. If I can feel the Spirit as I read the unBlog, I am sure I will feel whatever comes from the reunion that is meant for me to understand too. All the best for a spiritual feasting at the reunion.

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  9. Brent says:

    What a beautiful song. My wife and I heard the choir sing it at General Conference and were overwhelmed at its beauty. This adds to my excitement.

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  10. Jeannette says:

    Thank you for this wonderful message. So fun to hear how things came together, and I certainly look forward to hearing the beautiful musical number “O Divine Redeemer”. See you Saturday.

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  11. Charlotte says:

    Brother John, I have followed the page for a good while now, and am extatic about the opportunity for the saints in the valley to have this gathering. However it comes with a heavy heart because I am in the mission field and to far away to come to the gathering. I pray you will share as much as you can of the spirit that will be there, are pictures going to be available, maybe a recording of the musical numbers or talks for those of us who can not be there for what ever reason.
    Please.
    Thank you,
    Charlotte

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  12. Charlotte Grant says:

    If we (meaning 2 of us) have a last minute change of plans and could travel to Utah this weekend could we attend the reunion on such last minute notice?

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  13. Vicki says:

    Thanks for sharing and thank Terri for being in tune!! LOL, double meaning play on words.

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