Samuel the Lamanite


UnBlog # 518

When I have a great, sustained spiritual experience, as in the months and weeks preceding the UnBlog Reunion, and then the event itself, I sometimes have a crash at the end, kind of like a good sugar high and resulting crash. I often experience the same thing after months of working in a spiritual high on a book. I think it may be because my spirit gets exhausted. Maybe it is just that I miss the sustained high, or maybe I’m just a spiritual pansy.  It seems like Joseph Smith once said that grand spiritual events and visions were exhausting until you get used to them. I’ll work on that.

Thank you for so many wonderful comments about your experiences at the Reunion. I’ve received many emails, phone calls and comments on the Blog that have added to my joy. It’s been wonderful to read your comments and to feel blessed again.

One of the questions several people asked at and after the UnBlog Reunion was why doesn’t Spencer use his real name? I think that is a valid question. I explain it in the book, but will say this here. We talked for several hours about that subject before we agreed to go ahead with writing his book. His thinking was that he did not want to draw attention to himself. He didn’t want to even appear to be trying to attract a following, or to be a source of information about the latter-days. He had no agenda for allowing his experiences to be published other than he felt it was the right thing to do. He really doesn’t want to be anything other than what he presently is. My thinking was that protecting his identity would make it possible to highlight his experience without highlighting the man.

One scriptural example we have of this is in Samuel the Lamanite. No one really knew who he was, where he was from, or where he went after he left.

Samuel was not the prophet at the time – Nephi was. Yet, an angel had appeared to Samuel and given him a message to deliver to the people. He was at first turned away at the city gate, and then he climbed upon the city wall and shouted his message to the people. When the people heard the words of Samuel, those who believed sought out Nephi and were baptized. Samuel had no interest in starting his own church, or in having a following, he just wanted to deliver his message, get off of the wall and go home. It is likely true that while upon the wall Samuel said something like, “If you believe my words, go to the prophet Nephi. He will teach you and baptize you.” Helaman 16:1 indicates that is exactly what the people did – they sought out Nephi and were baptized.

Spencer believes his experiences are primarily for himself, but he is willing to share them with us because the Lord has given him permission and the means to do so. Like Samuel, he does not want attention, he just wants to deliver his message and go home, and like Samuel, is urging us to follow our living prophet.

I don’t have the recording of the event yet, so I will relate this from my sometimes-flawed memory. At the end of Spencer’s comments at the UnBlog Reunion, he said something to the effect of “I don’t know if anything I have seen will actually happen just the way I have seen it. I’m just fine with that. The point may not have been to show me specific events, but to prepare me to complete my life’s mission. It has already done that. It has made me a better disciple of Christ, and a more willing servant. If those things do happen as I saw them, I will be OK with that too, because I hope we triumph as I saw we would. But, in either case, God is in charge of all things, and His will be done.”

Brother John

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

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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14 Responses to Samuel the Lamanite

  1. Dee says:

    John,

    I want you to know that the great service you with Spencer have given the world of seekers. I too had many experiences that as Spencer said it at the reunion ” they have changed him so if they don’t happen the way he saw it, the experiences have prepared him”. Something like that anyway…. The visions and sacred experiences I have been gifted since I was a small child has been a great burden to me too. I have not known what they were for or how to understand them. But the greatest burden was not being permitted to share them or even to have words to discribe the pictures and emotions connected to them. What ALL of your books have done for me is put words to what I was seeing to a great extent. What Spencer has done is given me such a feeling of understanding. He understand the burden these gifts can hold with out ever wishing them away just the intense drive they fuel in the human body. I have had health problem since birth, being born with a heart defect and other things that are too numerous to list and unltimatly not important for they have serves me as my greatest sacred messenger from God. It is during the many times I have been so ill I could not even increase my breathing or move my arm that God showed me his power for deliverance. These are the times he made a great point to me that we are not these aches and pains but perfected being on our way to perfection. I got to experience who I wasn’t so I would have eyes to see who I am. The remembering is so sweet to the soul but so lonely when there is no one to share it with sometimes. Even though I have never spoken to you or Spencer I feel so much relief just to know there are others. Others who also have no words for what they know but in ever word they type or speak there testimony is infused with in them. Thank you so much. Please forward this to Spencer so he too can know that he has freed another soul from the loneliness this earth life can feel. I am a woman and that can add some tabu also…my heart leaper when you and Spencer spoke, at the reunion, of the role of women and there role in the moving forward of Zion and the Earth receiving all that God has for her. I am not afraid to stand tall and claim what women is in all humility when the time is asked of me. There is a great need for the daughters of Zion to remember who they are. I know that you are ill John and Spencer it is a on going thing with you. My body is the strongest it has ever been and I believe it is so I can serve more fully…even you my brothers. I ask for nothing but that you receive my love. I have been praying for Gods glorious will and that I will know my part in if any thing more then my loving feminine out flow. Blessing my dear brothers in Christ.

    Dee

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  2. May says:

    It was wonderful to follow up the spiritual “Unblog Family Reunion Feast” with Elder Hollands address to the worldwide CES fireside audience this past Sunday. After I picked myself up off the floor I got right back down on my knees and thanked my Heavenly Father for his Holy Prophets and their “special witness” of the Lord Jesus Christ. A powerful Zion message delivered by an Apostle of the Lord and including an Apostolic Blessing! I would love to hear the thoughts and impressions of the Unblog Family on E. Hollands remarks.
    http://www.lds.org/broadcasts/watch/ces-devotionals/2012/09?lang=eng

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    • Robin Carlson says:

      Bro John for May:
      Followed the link you provided and have sat through the playback twice.
      Very interesting and thought provoking even though I fit more in Elder Holland’s age group rather than the age group his address seemed intended
      for.
      Unfortunately I let the opposition beat me (Oh me of little faith) when it came to overcoming what has been way present ever since I was led to discover the UnBlog so I missed out on the “UnBlog Family Reunion” despite living a mere 40 or so miles north of Orem. So would you please share in more detail your thoughts and impressions on the two events?
      Thanks,
      Robin

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  3. James says:

    Attending last week was such an enormous blessing for my wife and I. I really can’t describe it adequately. Almost 2 years to the day that I began reading The Triumph of Zion, which spoke to my soul, the crescendo ran it’s course all the way to Orem UT. We arranged for some friends from Salt Lake to attend with us. The opposition they had was incredible. One experienced a very personal miracle during Spencer’s comments. The other said earlier that the speakers had spoken to everything he had in his heart. My wife and I were also able to make a connection earlier that day with a niece in Provo that otherwise wouldn’t have happened, which added so much to the blessedness of the day. I can attest to the crash you speak of. I experienced something similar. I know it will pass.

    I know the Lord’s hand was in all of this, for many. I thank you Brother John, Spencer, and all who addressed us, for being so ordinary, yet willing to let Him work in you to bless so many lives.

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  4. ken h says:

    Our full time missionaries do pretty much the same thing today. They all say the same message, don’t use their first names, proclaim the truth, get transferred and move on. It is the proclaiming of truth that is the key. It is the under shepards speaking by the power of the Holy Ghost the voice of the Good Shepard and His sheep hear His voice and respond. They may not have to climb upon a wall and shout their God inspired message, but the message is still the same…. Repent and come unto Christ and be baptized, for the Lord is mighty to save.

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  5. Jeff says:

    Donald: I too thought Spencer seemed very familiar. Before he introduced himself I kept trying to place him with people I had met before. He carried such a wonderful, soothing and peaceful feeling, as if we had been friends forever. I’m grateful that he was willing to share. Our lives have been enriched by his doing so. Jeff

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  6. Markus says:

    Thanks for everything John. Because of your hard work we are now getting our spiritual levels up a notch or two. We are reading more and learning more, and as a result, feeling the spirit a whole lot more. Our conversations are exciting and the television is remaining in the “off” position much more. Good Times!

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  7. darrell brashear says:

    I think that “crash” is a part of the journey. In my own life, if I hadn’t known the depths of the crashes I wouldn’t have quite the joy in the highs.

    I really believe that the Lord gives us what we need…if we need a high, then He gives us one….if we need a crash, then He allows it to happen. That is so comforting to know in my life. I’ve had so many of both. All I can say is that He knows how to stretch my heart in a way that is far beyond me.

    I’ve had many times of feeling like a spiritual pansy, it’s good to know I’m not alone 😉 brother D.

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  8. Birrd says:

    Thanks for mentioning your “crash.” That explains what I’ve been experiencing post-unblog-reunion.

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  9. Rusty says:

    I’m really looking forward to the book coming out. If the little bits we have gotten so far are any indication, then I expect it will be a spiritual feast. And I’m grateful that the Lord thinks that we are getting to a point that we can handle a bit more meat. It’s very humbling and exciting at the same time!

    Rusty

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  10. Donald says:

    It does give him more credibility … at least to me. Was there anybody at the reunion who recognized Spencer or already knew him? He looked familiar to me…. the look in his eyes reminded me of my grandfather Smith. It could have been Spencer’s peaceful calm demeanor and voice that seemed familiar to me too…. again much like my grandfather was…. My wife and I are looking forward to the book.

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  11. Flash says:

    I feel sorry to be left out knowing that I missed something wonderful. When and how may I learn Spencer’s story?

    Like

  12. Chris says:

    Just what you would expect to hear from a true servant of the Lord.

    Like

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