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