Dec 3, 2012

I just spoke with John on the phone, he is very weak and cannot get out of bed but wanted to send his love to everyone. He was not happy that I have not posted on the Unblog. He wants the Unblog to continue with the same spirit that he put into it. So here is the first introductory post below.


Dear Unblog Family,

I never thought I would be writing on the Unblog under any circumstances, but especially now when John is about to transition to his next assignment. Nevertheless, John has asked me to help continue the work of the Unblog, so I feel a sacred obligation to assist despite my many weaknesses, especially in writing (see Ether 12:23-24).  On Sunday (11/25), I spoke with John and also visited him last Tuesday (11/20) and gave him a blessing to release him from this earthly journey. He was grateful and wants to pass from this sphere as quickly as the Lord will let him.

John and I have known each other for more than 20 years. We first met when we were both living in Alaska and began studying together weekly for several years. He is my mentor and best friend. We have shared many memorable spiritual experiences as we have studied and experienced mighty prayer together. Many of the topics on Unblog had their start with conversations we had together as we shared thoughts and scriptures and prayers.

He urged me to keep the Unblog moving forward, so I have written this to introduce myself briefly and tell you why I accepted this very difficult assignment to fill in for John. Chris  has agreed to help in this work, and I am very grateful for his understanding of the scriptures and the gospel. Although we will do our best to keep the same great spirit and purpose of the Unblog as we move forwad, we will do some things slightly different from how John did it because nobody will take John’s place; he had a special way with words, which we cannot duplicate. Instead, we will write on various topics and accept posts from the Unblog family concerning those topics. Spencer will also answer questions about his book and other topics.

My testimony is simple: I cherish my relationship with my Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ. They have always sustained and supported me even when I have not been as diligent as I could have been in seeking Them. I love the Holy Ghost and experience His guiding influence in my life on a daily basis. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only true path back to Their presence. The principles shared on the Unblog help me see and follow this path. As we take the Holy Spirit to be our guide and seek the face of the Lord on a daily basis we will have wondrous experiences that will change our life forever. I pray that each of us will continue on this journey and have a joyous time doing it. I pray that John will be comforted in these last few days.

Please write the feelings of your heart that we may be all edified is my prayer.


About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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34 Responses to Introduction

  1. Charlotte says:

    Thank you, Brother John, your spirit is with us, because we always feel your love for our Savior, as well as for us. Shayne, we appreciate you taking over this sacred forum. Thank you


  2. Betsy says:

    Thank you, dear Brother John. Your writings and love have taught me, lifted me and encouraged me on my path. God bless you on your way, and God bless your family with peace and comfort.
    Thank you, Shayne and Eric for taking the reins. As we carry on here, may the spirit of the Lord abound.


  3. Chris says:

    Please pass along my gratitude to Michael Shannon for speaking at the Unblog Reunion. His talk was of particular importance to me and my family.



  4. Dear Brother John,
    Words cannot convey how eternally grateful I am for your contribution to my understanding and application of our Savior’s love. Please know that my life’s mission has been advanced because of you and your gifts. We never met in person in this life but I look forward to meeting again soon and showing you how your love helped me, and so many others, to seek the face of the Lord every day. Certainly, the Lord has mighty plans still in store for you. May your sweet wife and family be blessed with the hope and comfort and support they need. God bless you all in the name of His Beloved Son.
    Shayne- we all have the utmost confidence in you and your ability to follow the Spirit. Our future is as bright as our faith. May God loosen your tongue and strengthen your mind to promote greater faith in Christ, hope in His perfect plan, and the pure love of Christ.
    We are all in good hands.


  5. lorrie Doyle says:

    Hello Shayne, So happy you introduced yourself. I too kept checking for some word of John. thank You
    To Brother John, I am almost finished with Following the Light…and have learned SO much. I thoroughly devoured and enjoyed Visions of Glory (thank you Specer for trusting us with your Sacred experiences). I have read many entries in your blog but since I’m a late comer, I decided to go back to the beginning. I’m very excited to begin. I cannot express enough how grateful I am to have had you as a teacher. Your words (and Spencer’s) encourage me to open the scriptures more and truly glean their message. Thank you and bless you for living your life so well, that you were able and qualified to bless us all.
    love to you and your family,
    Lorrie D.


  6. Mila says:

    Dear Brother John, we love you so much! Thank you! May you and your family be comforted, always in peace. Thank you so very much for making a comment. I know you are in a lot of pain. I so wish I could help somehow. I can only pray. I so miss hearing from you. No one can write the way you do it but I am sure the Unblog family will move forward with faith and continue what you were inspired to start. Please know how much all of your books, firesides and Ublog posts influenced and are still influencing for good me and my family. May you be forever blessed for your work.

    Dear Brothers Shayne and Eric, I don’t know how to say thank you. I am so happy the Unblog will continue! Thank you very much! Please know you are in our prayers.

    Dear Brother Spencer, thank you for your comment! It is so special to get a glimpse of brotherly love and friendship you and Brother John share. I know both of you are true and humble followers of Christ. I am so grateful that you met and produced such an amazing book, participated and organized the first Unblog Family Reunion and most of all became friends. Thank you! Love, peace and blessings to all.


  7. Stephanie says:

    Thank you Brother John for your help in writting “Spencer’s” book. There is such a strong spirit that emanates from the pages of the book. Thank you for encouraging Spencer to share with us his experience.
    Shayne makes mention that there will be an opportunity for “Spencer” to answer questions about his book. This is a very exciting opportunity we have to look forward to.
    Thank you Brother John for all you have done to help many of us Come Unto Christ through your testimony and thoughts shared through your blog and books.
    Thank you to Shayne and Eric for their willingness to step forward and pick up the work of the Unblog.


  8. This is Brother John. Because I am still kicking around here, I thought I would make this comment to Shayne’s beautiful post. I am so grateful for Shayne and Eric, who are willing to step forward and pick up the Unblog work. Thank you all for your comments and continual support. I am eternally grateful to Spencer for his comment in particular. I was not expecting that great blessing to occur of Spencer involving himself in the Unblog so soon. I still feel the love of the Unblog family all around me, and it makes me feel overwhelmed and tearful. I also deeply feel the arms of my Savior, and many many angels ministering to my needs. God bless you all.


    • Ellie Fuller says:

      Bro. Pontius, I absolutely must express my gratitude for how you have helped my testimony grow. I am a busy mom of young kids and hate spending time online. I have never commented on the blog and frankly have only read a couple posts. However, your devotionals are on my ipod which I have listened to repeatedly. Also, i came to the unblog reunion.
      The Savior is now more real to me, i have more peace in His presence. I’ve realized He works in my life and in my heart “shoulder to shoulder” with me. It’s intangible, but, oh, so real! The whispering IS constant if we’ll hear.
      Thank you for being one of my angels!
      with love and best wishes,


    • Denise says:

      Brother John – may God bless you in your continued journey. Your books have greatly influenced my life and put gospel truths in such a sweet and straightforward way. You have made me feel like it is possible for me, with all my weaknesses and imperfections, to have a chance to return home! Your impact will stretch into the eternities. “And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!” (D&C 18:16) Truly you have taught us what coming into the kingdom of our Father is. Great will be your joy. God bless you and your sweet family – now and forever! Until we meet . . .


    • Kelly says:

      Thank you, Bro. John, for this great work that you began with the Unblog. I’m so sorry to hear of the pain you’ve had to endure even though the strength of your spirit has shined brightly through it. Although you are well prepared to meet our Maker, and have fortified your family for this transition, I wish you all, as best possible, Peace and Comfort through this time of year.


  9. jodeemaas says:

    Shayne, I do not know what I can add to such wonderful testimonies that have been shared other than to thank you, John and Spencer. Yes, the emotional intimacy that we can share with our Father and Savior is so incredible that it is almost impossible to describe in words. All we can do is encourage as He encourages, love as He loves, forgive as He forgives, show the same kind of compassion and understanding as He does, and be lifted up in rejoicing and joy by the journey!!!

    It has been an honor to feel of John’s precious spirit and soul, I look forward to visiting with him on the other side. Through John’s works it has been a privilege to feel of (Spencer’s) spirit and soul. And I personally have you to thank for both of the above. I will support you in anyway I can and most importantly with prayer. I know Father will do a great work through you and it will be your own personal work. You will come to know your own soul in a new way and it will be joyous. It has been a great honor and privilege to call you friend.


  10. Carol says:

    This blog has been like walking the halls of an empty school in the summer time. But now, school is back in session. It is hard to read about Brother Pontius, but it is so good to have updates. We really appreciate every effort both to inform, and to continue on. I am trying not to think sad thoughts. I have read Visions of Glory and look forward to ingesting it again in the near future. But for now, I just purchased TTOZ and started reading it. Brother Pontius worked so hard to prepare us for Zion, to be a Zion people. Thank you! And our blog family! My prayers are with you!


  11. Lance says:

    I’m sure you consider yourself most fortunate to have had such a wonderful mentor and friend in John for so many years. John is an inspired teacher who has such an uncanny ability to teach with clarity. He has been instrumental in helping me embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ to a greater degree.
    Also, I was in attendance at the Unblog Reunion and was very inspired by your sermon and the wonderful and humble spirit with which you presented your story. Once the audio was posted, I made a point of re-listening to your presentation and the gospel truths you shared therein.
    I look forward to hearing so much more from you. Thank you for carrying on with the Unblog.


  12. Deborah E Mangum says:

    What light you all have brought into my life. Farewell, Brother John.


  13. (Spencer) says:

    Shayne, Thank you for taking up the cross. I first met Spencer W. Kimball while serving a mission is England. He was a member of the quorum of the twelve at this time. There I had the wonderful opportunity and blessing of singing in a mission conference, in which he was presiding. After I sang,” God so loved the world”. I started to return to my seat and he motioned me to come over to where he sat on the stand. Thinking he was going to thank me for the musical number I had just participated in. He took my hand and instructed me to sit next to him through out the remainder of the meeting. There I sat, a young missionary with a prophet of the Lord Jesus Christ beside me holding my hand and commenting to me about the proceedings of the conference in that famous Spencer W. Kimball gravelly wispered voice, I was informed that day, through the spirit of the Lord that he who sat beside me was and is a Prophet of the Lord. This experience changed my young life. I felt the keys and power of a Prophet of the Lord course through me as they were transferred hand to hand, arm to arm as I sat in such close proximity of the Lord’s anointed. I have worked at felling this same confirmation regarding every other prophet sustained since this time.
    Many years later we bought a home in President Kimball’s neighborhood. One fall day while I was outside raking leaves in my front yard, he was walking with church security up out street. His morning constitutional, he reffered to it. He saw me, came over and gave me one of those Spencer W. Kimball hugs. They are close, very close! Tender, very tender. And L O N G very long. He pulled me back from himself a little, our noses almost touching. He kissed me on the neck. I being more than a head taller than he. He did not ask me, “how are you”, he just looked deeply, searchingly into my eyes and informed me how I was. I thanked him for coming over and said to him, “President Kimball you have always been my hero. I want to grow to be just like you!” or something to that effect. He then held me back from himself, arm to shoulder length and said, Calling me by name,” The Lord does not need another Spencer W. Kimball. He has one of those already. But He does need you to be the best (Spencer) that you can be.” These words ran through me like lightening, gentle however incriminating, as though the Lord himself had spoken them. Shayne, the Lord does not need another John Pontius, He already has one of those and a man like John is hard to find and only comes around once in a life time. A man of his type and faith will not pass this way again. But you need to be the best Shayne that you can be. You will do just that. May He put words in your mind and in your heart that we will all learn from and may John be permitted to assist you from his resting place on the other side. For the other side is so very close. It is so very intimate, and when it has cause to call our name and it will call to everyone who will diligently seek after it, this only happens after the trial of our faith. For He will have a tried people! Fair thee well John. You are and have been the best of brothers!!!!! With Love and admiration, (Spencer)


    • Thanks for your words, they brought peace to me. Pres Kimball was a great prophet, what wonderful counsel he gave to you and that counsel applies to all of us. Please keep us in your prayers. All of you are in my prayers.


  14. carol says:

    If Brother John is to be called home, then i pray that he is comforted..also that his family be comforted..You see the Light of Christ will always continue..when the trust is passed to another..may you also be comforted Brother Shayne and thank you for being brave enough to want to continue feeding the Lords sheep..Brother John will never be a lost…but a great joy of comforting light to us left behind…let us all hope we will meet him again when we ourselves make this journey…Thank You Ever So Much


  15. Gayle says:

    Shayne, Thank you for your update on John. I keep him in my prayers and thank the Lord that he has been able to affect my life and so many others. I look forward to continued contact with great people that love the Lord.


  16. K-Jo says:

    Welcom Shane and Eric. What an ominous task you have before you. But I have full confidence that as time rolls on the Lord’s purposes and love for his children are made manifest as the torch is passed to others that will light the way. I am excited for the continuing journey as the unblog moves forward. The one question I do have is that John made his email available for private messages and questions. Is that a possibility with you and Eric? There were only about 2 occasions when I took advantage of that, but it was helpful. If you see John again please send him my love. As I first became acquainted with his books and firesides, I found out that he is my 2nd cousin, which he is aware of. But I am not close enough to him or his family to intrude on his family in these difficult times for them. Thanks.


  17. Chris says:


    Your have big shoes to fill, but I don’t doubt that you’re up to the task if John trusts you to do it. I look forward to the journey.



  18. Genevieve Ficquet says:

    Dear Shayne,

    Thank you, for sharing that with us. It must not be easy to follow someone else steps but I believe that everyone of us has something special to share with others. I don’t believe neither that it is by chance that you find yourself doing this now.
    I was feeling frustrated not to having be able to assist to the Unblog Family Reunion until I received the book of Spencer some days ago. I began to read it and now I don’t feel frustrated anymore. I didn’t finished it yet but there are a lot of things inside. For many years I wondered how all the events prophesied for the last days in the scritpures will happen and when. Which one will pass first? Considering time will these 2 events pass far away one from this other? What will happen to us in Europe? When will the Lord tell us to move to our land of heritage? I add many, many other questions. This book helps me to understand more clearly the bonds between all these events. It helps my family too. My husband and my teens children who don’t read english yet asked me to read it for them. I already did that for other books and it turned to be great family times. All of them around me listening to me while I read in english and translated in french. But I need to read it alone at least one time. They are eager for me to finish my first reading.
    Thanks John and Spencer for sharing that with us. Tell them how much it is a help for us here who yearn for the New Jerusalem and for the second coming.
    It will help us prepare.

    Love to all


  19. darrell brashear says:

    Dear Brother Shayne,
    It is a pleasure hearing from you in this unblog. I think you will do just fine in this assignment. This unblog has been a great comfort and joy to me and I am very touched that John provided a way for it to continue even after he passes on to other things, and I am touched that you are willing to be an instrument in the Lord’s hands in continuing this unblog.

    I can only speak for myself, but I think my feelings are a reflection of eveyone when I say we support you dear brother. I have sorely missed the love and fellowship of this unblog over the past few weeks. It made my night to come on here and see this post.

    I am also grateful to Brother Spencer for his willingness to answer any questions we might have. I have read portions of his book and I must say it is one of the most amazing books I have ever read! It has caused me to feel such a greater desire to come unto Christ.

    I am also grateful to Brother Cawley for his willingness to be a part of this unblog as well. May the Lord bless and uphold you all (Brothers John, Spencer, Shayne, and Eric).
    Brother D.


  20. tzoneutah says:

    Thank you for taking the challenge to continue the blog for John. I for one am grateful that this blog will continue. Thank you for the update on John. My prayer is that his heart’s desire will be granted. God bless.


  21. Kathy Martin says:

    Thank you, John, for sharing Spencer’s most wondrous experiences with us! They have been a jou and a blessing in my life! We pray for a peaceful and joy-filled passing for you, John. I am a former Hospice nurse and envy those caring for you in you transition. I pray for a most joyous reunion with loved ones from the other side of this very thin veil. May the Lord’s blessings be on you and your loved ones at this time. Kathy


  22. Viv Ssmith says:

    Dear John, Thank you for the inspiration you have been to us. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your dear family at this time.. May God Bless you on your journey. Our Love, Reid and Viv Smith


  23. kenh says:

    Welcome Shayne,
    Even though no one can replace John in writing on this blog, I for one am looking forward to the posts that will follow on this blog. May John’s suffering end soon for He has suffered enough in this life.


  24. Paul O'Donnell says:

    John, I have given several family members copies of Following the Light of Christ Into His Presence, and they have all reported being filled with the Spirit. It is a life changer. Thank you for writing that precious book.

    Spencer, thanks for the comments on layers of meaning on page 65. I had never considered studying those conversations in depth, but will do so now.

    Paul O’Donnell


  25. SHB says:

    Truly delighted to have more posts! Thank you for the introduction.


  26. Althea says:

    Today I received my copy of Visions of Glory. Tell John and Spencer how grateful I am for their trust and willingness to share their testimonies and the the things they have learned through obedience and struggle. I pray for John and look forward to meeting him on the other side of the veil. My prayers also include Terry and Spencer. May God bless you all.

    My Love and Sincere Regards,


  27. Linda Mamone says:

    Although I have never met John in person, I know of his gifts and goodness. He has helped to set me on a good path and changed so many things in me and so many others. I have missed the Unblog and have checked my email everyday hoping to hear his words. I keep him and his family in my prayers and will miss his great spirit so much. I know Shayne that you will do a great job in fulfilling his wishes. He would never put the Unblog in your care if he didn’t have complete trust in you. He will inspire you from on high. May God be with him at this time. He is loved by many.
    Linda Mamone


  28. Denise says:

    Best wishes Shayne. You and the Spirit will do just fine. I once in a Seminary room that when we try to do the teaching, we do the Holy Ghost’s job badly. Just get out of the way and let the thoughts flow free.


  29. Mary Lee Clark says:

    Dear Shayne,
    Thank you so much for your post. I have been thinking so much of John, how he is feeling and his general all around health. My spirit sorrows at my loss when John goes on to his next assignment. I already feel that loss. I have read Visions of Zion, incredibly awesome. Also his recorded firesides. I want that which he talks about. My spirit and soul soars and rejoices at listening to him talk and Spencer also. Would you please tell him how grateful I am for his giving me understanding, for his love for our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ and our feeling that love. I wish I had known of him and Spencer sooner. Please express my love to John for me, and my gratitude.
    Mary Lee


  30. Tom/Vonda Kennelly says:

    Shayne, my wife, Vonda, and I read your “New Post”, and we along with you will mourn the passing of our mutual friend John.  He alone was instrumental in guiding us in a proper course of cancer treatment that has thus far saved the life of my son Mark.    We were in a dilemna, and on inspiration one day I found John’s personal phone number which he never used and when he answered the call he indicated that he was surprised to have the phone ring.  We talked for well over an hour and my son’s cancer came up.  John gave me direct, honest, guidance and as my wife walked into the room, I handed the phone to her and told her who I was talking to.  John, in his kindly, sweet and loving way duplicated his counsel to me to her, and we completely changed direction in my son’s care.  I am an old man of 80 and wrote to John about a month ago telling him we would not meet in this earthly existence, but on the other side we would embrace and have a tearful reunion one day.  You are a wonderful choice by John as his replacement and you will have the grand following stay with you.  Please know you have our love and best wishes and will try to be of help from time to time.  Thank you for accepting this difficult assignment and big shoes to follow.   Cordially,  Tom Kennelly,  Rexburg, Idaho  208-656-0811

    >________________________________ >From: UnBlogmysoul >To: >Sent: Monday, December 3, 2012 3:55 PM >Subject: [New post] Introduction > >John M. Pontius posted: “Dec 3, 2012 I just spoke with John on the phone, he is very weak and cannot get out of bed but wanted to send his love to everyone. He was not happy that I have not posted on the Unblog. He wants the Unblog to continue with the same spirit that he put ” >


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