Sign in to follow this  
Moonbeast32

Opinions on John Pontius?

Recommended Posts

John Pontius is a well known, if not infamous figure in the sphere of church related literature. He is known for such books as Following the Light of Christ Into His Presence, and Visions of Glory, the latter of which had been a cause of some controversy a while back. He has a small, but dedicated fan base, many of which are quite industrious in publishing their own literature and studies.

I have a few family members who swear by him, but I'm not totally sure how I feel about him just yet. Any opinions?

First, my own opinion: from what little I've read from him, he seems to know the scriptures very well. Wether what he writes is true doctrine or not you can tell he hasn't ever deliberately wrested the scriptures to prove his point, but declares them as he sees them. That being said, theres just something about his books that make me uncomfortable. In particular, his description of the city of Zion in VoG just makes me feel sick for an unknown reason, even though it seems perfectly plausible. Many of his fans, though ernest, seem to fixate on some points of doctrine to the point of missing the mark by my estimation. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Anddenex said:

This is the first time I have ever heard of him, so I wouldn't be of much help. What makes you uncomfortable about his description of Zion?

Well, as I said, I really don't know. He doesn't say anything that contradicts revealed doctrines from what I've been able to tell. All I know is that part of me is delighted at what he says, while another part is disgusted. I cannot tell why.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not read his books. 

I'm not sure exactly of him, but I know many of those who follow his ideas (Such as Julie Rowe) seem to be part of the New Age portion of Saints who have some unique ideas about near death experiences (many of which are not actually near death experiences in my opinion) and out of body experiences.

New Age idealism has tossed a lot of murkiness around the idea of Near Death Experiences.  Instead of having VALID Near Death experiences as given by those who truly had such, they have many (who were later shown to never have had such a near death at all) say they had such things occur to them and give wildly conflicting ideas about the afterlife and things after death.  In many ways they tend to conflict with other Near Death experiences of those who are NOT part of this New Age movement.

One of the ideas of the New Age movement is that they do not just have a Near Death experience, but a repeat experiences.  They try to meld the idea of near Death and out of Body as the same type of thing and same type of experience in order to try to validate their own ideas.  One difference is that by doing this, they can say they have repeat experiences which occur often via visions and dreams rather than a one time Near Death experience.  They promote New Age ideas such as mysterious beings that are one with the universe rather than any other item and in many instances seem to have an agenda to promote New Ageism over that of simply relating what happens after death.

It seems that once people join this sort of following they suddenly all have these Out of Body Experiences.  They all have to say they had one.  It is not really listening as more of promoting one's own ideas among them and trying to yell the loudest (which Rowe was VERY successful at for a while). 

Now, how much of what they say is true or not, I could not tell you.  I don't know.  The confusion of everyone talking about things at once which conflict with each other and yet try to say the same things make the water far too murky for me to be able to tell which ones are being truthful and which ones are not being truthful.  It's a very hard thing to determine.

Among the Saints, Visions of Glory seem to be the Members version of New Ageism which is currently promoted through the rest of the world.  It is their form of the branch which is being followed, but is part of a larger whole. 

Once again, no idea how much of it is true and how much of it is not.  It could be the whole thing is true...but with how murky the tides are with these groups...it's a very hard thing to be able to tell.

It may be that John Pontius's writings are exactly the truth and reveal what he has seen or found out the best he knows how.  I do not know for myself, but when reading them perhaps being guided by the spirit on what is truth would be a good indicator to one in their personal pursuit of knowledge.

I tend to distrust a LOT of the stuff that comes out of these groups myself, but that is not really any good indicator for you on your own determinations.

Edited by JohnsonJones

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

I have not read his books. 

I'm not sure exactly of him, but I know many of those who follow his ideas (Such as Julie Rowe) seem to be part of the New Age portion of Saints who have some unique ideas about near death experiences (many of which are not actually near death experiences in my opinion) and out of body experiences.

I have not read his books either.

Is he in that same group with Chris Daybell and Lori Vallow who are in deep trouble in Rexburg for her missing children?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read about half of Visions of Glory.  I got bored with it and didn't continue reading.  I consider privately authored spiritual expositions in the same light as the D&C represents the Apocrypha.

Quote

There are many things contained therein that are true. . . There are many things contained therein that are not true, which are interpolations by the hands of men. . . whoso is enlightened by the Spirit shall obtain benefit therefrom.  (D&C 91)

In most situations, it is not really worth my time to decipher truth from interpolation from someones private writings.  There are so many 'good books' to read, already.  That said, a few ideas here and there from private authors have helped me identify my personal opinions; ultimately, I may disagree with the author's interpretation while being pleased that it led me to my own.  Outside of accepted canonical sources, I find it best to maintain a certain level of skepticism, especially as it concerns things that have not yet been directly revealed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Moonbeast32 said:

1. VoG just makes me feel sick
2. something about his books that make me uncomfortable.

Elder Gary E. Stevenson:

Quote

"The Holy Ghost can help you by warning you in advance of physical and spiritual dangers"

I personally would classify your feelings as a warning from the Spirit to stay away from that spiritual slippery slope.

There is a subset of members of the Church who simply can't leave the mysteries of God alone. They crave answers, explanations and personal revelations beyond what the prophets provide. Many have a longing to go back in time to the early days of the restoration when visions, angels and gifts exploded on the scene and were, at least in their minds, more prevalent.
All it takes is someone or a book to offer NDEs with visions of the future and that subset of members instantly gravitates in that direction.

The description of Zion in Visions of Glory (VOG) is Pontius sharing the 'vision' of an anonymous source called Spencer. FairMormon did a great write up on it: click here

Edited by NeedleinA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

VOG is bad LDS science fiction...barely.

That is the only thing, other then some blog posts, by Pontius I've read.  He didn't hold my attention.

As far as I know Pontius did not have any affiliation with the group Vallow and Daybell are connected with.  He also died a few years ago.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't read any of his stuff but from what I hear he's a little too full of himself for my liking. I don't trust anyone who sets themselves up to be a light unto the world. If they aren't seeking to deceive they are a prime candidate to be deceived. Either way its bad news. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this