Monday, July 28, 2014
Title: Visions of Glory
Author: John Pontius
Review: I don’t know if I find the book truly as fascinating as the vast mix of reviews it is getting from everyone I know. I was told by a number of people that I “have to read it!” others have said “don’t bother” citing it’s a waste of time reading false doctrine. The sheer ambiguity created around the book was enough to get me to read it.
I liked it. I didn’t like it in the “It changed my whole life and I’m going to pack my bags and follow this Pontius guy around the globe” kind of way. I did, however, find it fascinating. Do I think it’s real and based on true events? Maybe. Do I think it is for the whole of the LDS church to grasp as true doctrine? No. I believe that this guy did have his own out of body experiences, his own revelations, and his own spiritual experiences. I kind of took it as this is his learning experience for his own life and I get to look into it and take what I would like.
I liked reading the beginning of the book about how our spirits are connected to our bodies, how everything around us is praising god. How we can interact as spirits, how and what it is like in heaven and it was neat to see how everything in his life was aligned so things would go the way God would like it to. Everything that happened, happened for a reason. I also learned what it is like to have your spirit go in and out of your body. It was pretty cool to think about.
The latter part of the book, not so much. We get to learn more about evil and how the last days will play out….according to him. There are multiple discrepancies between the book and actual scripture and that bothers me. If the last days do in fact end as he claims they will, great. If not, great.
All in all, without getting into the doctrine and/or writing my own novel on the truth of the book, I will say give it a read. I wouldn’t give it to someone to read who is questioning their faith or to someone new in the LDS Church. It is bound to confuse and maybe even scare some people. BUT, if you are someone like me who is secure in their faith, someone who can detach themselves from the book and take it at face value, then you may, in fact, find it as mysteriously thought-provoking as I did. I learned the same things I always learn. Trust in the Lord, follow the savior, be prepared, be a better person and love one another. It can’t be an evil book if that’s what you take from it. It just can’t.
Heather, thank you for this review.
Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc.
Quick Review: 3 out of 5 stars
Where I got the book: Given as a gift
Synopsis: In this true account of near-death experiences, we learn about the miracles of the millennium, the return of the Ten Tribes, the building of the New Jerusalem and Temple, and many other astonishing events long prophesied in scripture but never before described in such vivid detail. Visions of Glory is a mesmerizing and fascinating read that you will not be able to put down.
Author Information: Ever since he was a little boy, all John ever desired was to serve the Lord in whatever capacity he was called. He served an LDS mission to South Africa and returned home to BYU where he married Kathy Ferguson. They had four beautiful children: Matt, Ben, Bonnie and Lisa. They later divorced. John loved living in Alaska for nearly 35 years. He married Terri Jeanne Muhlestein and sealed four more beautiful children into his eternal family: Alicia, Jason, Stephen and Jessica. He loves his precious family with a pure and abiding love. They are each his treasure.
John had the sweet and humbling gift of writing with the pen of angels. The Lord gave him an ability uniquely his to express the gospel of Jesus Christ in a simple yet magnificently beautiful way. Throughout his life, he has touched many thousands of lives through his published books, firesides and this blog. John’s passions also included music, playing piano and organ masterfully since a young boy, oil painting, woodworking, conducting choral and orchestra (his favorite being the Mat-Su Alaska Community Messiah, which he did for many years), Christmas, and anything that captivated his mechanical and technical genius.
John’s books and lectures were his creations. They have been, and remain, reflections of a man who was always in good standing in the church, continuously held a temple recommend as well as significant callings in the Church, completely defended and celebrated the doctrines of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and policies of the Church, and always sustained Church leaders. To insinuate anything contrary is a gross mischaracterization (a lie) about a good man who has passed on.