The first time I heard about Visions of Glory was from my father-in-law. I’ll admit, I pretty much dismissed it. My thoughts: It’s about a man’s dream or vision. It’s not prophecy or revelation. That comes from the prophet.
I won’t go into what the book is about as I think that can be covered elsewhere. I’ll simply share my thoughts from having read (listed to) it.
How I came to Read Visions of Glory
My father-in-law had actually recommended a few books by John Pontius. I never took the time to read them though. It wasn’t until he loaned me his copy of Journey to the Veil and I read a few excerpts that I got much more interested in John Pontius and his writings. But that is another story I’ll blog about later.
Ultimately, after getting to know John Pontius better I became far more interested in Visions of Glory and decided to purchase the audiobook.
I thought this whole book was fascinating. I started listening to it alone, but my wife joined in and listed with me on a long trip from Salt Lake City to Boise, Idaho. It took the whole trip there and back to complete the book from the point where I had left off.
While I found it fascinating, I really didn’t want to be deceived. I did more research to hear others’ thoughts on it. The man who had the visions remains anonymous. He is referred to as “Spencer” throughout the book.
After reading the book I could certainly understand why he wanted to remain anonymous and I couldn’t argue with his reasoning.
I found some people take his vision very literally, while others completely dismiss it.
My Current Thoughts
Throughout the book, I didn’t notice very many glaring contradictions to what I have learned throughout my life in the church. I don’t think the book is perfect and I don’t expect it to be. I believe as Joseph Smith stated the the Book of Mormon is the most correct of any book on earth.
But I still find his visions and interpretations of his visions fascinating. Are they literal? I don’t know. I believe they possibly could be. But Spencer reiterates often that this vision was to teach him and was for him. We may gain insights from it, but we should seek our light and knowledge through study and prayer and seeking to learn by the Spirit.
If the events described in the book from Spencer’s visions are literal, then what? Well, it makes me want to be more prepared spiritually and temporally. It makes me want to get things in order. These are good things that the prophets have been encouraging us to do for years.
What bad could come from it? I suppose one could make all their decisions based on the information in this book and ignore the Spirit and the prophets of the church. But it is emphasized by Spencer that this is not what we are to do. So a careful study of this book should not lead you down this path. Instead, if you really believe this book, I can only see it bringing you closer to Christ.
A few scriptures come to mind. First, Mark 9:38-40 where the Savior essential tells his disciples than a man working miracles in His name is on His side.
And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
For he that is not against us is on our part.
For as much as Spencer testifies of the Savior and the restored gospel, you would be hard pressed to say he is doing more harm than good.
Second, in the Old Testament as Joel is speaking about the last days, in Joel 2:28-29:
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
We are basically told here that it will not just be prophets, seers and revelators that will be allowed to see visions. Yes, they are called as special witnesses to testify of Christ and lead his Church. But they have told us we are all entitled to personal revelation.
So if you find the events leading up the second coming of the Savior a fascinating topic, I highly recommend this book. It deals with more than just that – other stuff that I found very interesting. I still ponder on this book and feel it has brought be closer to the Savior and his teaching. Therefore, I would say this is a good book and I highly recommend it to anyone willing to read it.