I read constantly. Every book I read leaves its mark and contributes to my knowledge and understanding of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. However, I have just finished re-reading the John Pontius book, “Visions of Glory”. I have never read anything that was as uplifting and inspiring as this book. Both times, but especially this second time, I was stunned by its power. This morning, as I knelt in prayer, I didn’t pray very long, because I felt almost immediately compelled to write my prayer:
Heavenly Father, I need thee. I need thy love. I need thy spirit. I need thine approval. I need to know that my daily life is pleasing unto thee. Father, it is no longer enough for me to live by the day-to-day doctrines of the church or to just not sin. While it is crucially important for me to become ever more obedient to thy commandments, my obedience must now go beyond the letter of the law. I must now be obedient to thy personal commandments for me. I must now be obedient to every word from my Lord, for I know that only in this way can I become the servant you need me to be.
Furthermore, I must now dedicate myself to the building of Zion, because I know two things:
1) Christ will not come into the world until we of thy church have built Zion and,
2) Christ will not come to me until I have built Zion in my heart
I understand that in dedicating myself to the building of Zion, I must learn to no longer underestimate the effects of the Fall. I must learn that everything in this telestial existence that falls short of thy glory, be it sin, wickedness, disease, frailty, or ignorance, is the result of the fall, and can only be overcome by the pure love of Christ, which in turn is only accessible to us through His atoning sacrifice.
I understand that I must come to recognize that each of us, thy children, was formerly a God, and that each of us has the potential to become a God again. I must be more understanding and forgiving of others, and especially of myself. However, I must also recognize that, while I CANNOT make choices for others, I MUST make the choice for myself to become Zion worthy. I must become the type of person that, when I enter Zion, it is still Zion for all who are there.
I understand, Heavenly Father, that my supreme mission in this life is, if not to build Zion with my own hands, to prepare those who will. I accept this mission with a humble heart. To settle for less would be an eternal disappointment to both you and to me. In accepting my mission, I accept that I must be willing to surrender all earthly things; that I must first identify and then learn to shed my dependencies on all things except thy love, thy spirit and thine approval. I must teach myself to have faith and to truly believe that you will provide all my needs; that I can never let any possession or dependency stand between me and thy will; and that all I truly need is that which will enable me to fulfill my mission.
I accept that I must recognize, honor and, in doing so, release my true nature, which is to love, accept, nurture and cooperate with all of thy creations in the interest of furthering the ongoing creation of a celestial world. In short, I must overcome the bondage of the fall, and refuse to settle for anything less than the fullness of the priesthood. I accept that I cannot do this of myself, that only through the atonement of thy precious son will this triumph be enabled.
I accept that there may be sacrifices to be made, but if I learn to see through thine eyes, and align myself with thy will, they will not seem like sacrifices. Instead, I will know that every experience I have, no matter how difficult or painful, will bring me closer to thee. I will come to understand that a sacrifice is only a sacrifice when one surrenders something they consider precious, and that nothing will seem precious when compared to the joy of trusting thee, of obeying thee, and of fulfilling thy will. Indeed, nothing will seem precious when compared to the glory of being in thy presence, and of feeling the fullness of thy love.
In my heart, Heavenly Father, I have complete trust in thee, and in thy plan for me. I pray that the day will come when that trust will be fully manifested through my every action. I pray that the day will come when I can dedicate each day to you in the name of thy Son; that the day will come when I will be redeemed from the fall. I ask thee for thy blessing that these things may come to pass. I hereby covenant with thee that I will dedicate myself to the completion of this mission – the building of Zion – and I do so in the name of thy precious son, Jesus Christ. Amen.