(Continued from last week…)
SPENCER from Utah
“The following vision….was not a dream. I was not ‘seeing’ it, but rather was present in the vision, experiencing it with my five senses….It was…real to me, and…difficult to tell if I was…out of my body or experiencing it in the flesh.
“It was about 4:00 a.m. by the time I got to bed that night. I had been completing some important work and had lost track of time. I was exhausted as I lay down after saying my prayers, and I fell into a deep sleep.
“My first recollection was that I was hurrying from the parking lot toward a stake center where I had been assigned to speak. It was the same building I attended every Sunday for years. In my mind I was late for a leadership meeting and was therefore rushing into the building. I was halfway up the walk on the backside of the church when I heard, ‘Spencer.’
“The voice was familiar to me, and I turned around to see who had spoken my name. I was astonished to see Jesus Christ standing in the parking lot where the sidewalk begins. I knew His face. I had never before seen Him in mortality, yet I knew Him. His face is the most familiar face in the universe. My spirit instantly knew Him, remembered Him, and loved Him. I remembered everything about Him, everything He has done for me.
“It felt to my soul as if I was seeing my most beloved friend for the first time after decades of absence. I felt my heart racing in my chest. He did not introduce Himself because I recognized Him immediately. He communicated with me verbally, but every word He spoke was rich with non-verbal truth that entered my soul far faster than words.
“He was wearing a vibrant red robe that hung across His right shoulder, and was tied up with a clasp on His left shoulder. He wore a cloth belt of the same color about his waist. The robe hung to his ankles and hands and had long sleeves. He wore old-time sandals on his feet.
“He was tall, possibly a little over six feet. His form was masculine. He had a sturdy build with big shoulders and strong limbs. His face was not thin, as is depicted in some paintings, but full with high cheekbones. He had a dark beard that was closely trimmed. His hair was the color of His beard, and was long enough to touch His shoulders. His eyes were the most beautiful and clearest blue one can imagine.
“He smiled at me, and I dropped my briefcase and ran to Him. His arms engulfed me. I can’t find words to explain how it felt to be embraced by Him. A flood of memories returned of being comfortable in His arms long before. I felt His love for me radiating from Him. I knew by instinct that He knew everything about me, yet there was no sense of judgment. I felt from him a complete sense of His confidence in me and in my capacity. It was amazing to me, because I have never had a lot of confidence in myself.
“I did not look for the marks in His hands and feet. I don’t know why I didn’t look, even today. I remember thinking later that day, why didn’t I look? Perhaps it was because I did not need to see His wounds to know it was Him. I was so taken by His love, power radiance, unlimited capacity, vast knowledge, and perfections that it never entered my mind to look.
“His feet were not on the ground. I was surprised how He could hold me with such firmness. He was standing—not floating—but He was not standing upon our mortal world. He was not occupying the same space that I was on this planet. In that space that He was occupying, everything was radiating from Him, as if He were the sun and everything rotated around Him and came from Him.
“His face was welcoming, smiling, pleased to be with me. It felt like we had embraced like this often before, which surprised me. My family is not ‘huggy,’ and I had never learned to enjoy long or emotional hugging. Yet in this embrace, I wished it could go on forever. After a long while He put His hands on my shoulders and pushed me gently to arm’s length.
“He looked me in the eye and told me He was pleased with my life thus far. He thanked me earnestly for my service in His name….He told me that He loved me, and that from this time forward I would do much good for the Kingdom. He paused for a second, then added that the righteous desire of my heart would be granted. I knew exactly which desire He meant. It was my great desire that I truly would rise to endure my future trials well and thereby be purified….
“He again said, ‘Spencer,’ and for a moment I saw myself as He sees me and knew myself as He knows me….In that moment He spoke my name I was given to see and feel the full meaning of my name to Him. It melted my heart and still does to this day every time I think of how He said my name. The love He bestowed upon me in that one word cannot be described in any mortal language.
“So, when I read….of the first vision and hear ‘Joseph, this is my beloved Son,’ I wish everyone could know what young Joseph experienced when he heard the Lord say his name. Because when you hear your name from the lips of our Savior, you never again hear your name the same way—ever….
“He nodded toward the stake center and said, ‘You are needed. You need to go to your assignment.’ I took a step back, still looking at Him, wishing I did not have to leave, but He had instructed me to go, and I turned and took a few steps away. I stopped and turned back. He again spoke my name, and I was again engulfed in love and tears. As I watched, He began to fade slowly, then He was gone.
“I immediately became aware of my bed and bedroom. I was weeping openly, joyfully, in a way I had never before experienced” (Visions of Glory, John M. Pontius, [Cedar Fort, Inc, 2012], pp. 57-60).
(to be continued…)