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With over 100,000 copies sold, there is a reason why Visions of Glory continually sells. The near death vision that John Pontius had has captivated many people over the years. It's interesting to read his experience and compare it to the world that we live in today. At one point in the book, he talks about how in the end of days, a "devastating plague" will sweep through Earth and kill many people. In this part of his vision, he recounts:
About this time, a devastating plague swept across the nation. It came in three waves. Each wave was more virulent, killing healthier people, and killing them quicker. It swept across North and South America and around the world, killing billions. But the troops who arrived seemed to be mostly immune to it, though a few of them died as well. Of the total population before the earthquake, I estimated that 25 percent died in the plague. I knew as I was “flying” over it that the plague had been manmade, and the troops had been inoculated against it, but it took many months before the survivors of the plague realized the true source of it. I will talk more about this plague in the next chapter.
The lawlessness began to ease as the marauders were caught and summarily executed by the troops. They did not have any regard for civil rights, or even human rights. They had a job to do, and they did it with brute force and little empathy, which may have been necessary in that setting, at least at first.
When the troops arrived in the Salt Lake City area, they were complimentary of the Church and surprised at how far the relief and restoration had progressed. But as the weeks progressed, they became less and less tolerant. They started taking advantage of any chaos that existed. Because of the collapse of civil authority, the Church had become the only organized group of people remaining. The Church had taken charge of rebuilding and reorganizing and did not stop just because relief efforts had arrived. This was the first city the troops had entered that didn’t just give up and hand control of civil matters over to the foreign troops.
The organization of the Church seemed to thwart their plans to be in control. In a short time it became apparent that their primary goal was to establish their own government in place of federal and local governments. When they found the Church organized and functioning as a de facto government, it frustrated their plans, and it also created a split in their ranks, largely by national origin.
The few US troops among them refused to act against the Church, as did many from Europe. Quite a few of the troops who resisted were members themselves. The troops from Asia were not dissuaded and thereafter decided that the Church was an enemy that had to be shut down or destroyed. But they could not proceed to just destroy the Church because of the troops who did not agree, and because of the fact that nearly all of the remaining population were members of the Church or were indebted to it for their lives and welfare.
A considerable amount of printed propaganda began coming from what appeared to be the remnants of our Federal Government. They proclaimed with great fanfare that this was the beginning of a “new world order.” They claimed that everything had changed in the world. For the first time in memory, the United States was no longer able to meet its own basic needs, and the rest of the world was welcoming us into this new world order. The logic they used was, “Why else would they be here with food and medicine, instead of with guns and bombs.” Our own government seemed to be urging all US citizens to just submit and accept the changes in civil authority.
It didn’t take long for most people to realize that our Federal Government no longer existed and that this propaganda was coming from the foreign troops themselves.
The plague ultimately killed more than half of those who were exposed to it. Some people survived by some natural immunity or divine intervention. Once symptoms appeared, a person would die about twelve hours later. The plague came in three waves, each one taking out the next weakest group of people. If you got sick and somehow survived, you became immune.
The soldiers who handled the dead were dressed in white contamination suits. They took away the bodies of the dead to parks or football stadiums where they had dug large holes. The dead were then soaked with fuel and cremated. The troops did not speak to us since most of them did not speak English. They were detached and unsympathetic. They just had a nasty job to do, which they were determined to accomplish without contaminating themselves or becoming insane from so much death. They also didn’t harass us. It was all impersonal.
When I had earlier seen these scenes while “flying” across the landscape, I saw city after city across the nation where these posters were on the doors. I didn’t understand what they meant until I saw this latter part of the vision where I was on the ground experiencing it as a living person. I was left with the impression that between the earthquake and the plague, more than half of the population had been killed—more on the coastlines and fewer inland.
The scene became more and more horrendous as I watched time pass. In Utah, and other places where people had hearkened to the warnings to store food and prepare spiritually, there was hope. In other places, people lost hope. Some people intentionally contaminated themselves with the plague after watching loved ones die. In places where people had no hope, awful things happened that I think it best not to articulate. Suffice it to say that heinous crimes were commonplace.
Anywhere the Church was prevalent, the people were much better off because of the preparations of the people and of the Church. Food and water were still available. Large meals were prepared and served in public places, most often churches. People had at least one sustaining meal a day. Many came with more food than they ate, sustaining the relief effort and calming people’s fears. Nobody was turned away. We divided what we had with everyone. As long as the Church didn’t take any part in civic decisions, the foreign troops allowed these efforts and contributed to the food that was served.
It was about this time that the plague hit Europe, Asia, and Africa. I don’t believe it was ever started there, or intended to go there, but it got out of control and crossed the oceans. The devastation there was far more severe than in the Americas. The result over time was a complete collapse of society. We also heard of great natural disasters now taking place all around the world. There were hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, and disease. This was the time period when the landmass arose in the Gulf of Mexico, and the tidal wave swept northward.
Initially, America had been hardest hit by all of this, but when the destructions hit the nations who had released the plague and launched the nuclear weapons, it was far more destructive for them. Their entire governments, financial institutions, and economies collapsed. They experienced powerful earthquakes and continental movement, and rioting and war were far more devastating than in America. People were trying to leave those continents in droves. As I will explain more fully later, angels and translated beings ministered to the worthy and faithful and protected them as they began their journey to Zion.
The following was an excerpt from the book Visions of Glory currently on sale at Cedarfort.com!