I’ve always thought it interesting that in Mosiah he states that Jesus will come and “shall cast out devils, or the evil spirits which dwell in the hearts of the children of men.” This teaching seems to suggest that most of us have evil spirits which possess us. Notice it does not say “evil spirits which may dwell, or who dwell in some or in many….” It simply and plainly suggests that evil spirits dwell in our hearts.
Perhaps the Temple depiction is most correct where Satan promises that the spirits which follow after him shall possess the bodies that God creates for Adam and Eve.
I think many of us will agree that it seems odd that there is such an emphasis on “evil spirits” during Christ’s ministry, but nearly no emphasis on the subject today save but for the few Catholics who are seen as less than emotionally stable for their exorcisms.
And yet even Mary Magdalene was possessed with devils. Seven of them to be exact.
What if all of us have demons which possess us? And what if this is why and how we sin?
I love the story found in Mark chapter 5:2-20:
And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts. And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.
This story seems to suggest that some people have more than one evil spirit. Can you imagine, that perhaps this man had 2,000 devils or evil spirits that dwelt with him? One for each of the swine? I wonder what influence each evil spirit had in this man’s life.
There are so many great stories in the New Testament that can instruct us on how to deal with evil spirits. For example, Jesus scolds his disciples when they failed to cast out an evil spirit from a small child:
And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. (Mark 9:29)
I’ve wondered lately if evil spirits aren’t not only more common than we think, but that rather they are the reason we feel tendencies towards certain sins.
What if when I am quick to anger, it is a rogue unredeemed spirit that may even be a deceased ancestor of mine, who seeks to “help” me or influence me? Would my deceased ancestor not qualify potentially for a spirit who has chosen to follow after the devil and who is in his power in his current state?
What if I am feeling especially carnal? Worldly? Judgmental? Dishonest? Depressed? Arrogant? Sexual? Could these not be evil spirits trying to influence me?
It’s funny how we assume so much. We’d rather assume that such vices are due to our own fallen nature than to contemplate that such influences may be coming from the devils sworn to inhabit and control our bodies.
It is my current opinion that we, as mortals, are subject to being possessed. And that the only remedy is that we fast and pray that Christ casts out the evil spirits that dwell in each of us. I do not recommend paying for some person or for some conference that “teaches you” how to cast them out. I invite you to turn to the Master in fasting and in prayer. He and only He can assist you in overcoming these evil spirits.
I am humbled by the idea that even when our house is clean, then and especially then, are evil spirits most desirous to possess our house.
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. (Luke 11:24–26)
Christ is our healer. He can cast out the evil spirits that dwell in us and prevent us from redemption. That is master mayhem’s goal after all, to keep us from Christ’s redemptive powers. If he can do so through deceiving even the very elect, by inspiring the teachings of the precepts of men, as inspired by his false priests whom he has raised up on the other side of the veil, then he will find happiness in his victory for a season and we shall lose our souls.
Perhaps many of our ills are inspired by his evil forces who find the chinks in our armor. Perhaps the goal is to overcome every demon until they are all cast out. And we become new creatures? To go no more out? Maybe that’s what it means to receive the Holy Ghost? Maybe our spirits become awakened and unencumbered in that state? With no more disposition to do evil?
God help us as we strive to have Satan overcome in our lives and as we seek to receive the Holy Ghost.
In my ward this subject is NEVER brought up. And according to my memory, it’s rarely if ever discussed by the speakers (our leaders?) in General Conference.
Wouldn’t it be helpful to know we are possessed by evil or unclean spirits? Why would understanding this possible reality be helpful? (www.drmfish.com has interesting testimonies on this topic btw).
What might we be more likely to do, if we believed we were possessed with a spirit that was inspiring us to do evil?
Might we feel a greater desire to ask the Lord for help? Might we actively engage the Lord in the battle to cleanse our own “house” or temple?
Might this key of knowledge (isn’t knowledge “keys”?) be pivotal in purifying ourselves so that the Lord could come suddenly to His temple? Is it not true that the pure in heart shall see God?
Could it be possible that the LACK of said key knowledge severely handicaps us in the fight against the Adversary?
Thank you for this needed message!
Thank you for this post. I agree with your assessment that many of our troubles are because of the influence of evil spirits but our “professionals” would have us believe the cause is a chemical imbalance or some other scientifically explainable issue. Coming to Christ is the answer. Believing Him and using our faith to rid ourselves of the pride that keeps us embracing evil, is the answer. The world would call that “superstition.” Humbly seeking answers from Christ is as much science for me as is E=mc2. Worldly science and faith in Christ are both valuable. But when one excludes the other and even ridicules it, we run into trouble. I very much appreciate the insights your posts provide. This blog is a regular read for me. Just thought you’d like to know.
I’d read months ago about an LDS psychologist ( often demeaned and shunned by his peers) who has tried repeatedly to educate patients and peers about this reality in dealing with patients.
I believed it when I read it and still do.
My anxiety comes at contemplating the spiritual cleansing process, being successful but lacking the true understanding of how to prevent the reality of increased opposition thereafter.
If one cleanses their spiritual house, and strives daily to be filled with the Holy Ghost, as protection, but falls short in worthiness, it is fearful to know seven evil spirits could occupy our clean house.
I long to eradicate one negative spirit in my life. It plagues me daily, and my heart sincerely desires to overcome it.
Please share any insights.
Also know that I DO NOT believe my fears evidence a lack of faith. I believe my fears stem from an inexperience in exercising faith. When Peter joined the Savior in walking on the water, he began successfully, then in a moment of awareness, he fell. The Lord did NOT state he had no faith, He stated Peter’s faith was “little”…. If we have “little” artistic, musical or athletic capacity, exercise, practice, dedication, to master the capacity can improve our shortfall.
Years of studying Lectures on Faith, the scriptures, and prayer plus fasting have made me more mindful of my shortfall, but I continue to beg to overcome this negative attribute. If it is attributable to an evil spirit, and I find the increase of faith to eradicate that evil associate, how do I keep that corner of my house clean so seven of his evil associates don’t move in?
Lovely post. Thank you.
I don’t know what to think about the topic but I still know that we have moral agency we can exercise to either commit or not commit sin. Maybe we do have certain proclivities but I refuse to share responsibility for my bad acts 🙂
Does the LDS church currently have the same priesthood Christ and his apostles had to cast out evil spirits? Or can one simply call upon God in prayer and fasting to have them removed?
I’ve never commented on a blog before, so here goes. I think there’s enough scripture evidence to prove that evil influence does exist. Frankly, that was/is a significant part of “The Plan”.
I don’t know where ‘influence’ stops and ‘possession’ begins. Perhaps to the degree we allow the influence to take hold and control us. I know I’ve battled this my whole life, but lately I’ve discerned that what is happening is that I am being ‘tempted’ to think or feel something negative. It’s my choice to follow that suggestion or to resist it. The more I desire to follow Christ, the clearer the choice appears. It comes down to agency.
I have cast out the evil sometimes and felt an immediate lightening. But the influence is always going to be there because that’s how this world is set up. That’s his job and he’s very good at it.
Our goal is to RESIST the evil.
Here is something to sink your teeth into.If you havent already
I know of one case of casting out devils, and that happened on my mission before 1978. Today the Church claims to have the same priesthood to cast out devils but that priesthood authority was lost in 1978 because the Church broke the commandments of God and gave the priesthood to the blacks. The Church today has no more authority than any other Church to perform healings or casting out evil spirits. The gifts of the spirit were removed in 1978 from the Church and it is seldom now that you hear of these things. Whereas before 1978 the gifts were still present in the Church and it was common to hear of things. The members will claim the authority but it is quite easy to see that the authority of the priesthood has been removed.
Love your comment! Christ was tempted but not likely possessed! Great food for thought.
I believe that when we sin we unwittingly invite evil spirits into our experience. Sometimes these will be disembodied spirits who developed particular appetites while mortal and seek to satisfy that hunger by proxy through a living mortal. Sometimes they will be demons with particular specialisms.
I have long thought that demon influence (I’m not sure possession is the right word in this context) is the reason for homosexual tendency, susceptibility to addictions, thrill seeking, and so on.
Their presence/influence in our hearts leaves a kind of contrail which they follow whenever they return, and which only God’s grace can erase through the cleansing qualities of the Holy Ghost.
Again, I’m not any kind of an authority, but I’m quite sure priesthood is not required to cast out the devil or his followers. I have no priesthood, yet he has left me when I have commanded him in the name of Jesus Christ.
I first learned of this while reading Tramp For The Lord by Corrie Ten Boom. She taught prisoners, somewhere in Africa, that they could do that. It is essential to be absolutely single minded in your motive and firm in your resolve to follow Christ. It is Jesus Christ who sends them packing. Not us.
Realizing this use of our agency lends more meaning to the phrase “working out our salvation with fear and trembling”. I see the connection, maybe others don’t.
Joseph Smith taught that women could give blessings too. As I recall, he said if the person is healed then what was the trouble that a woman gave the blessing. He said a lot of stuff that is not taught these days.
Interesting post. It definitely echoes things that I’ve thought or wondered about. And I feel like it’s such an important topic. Yet we don’t talk about it in the church. I think most people would think it was a strange thing to talk about. And yet, there it is in the New Testament, 1 Nephi 11, Mosiah 3…. I feel like we should know more about this in the church.
The same story as told in Matthew 17, makes me wonder if the Savior refers to something else when he says “This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:29) Matthew 17:19–21, I believe, paints a different picture. When the disciples asked why they had been unsuccessful in this, even though they had performed miracles prior to this, the “Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief” He then relates how “faith as a grain of mustard seed” (notice lack of the word size—faith of the actual seed not faith the size of the actual seed) can do all things that seem impossible. He then says “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” What kind? I believe He is telling the disciples that this level of unbelief will not go away without prayer and fasting.
Interesting thought. So you’re suggesting that maybe the savior is saying that this kind of unbelief does not come out but by fasting and prayer? I love the discussion and different ideas.
Have you read “Conquering Spiritual Evil” by Doug Mendenhall?
His daughter lives without a veil and can see evil & unclean spirits as they attach to humans. He shares some of what invites them into our lives, and how to shield ourselves, cast them out. I highly recommend it.
I have not read that book but I did read Mel Fish’s book and met with him once in his home. I don’t know Doug but I think Mel is a very nice man. I have come to the conclusion that such approaches complicate matters generally. I don’t question anyone’s sincerity or their personal experiences. But for me personally, I felt very uncomfortable paying $40 to be taught how to raise my arm to the square to cast out devils. I did see people there at Brother Fish’s who were happy paying the money and seemed to be enjoying the experience. I find, however, that the more I expand my sources that I listen to, the less room I have for Christ. There are so many gurus and so few true messengers. It doesn’t make someone evil or bad for trying to share their gift. But as I said, for me, my mind becomes less firm, and I find myself thinking I’m being enlightened when in fact I’m usually merely being titillated.
This post was terrific. We certainly are possessed by false spirits. Knowing that is the only defense against them. When you’re about to sin, remember why. You yourself wish not to sin. Your true identity craves righteousness. So why do we sin? Because we are possessed by evil spirits. Pray for deliverance by the grace of God.
AB — I just wanted to let you know that I included your blog in one of my own posts.
My challenge is to read this following article:
hope to hear feedback.
Blaine Yorgensen wrote a book, “I Need Thee Every Hour, the joy of coming to Christ”. Chapter 20 talks about spirits and their enfluences on us. This chapter gave me a nugget that I have used often in the work I do with people.
He says that every spirit has a name. Just as the story of the spirit named legion, “for they were many”, the spirit of rebellion, anger, apostasy, etc, are their names and their assignment.
I have found in addressing spirits I want gone that identifying them by name seems to be more effective.
For example the spirit of contention or confusion werected two weeks worked with when our children were younger. Especially after they walked in the door from school. We taught them how to release, cast out or whatever name you choose. It certainly made school more bearable some days.
It is interesting how the Lord gives us each experiences according to our understanding and requests. Not all are the same. We have seen immediate changes in people’s health and attitudes quite often . However as we know, many of our attitudes and habits need the prayer and fasting. I like the idea also presented about fasting and prayer for unbelief. A true principle.
Brigham Young also discusses this in the journal of discourses.
I find this discussion quite interesting. But the idea that all of our sins and evil thoughts are just the result of evil spirits that dwell in us I think stems from a desire to find an excuse for our sins. In other words “The Devil Made Me do It!” I know many believe and have stated that there is quite a bit of demon possession today. And I agree that there are a few cases of this. I see this among those who are locked into sinful behavior such as homosexuality and other things. But to say that we are sinning because of these demons I think we are missing the point. We are tempted to be sure but demon possessed? I don’t think so.
Remember the story of the Brother of Jared for example. He hadn’t called on the Lord for 4 years as I recall and so when he finally got around to praying the Lord came and chastised him for a long period of time. What do you think the Lord would have said to him if he said “The Devil Made Me do it.” I don’t think the Lord would have amused.
At the beginning of the 7th seal (Revelation 9) Lucifer opens the pit and the demons will come out like to torture mankind. I believe what this is telling us is most of the demons are in fact in the pit right now. I just don’t believe the idea that all of Lucifers hosts which amount to many billions of spirits are on earth tempting us. Most are down in the pit and will be released at a later date. There are some but the way many here make it sound makes me want to lock myself in the bathroom in fear. These demons have not been given the power to kill and torture mankind at this time – only to tempt us.
Yes there are cases of demon possession but I don’t see it as that many. I know of only one case where it was as dramatic as the case of Newel K. Knight in the early Church. I can see where people living in sin are demon possessed too but as a general rule I don’t think so in my opinion. Just own-up to your own sins and do what you can do to repent of them and avoid saying “The devil made me do it”.
I don’t think that AB is saying here that we are not responsible for our sins. The idea that we are possessed by evil spirits does not mean that we can say that “the devil made me do it.” Alma 34:34: the same spirit that possesses our bodies in this life, will have power over us in the world to come. The purpose of this life is to test us all, each of us working with a blank slate (behind a veil) to see which spirit (or spirits) we will follow. The more we follow the instructions and falsehoods of evil spirits, the less power we will have to resist them. The more we follow the Spirit of Truth (Christ Himself), the more strength we will gain over the evil spirits that seek to influence us. Yes, sin may be caused by the influence of evil spirits, but only because we allow it to, or have allowed it to influence us in the past.
Where else would the idea to sin come from in the first place? We must all be enticed to one spriit or another, that is what agency is all about. Which spirits will you listen to? Those evil ones that possess you and encourage you to do evil, or the Spirit of Truth and His servants who seek to persuade you to do good?
Blair, That is how I look at it as well. The idea of being possessed except in limited cases is what I think is not accurate. Being tempted is one thing but actually being possessed is quite another.
As an aside, here is another problem that I see. A number of years ago a poll was taken and reported in Mormon Times about how many of the Saints actually believes in hell. I don’t remember the exact figure but it was over 50% of the members do not even believe in hell at all. I found that astounding that so many members do not understand even the basics of the plan of salvation. This is something that is not taught in the LDS Church today because it isn’t understood. As the apostasy has progressed the Church is losing much of the former doctrines that were taught in the scriptures.
iterry, that’s not quite what I am saying. I am saying that we all ARE possessed by various spirits, and the more we listen to us, the more power they have over us. I think that the way an evil spirit tempts you is by actually possessing you and influencing you. I don’t think you can be spiritually influenced in any other way. Perhaps we differ in our definition of the term “possessed.” I don’t mean that they fill you and control all of your actions. I just mean that they are present in you, and exert influence. How much influence depends on how much you heed them.
Edit: the more we listen to THEM, not to us.
The non-existence of hell is clearly taught in the temple endowment and always has been.
We need to keep in mind we mean by hell. When questioned about the existence of hell, most people will be mentally referring to the traditional catholic/protestant image of a bottomless pit of fire and brimstone where the unrighteous are tortured for eternity.
Most LDS, along with the instructors in the temple, do not believe in any such place.
Okay Blair I guess that is where we differ. I don’t believe that they actually enter the body except in rare cases as when a person is especially steeped in sin or in other cases such as Newell K. Knight and others. I believe they do influence us and tempt us but not through entering us. Otherwise, we can honestly say – The devil made me do it. We will be judged on our own actions. Anyway, that is how I see it. Good thoughts however.
And as I mentioned most of these rotten evil spirits are down in hell torturing those who are sent there to suffer such as the members of the Church who say “All is Well in Zion, Yea, Zion Prospereth.” This is the spirit prison and not the one that Joseph f. had his dream about. That one is in paradise where those who will be going to the Terrestrial Kingdom are taught. That is more of a holding cell where they are sent to be taught the gospel. Hell is different. The Gospel is not taught in Hell or the pit. These will go to the Telestial as in the case of most members of the Church or into outer darkness if they have committed murder. But that is just an aside but interesting doctrine.
RobinHood, That is what I mean – you don’t believe in hell. Hell is a real place where the wicked are sent. This is clearly taught in the scriptures that it is a place where Satan and his followers are found and where the wicked go to pay for their sins. They do not pay for sins in the place you call spirit prison which is in Paradise. The Paradise spirit prison is not Hell. That place is more of a holding place where the spirits are restricted in their movement in some way. They are taught the gospel there and go to the Terrestial Kingdom. They cannot be exalted of course because they did not receive the gospel in this life. This is found in the D&C 76:74. What Joseph F. Smith saw in his inspired dream was the holding tank in Paradise where those who are going to the Terrestrial kingdom go to be taught the gospel. The Church because of its apostasy has gotten far off track and doesn’t understand these doctrines of the kingdom. Many of the early brethren didn’t either but as time has progressed it has gotten much worse because of the lack of revelation to the Church. The apostasy has deepen considerably since the time of the last prophet Joseph Smith.
But hell is the pit and that is where the wicked go such as the members of the Church who sustain wickedness such as abortion, homosexuality etc which the Church does accept. The pit is where the followers are Satan are found and they do buffet those who are sent there. Those who go there come forth in the last resurrection to inherit the Telestial kingdom or cast out into outer darkness after dying again which is the 2nd death. They lose their bodies in eternity.
This is what I mean that the leaders are completely ignorant of these things because they do not understand the scriptures nor do the completely understand the plan of salvation. If you don’t believe in Hell nor the pit then what does it mean in D&C 76:106 where is says “These are they who are cast DOWN to hell and SUFFER the wrath of Almighty God, until the fullness of times, when Christ shall have subdued all enemies under his feet.
So Robin show me that this isn’t true that there is no hell nor the pit? 2 Nephi 28:22 – And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for these is none…
Sounds a little bit to me like you are fulfilling 2 Nephi 28:22. And as I mentioned to you from the article in Mormon Times it was 50 or 60% of the members that believe as you do that there really is no hell where the wicked pay for their sins.
Do I need to quote more scripture for you to prove this further or will this suffice?
Thanks for making my point Robin,
False doctrine as usual.
Let’s see.. we have Robin Hood and iterry. We’re just missing Log and we can recreate the cesspool that is Rock’s comment section. Contend away fellas! You’re not convincing anyone.
I’m not interested in convincing anyone of anything.
I’ve been here quite a long time, just not very active in the comments section.
Anonymous, I’m surprised that you don’t want to talk about this topic. I quoted some scriptures from the D&C and I thought were interesting that shows that there is a place called hell. The wicked who go to the Telestial kingdom go there. This is part of the plan of salvation. The 2 Nephi 28 is a prophecy that I quoted about the fact that there would be those in the last days that would not believe in hell. This prophecy has been fulfilled as we discussed. I thought this would be pertinent to this discussion of evil spirits because the evil spirits are in hell and they buffet those who are sent there as it says in the D&C 76. This is something that is not understood in the Church.
I can understand why Robin Hood doesn’t want to discuss it because he fulfills the prophesy in 2 Nephi 28 in that he doesn’t believe that hell is a real place. There are many scriptures about this. The punishment of this place is real however.
Let me throw out another topic that is related that we could discuss. When someone dies many members report that the person that died showed up to deliver a message from the other side. I know of two cases in my ward alone. The messages at times contradict scripture. This happened to a friend of mine when he father died. He was able to spot who it was that appeared though. It was one of those evil spirits cast out with Lucifer that appeared to him to deceive him. He was able to detect him however and through prayer was able to get rid of him. The members are so hungry to hear anything from beyond the grave that they will believe anything. These spirits appear and deceive the saints into believing they are sent back to deliver some message. When a person dies they don’t come back from the dead. These are Satan’s little demons sent to deceive.
These are all related topics to the posting of AB and would be fun to discuss. Why not discuss them?
I have read both Mel Fish and Doug Mendenhall. Both are true messengers. I felt the spirit burn for hours at one of Mendenhall’s workshops. I’m not suggesting that you read them if you only find it titillating, but since you’ve already invested some time in reading one of Fish’s books, you might also consider applying some of the techniques. Once you go from merely observing to actually practicing spiritual principles, I think you’ll find your experience will be deeper.
As one example, I recently found significant healing in my relationship with my father after practicing some of Fish’s techniques for removing negative bonds and replacing them with love. All of this was done with the Lord’s approval.
I understand what you mean by being careful not to over-expand your sources. I would definitely only proceed with the spirit as your guide. The spirit has assisted me in staying away from the countless blogs, forums, etc. that mostly devolve into contention. I also found the spirit told me to go slowly with Mendenhall’s books, but slowly I am learning from these resources. They’re not for everyone, but at the same time there is a lot of light and truth in them as the Lord prepares you to receive.
Some will also need to accept that the Lord can send messengers who have poor editing skills, are somewhat odd in their presentation, and may need some financial assistance to continue their work. In other words, if you really want to “learn all things” you should be careful not to “set up stakes for the Almighty,” or you may find that “you will come short of the glory of God” (Joseph Smith).
It is my opinion that understanding the way evil works against us will be increasingly necessary as the war between light and darkness progresses in these latter days. Those who have pierced the veil in significant ways may be able to learn how it all works from Christ directly, but I would be careful not to quickly dismiss His messengers until you know with a surety that they weren’t ordained to help you in your own battles with evil.
Thanks for your thoughts. I respect you and will certainly not argue against what you feel or believe. I think it’s great you have felt some measure of benefit from these authors. For me, I have become careful to the point of paranoia regarding who and what are “true messengers.” For example, I am certainly not a true messenger. I know of only one person currently who I believe to be an authorized messenger. I find it interesting Adam pressed so hard, even in the presence of true messengers — “How shall I know you are true messengers?” … As for me, I teach the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture – it is my lot for now, until I have greater light, although I mean no harm and only want to help. I don’t recall Mel or Doug claiming to be true messengers… not sure on that one. Perhaps they have some good things to say. If so, that’s great. They deserve our love and respect and mercy either way. But in my view they are not true messengers. And I wish they would not charge for their messages. That becomes a slippery slope. The greatest benefit I have found is in going directly to the Lord. But again – I don’t mean to be critical of you or what you believe. God bless you my friend on your journey.
I guess we’d have to agree on a definition for a “true messenger.” There seems to be several books that have come forward where the authors have claimed that it wasn’t their idea to write the book (i.e. the Lord asked them to write it). Whether that puts them on the same level as an angel sent from God, I’m not sure, but I pay attention to such claims and then feel it out with the spirit as I study and pray. And, of course, anyone can lie about such things…
I’d have to search to find it, but I believe Doug has made that claim. I don’t know if Mel has ever made that claim for any of his books, but in reading his history it seems clear that he is fulfilling his life mission in doing the type of work he does. And there are others.
I think the difficulty that many of us have is that if someone is a true servant fulfilling an assignment from the Lord, we foolishly revert back to our lds upbringing and put more weight on such things than is warranted. I think a better paradigm would be to recognize that there are and will be many true messengers, but not all messages may be important for you personally.
I appreciate the candidness of your blog! Indeed, the greatest thing will always be to receive directly from the Lord. But I’m grateful that He also sends messengers to prepare us to receive more fully from Him.
It’s just a thought that occurs whenever I read that version. I’m not an expert in understanding if and/or when the Spirit is directing my thoughts vs when the thoughts are just my own. I do take notice of the different thoughts and try to look at ideas with different eyes and I often learn a lot that way. It causes me to reflect more on the idea and often change my original viewpoint even if it is ever such a slight change.
Just as a side note. I know that Doug Mendenhall does not “charge” for the things that he does. Books are sold, not unlike many others who write books. But the classes he holds are typically a voluntary fee to help him offset the cost of the venue he uses and the materials he provides. He asks those who attend to decide how much they want to contribute. So, I guess what I am saying is to please don’t let the cost of something deter you, because some people who are sharing what they are learning, also don’t always have the financial means to just give everything away for free. Having said that, I agree that we need to look at all the information that is available to us and ask the Lord how we are to use it, if at all.
I understand a concern about paying for knowledge. I don’t know Doug’s reasons for only providing hard copies. If you ever decide you want to read it, I am happy to mail my copy to you (no charge).
I think you are right on the money with this subject. I have always felt I was possessed of an evil spirit when giving in to temptation. They can temp us from outside our bodies but we must invite them in by giving in to that temptation. The Lord tells our generation that we ALL stand in need of repentance. Meaning that evil has become so prevalent among us, that ALL of us have invited evil spirits in to some extent and need to shew them away.
We BECOME our own conspiratorial stories until we recognize that evil is within us and reject it for what it is and not allowing it back in.
The scriptures state that we may enter the presence of the Lord if we commit ourselves to Him unto Death. That is a BASIC command of God. But I believe the higher IMPLIED meaning, is to LIVE for God by REJECTING evil within ourselves and be taken to a HIGHER level of Blessedness, than merely having our Calling and Elections made sure before we DIE.
Peter was faithful unto DEATH. John did the HIGHER thing, as told by Jesus, by being faithful unto LIFE. That means to RISE ABOVE that which CAUSES Death….Sin. And Partake of the “Hidden Manna”, which is Eternal LIFE.
The reason John was ABLE to be granted the Gift of Translation was because he EARNED it, by becoming sinless. This was evident by his being able to stand unafraid of death at the Cross & Spiritually see the Risen Lord before anyone else saw Him physically. Greater is he who has not (physically) seen, yet BELIEVES.
John saw LIFE in the Risen Lord, where as Peter saw an empty tomb and was confused. John displayed the MARKER of a man who could see ETERNAL things because of his lack of sin and fear of death. Peter still had sin, fear of death, & doubt, bogging him down to restraining his ETERNAL Vision.
When WE get rid of sin….We SEE like John, and become ELEVATED ABOVE this world, as John saw and was Elevated above Sin & Death….The ONLY things standing between us and the LIVING Presence of the Lord is OURSELVES, & those demons within us, and a refusal to recognize & reject sin, (Those demons), & therefore SERCOME to Death and move on to later REALIZE, just HOW EASY it would have been to learn this lesson while STILL IN this life.
Great Subject and observations made by the author of this post. It is THE Secret to doing as described in Revelations referring to “He who OVERCOMES” will partake of the “Hidden Manna” of implied LIFE Eternal, rather than Death. Much needed to become an Angel of God to help prepare for the Lord’s Coming in Glory to a Kingdom & People ” PREPARED”…..OVERCOMERS of Sin & Death and ready to “RISE UP” to meet the Lord at His Coming.
What is the highest and proper way to excuse demons from comingling with our own spirits in the same body ? RECOGNIZE them for who they ARE, & SEPARATE Your Spirit from theirs, by choosing the LORD & LIFE, over Sin & Death….”Choose ye this day whom ye will serve. As for Me and My Family, we choose the Lord”.
Those evil spirits become ONE with us in this life by our own default, just as we are COMMANDED to become ONE with Christ, by ASCENDING ABOVE that default.. It’s OUR CHOICE.
We overcome evil spirits by LOVING them to death, by coming to Love & Forgive OURSELVES, as Jesus Loves & Forgives us, and they depart from us forever. They can not stand in the presence of True Eternal Love, (Charity). When our spirits become ONE with Charity, we become ONE with Christ. Charity covereth a MULTITUDE of sins & demons and they DEPART from us forever when we become ONE with Charity & Christ.
I would disagree with a comment made about our ancestors never being able to communicate with us in this life. Joseph Smith in the D&C gave us the measure by which we could determine evil spirits from good ones sent by God. Do these good spirits exclude those we know and love who have passed on ? Where does it say that it does ? Who better to communicate a message to one in need, than from a worthy Loved One who knows you better than anyone else. It’s not to say an evil spirit can not come in to deliver a message and try to fool us. It means that we have the KEYS to DETERMINE whether they be Good or Evil.
“Dead people” have the same ETERNAL spirits they had before coming to this earth. The GOOD ones live with Our Father in Heaven and are NOT with Satan. A “DEAD” spirit has more experience and knowledge than one who has YET to come to this earth and has NO IDEA how to BEST serve the needs of a Loved One here on earth. Those “Dead” spirits had a Mortal Body to which they long for because they know of their value having had one. Something a spirit yet to come here, has no knowledge of.
Evil unembodied spirits are allowed to show themselves because God has given them that power to do Satan’s bidding…..Just as God gives Good Spirits to do the same for Himself when directed by God. They are called Our “Guardian Angels”….Just as they were Our “Guardians” when on Earth.
At one point in our married life, my wife could not make the decision to have a 3rd child. She greatly feared dying while going through labor. My unborn son came to my wife and convinced her to have another child. He is the same spirit that came to my wife and is now 26 years old in the flesh. If my wife should leave this life with questions on HIS mind, should SHE not be allowed to return the favor ?
Rob, you sure that spirit wasn’t simply the Holy Ghost telling your wife to have another child? I also hear all the time from people who tell me when someone dies they come and deliver some message from the other side. When I’ve been able to find out more about what they are told I’ve found that they are contradictory to the scriptures in a number of cases. There are several in my ward alone.
The Saints are so hungry these days to hear from the other side. The Leaders have been entirely cutoff from the presence of God because of their rebellion against him. And so the members are looking to other places to find answers. Dear relatives who have just passed provide some of those answers. However, those are Lucifer’s messengers sent to deceive. They will mix a little bit of truth with a bunch of lies just to deceive. Of course you can’t tell them that they’ve been deceived because it was their loved one that appeared. I know of only one case where this happened and the father in the home was able to detect that it was Lucifer. The person that appeared was the exact image of his father but he was able to detect that it was one of Lucifer’s deceivers. He cried out against the evil spirit and it left. Other than this one example I don’t know of anybody who has ever tried the spirits that appear.
The Saints also look to dreams of future events. They listen to faults prophets who claim near death experiences or visions from the other side. But the scriptures are clear that just before the Millennium begins all direct revelation will be cut off. The Lord has told us this so that we are not deceived. Yet many are.
Isaiah 29:9. Procrastinate, and become bewildered; preoccupy yourselves, until you cry for help. Be drunk, but not with wine; stagger, but not from strong drink.
10. The Lord has poured out on you a spirit of deep sleep: he has shut your eyes the prophets; he has covered your heads, the seers.
My only caution is to don’t believe everything you see and hear from the other side. Try the spirits. Lucifer is a deceiver and it is darn hard to tell who a true messenger is and who is not. This happened at the time of Joseph Smith. Lucifer was active deceiving the Saints back then too as he is today. The D&C lists 3 grand keys for when one of these spirits appear. (D&C 129:9).
Hopefully my experience will help someone as they deal with the powers of darkness. The Lord said that “the light of the body is the eye” see Matt 6:22–23. I have looked into the eyes of people who were so possessed by evil and darkness that the pupil of their eyes were enlarged so much that the iris was nearly or totally withdrawn to allow as much light as possible to enter so that they could see. I was acquainted with one person who changed their life thru repentance and they became more of the person that they were in their youth and their eyes became more clear and bright. For me the possession by evil and dark spirits is sometimes visibly discernible.
On one occasion a woman who was anxiously engaged in a good cause and one who was seeking to do the will of the Lord visited with my wife and I. I was prompted to ask her if she would like to have a blessing. She was a mature older single mother living with some of her children. She was blessed her in her efforts to give leadership to a women’s conference. Then I was prompted to cast out an evil spirit. When she came to our home there was no visible evidence of possession. She was purposeful in her desire to do the will of the Lord but questioning her ability and worthiness to meet the challenges that she faced. Under the power of the Lord she was immediately released of the satanic spirit and a spirit of peace and calm was evident in her demeanor and we had a lovely visit with her.
Whether there is possession within or influence from without is not the main point. It is that evil spirits have power and influence to affect our lives and that in the name of Jesus Christ and under the direction of the Spirit command them to depart or to use the words of scripture to “come out”.
On one occasion shortly after our marriage my wife asked for a blessing to solve a problem that she was having. When the time felt right I placed my hands on her head and was amazed at the words that were given to me to remove a curse that was placed by one of her great grandmothers upon her posterity because of some choices that the grandmother had made. Immediately as my wife was released from the curse I sensed a gathering of many angry evil beings coming at us. I raised my arm to the square and commanded them in the name of Jesus Christ to stop and go away. We were very peaceful and filled with the power of the spirit and the love of the Lord.
We can rejoice that the Lord has given the privilege to women, men and children to speak in the name of the Jesus Christ (Sec 1: 20) with power and authority to command the evil ones to depart.
As we move forward in seeking to become one with Christ in the fullest sense of that oneness, the wickedness and the powers of darkness will increase in proportion. May our faith be enlarged and perfected in him and realize his greatness and power to achieve his designs and purposes in our lives. May we be united in the bonds of love and the charity of the Lord Jesus Christ is my prayer for all of us. I know that he lives. Amen