Updated on March 10, 2021
Doug Tales 4: Be Not Afraid
Doug Mendenhall’s fourth book, Conquering Spiritual Evil, Volume One (2012), includes the following sentence about his purpose in writing the book on page viii:
“It is my prayer that through sharing all of us can learn to not fear that which we don‘t know and understand.”
The first chapter of his book covers Doug’s observations on overcoming fear (on pages 2-6):
When we are children, our parents, culture, belief system, friends, family, and teachers have all written in our hearts. We are like little sponges taking it all in, believing all that has been said about us. Loving parents can really help us get ahead in this life, while not so loving parents can handicap us until the day we pass on. (And after this life if the “issues” aren’t cleared up.) All of these beliefs are stored in our hearts. If a fear for all new things was placed there, then we seem to close ourselves to any new possibilities, learning anything new, or any new experiences.
Many of us experienced being “scared” when we were young. Older siblings and even some parents seem to enjoy scaring little children. Add to that movies filled with fear, evil, tension, and darkness that we were exposed to. We learned at quite a young age to fear things that “go bump in the night.”
All of this imprinted on our subconscious mind, so as an adult those feelings will come back when something evil is encountered or perceived, real or not. I remember seeing dark entities in my closet, and I absolutely knew they were also under the bed. These things are so real that even now I hear of sixteen-year-old boys hiding under the covers while turning off the bedroom light with a long pole made for that purpose. Some may think this is humorous, but to those who have encountered evil or mischievous earthbound spirits, it loses all sense of humor. It is real and is something that needs to be dealt with and overcome.
When this fear dwells in us, we will attract what we fear the most. These entities feed off of our fear. It energizes them and sustains them. (They have been doing this for eons of time and they know how to get into our heads. They know what will cause us problems and how to multiply that fear for its sustaining power).
It is for this reason that fear is addressed first in this book. Elder F. Enzio Busche [1930-2020] had an encounter with evil with a missionary who was possessed. He found the best way to overcome and conquer what was happening was to stay out of fear and to be in a space of perfect love. He wrote:
“In that moment, two scriptures came into my mind. One scripture was very simple: Moroni 8:16, ‘Perfect love casteth out all fear.’ And the other was the same: 1 John 4:18, ‘Perfect love casteth out fear.’ But I did not have love. I had fear. What do we do when we have fear but not love? My mind was drawn to Moroni 7:48, where the Lord points out how we can gain love: ‘Wherefore,…pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love.’
“I prayed with all the energy of my heart, ‘Father, fill my soul with love.’ I cried from the depths of my being, without wasting any time. It all happened in a split second. After that, it was as if my skull was opened and a warm feeling poured down into my soul—down my head, my neck, my chest. As it was pouring down, it drove out all of the fear. My shivering knees stopped shaking. I stood there, a big smile come to my face—a smile of deep, satisfying joy and confidence.” (F. Enzio Busche, Yearning for the Living God , page 269)
Joseph Smith taught that we need to “contemplate the darkest abyss” in order to understand the eternities. I realized as a young man that if I was to ever receive the Second Comforter, I would also have to encounter the Adversary. This is something that I never wanted because of my innate and programmed fear of all things dark. I now realize the importance of being prepared as much as we can for both encounters and the need to stay completely out of fear. We do need to be worthy of receiving the Lord, but we should also be ready for the encounter with darkness because the Lord has declared that opposition is required in all things and that would certainly qualify as opposition to receiving the Lord.…
Therefore in this life we need to overcome our own subconscious programming from our youth and adult life, our own propensity to sin, our unrighteous desires and conquer the Adversary. Much of this involves overcoming fear. This book will give you some tools to help in this battle. It is my hope that as you read, you will stay out of fear and in a state of love because love does conquer fear. In fact it might be necessary to keep negative emotions out of all aspects of our psych, the spiritual self, emotional self, physical self and mental self.