Doug Tales 47: I Will Ask

Nephi asked his brothers, “Have ye inquired of the Lord?” Some who heard Doug Mendenhall share about his daughter’s near-death experience and other things also prayed for their own witness from God, while others did not take that step. Doug reflects on the impact of such choices in Possibilities: Lessons From the Spirit (2002) on pages 41-43:

After finding out that Denise had experienced a three day near-death experience, I wanted to record it in case she forgot about it. Since I had never been around or even talked to someone that had a near-death experience, I wasn’t sure if Denise would retain the memory or if it would go away. So I went over to a friend’s home that has a recording studio. I figured what better way to remember the experience than to have it recorded. But first, I had to explain to this woman what we had been going through.

This was not an easy thing for me to do. I had told someone I thought to be a close friend, and he had called my bishop to get me kicked out of my church. So I had no idea how this woman that I only knew from church would react. Nevertheless I ventured over to her home on a Sunday night about eight o’clock and proceeded to tell her what we had gone through to that point.

I didn’t know what her reaction would be. I tried to guess. I wondered what she was thinking while I told her what we had gone through. I did feel like she was somewhat shocked about all of our experiences. After three hours I finally ended. As we walked to her front door I remember her telling me that she “would never be the same.” The story had changed her. Then the next statement was the most compelling.

“Doug,” she said, “I want you to know that I will get on my knees and ask Heavenly Father if what you have told me is true.”

I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. She called me a few days later and told me she would love to record Denise’s story. We tried to do this, but Denise would not speak in front of a microphone.

The bottom line with this woman was that she, like Nephi, also desired to know and also like Nephi, she believed that the Lord was able to make known to her if it was true or not. Since our first book came out, this woman has given away many copies. When she does, she will always make the same requests. First, if they take a copy she makes them promise to read it or she won’t give it to them. Second, she asks that they also pray for a witness of it.…

We had a young woman e-mail us telling us that she wished to have the same gifts as Denise and specifically wanted to be able to talk to Christ. After telling of her desire for this she then said: “I realized that I can too, by feeling the prompting of the Holy Ghost. A scripture fits this perfectly, found in Proverbs 3:5-6. ‘Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.’ Although I cannot see Him like Denise can, I feel that He is there and always will be. I can talk to Him, and He does talk back.” She has received her own witness and therefore I feel she is much stronger because of it.

In D&C 8:1-3 the Lord states: “. . . I say unto you, that assuredly as the Lord liveth, who is your God and your Redeemer, even so surely shall you receive a knowledge of whatsoever things you shall ask in faith, with an honest heart, believing that you shall receive. . . Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart. Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.”

I have a personal testimony that the Lord will speak to each of us as He has stated, in our mind and our heart, by the Holy Ghost. It has been my experience that we simply need to have an open mind and heart to be able to hear Him. I also have a personal witness of the importance of receiving a testimony of what we are told, whether it is by our church, political or business leaders. If we do, we will become stronger servants of our God. Many of us have the tendency to worship our leaders, whether they be religious or political, and I believe that Lucifer laughs at our naiveté. The Lord stated that “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”