Updated on September 19, 2022
Doug Tales 84: The War, Part One
What are the ways in which spiritual evil can be conquered? Are there any ways which do not involve awareness, vigilance, struggle, diligence and work, in addition to constantly seeking direction from our Savior Yeshua the Christ? Doug Mendenhall in his writings constantly points out the reality of the war with evil all around us. Some of his thoughts are in Conquering Spiritual Evil, Volume One (2012), on pages 56-58:
Brigham Young said: “I know very well that, whether we are active or not, the invisible spirits are active. And every person who desires and strives to be a Saint is closely watched by fallen spirits that came here when Lucifer fell, and by the spirits of wicked persons who have been here in tabernacles and departed them, but who are still under the control of the prince of the power of the air. Those spirits are never idle; they are watching every person who wishes to do right, and are continually prompting them to do wrong. This makes it necessary for us to be continually on our guard—makes this probation a continual warfare.” (Journal of Discourses 7:239)
Wilford Woodruff made similar comments: “Where are they (devils)? Some are in Salt Lake, some in New York, some in Amsterdam, some in Constantinople, some in Jerusalem; in fact, they are in every city and hamlet wherein the inhabitants of the earth dwell, and especially where there are any Latter-day Saints. And whether there are one hundred or not to every man, woman, and child, there are enough of them, at least, to labor for our overthrow. I say to my counselors, to the apostles, to the seventies, the high priests, the bishops, and all men who bear the Holy Priesthood, do you suppose these devils are around us without trying to do something? Are they asleep? Have they not a work to perform?
“I say to my brethren who bear the priesthood, we have got a mighty warfare to wage with these spirits. We cannot escape it. What will they do to you? They will try to make us do anything and everything that is not right. These devils would be very glad to make me and my brethren think we are great men, smarter than anyone else; to divide us one against the other, and to cause us to seek to confess our brother‘s sins instead of our own. We should, therefore, watch ourselves well.” (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff , page 239)
After many experiences with people being possessed, full of devices, implants, hexes, curses, and otherwise afflicted, I have come to know that we truly are at war. It is just a continuation of the war before this life. I have chatted with those that have seen it, and they have assured me it wasn’t just a “war of words.” Some of us seem to want it to be just that, a philosophical debate. It was and is a real war. I have a feeling that to those on the other side of the veil this war exists and is being fought there as well as here.
I don’t even need to ask the question if the adversary is at war with us. We all know he is. But is it important for us to know this? Do we need to know how he works and what he does or can do? Would it be plausible that the Lord might need us in this battle that is still being waged? If we are ignorant of it, does it still affect us? If it’s in the invisible light spectrum and we can’t see it, does it still affect us? YES! It affects us every day. We can sit with our head in the sand, or we can become cognizant of the enemy, of the battle and what to do about it.
After my daughter’s three day near-death-experience, she has said very little publicly about the Lord taking her to see hell. Privately she has told us that she saw the adversary and his armies. She saw places where they make the weapons they use to inflict us; she saw demons making darts, spears, arrows, battleaxes, and so much more. She saw the devices they make and place on us mortals to control and cause us problems. Maybe it’s time to become one of those “stripling warriors” we love to talk about from the Book of Mormon, only on both battlefields—physical and spiritual. I mentioned this scripture before, but it is worth stating again:
“Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they truly manifest from heaven—These should then be attended to with great earnestness. Let no man count them as small things; for there is much which lieth in futurity, pertaining to the saints, which depends upon these things.” (D&C 123:13-15)
What is the Lord talking about when He says that we should attend to these things with “great earnestness” for we should not “count them as small things”? Then He goes on to say that as far as the saints go, there is “much which lieth in futurity . . . which depends on these things.” Sounds like we had better get busy and get understanding and with that understanding get wisdom, or we may not be of much value in this battle that is being waged.