Updated on May 1, 2023
Doug Tales 116: Pour Out My Spirit
On September 21, 1823, Joseph Smith was told that prior to the Second Coming the Lord will “pour out my spirit” as earlier prophesied by Joel in the Old Testament (JS-H 1:41). Years later, Doug Mendenhall experienced the literal fulfilling of that prophecy. He ponders such connections in Possibilities: Lessons From the Spirit (2002), pp. 61-63:
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids In those days will I pour out my spirit.” (Joel 2:28)
I was so excited when the President of my church declared in an October 2001 conference that the above “vision of Joel (had) been fulfilled.” I knew it was a prophecy that had been quoted nearly 180 years earlier to Joseph Smith by an angelic visitor named Moroni.
A good friend of mine, Tom, had quoted the passage to me a month or two before when talking about some experiences my family and I had gone through. We chatted about the possibility of things happening to Denise and many others as a result of the Lord pouring “out (His) spirit upon all flesh.” Could it be happening around the world? What would the result be when God poured out His spirit upon ALL flesh, as He has stated He has done?…
We started doing our book review meetings [in 2001]. Looking back, I remember the first one we did. There were about thirty five people in the room and I was so scared to do it. If the truth be known, I didn’t want the book to be published and surely didn’t want anyone to read it. Now here we were doing “book reviews.” I would not have done them if I hadn’t felt like the Spirit had impressed me very strongly to do it.
After we did the first meeting, Denise, my friend and I were outside talking to some of the people that had been in attendance. There were three different women that came up to me, at different times, and told me they saw (perceived) that Christ was there, standing by me. None of these women knew each other. I was amazed. I asked them how they knew. They all said it was a gift they had been given. If it had been just one woman, I may have dismissed it outright. However, there were three different women that had all testified of the same thing. They were all active members of my church.
I found that I had been thrust into a world that I had not known existed before. Could it be true, that I was a witness to Joel’s prophecy being fulfilled? Had the Lord’s spirit really been poured out upon all flesh as promised? I wondered – even if the Lord had bestowed upon us the gift of His Spirit, does that mean that we as a people had in actuality “received” His gift? I remembered reading, “For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in Him who is the giver of the gift.” (D&C 88:33)