Updated on August 28, 2023
Doug Tales 133: Friends, Part Three
Is a person being your friend when they cause you difficulties in your life? Doug Mendenhall learned many things about friendship when others questioned what was going on with him and his family. And, he learned even more about the friendship offered by our Savior. Doug recalls some of his early experiences with friends in My Peace I Give Unto You (2001), pp. 146-149:
“Now that that is taken care of, I need to talk to you about something that troubles me.” As he began his posture changed. My Bishop fidgeted with the pen on his desk. “I received a call last week from a former member of our congregation. He kept me on the phone for almost an hour as he told me a story he had heard.”
He lowered his eyes. His discomfort was beginning to affect me. “Doug, it was Jeff, your good friend and former neighbor, who called me. The story you told him had him very upset.”…
“I need you to tell me what you told Jeff.”
“I just told him what was happening with Denise.” I answered, still shocked, trying desperately to understand Jeff’s reaction.
“Doug, will you tell me what has been going on with Denise?” He tried to get me to focus on what he wanted to hear; namely, Denise’s story.
“Well, since she woke up from the coma amazing things have been happening,” I started but hesitated. If the story had that effect on Jeff, what would it do to the Bishop?
Tell him about her gifts.
The voice, that is more felt than heard, whispered.
It was a feeling I realized I hadn’t felt for some days now.
“Bishop, she came back to us with no veil.”
The Bishop sat back in his chair.
I told him how, just a few days after coming home from the hospital, she revealed that she could see auras. I told him of how she could see spirits and then I retold the story of the slumber party. I didn’t mention Denise’s ability to leave her body and be taught by ancient prophets but I did talk about the three days she spent with our Heavenly Father and Christ and how she still sees Christ at times, how He talks to her and teaches her.
I was going to tell him about her ability to know things like the cards and lottery numbers but I was told not to.
I then expressed how much I had learned about my Savior and how my love for Him had grown, thanks to my daughter’s gifts.
I noticed the Bishop’s posture. He had gone from stiff to edgy. He was sitting forward in his chair intently studying me.
“She has greatly blessed the whole family, Bishop. We know now that the Savior is our personal friend and guide. We know that He will come and sit with us should we ask Him. His love for us has become real as we have learned to know Him.” I finished somewhat timidly.
“Are you sure that who she sees is Jesus Christ?”
He startled me.
“Are you positive? Satan is very good at deception. Did she ask to shake the Savior’s hand?”
“Shake His hand? No. She says she hugs Him, though.”
“Are you serious?” Now he looked confused.
“Bishop, I have no doubt that she actually sees the Savior. I know, in part, because I, too, have felt Him with us. I’m positive she is not being deceived.”
“Okay, I just wanted to make sure.” He calmed down.
“I don’t think Lucifer can give you the Peace that we have been experiencing.”
He changed his line of thought. “Well, I guess the Savior would spend time with a child. He did love the little children.” He thought for a moment.
“Doug, that is a very special and sacred story. I wonder if you should tell anyone else. The Savior often warned against throwing pearls before swine. You know, some things are wasted on the unbelieving. They just aren’t meant to understand. I think that is why Jeff called me. He’s not meant to understand Denise’s gifts and abilities.”
“But I was sure, Bishop, that I needed to tell him. I felt it was okay for him to know.”
“Doug, even Mary, the mother of Christ, pondered many things in her heart without divulging them. I worry how others in the congregation will react to Denise’s story. Will you do me a favor and not tell the story anymore, unless you are absolutely positive the Lord wants you to share it?”
“Great! Thanks for sharing those experiences with me. I know the Lord will help you in deciding who to share them with and who not to share them with.” He finished and searched in his drawer for the food vouchers.
“I’ll drop the rent check by first thing in the morning. God bless you.”
“Thank you again for helping us.”
I left his office with renewed vigor, lighter; some of my troubles had been temporarily lifted. Even though he had a hard time understanding what I had told him about Denise, he was truly concerned for us and I was very grateful for that.
I will provide.
“What?” I asked but no one was around.
I love you and will provide.
Of course! Denise had insisted that the Lord would provide for us if I but looked inside for Him. She was right, He did provide.
Maybe the lottery wasn’t meant to feed my family or pay the rent.
Maybe the Lord wanted me to rely on Him, not on Denise.
Maybe the Lord preferred this to the lottery because it gave others the opportunity to serve Him.
As I walked home I felt a strong feeling of Peace knowing that the Lord’s will had been done.
But what about the medical bills?