Doug Tales 71: Competence, Part One

Conquering spiritual evil in a competent way is a skill. It is partly an intellectual concept, but even more something learned in the conscious doing. Doug Mendenhall used various analogies of learning skills in his writings. He returned to the skill of competence and awareness again and again, as summarized in I See…Awake! (2015), pp. 34-35:

How do we process new information? There are four steps:

1. Unconscious Incompetence: Don’t know you don’t know.

2. Conscious Incompetence: Know you don’t know.

3. Conscious Competence: Know that you know.

4. Unconscious Competence: You know and it happens automatically, like being on auto pilot.

Tying a shoelace demonstrates all four steps:

1. When you are one year old, you don’t know that you don’t know about shoe laces and tying them.

2. You are now two years old and see others tying shoe laces so now you know you don’t know.

3. You are four, and mom has taught you how. With effort you can do it and know that you know.

4. You are ten, and can tie your shoe laces without even thinking about it—it is automatic. You look down and see that your shoelace is untied, and you unconsciously reach down and tie it with no thought at all about the process.

Let’s take this to a gospel principle like keeping yourself free of dark entities:

1. You don’t know about them and they have free reign over you.

2. You find out about them but have not been taught what to do.

3. You get some knowledge and start casting out and shielding.

4. Unconsciously you cast out and shield; it has become automatic. You don’t even think about the process. You just do it when you feel the need; you are unconsciously competent.

Doug Tales 70: Earthbound Spirits, Part Six

Each of us as human beings is a creator, someone who creates through our thoughts, emotions, and actions. Doug Mendenhall spent a fair amount of time understanding the impact we each can have on others as we create bonds and cords. He continues in I See…Arise! (2016) on pages 26-28 to talk about people who have passed away becoming literally earth-bound by friends’ and relatives’ creative energy. Fortunately, the Gods of Light have also provided means to overcome such negative spiritual creations. What are we creating, and whose lives are we impacting through our creations?

I was driving with Kitten the other day and I asked if she ever had the opportunity to “assist” others that were earthbound. She paused for a bit, apparently deciding if she wanted to answer. Finally she said that it seems word has gotten around in the spirit world about what had been done. “As I drive down the road and pass an earthbound person, they will look at me and ask if I’m going to help them or not. I tell them that help is coming and send my guardian to take care of it.”

Seems Kitten has become quite popular amongst the former earthbound spirits. She mentioned she has seen some that look like their feet are encased in concrete and can’t move. They are very grateful for the help given. The interesting thing to me is they can tell that she is able to see them. I guess they have become used to mortals from whom they have constantly petitioned help and the mortals have been oblivious to their pleas. Then one comes along that actually sees their plight and word spreads quite rapidly.

This is one of the reasons we have talked about becoming aware of all that is around us. Even the sighted don’t see or look many times. Kitten had passed that spot on many occasions and it wasn’t until she was asked if someone was there and she put her focus or attention on the earthbound woman spirit that she was noticed by her.

It can’t be stressed enough that we need to wake up and arise, to become those Saviors on Mount Zion that is written about. Many on both sides of the veil need help and most of the time it requires the hand of a mortal to set things in motion. If our noses are in our electronic devices or elsewhere, how can we ever “hear” or “see” the needs of others? Have we not only been dumbed down with our modern devices, but also been put to sleep? Who desires that? Why are they called “devices”? The etymology of the noun “device” means “division, separation, to divide.” Isn’t that appropriate, as they can divide and separate us from that which is important—God and the Spirit. It is time to wake up and become aware of what is around us, on us, and in us.

Addendum: A while ago I passed the location where the heart and cross were placed next to the highway. [The roadside memorials are mentioned in “Doug Tales 53: Earthbound Spirits, Part Five,” posted on February 14, 2022.] I noticed that there were now three crosses instead of just one. There had been three people pass away at this spot and now the other two people also had crosses put up with their names on them.

A few weeks later I happened to have Kitten in my car while traveling to close some portals up north. I pointed out the new crosses to her and asked if she was going take care of the new person that was now “stuck” there, literally bound to the earth?

“I already am,” she declared. “She saw me and asked, so my guardian went and released her.”

“This accident happened a long time ago, why did she get earth bound there so long after her passing?” I asked.

“They had a ceremony to place the cross where there was crying and much emotion,” she replied. “That bound her there in chains.”

My, look at what we sometimes unintentionally do to our loved ones after they have transitioned in our attempt to honor and remember them; we cause them to be bound here, and therefore, they cannot move on.

Doug Tales 69: Imagination

Joseph Smith defined faith as a principle of power, something that takes work and uses work. Faith is not just belief, but focused action or work based on that belief in our Savior. Doug Mendenhall practiced to develop his faith in things of God, and called it imagination, spiritual creation, and visualization. He shares a few examples in I See…Awake! (2015), pp. 32-34:

Anciently man painted pictures on walls of caves. They were pictures of themselves killing or hunting animals. Anthropologists today realize that the aboriginals, the Pygmies of the Congo, and other “primitive” people still do this same thing. But they don’t do it after the hunt; they are drawing on the walls or drawing in the sand or carving animals that they are going to go out and hunt. This was their way of prophesying, of saying what they were going to do. They were not depicting what they had done, but what they were going to do. People have the ability to look around and not only see things the way they are, but also how it might be. This is called our imagination or a “spiritual creation.”

While on my LDS mission in Spain I had been out for about 20 months and had not baptized anyone. I had a new companion, and we prayed and told the Lord what we were willing to do and asked that in return we would be able to “wear white” before Christmas. This was on December 1st. We had zero prospects, and back then it was normal to baptize just two people while on an entire two-year mission to Spain. I drew a picture of Snoopy dancing a jig and exclaiming, “We are going to have a White Christmas!” I had no idea I was doing what had been done for centuries, prophesying or “spiritually” creating an event in the future by declaring it with emotion in the present. And yes, we did baptize an incredible man on Dec. 23 which then opened the flood gates to many more during the next three months and more after I went home that my companion graciously took care of.

Years ago I joined a sales company and desired to make a lot of money. I used the same principles that I had learned from a goal setting program to accomplish my desire. The course taught me to “visualize” what I wanted the outcome to be, to then see it, feel it, taste it, hear it in my mind’s eye. I was not to worry about the how; it would take care of itself. It did. Ideas came that I implemented; some of them seemed off the wall, but I did them anyway. Within a year I had accomplished my goal of having the largest sales force in the company and making the most money, driving a Lincoln, and making others successful in the process. I would make more in a month than I could, previously, make in a year. The principles work. It is about the why, not about the how.

So when this is applied to the gospel, what can be accomplished? It is all about the why. The Lord will give you the how. He’s done much of that in the scriptures already. Is our “why” large enough to make us want to put in the work necessary to accomplish it? That is up to us individually and must include what we are willing to give up.

Doug Tales 68: Spiritually Sighted, Part Two

Do we need our physical eyes to perceive things around us spiritually? What about people in history and modern times who are legally and physically blind, but can still see with their spiritual sight? Doug Mendenhall explains a few related experiences in Conquering Spiritual Evil, Volume One (2012), pp. 53-55:

Many prophets have been spiritually sighted. When Elisha and his servant were in the city, they awakened to a surprise: “And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! How shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:15-17)

This view opened to a prophet who was sighted. I found out that many of these gifted people see these things. I know a man that heard something outside of his house and went out to take a look. He saw a huge army marching past his property. He called his family out, and they watched this army march past for several hours. They were all seeing in the spirit.

How is this possible? As mentioned previously, I listened to a doctor/scientist explain the measured spectrum of light or energy. He suggested we put that spectrum of light/energy equal in length to the Empire State building as a measurement of how big it is. He then asked how big the spectrum of light/energy that we humans see would be compared to it the Empire State building? Would what we see be equal to thirty floors, twenty floors or ten floors? The answer is the light/energy spectrum we see would be smaller than a grain of sand. That shows us how much we really don’t see and don’t know about. Just because the rest of us “blind” people don’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. If to God, “all things are spiritual” then would we not have that side of the veil there to help us fight our battles, especially if we have asked for that help just like Elisha did? I testify that these things are true; I have experienced it many times and seen some of it with my spiritual sight.

Do we need our physical eyes to see spiritually? This experience will answer that question. Recently I held a seminar featuring a man named Jason. He is quite a unique individual in that he became completely blind several decades ago after being sighted for over thirty years. Though he has no optic nerves, Jason can see energy, colors, a person’s intent, and much more. So much so it is hard to believe he is completely blind. It still is a little disconcerting to see him touch things and say what color it is; he sees colors with his fingertips.

He told me, “I needed to go blind in order to really see.”

Jason has the gift of seeing more of the light spectrum than most of the rest of us. He goes rock hunting and always finds the best rocks, as he sees their energy. He can tell if a person is of evil intent or of light. I don’t know how to explain that he sees or perceives intention other than to say that the Lord did the same. “But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts?” (Luke 5:22) “And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him.” (Luke 9:47) (See also Matthew 22:18, Mark 2:8, John 6:15)

Jason talks about Jacques Lusseyran, a man who went blind at the age of eight and became sighted like Jason is. Jacques helped lead the French resistance during WWII. He was put into a Nazi concentration camp for fifteen months. He made the comment that if he became frustrated, his ability to “see” would go away, and he became a normal blind guy. Jason said the same thing about his negative emotions.

Jason explained further: “As a child, very soon after the accident that blinded him [Jacques], he became aware ‘of a radiance emanating from a place I knew nothing about. . . I saw light and went on seeing it though I was blind.’ And ‘from that moment on,’ he writes, blindness became for me a fascinating experience and the attempt to live in a new way.” (Jacques Lusseyran, And There Was Light, p. ii)

There are many things that we just don’t understand and aren’t familiar with. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist and aren’t true. The invisible light spectrum or the spirit world is massive, and those of us with our veils intact really have no concept how large it is or what is going on there.

Doug Tales 67: Spiritually Sighted, Part One

Doug Mendenhall met thousands of people who could perceive metaphysically beyond the “normal” common experience of most people. He found himself explaining to many non-sighted people, especially in leadership positions in various social organizations, about the reality of the world that is really around us. He shares some observations in Conquering Spiritual Evil, Volume One (2012), pp. 50-53:

In 2001 we felt inspired to publish a book about our experiences called My Peace I Give Unto You. A year later, we were asked to give a book review which started a tour of reviews. We did nearly four hundred of them around the country. Doing the book reviews was a great experience because it allowed us to meet many dozens of spiritually gifted people like my daughter. Most of them were in hiding from family and church members as they felt misunderstood. I really didn’t understand this because as LDS people we claim all the gifts of God and surely we would embrace all the spiritually gifted people and celebrate their gifts.

It was during this time that President Gordon B. Hinckley of my church declared in the October 2001 General Conference that Joel 2:28-29 had come to pass, then he quoted it: “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.”

I shouted for joy! Now, I thought, all those with gifts will be able to come forward and not be afraid of sharing them. Priesthood leaders will now help these people as well as the other church members to accept these things, knowing they come from the Lord and will now know that these spiritually gifted people aren’t just making these things up.

Other scriptures besides Joel have a similar message. The Seventh Article of Faith declares these things: “We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.” Moroni even declared: “And again I speak unto you who deny the revelations of God, and say that they are done away, that there are no revelations, nor prophecies, nor gifts, nor healing, nor speaking in tongues, and the interpretation of tongues; behold I say unto you, he that denieth these things knoweth not the gospel of Christ; yea, he has not read the scriptures; if so, he does not understand them.” (Mormon 9:7-8)

Also modern revelation states: “And again, it is given by the Holy Ghost to some to know the diversities of operations, whether they be of God, that the manifestations of the Spirit may be given to every man to profit withal. And again, verily I say unto you, to some is given, by the Spirit of God, the word of wisdom. To another is given the word of knowledge, that all may be taught to be wise and to have knowledge. And again, to some it is given to have faith to be healed; and to others it is given to have faith to heal. And again, to some is given the working of miracles; and to others it is given to prophesy; and to others the discerning of spirits. And again, it is given to some to speak with tongues; and to another is given the interpretation of tongues. And all these gifts come from God, for the benefit of the children of God.” (D&C 46:16-26)

After we published a second book, Possibilities: Lessons from the Spirit, we felt inspired to organize seminars for spiritually gifted people or anyone that wanted to come. We called them Ezekiel Seminars and over a two-year period held twenty of them. We met hundreds of spiritually gifted people during this time.

Once again, nearly all of them were “in the closet,” so to speak, because of their gifts and they had had several difficult experiences. Many of these people just buried their gifts, refusing to acknowledge they existed because sometimes the opposition to their gifts was so heavy. On many occasions I would see women in the audience crying. During the break I would ask them what was wrong and if I could be of any help. They would all tell me the same thing. “I feel like I have come home. I‘m not a freak; there are others like me.”

It was during this time that people started to ask for help with spiritual problems such as a spouse, son, or daughter with a possible possession problem or their house had spirits, yet their spouse or priesthood leader would say that those things didn’t exist anymore. I couldn‘t offer any advice as I didn‘t feel qualified.

I knew the gifts were real, my daughter was a vivid example of this, and what these people were experiencing was real. The validity of these requests had been manifested to me on many occasions. I also knew all gifted people had to figure out how to deal with their gifts in this world. That is a challenge to many of them. Without the support of spouses, family, ward members, and the church, it is really quite hard to live in this Telestial world and be gifted. These gifted people had expressed to me how real the dark is and difficult it is to deal with. They had been deceived many times. That is also why some of them had hidden their gifts, since they didn’t want to be deceived again.

I have been around spiritually sighted people long enough to know what a great burden they carry. These people were beside themselves, not being able to “understand” what was going on, yet having incredible experiences and problems manifest themselves in front of their eyes. I have come to realize that this scripture is true, something I will quote many times in this work: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of this might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:10-12)

Doug Tales 66: Evil Assumptions

Who is the author of the lies about the adversary? What is the purpose of such lies? Doug Mendenhall points out many so-called sophisticated assumptions which people proclaim about darkness and evil in Conquering Spiritual Evil, Volume One (2012), pp. 40-42:

When one embraces the idea that angels and devils from an unseen realm actually exist, events in this mortal sphere begin to make sense. Events no longer become just occurrences or coincidences, but can be seen as tests, trials, afflictions, and blessings that can be used to bless our lives through the grace and power of God.

Unfortunately, however, many still scoff at all spiritual phenomenon as being “evil” thereby labeling those who have such experiences as weird, crude, spiritually unsophisticated, or primitive and judging them as superstitious, naïve, deceived, or under the influence of Satan. Some even claimed that they have such spiritual understanding and insight that they 1. “understand what is going on.” Which means nothing because they deny spirits exist; or 2. “don’t need such experiences” because they are spiritually beyond such experiences; or 3. are tolerant or curious enough to acknowledge that they have these experiences/encounters but proclaim that these occurrences are “so sacred that they should not be shared or spoken about.”

Curiously, I have also heard of esteemed individuals who blatantly deny that such occurrences really happened to early Saints or admit that if they really did happen, then “it is because the people at that time needed these experiences to strengthen their faith and show power unneeded in today‘s world.” All of these rationales are attempts to either deny the existence of spiritual experiences or deny the power of God and Satan. Some, however, may only use these excuses to cover their fear and don‘t want to understand how both the temporal and spiritual worlds interact…

We LDS tend to sweep these kinds of things aside. If we have entertained angels, it is considered too sacred to talk about. If we have experienced the adversary, we must be of an evil nature. Neither assumption is true. If it was too sacred we would not have the Joseph Smith story or the scriptures, and everyone that attains light in their life will have to confront the darkness.

Evil can be disturbing, even scary at times. I know when a number “9” or higher dark entity is after a person, it can be downright scary and intimidating, especially if knowledge about how evil works and how to control it is labeled as taboo or is intentionally disregarded, ignored, or locked behind the closed doors of piety with the warning that it should not be discussed lest one be taken or overcome by it, or even worse, decide to become part of it. This is no more than a lack of understanding or the use of fear to exercise control on other individuals. Ignorance can be extremely scary and sometimes dangerous. When we gain knowledge, we can stay out of fear and overcome what is being thrown at us. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. These things must be brought to light in order to dispel the falsehoods and ignorance that surrounds them.

Joseph Smith stated this in D&C 123:13-15: “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 are 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.”

As we grow in spiritual understanding and have experiences with angels, the Lord, and others beyond the veil, our confidence will grow. We will understand that it is just part of the process of growth in the gospel of Christ, knowing that these things are required.

Doug Tales 65: Cars and Angels, Part Two

Can a highway patrolman be an angel? Doug Mendenhall prayed for and then met one service-minded helper on his way home from a family outing years ago, as he explains in Possibilities: Lessons From the Spirit (2002), pp. 51-53:

In August of 2000 we went to a family camp out. We had spent a wonderful Saturday and were getting ready to come home. As I was loading the van I had the impression from the Spirit that we would have car trouble on the way home. I asked if it was engine trouble and the answer was no, the impression came that it would be tire trouble. Great, I thought, this is a borrowed van. I asked if the van would be OK? The impression came that there would be no damage to the van. How about us, I asked? Anyone going to get hurt? No, the impression came again. I then prayed to Heavenly Father thanking Him that no one would get hurt. I then asked Him to send us an angel to help with the tire trouble. We then finished loading and took off.

We were traveling about 75 MPH, which was the speed limit. They were doing some road work and the two lanes had been narrowed. I had just gone to the inside lane in order to pass a large semi-truck. Looking to my right, I marveled how close the truck was to us. Even at eleven at night, I could see we were very close to it.

Then, all of a sudden I felt something pop. It sounded and felt like something was beating the wheel well on the left side of the van. The van didn’t move to the left or right, it stayed squarely on the road next to the semi-truck. I quickly pulled into the emergency lane, which happened to be gravel because of the road construction. We didn’t swerve or do anything, and I was traveling at 75 MPH.

After stopping the van, I got out to survey what had happened. While getting out, I was thanking God that we had been delivered from a potentially bad accident. I looked at the left front tire and saw that the steel belt had come off. It appeared we had been driving on an “inner tube” and it had not popped. I was floored. We had been going 75 MPH, next to a semi-truck, and stopped rather quickly on the gravel. My mind flashed to all the stories that had been on the news about rollovers that were occurring all over the country from steel belts falling off the tires.

I quickly looked around and saw directly across the freeway there was an exit with a light over it. I told the family we would go over there to change the tire. We were in the middle of nowhere and it was very dark. “Look behind us and tell me when there are no lights coming,” I said, “and then we’ll cross the freeway and get this tire changed.” We all looked and there were no lights anywhere behind us. The road was very straight for several miles. I hurriedly crossed the freeway and put the van in park.

As soon as we stopped the van, I saw a car pull up behind us. “Where did he come from?” I asked the kids, who had continually been looking behind us.

“We don’t know Dad,” came the reply. “He wasn’t there a second ago.”

I noticed it was a Highway Patrol car. Good I thought, it will be good to have him there as we change the tire so his headlights can give us additional light. “Let’s get the jack out,” I told my seventeen year old son. He picked it up from under the seat and it fell apart in his hands. “See if you can get it back together while I get the spare off the back of the van,” I told him. I got out and started to get the spare tire off the back of the van.

The officer got out of his car and asked what kind of problem we were having. “Seems the steel belt fell off the tire,” I answered.

“Let me help you with changing the tire,” he responded. Now I’ve had flat tires before and cops had passed me many times. They never stopped and offered to help us. But, I wasn’t going to refuse his offer. This was all the more amazing because it had been over 100 degrees that day and was still hot on the road, even that late at night.

The next thing I knew, the officer had gotten a “shop” jack out of his car trunk and was jacking up the van. He took the tire iron from me and had that thing “singing” getting the lug nuts off the tires. I had never seen anything like it before. I commented to him that he must have changed a few tires before. He said, “I’ve changed more tires in my time than they have at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.” All the while he was laughing. I noticed the sweat pouring off him. I was amazed an officer would do this, especially since I was there with my seventeen year old son.

He finished up and put the damaged tire where the spare goes. He told us to get some air in the spare. Then he thanked us and wished us well.

Getting back in the van, I told my family of the feelings and conversation I had before we started back. Then I thanked God that He had sent an “angel” to help us. I don’t know what kind of angel he was and don’t really care. I know that God does hear the petitions of our hearts, that He does watch out for us, and the things we go through are just experiences.

Driving the rest of the way home I reflected on some of the things I had studied about angels. Just what do angels do when they “appear and minister unto men?” We have learned through our experiences that they are with us much of the time. That is a very comforting feeling. We have also learned from experience that they love to serve. Service brings them joy.

Doug Tales 64: Cars and Angels, Part One

Doug Mendenhall loved to drive cars and trucks, which trait he inherited from his father who also had been a very experienced driver. Doug learned from his sighted daughter that he was not alone driving. In fact, one friend confided on a cross-country trip, “Doug, the only reason I let you drive is because I know you’re not doing the driving, your father is.” Doug talks about keeping his angel father busy with Doug’s driving in Possibilities: Lessons From the Spirit (2002), on pages 49-51:

One day I was driving with Denise down 1300 East by Cottonwood High School in Murray, Utah. I was following too close behind a truck. All of a sudden the truck turned into the left hand turn lane. I realized that the cars in front of the truck were stopped at a red light, and I was going too fast and would hit the one in front of me.

The next thing I knew, I had checked the rear view mirror, the right side mirror and my blind spot for cars, then whipped into the right hand turn lane, all in a split second, thereby avoiding the inevitable crash at the stop light.

“Wow,” Denise yelled, “that was cool.”

I was surprisingly calm as I said, “What was cool? My superior driving ability?” I was thinking I had done an incredible job of avoiding a sure accident.

“That wasn’t you Dad,” she said. “It was Grandpa!”

“What are you talking about?” I asked.

“Dad, Grandpa went in you and did that,” she responded.

“He did?” I questioned.

“Yep, and it was cool to see him do it,” she said.

I came to realize that the reason I got warm on my left shoulder when I drove a car was from my father coming to be with me. He was a truck driver for thirty years and then drove school bus after he retired from driving truck. He loved to drive, as do I. I soon learned to welcome him whenever I drove anywhere. If he wasn’t there, I would ask for him to come. This experience wasn’t the only time he helped me avoid a serious accident.

A little over a year later, Denise, three friends and I were leaving Henderson, Nevada after doing a book review meeting. I was behind the wheel as we were heading west on the freeway. I knew we needed to join up with I-15 and head north towards St. George. One friend was in the passenger seat and we were chatting. I guess I wasn’t paying close enough attention to my driving. We were traveling along at freeway speed doing 65 MPH. I saw the exit to L.A. and it was a nice slow winding one where you stayed at 65 MPH. I did not see our exit until we were right on it. The sign right in front of us read 25 MPH. I heard my friend say, “Oh no!” I said the same thing as we entered that sharp right hand turn going 65 MPH. We were all in another friend’s custom van which is very top heavy.

I don’t remember much of what happened next. I vaguely remember the brakes being applied and the wheel turning. The next thing I knew, we were entering the I-15 freeway at the top of the on-ramp. Denise and the others had been thrown to the floor, as no one had seat belts on. I was cracking up laughing, and one friend was yelling at me to stop laughing. I don’t know why I was laughing, maybe it was just the shock of an incredible experience.

There was no imaginable way that the van could NOT have turned over or flipped and rolled. Denise said it was “Grandpa” again. We all thanked him and thanked the Lord we were safe. I asked her if he had gone “in me” again. The response from Denise, “Duh, Dad.”

One friend then said, “Doug, the only reason I let you drive is because I know you’re not doing the driving, your father is.”

“Real funny,” I told him.

I remembered something I had read in my research about angels: “Undoubtedly angels often guard us from accidents and harm, from temptation and sin. They may properly be spoken of as guardian angels. Many people have borne testimony to the guidance and protection that they have received from sources beyond their natural vision. Without the help that we receive from the constant presence of the Holy Spirit, and from possible holy angels, the difficulties of life would be greatly multiplied.” (John A. Widtsoe, Improvement Era, April 1944, p. 225.)

I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father that allows those that we have known or possibly will know to “serve” us, watch out for us and protect us. My friend was right, it really wasn’t me driving that van, at least when it counted most.

Doug Tales 63: Auras, Part Three

What happens spiritually when you interact with someone who the world defines as handicapped or disabled? Can you energetically be impacted by the aura or energy field that is around and associated with such a person? Can you impact them? Doug Mendenhall explores these topics in his book, My Peace I Give Unto You (2001), on pages 95-97:

“Break time, how about we sit over there on that bench.” I pointed to a particular bench that had good view of the passing crowd in the mall.

“Okay.” My daughter Denise agreed and raced me to the bench. She won.

“See any white auras yet?” I asked, settling on the bench.

“Nope, but lots of red auras.”

We were walking around the mall observing people. I wanted to know everything I could about auras.

We figured out that most people’s auras were some shade of yellow. Blue and green auras were rare but not near as rare as white. Red auras seem to apply to a lot of parents with children. Because of our inability to find any white auras, I became obsessed with them.

“Ooh, she is really red.” Denise motioned toward a woman wagging her finger at her little girl. The little girl was in tears, confused and fearful but the woman wouldn’t stop. She vented all her anger on that one little girl. I turned away, uncomfortable at the display.

“Still no whites?” I asked.

“He is.” She pointed out across the courtyard.

“What? Which one?” I quickly scanned the area.

“The one in the wheelchair, over there.” She pointed again.

I focused on a middle aged man seated in a wheelchair. What made him different? The obvious of course; he was in a wheelchair. Anything else? I studied him. Nothing out of the ordinary struck me. So, why was his spirit white? Jesus was white and so was that man.


Sunday arrived. We left for church a little earlier than normal. An outside group was putting on the service. We found our usual pew and sat as a family. Denise, of course, was right by me.

Within minutes I could feel Denise getting a little edgy, uncomfortable. I looked around and could see no reason for her discomfort.

“Who is he, Daddy?” Denise secretly pointed to the back of a man of medium stature that could have been in his late twenties.

“I don’t know. He must be with the performing group. Why?” I bent my head a little so that I could clearly see her face.

“He’s white, Daddy!” She seemed almost puzzled.

After three days of looking for whites in the mall, we had found only one. The man in the wheelchair. Now here was a second.

“Daddy, they’re all white, too.” She motioned to the other side of the chapel where a small group of presenters were finding their seats.

“They’re handicapped, Denise.” I pointed out to her as if that was what attracted her attention and not the auras.

“Oh.” She breathed a small sigh and settled contentedly back into the bench.

I turned to look at the man she had first pointed out. As he turned around it became apparent that he had Downs Syndrome. He, too, was handicapped and his aura was white. The handicapped presenters on the other side were not necessarily physically handicapped but mentally handicapped. An idea started to gel within my thoughts.

“Denise, what aura color are babies?” I whispered to her.

“White, Daddy.”

“What about little kids?” An idea took shape; Denise’s responses polished it.

“White, Daddy.”

The pew in front of us suddenly filled with the Lake family and their handicapped boy, Erik….  Erik poked his head above the pew and smiled at me. His little misshapen head and face quickly melted my heart as I figured it would have any heart. There was just something special about him.

“Denise, what color is Erik?” He continued smiling at us.

“Duh, Daddy!”

It wasn’t the response I expected but it confirmed what I knew. Those spirits with a body that prevented them from understanding and taking responsibility for their actions, as well as all little children, were white. They truly were heavenly beings. No wonder the penalty was so harsh for harming any of them.

“Denise, when you’re with someone like Erik, or a baby, can they change your color?” I quickly whispered because the service was about to begin.

“Duh, Daddy.” She nudged me and looked straight ahead.

Doug Tales 62: Auras, Part Two

One dictionary definition of the term, “aura” is “an energy field that is held to emanate from a living being.” Doug Mendenhall learned from his youngest daughter Denise in 1999 that different colors of auras exist around people, and that some people can perceive or see them. Denise gained the ability to see such energy fields after recovering from a coma at that time. Later, her (and Doug’s) descriptions would be expanded and added to, but Doug’s first days of aura awareness included seeing in a new way the people in his life, as described in My Peace I Give Unto You (2001) on pages 92-95:

Knock, knock.

“Daddy, are you in there?” It was Denise.

“You know I am.”

Since coming home from the hospital a week and a half ago, she wouldn’t leave my side. She slept in our bedroom, she followed me around the house, and if I went into the bathroom, she sat out by the door knocking every few minutes asking if I was finished.

“Denise, what do you want?” There was no place in the house safe from her.

“Daddy, can I come in? Are you done thinking now?”

“Yes, Denise, you can come in.” I gave up trying to be alone.

“Daddy, don’t you believe me?”

“Yeah, I do.” I thought for a moment. “Would you do something for me?”

“Sure, Daddy. What do you want?”

“Come with me.” A totally unnecessary request considering her recent clingy behavior.

We walked into the kitchen where Dianne had started lunch.

“Okay, look at Mom. What color is she?” Dianne glanced at me and shrugged.

“Pretty yellow.”

“Bright or light yellow?” I responded.

“Who cares as long as it’s pretty!” Dianne joked.

“Light yellow.”

We looked around the corner at one of my sons watching television.

“What color is your brother?”

“Yellow, too.”

I turned and pointed to another daughter in the living room.

“ . . . and your sister?”

“Yellow, duh.”

“Is anybody not yellow?”

“Sure, the doctors were purple . . . oh, and one nurse was very blue.”

“Is the color all around us?”

“Uh huh.”

“Is it a thick band of color?” I punctuated my question by motioning with my hand, trying to portray the color coming out from my head to a distance of about four inches.

“Sometimes, sometimes no.” She understood my question and mimicked several thicknesses.

“Are there many colors?” I wasn’t sure how well a ten-year-old could describe different color hues, not to mention that she was still having some trouble with her selection of words.

“Uh huh.” She nodded her head. “There’s yellow, red, blue, purple, green, white.” As she said each color she checked them off on her fingers.

“Do you know what the colors mean?”


“Well, if I was red and angry, then what am I when I’m green?”


“What about purple, if doctors are purple does that mean that they are smart?”


“Are all doctors purple?”

“No, not that one from the long ways away.” Frustration crossed her face. She knew the word she wanted to use but couldn’t get it out.

“You mean that nice doctor from South Africa?” I guessed that the one doctor that stood out in my memory would be the same one that stood out in hers.

“Yeah, I like him. He’s funny.” She smiled.

I wondered why wasn’t he purple like the others?

“Who is white?”

“Jesus and John, his friend.”

Why didn’t I think to ask how she knew that Jesus had a white aura? And who was John and why was he white? Those questions didn’t even cross my mind at that time. It was as if I was not to ask them.

“Okay, then it sounds like if you’re sick your aura is green. If you’re a doctor, your aura is purple. And if you’re in the Mendenhall family, your aura is yellow.” I joked.

“Daddy!” She laughed.

“Okay then, yellow is most people,” she nodded her head, “and red is me giving you a shot, uh, no, angry.” We both smiled.

“So what is purple?” I asked and she shrugged.

“Hmm, what was different about the South African doctor?”

“He was nice,” Denise said.

“He listened to us and treated us like we knew something.” I added and she nodded.

“Oh, of course, purple is pride.” I looked at her; she was confused.

“Pride is where you think you are better than somebody else.” I explained.

“That’s it.” She nodded.

“So, what is blue? . . . ”

I continued to ask her questions through the rest of the afternoon until she wouldn’t answer any more.

I was fascinated by my little girl and all that I had learned from her.

I went to bed that night in a chaotic cloud of questions and thoughts. Denise slept just a few feet from Dianne and me.