Doug Tales 50: Who Are You Going to Listen To?

Doug Mendenhall argues that truth grounded in personal experience triumphs over theory, philosophy and conjecture every time in I See…Awake! (2015), pp. 26-27. Experiential truth is often the opposite of the credentials, pedigree, background, position, wealth, and appearances which are criteria used in our society to determine if someone has something worth listening to.

There are two books that stand out in my mind that answer the question “Who are you going to listen to?”

The first is John Pontius’ book Following the Light of Christ into His Presence. I devoured it. Receiving the Second Comforter has always intrigued me because it is true doctrine, it is the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I learned much from his book.

The second one was The Second Comforter by Denver Snuffer. That one I devoured in three days; I couldn’t put it down. When I finished the book, I realized that this book was not theory, as Pontius’ book was. It was experiential! Snuffer had the experience. Where Pontius’ book was well researched theory; Denver’s was a “how to” manual based on scripture.

Which one would I follow—theory or personal experience?

When I was told to write Conquering Spiritual Evil, Volume One my response to the Lord was, “Thanks, but no thanks.” I knew from the previous three books that we were not to write theory. Most of what was in the books was to be experiential, and I knew the next book would have to be the same. This one is basically the same thing, only the Lord has provided sighted, gifted people to fill in the gap—which makes this book both experiential and theoretical. They will explain what they have experienced or what He has showed them. This book’s contents are not some figment of my “over the top” imagination, but some of it will seem that way because it is “out of the traditional box.” New things, at first, seem strange.

Will Ye Hear?

A volunteer recorded one of Doug Mendenhall’s books, Conquering Spiritual Evil, Volume One (2012), during the year 2021, and the audio files are now available free of charge from this website. Go to “Audio” and click on a chapter title to download an MP3 audio file for one of the 30 chapters in that book. In addition, there is a complete MP3 audio book in one file of Conquering Spiritual Evil, Volume One at the “Audio” link.

Many individuals made these recordings possible and available, and gratitude and thankfulness go to each of them as well as to our Savior Jesus Christ. You are encouraged to listen to these recordings as an additional way of thinking about the teachings and messages Doug shared a decade ago.

Conquering Spiritual Evil, Volume One (2012) is the foundational book for all of Doug Mendenhall’s writings. This handbook of tools, experiences and stories covers how to deal with dark and negative spiritual entities, weapons, and devices. The book is no longer in print, but an electronic version in PDF format is available free of charge on this website at the “Books” link, and now an audio version as well.

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Related to the topic of listening, what if the people of ancient Israel had listened to God’s word through Jeremiah and repented of listening to Babylon’s “prophets”? What if they conquered the spiritual evil in themselves and their society? If they had, instead of the destruction of their cities and being taken captive by a foreign power, God could have said to them, “And I will not persecute you with the sword, with the famine, or with the pestilence, and I will prevent you from being removed to all the kingdoms of the earth. You will not be a curse, nor an astonishment, nor an hissing, nor a reproach, among all the nations and will not be driven by them, because you have hearkened to my words, saith the Lord, which I sent unto you by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; and ye would hear, saith the Lord.” (Jeremiah 29:19, modified to be the opposite)

Instead, they experienced the consequences of ignoring God: “And I will persecute them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will deliver them to be removed to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, and an astonishment, and an hissing, and a reproach, among all the nations whither I have driven them: Because they have not hearkened to my words, saith the Lord, which I sent unto them by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but ye would not hear, saith the Lord.” (Jeremiah 29:19)

What and who are we listening to today?

Doug Tales 49: What Joseph Smith Said and Did, Part Three

Doug Mendenhall explores Joseph Smith’s teachings about angels of light and angels of darkness in Conquering Spiritual Evil, Volume One (2012), on pages 37-40:

It appears that the adversary and his minions have their own bounds, limits, and laws that control and govern them just as the Lord does with His angels. This very plainly shows the concept of opposition in all things. As previously mentioned in D&C 121:4 it states: “O Lord God Almighty, maker of heaven, earth, and seas, and of all things that in them are, and who controllest and subjectest the devil, and the dark and benighted dominion of Sheol…” It is the Lord God Almighty that sets the bounds, limits, laws, dominions, and controls of the devil and his hosts.

God also sets the bounds of angels and what they are allowed to do, say, and minister. Joseph and many of his companions pierced the veil and saw angels, conversed with them, and were administered to by them. “Angels shall guard his (Bishop Whitney’s) house, and shall guard the lives of his posterity… Many of my brethren who received the ordinance [of anointing] with me saw glorious visions also. Angels ministered unto them as well as to myself. . .Others [high councilors] were ministered unto by holy angels.” (History of the Church 2:288, 381, 382)

Yet as previously mentioned they also have their bounds, limits, and laws by which they operate. For example, Joseph Smith indicated, “If an Angel or spirit appears offer him your hand; if he is a spirit from God he will stand still and not offer you his hand. If from the Devil he will either shrink back from you or offer his hand, which if he does you will feel nothing, but be deceived. A good Spirit will not deceive. Angels are beings who have bodies and appear to men in the form of man.” (Words of Joseph Smith, p. 44)

Also in the minutes of the General Conference in Nauvoo, “[President Joseph Smith] explained the difference between an angel and a ministering spirit; the one a resurrected or translated body, with its spirit ministering to embodied spirits—the other a disembodied spirit, visiting and ministering to disembodied spirits. Jesus Christ became a ministering spirit (while His body was lying in the sepulcher) to the spirits in prison, to fulfill an important part of His mission, without which He could not have perfected His work, or entered into His rest. After His resurrection He appeared as an angel to His disciples.” (History of the Church 4:425) Therefore, “[God] set the ordinances to be the same forever and ever, and set Adam to watch over them, to reveal them from heaven to man, or to send angels to reveal them. ‘Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?’ (Hebrews 1:14). These angels are under the direction of Michael or Adam, who acts under the direction of the Lord. From the above quotation we learn that Paul perfectly understood the purposes of God in relation to His connection with man, and that glorious and perfect order which He established in Himself, whereby he sent forth power, revelations, and glory.” (History of the Church 4:208)

From these quotes we can see a gradation in spirits, translated beings, and resurrected beings of light. I am sure there are many “levels” within each of these realms, depending on the amount of light and understanding we gained while in this mortal probation. We discuss angels and archangels in our church, with Michael being declared an archangel. “But, behold, verily I say unto you, before the earth shall pass away, Michael, mine archangel, shall sound his trump, and then shall all the dead awake, for their graves shall be opened, and they shall come forth—yea, even all.” (D&C 29:26)

Since there is a hierarchy among beings of light, would the same be true with beings of darkness? Years ago I was discussing with my daughter, Denise, the concept of a gradation of dark entities. When the Lord declared that some only come out “by fasting and prayer,” He showed us that this is a true principle. Denise made the comment that there are “little devils” that she called a “number one” and said that they go all the way up to the adversary which she called a “number ten.” Later she would tell me that she really should have said that their gradation should go from one to one-hundred. She mentioned that the nines and tens on her former scale were devils you didn’t want to mess with; they were extremely powerful. That would make sense if we look at these as being the opposite of the Lord and His archangels, otherwise it would be impossible to be “tempted in proportion to the vision, revelation, or manifestation you have received.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 3:206) There is a balance that is required even in these things.

We also discussed possible reasons why the average person can’t see beings of light or beings of darkness. She mentioned how she had been shown how everything vibrates at a different rate and light beings vibrate at a higher rate or frequency than we do. It requires our spiritual eyes to be opened to see them. As Joseph F. Smith said in D&C, section 138, verse 11: “As I pondered over these things which are written, the eyes of my understanding were opened…” Or with Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in section 110, verse 1: “The veil was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened.” And finally with Joseph and Sidney Rigdon in section 76, verse 12: “By the power of the Spirit our eyes were opened …”

Shortly after talking to Denise I listened to a scientist talk about a discovery through experiments that the energy/light spectrum is huge and that we see very little of it. He went on to explain that if the full energy/light spectrum that has been measured was as tall as the Empire State building which is one hundred stories tall, and the energy/light spectrum that we humans see was shown on the side of that building it would be tiny in comparison. He stated that the energy/light spectrum that we humans can detect is about the thickness of a grain of sand. That means there is so much more out there that we can’t see or even imagine. King Benjamin was right; man really is small when compared to the workings of God. We really are a speck of sand on the seashore. Yet God knows us and loves us as much as any of His creations. His only desire is to “bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39)

Doug Tales 48: What Joseph Smith Said and Did, Part Two

The prophet Joseph Smith said he encountered spiritual darkness before he saw God in his First Vision. Everyone who wants to receive the Second Comforter in this life will be required to also conquer the corresponding spiritual evil.

Doug Mendenhall shares Joseph Smith’s teachings on the reality of the darkness and evil around us, and also the purposes of such temptations and challenges, in Conquering Spiritual Evil, Volume One (2012), on pages 31-35:

It would be well for anyone interested in spiritual realms to first read and understand the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith as recorded from those who attended meetings where instruction occurred in addition to scripture and revelation he received from the Lord. We can begin with informational sources including History of the Church, Joseph Fielding Smith’s edited compilation of talks and writings as found in Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith and other sources including The Words of Joseph Smith, which is a compilation of first-hand accounts from journals and papers of those attending Joseph’s instructive discourses.

Conquering Spiritual Evil is not meant to be an exhaustive course of instruction or a spiritual guide to the unseen world, but many of Joseph’s teachings, scriptural references and personal experiences are used to assist in explaining what might be happening on the other side of the veil as well as providing some useful tools in navigating these hidden truths.

I am going to put forth a hypothesis about how the spiritual side of things might be set up. This is not the doctrine of any church, especially the church I belong to. They are just some ideas that have been floating around in my head that I am going to bring forth. Feel free to dismiss them or take a long look at them. It they don’t fit into your paradigm just forget about them or put them on the shelf. If they help make things easier to understand then the Lord has blessed us both.

As stated previously, Joseph said, “There are three independent principles—the spirit of God, the spirit of man, and the spirit of the devil. All men have power to resist the devil. They who have tabernacles have power over those who have not.” (The Words of Joseph Smith, p. 74)

It seems as though the spirit of man is in the middle of what is going on spiritually between God and the devil—on one side of him is the spirit of God and on the other is the spirit of the devil. The Lord said, “For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. . . it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter.” (2 Nephi 2:11, 15)

“And it must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves; for if they never should have bitter they could not know the sweet.” (D&C 29:39)

We have been taught that going spiritually towards God are three Kingdoms, the Telestial, the Terrestrial, and the Celestial. (See D&C 88; 1 Corinthians 15:40-41) If everything really has its opposite, then does it stretch the imagination to see there might be three kingdoms of the Satan in the opposite direction? Why is it that when a person receives the blessing of the Second Comforter that he also experiences the opposite? Once again, opposition is required in all things.

Denver Snuffer points this out quite plainly in his book The Second Comforter, Conversing with the Lord Through the Veil: “Nephi is an example of this process, of facing the downside before receiving the upside. The path to heaven passes through hell. Joseph didn’t see the Father and the Son until after first being attacked by Satan (Joseph Smith-History 1:15.) Moses didn’t receive an audience with God without also being subjected to Satan’s temptations and efforts to mislead him. (Moses 1:12-22.) Christ didn’t receive angels to minister to Him before His ministry began until after ‘the tempter came to him.’ (Matthew 4:3-11.) And Joseph and Sidney were not shown the vision of the Celestial Glory (D&C 76:50-70) until after they beheld the sons of perdition and their punishment (D&C 76:43-49).

“It is not just that you reach upward. There is a bracket to these things, and it requires what is below, in addition to what is above. This is the necessary balance. Lehi taught: ‘For it must needs be that there is an opposition in all things.’ (2 Nephi 2:11) You can’t get to heaven without passing through hell. You can’t develop the required faith without the necessary opposition. You must choose between the apparent failure of faith, and the desire to persist. Facing the end, you must retain hope. This is good for your soul, even though it may be painful to endure. You must face the physical dilemmas and difficulties of life while viewing them in their true spiritual setting. You must rend the veil.” (pp. 79-80).

In March of 1839 Joseph Smith was in Liberty jail. When he heard of the persecution and travails the Saints were experiencing, he questioned the Lord, “O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place? How long shall thy hand be stayed, and thine eye, yea thy pure eye, behold from the eternal heavens the wrongs of thy people and of thy servants, and thine ear be penetrated with their cries?…O Lord God Almighty, maker of heaven, earth, and seas, and of all things that in them are, and who controllest and subjectest the devil, and the dark and benighted dominion of Sheol—stretch forth thy hand; let thine eye pierce; let thy pavilion be taken up; let thy hiding place no longer be covered; let thine ear be inclined; let thine heart be softened, and thy bowels moved with compassion toward us. Let thine anger be kindled against our enemies; and, in the fury of thine heart, with thy sword avenge us of our wrongs. Remember thy suffering saints, O our God…” (D&C 121:1-2, 4-6)

Joseph is told by the Lord that these afflictions “shall be but a small moment.” Then in Section 122 the Lord goes on to mention all kinds of what we would call awful things that could happen to Joseph and ends with, “know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?” (D&C 122:7-8)

This lesson must have really impressed Joseph because he wrote an epistle to the Church from Liberty jail during this same time dated March 25, 1839. In it he taught, “The things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity—thou must commune with God. How much more dignified and noble are the thoughts of God, than the vain imaginations of the human heart! None but fools will trifle with the souls of men.” (History of the Church 3:295; see also Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 137).

Br. Snuffer uses the above passage from Joseph in his book Eighteen Verses (on pages 300-301): “This is the process by which men and women come to know God. They move in both directions at once. As their minds expand upward, they must deal with the struggles and opposition associated with gaining insight into God’s will. This is the great difference between scholarly knowledge and Divine insight. In the one, it is possible to obtain a lifetime’s study without ever encountering the opposition of evil. But in the other, as you encounter God, you will have to suffer from demonic opposition. Devils don’t bother you at the library. They do, however, on the way to the Temple.

“A Savior who would not save Himself is best understood by gifted people whose gifts cannot relieve them of their own sufferings. He is seen most clearly by the ones who hold authority; receive honor and respect, but who are powerless to reclaim their health and vigor. The irony of heavenly success is coupled with earthly disappointments and sorrows is the theme from the Book of Job to the modern revelations in Liberty Prison. How can one be both blessed and chosen, and cursed and spit upon? It is ironic. Yet it is the way of the Savior.

“The ‘Suffering Servant’ passage of Isaiah 53 is not just a description of the Savior. It is also a description of those who follow Him. All who would be part of His kingdom must understand what it means to be men and women of sorrow and acquainted with grief. They must know what it means to have others turn their faces from them, in judgment and dismissal. For without receiving a part of His sufferings in this life, we cannot expect to have a part with Him in the eternities. He asks us to: ‘Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.’ (Matthew 11:29)”

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.”

Doug Tales 46: Doug as an Empath, Part Three

What do you “see” when you look at other people? Can you “see” others with different eyes by being filled with God’s love? Doug Mendenhall met a young man at a hospital, whose “skin on his arms and neck were covered with harsh tattoos, [but] the love around us didn’t see the tattoos.” This experience is from My Peace I Give Unto You (2001) on pages 82-86:

My daughter Denise finally drifted off so I took the opportunity to go down to the cafeteria and get a bite to eat. In the elevator I again opened up to the children in the hospital. It gave me such a renewed sense of awe in their strength knowing what they suffered. This time, though, I was able to let it all pass through me and I became aware of how the love pervaded all the pains and burdens, willing to comfort and relieve but waiting.

The elevator doors opened and I made my way the last fifty feet to the cafeteria. I noticed a small group of people about half way to the counter, a woman, a baby and a young man. The young man immediately caught my attention because he had the look of a hardened gang member. All the visible skin on his arms and neck was covered with harsh tattoos. His clothes looked like those worn by all the gang members highlighted by the media during drug raids and drive-by shootings. Where revulsion normally would have surfaced I felt love for him. I knew that the love around us didn’t see the tattoos or clothes or anything that tied him to a degenerate lifestyle. It saw him as but a part of the whole that we all are. As I looked at him I felt his fear and uncertainty behind a façade of anger. I wanted to shout at him that his life choices had been paid for in full and that comfort was his if only he would ask our Father in Heaven.

Instead I approached him. I wanted to know more of this young man that I loved and appreciated.

“Hi, I couldn’t help but notice your beautiful baby. It just breaks my heart to see such lovely children in the hospital.”

“Uh…She isn’t mine and no she isn’t a patient here.” He reached into his back pocket for a wallet attached to a chain connected to a front belt loop. “It’s my niece that is a patient here. She has leukemia. See here…this is her picture…She isn’t very old but they say she needs a bone marrow transplant.” His openness filled me with wonder and awe.

“She looks like a little angel. I’m sorry to hear that she is so sick.”

“Yea, she isn’t doing so well so I’m gonna be the donor for the transplant.” He flooded me with fear and concern. The love he felt for that little girl would have been noticeable even without the gift I was enjoying.

“Wow, that is very noble of you. Thank you for sharing that with me,” I replied. I was flooded with respect, love and empathy for him. I wanted to reach out and hug him and comfort him.

But instead I said, “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m keeping you from eating. Good luck, she’s worth it.” I wanted to tell him that he was worth it, worth the price paid for by our Savior. But I had to leave before I broke down in tears at the love that I felt for that young man.

I headed back up to Denise’s room where I sat and pondered the experiences of the day. I became acutely aware of the gift that our Savior is. He stands by us experiencing our lives with us, comforting and loving us, willing to take from us the pain we cause ourselves through our poor decisions and He comforts us in those trials we agreed to experience for all. I became completely humbled at what He had done for Dianne and myself just a few weeks earlier when He took our pain and anguish and suffered for us while He gave us His peace to comfort us.

I learned that night that the baskets we weave are but a part of His basket, a single basket that He loves and cherishes for He loves and cherishes each of us as a part of it. As I finally drifted off to sleep on the little hospital cot by Denise’s window, my last thoughts were of being one with Our Father and Christ….

I was startled awake when I just about rolled off the cot and onto the floor. New sunshine peaked through the blinds to tell me I had been asleep for at least three hours despite the screaming denial of my body. Slowly I sat up and stretched. I looked over to Denise and found her intently studying me.

“Morning sweetie.” A smile was too much to give out with the stiffness I felt, so I settled on a half grin.

“Hi Daddy,” she replied.

I felt a twinge of energy around me and suddenly memories of yesterday exploded within my mind. Could I still feel the people around me? Somehow I opened myself up like I had yesterday. Yes, it was still there, the gift hadn’t been taken away yet.

I stood and stretched some more, opening up to the people within the hospital. Denise watched me with what seemed to be understanding and smiled.

Doug Tales 45: Doug as an Empath, Part Two

An empath is able to sense, perceive and literally feel the emotions of other people. Doug Mendenhall became an empath for a short while during the time his youngest daughter was in the hospital in 1999. A friend taught him then how to let those feelings pass through him to Jesus Christ, and not keep holding on to them. Doug shares those events in My Peace I Give Unto You (2001), pages 76-82:

I left the house and drove to the hospital. My mind was racing with the wonder of what I was experiencing. I purposefully parked at the back of the hospital lot. The walk outside in the cold night air seemed very appealing all of a sudden. As I came closer to the main doors I realized that I had locked my keys in the truck. My next encounter with Dianne would not be pleasant… I … went directly to the elevators. Dianne and Denise waited upstairs for me…

“Well it’s about time. I called home and they said you left over two and a half hours ago. Where have you been?” Dianne didn’t waste a moment dressing me down as I entered Denise’s room. Denise quickly closed her eyes to feign sleep.

I looked upon my wife and knew her as I had never known her before. I shared that moment of worry and anger with her. “I’m so sorry. I stopped off at Mike’s house and lost track of time.” Her emotions became charged with sadness. I felt a tinge of abandonment and loneliness creep in.

“Well that’s just great. Just forget about me and the fact that I have things I need to do.” Her face only mirrored a fraction of what I knew she felt. I stood motionless.

“Well, give me the keys, I’m late as it is.”

I knew that I was going to be inundated by a new barrage of emotions after my next sentence and I knew of no way to brace for it.

“I locked the keys in the truck.” I said quietly.

No sooner had those words left my lips than disappointment and anger surfaced as the dominant emotions in my wife. I felt the physical discomfort my words caused and felt extreme remorse for my actions. I couldn’t believe that I could cause such anguish in someone I so loved. She turned around to hide her face from me as she gathered tolerance and patience to her.

“I’m sorry dear, I’ll call someone right now to bring the spare set of keys. I’m so sorry.” My words never had been more sincere for I understood my wife as she did herself. I lived that moment of her life with her.

I quickly made a number of calls to friends and neighbors but had no success in finding someone to help. I finally tried Mike even though I assumed that he and Ruth would still be out running errands. Not only was he home but he seemed most anxious to help me out.

“Mike is going to bring up the spare set of keys.” I felt relieved as I gave the news to Dianne.

“Hi Da..” Denise ‘awoke’ once she felt the tension ease. Even though her enunciation faltered her adorable half smile shined bright.

“How’s my sweetie?” Tears welled up in my eyes as I felt her gratitude for having me there.

She nodded, “uh huh” Though she was progressing at a miraculous rate, exhaustion often overcame her in the evening and her communication became more a series of grunts rather than words.

I hugged her and was stunned by the love and comfort she felt from it. It was an incredible gift to feel what others received from my simple actions.

“Well, are you going to tell me what happened at Mike’s?” Dianne had accepted the result of my actions and decided to move beyond them.

“Well, after talking for a few minutes, Mike set me in front of a movie he had rented, then left with Ruth to run errands.” I started. “The movie became a powerful spiritual experience for me. As I watched it I understood how our Father and Christ are in everything. It was like a second testimony to what I had already thought I knew…” I could feel Dianne open towards me as she attempted to understand what I was telling her. I continued on with the experience of floating and the realization of what I was feeling. I told her of the little boy downstairs and what I felt in the elevator.

She asked, “Are you experiencing that with me?”

“Yes, and I’m so sorry I caused you that pain and loneliness.” Dianne’s eyes got big. She understood that we were sharing more than just a physical moment in time. She got up and walked over to me from the chair by the window and peered into my eyes.

“They are dilated…does that mean you can still feel the other children here, too?” She attentively gazed at me.

“Yes.” I answered and turned my attention away from the experience that was Dianne and opened up to all that was beyond the walls of the room. All of a sudden I felt what I had in the elevator. This time I let all that “energy” rush into me as I shared the life of many sick children. The longer I concentrated on it, the worse I started to feel physically. I was suddenly nauseated and weak. I felt a headache grow swiftly behind my eyes. I needed to sit down before I fell.

“Doug? Are you all right? You don’t look so good, dear.” Dianne’s concern wrapped around me but did nothing to halt the degeneration of my physical state.

“There is so much pain and fear here. I can’t believe what these kids live with.” I sat down in the chair next to Denise’s bed. “I feel horrible, Dianne.”

Denise watched with fascination as I continued to suffer from the pains of those around us. For the first time since I entered in the love, I felt fear. I didn’t know how to stop what was happening to me.

“Hi Doug, Dianne and hello to you, young lady.” Mike walked through the half-closed door with a large smile and swinging a set of keys.

“Thank you so much Mike, you’re a life saver.” Dianne quickly smiled and moved to collect the car keys from Mike.

“Cherry, I hope. I love cherry Life Savers,” he said more for Denise than for us. Denise gave him the smile he wanted.

Dianne tucked the keys away in her purse and turned back to me sitting by Denise’s bed. “I’m sorry to run like this, but I need to get home to the other kids. Thanks again so much for bringing up the spare set of keys, Mike. Bye my little darling, take care of Daddy.” Dianne hugged and kissed Denise goodbye.

“I’ll see you in the morning, dear.” She turned to me and gave me a kiss. “Doug, you need to do something, you really don’t look well.” This time she hesitated as if she wasn’t sure whether or not to leave me. I felt her deep love and concern for me. My eyes teared up again and I smiled at her.

“Thank you, Dianne, for your love. You get going, I’ll be okay. I’ll call you later tonight.” I motioned for her to leave. She hesitated, then left the room.

After Dianne’s departure I quickly filled in Mike concerning all that had happened since he left me watching that movie at his house.

“Well, that explains why you look so bad now,” he replied. “You’re taking in everybody’s pain and sickness and keeping it.”

“What? I don’t understand what you’re saying, Mike,” I said, yet all of a sudden I did understand. I knew exactly what he meant about me keeping their pain. I felt it and drew it into me and I was affected by it as if I was them. “Okay, then what do I do? I don’t think I can take much more of this.”

“Let it pass through you to Christ,” Mike simply replied.

“How do I do that?” I asked.

“Tell it to pass through you…seriously, tell it to pass through.” He insisted despite my look of disbelief.

“Please let the feelings and emotions pass through me,” I said. No difference, I still felt horrible. “Pass through me.”

This time I felt a perceptible change and then it was gone. The pain and nausea, headache, everything was gone and I could feel the love once again without the defining pain.

“You did it. I can tell because you look alive again.” Mike smiled at me. “There have been others that could do what you have just done. They had to learn to let it pass through them like you just did. Remember Doug, only Christ can keep and handle another’s pain. We can share it with them but only He can take it and survive.

I sat stunned for a minute as I considered what he had just said. I knew he was right. This was an incredible gift of understanding and love. I wondered about my Savior who could take in all that pain and heal it. I enjoyed the love around us and decided to ponder on it later that night while I was alone.

“Thank you for showing me how to handle it,” I said.

“Anytime. I need to get going. Just remember to let it pass through you.” He ended his visit with a few words for Denise and left as suddenly as he arrived. After he left I spent a while thinking about everything that had occurred and offered up my gratitude to my Savior for all He had taught me.

Doug Tales 44: Doug as an Empath, Part One

In November 1999, while dealing with his daughter’s recovery from a coma and near-death experience, Doug Mendenhall was given briefly the spiritual gift of personally feeling the emotions of others. He felt even more God’s love for himself, his family, and those around him. He describes those experiences of first feeling as an empath in My Peace I Give Unto You (2001), pages 73-77:

The phone rang and for once I found it where it was supposed to be, in the kitchen.

“Hello…well. Mike, how are you? …great, it’s my afternoon off.” Dianne and I had begun to take turns staying with Denise in the hospital. After that first week we realized that one of us needed to be available to our other kids and try to maintain some semblance of normalcy. “…Yes, I’m due back up in just a couple hours…Sure, I’d love to stop by…Ok, I’ll see you in just a bit.”

“Deon, I’m going to go by Mike’s on the way to the hospital. Can you handle things here for a while until Mom makes it home?”

“Sure Dad, I’ll keep them in line.” She smiled menacingly but with a twinkle in her eyes. “Hey, does it matter what I fix for dinner?”

“Only to your brothers and sisters, they’re the ones eating.” I replied. “Seriously, you can fix whatever you can find. I’m sleeping at the hospital tonight so I won’t see you until tomorrow morning.” I gave her a quick kiss on the forehead and headed out the door to rendezvous with Mike.

Although I first met Mike last August we had become fast friends. We shared many common beliefs and ideas and I always enjoyed our conversations. Since the day Denise had gone into the coma, he and his wife had become very supportive of us, helping us in any way they could. We felt very blessed to have them as friends.

Mike and Ruth were both home when I arrived. They invited me in and served up a relaxing conversation. Mike figured I needed a break from reality and suggested I watch a movie. He highly endorsed one that he had just rented and said it was just what I needed. I looked at my watch and realized that I wasn’t expected at the hospital for almost 2 hours, so I agreed to the diversion and made myself comfortable in front of his large TV.

To my surprise, Mike and Ruth had no intention of sharing the movie with me. Right after he started it, Mike quickly excused himself and Ruth. Before I could say much in reply I heard the garage door close and they were gone to run errands.

The movie’s name escapes me but it was a story about a group of strangers who find that their lives become all interconnected until they find themselves sharing a beautiful moment on the rim of the Grand Canyon. After just a few minutes I started to see things implied within the movie, things that were not purposefully put there by its creators, but things that struck a familiar cord within me.

I found the movie portrayed certain ideas and thoughts that I had. I found it shouting out to me that God really is in all things. It helped me see Him in and through everything that was my life. I saw His hand in the world’s events that I was familiar with. I saw Him everywhere and in everything and was overwhelmed by His presence around me. The movie ended. I sat stunned as I tried to process what I had just experienced.

I closed my eyes to concentrate on the emotions and feelings that were surging through me when all at once I found myself somehow floating, floating in a sea of energy. I was no longer sure I was in my body. The sensation intensified and I recognized the feeling as a love. A love akin to what we experience daily from those we care about, but far greater, more mature, complete, tangible, perfect and palpable. It was unconditional, it existed everywhere at once—it was Him.

And through that love, that energy, through Him I could feel everyone at once. I was immersed, no, I was a part of what I floated through and so was everyone else. And because they were a part of it I could feel them, their emotions, their pains, as if I were them, too. At once I understood and accepted what I was experiencing. I knew at that moment that the weave of my life had been forever changed.

I opened my eyes not knowing if the experience would cease or not. I felt pain as my eyes adjusted to the light around me. How much time had passed that my eyes would need to get readjusted to the light? I looked around to the wall clock but had a hard time focusing in on it. The love I had floated in still encompassed me and I enjoyed it.

I finally decided that I had better go, Dianne would be waiting for me and I didn’t want to be too late. As I opened the front door I caught sight of myself in a hall mirror. I turned from the door and stared into the mirror. Staring back at me was my face but the eyes were different. I peered closer and then it hit me. My eyes were dilated as if I had gone to an optometrist. That explained the pain of my eyes adjusting to the light.

I left the house and drove to the hospital. My mind was racing with the wonder of what I was experiencing. I purposefully parked at the back of the hospital lot. The walk outside in the cold night air seemed very appealing all of a sudden…

My first sight inside the doors was of a little boy and his mother sitting on a bench to one side of the lobby. I sat on a bench on the opposite side of the lobby not far from the boy and his mother.

I looked at him and wondered what it must feel like to be him. All of a sudden, I knew his happiness at having his mother at his side and I knew of his fear at having cancer. I could acutely feel the discomfort of the IV attached to his arm and the burning sensation the solution caused that he was receiving. The field of love I was attached to coupled me with that young boy in a way unexplainable by words. I knew of him because I was him.

“Mommy, I don’t like this medicine, do I hafta have it?” We said to his mother. We were seeking for comfort from mommy.

“I know dear, but it will make you better. It will kill the bad cancer cells that make you sick,” she replied. We were satisfied at the answer. Somewhere in us we found again the hope that had momentarily faltered. Comfort mingled with pain encircled us.

I closed my eyes in an attempt to disassociate myself from the little boy. It worked and I again felt separate from him but still attached. I stood and went directly to the elevators. Dianne and Denise waited upstairs for me.

As I entered the elevator I became aware of a different sensation, a connection with all those around me in the elevator, one where if I looked at them I could share that moment of their lives with them. I became a party to their joys, pains, hopes and aspirations. I also became aware of thousands of “tiny pinpricks” beyond the elevator doors and I at once knew it to be the other people within the hospital. I knew also, though I don’t know how, that the stronger “pinpricks” came from the sick children, those whose experiences were more severe and intense. I was sharing in the physical pain of some, the emotional anguish of others. There was hope and resignation throughout everything. There was desperation and anxiety. There was immense pain and blessed numbness.

And through all those sensations was love. Love and acceptance saturated everything I felt.

Doug Tales 43: Binding Demons, Part Two

After Doug Mendenhall wrote about “binding demons” on this blog, he was asked about similar language printed in “Appendix A” of his book I See…Awake! (2015), on pages 311-312. That appendix includes a “release statement or prayer” which a friend of Doug’s had shared at a seminar he sponsored in 2015. In the following unpublished email dated August 13, 2017, Doug shares a few follow-up thoughts regarding his “Things That Crack Me Up At Night” blog post from earlier that same day:

Hi Friends,

I have long stated when people tell me they have put Alyssa’s “release statement” [from “Appendix A” in I See…Awake!] on their refrigerator or elsewhere and repeat it several time a day, that they might want to check in with Father about that. It was put in as an example of what one person does. Have I ever liked it? No. Have I ever used it? No. We have told everyone over and over and over and over again to ask Father about EVERYTHING that we have ever taught, all of it. Do I or Kitten agree with this part of her release? No, never have. There are some ideas that I quite liked from it and have incorporated that aspect in what I have done, hopefully with the Lord Jesus Christ’s okay.

We did some pretty good Ezekiel Seminars. Did I agree with all every speaker said? NO WAY! Some were really far off. It was presented as lessons for us to use discernment. Some did, most didn’t. They figured because the Lord Jesus Christ asked them to speak, that all they spoke was from Him. Sorry.

Doing this even with earthbound spirits will bind you to them. Bummer, huh.

Cue the music. “And the beat goes on, and on, and on and on…..”

Hope that helps.

Doug

Doug Tales 42: Binding Demons, Part One

Five months after beginning this blog, Doug Mendenhall met a man who suffered the consequences of others purposely binding demons to his ancestors. Doug wrote about the experience, and things he learned from it, as part of his blog post, “Things That Crack Me Up At Night.” The following excerpt was originally posted August 13, 2017, and then reprinted in Conquering Spiritual Evil Blog Posts 2017-2019 (2020), on pages 80-81:

…There is…the [unhealthy] idea that we can bind demons while sending them to hell. In the Christian world they cover both camps. Some believe you have the right to bind demons, while others declare that it is not scriptural and a person does not have the right to bind them.

Personally, I have witnessed more than a few “healers” or energy workers use this phrase and bind the demon or demons to hell. I admit, that recently I succumbed to the temptation and used the phrase. I have since repented and you might want to know why.

Almost every time we do a clearing something new is learned. Yesterday as I was meditating about a guy coming to our home I saw that he had a curse that went back four generations. This is not an unusual thing, though only going back four generations might be. I wondered what all of it meant and was soon to find out. He arrived and we chatted. Kitten came to observe and help. I laid hands on his head and in the name of our Lord Jesus the Christ cut the bonds to the entity that was attached to him. The strange thing was, after this there were still other bonds that had to be cut which were still binding to him somehow or at least needed to be severed.

Later Kitten mentioned that the man had a Corporal attached to him. But, attached to and controlling the Corporal were a bunch of this man’s women ancestors that had bound the Corporal to do their bidding. They were witches. They lived during Pioneer times and had been members of the LDS faith. They had become members of a secret society that still exists today in that faith. Because they were witches they knew how to do rituals to bind evil entities to them to do their bidding, making them just as evil if not more so than the entity.

We had not seen this before and the concept was quite fascinating so we discussed it even after the man left my home. That is when it occurred to me that I had heard more than a few healers/energy workers use the phrase when casting out demons, “I bind you and send you to hell.” I quietly asked our Lord Jesus Christ if what they had done was to bind themselves or attach a cord to the entity that they had sent to hell. The answer was yes. So I asked Kitten the same question and she also said yes. When using this phrase you attach a cord between you and the demon!!

When we “bind” a demon or dark entity we are placing a bond or cord between them and us. The evil entities of course love this because now they have a “bond” or a cord with a mortal that they can now literally suck the life energy out of. Does this make sense to you? I hope so. I made this mistake when casting out a while ago and said those words. Like I mentioned, I have since repented and cut those bonds/cords. How do I know about these things? Well, after I had said those words when doing a clearing a while back, I was able to literally hear people talking and they weren’t very nice. We had a bunch of friends over last week and I heard someone say, “These people are just a bunch of candy***es.” (If you need to know what I “edited” out here, call me.) It was last night I realized I had established a link, cord, or bond with the demons that had been sent to hell. I was able to hear their comments about me and those I was around. While interesting, it wasn’t very nice commentary and I’m quite happy to have cut those and have that gone from my thoughts.

But I need to add something else. When “they” have established a connection, even when done with our own blind ignorance, they can not only hear, but they can also see through our eyes into our world. And it gets even worse. It won’t matter at this point how many shields we have put up since they now have a direct line to us because after they are “tossed” into hell, we have left them a “life line” in the bond/cord we gave them and they can come right back to us. So they don’t actually have to stay in hell to see what we are about, they can be right next to us. Also, because of the connection, they know not only our thoughts, but our emotions as well. In other words, we become their latest toy to play with. All because words matter, words create, especially when done with emotion as you might do when “binding” a demon to send it to hell. If you have done this over and over there might possibly be many connections with demons on you. They would not only be playing with you, but taking the life out of you as so stated, causing you problems in every aspect of your life, etc. Sounds fun, eh?

If we do this, we need to realize that no matter how much we shield or how often we shield, it won’t matter. Evil will have a literal pipeline to us. If this is you, you might want to take care of that.

Anyway, those are a few of the things that crack me up at night and well, maybe not so much really.

Good luck and God bless.