Doug Tales 41: Agency

Doug Mendenhall cared deeply about respecting the agency of others. Today’s blog post includes three entries on the subject of agency.

The first entry is part of Doug’s April 4, 2017 post, “It’s Okay. I Asked Your Spirit”, which was reprinted in Conquering Spiritual Evil Blog Posts 2017-2019 (2020) on page 15. The second entry is from a man whose counsel Doug sought during his life. It’s a definition of “agency” by Denver Snuffer (in Denver’s book, The Second Comforter [2008], pages 416-417). The final entry is from Doug’s sighted friend Kitten (as quoted in Doug’s book, Conquering Spiritual Evil, Volume Two [2020], page 32):

Doug Mendenhall:

Yesterday we had two visitors at our home, a husband and wife. She talked about how she felt she had some negative entities on her and she needed to get rid of them. I told her that sometimes help is needed. She then talked for a while and asked if I thought she would be able to cast them off by herself. I told her that sometimes we all need help. A while later she asked again if I thought she had entities on her. I told her that yes, she did have some entities on her and sometimes we need help to get them off. This went on for a while longer with me telling her that sometimes we need help. That concept was repeated several more times.

Finally, she asked, “Do you think you could help me get rid of these entities?”

“Yes!” I told her husband, “She finally got it.” The offending entities were cast off and she lightened up considerably. So much so that her husband even commented about how much lighter she was.

I know some of you are saying, “Why didn’t he just offer to cast them off?

That was not my place. If we have gifts we shouldn’t go around healing the world, going up to others and telling them what is in their home, on them, on their children, etc. If Kitten came to any of your homes and told you what she saw there, you’d be flabbergasted and shocked. Most would not believe it. But it is none of her business unless they ask for help. This is the biggest thing I have always appreciated with my daughter and Kitten. Denise would especially love to let me trudge around in the pig pen for a while and just be amused at what I was enduring or dealing with. When I asked her why she didn’t speak up, she would say that I had not asked her and that she wasn’t allowed to say anything until I asked.

I loved the respect for agency these two showed, even though what I was going through really hurt at times. It is also respect for the Lord Jesus Christ and his ways, his gospel, his truth and the way of Light. We are to always ask Him and get His permission before doing anything. Remember, ask in all things. If we take agency away we are doing the bidding of the Adversary and his Lords, not that of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some get so good at this it becomes a habit, going around with their fairy dust saving the world. Many will tell me, “The Lord told me to do this or say this.” And I’m thinking, “What Lord?” Would the Lord Jesus Christ have told them to do this or say that? I’m sure it was a Lord, but which one……a dark Lord?

Denver Snuffer:

Freedom or agency really means accountability. That is its chief, if not only, meaning. Unfortunately, because of political debate, it has assumed a much less rigorous meaning. We are free, therefore we are accountable before God for all our acts. The Atonement alone affords us relief from that accountability. Taking advantage of the Atonement for that purpose, however, does require us to obey Christ’s conditions.


Our freedom of choice is an absolute that must be guarded at all cost. We also are to gain experience from those choices which enhances greater learning and progression. We are never left to our own devices, for our loving Fathers and Mothers are available to teach and guide. It may seem harsh, at times, to let a child, who is determined to check out that fire, to be burned. Wise parents, will remove and stop the innocent from experiencing harm, for a time, until it is realized the child is not going to learn by teaching only. Hence they allow the child to experience the results of the choice to be burned, while standing by with the needed burn ointment and bandaging, after the lesson has been learned. It is then the lessons, coupled with the experience, are at least learned that ‘burn’ and ‘hot’ are to be avoided, until knowledge and wisdom are gained to wisely use the burn and hot.

Some parents, indeed too many of the world, feel it is heartless and cruel to allow a child to experience the needed lessons which assist greatly in the maturing process. There are some things we are to totally protect our children from, to the best of our ability, which would end mortal life. However, if those children are of reasonable mature age (older teens and adults) who are determined to walk paths of destruction, we are to allow it. Even then we pray for them, teach according to the spirit of light and love, and do all possible to turn them to light, but never cross the line of removing their freedom of choice of looking to light or darkness.

Doug Tales 40: From Eternity to Eternity

Doug Mendenhall teaches in his books about an astronomical term called, “the Precession of the Equinox” and its spiritual name, “from eternity to eternity.” Much longer than days, seasons, or years, the Precession of the Equinox movement of our planet Earth through the Zodiac star constellations takes almost 26,000 years. This immense span of time changes time from an arrow in a straight line into time as an endless circle, a cycle of regression and progression, a cycle of creation, fall, redemption, judgment and re-creation for ever.

There are practical and spiritual reasons for understanding “the Precession of the Equinox,” which is not common knowledge in our modern society. The following introduction to the topic is from Doug’s Conquering Spiritual Evil, Volume Two (2020) on pages 7-9, 15-16:

My sighted friend [wrote] in the book I See…Arise!, “The Precession of the Equinox is necessary to keep the appointed times before us, to give hope and guidance. The various ‘stars’ were arranged to allow for teaching purposes and keeping truth within our sight.” (p. 379)

After teaching about the Precession at many workshops for nearly five years, I finally put together the understanding that the “wobble” takes about 25,920 Earth years to make a complete circle of the pole stars… I also came to realize that it takes about the same amount of time for our Solar System to leave the Celestial realms on its journey out through that kingdom, through the Terrestrial kingdom to the Telestial kingdom and then back again through the Terrestrial on its final destination to the Celestial kingdom. We also wrote about this in the previous book. (A complete explanation is on pages 369-379 in I See…Arise!)…

In scripture vernacular this is called “From Eternity to Eternity.” This made perfect sense to me since the Gods of Light live in eternal glory or burnings in the center of our galaxy, the Celestial kingdom. Our Solar System left Eternity and is on its way back to Eternity, a process that also takes 25,920 years, more or less. This would also be going down Jacob’s ladder and back up again. Anciently it was also called the Hero’s journey, the Wheel of Life, the Great Year, and other names. Daniel’s dream could also be part of this interpretation.

I mentioned that our three previous books discussed many important concepts that are quite pertinent and lay a foundation to the discussion of overcoming spiritual evil. This volume will go deeper into the discussion of why all of this is important and how it all plays out together. Consider these questions: Why does a Solar System do a regression and progression called “From Eternity to Eternity”? Who exactly is Satan and how does he fit into this program we are on? What about those three groups of people mentioned in Abraham 3? Who are they? What about Snuffer’s statement “The economy of heaven…”? What is the economy of heaven?…What will happen as our Solar System gets closer to the Terrestrial kingdom? Anything? What is the difference between “Ascension” and “Translation”? Will we all “ascend”? What happens if we don’t? How will evil be overcome? Can we do more now?…

The Precession of the Equinox in spiritual terms is called “one eternal round” because it takes the axis of the Earth approximately 25,920 years to complete the circle. The statement “one eternal round” is found is several places in the Book of Mormon and modern scripture—Alma 7:20, Alma 37:12, D&C 3:2, and D&C 35:1 are good examples. I particularly like the one below from Nephi:

“For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.” (1 Nephi 10:19)

It talks about the mysteries of God being unfolded to those that diligently seek. While working out this concept I thought it was pretty cool that I was told to study the Precession of the Equinox which then led to so much more that fit nicely into the gospel as it was being revealed to me. It gave understanding as to why Joseph Smith showed Philo Dibble that picture of stacked planets with our earth being in the middle and why it is not that way now. It thrilled my soul…

As I studied, I realized there were other things to be taken into account that I had heard bits and pieces of but had never understood. People would talk about cycles of time, going from a golden age to a silver, brass, and eventually down to an iron age. But then it would cycle back up again. This really made no sense to me.

The Hindus talk about this system of going down and coming back up or a descending and an ascending cycle. It is called the Yugas. It is interesting that the entire Yuga or cycle lasts for 25,920 years or the same as the Precession of the Equinox. Do you think they are talking about the same thing? Could be, I thought. But I also knew that the Mayans have clocks within clocks describing time and Biblical writers mention wheels within wheels. Could they all be discussing similar things or a similar thing?

Ancient documents, myths, and legends all discuss how this earth had a golden age, that when people first came here, they knew much more, had greater technology, lived much longer, etc. than we do now. What is that all about?

Doug Tales 39: Nigh Unto an Angel

When we interact through the veil with others, are we connecting with those of light or those of darkness? And what about those of darkness who are pretending to be of light? Doug Mendenhall had many experiences learning how to discern the adversary and his followers’ work. Doug shares some pointers on the topic in his I See…Arise! (2016) on pages 11-12:

There are several reasons for relating these two stories. [The “two stories” are Doug Tales 24: Heaven Took Notice (posted July 26, 2021) and last week’s Doug Tales 38: Ten Instead of Five (posted Nov. 1, 2021).] Heaven does take notice of what we do and they also do come here to “test” us. The other reason is to understand that hell does mimic what heaven does, and they can also come as “angels of light.” We need to know and make sure that what we have been shown and what we have experienced is from above, not below. Yet even if an experience is from the adversary, there are still many lessons to be learned. We just need to know from whence it came.

“And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself; yea, to that being who beguiled our first parents, who transformeth himself nigh unto an angel of light, and stirreth up the children of men unto secret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness.” (2 Nephi 9:9; see also D&C 128:20, D&C 129:8, 2 Corinthians 11:14)

It does say “nigh unto an angel of light.” There is a difference. Maybe we ought to be sure to understand and recognize how to tell the difference. Will we make mistakes and be deceived? Absolutely. ALL of my gifted friends have been deceived on more than one occasion. That is part of the learning process. I have heard a few people declare that they never have been and can’t be deceived. I run away from these people because they are liars and satanic. There is always a learning curve associated with anything new.

Nevertheless, we were blessed on several occasions to have heaven take notice and visit us. At the restaurant it was a true blessing and made the restaurant experience well worth it, as hard as it was. It was a blessing to understand how it is no small matter for heaven to come here to a Telestial world in a manifested “physical body.” There is always much thought, conversation, and effort in what they do for us. To condescend and come here does cause them considerable pain. This also displays that indeed there were covenants made before this world about many different things, things that some might disparage as a thing of naught. I would be careful of that thought. Evidently heaven didn’t, and doesn’t, take covenants we fulfill as a thing of naught.

Doug Tales 38: Ten Instead of Five

Entertaining angels unawares happened to Doug Mendenhall a lot in his life. He was generous with friends and strangers, as shown in this experience recounted in I See…Arise! (2016) on pages 8-10. Of course, the question Doug really wanted answered was, “How do angels do that?”

After Denise had been released from the hospital at the end of 1999, we didn’t have much money to do any extra things. That December we decided to go to Temple Square in Salt Lake City to see the Christmas lights on Christmas Eve. It was a great experience, and as I have mentioned previously, neither Denise nor I wore a coat; we were both on “fire” for those few months.

When we left downtown SLC the kids wanted to go eat at a restaurant. We literally had no money in the bank and very little on us. Before we had left home, we checked all our pockets and everywhere we could think of and found forty dollars. We realized that we could only afford a fast food place, so we went to Wendy’s in Taylorsville. We didn’t care about the fact we had little money. We were just grateful to be together as a family and have Denise home. It was around 7:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve. They were going to close the restaurant at 8:00 p.m., so we quickly ordered our food and sat down. The bill was $28 which left me with two fives and two ones in my pocket.

We were talking and having a great time; it was wonderful to be with my family on Christmas Eve. After we had received our food, a man entered the restaurant and walked up to us. He stuck a card in my face. I turned to look at him, and he appeared to be an older man who was down on his luck. The card stated that he was deaf and a mute, and asked if I would give him “$2 to $5” to help him out. I turned the card over and saw there was sign language on the back.

It was Christmas Eve and we were all in the Christmas mood, so I took a five dollar bill out of my pocket and handed it to him and told him to have a Merry Christmas. We then watched as he went to others in the restaurant and handed them his card.

As he left the restaurant, the Spirit told me to ask Denise if the man had a “white aura.”

“Hey Denise,” I said, “did that man we gave the money to have a white aura?”

She looked at him going out the door.

“Yeah, Dad. How much money did you give him?” came her reply.

“Five bucks,” I answered.

“You should have given him ten,” she answered back. I asked her why she felt I should have given the man ten dollars, and all she said was, “You’ll see.”

Later I talked to her about this “man” we had encountered at the restaurant. She said the reason he had a white aura was because he was a translated being that had come to test me and the others in the restaurant. She mentioned that the Lord knew we literally had twelve dollars to our name and wanted to see if I would part with some of it for a “beggar.”

It states in the New Testament: “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Hebrews 13:2)

The next day was Sunday. After church a man from our ward, Bro. Tanner, showed up on our doorstep. Dianne answered the door. Bro. Tanner was an older gentleman that had many severe health issues and did not have much money. He had to use a cane to get around.

“Sister Mendenhall,” he greeted her. “I was sitting in church today and for some reason opened up my wallet. In it was a fifty dollar bill. Now I never have any money in my wallet, so I don’t know where it came from. But then the Spirit whispered to me to take it to the Mendenhall’s and give it to them. So here you go. It’s yours.” He then handed the money to my wife.

Denise was right; I did see. I came home a short time later, and Dianne related what this dear man had said and done. I am sure the Lord smiled love at Bro. Tanner that day and welcomed him into His arms when he passed away a short while later. Our family was very grateful to him as it was money sorely needed for food.

Later Denise would tell me that if I had given the man in the restaurant ten dollars instead of five, the Lord would have sent $100 back to us. So there’s the reason she said that I should have given him ten dollars instead of just five.

Doug Tales 37: Do We Practice Principles of Light Daily?

Doug Mendenhall often stated that spiritual currency is made up of time and attention. He constantly shared the need to “pay the price” of time and attention to gain what God has to offer each one of us. Doug studied Kevin Trudeau’s teachings on diligence and spiritual currency, put them into practice in his own life, and shared what he learned in I See…Awake! (2015) on pages 25-26, 30-32, and 39-40:

There is a man, Kevin Trudeau, who I saw many times on TV selling all kinds of things. I always thought he was just a “huckster” or TV pitchman and not much more. Then I started hearing parts of his story, about how around the age of 16 he had been approached by some of the so called “elite” about becoming one of them. He asked them why they wanted him to join their associations since he was not of any “bloodline” and came from a poor family. They told him that his DNA vibrated at the right frequency. (Now that is an interesting concept.)

He went on to learn from mentors who taught him personally and gave him private access to ancient manuscripts in their private libraries. He made millions using their strategies and contacts. As he rose up the ranks, he realized that these were not nice folks. He and some of the other younger people he associated with decided to teach these principles to the general public in order to free up people’s minds so they could see how they were being manipulated. It cost him his freedom—he now resides in prison.

Nevertheless, the concepts he taught are sound, but they are “Master Mahan” principles for creating wealth. Someone sent me his program. It sat on my dresser for many months. Finally the Spirit told me to listen. Reluctantly I did so. Then I was told to listen again and take notes. I did that. Then the Spirit told me to apply it to the Gospel of Jesus Christ…

These concepts are foundational because they relate to how the Adversary operates so successfully. The Adversary will always take true principles and twist them for his purpose—to harm and destroy mankind. That is what he did with these concepts which are true and of light. “You can buy anything with money.” But more importantly, if applied to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they can help us reach what should be our ultimate goal, that of receiving Him and becoming redeemed from the fall…

Mr. Trudeau also taught what he called “The Training Balance Scale.” On one side is our thinking—thoughts, desires, dreams, goals, attitude, mental process, objectives, and the things which go on inside the mind. The things which go on inside the heart—is the vibration, intention, energy, motivation, and how we feel. Thoughts and emotions. (Yes, our heart does think, it has neurons just like the brains does.) This is the WHY.

The other part of the scale is the actions—physical movement, techniques, strategies, what you do, plans, and activities. This is the HOW.

The theory is you must have a balance between the two—the motivation (why) and the how. This is a myth that will make sure you fail.

The truth is that the thought/thinking part is 99% of it. Thinking and thoughts or the why is more important than the how. “When your attitude is right, the facts don’t count.” Because what you think are facts are mostly just people’s opinions.

About twelve years ago the Spirit told us to move to where we live now. Our daughter, Denise, had been out of the hospital several years, and we had lost everything through a bankruptcy and didn’t even own a car. We were driving our oldest daughter’s old “beater” car. It had come time to move. We had three days to move out and still no car. I had tried my hardest to get a car, any car, all to no avail. So I put it in the Lord’s hands. I told Him that I knew it was His wish we moved, and explained that we didn’t have a car and could sure use one. Our oldest daughter was staying up in Salt Lake until after Christmas, so we couldn’t use hers. So I dumped it on the Lord, giving Him the reasons WHY—the HOW was up to Him.

About that time a woman drove up to the house and asked to get our book, My Peace I Give Unto You. Before going inside our home, I noticed she had a “For Sale” sign in her van window. When I came out with the book, I asked her how much she wanted for the van.

“I’m asking $5,000 for it,” she replied.

“Would you take payments of $25 a month for the next two hundred years?” I asked.

“Well, actually the Lord told me to give you the car. I just couldn’t get over here until now. Here are the keys and the title. Can I get a ride home?” she announced.

I had focused on the WHY, forgetting the HOW and relied on the Lord. It works. Sometimes He will tell you the how, and then you do it. It is important to understand thoughts and what they are, and yes, you have to understand the how and the techniques, but you must focus your attention on the thought and thinking process and not on the how—that will come. People fail because they focus on the how. Thinking and thoughts are the spiritual process and are ultimately more important than the how. Like those lilies in the field, we should take no thought for the morrow, meaning the how.

The world would teach you “I need the money and techniques to get it done.” Wrong. When thoughts are right before God, the how takes care of itself. Your thoughts register themselves on the cells of your own body and affect those cells in a manner that harmonizes with the nature of those thoughts. When you understand this principle, you will understand what the Lord meant when He said, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)…

Many techniques and ideas will be discussed in this book. Some you may want to implement in your life. If these basic principles are followed then you will be successful in what you work on. They are based on natural laws and will work when applied. Evil understands this and uses them continually to accomplish what they desire. The god of this world would have you use these principles to obtain what many consider important—money and self-gratification.

The more I have studied, the more I realize that the evil forces practice every day—they don’t let up. Do we practice principles of light daily? Practicing righteousness and light is more than the check list of commandments. If we stop there and think we have arrived, then we stop progressing. In the meantime, evil knows how to control your mind, spirit and body, how to afflict you in ways you haven’t dreamed of, and basically controls this world. We have to live focused on the Savior in all we do. We cannot counteract something we don’t understand. It is up to us to understand how evil works and then to overcome it in our own life and help our family. It us up to us to receive Him and become redeemed and then translate ourselves. We must learn to live with a higher vibration, one that matches Enoch’s Zion when they return. If not, we will not be able to be in their presence. It will hurt! It is up to us to do this work for ourselves. Yes, the Lord will help, but following a man or men or an organization won’t take us to the necessary level. Read your scriptures. Only following men makes you a Telestial candidate or worse. (D&C 76:98-106)

Mr. Trudeau tells of a Shaolin Monk from China who lived in his home for a while. He was excited because he wanted the Monk to teach him some things about martial arts. The Monk did, and it was wonderful. He asked Trudeau to give him his best punch or kick. Afterwards, the Monk put out a flame on a candle from across the room with the energy from his kick.

Trudeau learned a very valuable lesson from the Monk: That is that there are not many secrets or laws that govern how to accomplish things, the key is to master those laws or concepts at an unconsciously competent level. That takes a lot of practice; the more practice, the higher level of performance.

The Monk told him, “I am not afraid of the 10,000 strikes you know that you only have practiced once each, but I am deathly afraid of the one strike you have practiced 10,000 times.” It takes time and attention—spiritual currency. Are we willing to put in the effort required to become unconsciously competent in the Lord Jesus Christ?

Doug Tales 36: What Joseph Smith Said and Did

Do you believe “the greatest American mystic was Joseph Smith”? Doug Mendenhall often talked about what Joseph Smith said and did in his life to conquer spiritual evil. Since Joseph openly shared about his spiritual experiences through the veil, Doug studied his teachings and life to learn how he too could do the same. Some of Doug’s observations about Joseph Smith are in his book, I See…Awake! (2015) on pages 18-23:

I met many people that did “energy work.” We brought in Robert Bruce from Australia to teach a workshop about energy work. When I first met him he asked if I was a Mormon. I told him I was. He said he was grateful to meet one, since the “greatest American mystic was Joseph Smith.” I asked him what he meant. “He contacted Heaven, looked into Heaven, talked to Heaven more than any American ever has,” he said. He talked about how Joseph had visions of God, angels, used seer stones and other metaphysical means to accomplish things never done before in America, so Robert Bruce declared him to be an incredible mystic and seer. I have to agree with Robert—Joseph is an amazing seer and even a mystic.

Here is the definition of mystical: Mystical: 1. Spiritual 2. Of or relating to an intimate knowledge of or direct communion with God (as through contemplation or visions).

I’d say that covers Joseph Smith—he was a mystic. He came to know God’s laws and used them to “see” and do all kinds miracles and more. We should all become “mystical!”…

Both light and dark have much to teach us. The Lord had to comprehend it all and we must also. Joseph Smith stated:

“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 search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity—thou must commune with God.” (History of the Church 3:295)

We will search into and contemplate some of those dark abysses and by doing so will commune with God. He will teach us many things in our hearts and minds if we will take the time and ask for the experiences, and then give what He offers careful, ponderous and solemn thought. It is worth it—all of it.

Joseph Smith said: “Knowledge saves a man; and in the world of spirits no man can be exalted but by knowledge.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 357)

“All things whatsoever God in his infinite wisdom has seen fit and proper to reveal to us, while we are dwelling in mortality, in regard to our mortal bodies, are revealed to us in the abstract, and independent of our affinity of this mortal tabernacle, but are revealed to our spirits precisely as though we had no bodies at all; and those revelations which will save our spirits will save our bodies.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 355)

“…Revealed to us in the abstract…” What does that mean? “Abstract” is an adjective which indicates that a thought or an idea does not have a physical or concrete existence. As a verb it means to consider something in theory or separately from something else.

So, consider this possibility: Joseph is telling us that when God reveals something to us, He does it as if we had no bodies at all. So when God speaks to us, it is directly to our spirit. Like Robert Bruce said about Joseph Smith, he is the greatest seer or mystic of our time in America. Joseph is speaking from experience; he should know; he did know.

Spiritual information is always coming to us. Everyone knows that we have the five external senses: Seeing (visual); hearing (auditory); feeling (tactile); smelling (olfactory); and tasting (gustatory). But we have been blessed with six internal senses that are spiritual in nature. We have the same five as the physical senses plus one other, which is empathy, a “feeling” sense. This means we can feel emotions inside our bodies. All six of these internal senses are constantly giving us information, whether we realize it or not. Like all muscles and abilities, we can increase our competency when we spend time practicing each one of them. When voicing a blessing people have experienced that the information will come through visual, auditory, and especially empathic means. I have also smelled and tasted things during blessings and have felt other hands laid on top of mine. This is all spiritual in nature. You may feel things around you, on you, or in you. You might experience tastes or smells that you are to convey to the person receiving the blessing. Many times I have seen pictures or events that I will then describe to the one I’m voicing the blessing.

God has given us the knowledge that He speaks to our spirit, which is how we will learn. We will discuss many of His laws and how to apply them in this work.

It is my hope that the words of Joseph will apply to this work, that it doesn’t come from me in the least, that all of it comes from our Lord Jesus Christ, and that it will “taste good.”

“This is good doctrine. It tastes good. I can taste the principles of eternal life, and so can you. They are given to me by the revelations of Jesus Christ, and I know that when I tell you these words of eternal life as they are given to me, you taste them, and I know that you believe them. You say honey is sweet, and so do I. I can also taste the spirit of eternal life. I know it is good; and when I tell you of these things which were given me by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, you are bound to receive them as sweet, and rejoice more and more.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 355)

Doug Tales 35: Just as Wide

One of the principles of natural law relates to Rhythm, and that everything flows in and out in rhythm. There is opposition in all things. God allows the pendulum to swing in both directions. Doug Mendenhall discusses these principles in Conquering Spiritual Evil, Volume One (2012), on pages 35-36:

I once had the opportunity to have a three-hour lunch with a Seventy from my Church. After telling him of our experiences, the only advice he offered me was, “I need to let you know that as wide as heaven opens to you and your family, hell will open just as wide.” We had learned the truth of that statement during the three years prior to our lunch together. Hell indeed had opened just as wide. After a while it just came to be expected. Later when we started to do the Ezekiel Seminars about Christ, we could determine how spiritual the seminar would be by the amount of opposition my family and the speakers experienced the week or two before. It got to be a running joke among us after a while. “Wow, this one must be good because we sure are going through hell to get there.”

Does the “darkest abyss” that Joseph said we need to “contemplate and search into” go as deep and as dark as the Celestial Kingdom is high and full of light? Do we really need to contemplate and search them in order to understand their opposite nature and be able to dwell there? Apparently it does, at least according to the scriptures and the Prophet Joseph. Brigham Young even weighed in with his opinion: “So when individuals are blessed with visions, revelations, and great manifestations, look out, then the devil is nigh you, and you will be tempted in proportion to the vision, revelation, or manifestation you have received. Hence thousands, when they are off their guard, give way to the severe temptations which come upon them, and behold they are gone.” (Journal of Discourses 3:206)

Doug Tales 34: My Ways and Your Ways

“There is much to understand about this subject [of conquering spiritual evil], much to learn and contemplate about it.” Doug Mendenhall spent a lot of time meditating, praying and studying about how to combat darkness and negativity in this world. He spent even more time fighting, casting out, and dealing directly with spiritual darkness.

In order to help others learn to do the same, he wrote Conquering Spiritual Evil, Volume One (2012). The following observations are from “Is Spiritual Evil Real?” on pages 23-30 of that book:

I have had more than one person tell me concerning my daughter who is gifted in many ways that “God doesn’t speak to or through ten-year-old girls.” Or they have declared that God would not speak through these gifted people that I have met who are like her.

Be very careful about making such declarations. The Lord has declared, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

How dare we as humans suppose that we know the mind of God? Many of us will apply our puny minds (when compared to God) to a problem and immediately jump to the wrong conclusion. Or we declare that it requires a degree from an institution of higher learning, or you must be an intellectual or educated to know what the scriptures say or to understand the mind of God. We might declare, “You must be trained in the ministry!” To declare that God would not speak to a ten-year-old girl only shows our ignorance about our Heavenly Father and His ways. God operates through farmers, fishermen, plough-boys, fourteen-year-old boys, and yes, even you and me as illustrated and declared in Alma 32:23.

“And now, he imparteth his word by angels unto men, yea, not only men but women also. Now this is not all; little children do have words given unto them many times, which confound the wise and the learned.”

Furthermore, when individuals declare that they know God would not do “such and such,” they are bringing upon themselves their own damnation, meaning stopping their progression. For example, if I declared, “I know that God would never tell Nephi to kill Laban,” I would not be following the Spirit of the Lord and am presuming I can tell God or His Spirit how to operate or what to do. “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and wither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)

We will show that there are things we can do to help in this “war” and even go on the offensive in preventing attacks or keeping them from occurring in our home and stewardship. If we are attacked or know of someone that is being attacked, we will have some knowledge of what to do and how to do it. By “attack” I don’t mean a full blown possession. We are nudged daily, subtly influenced by dark entities. What you see in the cartoons might be more real than you think when they show a little devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. How many of us have had children who have little playmates that really don’t exist—at least we can’t see them? A good friend has the ability to see spirits, as does his father and siblings. When they were quite young, he and his sister would play with a dark little entity that came out of the curtains until their father found out and put a stop to it. He told his children that those little dark entities really weren’t their friends, and he and his sister should stay away from them.

I believe what this book will offer is an alternative view of what ails us, what causes us problems, and how to combat them. Allopathic (Western) medicine chose a long time ago to eschew the spiritual aspect or component of our lives. When our God makes a statement that everything He does is spiritual, it makes one wonder what medicine might be missing. “Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual…” (D&C 29:34) If we choose just the biological aspect of our being without contemplating the spiritual side, we are missing a huge part of what and who we are, maybe even what and who the Lord is. Many books have been written about how to bring His Light into our lives. If we can eliminate the darkness or at least know how to eject it or combat it, maybe we can bring more light into our world, even into our hearts and eventually bind him who is the harbinger and author of all darkness. “And Satan shall be bound, that he shall have no place in the hearts of the children of men.” (D&C 45:55) Until the day comes, a war is being waged, and the Lord needs more warriors armed with knowledge and especially Light, His Light.

Evil is very real. If it is not understood and controlled it can not only influence a person, but can also completely overcome the soul, “for the spirit and the body are the soul of man” (D&C 88:15). This is not a figurative statement. Satan is the author of evil and has one singular objective, “…he goeth up and down, to and fro in the earth, seeking to destroy the souls of men” (D&C 10:27). And why does he do this? As stated before, his goal is to possess the bodies that God created for Adam and Eve and their posterity, thus attempting to destroy the plan of God which is to “bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). Satan and his hosts bring people under bondage and with the objective of destroying man both in body and in spirit. This is what “being overcome by evil” means.

Is it possible to avoid being overcome by evil and learn to resist its influence? The answer is, “Yes!” We can overcome evil by learning what evil is and how to control it, then by fortifying oneself with good….

This book is not about the study of evil and how to use it. The purpose of this book is firstly, to expose the workings of evil under the light of God so that a person may recognize it when it is present, and secondly, to explain powerful tools he and others may use to deal with evil and its effects. This volume is not meant to be comprehensive in nature….

There are those who will scoff, criticize and take offense at the contents of this book. Notwithstanding, this book is a compilation of the author’s experiences, other’s experiences, personal opinions, and spiritual tools that the author has found helpful from firsthand experience…

The author is neither attempting to draw attention or a following to himself, nor influence others away from any true principles and doctrines. This is an attempt to share personal opinions by relating experiences that have had meaning in his life and in the lives of others. The author holds no ecclesiastic position that should influence the reader by church authority to agree with or comply with any of his conclusions. Any successes in overcoming evil are a direct result of the influence of Jesus Christ. Readers are cautioned that this is not a church authorized or approved book or a book explaining church doctrine. Therefore, readers may disregard any of all of the book’s contents including the author’s opinions and conclusions. Any truth for personal application may only be discerned by inspiration and revelation received in a manner consistent with the scriptures….

If a person has an understanding of what they are dealing with and how they can confront and combat evil, they can then be armed with knowledge and can approach situations in faith and with the confidence that only God can provide. Knowledge then, becomes the key to understanding how to control, not only what is spiritually going on around us, but how to control what we subject ourselves to and what we can do if we are attacked or someone around us is struggling with evil spirits. Quite literally, “Knowledge is the power of God unto salvation.” (Words of Joseph Smith, page 207)

One last experience before we begin our journey. This was recently related to me by a man who is still confused by his experience and illustrates the importance of not only the knowledge of these entities, but also the “how to” knowledge we need to have. One day a woman showed up at his home and asked for a blessing, telling him that she was possessed and didn’t know what to do about it.

She told him she knew she had entities on her but didn’t know how to get rid of them and asked if he would give her a blessing or cast them off. The man laid his hands on her head and in the name of Jesus Christ cast the demons off of her. She said she could feel them leave and looked up at him and said they were gone. The moment he took his hands off her head, she felt them come back in. She told him they were back, so he put his hands on her head and cast them off again. She said they were gone, so he pulled his hands away, but she told him she felt them come back again. So he cast off again only to have them return the moment he pulled his hands off her head. This happened several more times.

He was extremely frustrated and called the Bishop who wasn’t home. So he called the Bishop’s counselor and the Elders Quorum President. He considered these men to be two of the most powerful priesthood holders in the ward. After they arrived he explained what had happened previously. They looked at him like he had caused the problem and asked why he was dealing with it in that manner.

He sat on the couch as he didn’t have enough energy to deal with this any longer. The two men laid their hands on the woman’s head and voiced a small blessing to her, never mentioning the Lord or any casting out. They then had her leave, and they went home.

A while later she was still being bothered by the voices and feelings inside of her. One night she was told to go to the kitchen and get a huge butcher knife and to kill her daughter; the voices had told her that her daughter was evil and should be killed. She got the knife and tried to kill her daughter.

The woman now resides in an insane asylum.

It might be wise to read this book with an open mind, asking continually for the Spirit so as to not be deceived. Yet do so with no preconceived ideas or notions, otherwise we stop the flow of the Spirit and what it might teach us.

There is much to understand about this subject, much to learn and contemplate about it. And thus the journey begins…

Doug Tales 33: Smokey the Bear

Doug Mendenhall’s daughter Denise had a little stuffed bear which she called Smokey. She got the bear as a gift about a month after she began her recovery from a coma in 1999 (when she was ten years old). At the time, Doug also received a gift, but this was an intangible gift of judging—or rather not judging—others, due to his involvement in the physical gift of Smokey. Doug shares those events in chapter 7, “Smokey,” of My Peace I Give Unto You (2001) on pages 125-128:

“Hey, Denise, would you like to go with me to pick up Deon at work?” I asked as I headed for the door. For some reason, I didn’t want to go alone.

“Sure!” She grabbed her coat and ran to catch me at the top of the stairs.

It took a minute for our car to warm up. It didn’t like the cold and if you didn’t let it warm up, it would sputter and cough for the first two miles.

It was a short ride to Deon’s job at a nearby copy and mailing store. I pulled the car into a spot right in front of the neighboring store dedicated to smokers. I wasn’t a smoker and had no interest in anything having to do with what I always thought of as a dirty habit.

Deon, it appeared, was going to be a few minutes. She was still closing up the store. I made myself comfortable and turned on the radio…

“Daddy, what’s in that store?” Denise pointed to the cigarette store.

“Oh, there is nothing inside there but nasty cigarettes. We don’t go in there because we don’t like cigarettes. They make you sick and they make you smell bad.” I was happy just waiting in the car for Deon. I didn’t want to go inside.

“Oh Daddy, please! Can we go in? Please, Daddy!”…

“No, Denise, let’s just sit here and wait for Deon.”

“But look Daddy, they have a teddy bear in the window.” Denise pointed at the store window, “Pleeeease, Daddy, pleeeease?”

I turned off the car.

“Okay, but just for a minute. I’m telling you, there is nothing of any value in there.”

We both got out of the car and went into the store.

Since Denise got home from the hospital I’ve had a difficult time telling her no. I can’t endure inflicting any kind of mental or physical discomfort on her. I guess it’s just my reaction to almost losing her. So when she set her heart on checking out the cigarette store I knew I was going to succumb to her pleadings.

“Hi, can I help you find anything?” The woman behind the counter asked as we entered.

“Not really. My daughter just saw the bear in the window and wanted to get a closer look. Thanks anyway.” I replied.

“It’s a cute, cuddly bear and it’s on sale. There’s no reason why she can’t cuddle up to it and take it home.” She smiled at me and then glanced over to Denise who had rescued the bear from the window display.

“Thanks, but no.” I cut off our conversation and turned to Denise. “Sweetie, why don’t you go get a soda and you can drink it in the car while we wait for Deon.” All of a sudden, I felt very uncomfortable.

The congregation all knew of my strong dislike of cigarettes and I didn’t want them to see me inside the store. It was an image thing and I became very self-conscious.

“Oh Daddy, look how cute the bear is. He is so soft and cute, Daddy.” Denise had no intention of letting this end quickly or painlessly. I reached in my pocket just to confirm that I had barely enough money for a soda. There was no way I could get her the twenty-five dollar bear even if I wanted to.

“Oh, just go ahead and get her the bear. She has become so attached to it.” The clerk apparently worked on commission or so it appeared.

I walked over to the sodas and picked one up for Denise then pulled out all the money I had – pocket change – and paid for the soda.

“You sure you won’t buy her the bear? They look so adorable together. You’re going to break her heart if you don’t.” A smile of victory crossed the clerk’s lips.

“Please Daddy! I really want him!” Denise appealed to the clerk as much as to me.

“Look lady, I’m sorry, but I can’t buy the bear. The change I just gave you was the last money I have in this world.” I turned to face the clerk directly, “My daughter was just released from the hospital a few weeks ago. She had a massive stroke and went into a coma. She was in the hospital for over four weeks and the bill is staggering. I have no money to buy her or her brothers and sisters food or clothes, much less a bear. I’m sorry to disappoint you both, but I can’t produce money out of thin air.” I finished and turned towards Denise.

“I’m sorry. I had no idea.” The clerk humbly apologized.

“It’s okay, it’s not something that you would know. Thank you for your time.” I reached out to Denise to pluck the bear from her hands.

“Wait . . . excuse me,” the clerk spoke up, “but, would you permit me to buy her the bear?”

Confusion and disbelief colored my face.

“Please, really, I would like to buy it for her.” Tears glistened in the clerk’s eyes as she grabbed her purse from beneath the counter and retrieved a few bills from her wallet.

“Well . . . if you want. That would be very kind of you.”

“Thank you for letting me do this.” She caught a loose tear on her check with the back of her hand and then rang up the sale of the bear and handed me the receipt. This time her smile was one of love and compassion.

“Thank you very much.” I can’t remember who spoke those words though we both meant them. I shook her hand and pushed Denise out of the store.

We settled back into the car and Denise held up the bear for me to see.

“See Daddy, want to hold him?”

“No, he stinks.” I said.

“I don’t smell a thing!” She snuggled her face into the bear. “I told you there was more than cigarettes in the store. There are nice people there, too.”

Doug Tales 32: A Young Prophet

Who is stronger spiritually, the person who follows what someone else tells them is coming from God for them to do (but does not confirm the directions from God), or the person who follows what they know personally is coming from God for them to do? Doug Mendenhall talks about a young prophet in the Bible who did some things because God wanted him to, and other things because he trusted in the “arm of flesh,” in Possibilities: Lessons From the Spirit (2002), on pages 35-40:

“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” (Psalm 118:8)


In the Old Testament there is a story in 1 Kings chapter 13 about a young prophet that was to deliver a message to King Jeroboam. He delivered that message of warning and Jeroboam “put forth his hand” against the prophet. His hand then “dried up, so that he could not pull it out again to him.” Jeroboam then entreated the prophet to have the Lord heal him. The prophet did so and “the king’s hand was restored him again, and became as it was before.”

Then King Jeroboam told the prophet: “Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward.”

“And the man of God said unto the king, if thou wilt give me half of thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place: For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest. So he went another way, and returned not the same way that he came to Beth-el.”

Upon first reading this part of the story I was very impressed by this prophet. He had received an assignment from the Lord. He evidently was told to fulfill it and to not eat, drink or go home the same way. The king offered him food, drink and wanted to reward him, but the prophet refused, citing what the Lord had told him.

It seems that there was “an old prophet in Beth-el” whose sons had heard all this young prophet had done. They reported to their father, the old prophet, what had happened and “the words which he had spoken unto the king.” The old prophet asked his sons which way the young prophet had gone, then had them saddle his donkey and rode after “the man of God.”

He “found him sitting under an oak: and said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am.”

Then the old prophet “said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread.”

The young prophet answered and said, “I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest.”

This is the most amazing part. The old prophet then said, “I am a prophet also as thou art: and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water, that I may prove him.”

So the young prophet “went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water.” Oops.

This would be a tough conundrum for anyone to face. On one hand the Lord has told you what to do and you have just about accomplished your task. You just need to get home. Then an old prophet shows up and tells you that an angel has appeared to him and told him he is to bring you back with him in order to feed you. That would be a hard choice. The young prophet had several options. First, he could have asked the Lord if what the old prophet said was true and see if the will of the Lord had changed. Second, he could have told the old prophet no and gone on his way. Third, he could have done what he did, follow the old prophet to his house and eat. Evidently the purpose of the Lord was to “prove” the young prophet, to see if he would follow the “arm of flesh” or the Lord.

“And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the LORD came unto the prophet that brought him back: And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee, But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of which the LORD did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers.”

The young prophet then left for his home and was killed by a lion. The old prophet then buried him in his own grave.

This is an incredible story about following what the Lord has told you to do rather than the arm of flesh, even if that “flesh” is another prophet that declares words contrary to what the Lord has told you. The deeper meaning for me is the importance of getting our own witness of what others tell us, even a prophet.

I received an e-mail that told me that the center verse in all the Bible is the one quoted at the start of this chapter. “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” There are many scriptures that tell us not to put our trust in the “arm of flesh.” I believe we are to trust in the Lord and do what he has told us to do. If we put our trust in any man, we give a portion of our allegiance to that man. I also believe in living prophets that receive revelation from the Lord, but I have never believed that we should follow someone blindly. I feel we should get our own testimony and confirmation of what has been presented to us.

It would have been good for this young prophet from Judah to get confirmation from the Lord about what the old prophet was saying. By relying on what the old prophet told him, without getting a confirmation from the Lord, he was giving allegiance to the old prophet. By doing so he brought evil to himself because the spirit of the Lord left him when he gave allegiance to the arm of flesh and not to God only.

Many times I believe we seek the easy way and perhaps listen to the wrong voice, deciding to give blind obeisance to another, be he a leader or whatever. Yet I feel if we place any man above God, which we do if we blindly follow, then Satan has gained a foothold and will enter in. I know it is the Lord’s law to honor and obey God and to gain my own witness that our leaders speak by His voice. By so doing we become stronger servants of God and our leaders.

While sitting on one of my favorite “chairs” in our home these thoughts came to me quite strongly:

Brigham Young spoke on the subject of getting your own witness of whatever is presented to us, even by our leaders. I believe he expresses some important reasons for doing so.

“What a pity it would be if we were led by one man to utter destruction! Are you afraid of this? I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by Him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken the influence they could give their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led the right way. Let every man and woman know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led the right way. Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not. This has been my exhortation continually.” (Journal of Discourses 9:151)

Not for a minute do I believe Brigham Young felt that the leaders would lead the church to destruction. In my opinion he was trying to teach a principle that when properly understood, empowers the individual, the church and its leaders. It is the same principle that Nephi applied to his own life; to seek the witness of God in all things and know that our leaders speak by His voice.

If we “settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting (our) eternal destiny in the hands of (our) leader” or anyone for that matter, have we not just given our agency or our will over to them? Wasn’t a war fought in heaven over this? Brigham Young states that this “reckless confidence . . . would thwart the purposes of God in (our) salvation.” Could it be that as we give up our agency to others, it might let Satan or darkness in? He also states that it would “weaken that influence (we) could give our leaders” if we didn’t have our own personal testimony or witness.

A good example of this might be Nephi’s brothers, Laman and Lemuel. These are two individuals that had angels appear to them, had their father speak to them with such power “that their frames did shake before him.” They were “shocked” by Nephi and had many other “witnesses” of God’s power. Yet it did not help them in their personal salvation. They apparently never sought and received a personal witness or testimony of their father’s revelations, dreams, and visions. Therefore they had become individuals that could not be relied upon. When it got tough in the wilderness, they continually murmured and on several occasions sought the life of Lehi and Nephi.

If Laman and Lemuel had sought and received a personal witness or testimony of what their father, who also happened to be their leader and prophet, had told them, might they have been more like Nephi? Would that have given them the strength to do what the Lord had asked them to do?