Updated on August 10, 2021
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…