Updated on May 23, 2022
Doug Tales 67: Spiritually Sighted, Part One
Doug Mendenhall met thousands of people who could perceive metaphysically beyond the “normal” common experience of most people. He found himself explaining to many non-sighted people, especially in leadership positions in various social organizations, about the reality of the world that is really around us. He shares some observations in Conquering Spiritual Evil, Volume One (2012), pp. 50-53:
In 2001 we felt inspired to publish a book about our experiences called My Peace I Give Unto You. A year later, we were asked to give a book review which started a tour of reviews. We did nearly four hundred of them around the country. Doing the book reviews was a great experience because it allowed us to meet many dozens of spiritually gifted people like my daughter. Most of them were in hiding from family and church members as they felt misunderstood. I really didn’t understand this because as LDS people we claim all the gifts of God and surely we would embrace all the spiritually gifted people and celebrate their gifts.
It was during this time that President Gordon B. Hinckley of my church declared in the October 2001 General Conference that Joel 2:28-29 had come to pass, then he quoted it: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.”
I shouted for joy! Now, I thought, all those with gifts will be able to come forward and not be afraid of sharing them. Priesthood leaders will now help these people as well as the other church members to accept these things, knowing they come from the Lord and will now know that these spiritually gifted people aren’t just making these things up.
Other scriptures besides Joel have a similar message. The Seventh Article of Faith declares these things: “We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.” Moroni even declared: “And again I speak unto you who deny the revelations of God, and say that they are done away, that there are no revelations, nor prophecies, nor gifts, nor healing, nor speaking in tongues, and the interpretation of tongues; behold I say unto you, he that denieth these things knoweth not the gospel of Christ; yea, he has not read the scriptures; if so, he does not understand them.” (Mormon 9:7-8)
Also modern revelation states: “And again, it is given by the Holy Ghost to some to know the diversities of operations, whether they be of God, that the manifestations of the Spirit may be given to every man to profit withal. And again, verily I say unto you, to some is given, by the Spirit of God, the word of wisdom. To another is given the word of knowledge, that all may be taught to be wise and to have knowledge. And again, to some it is given to have faith to be healed; and to others it is given to have faith to heal. And again, to some is given the working of miracles; and to others it is given to prophesy; and to others the discerning of spirits. And again, it is given to some to speak with tongues; and to another is given the interpretation of tongues. And all these gifts come from God, for the benefit of the children of God.” (D&C 46:16-26)
After we published a second book, Possibilities: Lessons from the Spirit, we felt inspired to organize seminars for spiritually gifted people or anyone that wanted to come. We called them Ezekiel Seminars and over a two-year period held twenty of them. We met hundreds of spiritually gifted people during this time.
Once again, nearly all of them were “in the closet,” so to speak, because of their gifts and they had had several difficult experiences. Many of these people just buried their gifts, refusing to acknowledge they existed because sometimes the opposition to their gifts was so heavy. On many occasions I would see women in the audience crying. During the break I would ask them what was wrong and if I could be of any help. They would all tell me the same thing. “I feel like I have come home. I‘m not a freak; there are others like me.”
It was during this time that people started to ask for help with spiritual problems such as a spouse, son, or daughter with a possible possession problem or their house had spirits, yet their spouse or priesthood leader would say that those things didn’t exist anymore. I couldn‘t offer any advice as I didn‘t feel qualified.
I knew the gifts were real, my daughter was a vivid example of this, and what these people were experiencing was real. The validity of these requests had been manifested to me on many occasions. I also knew all gifted people had to figure out how to deal with their gifts in this world. That is a challenge to many of them. Without the support of spouses, family, ward members, and the church, it is really quite hard to live in this Telestial world and be gifted. These gifted people had expressed to me how real the dark is and difficult it is to deal with. They had been deceived many times. That is also why some of them had hidden their gifts, since they didn’t want to be deceived again.
I have been around spiritually sighted people long enough to know what a great burden they carry. These people were beside themselves, not being able to “understand” what was going on, yet having incredible experiences and problems manifest themselves in front of their eyes. I have come to realize that this scripture is true, something I will quote many times in this work: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of this might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:10-12)