Doug Tales 127: Tired Leg Syndrome

One of Doug Mendenhall’s talents was his ability to learn via the school of hard knocks. Again and again, he would make a mistake of some sort based on incorrect assumptions, figure out a better way (with God’s help), and then be asked to write down the steps he took and what he learned. Humiliation and humility showed up repeatedly in Doug’s life.

But he expressed gratitude for such learning. For example, in Conquering Spiritual Evil, Volume One (2012), p. 332, he reflects, “The greatest learning in my life has come from my errors and mistakes. Then I get the opportunity to reflect, repent, and understand how the Lord would have had me do it. In this there is growth.”

Of course, in the middle of making some mistakes, we may get tired. In one learning situation explained in Conquering Spiritual Evil, Volume Two (2020), pp. 85-86, Doug laments that, “My legs were so tired from jumping to conclusions at that point that if I would have gone to a physician, I would have been diagnosed with ‘TLS—Tired Leg Syndrome’”:

Do You Have TLS? When my daughter Denise was about eleven years old and only a few months after her coma experience, I heard what I assumed was the Savior’s voice telling me that I needed to go to Primary Children’s Medical Center to voice a blessing to a child. As a result my daughter and I headed up to the hospital to voice a blessing to some young child. I knew that with my priesthood and its power she/he would be healed. I just needed to get my hands on the child’s head. I was as sure of this as I was of my own name because God had spoken to me!

When we got to the children’s hospital we walked every floor more than twice stopping in front of each room where I’d ask my daughter if this was the one. I knew I was there to save that child with my big powerful priesthood and my powerful faith! I had even missed a family party because my belief was so strong that I was right.

“No,” she answered every time I asked as we stood in front of each door.

I became quite frustrated after three and one-half hours of doing this, but my ego would not let me leave. Finally I called a friend for some help, so he came up to the hospital. That was when the Lord Jesus Christ provided me with an experience in which He warned me to quit abusing Denise’s spiritual gifts. If I continued to do so, He would take me home. I knew He was serious, and I was in need of some equally serious repentance. It was one of the single worst and most amazing experiences of my life.

My legs were so tired from jumping to conclusions at that point that if I would have gone to a physician, I would have been diagnosed with “TLS—Tired Leg Syndrome.” This from jumping to so many conclusions, especially about how great you are and how you know it is the Lord Jesus Christ speaking to you, telling you what to do. When this “disease” hits a person, especially a male member of our species, he tends to become bloated with self-importance. This happens because he injects himself with a huge dose of ego and pride. If we add to this self-bloated pride our conditioned religious institutional behaviors and beliefs, it can really get out of hand fast. I’m talking about how I was taught that we are God’s chosen people, favored people, most blessed people, how we have all truth, and most importantly, we have His authority. To my embarrassment, I had qualified on all accounts. (This experience is told in full in My Peace I Give Unto You, pages 151–161.)

Once I had been brought down to the level of dust, or lower, I realized the importance of doing all things the Lord Jesus Christ’s way and not how I assumed it should be done. Let’s take a look at some ways some of us may still be doing it our way, taking other’s agency away, letting our ego, or religious dogma, get into the mix and not what He desires and how He would do it.

This is important because if we proceed in this direction in our life, it will require a requisite time in hell as we pay the price for the “evil” we produced and inflicted on others in mortality.