Doug Tales 56: Negotiation

Doug Mendenhall was born on March 8, 1957, and would have celebrated his sixty-fifth birthday tomorrow, March 8, 2022. As a way of remembering him, today we’re re-posting Doug’s final post on this blog. “Negotiation” was originally posted November 27, 2020, and then printed on pages 507-508 of Conquering Spiritual Evil Blog Posts 2020 (2021):

We have written about working a restaurant in Fairview, Utah from July 2006 to July 2008 before in our books and on this blog. No one was paid, it was all labor given to Him.

There were many lessons learned from this experience, hard and also wonderful lessons.

The one thing we didn’t know about was that there had been a “negotiation” with the Savior about opening the restaurant and working it before we came to this mortality.

Maybe I should say a covenant was made. We obeyed the covenant and the Lord Jesus Christ came to the restaurant with His wife, Mary.

It makes me wonder how many of us made similar covenants with Him before coming here. It could have been something as simple as giving money to a beggar, which He was playing the part of.

Wow, it could be thousands of different things. Are we open to this kind of opportunity? Would we actually believe if it did happen? No, how about when it happens?

I know that for months after, people would eat their meal in that booth and then not leave. They’d just sit there. For hours sometimes. We’ve discussed “morphic resonance” in one of our books. Is that what it was? Is that why people are drawn to the Sacred Grove? To Johnson’s Farm in Kirtland? Interesting questions.

My question is, if the Lord Jesus Christ came and told one of something He wanted done, and you didn’t know if He had made a covenant with you before mortality, would you be allowed to negotiate?

I mean, is it okay to negotiate with Him? I know my friend Snuffer does. There are times he even gets what he negotiated for. But he is an attorney and is well versed in negotiations.

Should that person call the Snuff and ask him to negotiate with the Savior for them? Or just ride it out and see what happens. Because obviously nothing will happen unless they accomplish the “mission.”

It is the time of year when we would be preparing to feed fifty families a free meal at that restaurant. After the meal the children could go upstairs to the Christmas room and pick out a present for someone else. Then their parents went up there and picked out presents for their children and themselves.

It was very hard work. We wouldn’t get home until about 1 AM and then do it all over again the next day. We also did a live Nativity outside where a manger scene had been built. Friends and workers from the restaurant had sewed costumes for people to play the parts of Mary, Joseph, Angels, Wise Men, and Shepherds. It was beyond cool. One couple even put their own baby in the manger for a few minutes.

The following Thanksgiving was when They came to the restaurant.

So if one was to receive a “download” from the Lord Jesus Christ about doing a project, and that person understands that He would make it no small project, would it be okay to negotiate with Him about certain things that you might desire if the project was actually done. Based on the Snuffer example He is open to this.

I wonder what this person should negotiate for. Are there some “rewards” that are better than others. Or is that according to the individual. For example the three Nephites thought the reward of staying and doing His work as translated beings was better than what the other nine wanted, to be with Him in His Kingdom immediately upon transitioning.

I know what I would tell this person. Just wondering if you would have similar ideas.

Really interesting proposition, isn’t it.

God bless.

Doug Tales 55: Fallen Angel

To conquer spiritual evil requires knowing correctly who and what our enemy truly is, as well as who and what our God is. Doug Mendenhall diligently sought to understand and overcome the opposition we face here, and shares some of his observations in Conquering Spiritual Evil, Volume Two (2020) on pages 38-39:

There is an ancient document called the “Discourse on Abbaton”… It talks about this fallen god and what the Father had done to him. I’m going to quote part of it here. There are several translations, but this has been my favorite:

“And when My Father saw his great pride, and that his wickedness and his evil-doing were complete, He commanded all the armies of heaven, saying, ‘Remove the writing [which is] in the hand of the proud one, strip ye off his armour, and cast ye him down upon the earth, for his time hath come. For he is the greatest of them all, he is the head over them, and is like a king, and he commandeth them as the general of an army [commandeth his] soldiers; he is the head over them, and their names are written in his hand.’ Thus is it with this cunning one, and the [names of the] angels were written in his hand. And all the angels gathered to him, and they did not wish to remove the writing from his hand. And My Father commanded them to bring a sharp reaping-knife, and to stab him therewith on this side and on that, right through his body to the vertebrae of his shoulders, and he was unable to hold himself up. And straightway My Father commanded a mighty Cherubim, and he smote him, and cast him down from heaven upon the earth, because of pride, and he broke his wings and his ribs and made him helpless, and those whom he had brought with him became devils with him.”

This is part of a letter by Timothy, Archbishop of Alexandria copied around 380 A.D. It describes some of the penalties which were done to Satan. In the past we would find three of these in the LDS temple endowment, but they were taken out of the endowment in 1990. I was shown this by one of the two individuals I know that are redeemed. It was pointed out to me that that before the changes were “dropped,” there were three penalties shown in the endowment. The fourth one was not given. I was told that Satan would have received all four penalties. When I asked what the fourth one was, I was told to go ask our Father.

I did and was told to do an internet search for “drawn and quartered.” After reading about what this involved I understood what the four penalties were. The reader is invited to do their own research…

This fact makes this planet extremely hard, yet we all chose to come here. Because it is hard, we knew the growth here could be exponential in our progression to become like our Heavenly Parents. Even a short time here is worth the effort since the opposition here is unlike any we have experienced anywhere else. Being within the extreme evil on this planet even for a short time—even five minutes—will influence and teach our mind, spirit and body more than an eternal round on any other planet. The opportunity for growth here really is exponential.

Doug Tales 54: Paradisiacal Glory

What is the true destiny of our planet and those who live here? What is the true history of our experience here? Would you be surprised if our society’s science and religions have answers different from those found in the scriptures? Doug Mendenhall explores these topics in Conquering Spiritual Evil, Volume Two (2020), pp. 28-30:

Planets are created and have a spirit. They are alive as much as you and I. Remember in the last chapter my sighted friend stated, “The earth is a true mother who is a living being with thoughts and feelings.” Enoch heard our Earth mourn, talking. (Moses 7:48) The planets also go through their progressions and can become exalted.

Snuffer talked a little about this in Preserving the Restoration: “Before this world was organized, from an already existing and previously used creation, the condition was ‘spiritual.’ But it fell and became the temporal place as present; though patterned after the earlier world where we used to live in a spiritual state. Its present condition will be destroyed and it will return again to a spiritual state. It will be ‘quickened’ and no longer the cold, lone and dreary place of today.” (p. 323)

Joseph Smith wrote the Wentworth letter which states the “earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.” The LDS website says this means the earth will be changed to the Garden of Eden state of being. In other words, it will return to its former state of being in the Terrestrial realm, while on its way to where it started in the Celestial kingdom. (Wouldn’t it be interesting to be in another state of existence on this planet Earth in the Terrestrial realms or when the Earth returns to the Celestial realms?) Like Snuffer states above, it already existed. Mother Earth responded to the call from the Gods of Light for a planet that would be willing to have “severe malevolency” upon her. She was already a Celestial, glorified planet and yet, willingly condescended to have a fallen god upon her along with the unbelievable malignancy of evil that would come with him.

My sighted friend said it quite well in our previous book I See…Arise!: “This planet is the ONLY planet with such brutal opposition! It is very unique for it is endowed with exceptional strength and has others inhabiting her who possess the supernumerary power to resist the great evil of a fallen god. No other planet has nor will be required to harbor such severe malevolency. A fallen god is so exceedingly rare not even our Heavenly Parents nor the Heavenly multi-Grand-parents have any such living memory of one. The colossal evil of our mortal realm is confined to this planet and none other. Satan may be able to wander many areas of darkness, but is well confined, being unable to advance beyond what the innumerable Gods of Light allow. “We chose to be born on this planet to greatly accelerate our learning and experience.” (pp. 193–194)

Some days can be quite painful with the required “remembering.” But this is why Snuffer made the statement that five minutes here is worth an eternal round elsewhere. As stated above, our learning and experience is greatly accelerated here!

We have a planet that is joined to others that agreed to condescend (because that’s what Gods do, isn’t it?) and have a fallen god come here along with his children. She left the Celestial realms and has traversed this path through that kingdom, through the Terrestrial to the lowest level of the Telestial and is now heading back. The “colossal evil” and brutal opposition my sighted friend mentioned caused the companionship of the other planets to break apart.

Doug Tales 53: Earthbound Spirits, Part Five

Doug Mendenhall, with the help of his sighted friend Kitten, continues talking about the impact of one person’s strong emotions literally holding another person bound to this Earth in I See…Arise! (2016) on pages 23-26:

On a highway heading up north from where we live there was a car accident where a woman had been killed. A short while later we noticed that there was a huge heart made out of colored rocks with a cross at the top of it that had been placed where the accident had occurred. Her name is on the cross.

I had often felt that the woman’s spirit is still on that spot. A few months later I would have my chance to see if my feelings were valid or not.

Further knowledge from our friend Kitten: “Due to a call of the highly spiritual kind, I was in accompaniment with Doug Mendenhall. We were on our way to a place called Eagle Mountain, Utah. We arrived at the junction of two highways in Spanish Fork Canyon. The date is unknown when a woman had died in a car accident at this junction. Her family built a surprisingly large heart-shaped memorial out of colored rocks on the side of the south-facing mountain. A memorial cross was placed just at the top of the ‘heart.’ It appeared to be of a dark type of wood. Her name was on a plaque which was attached to the cross. As a result of these strong emotions of the family, the woman ended up bound to that spot. How do I know this?

“As Doug drove up to and stopped at the stop sign, I could see her standing just slightly uphill of the cross. She was dressed in pastel colors of browns, yellows, and pinks. Her hair was dark. Surprisingly thick, dark, rope-like strands literally bound her to that spot. It was strange seeing the dark strands of an unknown material attached to her. There were multiple lines attached to her wrists that splayed out forming a kind of semicircle around her. Each strand was attached to the ground, a good yard away from her feet. Seeing her, I asked, telepathically, why she stayed there. Surprised, she said it was because she was bound there. In kindness, I gave her information she could leave, if so desired. She did not know how.

“At the stop sign Doug asked if I could see anyone near the stone ‘heart’ on the side of the mountain. I acknowledged I did. He wondered if I could discover anything about the person. I told him I was in conversation with her.

“As Doug carefully guided the car up onto the highway and merged with the traffic, I continued to give information to the trapped woman to look to the light and she may be able to leave. She said she was bound to the area and could not move. There was a distinct sadness in her voice. She said she was tired of being an earthbound. She wanted to leave but honestly could not.

“That’s when I asked her if she had prayed for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for help. She had not thought of that. I prayed to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, if He would go to her. He answered He was already in conversation with her. Praying to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I asked Him to go back to the woman and cut the lines that were holding her to the place her family had bound her. Several seconds later I saw her cruising along with us at the window on my right. With a smile she thanked me for the information. She was flying along horizontally with the car. I simply said, ‘God bless you.’

“Then my guardian popped back in behind me. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, had asked him to cut the strands holding the woman bound to the earth. Rising straight up, the woman disappeared to parts unknown. I gave a sincere prayer of praise, honor, and thanksgiving to God the Father, and a heartfelt thank you to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for hearing the prayer and releasing someone who had sincerely desired to vacate this planet.

“As we continued down the highway toward Spanish Fork, Doug asked if there were any others along the way. (Several others had died in that location.) Looking on both sides of the highway I saw no one else. There were no memorials either. It was understood, the only reason the one was still at the place of transition was because of the very strong emotions of her family. They were unwilling to let her go. As a result she ended up as an earthbound. It was gratifying to know our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, released her from the situation. Blessing, honor, glory, and power be to our Heavenly Father and His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

Further Understanding: Because of the intense thoughts and emotions of this woman’s family she was literally “bound” to the earth with multiple cords attached to her wrist and going to the ground near her. She could not move from that spot. Denise’s intense thoughts and emotions towards the young man that had transitioned kept him “bound” from moving on in his progression.

How often do our emotions affect others? Are we conscious of doing this to others? Ourselves? Do we really understand the power behind our thoughts? Behind our emotions? For good and evil? Can our own thoughts and emotions keep us “bound” in a state of unconsciousness? Is that one reason that God has told us to “awake and arise?” To throw off those chains that bind us?

Doug Tales 52: Earthbound Spirits, Part Four

If your emotions can hold you back from moving forward in your life, could those same emotions also block another person’s progress? What connection do you have to those around you? Is that connection positive or negative? Doug Mendenhall and his daughter Denise share a few experiences with emotions and their impact on others in I See…Arise! (2016) on pages 21-22:

We know that our emotions can and do have a tremendous effect on our own selves—spiritual, mental, and physical. But can OUR emotions affect others to the point that we can cause THEM distress or problems? Obviously the answer is yes. Let’s take a look at several examples.

My daughter Denise had a friend transition a year or so ago. It caused her much distress, as it does many people. She met with the family often for a while and would talk to their son through the veil. It was mainly to give them solace, but also because she didn’t want him to go; he was young, near her age.

From Denise: “One of my friends died, and I had a hard time letting him go. He was always on my mind, and I didn’t find it fair that he had to go. I would cry over this a lot. Another of my friends came over to visit for a week. I was told to go up to the place where James was buried. I didn’t want to go, and I put up a fight, but the friend that came for the week said we should go. We got some flowers and drove 2 hours.

“When we got there, I got out of the car and ran up to his grave. I wanted to start crying, but I made myself not cry. My friend felt my guilt, my sadness, and my need to cry. So he started crying and turned to me and said, ‘You’ve got to forgive yourself, say goodbye to him, and let him go.’ He went back to the car, and I sat there finally crying and saying goodbye. When I was done I felt his happiness and he even thanked me. I felt happy to finally let him go. Now I can be happy for letting him go and not holding him here.”

She realized that she was keeping him from moving on because of her focused thoughts about him and her intense emotions about his transition. After she went to his grave and made peace with him, he was allowed to move on in his progression in the world of spirits.

The location of the grave of my father is among many Polynesian families graves. We have noticed over the years the great care they give to their family grave plots, which has been nice because they will also mow over my father’s grave. I have often wondered if many of their deceased ancestors remain “stuck” at their grave sites. One time Denise was with us decorating graves. I asked her if there were many of them there. The answer was, “Yes.”

Most of us have no idea that we might possibly be keeping a loved one, friend, or anyone for that matter here on the mortal plane—earthbound. Some spirits that are earthbound stay here because they actually don’t understand that their body has died. Others that suffered a violent death seem to get stuck in that particular spot. We have written about this in our other books, but people keep doing this to others—they need to be allowed to move on. It is important to understand the power of our thoughts and emotions and the effect they have on others. Actually not just others; our thoughts and emotions have the most powerful effect on us and what we manifest into our existence.

Doug Tales 51: Are You Teachable?

Doug Mendenhall constantly asked questions about everything. Scriptures, traditions, experiences, opinions, and anything coming through spiritual veils—all were fodder for Doug’s perennial, “Why?” “What about?” “How come?” “What else?” He discusses your and my teachability in I See…Awake! (2015), pp. 27-29:

The second point is are you are teachable? Do you know that you don’t know? Will you admit it? Your ability to learn is dependent on your open-mindedness or close-mindedness. Low teachability comes from arrogance and rigid skepticism, but also from naiveté and gullibility. High teachability derives from a balance of healthy skepticism and an open-minded willingness to learn and probably change. It requires becoming like a little child in our search for truth. Denver Snuffer put it this way in Remembering the Covenant, Vol. 3:

“Children are open to change and willing to learn. They welcome new ideas for all ideas are new to them. The world is new to them. They feel their ignorance and are anxious to fill it with information and understanding. They know they are unable to cope with the world they live in unless they obtain more understanding than they have. So they relentlessly search to know more.

“On the other hand, adults are generally closed. They believe they already know something, and therefore are unwilling to receive more.

“The Gospel…requires us to surrender our arrogance and foolishness and come as a child to learn anew everything about life and truth. This is why the gospel begins with creation, informs of the Fall, and preaches the Atonement.” (pp. 1002-1003)

“Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough!” (2 Nephi 28:29)

It is important to have the mindset to listen to everything and not to challenge it by disagreeing, but also never to blindly follow the information. A good attitude to have is this: “I’m going to believe what you’re saying is true but I’m going to question it until I understand why it’s true.” This leaves the door open to learn more truth.

We might also say, “I will not judge anything you say while you are saying it. I will sit here, listen, and take notes. Then I will go home and think about these things, ask the Spirit to speak to me and teach me. Then I will take all of it to my Father in Heaven for a witness of its truthfulness or not.” We must look into things for ourselves, not believing blindly, and not trusting the arm of flesh because flesh is weak and will fail. The only one to trust is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Look into your heart to see if what was taught resonates with truth—like Joseph who asked, “Does it taste good?” Then go to Him with all of our questions to get a witness of the truthfulness of what was taught, just as the scriptures tell us to do. “And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” (Moroni 10:5)

Remember, God wants us to learn. Political bodies, schools, universities, religions, science, etc. all create boxes for consciousness and are limiters of perception and thought. They act as mind control influences making it hard to fit new truths into our existing framework of false notions and ideas. The Lord had this to say about this concept:

“And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.” (Mark 2:22)

Of course the biggest mind control influence and religion in the world is money—the god of this world. It is what the Adversary uses most to control and influence us.

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)”