Q & A with Tim Malone, Author of Latter-day Commentary

ldc-blog-imageQ: How has your perception of Latter-day Commentary changed since its inception?

In many respects, the direction of this simple blog has turned completely around. When I started blogging almost eight years ago, my intent was to help combat what I perceived to be a plethora of misinformation out there about the doctrines I knew to be true, or that I grew up believing. I now find myself presenting reasons why what I originally thought was false doctrine may indeed be worth considering, especially since early documents support that Joseph originally taught it.

In other respects, the intent and focus of the blog has not changed at all. My intent was to share my gospel study and learning experiences. I have always appreciated teaching, have taught the gospel all my life and enjoyed making lesson plans or outlines of subjects and then fleshing them out with scriptures and quotes. That has not changed. What has changed is my perception of the truth. I have had to jettison some false beliefs that were based solely on tradition. Gratefully, I was prepared. I frequented many LDS group blogs for several years before I started my own.

Although I felt prompted and inspired to start the blog and made it a matter of prayer, I do not say the Lord told me to start the blog, only that I find a way to bring greater motivation to my life in the area of gospel study. I have shared many talks and lessons on my blog that I also gave in the gospel doctrine class or delivered from the pulpit over the years. Sometime last year I felt to dedicate the blog to the Lord and let Him use it for His purposes. Things changed radically. I found myself led to invite others to share the audience I had built up over seven years of work.

ds-blog-imageQ: You’ve had both positive and negative feedback from readers about some of the content regarding DS and the work currently underway. What was your initial reaction to his writings? Can you elaborate on the challenges of retaining your faith in light of recognizing discrepancies in the traditional narrative of the church?

I appreciate both kinds of comments from readers, especially those who can and do form cogent arguments in response to what Denver has written and what I have tried to explain in my own words. I am not always successful in understanding all the intricacies of the doctrines put forth. I may be seeing only a small part of what is being presented in the post and entirely missing how such a radically different view affects families and individuals in situations dissimilar to mine.

My initial reaction to Denver Snuffer’s work was positive. It was a revelatory experience. When I tried to share what I had read with others, I was saddened by how negatively they reacted. It was especially difficult as I tried to discuss what I felt was enlightenment from the Holy Ghost with my wife, who I consider my equal in our knowledge of church history. After all, she served her mission in Independence Missouri, with a Mission President teaching the standard narrative.

On the other hand, my mission president was a convert and always encouraged the missionaries to “push the envelope” in our studies. He did not shy away from inspiring us to reach out and understand the mysteries. He would say, “They are only mysteries because you haven’t studied them.” It’s funny that both our Mission Presidents were CES employees but Carol’s had a much more traditional or orthodox approach to the history of the Church, especially the Nauvoo period.

Retaining my faith in God, Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon and most of the revelations found in the Doctrine and Covenants was not difficult. I confess the idea that Section 110 may be of dubious authenticity was difficult for me at first. But when I compared Section 27 side by side with the original, and saw how it had been “expanded” under Sidney’s pen, I made a more careful consideration of section 110, took it to the Lord in prayer and came away satisfied.

40-years-in-mormonismQ: Are you still digesting the material laid out in the DS lectures last year, and if so, what specifically do you find to be significant?

I most definitely am still digesting the lectures and will be for years to come. I re-read lectures three and four again this past week, pondering carefully the enticing nature of how Denver has presented repentance. So many people I know try to “white-knuckle” it through repentance by using the “moving away-from” model as opposed to what Denver presents in a “moving toward” model. I have always favored that approach. It has always worked for me. I fully endorse it.

I’ve studied the lecture on covenants at least four times now and am just beginning to understand the significance and all-encompassing nature of what is found in that short lecture. I think it’s about twenty-two pages if I’m not mistaken. Yet I learned why the earth will be wasted at the Lord’s coming if we are not sealed to the fathers, as well as came to a better understanding that everything the Father is doing in our day is to fulfill that covenant he made with the Patriarchs.

I have had it reconfirmed to me once again how important it is that we are sealed to the fathers, the Patriarchs, and that this must be done in a temple, like the one Joseph was trying to get the Saints to finish in Nauvoo but which did not happen. There is not a temple found on the earth today which is acceptable of the Lord where He can come and seal us to the Fathers in that binding ordinance that is referred to in section 124 – a place to restore that which was lost.

I am still blown away by the priesthood lecture. I think I’ve read it six or seven times now and am still learning new things each time I study it. There was so much I thought I knew about priesthood that was simply wrong. I’m grateful to have been in attendance at the Mesa lecture. The idea of Preserving the Restoration resonates with me. I have seen so much understanding disappear from that we taught when I was growing up in the church in the sixties and seventies.

ds-interview-part1Q: Your recent interview with DS offered an opportunity for clarity on a variety of topics. How did this interview come about and did you find what you were looking for?

Although I could not attend the early lectures due to work commitments, I made it known on my blog I planned on attending the later lectures. I received an invitation from Denver to meet with him for dinner on the evening of one of the lectures. I suppose he wanted to meet this individual who had written so much about his writings over the preceding eighteen months. Carol and I had dinner with Denver and his family the night before the St. George lecture. We parted as friends.

This year, I celebrated ten years with my employer by taking a two week vacation, something unheard of for a computer guy in a small company. I wanted to make the first week a working vacation. I arranged interviews with several fellow bloggers and readers. On Wednesday, Carol planned an endowment session at the Brigham City temple. Obviously I would not be attending with her. I asked the Lord if there was someone else we wished me to add to my interview list.

He suggested Denver. I asked. He accepted. I asked if he would prefer the questions in advance. He agreed. I used to interview CEO’s and Marketing VP’s for a software newspaper I published years ago so the format was very familiar – sort of like a deposition. After Denver agreed, I went to the Lord for the questions. He provided. So the questions asked were what the Lord wanted to have expounded. I wasn’t necessarily looking for any particular answers. I wanted to understand some of the more controversial points from his lectures. Most of his answers were from PtHG.

As you can imagine, I have a lot of online and offline dialogs with readers about what Denver has written. I have no idea why they seem to think I know what is on his mind. It still amazes me how many people either haven’t or will not read his material. They will read what other people have said about it but won’t read it themselves. This astonishes me. If there’s one thing Mormons are supposed to be good at, it’s having an open mind about writings that are extra-Biblical. In other words, we want people to read the Book of Mormon in order to understand us better.

Yet, so few will take the time to make a formal study plan, combined with prayer in an effort to understand the doctrines behind the writings and lectures. I think some of the questions I asked in the interview were brought up in an effort to get people more interested in going to the source. If there’s anything I wanted to accomplish, it was to get people to seriously read, ponder and pray about the lectures. But so many have made up their minds. They are closed. It is so sad.

ConqueringSpiritualEvilQ: You’ve written a lot on the subject of NDE. What has contributed to your interest on this particular topic? How would you characterize common elements found in many NDE based on what’s been revealed about life after death?

I am by no means an expert on NDEs. I have had two dreadful near-death experiences in my life. Both times I was met by beings of darkness. The first time was in my youth. I opened the portal through my own foolishness. It woke me up big time. It turned me around. It caused me to fear for my life and to seek to repent, which took a tremendous amount of effort to accomplish. It was nearly a year later that I came into the presence of the Lord, which I have described on my blog.

The second NDE was a couple of years ago when my son opened a portal in our home at 2am in the morning while doing drugs and porn with a fellow druggie. I’ve posted the story and shared it with those who have asked. I was mislead by a well-meaning individual who told me I could deal with the dark spirits by asking the Lord to bring them into my aura so I could get them to repent. Yeah, right! It was one of the most foolish things I have ever done in my life. I still suffer pain.

My interest in NDEs is a result of having the portal to the spirit world opened in a manner that was not at all pleasant. I suppose only those who have experienced being sucked into that world, even for a moment, can understand the resulting interest in trying to make sense of the things discovered or actually remembered, by entering into such a realm. There are things revealed to your soul that this world denies. One seeks to find others who have been there and can relate.

true-order-prayer-imageQ: Your posts on the True Order of Prayer resonated with many people. The prayer circle was a more prominent fixture in worship (both inside and outside of temples) until May 1978 when the First Presidency restricted its use to certain settings. How have your prayers in this manner affected your relationship with the Lord and/or the Powers of heaven?

I still have a long way to go in this area. I am focusing on altars in my personal study these days. I want to know the history of true altar building, why the Patriarchs built altars, how they built them – no hewn stone – and if there is significance to where they are placed. I wish I had land of sufficient size where I could dedicate a private space to building an altar for worship. In the meantime, I asked the Lord if I could substitute a dedicated home altar and received his approval.

There is something powerful about altar worship. What we learn in the temple is significant. For me, a prayer at the altar is so much more powerful than my usual morning and nightly prayers. I find repetition does not enter into my heart or mind when I pray at the altar. I am filled with desire and am given the words to say. These prayers at the altar have changed my life. It is clear the powers of heaven pay attention when we go to the trouble of praying at a dedicated altar.

At one time in the history of Mormonism, it was acceptable practice to have a home altar. It was a sign of commitment to one’s religion to gather the family together at the altar for worship. I use my altar when I partake of the sacrament in my home. It is so sad to read how such practices as altar worship and partaking of the sacrament in the home are now considered apostate. Joseph Smith would not be welcome in the LDS Church today because of “apostate” worship practices.

Think about what we learn in the temple from Adam’s example with an altar. When he prayed at the altar, he opened a portal to heaven. He received messengers. This is a true and powerful form of worship. Ask yourself why we are taught about prayer in the temple if it was not intended for us to go home and practice this in our own home. Yes, I recognize some have been deceived and have received false messenger, but we have got to learn to deal with this if we want to progress.

posts-on-evil-spiritsQ: You’ve shared experiences in which you’ve come into contact with malevolent spirits and the distress they can cause. Were these experiences connected to prayer? What is your view on possessions recorded in the New Testament versus certain mental disorders in our day as possible possessions?

I think my answer to the NDE question above would have probably been a better fit here. The spirits were not invited, but conditions were brought about that caused them to make themselves known. It is not a pleasant thing to come into the presence of spirits who intend to do you harm. The prayers involved were after the fact, as in, “O Lord, save me from these evil creatures who desire to take away my light and life. O Lord, remove the fear from my heart and give me faith like unto Moses to command them in the name of the Son of God to leave my presence forever.”

I have written at least two dozen posts answering that very question about emotional and mental disorders being caused by evil and unclean spirits. I will refer people to my blog for answers. I will also encourage you to read Doug’s book on Conquering Spiritual Evil. It seems the majority of people today do not want to believe such creatures exist in our day and age. They consider the idea of evil spirits to be a throwback to less enlightened times. Think again people. Think again.

tim-malone-baptism-postQ: You’ve written extensively about your reasons for resigning from the church while acknowledging that leaving the church is not the path for everyone. Are you finding that many people are choosing to stay notwithstanding their belief that something new is underway?

My decision to resign was due to my unique circumstances. I served in leadership positions in my current and previous stakes that made it hard for some people to accept what I was sharing on my blog simply as part of my gospel study. I have had former stake presidents, high councilors and missionary companions who now serve as mission presidents write to castigate me for what I have done in reading and writing about Denver and his books. What are they so afraid of? They are afraid for their children. I don’t blame them. They are trying to hold their families together.

My writings were a threat to them. I understand. That’s why so many went to my Bishop and Stake President asking them to rein me in. Because I served in a somewhat public position at the stake level, I felt it best to quietly resign instead of go the excommunication route. When the Bishop put me on informal probation for apostasy, I saw the handwriting on the wall. I knew I wanted to get baptized and to write about it on my blog. Why waste the time of sixteen good men? Others felt the desire to go through a disciplinary council. I had been through too many.

why-i-resigned-imageI do NOT recommend anyone leave the church to be baptized. If you want to be baptized, go ahead but don’t announce it like I did. My mission in life is different from yours. I am aware of several thousand who have been baptized. By the way, if anyone baptized reads this and has not yet submitted their name to Keith for recording, please do so before the deadline of July 1st. I wanted my name on that permanent record that will be presented in the temple when it is built. I want the Lord and the powers of heaven to see I am not ashamed to stand up and be counted.

I recognize I am a bit of a rebel, a risk-taker and a troublemaker. I am not afraid of doing what I feel the Lord has asked me to do. I know so many of my friends in the LDS Church are upset with me for what I have done and am doing. My answer is always the same. I spent just as much if not more time investigating the writings of Denver Snuffer as Brigham Young did when he investigated Mormonism. Hundreds of hours in study and prayer have led me to where I am today. No LDS Leader can say I didn’t follow the prophet – search, ponder and pray. I did.

The standard answer – I know, because I have received it in so many private emails from friends in my current and former stakes – is that I have been deceived. They shake their heads and make references to “even the very elect.” Fine. You think what you will. I understand. I tell you I am more certain of my path in life now than I have ever been at any time in the past. But my path may not be for you. Do as you feel directed by the Lord in prayer. There are so many who are doing a marvelous work in their wards and stakes by sharing truth quietly and with discretion.

One final word: please stop telling me over and over how important it is to focus on the Lord and not on Denver Snuffer. Don’t you think I know that? Everything Denver is doing is inviting us to rise up and come unto Christ – to come into His presence. I have a calling, an election and a sure promise as to that blessed event in my own life. I have years of work ahead of me. I know what I am doing and why I am doing it. Denver is a servant, a teacher, a witness. He cannot save you or me. We must come into the presence of Christ for that. Wake up people. I get it. Do you?

Evil Spirits in Psychotherapy

evil-spirits-in-psychotherapySome twenty years ago I experienced a dramatic and profound change in my life. Through a family counselor I was introduced to a method of communicating with my subconscious self. Learning and using this skill produced extraordinary and life-changing results. Deeply moved by the new insights gained and the freedom acquired, I felt compelled to share it with the world.

In so doing, I quickly learned two things. First, the majority of people I told about this idea were suspicious, skeptical and even downright hostile. Second, the originator of the technique asked me to stop sharing what I had learned because the opposition of so many people was hindering the work of healing in which he was engaged. I agreed, but continued to study and to practice.

I purchased dozens of books and self-study guides on the subject, most published by certified therapists, along with amazing stories of success from their clinical practice. I began to suspect there may be a gift involved in using this diagnostic modality of muscle-testing. Sadly, I also learned the technique could be abused and results easily misinterpreted by the inexperienced.

Accessing the Subconscious Mind

Today I want to tell you about a recently released booklet from Dr. Wesley Craig, the only LDS therapist to have published a paper on Evil Spirits in Psychotherapy. First issued in the AMCAP Journal in January of 1984, Dr. Craig has expanded and added commentary to the original paper and made it available on Smashwords as a free ePub. The additional insights are worth reading.

Dr. Craig did not use muscle-testing in his practice. He used hypnosis, another recognized and valid method of reaching the inner-self or center of our being. Some call this our higher self, our intelligence, our spirit or subconscious. Whatever you choose to call it, the basic concept is that we each have within us or available to us a wealth of innate knowledge we can learn to access.

The linking and common denominator between Dr. Craig’s work and that of other therapists I have studied in communicating with our inner self is the idea of encountering negative energy, entities or evil spirits. I hope this idea doesn’t frighten you. In early Mormonism, the existence of evil or unclean spirits was more commonly accepted than in today’s so very sophisticated world.

Summation as an Introduction

From Dr. Craig’s summation, he acknowledges his reported cases are unusual: “I recognize that the prevailing view in the field of professional psychotherapy is that evil spirits do not exist, that they are myths, pre-scientific religious nonsense, unacceptable for consideration in dealing with human pain and misery; that reports by professionals such as myself [and others] are anomalies.

“But in science it is the anomalies that surface which do not ‘fit’ into the existing theory that lead on to new emergent paradigms that can incorporate the anomalies.” Expanding upon this idea, I offer the following summation of my own: I am convinced most members of the LDS Church today are ignorant of their own doctrine that there are evil or unclean spirits dwelling among us.

In a previous post on this subject I quoted the results of a study conducted in 2001 and reported in the Deseret News in which an astonishing forty percent of members of the LDS Church said they did not believe in the reality of Satan or evil spirits. Given the rapid decline in acceptance of many early Mormon doctrines in the LDS Church, the percentage would likely be higher today.

The Influence of Discarnate Spirits

Dr. Craig differentiates between dissociative identity disorder such as ego states or multiple personality subparts and external discarnate entities. Dissociative Identity Disorder is a valid prognosis in individuals who present distinctly splintered temperaments. Fractured spirits are real. They come about as a protective measure in traumatic situations, usually in childhood.

However, in the course of his work, it became obvious there were occasions when the entity encountered turned out to be of a foreign nature, not a part of the individual’s own personality. According to most analysts, this is not a viable opinion. However, Dr. Craig is not the only therapist to put forth the idea of discarnate spirits being the cause of undesirable behavior.

Simply put, Dr. Craig is not alone in presenting clinical evidence of the existence and influence of unclean or evil spirits upon his patients. I have written previously about the work of Dr. Edith Fiore and have recently been reading accounts from Dr. Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled. In his book, Glimpses of the Devil, Dr. Peck shares clinical cases of evil spirits afflicting patients.

Two Or Three Witnesses

With at least three professional, qualified and certified practitioners of psychotherapy reporting multiple clinical cases of identifiable negative entities influencing their patients, it is my long-held hope more people will begin to accept the idea of evil spirits being a real cause of unwanted power or influence upon us. “The devil made me do it,” may not be so far off the mark after all.

It is not my intent to disavow responsibility for our own actions with such a pronouncement. I simply hope you will consider science has shown in at least three cases, and I can provide other documented studies if requested, the impact of evil or unclean spirits upon us mortals is a real phenomenon worthy of careful study and consideration. For some, this idea can also bring hope.

I know many individuals who have struggled with addiction all their lives. They have tried every suggested method of overcoming habits, compulsions, obsessions and cravings to no avail. They are discouraged and have given up hope, never believing they can be free of unwanted conduct. These are people who want to be better than they are, but feel awful because of so many failures.

Understanding Cohabitating Entities

The case study presented in Dr. Craig’s paper is interesting and intriguing. I had read it before. What I did not know is this particular case study is only one of hundreds encountered by this particular therapist. The case studies of Dr. Peck’s were also numerous as were Dr. Fiore’s. She pointed out there exist both evil spirits and discarnate or what the Bible labels unclean spirits.

“Undoubtedly one of the most significant findings in my work with clients was the numbers in whom evil spirits were found while using hypnotic accessing and differentiating according to endogenous and exogenous parts.” I have to ask, why do we not hear of such evidence from other LDS Psychotherapists? Do they simply not believe in the existence of evil spirits today?

“…a substantial number of people seeking help for psychological/emotional disorders may likely have an underlying spiritual dimension that is not being addressed.” I concur, and have long felt so. Gratefully, courageous individuals such as Dr. Craig are coming forth with their findings. He also understands the difference between unclean, discarnate spirits and evil spirits, never mortal.

Be Aware of the Adversary

I hope you will take a few moments to read Dr. Craig’s paper. Long-time readers know I have written about the similar work of Mel Fish in Cedar City and Jan Graf of St. George. In spite of having researched this subject for over twenty years, I am still learning how carefully and deeply concealed some of these evil spirits can be. It can take years of practice to discern their presence.

One of the things I have discovered in my quest to come into the presence of the Savior, is the sad and disturbing fact that in opening the heavens, I often encounter these evil or unclean sprits. Years ago, I was fearful, very fearful of dealing with them. Now, we seem to have almost regular conversations. They know what I am trying to do and often attempt to impersonate messengers.

You may ask, “Why write about such a disturbing topic?” Some long-time readers know of my early encounters with the minions of the adversary in my youth and again a few years ago. All I can offer by way of explanation is my interest in the subject seems to be a part of my mission in life. It’s not that I’m focusing on evil spirits; it’s that I sense their presence and can hear them.

Don’t Ignore True Doctrine

I know. That’s weird. I confess. It is weird. It takes discipline to keep the voices quiet. I used to live in an area with a mental hospital. Some of the patients were members of the church. I was assigned to be their home teacher. They described how difficult it was to keep from going crazy because of the voices. I told them I understood. Only drugs helped them to deal with the voices.

Even though I’m no longer a member of the LDS Church, I firmly accept the inspiration of the patriarch who pronounced my patriarchal blessing at age fifteen. It talks about the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. I can tell you they are real. The blessing also warns me the evil one will seek to destroy me and my work. I am promised the spirit of discernment. I can tell you that too is real.

I’m grateful for the work of dedicated family counselors like Dr. Craig who invested so much of their time and energy helping others deal with difficult situations in their lives. I hope more therapists will take a clue from the examples of Scott Peck, Edith Fiore and Wesley Craig. Figure it out people. The influence of evil spirits is real. Don’t discount their power to bind.


May God bless each of us in our journey to come unto Christ, the master healer of us all.

Note: For additional insight on the problem of LDS Psychotherapists who don’t accept the idea of evil spirits, please see: Understanding Spiritual Evil in the Context of Psychotherapy By Ronald L. Poulton

Let’s Get the Hell Out of Us!

Jesus heals the man with unclean spirits named Legion Luke 8:29-30Well I said at an earlier time that I wouldn’t write anymore but now I am making myself a liar as I feel impressed to write. That is the problem with us making any oaths or promises. We often do not have the power to keep them and then need to repent. From some comments I have seen, I realize that some people are concerned that I am trying to get “followers.” I just want to state unequivocally that I have no authority other than whatever truth has been given to me. I have not seen Jesus Christ in the flesh although I hope to soon! I know many people have had similar experiences to me and I do not think that visions or the like mean as much as some people might think. Even a vision can deceive the recipient and many others if the interpretation is not given by the Spirit.

That is why I never really pay attention to people’s interpretations of their near death experiences or visions unless I have it confirmed that their interpretation is correct. Life is tricky and God teaches people different truths in different ways, tailored to their understanding and individual progression. So anything I have shared is how God has taught me. If you feel it is incorrect or not suitable then by all means take what you think is useful or whatever the Spirit prompts you to receive and set the rest aside. I do not think anyone is condemned for disbelieving anyone’s message or experience right now. This is still a preparatory time before the storm hits.

Today I am going to try to pack in a lot of things that I have learned and if you have considered me deluded before then today’s post will probably only add to that consideration.

But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. – Matt 29:28-29

These words of Jesus were spoken after other’s accused Him of casting devils out by the power of Beelzebub. Like most verses in scripture there is so much information here. First it is imperative that in order for the kingdom of God to come again on the earth, the power to cast out devils by the Spirit of God must be here, and in order for someone to do that he or she must first have bound the strong man of the house.

In these verses the house spoken of is the body of flesh that we are all given in mortality, and the devils must completely be cast out of that house or tabernacle in order to be bound. Now I know people are thinking that the power to cast out devils is here on the earth, but there are actually two types of “possessions” that exist, and we only usually talk about one of them. One is when an evil spirit is given complete control of the mind of an individual, and thus is given complete control of the body as well. I have seen these types of possessions a couple of times and they are not pretty. Through faith these are cast out from time to time.  This power to cast these suckers out has been around for ages and I am sure many readers could tell stories of this type of thing, but there is another kind of possession that people rarely talk about, and perhaps have never considered. It is the possession that has a grip on every person on the planet right now (save for heavenly visitors).

And he shall cast out devils, or the evil spirits which dwell in the hearts of the children of men. Mosiah 3:6

So to be absolutely clear on what I am saying, you can call it lower energy, evil spirits, devils, whatever you want, but they actually reside in our flesh and our spirits war against them to gain the power over the flesh. I have talked quite a bit in previous posts about the change that can and must come upon our bodies. This can’t happen until all this evil is cast out first. You could call it cleansing the inner vessel, or preparing the temple for the Lord to come to in all of His glory.

And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils. Luke 8:2

Like many corruptions and twisted things that have been said about Mary Magdalene, people often read this and think less of her. Anyone who had seven devils in them must have had something wrong with them right? Wrong! This was the highest form of complement! I am seeking for all seven devils to be cast out of my flesh! I would sure love to not have to deal with evil spirits or infirmities. This meant Mary had been blessed with the very thing that we must all be seeking. Her body had been changed and filled with the Spirit of the Lord.

In many traditions people have still retained the idea of the “the seven evils of the flesh”. These often go by different names but they are summed up as pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed, and sloth. In some traditions each of these has a different devil attached with it. We don’t need to go into all of that, but as each of us progress grace for grace, we will encounter and confront different evil spirits along the way that must be cast out by faith. Just as there are different orders to spirits of God, and angelic beings, there are also different orders of evil spirits. The scriptures list quite a few of them.

Often as we progress we will encounter periods of darkness, powerful forces of heaviness and oppression, and many different encounters with evil. If any of you have experienced SLEEP PARALYSIS you may begin to understand these experiences better. I would suggest looking up sleep paralysis if you haven’t heard of it. Some people who have experienced things like this actually feel guilty afterwards and wonder if they are being punished for something. These things will happen! As the Spirit of God expands within us, cleansing layer by layer of our flesh until it breaks through with all of its’ glory, evil spirits will be warring to hang on and cling to our flesh and remain the “strongman” mentioned earlier. If we are ever to have the power over the elements for more than glimpses at a time, the first elements to be won are the elements of our own body.

It is interesting in the Zohar an old legend exists where Elijah learned seven names of power to overcome the demons of women. Reminds us of the power of names and the “Eternal Words” that are promised to be given in the last days. I believe that if one prophet or prophetess gains a fullness of glory and grace, even to the renewing of his/her body, they will be able to then cast evil spirits out of the hearts of the children of men. They will have obtained the Word, and each command and teaching will be filled with power to cast out evil.

JesusCastingOutDevilsJesus said though that if evil spirits are cast out of a person, and then those people are not filled then with the spirit of God, the evil spirit will grab seven stronger evil spirits and return to possess the body from before. (Luke 11:26) This teaching is so awesome and I believe totally misunderstood!

In the times of great seers, and of course in the time of Jesus, they had this gift to cast out the seven evil spirits from people.  Those people who were changed and filled with the Spirit of God, (another interesting study would be the seven spirits of God) were given power so the evil spirits could no longer return to the body of the one who has been completely sanctified by the power of Christ.

So where do these evil spirits go after being cast out of the disciples of Christ?  Well the power of the word of Christ also cast out the devils that were within the Pharisees and those who wouldn’t hear as well, but the Pharisees did not want to have anything to do with Christ’s spirit.  So the seven evil spirit cast out of the followers of Christ go find other evil spirits that have been cast out of the wicked and say “let’s go possess that person who rejected the voice of God”, even after God cast the evil spirits out of him/her, and then the person becomes even more wicked as they are possessed by more evil than they had in the first place! Thus as person after person is cleansed in the coming days, the evil spirits will fill the wicked more and more and a greater polarization will occur. Then we will see the powers of darkness manifest as well with their evil and falsehoods. Wo unto those who reject the spirit of God!

16 Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard. 17 Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities. 18 I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me. 19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted. 20 My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep. 21 He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh. (see 1 Nephi 17:47-55, perhaps Nephi’s first experience with being filled with the Spirit of the Lord, or the Spirit of God)

22 He hath confounded mine enemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me. 23 Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the night-time. 24 And by day have I waxed bold in mighty prayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and angels came down and ministered unto me. 25 And upon the wings of his Spirit hath my body been carried away upon exceedingly high mountains. And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man; therefore I was bidden that I should not write them. 26 O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions? 27 And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?

28 Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul. 29 Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions. 30 Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation. 31 O Lord, wilt thou redeem my soul? Wilt thou deliver me out of the hands of mine enemies? Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of sin? 32 May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me, that I may walk in the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road!

33 O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way—but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy. 34 O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm. 35 Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen. (2 Ne 4:16-35)

How beautiful in this lamentation of Nephi.  Can we now see what Nephi was asking for?  He had experienced the power of the Spirit of the Lord, and he wanted it permanently!  He wanted his soul redeemed just as the brother of Jared’s was when he saw Jesus Christ in the flesh. (Ether 3:13)

I have talked a lot about this in subsequent posts, but I wanted to talk a little bit about the “robe of righteousness” that Nephi mentioned. I have learned that right now every mortal person (except for perhaps in cases where someone might live without a veil), has a “robe” or covering over them. This acts as a veil over our minds and our eyes. It not only is a veil of forgetfulness but it also serves as a protection for us right now from more evil spirits from getting in (for the most part). “Enmity” is a good word for it. At some point as the Spirit of Christ grows within each of us, if the Lord and us are ready to impart a fullness, there will be a changing of this robe, to be clothed with a heavenly robe. These are also called garments. I would suggest doing a study of this. “Holy garments,” “robes of righteousness,” “clothed with light,” “mantle,” are phrases that come to mind. Not to mention all of those who receive white or shining robes or garments either in this life or the next.

These new garments no longer serve to keep evil out, but actually serve a two-fold purpose in my opinion.  One is so that the elements of our body will no longer be corrupted, and the other is to actually shield everyone else from our glory. Remember the case of Noah and his sons when Ham “discovered his nakedness.” I believe what was going on is Ham wanted to see his drunken father in his glory and knew that he could when his father was passed out in a drunken state. Then his two brothers walked in backward and covered their father back up with his garments, because they knew they shouldn’t look upon his glory without permission from God. If those who were changed did not have such a covering, they would walk around shining like Stephen and Abinidi and Moses did while the Spirit of God rested heavily upon them.

Of course many people in history have seen Jesus Christ in the flesh, and for whatever reason God did not want their transfiguration to remain for more than a short time.  My understanding is that in the coming dispensation, all who remain will be changed and receive these robes. John the revelator saw thousands upon thousands of people clothed in white.

It seems in the scriptures that at different times, when the fullness of the gospel was upon the earth, people (women in particular) were blessed with the gift of making these holy garments.  I would imagine that there is some type of ordinance or blessing involved in this, and it seems that the garments were always made of linen. (Acts 9, Rev 19:8)

Also remember the story of the woman touching the hem of Jesus’ garment and being healed, was this a “garment of light?” In my opinion all Jesus had to do on the mount of transfiguration is take off this outer robe or garment and his glory would be revealed to Peter, James, and John.

The other wonderful thing that seems to happen to people when this change is wrought upon them is they may be commanded to either eat what the Lord provides, or that their food will be sanctified as to not corrupt the elements of the body again. Manna is called “angels food” in the scriptures. Just before Elijah fasted for forty days an angel brought him food that gave him nourishment to endure the long fast.  Once when the disciples wondered why they didn’t see Jesus eat, He said that He had “meat to eat, that you know not of.” I know people usually say this is not a literal statement, but I would have to disagree.

I know I am jumping all over the place but I want to end this post with some more thoughts on the sacrament, wherein the wine and bread are blessed and sanctified if the ordinance is done correctly.  All of this leads up to the redemption of the body, wherein it is changed to a state of holiness.  Remember the line in the sacrament where it says “to the souls of all those who partake of it”.  This typically is understood that all those different people who partake of the sacrament will be blessed accordingly.  I believe this understanding is correct, but I wanted to throw out an idea that might cause us to think a little deeper.

Most scientists would agree (although there has never been a consensus) that a human body contains TRILLIONS of cells.  I know this might sound like a silly question, but does each cell have a soul?  Seriously think about it. Cells move around within us with independence, working in harmony with each other to make up tissues, which make up this organism we call the human body. Are they not all partaking of the wine and bread that is blessed and sanctified during the sacrament?  Inside of these cells you have lysosomes, mitochondria, ribosomes and more that seem to be working as individual creatures to keep that individual cell alive.  There is no doubt we could go smaller and smaller. Do these little guys have souls?

Now think of our bodies, and how they were formed from the material of this earth.  If our bodies are redeemed by God, then a part of the earth is literally redeemed with it, and perhaps trillions of organisms that live within this body are redeemed and overcome decay and death.  Can we really fathom the marvelous work of redemption? In the day of Enoch so many people received this redemption of the body that the power of their spirits (really the Spirit of God) lifted a whole portion of the earth with all of their buildings, animals, plants etc with it.

In our day the work of redemption will be so great that the Spirit of God that rests upon those remaining will lift the whole earth!  All things must be prepared in order for us, and the earth to not only be able to withstand, but also to be in complete harmony with the glory of Jesus Christ, who will walk among us and lead His people.  What a marvelous time to be alive!  What a terrible day for those who will reject the Spirit of God, and must be cast out for their own good.  I know the day is soon approaching.

I really wanted to cover more in this post but perhaps I will write more if Tim will allow it.  I have enjoyed Tim’s writing as well as Log’s, and hope that nothing I write will spread contention.  God bless us all with greater light, and a greater portion of His spirit. – Nate

A Dialogue About the Devil

BothPlayedSatanInTempleFilmsI spent way too much time on this dialogue about the devil to not share it publically. I know. It’s a terrible subject to contemplate. Why are we discussing these ideas when there are so many other areas of light that would be more worthy of our time and attention? You can skip this if you want. We all have to be selective about where we spend our time and energy.

I open it up for public discussion, or more likely, for public correction. See if you can spot and correct any false doctrine here.

Hello Brother Malone,

I have no scriptural reference for my thoughts I share with you regarding Lucifer but wondered if in your studies and readings you have heard this scenario before. We are taught Lucifer was esteemed as per the Savior in the pre-existence before his apparent fall. Is it possible he did not fall and that like the Savior he chose to accept the calling of being Satan as Jesus accepted the calling of being Savior, that the great council was more about a communal and loving discussion re the finer points of the Plan of Salvation?

Is it possible the war in Heaven was a discussion about who would accept the callings especially with regard to the third who would accept their calling and leave the presence of the Father? That we all wept because the task associated with our brothers and sisters who were part of that third meant that they were to act in a manner contrary to the light and love given by Heavenly Father?

I do not glorify Lucifer/Satan or the third, his and their countenances are contrary to the light, I do not argue this point. However I am dubious of the conveniently packaged plan taught year in and out and it just begs the question in fact a few questions re the pre existence and what else was there? My thoughts are more feelings than scriptural but I want to intellectualize it this way (and then he itemized his thoughts below). I do not teach or verbalize any of these thoughts as I don’t have scriptural backing but if you have any thoughts on this matter I am interested to know. Thanks for your time.

And my response:

Hi Robert,

I’ve pondered this for the past week. I confess I had not thought about this previously. I don’t have much to add to the way you have described your own ponderings. I will simply respond to your individual items and see where that goes. First some general thoughts as I pondered your first few paragraphs.

Was Satan always Satan? For this world, he is the only one we have ever had. No, he was not always Satan. We know from scripture he “fell from heaven” and became Satan. I think we both know he was Lucifer before that, a light-bearer, also a Son of the Morning and one of the first born. Will he always be Satan? I don’t know. According to D&C Section 76, his ultimate fate is not revealed.

Did he choose to become Satan? Yes. Did the third part (note I did not say one third) of the hosts of heaven choose to come to earth without bodies? Yes. The scripture says they were “cast down to earth,” but I think they were happy to come. I know that sounds strange but they truly wanted to follow Satan and believed in him just as we chose the Lord’s plan, really the Father’s plan, and accepted the difficult task of coming to earth with mortal bodies and no recollection of our past.

And here’s the detailed Q&A we went through in our Dialog. Robert’s points are numbered 1Q, 2Q, etc. My answers are 1A, 2A, etc. I hope you enjoy the back and forth as much as I did. I really had to do some thinking. This is all off the top of my head.

A Dialogue About the Devil

1Q. Moses 1:39  paraphrased Heavenly Father’s glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. I take this to mean all of His children, the third and Lucifer included. Has He therefore failed before it all began? Unlikely

1A. Interesting point. I had never considered this. It makes sense. I believe we will all one day be reunited with those who were cast out and came to earth without physical bodies. We will then sit down together and decide what we learned and if we could live together in peace, no matter if we came to this earth to experience mortality or as one of the spirits that followed Satan. I suspect there will be another “war in heaven” as some cry “Unfair, unfair. We came to earth and suffered all that mortality required and now these who did not are offered the same reward – to live together in peace eternally?”

Jesus and Satan are Brothers (duh)

2Q. Lucifer was considered to be an equal with Jesus. How does one son go AWOL and contrary to the will of the Father while the other continues to do the will of the Father?

2A. It was a matter of choice. Even leaders seek leaders or mentors, someone we want to emulate. God was not surprised. He knew one of his sons would become Satan. I’m sure there were many vying for the position. Some people like to distinguish themselves by opposing light and good out of stubbornness and spite. I’m sure it took eons for Christ to become who he was and for Lucifer to become who he was, just as it took eons for us to become who we are (still hidden).

Choosing to Become the Devil

3Q. How does one become so enraged in the presence of the Father that his desire to thwart His work and glory means he becomes Satan?

3A. Again, it was a matter of choice. He was proud and extremely knowledgeable, but not as “intelligent” as the Elohim and the Savior. Intelligence is light and truth. He had light in the beginning but apparently forsook what was truth. He had most of his power stripped from him when he was cast out, but still retained his knowledge. He wanted power. He craved power. He was selfish, self-centered, demanding and the most proud. He was enraged when his power was stripped from him and he was cast out. Did he agree to this role? He took it upon himself.

More Than One Satan

4Q. When Lucifer became Satan, who was Satan before him?

4A. I have no idea

Satan Has Not Always Been Satan

5Q. If “as man is, God once was”, then it is not possible that Lucifer has been Satan all of this time.

5A. I agree with your conclusion. Besides, it’s supported by scripture. Lucifer became Satan.

Some Choose to Follow Satan

6Q. How do a third of His children decide that they agree with Lucifer and will be on a winning team if they follow him?

6A. Ah, that’s a great question. We assume the war in heaven was strictly over agency. Perhaps it was also about who would fulfill what role or what families would get what gifts and privileges. We teach we are placed in this life, in both time and location, according to what and how we did in the pre-mortal realm. In other words, our opportunities here are a reward for performance there. The “third part” were convinced, and most of them still are, that they will prove the Father wrong. Of course, he’s already been proven right, since Christ fulfilled his mortal mission. He now continues his mission as he works with each of us to help us complete our mortal lives.

No Unclean Thing in God’s Presence

7Q. Is being in the Father’s presence indicative that not everyone is happy? Unlikely because no unclean thing can dwell in His presence.

7A. Hmmm…I had to think about your logic there. It’s true that no unclean thing can dwell in Father’s presence. If we are ALL to be brought back to be judged, are the spirits that followed Satan considered “unclean”? Or is unclean only something that applies to those who have passed through this mortal existence and remain in their sins, unrepentant when they return to God? So there’s no doubt not everyone would be happy to dwell in the presence of the Father or the Son.

One Eternal Round and MMP

8Q. Moroni 10:34 and Alma 11:43 both speak of the spirit and body being reunited AGAIN, what impact does that have on the Plan of Salvation as we know it? The spirit and body are reunited as per doctrine but “again”?

8A. Well, unless you want to start discussing multiple mortal probations, I assume AGAIN means just what it says – as we are now. Our soul is the combination of our spirits and bodies united. They are united now. They will be separated when we are dead and then united AGAIN when we are resurrected. But who says we can’t come back for a second, third or another opportunity in “one eternal round” until we have advanced and learned what we need to become resurrected and exalted?

A Few Links to MMP

For more information about Multiple Mortal Probations, you can peruse these four previous posts to see how I’ve come full circle. Please, if this idea bothers you, then just ignore it. MMP is not central to our salvation. As I’ve said many times, what we do here and now in this life is all we need to be concerned with. Oh, and to really understand some of this stuff, you must read Denver’s Tenth Parable: The Great Competition, which I wrote about in All Are Invited to the Feast.

The Unquiet Dead

You Have Been Here Before

Eternal Lives, Past Lives and Reincarnation

 The Doctrine of Eternal Lives

Tell Me the Stories of Jesus

Jesus_Heals_Young_ManRemember the Savior

One of my goals this year is to remember the Savior in a more tangible manner. To me, that means being able to relate the stories of Jesus from memory. The best way to know the Savior is to meet him. The next best way is by study and by faith. Since I haven’t met the Savior yet in this life, I’ve decided to do the next best thing – write in my own words what I know about Him.

A New Story Each Week

The beauty of this project is that I get to pick and choose what I feel inspired to tell in each post. I don’t promise to write every week, but I’m going to try. My apologies to Yoda – I’m not a Jedi Knight. You know the line, “Do or do not. There is no try.” Therefore his sage advice, a nice line from George Lucas, is not reality yet. I’m not quite at that level today. Some days I get too busy.

Jesus Christ is Real

It’s kind of funny I would think of Yoda in this first post of what I hope will be a regular series. Yoda is a small but powerful, inspiring and motivational character. However, he came from the imagination of George Lucas. On the other hand, Jesus Christ is a real person. The evidence of his existence is so great that only the most skeptical persons claim he is but a myth or legend.

Third of World is Christian

Jesus, while not small – I’ve been told He is about 6’2” or 6’3” by those who claim to have seen him – is also a powerful, inspiring and motivational individual. There are more people who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ than any other person who ever lived on this earth. According to the 2011 Pew Report on Global Christianity, a third of the world population today is Christian.

Jesus Has Power Over the Spirits

One of the most remarkable attributes of the Savior, and the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Him, is His power over the adversary. Specifically, when I think of Jesus, I think of the many examples we have of Him healing those who are afflicted by evil or unclean spirits. I define evil spirits as those never mortal. Unclean spirits are the dead who hide from the light.

Definition of Evil Spirits

To be even more specific, evil spirits specifically chose to reject a mortal experience. They are not neutral. They follow Lucifer, or the devil, and do his bidding. They are controlled by him. There are those who believe these spirits can repent, believe in Christ and experience mortality. I’m not convinced this is possible, although I’ve studied arguments for each side. I remain open.

Difference of Unclean Spirit

I use the term unclean spirits because that’s a phrase found in the scriptures. It defines those who were once mortal, have died, yet have not found peace and rest in the light of paradise. They are for one reason or another, tied to something, someone or some idea in this life. They either do not believe in Jesus Christ or do not want to believe. They are lost, confused and miserable.

Yes, They are Like Ghosts

Because they have not gone to the light, they wander the earth, seeking whatever it is that keeps them bound, unable to experience it without a physical body. For this reason, they seek to find mortals who are willing to let them co-habit their mortal bodies, or just hang around with them. No, I can’t prove it and neither can you unless you can see into the spirit world all around us.

Example of Power Over Fear

You may ask why I think of such a negative concept as evil and unclean spirits when I think of Jesus. Why not think of His many examples of teaching, showing love, kindness, tenderness and mercy? Trust me, as the year rolls on, I will relate those stories and how they have affected me. Today, I start by proclaiming the power of Jesus over fear, one of the principal tools of the devil.

Prophets Saw Christ Healing Others

In the Book of Mormon (1 Ne 11:31), Nephi was shown a vision of the life of the Savior. I find it interesting he was careful to bear witness of seeing “multitudes of people who were sick, and were afflicted with all manner of diseases, and with devils and unclean spirits…And they were healed by the power of the Lamb of God; and the devils and the unclean spirits were cast out.”

Afflictions Can Affect the Mind

I can relate to this verse. It speaks to me. I have been sick many times in my life. Afflicted is the right word to use when speaking of diseases. I define a disease as a sickness that lingers or will not go away. I note carefully that Nephi saw devils and unclean spirits in association with those who were sick and afflicted with disease. Such affliction can affect the mind as well as the body.

Jesus Went Around Healing People

To me, it is wonderful to know that healing the sick and afflicted is one of the main things Jesus did as he went about teaching the multitudes. What greater good can you do for someone than to heal them? I can think of only two greater gifts. One is the gift of the resurrection and the other is the gift of eternal life, which is the promise of sharing all that God has. He wants us to have that.

Faith in Christ Helps Healing

Later in the book of Mormon (3 Ne 17:5-10) Jesus asks the people to bring Him their sick and afflicted. Note carefully the words He used, “…I see that your faith is sufficient that I should heal you.” When I am sick or afflicted as I have been for most of the past year (constant headaches), I do all the medical experts tell me. But ultimately, healing is a matter of our faith in Jesus Christ.

Afflictions Can Draw us to Christ

I have learned a lot in this past year of affliction. It’s easy to say, “Oh, it’s just part of life. It’s simply the result of too much close work with the computer for the last thirty-five years.” Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. I look upon it now as an opportunity for me to develop greater faith and specifically faith in Jesus Christ. I never thought I would say this affliction is for my own good.

God Chastens Those He Loves

Yet that’s how I feel now. We can read many places in the scriptures the Lord chastens those he loves (Heb 12:5-11, Prov 3:11-12, Rev 3:19, D&C 95:1, D&C 101:2-5, D&C 136:31). I confess it’s hard to feel loved when my head aches so much I can barely concentrate sufficiently to get my work done each day. I’ve always wanted to lose weight. I’ve lost thirty or forty pounds now.

Sometimes We Hinder our Healing

Maybe my subconscious mind is trying to help me. Maybe this pain is the only way the Lord could answer my prayer. I share with Him my goals. He knows I want to be healthy so I can serve Him and provide for my family. There’s a lot more I could do like be more consistent in exercise and diet. I wonder if I haven’t been fighting against the Lord’s efforts to bless me.

My Personal Witness

You may ask why I attribute this affliction to the adversary and not to some natural cause. Oh, I’m sure the day will come, once the headaches go away, it will be easy to look back and say, “You’re better now because you lost weight, or because we found the right combination of drugs or because you changed your diet,” or some other logical, Western, left-brained explanation.

Fasting May be Required

This affliction started with an event that convinced me the adversary was involved. You can read my story at this link if you haven’t already. I feel like Job in a small way. I am also convinced my healing will be the result of a newfound or enhanced faith in Jesus Christ that I did not have before. Faith is an amazing thing, but sometimes, it takes fasting to get rid of some afflictions.

Story of Jesus Casting Out a Spirit

That’s the first story I want to tell. It can be found in Matt 17:14-21 or Mark 9:14-29. It’s the story of Jesus casting a deaf and dumb spirit out of a young man, just one of several similar instances we have recorded in the scriptures. Casting out devils is evidence of the power, love and mercy the Lord has for us. It is one of the signs of his divinity, witnessed in vision by Nephi.

The Disciples Failed to Cast Out Spirit

One day, Jesus came down from the mountain with some of his apostles. They found a large group of people gathered around some of his disciples. Jesus asked what the commotion was all about. A man answered him and explained he had asked the disciples of Jesus to heal his son, but they were unable to do so. Jesus seemed a little exasperated. He commented about a lack of faith.

The Young Man had Seizures

Jesus then asked to have the afflicted young man brought to him. As soon as the young man saw Jesus he fell down and “wallowed foaming.” Some have interpreted that to be an epileptic fit. Jesus asked how long the young man had been like this. The young man’s father said the boy had suffered like that since he was a child. He described how the boy would fall into the fire or river.

Fear Can Hinder Faith to be Healed

This father was beside himself with grief and pled with Jesus to help his son. Jesus said, “If you can believe, all things are possible to those that believe.” The man said, “Lord, I believe. Please help my unbelief.” The father was frightened for his son. He wanted to believe Jesus could heal his son, but had already seen the disciples of Jesus fail in their attempt. Fear had killed his faith.

The Young Man is Healed

Jesus then rebuked the foul spirit by saying, “Thou deaf and dumb spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.” In modern language we might say something similar to this: “I command the evil spirit in this young man to leave his body and never come back.” The young man stopped thrashing about. Some of the people said the boy looked like he might be dead.

Jesus Admonishes Fasting

But Jesus took the young man by the hand and helped him stand up. The scriptures say the young man was never afflicted again. Later, the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t cast the spirit out of the young man. Jesus explained it was because of their unbelief. In other words, they didn’t have enough faith yet. “This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.”

What We Can Learn From This

From this and many other similar stories, both recorded in the scriptures and in our early church history, we learn two important things. First, it takes a lot of faith in Jesus Christ to cast out evil spirits. Second, it may require subduing our own bodies through fasting both to make our own spirits more sensitive and to show the Lord we are serious about wanting the blessing of healing.

Done In The Name of Christ

I have both seen spirits cast out of people and have cast spirits out of myself and others. Some say it requires priesthood. I disagree. Women can cast out spirits. The scripture teaches it takes faith. It says nothing about requiring priesthood. All it requires is faith in Jesus Christ. Casting out spirits is not something we should fear. Hollywood movies make the process look horrible.

Some People Have Gift of Healing

More and more people are coming to an understanding of how this works. It is a real sign of faith in Jesus Christ. Some people have the gift to heal more powerfully developed than others. I have seen much evidence of natural healers who were successful because of their faith. They always used the name of Christ. He honored their faith. I am grateful for this powerful story of Jesus.

An Invitation to Open Dialog

As always, your comments are welcome. Healing is one of my favorite subjects to discuss.

Book Review: Spirits and Spiritual Interactions

SpiritsAndSpiritualInteractionsI just finished reading Spirits and Spiritual Interactions by Dr. Christopher E. Palmer this week. Thank you to one of my readers who recommended it. The book is self-published, 223 pages and took less than a week to read. I think I read an hour or two each night before retiring. As I read I would put a few comments in Goodreads After the first 40 or 50 pages I gave it three stars, After I got through about 150 pages I had raised it to four stars and upon completion I’ve decided it deserved five stars. I’ll explain why I raised my opinion as well as make a few observations.

Not Meant to be Sensational

There is nothing sensational about this book. It wasn’t meant to be. That doesn’t mean there are no examples of how to deal with dark spirits and dark energy. The author treats the subject with the utmost of respect. I had to keep reminding myself he is at least twenty years younger than me and wondered where he got all his experience and knowledge on the subject. Dr. Palmer is a chiropractor by profession. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve found most chiropractors are more open to alternative forms of healing. I found the book to be well thought-out and well-written.

A Few Typos – No Big Deal

Sure, there were a few typos. The editor in me circled five, maybe seven, but it didn’t cause a problem. I did have a problem with a major flaw of the first section heading printed at the top of every page in that section not matching the actual chapter heading in the front of the book. I also had a problem with the length of the sections. There were only five. Although they were labeled sections they seemed to be chapters because the text kept running on an on without page breaks. I guess I was expecting well-defined page breaks with a blank page between each chapter.

More of an Introductory Book

So far I’ve focused on a few technical preferences that have little to nothing to do with the content of the book. Let’s get in to that. The book was obviously written for an LDS audience but made a good effort to include explanations of LDS terms and doctrines as it went along. That’s why I rated it so low at first. I thought it was way too basic until I realized the author was trying to be as thorough as he could be. I would recommend this book for someone as a starter book who has no exposure to working with spirits or the spirit world. Please let me explain.

Nothing Frightening in the Book

In the twenty plus years I’ve been working with those who claim to be sensitive to spirits, or in other words, can easily detect their presence, a book like this would be way too toned-down. But if you are one who has never heard of the gift of discernment of spirits or seen it in action or even believe that it exists, this is a great book. It is convincing with good examples, practical and very conservative or orthodox views of how things work with dark energy and dark spirits. It is written in such a way that there is no fear factor at all. There was nothing frightening in the book.

The five sections are:
 1. Basic Details about Spirits
 2. How to Recognize the Presence of Spirits and
     Discern Their Affiliation with Light or Darkness
 3. Other Things That Bring Light or Darkness and Similar Kinds of Spirits
 4. How to Remove Dark Spirits, Their Influence and Effects
 5. Ways to Fortify Against and Be Resilient to Evil and Unclean
    Spirits and Spiritual Darkness

How This Book Compares to Others

Now, I won’t list the table of contents here, but compare these basic five sections of Dr. Palmer’s book with, oh, let’s say, the contents of Doug Mendenhall’s Book: Conquering Spiritual Evil. If you are a novice in dealing with spirits, do NOT start with Doug’s book. It’s like a college text. On the other hand, if you are a novice, DO start with Dr. Palmer’s book. It’s excellent in getting you used to the wording, the phrases and the methods of recognizing and working with spirits. If you feel you have no ability or gift in this area, then you may be disappointed, but it has been my experience that most LDS folks have at least some sensitivity to the presence of other spirits.

This is a Step-by-Step Sort of Book

I may be wrong on this. My wife tells me she has none but she has related some stories from her mission that have convinced me otherwise. She is also a very orthodox and conservative LDS member. If I could get her to read it – she won’t because 1) she says she hates to read doctrine and 2) she is too busy writing and promoting her own books – I am certain she would be very confident with Dr. Palmer’s approach to the subject. It is reassuring, slow and easy step-by-step stuff that doesn’t make you feel like there is anything weird with talking about the influence or presence of dark spirits or dark energy by the time you get done with his book.

The Book is an Easy and Clear Read

I confess I am more of a Doug Mendenhall sort of reader: give it to me straight, raw format and let me sort it out for myself. He does that in his book. You’ve got to do a lot of pondering and praying with Doug’s book or you could be misled in what he is trying to say. Not so with Dr. Palmer’s book. It is written in such a way that it’s clear he did not want to be misunderstood. He did not want to frighten any of his readers. He wrote in such a way that caused you to feel good about the process of clearing your home, your space and even you favorite places to visit. I thought that was kind of, well, different, but I got what he was trying to get across.

It’s a Comfortable Book to Read

For those who have not read Doug’s book for comparison, let me say this: If I were an LDS mother, single or married, concerned with the dark influences I’m beginning to sense in my teenage son or daughter, I would be extremely comfortable recommending Dr. Palmer’s book as being helpful and easy to read. On the other hand, if I found myself dealing with evidence that some hard-core, satan worshippers had inhabited the home I just bought, I would get Doug’s book. Both talk about the importance of removing dark objects and especially portals – so very often overlooked – but Dr. Palmer just made me feel more comfortable reading about it.

Like Visiting With a Medical Specialist

In other words, and this is unfair to Doug, whom I consider a friend, Dr. Palmer’s book comes across more like a friend sitting across from you, advising you on something about which he has studied and does regularly, in the same sense that you got to visit him to get your back adjusted. Again, it starts assuming you know nothing about working with and removing spirits and takes you up to and through the basic steps of getting the job done. But he doesn’t get into difficult cases and makes sure that you come away feeling all is light and rosy when the job’s done.

The Book is Targeted at People New to This

Dr. Palmer, I’m sorry if I’ve received the wrong impression from reading your book. If you run across this review, you’re welcome to respond. The bottom line for me is I would feel greater confidence in working with Doug to help me deal with a problem in getting rid of the influence of evil and unclean spirits in my home, work or other space. To be fair, Dr. Palmer makes it clear that some spirits will come back again and again or send replacements – a favorite trick – but Doug’s book gets into things other than spirits that could be the source of the problem. Maybe you think this is all made-up, the product of someone’s imagination. I assure you it isn’t. I know of at least a half dozen people who do this sort of thing – cast out evil spirits. All are or were LDS. Please don’t forget it is part of our doctrine. Don’t think it’s spooky. It just is. Accept it.

You Don’t Need the Gift of Discernment

Two others I have written about are Mel Fish in Cedar City and Jan Graf in St Geoge. It seems there is much more of this kind of activity – being bothered by evil or unclean spirits in the Mormon corridor along the Wasatch Front. But I run across it all the time here in California too, especially wherever objects or activities of darkness abound – porn, drugs, stuff like that. Our objective in life is to fill our souls with light. We are beings of light. We came here to learn how to increase that light with faith, obedience and gifts of the spirits. If you don’t have a gift in this area – feeling the presence of spirits – alive or dead – don’t worry about it. Everyone has some sort of gift and can share light that will help and strengthen others. We all need each other.

Dr. Palmer Gives You the Basic How-To

I recognize this is not a very detailed review of Dr. Palmer’s book. Let me just say I give it five stars. I think he has done a thorough job, even if he does get off to a slow start. I know I called it a beginner’s book but that’s not really fair. It’s a good introductory book. It is not confusing. It is clear. It is precise. He provides the example (only one, while Doug and Mel Fish provide many), that works in removing dark spirits. I wish he wrote about dark spirits that can attach themselves to us or can hide within us. He wrote at the beginning he specifically would not address that subject. For that, see Mel Fish or Jan Graf. But using the methods Dr. Palmer writes about, I would feel comfortable in clearing my space, my room, my home, my work or anywhere else.

Would Like to Read A Deeper Edition

Dr. Palmer has a lot of knowledge on the subject. I learned some new things. I am always impressed when someone takes the time and effort to write a book, especially non-fiction about such an important subject. You know you won’t find this in Deseret Book. This sort of book is not a good fit there. I’m so happy we live in the day of Amazon and CreateSpace. Dr. Palmer addresses an important doctrine that our modern church chooses to ignore, helps us learn the basics to protect ourselves, our families and our homes, and makes it available to you. I say bless you Dr. Palmer. I hope you continue to prosper and perhaps write more on this in the future.

Personal Evidence of Casting Out Devils

JesusCastingOutDevilsI could have put some benign headline on this post, but who would read a story labeled, “Miracle in Agoura,” or “Man stops taking drugs cold turkey?” I want to make a point with the headline and I hope it catches your attention. This story needs to be told in this modern day and age. Evil spirits are real. I have personal knowledge that I allude to in this post. The healing described is real and is common, or at least it’s common for those who believe such things can and do still take place in this skeptical world we live in. Please take off the cynical glasses for a few minutes.

Going Cold Turkey Can Taste Oh So Good

It was 3:40pm California time when I start this, published at 7:30pm. I’ve been up since about 4:50am. Now these facts by themselves mean nothing, but consider this. Today is the first time in over eight months I haven’t taken any pain or anxiety medication since the morning dosage. By now, I would usually be climbing the walls, especially without the afternoon dosage of Clonazepam. Just ask Carol. I’ve been impossible to live with unless I’m on a regular morning, afternoon and evening schedule of drugs prescribed by a half-dozen doctors. [I was wrong. See added paragraph below.]

Clonazepam – To Stop Panic Attacks

For those who don’t know, Clonazepam is a strong benzodiazepine which is the preferred treatment for panic disorder, and anxiety. It sedates, relaxes, and has hypnotic properties. Oh, by the way, one of the main side effects is it makes you want to sleep a lot – for hours and hours. It’s basically hard to get anything done if you’re on this prescription drug, which I have been since last February. 2mg is a high dosage. Most people start at a half mg or one mg at the most. But the high dosage was needed to counteract the powerful anxiety I experienced constantly.

Tramadol – A Psychotropic Drug

Clonazepam is on the controlled substance list along with the other two medications I usually take about this time: 50mg of Tramadol, an opioid analgesic used to treat moderate to severe pain. If you know anything about pharmacology (and why should you know unless you are studying to be a doctor or are one) you’ll know that Tramadol ups the serotonin in the blood, popularly thought to be a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness. In other words, people take these drugs to help them feel better emotionally. It’s used as a psychotropic drug.

Vicodin – Another Pain Killer

I’m sure you’ll all recognize the third painkiller I usually take in my afternoon cocktail of drugs. It’s Hydrocodone, usually called Vicodin, another opioid-based pain killer. It’s also used to treat moderately severe pain. It contains a narcotic. In other words, it is addicting. It also has some other not so pleasant side effects, such as constipation, dizziness, and feeling nauseated. These are just the three main drugs I have listed among the dozen I take each day and have now since February. Before that, I rarely, if ever took prescription drugs of any kind for any reason.

Not Good Advice to Suddenly Stop Drugs

Now, why have I been taking these powerful narcotics and other such drugs for the past eight months? And why do I say that this morning was the last time I’ll need them or will take them? How can I be so confident? No matter what it is that has happened to make me so self-assured, shouldn’t I wait a few days before writing something like this? Every doctor I know will tell you to ease off the prescription drugs slowly, especially if you’ve been taking them for so long. [Update 11-8: The doctors are right. Go slow.] I’ve got a story to tell that could take a couple of posts, but I’ll try to summarize it in this short post. To keep a promise, I would need someone’s permission to write any more detail. By the time you finish, I hope you’ll understand why my confidence is so high that I have been healed.

The Short Answer

Here’s the short answer for regular readers of my blog: I paid a visit to a dear friend who was in Southern California for a few days. Fortunately, he just happened to be visiting twenty miles from my home here in Camarillo. Some of you may recognize him. His name is Jan Graf and he is from St George Utah. I have been waiting twenty years to tell his story since I first met him in 1993. The man is a healer and I mean that in every sense of the word. Or if you prefer, he is a man blessed with the gift of healing. He readily acknowledges the source to be Jesus Christ. Jan, or rather the Lord, healed me today. I don’t need those psychotropic and pain pills any more. Of that I am confident.

Pain to Keep Me From My Work

By the way, the pain pills were to treat the constant, and I mean absolute non-stop headaches. Some call them migraines, but migraines come and go. This was a constant pain. Along with the constant desire to sleep from the Clonazepam, I could not focus, concentrate or maintain my attention on things for more than a few seconds without experiencing severe pain. The CAT Scans and the MRI’s, along with all the blood work found nothing out of the normal. I kept asking the doctors if there wasn’t some test they missed of if I couldn’t get another opinion on the ones they had already taken. It did no good. They all agreed I was perfectly healthy.

For Those Wondering About the Backstory

Again, for regular readers of my blog, they know the story, but I’ve written it out and shared it so many times that I’ve placed it online. You can read it on my website on the above link. You know I asked at the beginning of the post to put your skeptical viewpoints aside for a while. I know many of you are experts in treating people with mental illness. I’ve been told it’s harmful for anyone to suggest mental afflictions like the ones I was experienced can be caused by evil or unclean spirits. I understand. I’ve visited with many of you looking for answers. All I can say is as of this morning I was in severe pain and anxiety and tonight I am at peace and feel no pain.

An Alternative Technique that Works

I met Jan in 1982 when my son was acting up in school. Our local bishop advised us to take him to see a new doctor he had just heard about. It turns out the man was no doctor at all. He was someone trained in a new technique named about the man who discovered it, or as he likes to say, had it revealed to him. I believe him. I felt so excited about what I discovered I wanted to shout it to the world. I could see how this could help so many people if they just knew about it. I wanted to write a book that explained how to learn and practice the technique. I found an early booklet of a seminar he conducted in Las Vegas when he was just getting started. I learned others do similar work and taught myself how to do self-diagnosis.

Planned to Write a Book on the Technique

Instead I took a few weeks and wrote a short blog (about 15-20 entries) where you can read about my introductory experiences with the Graf Technique at my other blog. Again, I was so excited about this technique – and still am – that I met with Jan and Gretchen and published the interview at this link. Jan’s web page can be found here: http://grafstressmanagement.com/ I hope he writes his story some day. I have read a really old draft he gave me and found it fascinating how he discovered things step by step. I still have it in my possession but cannot share it since he provided it in confidence.

Evil Spirits Can Be Cast Out

I want to keep this short so I’m not going to say much more than this: If I were to continue with the Western medicine way of dealing with this issue, I would NEVER be healed. I would be in pain and unable to function. I would soon go onto government disability and would be in my grave within a few years. You can argue that I have been healed by my faith and I won’t deny that my faith has a part of my healing. But I would never have known the source of the pain or malaise, discovered through the Graf Teachnique. I have three missions in life, revealed to me by the Lord. One of them is to bear witness that we can cast out evil spirits even in this day and age and have them cast out of us.

Western vs. Eastern Methods

Update 11-8-13: Not sure where to put this but I wanted to, oh, there’s no other way to say it…I was wrong about going cold turkey with the drugs. If you are working with a doctor who has prescribed psychotropic drugs (anti-anxiety in my case), don’t just drop them and expect to be fine. I know this admission extremely reduces the bold claims of the post. I felt like I was on top of the world for about 24-30 hours, then the anxiety began to return. For those that can accept it, I felt like I was being visited by an evil spirit and that this spirit was hammering away at me, getting me to doubt that I could go without the Clonazepam. I fought, I prayed, I cried. In the end, I had to go back to that one just to function. Dang!

Strength From God to Do His Work

You can ask me anything you want about this experience, how it came about, why I think its real and not all in my mind or anything else you want. All I know is I am free tonight whereas before I was in bondage and unable to perform the work the Lord sent me to this earth to do. I can now continue with what I started and intend to finish: 1) Publish my book based on Anthony Larson and his Prophecy Trilogy. I call it Red Sky for now. And 2) Finish my review of everything I have studied about Denver Snuffer. Last night I listened to the three-hour talk he gave in Orem last Saturday. All I can say is Wow! Trust me. You want to know what this man teaches.

Note: You can read a story about what happened to a man who does similar work here: http://latterdaycommentary.com/2013/02/18/excommunicated-for-priestcraft/


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