From Darkness Into Light

TheSunFlaringI received a call from Mel Fish the other day. He thanked me for the favorable post I wrote last month about his excommunication. It’s funny. I had been thinking about him all day. I just finished re-reading Healing the Inner Self, The Power of Unconditional Love, Become a Being of Light and The Search for Light and Truth.

I’m honored that Mel would do that. It just reaffirmed for me what a thoughtful man he is. His call relieved a great burden I have been carrying ever since I posted that entry. I was concerned he might not like the fact that I decided to tell the story of his excommunication before I actually wrote about any of his published works.

I did not tell him but his call was an answer to prayer. My Facebook friends know that almost immediately after I published that post, I began to suffer from the worst migraine headaches of my life. They were accompanied with sleeplessness, anxiety and panic attacks. The migraines were so bad they required visits to the hospital.

Blessings and Curses

It’s as if someone was not happy with what I had written and decided to curse me. Now, I know that sounds crazy, but before you dismiss the idea, let me share a few details. I promise to get to the book review in a few paragraphs. I ask the Lord to bless people all the time when I learn of something they said or did that helps me.

I have read about people who do the opposite. When they read something with which they disagree or that bothers them, they curse the writer. Worse, because there are people out there who prefer darkness to light, they invoke the power of Satan to enforce their curse, asking him to send devils or demons to make it stick.

Some readers asked, so I shared the details of my encounters with those devils in private emails. They were not pleasant and not something I want to go through again anytime in my life. I did not ask for such knowledge, but I now know things about certain classes of devils and the power they have to inflict real spiritual pain.

Generic Priesthood Blessings

At the end of my conversation with Mel, I asked him to check to see if I had been under attack. He checked and confirmed that someone who knew how these things work had sent a curse with teeth. He reminded me how to properly identify and clear the curse, which I did immediately. I felt gratifying relief within minutes.

I’m 56 years old and have been a member of this church all my life. I’ve given and received priesthood blessings for about as long as I can remember. They have been a part of my life since childhood. I asked for and received blessings while suffering through the migraines but I did not say anything about the attacks from the devils.

I was blessed that I would “get through this OK” or words to that effect. I have used similar words many times. I felt the power and comfort of the blessings for the few minutes they were pronounced and a few moments afterwards. But the attack continued unabated until I properly identified and cleared the curse today.

Darkness and Light

That brings me to the book review: Healing the Inner Self: From Darkness Into Light. As I noted in a previous post, Mel first published this in 1999, a few years after receiving his PhD in Counseling. In 2005 he published the accompanying clinical examples. This is not some theoretical book. It has real-world application.

The first nine chapters of the book contain what for me is basic doctrine. Mel sets a groundwork of common understanding that seems so familiar, having heard most of it growing up in the Church. He focuses on the idea that healing is a matter of getting rid of the darkness within us and filling ourselves with the Light of Christ.

After telling us how he got started in his search for spiritual healing he discusses the greatest power in the Universe – the Light of Christ – as well as the opposite force of darkness – The Darkness of Satan – or the Dark Force. Mel teaches early in the book how everything – including thought and emotion – is made of energy.

The Power to Create

I like how he gives us twenty pages of discussion on the Light Force and a short four pages on the Dark Force. In chapter six Mel teaches us about the Atonement and shares some marvelous insights about how it relates to light and darkness. In the next short chapter we learn how victims who also have darkness can be freed.

There is a marvelous chapter on the law of attraction filled with examples from life that explains in great detail how we either attract darkness or light unto ourselves. The secret is that on which we choose to focus. Faith only exists where there is an absence of doubt. Faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time.

I have read a lot of self-help and self-healing books in my life. Mel’s teachings on the power of visualization are the best I have ever read. I have watched Mel work using this technique. The images we create in our mind are more powerful than we will ever realize. Be sure to read his instructions on the power to create (pp 79-80).

Is Life Really a Test?

I want to spend a minute on chapter nine – The Purpose of Life. You would think this would be a no-brainer, but Mel throws a curve ball in there with his thoughts addressing the question: Is Life a Test? I’m sure you’ve heard or read that this life is meant to be hard because otherwise it wouldn’t be a real test, now would it?

Well, guess what? There is no scripture that uses the word “test” in it. There are many scriptures, however, which use the words “try” and “prove.” Testing has an implication of being compared against other people. Acceptance is not determined by qualification but rather by relative position, as compared to other test takers.

Salvation does not work that way. We really cannot earn salvation by our own works. Secondly, there is no limit to the number who can be exalted. All those who qualify will be exalted. To say the purpose of life is to be tested implies we have the power to pass the test on our own efforts, thus denying the need for a Savior.

Tools to Determine Truth

Up through chapter nine, there really is nothing that a typical Latter-day Saint should find weird or unusual. It is great gospel-centered teaching about how to come unto Christ to increase our light and ultimately our happiness. The rest of the book focuses on specific tools and techniques for identifying and healing darkness.

One of those tools is applied kinesiology or muscle testing. It’s been around a long time and is used by thousands of people each day. Go read the Wikipedia article on the subject. You’ll come away convinced that it’s quackery. Now go read my blog on how I was introduced to muscle testing to get a supporting alternate viewpoint.

In seventeen short little posts, I take you from someone who had never had any exposure to the technique to one who uses it all the time to discover truth for myself. Those who are experienced with the process know that finding answers is all in the questions that are asked. Sounds somewhat similar to prayer, doesn’t it?

Christ-Centered Healing

Mel’s work is centered in Jesus Christ. He teaches of Christ. He has those seeking his help command in the name of Christ. He does not use priesthood. So how in the world he was excommunicated for priestcraft is beyond me. The key to healing is the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the real power of casting our burdens on Him.

Sin is only part of the burdens we bear. Christ took upon himself all the burdens of those who are willing to let Him do so. Mel also teaches that casting off burdens is more effective when the right arm is raised to the square. I know others who teach several different ways to draw off the negative or dark energy from our bodies.

The healing process does not need to be complicated and does not need to be a long drawn-out process. I did not receive my initial training from Mel, but it has been my experience that great relief can be achieved through one-hour sessions using tools described in his book to question the spirit about what is needed.

Devils and Unclean Spirits

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know I have written often about this subject. I continue to learn about them every day. Often we hear people say we should not think about these things because they’ll just bring us down. Joseph taught that we should study all we can about the spirit world and the inhabitants.

Mel spends about ten chapters on how to rid oneself of these little beasties, and provides many examples of how it is done. I recommend you get his companion book of clinical examples if you are serious about learning how to do this yourself so you can help others. It is good reading even if you do not plan to help others.

He addresses: Releasing Darkness and Stress, Good and Evil Gifts, Bonding, Soul Retrieval, Multiple Personalities, Same Sex Preference, Contracts, Satanic Abuse, Ego, Sensitives, Overcoming Fears and Phobias, Subduing the Flesh and more. He ends the book on a positive chapter discussing The Law of Deliberate Creation.

The Definitive Textbook

I had been looking for a book like this when I was first introduced to the idea that we can ask questions of and receive answers from our own intelligence or spirit about our past, especially for our healing. I planned to write one based on hours of recorded interviews with other practitioners. I’m glad we scrapped the project.

Mel is much more qualified to write this book than I ever would have been. My views would have been those of an outside observer. His are those of someone with every-day, clinical experiences in helping people heal their inner self. Mel is more than qualified to present what he has documented about spiritual healing.

In case it’s not obvious, I highly recommend this book for those who are serious about learning how to find and heal hidden spiritual / emotional distress in your life. This book is not for everyone. Some will not know what to do with it if you do not intend to learn the basic tool of discovery – muscle testing – on yourself.

A Prolific Writer

Mel has quite a selection of books to choose from at his website. I have seven of his items. The three most popular can also be found on Amazon. But I recommend you also pick up his autobiography back at his site – The Search for Light and Truth – as well as his amazing little booklet – The Power of Unconditional Love.

If you’ve read Mel’s autobiography, you know he served his Mission in Taiwan and has studied much of the oriental culture, using the good that he found in his healing practice. There are some sacred stories in his autobiography that you will not want to miss, especially the one entitled “validation” on pages 231-232.

Finally, I want to mention Mel’s latest book, Become a Being of Light. This one is not for everyone. Mel even asked me on the phone the other day that if I bring the book up to be sure to let people know that this addressees “possibilities” and “what ifs.” He wanted to be sure we know he is not teaching reincarnation / past lives.

Last of the Great Healers

I don’t know how much longer Mel will be with us. He is 80 years old now. I want you to know he is a very approachable and humble man. He is delightful to talk to. He was gracious in allowing us to interview him, open, warm and caring. I am now friends with some of his family and have found them to be just as nice and kind.

If I lived in Southern Utah, I would want to be in his ward and assigned as his home teacher. Sadly, I wonder who from the Church visits him now that he has been excommunicated. I still can’t get over that. I don’t think I have ever met a man more unassuming, humble, Christ-like and loving in all my years in the church.

If you get a chance, read some of his books. Get to know him. Email or call him. He still holds seminars and loves to teach. You can get a sample of his style from his DVD. If you suffer from unwanted and unresolved hidden stress, let Mel help you as a facilitator in bringing about the deep healing your soul wants and needs.

Dr. Melvin C. Fish, Ph.D.
Cedar City, Utah

Overview of The Second Comforter

JesusRedRobeOn my blog, I review a lot of LDS books. For some reason, most of them are not found in Deseret Book. I don’t know why that is. Perhaps it is because some of them are considered controversial. I’m fairly certain Denver Snuffer does not care if his books are in Deseret Book. He has written that he wants people to have to search them out, make an effort to find them.

I thought I had reviewed his first book, The Second Comforter: Conversing With the Lord Through the Veil. Apparently not. I wrote about it here, but didn’t cover much of the material. There is already a plethora of book reviews out there on Amazon, Goodreads, and various other sites. I thought it might be helpful to share my study notes from the introductory overview.

Note that the numbers at the beginning of each paragraph correspond to the page numbers found in the 2008 second edition of the book. These are simply the notes I took as I read those pages. There may be some overlap and some additional ideas I have added but that’s because I felt inspired to add it as I was reading the content. I always want to be able to teach from my notes.

3 – The Lord is the Promised Second Comforter – There are two comforters. The first is the Holy Ghost. The second is the Lord. (John 14:15-18). This is a basic doctrine of the church. I think most people who have attended any LDS Sunday school class over the years have heard it at one time or another. The idea is that when we are baptized and receive the Holy Ghost through the laying on of hands, we should continue to humble ourselves before the Lord, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, seeking to live by every word of God. We then have the promise that we may receive the other Comforter, which is to have the Lord minister unto us from time to time. Apparently, there are times when we need the comfort of a personal visit from the Lord to help us pass through trials. Besides, there are some things that can only be revealed in person.

4 – We are to have the heavens opened unto us – Joseph Smith claimed to have been visited by the Lord on several occasions. He taught that this promise is to be taken literally by all the Saints. It is not just a promise for Joseph or the current prophet of the Church. Joseph wanted us to understand that this is an actual, physical visit with the Savior to us. This involves having the heavens opened. It is the culminating part of Christ’s gospel in which the Savior ministers to us individually, one at a time, just as he has ministered to others before. In other words, it should not seem strange or unusual to us to have or expect the Lord to visit us, while we are yet mortal. This is a promise to all the Saints. It is our heritage and a blessing for those who strive to keep his commandments. Obedience is a requirement. We should seek for and obtain this blessing.

5 – You can receive Him – there is no exception – When the Lord makes a promise, he does not excuse himself. He intends to keep his promises, even if men do not. If we come to him in obedience, he has no intention of leading us along, only to disclose an exception. There is no exception. We can all receive Him as he has promised. In the Millennium, men will walk and talk with the Savior. Any person who abides the laws that will be kept during the Millennium can expect to receive the promised blessings of the Millennium, including that of walking and talking with the Savior. It is the privilege of the saints today to receive the Lord, to separate ourselves from the world, to ask for and to receive the personal ministration of the Lord Jesus Christ. This doctrine is a part of the fullness of the gospel. It is a promise of Jesus Christ unto those who love Him. If you obey the laws and ordinances of the gospel, exercise faith and come unto Christ, he will keep his promise. D&C 93:1 lays out the five requirements for receiving the Lord.

6 – You will always need church programs and ordinances –Some teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ are not for the novice. They require maturity, time and patience. The Church has wisely chosen to focus on the basic doctrines of salvation in the curriculum, especially since so many members are new to the gospel. As we grow and mature in the gospel, we are left in large measure to seek further light and knowledge on our own.  Some people think that seeking to be ministered unto by the Lord is one of those “mysteries” from which we should stay away. Done the right way, with the right understanding, approached in humility as intended, it is right. You can never outgrow the programs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You can never outgrow the need for the saving ordinances. The Church is His medium for delivering the gospel. Therefore, it will not be something you leave behind. Besides, it’s a great place to give service and help others learn the gospel and the only place to pay tithes to an authorized agent.

7 – Intellectual criticism brings no revelation – Many church members want a deeper understanding of the gospel. There are numerous publications and organizations, trying to append themselves to the church, attempting to satisfy this desire for higher knowledge. Dialogue and Sunstone are two periodicals addressed to Mormon intellectuals. While there is much good found in their covers, there is also much criticism and even outright hostility toward the views of the Church in many of the papers and conferences of such organizations. Revelation does not necessarily come through critical thinking. Although we are commanded to study things out in our own minds before we turn to the Lord for a confirming witness of the truth, finding fault with the Church or those we sustain as its leaders does not bring us closer to the Lord. To be learned is good if we hearken to the counsels of God. Humility is needed with intelligence.

8 – Debate is not the right method – Seemingly established to combat Dialogue and especially Sunstone, FARMS (Foundation for Ancient Religious and Mormon Studies) and FAIR (The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research) grew out of the need to respond to the critics who employ scholarship or pseudo-scholarship to accuse the Church of alleged failings. These groups seem to employ a combative approach (especially FAIR) in presenting pros and cons of many matters that are not included in the Church’s internal teaching materials. These approaches promote debate among the Saints which has never been unifying. I have read many stories of disenchanted individuals who report they had never heard of some doctrine or practice of the church until they read it on the FAIR website. Sometimes the arguments composed to explain the questionable historical events do more harm than good, leaving seekers unsatisfied. Note that FARMS is now the Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship and a part of BYU.

9 – Intellectual approach is insufficient – All of these publications provide some interesting reading. The polemics are entertaining, even when they are not enlightening. They can be useful for defining issues and providing a source for further study, but they make no attempt to instruct in the process of receiving the Second Comforter. Denver’s book is about receiving the Second Comforter. It is an attempt to show the reader a roadmap for going from where he or she is now to the position where the Lord can be received. The book is not about the afterlife or some future millennial day when all mankind will see the Lord. Rather it is about receiving the Second Comforter during your present lifetime. The Book will explain what it means to receive the Second Comforter and outline a course of conduct to apply those teachings in your life. It is intended to provide a practical guide, an examination of what you must do in order to receive the promised blessing. It is not intended for mere academic inquiry. It is also not a scholarly work. It is about how the scriptures teach us to grow in light and truth until we reach a perfect day.

10 – Reason and scholarship does not produce revelation – Many of the things discussed in this book will be foolish to the academic. Scholars are some of our harshest critics. This work does not participate in the scholars’ debates. The greatest theologians in history have failed to crack open the heavens in the slightest. Reason alone does not provide light and truth. There are some irrational – or more correctly extra-rational – sources of truth as well. Angels do not come to us because we have an interesting paper to present to them. The well-schooled are not those who have received the greatest truths revealed to mankind. Angels visited and Christ ministered to fishermen and plow boys. The greatest prophets of history came with less education than most modern-day high school graduates. They had access to truth from another source. There is a significant distinction between the process followed by the revelators and the reasoning of theologians and scholars. Divine revelation will never come through the scholar’s tools. Instead, it comes as people follow the principles of the gospel and obey the commandments of God.

11 – Revelation obtained through a practical process – Even those who rely on reasoning and intellect must ultimately base their reasoning on the basic truths revealed to simple but faithful people who have received revelation. Scholars attempt to teach others to use analytical tools to reach reasoned conclusions. They use logic, reason and supporting studies to establish their “truths.” Prophets attempt to duplicate their experiences by teaching others to obey God and to ask Him to reveal hidden knowledge. Prophetic knowledge is not obtained merely by study, reason or logic. It is obtained by obedience to God’s will and from revelation. What we need is a practical process to discover what is required to get revelation and then we want to get that revelation. We want the truth through revelation. The scriptures tell us how to get the “mysteries of God.” Learning these “mysteries” is the fullness of Christ’s Gospel. Scholars do not pretend to uncover new mysteries or revelations from God. They do no attempt to open the heavens for us. On the other hand, the scriptures do attempt to open the heavens to all, under specific conditions. Some knowledge can only be received by revelation. It is to be learned but is not to be taught.

12 – Seek further light and knowledge – The majority of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are composed of new converts. The primary focus of the teachings of the Church in Sunday school and Sacrament meetings is always going to be the fundamental principles of the gospel. Discussing the “mysteries” before the foundations have been adequately established is more destructive than edifying. Immaturity leads some curious but unprepared folks to seek these things prematurely. Encouraging them in this before they are ready may result in deep frustration or even losing their testimony altogether. In most lives it will take many years of development before this process is appropriate. Those many years of development can best, perhaps only, be acquired by faithful service within the Church. Church service is the best means for obtaining the necessary preparation. The Church is literally preparing its members for citizenship in heaven. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the work of God. Through its institutions the ordinances which must precede and accompany the acquisition of mysteries are given to the members. Seeking further light and knowledge is not independent the Church, but utterly reliant of it. We need the Church. The Church needs our strength and support.

13 – Must live up to what we receive – Throughout his ministry Joseph was always torn between the desire or requirement to teach on the one hand, and the preparedness and willingness of the Saints to receive instruction on the other. In Nauvoo, Joseph lamented: “I could explain a hundredfold more than I ever have of the glories of the kingdoms manifested to me in the vision, were I permitted, and were the people prepared to receive them.” Permission to reveal and preparation to receive go together. No one is “permitted” to reveal something else unless “the people are prepared to receive them”. That limit also applies to angels. God waits for each person’s preparation before giving them light and truth. We decide what we are willing receive. If you decide you are willing to receive more, then you must follow the path to do so. There are rules which govern these things. We want to find and follow those rules. You cannot avoid the rules and then hope to get what they offer. This book is a guide to discover and apply those rules.

14 – So many people are not prepared with basics – Those who are unprepared will never receive and incorporate spiritual things into their lives. Since they are unwilling to live a higher standard they will not be judged against that standard before they have first had a merciful season to prepare. Almost anyone will accept truth if they are prepared to identify it as truth. But many people are unprepared, and cannot recognize it as true. So, for them, the Lord withholds information to allow them to prepare first. You have no right to impose upon unprepared souls, higher information than they are able to bear. This book is intended only for active, faithful members of the Church with many years of faithful living. It is for those faithful members who have felt there is something  more to the Gospel, but do not have a secure sense of how to proceed to receive it. It is for people whose lives have been filled with years of active service in the Church supporting its programs and providing service to others. It is for those who have attended the temple, and consistently returned to worship there. It is for the few humble followers of Jesus Christ as described by Nephi (2 Ne 28:14). You decide if it is for you.

15 – People today have received the Second Comforter – To receive the Second Comforter we must allow others who have been so blessed to serve as our guides. Their instructions and testimony need to be accepted and followed. The steps in this book are not innovative. They are based entirely on the scriptures. This book will show the propriety of these things from scripture and then show the reader how to approach the task. If this subject makes you uncomfortable, this book may not be suitable for you. Heaven will not open to the skeptic. On the other hand, if you believe there is a deeper level available through faith which you long to experience but is just beyond your reach because you are unsure how to proceed, this book can help you. You may already have the faith required, but you may lack the knowledge or the confidence to realize these things are in fact available to you. Rest assured they are part of Christ’s Gospel. There are people today who have received the Second Comforter. It can be done by any Saint who is willing to abide the conditions set to receive this kind of comfort. It can be done by you.

16 – Rethink – Search into the mysteries of Godliness – Joseph admonished the Saints; “I advise all to go on to perfection, and search deeper and deeper into the mysteries of Godliness.” The notion you should “leave the mysteries alone” has become a mantra for some Saints. Perhaps that is an appropriate mantra for most Saints and in most settings and for all those whose maturity in the Gospel has not prepared them for receiving the deeper things of Christ’s gospel. But there are some Saints who have a legitimate right to these things. Gospel understanding is not meant to make you popular or garner acclaim. It is meant to remake you into a humble servant, to change your heart so you, like the Good Samaritan, will minister to others in need. You will not get recognition for pursuing this effort. It must be a private struggle, about which the world will never know. If you hope for status from the experience, you will be disappointed. But if you wish to know God, you will not [be disappointed].

17 – Visions are private and for our own benefit – Receiving these things does not mean you are authorized to get in front of the Brethren who preside as authorized agents, and begin teaching doctrines either in addition to or different from their authorized message. No one, at any time is authorized to teach beyond what the Lord’s chosen authorities have taught. Joseph said, “…if any person have a vision or a visitation from a heavenly messenger, it must be for his own benefit and instruction…” The mysteries can be received by any person who will follow the process to receive them, but they cannot be taught. You should note that within this last quote from Joseph is the expectation that there will be those who will receive “a vision or visitation from a heavenly messenger.” That is the right of the Saints. It is one of the characteristics of true faith that the heavens communicate to men and women on the earth.

18 – Many people are learned but cannot be taught – However, limited disclosure is one of the requirements of receiving these things. We are to “impart only according to that portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.” (Alma 12:9) If you are incapable of obeying these requirements, then you cannot receive any new mystery by revelation. Heaven will not permit any soul to receive mysteries if they cannot resist revealing them unwisely to others. The constraint that they may be learned but cannot be taught is enforced by withholding them from those who will not be able to abide by this constraint. If you are one of those who cannot respect this limitation, then the process will not work for you. Joseph said, “The reason we do not have the secrets if the Lord revealed to us, is because we do not keep them, but reveal them; we do not keep our own secrets…” Joseph later said, “If God gives you a manifestation; keep it to yourselves.” The Second Comforter is for your individual comfort and instruction, not for public display.

19 – We must be trusted to keep sacred things sacred – An audience must be prepared and worthy to learn of sacred things. This is a binding limitation and an essential part of the process. To be qualified you must be someone who can be trusted to keep sacred things sacred. Of course, when required to testify of something by the Lord, the Lord’s insistence upon that testimony always takes precedence. The general rule is to keep them to yourself. The exception is when the Lord constrains you to do otherwise. The Second Comforter is not provided in order to produce faith. Rather, he comes in response to faith. If you are seeking a sign, it will not be given. He comes to you at the end of a path, and not merely to begin or move you along. If you hope to receive a sign as a result of the message in this book, you will be disappointed. The witness comes after the trial of our faith. These things are given in follow-up to a lengthy process. They are not given before then. “Those who are the most anxious to see these things , are the least prepared to meet them…” (Joseph Smith DHC 5:31). There is a process, and it must be followed. The revelation comes after a maturation process, not before.

20 – Learn to practice perfectly the right sequence – The process needn’t take long, but almost always does. The expression “practice makes perfect” is really incorrect. If you practice imperfectly you cannot hope to become perfect. The expression should be “perfect practice makes perfect.” Having the veil open to you is like seeking to open something kept shut by a combination lock. No amount of turning the dials on the combination lock will open it until you have the right sequence and the right numbers. So it is here. Unless you have the right sequence and the right information, it is not possible to have the veil open. Joseph taught, “That this is a situation to which no man ever arrived in a moment.” Elsewhere, he said, “A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge.” He encouraged us when he said, “If you do right, there is no danger of you going too fast. God does not care how fast we run in the path of virtue. Resist evil and there is no danger.”

21 – Work on the things most wrong at the moment – These things cannot, however, be rushed. You teach complicated or intricate steps one at a time. There should be in the mind of the student only one thing to do. There is always only one thing to do. There is never more than the single thing to be addressed. It is the thing most wrong at the moment. Once that is addressed and corrected, then you can move on to the next thing, where again there is only one thing to do – and it is the next thing in the sequence. When the next skill is acquired, then there is still only one thing to do. So it is with these steps. There is only one thing for you to do. You will know what you need to do within the context of your own life. Whatever it is that most hinders you is the one and only thing you have to do. When it is resolved, you move on to the next thing. If you cannot figure out what the thing you most need to resolve is, ask the Lord. He has always been willing to answer the sincere inquiry of “what lack I yet?” But the answer to that question will always be the one thing you should work on. Never work on three, thirty or fifty things at once.

22 – Feelings are more important than thoughts – There is harmony and balance to this process when it is being done correctly. You can feel it more than think it. You need to seek for balance in your life. It is the object of this work to get you to become balanced, nimble, and more attuned to feeling than to thought. If you are reading this book as an intellectual exercise, or for evaluation purposes only, it will do you no good. This is a workbook, with specific steps that must be done, completed and passed before you are ready to receive more. You will know when you have passed each step. The Lord will reveal it to you, but you must ask him every step of the way. Sometimes, you may need to go back and review a lesson. The Lord will also let you know that if it is needed. If you are not already, you will become comfortable with the voice of the Lord and know what it is he wants you to do to come into his presence and receive what he has to offer. There are some things that can only be received through His personal ministration.

23 – Test the process, experiment, prove it – Much as been written about Denver Snuffer by those who want to criticize his work. In an effort to discredit the process he describes in this book, they want to find and reveal his weaknesses. As you read the book, you will discover that he gives you plenty of ammunition if you want to go that route. Each chapter has a small but instructive vignette from Denver’s personal life that demonstrates his human weaknesses. I can’t imagine a more humble approach in teaching us that even someone as imperfect as Denver can successfully navigate this process. As he writes, “The content of this work stands alone as the authority for these things. If you accept anything from this book, you must do so on the strength of what it says and not who is saying it. This work should not be accepted for any reason other than it persuades you it is true. If it does not persuade you, then you should reject it. Test its teachings. See if they do not provide you with growth in your walk with Christ.”

A New Star Will Soon Shine Forth


Photo credit: Space News

Denver Snuffer doesn’t need my help. He is controversial enough on his own to get all kinds of attention from members of the LDS Church. But when he wrote recently that a new star would soon appear, troubling all the world, and that it would be a sign that he was the Lord’s servant, I felt certain we would read some news articles, or at least see a mention or two by LDS Bloggers.

Except for this thread on New Order Mormon, there was nothing. Nada. How often do you read a prediction or prophecy about a major astronomical event about to come to pass, especially one that will trouble all the world? He writes that the entire world will see this new star and will wonder what it means. His claim that the star is a sign of his status with the Lord is…unusual.

Here’s what he wrote: “When the Seed of the Woman was born, a new star appeared in the heavens. In like manner, when the Lion of Judah returns, as with his first coming, there will be a new star seen. All the world will note its appearance and shall be troubled at its meaning. When it makes its appearance, you may know His return is soon upon the world. You may also know by that sign that He has given to me the words I have faithfully taught as His servant.”

Dealing with Nutcases

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know I don’t think Denver is a nutcase. Jim Harmston (died June 2013) is a nutcase. Warren Jeffs is a nutcase. Even Sterling D. Allan is a bit of a nutcase, based on some of the stuff on his website. Anyone can write about the church, things of a religious nature or whatever they want, and post it online for public consumption, for whatever reason they want.

There are lots of people out there who write about Denver. They have plenty of opinions about what they believe he has said, usually based on what someone else wrote that he said. Sadly, it’s been my observation that very few people have actually taken the time to read his books or study his blog consistently. There’s a reason for that. He’s very prolific. After all, he is a lawyer.

For some reason, many people who write about Denver lump him into the category of nutcase, similar to how we might think of David Koresh. Nothing could be further from the truth. Denver has made it clear that he does not want a following. He does not want people to hang on his every word and he has repeatedly called himself a fool, even writing that we mustn’t trust him.

Comets and Meteors

Six months ago, I taught the Gospel Doctrine class about the signs of the Second Coming of the Lord. Again, anyone who reads my blog knows that this is one of my favorite subjects. As I prepared for that class, I was surprised to learn that a new star will appear at the time the savior is soon to return. Now maybe you already knew this, but I didn’t. It really stood out in my mind.

So you can imagine I paid attention when Denver wrote the same thing on his blog the other day. What kind of star it was that appeared at the birth of the Savior is a matter of conjecture. Some say it was a supernova, others that it was simply a comet. But according to the Book of Mormon, it was unusual in that it caused a night without darkness. Will the same thing happen in our day?

We’re expecting several comets in the near future. One this week made its appearance in the Northern hemisphere. A brighter one is  projected to make its appearance later this year. Comets are really no big deal. They happen all the time, relatively speaking. This year is a little unusual to have two, along with the close passes by all the meteors and the one that exploded over Russia last month.

A Night of No Darkness

I’m going to assume that the star in question is not going to be mistaken for a comet. That leaves the probability of a Supernova. Don’t go thinking for a second that the astronomers will see this thing any sooner than you or me. But you can be sure the media will be all over their favorite science pundits looking for an explanation for this one. The last one was hundreds of years ago.

I should clarify for my science-minded friends. There have been more recent supernova, most notably SN1987A, but you probably didn’t hear about it because, although it could be seen with the naked eye, it was not very bright. I think Denver’s new star we’re talking about will be much brighter and probably much closer. I suspect it will cause a night with no darkness here on earth.

Is the idea that this new star will cause a night with no darkness just a guess? Of course it is. But I’ll claim it as a thoughtful guess. Otherwise, there is just nothing significant enough to make the whole world take notice. The Lord knows this amazing thing is going to happen soon. It has been foretold in scripture. But why would Denver decide to announce it on his blog last Sunday night?

Verify Statements with the Lord

I’m going to go back to that statement by Denver that we should not trust him unless we verify for ourselves that what he has written or said can be confirmed by the Holy Spirit to our souls. I was skeptical when I first started writing about Denver a year ago. In fact, if you go back and read my first essay, I was a little bit upset. Denver turned my world upside down for a while.

However, with each subsequent reading of his books, and I have read most of them several times now, I became more and more convinced that he was the real deal, meaning that his claims to have been ministered to by the Lord were legitimate and that the Lord asked him to write at least his first book. Don’t call me a Snufferite. I’m just convinced that Denver is a servant of the Lord.

Now, that’s a huge claim that we usually reserve for the men that we sustain as prophets and as apostles in this church. I also use it for Stake Presidents, Bishops, High Priests Group Leaders, Elder’s Quorum Presidents and humble home teachers. In fact, I consider any man or woman who seeks to do what the Lord wants them to do, to be a servant or maidservant of the Lord.

The Warrior Planet Mars

I find it interesting that there is current conjecture in the news about a comet that may possibly hit the planet Mars next year. In fact, one of the comets (ISON) coming by the earth later this year will also pass close to Mars, but not as close as comet Siding Spring next year. As you can tell, even though I am not a scientist per se, I love to follow astronomical and cosmological news.

Immediately upon the announcement of these events, the speculation began that should the comet hit Mars, it could possibly throw it out of its orbit, even if just a little bit. What do you think popped into my mind as soon as I read that? I wondered if perhaps that little red planet might somehow make it way a bit closer towards the earth sometime in the next few years.

To me, this is exciting news. But then, I thought people would get excited when Shoemaker-Levy disintegrated and impacted Jupiter back in 1994. Ho-hum. Didn’t happen here. Didn’t affect me so no big deal. But what if, just what if, that little red planet does start to meander on over here? Could it possibly affect us and make some sort of interruption in our daily lives?

The Lion of Judah Returns

Well, my regular readers know the answer to that one. I am a fan of Velikovsky, Anthony Larson and the alternative view of cosmology known as the Electric Universe. I subscribe to the theory that at one point in time in the recent history of the world, approximately 747 BC to 687 BC, the planet Mars menaced our planet, caused great destruction and terrified the people of the earth.

I also believe something similar will happen again as part of the prophesied destruction of the latter days, just prior to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Only this time, instead of coming as the Babe of Bethlehem in mildness and meekness, he will come as the Lion of Judah, full of fierceness and vengeance. The Lion of Judah will open the book and loose the seven seals.

The Lord uses natural means to accomplish his great designs. The destruction of the last days is not without purpose or meaning. We have lived in cosmological peace for so many thousands of years that we are totally complacent about the possibility of catastrophic calamities coming to the earth again. I am certain good people will return to God in times of distress that now approach.

Seeking After a Sign

And now to Denver’s claim that we may know by this sign that he has faithfully taught the words the Lord has given him. I confess that when I first read that I thought of the scriptural phrase, “It is a wicked and adulterous generation that seeketh after a sign.” Why should we need a sign to know if Denver was fulfilling his assignment from the Lord? Can’t we just ask him directly?

The answer, of course, is that you can and should ask the Lord directly to know for yourself if what Denver has taught is the truth. And not just generally overall, but even about specific things that he has shared. The same applies to everything we hear from our prophets and apostles. We should ask the Lord if what they have taught is true. We do not believe in prophetic infallibility.

In this case, because so many people have ignored or mocked Denver, I suspect the man feels that he has not been effective in fulfilling his assignment. This sign may not come in the next few years. It may not come until many years from now. Somehow, between now and then, like in the Book of Mormon, I suspect Denver will be even more persecuted by those who are in power.

Denver has no Spokesman

Denver has written that nobody speaks for him. I can’t help it if I come up second in a Google search for Denver Snuffer. I’ve only written a few essays in an effort to understand what I’ve read over the past year. That’s how I learn. I read, I write, I share. You read, you comment and I adjust my thinking as necessary. You don’t know how much I appreciate dissenting viewpoints.

I don’t mind you telling me I’m investing an inordinate amount of time in studying the writings of Denver Snuffer. Really I’m not – maybe just a few hundred hours over the past year. Like you, I have a regular life in which I work, I travel, I spend time with my family and I fulfill my calling for the Stake Presidency. It’s just that I’ve gotten so much satisfaction out of Denver’s books.

Like I said at the beginning, Denver doesn’t need anyone to defend him. I hope I’m not causing him distress by all these essays on his books. I have a half dozen more planned along with a whole bunch of other stuff that the Lord keeps giving me. Do you get like that when you write – you just can’t stop because the more you write, the more the ideas flow for future articles?

An Entirely Different Subject

I’d like to conclude this little essay with a request for some help in understanding a website and book I ran across a few years ago. The website is and the book is The Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I suppose it’s not entirely unrelated since what Denver has invited us to do is to converse with the Lord through the veil. Has anybody else dealt with these people?

Has anybody else read it? If so, what did you think of it? I thought about doing a book review but still need to finish a couple of others in the queue, most notably Mel Fish’s Healing the Inner Self. The book seems to be based on what these folks have learned from Denver’s first book and then shortened it down to the point where you can ask the Lord three specific direct questions.

In prayer, ask “Have I made my calling and election sure? Wait for a response. If negative, ask “May I have your promise that I will be exalted and receive all the blessings of eternal life right now?” If negative, ask, “What do I need to ‘become’ to be worthy of this promise?” Wait for it… The idea is that this is supposed to be the quickest way to having your calling and election sure.

Bear Witness of Parting the Veil

There’s a lot more that goes before and after that little paragraph found on page 61 of the book. I did some fasting and temple preparation about a year ago and put it to the test. What I got was “No, No, and You need more time.” I found it kind of frustrating. “Time for what?” I asked. No answer. “Seasoning” was all I could come up with. Sigh. I put the book aside until recently.

I’m thinking of reading Denver’s first book again. This will probably make the fifth time. I wish I could talk to the man personally. I’ll bet many people have chatted with him about this in the past. But I’m a Southern California boy and he’s in Salt Lake so there you go. I get up to SLC about once or twice a year and usually only because I’m passing through to Brigham or Logan.

I’m convinced we can and should have sacred spiritual experiences where we are able to part the veil, receive instruction from divine messengers and be allowed to bear witness that this is what the Lord wants us to do. I’ve had enough encounters with the dark spirits in my life. How I long for the further light and knowledge that comes from conversing with the Lord through the veil.

All are Invited to the Feast

OlympicCompetitionThe Great Competition is the ninth of Denver Snuffer’s Ten Parables. It is short, one of the shorter parables in the book, at only seven pages. Yet it is the one I have pondered the most over the past year. I have shared it with Carol, offered my opinion, asked hers. We are not in agreement. I have not seen much discussion of the parable on the Internet. I don’t think it has been widely read or discussed.

When I wrote about this before, I was rather orthodox in my interpretation. I offer it here for comparison, but this is no longer how I view this parable. If you haven’t read the original parable, you really must purchase the book and do so. It begins, “There was a King who loved his people. He also loved the competition of games.” It’s $12.99 at Amazon – $5 Kindle edition.

An Early Interpretation of the Parable

Here’s what I wrote last year after the first reading: “This one is about the plan of salvation, told from a very long-range view, including the great battle at the end of the world between the forces of good and evil. Denver has drawn some profound implications of what happens at that great event because those who chose not to come to compete were invited to the great feast at the end.

“The focus is on loyalty. Who would remain true to the king in spite of the seeming unfairness of the competition designed to cause a great division among the people? I would love to share this one in a Sacrament talk or Sunday school lesson, but of course, you and I know that one cannot quote from unorthodox sources in church.” Like the parable, my analysis was short and sweet.

When Good Men Are Excommunicated

A lot has happened to me in the past year, mainly through my study of the gospel, my writings and the responses of many of you to my essays. One particularly eventful episode was my interview and subsequent report on what happened to Mel Fish, a man who searched deeply for truth, believed he found it and was excommunicated when he tried to share it with others.

Mel’s excommunication affected me deeply. I confess I was incensed. As I wrote before, I only know one side of the story and will never know the other side. What happened to Mel caused me to deeply rethink my understanding of the purpose of life, the purpose of what we do in this church and the purpose of tests – the kind of tests that, if we’re not careful, tear a family apart.

Denver Snuffer Disciplinary Action

For those who don’t know, Denver Snuffer is going through the same process in our church. He is being investigated for disciplinary action. This is no secret. He has made it clear through the writings of his own blog. Like many of you, I have plenty of contacts at Church Headquarters. I am not privy to any inside information. But I do know his investigation is soon coming to a head.

In the church we’re taught that disciplinary action for apostasy is only taken when one has been openly or deliberately disobedient to direction from priesthood leaders to cease from teaching certain things they find offensive or to be, in effect, false doctrine. Once you have published a book, or written an essay on a blog, how can you take back what you have caused to be written?

Stand Up for What you Believe

I suppose you could simply write something new, disavowing all the things you have previously written, but that seems so disingenuous, as if you are just doing that to stave off inevitable action. To each man, there comes a time when he must stand by what he has studied and thought about, prayed about and decided to be true. Else what is the purpose of intellectual pursuit?

If you can’t be true to what you feel the Lord has led you to understand, then of what use are you to the Lord? Either stand up for what you feel the Lord gave you to share, then share it and teach it, especially if you know it can benefit and bless those who believe. The Lord gives passion to men for a reason – so that others will pay attention when they proclaim something is important.

We are in the Great Competition Now

In the parable of the Great Competition, we learn that not all were blessed with the same gifts or talents. Some would never be able to compete in the area of physical strength, musical talent, intellectual or academic excellence, patience or a myriad of other virtues to improve the health and vigor of the people. We could all watch and could all compete as we felt endowed to do so.

Some refused to compete and left the playing field in anger. They claimed the competition was not fair and said they would do all they could to disrupt the games. And they did. They offered no support of those trying to excel. In fact, they discouraged them, whispering in their ears that the competition was unfair, unwise and a waste of time and effort. They were well organized.

Evil Spirits Who Followed Lucifer

So far, I’m confident nobody could miss the implications of this parable. Those who opposed the competition were those who followed Lucifer. They did not believe it possible to succeed. They believed Satan who said the competition wasn’t fair. They did not listen closely when the King explained the competition was designed to test loyalty as well as improve the lives of the people.

“After the days of the competition ended, a great feast was called. For the feast, the King invited not only those citizens who participated in the games, but also those who had fled the city rather than participate. Those who had remained loyal and participated in the games were troubled by this. … Many of those who participated resented the presence of those who had fled.” (Page 87)

All Are Invited to the Feast

And that is what I would like to focus on for just a moment. I don’t know if the feast Denver has presented here in this parable is the same as the wedding feast found in Matthew 22. It doesn’t matter. What matters is the animosity felt by some that others were invited who they considered unworthy or unacceptable. The great feast turned into a great argument over who was worthy.

In the end, those who opposed the king’s decision were cast out. Only those who remained were able to live in peace. The fairness or unfairness of what they may have encountered in life did not bother them. They were at peace. They were loyal to the King and his plan. It did not bother them that some had not participated in the competition as they had. The King loved and accepted those who opposed him at first just as he had loved and accepted those who were loyal all along.

The Doctrine of Repentance

I want to now apply this to current events in my life. I have recently found at least three sources or individuals who teach a doctrine that I have always disagreed with because of the fairness principle involved. It has to do with forgiveness of those who rebelled against the Lord at the beginning. I suspect that teaching of this doctrine may be grounds for excommunication. I am not teaching it. I am simply explaining it as I have come to understand it. You decide its truth.

Here is the doctrine: Some evil spirits can repent. Some evil spirits can change sides. Some evil spirits can choose to do good things with their agency. Therefore, some evil spirits have not yet forfeited their agency. By definition, they are no longer evil spirits but simply spirits who have never been and never will have a mortal experience. These are not the same as unclean spirits.

How False Doctrine Comes About

Of course one must ask, “Why would evil spirits have any desire to turn from promoting Satan and his works to encouraging others to follow the Savior and his teachings? What benefit could they possibly derive from such a course of action, assuming it was even possible? And of course the second but possibly more important question: “Is it really possible for evil spirits to change?”

One theologian posted in clear and unmistakable terms that there is neither the desire nor the ability of evil spirits to repent. He proposed that the idea is a foolish thought. He rejected the notion that a fallen, rebellious spirit would have any desire to pursue salvation, especially when none is offered. The sin against the Holy Ghost is unpardonable. Rebellious spirits would have nothing to gain by turning from darkness to light. Therefore there is no reason to do so.

An Example From Real Life

And yet, read this from Mel Fish, then tell me if you think he was deceived. Mel is not the first to have shared something like this, but this example is one of the most profound I have discovered. It is found in his book, Healing the Inner Self, pages 121 through 123. My wife and I also heard him tell this story and have it recorded. It is a powerful story with a real teaching moment.

—– Beginning of Quote —–

One day a woman came to me. She had been attacked by a legion of devils. She was in intense pain and paralyzed on one side of her body. As I worked with this woman, I had several others with me, helping me. I sought help because there were so many of those spirits present. We needed all the power and faith that we as a group could exert.

As we worked with these spirits, teaching and commanding, they left one or two at a time. After two hours of struggle, there were only two spirits left. At that time these spirits took control of this woman and began speaking to us through her voice.

“Go away and leave us alone,” they said. “We are far too powerful for you to control. You could never send us away.”

“What makes you think you are so powerful?”

“In Satan’s kingdom there are many levels of authority and power. The two of us stand next to him in authority, and therefore there is no one more powerful than we are, except for Satan himself.”

At this point I said a silent prayer, asking the Lord what I should do. The answer came into my mind very clearly, “Send them to the Light.”

I argued with the Lord saying, “I can’t send them to the light. They are the wicked ones that are to be cast out into outer darkness at the time of the final judgment.”

“No, send them to the Light.” The answer came again. “I still love them.”

I spent the next hour trying to teach these two spirits and convince them that it was possible for them to go to the Light. They argued and insisted that they were too wicked and evil, and that there was no way that the Lord would accept them.

Finally, I asked, “How long have you been fighting against Christ?”

“For millions of years.”

“What has been your goal in all of that struggle?”

“To lead people away from Christ into the fold of Satan, and we have been very successful.”

“You know that there is opposition in all things. If one can leave Christ and embrace Satan, you can leave Satan and embrace Christ.” Just look up. He is there with outstretched arms waiting for you.”

Suddenly this woman fell to the floor and contorted in a way that I have never before witnessed. The expression on her face and her body language communicated the greatest degree of sadness I have ever witnessed. At this point the spirits began to weep saying, “He lied. He lied. He told us that if we would follow him he would force us to do good, and we would automatically go to the highest heavens. All he has done is force us to do evil and we hate it. He has us trapped. We have to do everything he says or he will punish us.”

“Your day of deliverance has come,” I said. “Turn to Christ. Give your burdens to him. He will forgive you. He will take all your darkness and replace it with light. He will then take you into a world of light where you can finish the healing process and resume your eternal progression.”

“If we did that, we would lose our great power.”

“What you perceive to be great power is only the power to destroy. Anyone can destroy. Real power is the power to create. Your only hope of getting that real power is to embrace the Light, accept the healing that comes from Christ, and allow him to take you to that realm of light.”

At this point, this woman relaxed. Calmness spread throughout her body and throughout the entire room. It was evident that they were gone. This wonderful woman was completely recovered from her paralysis.

—– End of Quote ——

Well, that’s enough to illustrate the point. I can provide many other examples but will refrain. My purpose is not sensationalism, but discussion of doctrine. Who is correct – the well-published theologian or the humble, but now excommunicated man, Mel Fish, who has helped hundreds, if not thousands of people, rid themselves of the influence of evil and unclean spirits? Teach me.

Difference Between Evil and Unclean Spirits

Remember, there is a difference between evil spirits and unclean spirits. Evil spirits have never been born into this mortal existence. Unclean spirits have been born and died but have not gone to the light. They still hang around, bound by the pull of the flesh – an addiction or some other mortal temptation that they continue to seek by momentarily inhabiting the body of another.

And just to wrap this up into the parable offered by Denver Snuffer, is it possible that these evil spirits represent those who will be invited to the great feast at the end of the competition? In fact, aren’t all invited and aren’t all welcome at the King’s table, both those who have been mortal and those who not only didn’t participate but discouraged others from doing so successfully?

Only a Theological Exercise

But then, it’s just a parable – food for thought. What do you think? Can evil spirits repent? Or is Mel Fish simply trying to say that God will do with them as he sees fit. Perhaps he is not really teaching that they can repent, only that they can choose to go to the light if they have a reason. If you invite an evil spirit to go to the light and you think they have gone, have you been deceived?

Disclaimer: Please don’t accuse me of teaching false doctrine. This is only a theological exercise. If this sort of writing offends you or causes you concern, please don’t read it or give it a second thought. And please don’t complain to the Strengthening Church Members Committee that Brother Malone needs to be talked to by his Stake President. This is just a blog in which I review books.

Note 1: If you want to read more of this kind of stuff online: Go to Unclean Spirits Blog. I don’t know the author. I have communicated with him by email but he wishes to remain anonymous.

Note 2: I have added a link to a three-page PDF of the full copy of the theological argument against evil spirits having any desire or motivation to repent. Let me know if think you know the author. I would like to give him credit. It is quoted in Doug Mendenhall’s book: Conquering Spiritual Evil.