A witness from God can be relied upon. As you read our thoughts, beliefs, and experiences, we invite you to obtain a witness for yourself. If something we say or imply does not ring true, then you should feel no obligation to accept it. Life is an individual and unique journey with God. Although we can help and encourage each other, we need to be careful not to come between God and another person.

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Reality of Satan

“The things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity—thou must commune with God. ” Joseph Smith, DHC 3:295 

“And these signs shall follow them that believe—in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover;” Mormon 9:24

Those who think the devil only has power to tempt and put thoughts into your mind have been deceived by the evil spirits that possess your body.

The Devil doesn't want us to know how real he is.  He likes to stay hidden and undetected. "And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance. 2 Nephi 28:22

In the day of judgment the unrepentant will say, "O that we had repented in the day that the word of the Lord came unto us . . . Behold, we are surrounded by demons, yea, we are encircled about by the angels of him who hath sought to destroy our souls. Behold, our iniquities are great. O Lord, canst thou not turn away thine anger from us? And this shall be your language in those days. But behold, your days  of probation are past; ye have procrastinated the day of your salvation until it is everlastingly too late, and your destruction is made sure; yea, for ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain; and ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity, which thing is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head." Helaman 13:36-38

I have had many experiences where I have seen and felt the destructive reality of Satan, his devils, and demons. I have learned: First, the dark side is real, active, and constantly causing trouble.  Second, through the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ, we have command over and can cast out darkness and all its hellish hues. It’s a matter of choice.  Who is our master?  Who do we choose to follow?

In 2006, I spent about 4 months in Haiti. I was lying on my bed one night, when I felt this power pressing down upon my chest.  I couldn’t call out for help, or move my body.  I knew evil spirits were attacking me.  My mind was still working, so I thought the words, “I am a child of God.” They left, and I was released from the power that held me bound.

One night, one of our little boys was having trouble breathing.  It sounded like he was breathing through one of those tiny coffee straws.  His air supply was being cut off.  The thought came into my mind to check for the presence of evil spirits.  We cast out the evil spirits, and within 30 seconds he was breathing normally again.

Help doesn’t always come immediately.  Sometimes there is a lesson for me to learn, or I lack information.  My understanding in this area is still deficient, but I have confidence in God’s power to lead me through the minefield. I know that continuing to call upon God has brought answers and relief.

Brigham Young said, “You never felt a pain and ache, or felt disagreeable, or uncomfortable in your bodies and minds, but what an evil spirit was present causing it.  Do you realize that the ague, the fever, the chills, the severe pain in the head, the pleurisy, or any pain in the system, from the crown of the head to the soles of the feet, is put there by the devil?  You do not realize this, do you? . . . The spirits that afflict us and plant disease in our bodies, pain in the system, and finally death, have control over us so far as the flesh is concerned.” JD 4:133

During Christ’s mortal ministry, he was constantly casting out devils and unclean spirits.  Do we think that being possessed by evil spirits is a thing of the past?  The devils don’t want us to recognize them or see the havoc they generate in our lives. Once we recognize them and see the problem for what it is, we can get rid of them.  Through the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ, we can choose to cast evil out of our lives.

I am not interested in playing with these devils or entertaining them in any form, fashion, or way.  I am only interested in detecting their presence, casting them out, filling my life with light and love, and shielding my family from their destructive work.

The LDS Church did a professional job creating a new First Vision movie; but I was greatly alarmed when I saw that they deleted the scene where Satan attacked Joseph Smith before he saw God Joseph Smith First Vision Part 2 YouTube. That deletion should not be taken lightly. 

If we’re going to see God, we’ve got to know that Satan will seek to destroy us.  He definitely does not want us to be redeemed.  We don’t need to be afraid. “Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me.” D&C 50:41. Recognizing the pattern is very helpful in knowing what to expect. It is reassuring to know that God will deliver us as we continue to call upon Him.

 15 After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.
 16 But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction—not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being—just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.
 17 It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him! JSH 1:15-17

As a Side Note: I just started reading the book Conquering Spiritual Evil by Douglas H. Mendenhall.  This book has been a manual for me in helping me recognize the tricks and tactics of the devil. Even though I have had some experience, I still don’t know very much. I am learning how to cast out evil, the importance of filling my life with light and love, and how to shield my family from the powers of darkness.  The book has proved very beneficial.  I am told you can find the book at Confetti Bookstore, 273 North Main Street, Spanish Fork, UT 84660 (801) 798-0137

3 comments:

  1. I can second the recommendation for Doug Mendenhall's book. I thought it was terrific. One of my favorite parts was when he said...People don't like to talk about Satan thinking that it will make them a target for the evil one. Guess what? If you are following Christ, you are already a target.
    The book is a great tool to defend yourself against the adversary. I too would highly recommend it.
    Bruce

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  2. I just finished reading Conquering Spiritual Evil by Doug Mendenhall. Incredible reading and learning experience. I was moved by the reality of evil around us and things we can do to have power over it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just finished reading the book too.
    It is about Christ.
    Then again, what isn't?

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