Note: This is an excerpt from my current project “Reflections: An Intimate Perspective of Mind Disorders”, an autobiography I am excited to bring to fruition.
At this point in my writing, I will now add in spiritual experiences I’ve had that I feel are exponentially important to the subject of interest at hand. These I will enter in, as this is the first attempt I’ve ever made to write them out. I will also portray the truthfulness of these experiences, for had these experiences not been true, and given to me by the Holy Spirit and spiritual nature of them, I would have long forgotten them, after these many years which have since transpired from the time that I received them.
As I have mentioned somewhat of the difficulties which I have faced with my mental illness, I have not as yet mentioned the reality of the gross hold which the adversary did once have on me. Although I have always been a good person at heart, and never intentionally evil, despite the fact of all the abuse and pressure upon my soul, I was further wrought upon by the influence of evil spirits, to the fact they had more power over me due to my mental illness. If I have not as yet made myself clear of the unfair advantage that evil can have on persons with mental illness, I will do so here.
First I will need to go into some true doctrines taught in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are this: We lived before we came here as spirit children of our Heavenly Father. We knew and loved Him, and He us. He presented a plan that would send us here to earth, to provide us with physical bodies, which would also be a part of our test. We are to be stewards of our bodies, and learn to take care of them and make correct choices, thus keeping the commandments of God. Heavenly Father knew that we would need to have these earthly experiences to enable us to become more like Him, and gain the reward of all that He is and has. For this is His desire, work and glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
As part of this plan we would need to forget about our prior life with Him, and learn to walk by faith. All of this to create the proper battle ground to achieve the very best in who we are, and who we are to become. This forgetting is referred to as having a veil placed over our minds, to cover that part of our memory, so that we cannot remember living with God, so that we may learn to have faith, walk in obedience, and earn our reward in heaven. I believe that this veil has two parts. The first is to veil the feelings we had from living with our Father in Heaven, so that we would need to again learn to know Him, and the second, to veil the memories we had with Him there too.
Now I will explain the portion of evil that the adversary had over me. It is true that there is a portion of the veil which is thinner, or less in force, for people with mental illness. It is the portion of the veil which deals with having the ability to feel what we had with Heavenly Father in the world before we came to earth. Satan fully knows this, and has jumped right in to take full advantage of this. This state of having a thinner veil in this manner is really a condition of being able to feel heaven’s presence stronger, or the devil’s presence stronger.
With people who become mentally ill, it is usually because of some abuse they’ve had in life, or drugs, or other factors related to genes passed down from their family. I will not attempt to discuss this subject in any detail here, because there is so much to know, but it will be discussed in another part of this book.
Because of these situations of how and why people become mentally ill, Satan already has some form of darkness to hang over the heads of individuals with mental illness, and he goes full force and all out to stop these individuals from any progression they might have, if they were to realize their ability to also become closer to God through this condition. With this in mind, know that it is truly a miracle which can happen for anyone and everyone who has a mental illness, to go from the death, hell and misery of mental illness, to the ability to be and feel closer to God, through the means previously discussed. As for me, it is a great and treasured privilege I possess, to be able to have a closer, more perfect way of accessing the powers of the Lord and heaven, through this thinner portion of the veil.
It is now time to tell you of the first experience I had of a spiritual nature, which you might not have understood or appreciated, had I not first instructed you concerning the nature of these things. It was at this time in my life, when I had evil doing all it could to overpower me. I must first describe the three levels at which evil can influence us. The first is darkness and temptation, as all are viable to. The second, being what is called possessed by a demon or devil, as was recorded in different places in the Holy Bible, where the devils had a measure of physical and mental control over the individuals. The third, is what is in-between these two. This third, or middle area, is the category I fell into. I know for a fact, that had I been evil in my core, I would have been possessed. It was my good heart and intentions which prevented this from being the case.
In this state of me fighting the evil which sought to ultimately possess me and bring me to destruction, I fought moment to moment, with no time for rest or respite. A time in which it was the devil’s desire to fight me into a place where I would succumb to the evil being pushed upon me, so that they, or it, could have total possession of my body, with me still inside it.
I fought, and fought, and fought, but oh how hard it was, when at every turn they would hamper and influence me toward other stuff, poisonous to my soul, as well as my family’s.
It was during this difficult time in our lives, when I was seeing an LDS counselor, who was in the middle of getting his practitioners license. He had been a convert to the church, and had experienced many great and wonderful things concerning the church, with spiritual experiences and feelings. He had been giving firesides, which is a term for describing an event in which a person or persons would have the opportunity to go to various Wards and Stakes to share their story, experiences, and testimony. He was well loved and highly respected.
It was at this time that I was in a session with him, and because of the evil spirits interfering with my very soul, it was evident that not much progress was being able to be made. At this point the room got very quiet, even in a manner which silenced the adversary which was upon me. Then this good brother commenced, in a noticeable difference of tone and spirit, and he said to me, “Now, let’s try something different. I want to try an experiment with you. Let’s just play a game and say that you can go anywhere you want to. If you want to go to the right, move you hand to the right, and you can go as far to the right as you want.” And he motioned to me with his hand. He then continued, “If you want to go to the left, move your hand to the left, and you can go as far to the left as you want.” He then said, “If you want to go up…,” and as soon as he said this, I moved my hand up.
As soon as I had done so, I literally left my body and went up, up, up into space, where it looked darker, as it would look being above the earth from space, intermittently dotted with the stars of heaven. Once at a certain place I stopped, and there I saw the Lord Jesus Christ appear about 10 feet away. He was not facing me, but was facing sideways, even to my right. It was there that something very significant and spiritual happened.
At this time I need to teach another doctrine taught in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints so that you can understand what I’m about to discuss. In the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, we are taught that we have always existed as intelligences, and were then born as the literal children of our Heavenly Father. This means that our intelligent spirits were then clothed upon through birth from our Heavenly parents, with an added dimension. This was that our intelligences were then added upon with the ability to feel, have emotions, and to give and receive love. Interesting to know as well, is that both parts of our spirits, the knowledge or intelligence, and the emotional or feelings parts, are both in the image of God, even as we now look. For as the scripture states, we were formed (our physical bodies) in the image of God. We are our spirits, with the ability to learn and feel, now clothed in a physical body, all in the image of God, for He is our literal Father. All three parts of us together are referred to in the church as the soul. We are now living with the veil to help us be tested and prepared to live with God again.
Now for the experience. At this time, as I saw the Lord ahead of me, a part of my spirit separated from me, and went and stood before the Lord. I could not see any form or part of this other part of me, but I knew that it was in the shape of a man, because the Lord reached around and embraced it, and in the same motion, kissed this other spirit half of me on the face, three times on each cheek. I then became aware that this other part of me, the feelings part, began to converse with the Lord. The Lord told it, that He would grant me a gift, any gift I would ask. I was then aware that this part of me asked the Lord for protection from the evil which so easily had influence in me, that they could no longer enter in to torment me. The Lord granted.
This emotion part of me then came back to me, the Lord left, and again united, I moved my hand down so that I began to come back down to where my body was. It was at this time that a curious phenomenon occurred. As I now had my hand moved down, moving back down to again enter into my body from space, my body’s hand was still moved up as previously, to have me go up. As I rejoined with my body, the strangest feeling happened regarding my hand. It was as if moving my hand down when it was already down, for my spiritual hand was already down, and my body’s hand was up. This felt so strange, and it puzzled me to a great degree.
When I again was in the presence of the councilor, he continued on as he was, and he then suggested to me that we say a prayer. He asked if I would have him or I say the prayer. I said him. We then closed our eyes and he began. It wasn’t long into the prayer when he suddenly stopped and said to me, “Shane, do you know that there is fire all around you?” I said, “No.” He said, “Yes, that’s why I stopped praying.”
Then as he continued, I kept sensing something off to my left which was troubling to me. The councilor prompted me and said, “Don’t worry, they are angry, but they can’t hurt you.” I then ignored these evil spirits, and they went away, now having no more power to be in me, or even around me as powerfully as before. With this gift which gladly took place, my recovery was now on a more even playing battleground, and I was able to begin to make some real progress.
I was recently graced by the presence of a young man in a situation where we had the opportunity to have a pretty good sized conversion. While in the interest of getting to know each other, he happened to confide in me of a challenge he faces. That of homosexuality. This young man had been faithfully doing his best to fulfill a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, when his companion stole a peak at his journal, and discovered this about him.
After being sent home, this young man felt frustrated and confused. We talked about this same church’s doctrine of the reality of him having an eternal and divine nature, which includes gender. We have always existed, and have always been, either male or female.
I told him that his spirit, who he really is, is, and always has been male. I helped him understand that this particular trial was not him, but his fallen body.
I exorted him to not let his body defeat him, but to overcome and be victorious. I told him that he, through the atonement of Jesus Christ, could change the nature of his body, so that it wouldn’t trouble him in this way anymore. I also told him that he could have the true desires of his heart, that of family, as he had related to me. I gave him proper praise for choosing not to act out on his bodily trials, and I believe and hope I made a good difference for him.
It was nice to meet this individual’s acquaintance, and give counsel I felt was appropriate. God speed friend.
Have you ever been in a situation where you are feeling happy and content with yourself, when all of the sudden someone who doesn’t even really know you comes out and bitterly insults you right in front of others that you know and interact directly with on a regular basis? This happened to me yesterday, and is actually the inspiration for this post. Yes, this is proof that good is by nature better, stronger, and always overcomes evil.
After this individual’s comment I just basically ignored it and went on about my business working with and interacting with my friends and did what needed to be done. I didn’t add fuel to or even feel very hurt by such a shocking comment by this bystander. I simply knew that I am alright in God’s eyes, and knew that this insinuation was false and a lie from hell. This person then left and went on his way.
My observation is this. Two forces, namely good and evil. In this situation one was up against the other. My findings are as follows. We all have an effect on each other, whether for good or evil. In this situation, my goodness and righteous light came in conflict with this other person’s dark and unhappy form of misery. In an attempt to settle things down for his ends and means, this individual made his remarks, and the two forces met.
As I was in my element, serving my Lord and God, he was also in his unhealthy untrue and unhappy self in sin and Satan, trying to take down goodness and make his mark. The result, I was fine, went about doing my part, and the individual left, and… here is the kicker, the point and reason for this whole post. He was effected. In what way? He was effected for good. He was not just left to go on his “merry” way trying to create misery. He was pierced by the truth, to know that he had lost to a superior power. He had to face the fact that his way had lost, and that it was not the ultimate force as he had been deceived to believe.
My point, don’t give up your light! Hold it up true and bright! It is the stuff love and truth is made of. It is and has the power to defeat all and every aspect of darkness there is. What happens when you turn on a light? We all know this. So don’t be afraid to be what needs to be, do what needs to be done, and say what needs to be said. You will always be victorious!
Joseph Smith was victorious even in death. We are all victorious as we do and follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in spirit and truth. Let’s remember to never leave the path that leads us home. Let us be true disciples, vigorous in keeping the commandments and being true to our covenants. We are on the winning team, not only in the end, but in every single battle, no matter how small or big.
The Lord be with you and your family and life. Peace and blessings.
A time for new resolutions. A time to enact greater output with our lives through exerting more input. A place where greater growth from diligent sowing and harvest appears. The proper way to build up productivity and all around health and habits, Resolution Restitution. Never heard of it, well, it’s new! Actually, it really isn’t new. The subject of life improvement and growth has been around for as long as forever. The correct principles and truths that govern our progress from grace to grace have always been around. So what is this sketch really all about then?
Well, this is a basic outline of some fundamental building points you will need to know to help you be successful in your new resolutions, in your life’s journey, and into the next. So simple it sounds? And so the best things usually are.
Just think of it, an absolute point of fact knowledge, even beyond the senses. Truth, which never changes, that once understood, bears testimony and witness of itself. How, do you say? Because truth, or the way things really are, only understood through our righteous living and confirmed through the Holy Ghost, is always firm and never fails. To put it in point blank terms, truth is indestructible, no matter who fights against it.
Now, how does this truth relate to our topic at hand of goals and resolutions? In scripture, the Lord says, “aBut bseek ye first the ckingdom of God, and his drighteousness; and all these ethings shall be fadded unto you.” Matthew 6:33. The key principle taught here is this: Come unto God in all your doings, and the desires of your heart which are righteous shall be added or given unto you. So, how do we accomplish this?
The best way I know how to teach is to give a principle, and then show an example of it in a life scenario. For this example we will use a common resolution that many have or try to have. Better physical health. Instead of putting yourself at a disadvantage by telling yourself you have to do this and then every step of the way barricading yourself by telling yourself you are not winning, let’s try a different approach.
1. Putting first things first: The best and really only way to exact change in a being is to get them to see their situation at the ground level for what it is, and then give them the proper perspective and confidence they need to succeed.
For example, let’s take me. I know I need to improve my health through cardiovascular exercise. Now, I could be unkind to myself in thought and word and say in essence, “Hey, you are lazy! You need to exercise and lower your cholesterol.” Not a very proactive approach to bringing about change. Most people know that betterment and change doesn’t come from criticizing or putting down. So what could the alternative be then?
Let’s look at the alternative. OK, I’m wanting to exercise to improve how I feel, and give myself more physical and mental energy. Here then is an example of the right way to do things. A spiritual context is the proper lens to view this through.
“In the morning I say my prayers. In my prayers I think of my Mom and feel inspired to call her, and give her healthy praise for the good influence she is in my life. While talking, we happen to discuss getting together to go for a walk. We do so, and in walking we get to talking about our faith. While this happens, the topic of conversation leads to how I feel I would be more spiritually strengthened if I were to feel better physically (a true phenomenon by the way). My Mom suggests that she is going to be getting a pass to a recreation center, and wants me to go with her as a work-out buddy. We start going, and we bond as we share these experiences. Working out becomes a pleasure, and is meaningful for us both, in more ways than one.”
Now, let’s analyze this situation to see if we can deduce the evidence of what happened here, and why it was successful. First, I took mental thought and note of what I wanted, to workout. Second, I went about following and serving the Lord. I said my prayers and followed through with what the Spirit told me to do. Third, the way was prepared, and I ended up loving and making a routine of working out, and enjoyed it. All parts of a successful recipe for achieving a desired goal. Yes, I planned, I prepared, and I followed through, but all in a very natural and non-forcing manner. There are always going to be times we need to push ourselves to do what needs to be done, even when we don’t want to, but forcing ourselves to do something is only helpful in this context of building confidence, and achieving the necessary.
2. Naturally, never forcing: The Lord can be the Master of our lives, and make of us all we are meant to be (even as He), as we live our lives for, and with Him. It is a process we are all meant to make, through consecrating our all to the Lord and His kingdom. In this we do His will, and not our own. His will and way is eternal life and exaltation. Our way and will leads to a lesser path, and thus a lesser end. We are meant to follow God and have joy in becoming like Him in each trial we face.
3. Following Through: As our hearts are tried along the way, as they most assuredly will be, we must continue with this faith, trust, commitment, keeping the commandments, and obeying personal commandments that the Lord will give from time to time. In so doing, we will be guided along the way, and our life carved, molded, and brought to a newness, in His most gracious glorious and personalized plan, which will ultimately be for our utmost joy and involvement in the Kingdom of Heaven.
So at this time of growth and new beginnings, let’s remember to “…see that all these things are done in wisdom and aorder; for it is not requisite that a man should run bfaster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.” Mosiah 4:27
May we draw nearer unto the Lord, and find our path unto Him and his kingdom, every day and evermore.
Haven’t we all pondered the concept of the reality of an all-knowing God? In this sketch I want to explore this subject as it relates to the nature of computers. Let’s look at the fact of the computer language binary code to help us prove the existence of God. This because as the scripture states, “…all things denote there is a God…”. Consider this verse in Alma 30:44 below for a reference:
But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.
In binary code there is only one way of creating any form of output. This code is based off of two factors. One being the presence of electricity, and the other being the absence of it. The presence being namely 1, and the absence being namely 0. Thus the subject at hand of ones and zeros.
There is either power or no power, and a set or code of these can be programed or put into place to reach a desired outcome. Let’s break this down to its bare root. There are many ways to look at this, as there are ways to use it. One thing is for sure though, there is on or off, light or dark, power or no power.
Let’s put this to use by looking at it from a spiritual as well as physical standpoint for a moment. As a follower of God, I would say that there is right and wrong, light and dark, good and evil. There is no gray area at all in any of this. This fits perfectly with the design that God has already established and put into place based on the two forces at work here; the only forces. These being off and on, right and wrong, etc.
Now for some reasoning and philosophical thought to back this up. We are told in scripture that, “…there must needs be an opposition in all things. If not so… righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness…”. See below for reference.
For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.
We see in the physical world that there is only one way in which to navigate a technological input/output standard in which the execution of computation is completed. The computer “world” is governed by these two forces, each one playing their part. This is also true in the moral and spiritual world, right and wrong, etc.
In this one example, we see how there is a direct blueprint and insight into the hands and eyes of God, in which one force is seen and lives, and the other does not. We need this ones and zeros off and on condition to have balance and the opportunity to grow and progress, just as computers need off and on to carry out desired outcomes. Consider the scripture from Doctrine & Covenants 10:58, “I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.” In this example we see that God shines in darkness, or for our purposes, God sends his light and work alongside darkness to accomplish His plans, even as stated above, “…there must be an opposition in all things…”. This that all can through their agency, or the ability to make their own choices and not be forced, choose to follow either the guiding light and spirit within them known as the Light of Christ, or become darkened in heart, mind and spirit, so that they, as stated above, comprehend not the light, even God. In spiritual light, love, and power, are the living breathing building blocks to make or break our world within, and around us. In physical light and power, there is the ability to bring to light all the knowledge, wisdom, and power we can, through the exercise of our enlightened intellect, and creative conscience.
God is love, and He seeks to bring all into a place where they can be given, and express His love. For charity, the pure love of Christ, never faitheth. The winds and storms, the darkness and decrepit plans of the adversary cannot win, because by nature, Satan has not the power, love, nor knowledge or wisdom to do so.
He is meant to fail, literally. Those who do not want to acknowledge God, are living in the dark, and comprehend Him not. We all have our agency, and the ability to choose spiritual life or death, depending on which we ultimately desire, for we truly get what we desire.
Happiness or misery, peace or agony, joy or pain, light or darkness. We all have the choice to make day by day, moment by moment, all upon the foundation of Christ, for without Him, there would be no choices at all, for we would all be fallen devils, angels to a devil. How grateful I am for the Lord God omnipotent. He truly is the light and life of the world. In this example alone is proof to the honest soul, that God lives, and reigns over all His creations.