Saturday, April 7, 2012

14. Helping Evil Spirits

This chapter will detail the process I follow to help evil spirits using the gift of discerning of spirits. The next chapter will detail the process I follow to help unclean spirits (those who have died and are in prison in the spirit world).

While evil spirits can repent of following Satan in the premortal life (see previous chapter), they cannot escape a punishment for following Satan. Abraham teaches that “they who keep their first estate [followed Jesus in the premortal life] shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate [evil spirits who followed Satan] shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate.” So evil spirits cannot have “glory in the same kingdom” with those who gained a body on Earth. I do not know what glory evil spirits can have. I do know from many years of experience that evil spirits can get away from Satan and stop being evil through repentance. This principle of persuading evil spirits away from Satan is all I care about; I’ll leave the complex assignment of glories to Jesus at Judgment Day.

I knew from my experience in Chapter 12 that not all evil spirits are happy in Satan’s employ. I was curious to know if God would tell me through personal revelation what percentage of evil spirits are unhappy with Satan. The answer I received is that 22% of evil spirits are completely unhappy following Satan. (Incidentally, any time I write in this blog about answers I received through prayer, I invite you to also pray to receive your own answers. I don’t want anyone to ever accept my personal revelation as yours.) These evil spirits are miserable because they realized at some point after being cast out of God’s presence that Satan lied to them when he promised them happiness and glory by following him. These 22% continue to follow Satan’s orders because they think they have no other options. However, they would leave Satan’s employ and choose Jesus’ plan of salvation if they had the knowledge that they can. We know that Christ’s atonement applies to all who will have faith in Him and repent. We also know that the greatest gift Heavenly Father gave all His children is agency, meaning that all of us who chose Jesus’ plan initially can still choose evil at any time, and those who chose Satan’s plan initially can still choose good at any time. Satan is not going to pass these truths on to his followers, so it is up to us to educate them.

From the remaining 78% of evil spirits who embrace their servitude to Satan, a subset of 12% of these evil spirits embrace evil only because they don’t know they have the option to choose Jesus’ plan. If this group had the knowledge that they have agency to choose a better way, they would choose to leave Satan’s employ. Thus, only 66% of Satan’s evil-spirit followers want to follow him under any circumstances.

When we discern that evil spirits are around us, we can educate them in a loving manner using the following discourse (offered vocally or mentally):
“Evil spirits, you don’t have to be evil. Satan has lied to you in telling you that Jesus doesn’t love you or want you. Jesus does love you. He has paid the price for your sins. His atonement applies to you. You can have faith in Him, repent, and progress spiritually. I invite you to do so because I love you as your brother/sister. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

Addressing spirits in a loving manner is critical because love is the perfect antidote for evil. I have never understood the motive for angry “casting out” of evil spirits found in so many scriptural accounts. Using anger against evil doesn’t make any sense to me.  

Instead of addressing only evil spirits who are bothering us directly, our communication can reach a greater audience by being extended to all evil spirits whom God is willing to let us address. Simply change the first sentence to, “All evil spirits who can hear me, you don’t have to be evil.” Evil spirits and Satan cannot normally read our thoughts, yet they are allowed to hear us when we address our thoughts directly to them. Broadening the audience allows you to potentially help hundreds or thousands of evil spirits at once—instead of just the smaller quantity who were bothering you directly.

After communicating this information to evil spirits, either in your mind or vocally, you will find that some may leave you and embark on a new righteous path, while others may not. Such is the price of agency! It is not acceptable for evil spirits to stay with you and bother you, so at this point the evil spirits who did not leave must be sent away (cast out). Everyone has the ability to cast out (see Mark and D&C 84:65,67 and D&C 24:13 and D&C 35:9). Address those evil spirits who stayed and say:
“Spirits, you always have a choice to follow Jesus. I hope you will use your agency and choose His plan now. If you choose not to follow Jesus, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to leave me and to be cast far from my presence. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

Be certain to say “in the name of Jesus Christ” because spirits won’t leave without it. In Moses 1:12–23, Moses commands Satan to leave him in verse 16 and again in verse 18. But not until verse 21 does Moses command Satan in the name of Jesus Christ, which causes Satan to depart in verse 22. Again, say the prayer with love instead of anger.

This prayer forces evil spirits to leave you, but they may come back—even quickly—to torment you with redoubled efforts. If spirits return, we can call on Jesus to help us in our battles with evil. We know that Jesus is infinitely more powerful than Satan, so Jesus will help us when we offer the following prayer:
“Heavenly Father, please allow Jesus to come and literally stand with me, to surround me with love and light and protection, to fight my battles with Satan for me, and to cause Satan and his followers to flee from my presence (James 4:7). In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

Some of us may be tempted to jump to this final prayer for Jesus’ help without first talking to the evil spirits and educating them on their ability to choose the right. Please know that helping any spirit who was once evil turn to the light and pursue good is the best kind of charitable work you could ever possibly do. Heavenly Father is very pleased when we make the effort to bless those who cursed and abused us because it shows tremendous humility and compassion on our part. The results are profound for the aided spirits, and for us!

Some may think this process is a one-time event, or used infrequently. Think about the math: billions of evil spirits are around us on the Earth. They may band together to focus their efforts on those mortals who are trying to avoid sinful behavior. So the potential to encounter their opposition is constant. I deal with them at least weekly.

Interestingly, Satan initially sent legions of evil spirits to plague me when I was learning to use the gift of discerning of spirits. He did this to overwhelm me so that I would give up and lose the gift. I did not give up, even though some of the things Satan and his followers did to me were truly horrible. Now Satan does not send as many evil spirits my way because he knows he will probably lose a few more followers after I lovingly preach faith in Christ and repentance to the evil spirits.

In addition to bothering humans, evil spirits can also possess animals and plants because animals and plants have spirits. Animal and plant possession is less common, but it is something to consider when one encounters a particularly disagreeable animal, or a plant that is failing to thrive without cause. As an example, a friend tried for several years to develop a lovely backyard with beautiful flowers and bushes. Everything died, despite her careful attempt to cultivate truckloads of plants. As she showed me her barren backyard and told me of the years of struggle to beautify it, I discerned that spirits were killing all her plants. I helped the spirits so they permanently left her yard. The following year, she showed me a thriving yard of beauty.