Note: This is an excerpt from my current project “Mind Insights – My Story, My Road: 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.