Sunday, July 2, 2023

The Decent, Devils, and Discernment

If you have decided to set your face like a flint and return to the Son and the Father - the first and greatest spiritual gift you can seek for is Discernment. It will do you no good to be great at receiving revelation, gain knowledge, be a dreamer, have visions, or even angelic visitations if you cannot rightly discern from whence they came. The devil can give you dreams. Visions too. Seeking for knowledge and experiencing an angel of light? Yeah, that's Garden of Eden 101. 

Discernment should be the focus of a lifetime until you are so well acquainted with the Lord that nothing can be withheld from you. 1 Corinthians 13 says:
8 ...whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 
9 ...for we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

Before I get to the crux of this post, I want to share some personal things to build a base for what I will write about.

I struggled in my childhood with depression. My guess is that you probably did too - who didn't!? Being a kid is hard. For me - I was debilitatingly shy. Being that shy meant that I spent recess hiding in the library or around the wall of the school. A teacher even mentioning my name would cause my heart to race which would lead to a reduced ability to focus in class which caused me to get behind in school. I don't like sharing this next part, but I will. I frequently prayed that I would not wake up in the morning. Looking back now I see that I was trapped by Satan in the prison of my mind. He could whisper things to me about my worth and I would "agree" with those lies and then those agreements gave him more and more power over me.

By the grace of God I was given a person in my life who taught me to, "quit thinking about myself and start thinking about other people and serve them." I didn't realize my "shyness" was really demonic self-centeredness cloaked as 'insecurity'. To be that shy means you have to think about yourself a lot. One day in the summer of 8th grade my mentor's oft repeated advice 'clicked'. In the space of one school year I went from being extremely shy to a sincere friend to all. By the time I graduated high school I was voted into councils and royalties and given various awards such as, "Most friendly," "Most outgoing." I share this because it was one of my greatest triumphs over the truly demonic possession I was under for most of my life until that time! 

My name is Ruth which means, 'friend'. My greatest weakness became my greatest strength as I broke the agreements I had made with Satan. I found immeasurable joy as I used my newfound freedom solely to glorify God with my only desire to lift people from the depths of hell.

I wouldn't go back in my life and change anything because it brought me to the Lord. I truly passed through the valley of the shadow of death to obtain the prize I could not have obtained in any other way

Do you have valleys of the shadow of death in your life that you have had to pass through? 

Did it make you bitter? Or better?

Today I will write about evil. There are a million other topics I would rather write about but if I don't write what I know and what I have learned, then it will be for nothing.

In my teenage years once I broke those agreements and learned to be a true friend to all - Satan changed up his tactics on me. I began having 'night terrors'. I would wake from a dead sleep to see spiders, hooded figures, insects, and snakes on me or in my room. Seeing these things is truly terrifying and caused me to run full force into walls as I tried to get away from them. I have broken toes and set off house alarms as my terrified blood curdling scream registered as, "broken window" to the alarm system. My sleep has been a source of attack for Satan and he delights in tormenting me.

Once I got married my husband would wake from my scream and hook his arm around my waist before I could bolt into the wall or dresser. About 12 years ago I was tired of being exhausted all the time. I prayed for help and the Lord led me to the answers I needed. 
And here is what the Lord taught me:

The things I was seeing at night were real. 

Maybe it is obvious to you but to me - it blew a crater in my mind. I never made the connection that they were from Satan. I thought maybe they were the result of a stressed mind or that they were 'nightmares' with my eyes open (or some other retarded human explanation). It never entered my mind that I needed to pray to 'cast out' those dark figures. Never.

In the church we don't talk about casting out devils. Exorcism and demons are things the Catholics do and we don't have to deal with stuff like that in the church. We know there are "dark spirits" that "tempt us" but beyond that - we don't really talk about Satan and his efforts to bring us down. This truly reveals the lack of power we have in the Priesthood.

You need to know this: 

You have an Enemy and he is after you night and day. 

As John Eldredge has taught:
The devil is cruel, unrelenting, savage and rules a kingdom of death.

1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Devour as in shred, maul, destroy. In the wild, a lion will stalk its prey up to two weeks before attacking. It is studying its habits – looking for weaknesses, searching out vulnerabilities so it will know when best to strike.

Do you ever feel that you are being hunted? Kicked when you are down?

Me too.

God urges us to stand firm. He promises that if we resist the devil, he will flee from us. Meaning that if we will hold our ground – holding up the truth against his lies – that we are loved, that we are chosen, that we are children of God, that we are set apart with a holy calling, that we are not alone, that we are needed and valuable and strong – he will flee.

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

Submit to God. Worship Him. Exalt Him. Align yourself with Jesus. Proclaim Him your Savior and your Lord. Invoke His Presence. Dive into Union with Him. Agree with the Truth of who He says you are. Pray. Seek out the more. Hold on. And know that He is holding on to you.

You are here – now – because you are needed. You are powerful. You are the incarnation of the Living God. You bring the Kingdom of God wherever you go. You are loved and pursued and wanted and seen and delighted in by the One who knows you best and loves you most and wants to win all of you to Himself. To heal you. To restore you. To bless you. To live life with you.

And you are hated. By one who would like to steal, kill and destroy your life because he knows who you are and what you can accomplish in Christ. If you’re feeling hunted, you’re not wrong. If you’re feeling vulnerable to negative thoughts when you are hurting or overwhelmed, you’re not alone. There is not something wrong with you. You are being targeted because there is something RIGHT with you.


Invite Jesus into this very space and this very moment and receive His life and His love more deeply into your soul and then



When we are at our lowest, it is extremely hard to reach out and speak the truth that we are sinking; to say out loud that we need help. Sometimes just voicing our pain will relieve a part of it. We are not meant to walk through life without allies. We will not last long on this journey if we continue in a solitary fashion for too long. Yes, we need “alone” times. But we need the company of others to draw strength from when we need it and to offer it to others when we can.

If you are struggling, speak out. Call a friend. Call a trusted counselor, a hotline, someone.



When Ryan and I first started on this journey I sought the Lords face earnestly. It was on my mind constantly. One day I lost my temper with my kids. I really had a good flip out and then I heard, "How do you ever expect to see my face if you can't even control your temper..."

I went into a deep depression. By the time my husband walked in the door that night I was literally laying on the floor amidst the toys with tears rolling down my eyes - bathing in my worthlessness. He sat by me and asked what happened and when I told him about the day and what the Lord had said to me he said, "Oh wow. That is diabolical. That wasn't the Lord. That doesn't even sound like the Lord - but Satan." 

Thank God I shared what I'd heard or who knows how far off the path I would have gotten - following the man in white who only leads to a dark and dreary waste (1 Nephi 8).

Until you accept the idea that devils from an unseen realm truly exist and are an active part of your daily life, and I mean freaking daily, you will walk at noon day in darkness. Your life won't make sense until you pray to separate what was and what is darkness and what is light. 

Good golly - make time to pray and ask the Lord about your life and what was light and what was dark. What was from Him - and what was from him. This is VITAL. Once you begin to obtain the gift of discernment - many things in this life will begin to make sense. Since Jesus spent a good portion of his time casting out devils - maybe we should pay attention to that just a hair. If you are on a quest to draw nearer to the Lord, expect mists of darkness. If you don't continually seek for discernment - then you will be overtaken. 

When you set a course to follow Jesus - you will experience darkness. There is no way around it. It is in every heroic story. You can't have ascension without the decent. So why are we so shocked with all hell rages once we set a toe on the path to redemption from the fall? 
Joseph Smith said:

"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. How much more dignified and noble are the thoughts of God, than the vain imaginations of the human heart!"
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.137
The Spirit has substance which can only be seen or perceived by individuals with spiritual gifts to do so. D&C 131:7-8 says, "All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes. We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter."

Every man, woman, and child ever born into this sphere comes with a gift whether recognized, developed, or ignored. "And all gifts come by the Spirit of Christ; and they come unto every man severally, according as he will." (Moroni 10:17) Severally means individually, independent, or apart from others. Why is every person given a different gift? "For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeks so to do; that all may be benefitted that seek or that ask of me." (D&C 46:17) 

Your gifts are given to benefit and help others. It is in those gifts where Satan will be most active and seek to afflict and torment you.

What are your gifts? 

Have you ever paused to write them down? 

If you haven't - why not pause and write those down?

Do you understand that your gifts reflect your mission in life and why you are here?!

Do you see how Satan has tried to pin you down in those areas?

Joseph Smith said,

"Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they truly manifest from heaven -- These should be attended to with great earnestness. Let no man count them as small things; for there is much which lie in futurity, pertaining to the saints, which depends upon these things." (D&C 123: 13-15)
Joseph Smith also taught:

As far as we degenerate from God, we descend to the devil and lose knowledge, and without knowledge we cannot be saved, and while our hearts are filled with evil, and we are studying evil, there is no room in our hearts for good, or studying good. Is not God good? Then you be good; if He is faithful, then you be faithful. Add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, and seek for every good thing.

The Church must be cleansed, and I proclaim against all iniquity. A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world, as evil spirits will have more knowledge, and consequently more power than many men who are on the earth. Hence it needs revelation to assist us, and give us knowledge of the things of God.
This post isn't about the study of evil but about exposing the workings of evil under the light of God so that a person may recognize it when it is present, and secondly, to explain powerful tools you may use to deal with evil and its effects. Any successes in overcoming evil are a direct result of the influence of Jesus Christ.

If a person has an understanding of what they are dealing with and how they can confront and combat evil, they can then be armed with knowledge and can approach situations in faith and with the confidence that only God can provide. Knowledge then becomes the key to understanding how to change, not only what is spiritually going on around us, but how to change what we subject ourselves to and what we can do if we are attacked or someone around us is struggling with evil spirits.

To ascend to a higher sphere means we will need to descend to a lower one. Moses didn't receive an audience with God without also being subjected to Satan's temptations and efforts to mislead him (Moses 1: 12-22). When Jesus went into the wilderness He didn't have angels minister to Him until after "the tempter came to him" (Matt. 4:3-11). Joseph Smith didn't see the Father and the Son until after he was attacked by Satan (JSH 1:15). As you seek to encounter God - you will have to suffer from demonic opposition. 

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Ephesians 6:10-12)“A man must have the discerning of spirits, as we before stated, to understand these things, and how is he to obtain this gift if there are no gifts of the Spirit? And how can these gifts be obtained without revelation?” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Four 1839-42, p.206).
"All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not. The devil has no power over us only as we permit him; the moment we revolt at anything which comes from God the Devil takes power." (WOJS, p. 60)

Here are two links that shows Jesus repeatedly casting out devils:

(link & link)

Setting up stakes: watch video here

Ask the Father in the name of Jesus Christ for a shield of protection to be around you. We can ask the Lord to put a shield around whatever we have stewardship over that we feel might need protection.

John Eldredge, with the Wild at Heart ministries, has beautiful prayers you can pray. For me it is helpful to read prayers from people who truly know how to pray. Mormons aren't amazing at prayers and that's just a fact. Here's a sample from one of John Eldredges' prayers:

I now bring the authority, rule, and dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ over my life today, over my home, my family, my household, my vehicles, finances, over all my kingdom and domain. I now bring the authority, rule, and dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ and the fullness of the work of Christ against Satan, against his kingdom, against every foul and unclean spirit—every ruler, power, authority, and spiritual force of wickedness, their every weapon, claim, and device. [At this point, I specifically name all foul and unclean spirits that I know have been attacking me, such as fear, doubt, accident, injury, death, the religious spirit, pride, arrogance, etc.] I send all foul and unclean spirits bound to the throne of Christ, together with every back-up and replacement, every weapon, claim, and device—by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ and in his name. I command the judgment of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the heads of those that refuse to obey, and I send them to judgment, by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ and in his name.

I now bring the authority, rule, and dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ and the fullness of the work of Christ against every foul power and black art—every hex, vex, and incantation, every spell, weave, web, veil, shroud, charm, and snare; against every ritual, sacrifice, and device; against every vow, dedication, and sacrifice, every word, judgment, and curse—written, spoken, unspoken, or transferred to me. I command them disarmed and broken by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ and in his name.

I now bring the authority, rule, and dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ and the fullness of the work of Christ against every witch, cult, and coven, every channel of black arts to me. I cut them off in the name of the Lord; I send the glory of God to them to turn them in Jesus’ name.

I now bring the authority, rule, and dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ and the fullness of the work of Christ between me and every human being—their spirit, soul, body, their sin, warfare, and their household. I bring the full work of Christ between me [and now I name people that I’ve counseled or prayed for, family members, folks in crisis looking to me, etc.] I command their human spirits bound back to their bodies and their warfare bound to the throne of Christ in their life. I bring the full work of Christ between me and my household and all people, in the authority of Jesus Christ and in his name.
For a powerful interview with an Exorcist watch this here. I know you're thinking, "Why? Why would I want to watch that?!" Well, because we have been SO sheltered in the church. We don't talk about uncomfortable things - so learn something new! It's worth your time, I promise! If you haven't seen the movie "Nefarious" yet - I recommend that too. For some reason it was rated 'R' but it is more like a PG level. I think the devil had a hand in the rating too. Here's a link to that movie. 

My husband and I prayed an important prayer a few years ago. We needed an answer and so we fasted and prayed together. We didn't get an answer so we fasted multiple days and then when all the kids were in bed we knelt and prayed at our ottoman in the dark. We each took turns praying and our prayers seemed so hollow. It felt like our prayer wasn't getting anywhere. In a word the prayer felt - lame.

While Ryan was praying I had a prompting to ask to "see" what was going on ("Hmm..I never prayed that before but...oookay"). I will share something personal at the risk of looking like a fool but the benefit is that I may help someone reading this. Once I asked to see what was going on I was both in my body and above my body and I was looking down at me and Ryan praying. I saw small demons or devils making a large dome over our bodies so that what we were praying was truly going nowhere. When Ryan ended the prayer I told him what happened and he had a sudden thought of why that might be. It was something he had agreed to that he felt was correct at the time but wondered if it was incorrect and was hampering our prayer. We prayed again and this time Ryan prayed and broke ties with what he had innocently agreed to. While he prayed I internally asked the Lord how I could help get rid of the devils I had seen and I was given a type of weapon of light to remove them with. Sound weird enough yet? Well, it was strange to experience it but I chose to be believing and I asked the Lord what to do with it and then I did it. Immediately the prayer began to flow and both of us experienced something very holy and instructive. 

"Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked." (Ephesians 6:16)
Yes, that scripture is accurate. I have been physically harmed by demons countless times. On my mission one day I was overcome with deep depression and Satan got me then and there. I was with two other companions and we were riding our bikes home after a very dark day. As I pedaled my bike I felt like I was phyisically stabbed in the back/shoulder blade. I stopped my bike and tears gushed from my eyes as I felt the wind knocked out of me and I tried to catch my breath. I like to think I'm fairly tough when it comes to pain but this was unlike anything I had ever felt.

Since that day I have never again been able to wear a backpack or heavy bag on that shoulder. Once I realized that Satan attacks me there - in that spot, I have tried to be watchful spiritually. Those things I am struggling with spiritually affect me physically. About a month ago - darkness from another person came into the sphere of my life. Shortly thereafter I woke up to terrible shoulder pain. Because I was so distracted with life I didn't address it spiritually. I would ice it or my husband would give it a solid massage that would make any normal muscle relent its knotty clutches. Because this knot was spiritual, physically addressing it did nothing. This went on for three weeks until one night I had the thought - what if it's spiritual? My husband prayed over my shoulder and reclaimed my body for the Lord. And yes - when I woke up in the morning it was gone entirely.
"And I said undo them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it (revelation from God/the iron rod), they wold near perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction." (1 Nephi 15:24)
"For behold, you should not have feared man more than God. Although men set at naught the counsels of God, and despise his words - Yet you should have been faithful; and he would have extended his arm and supported you against all the fiery darts of the adversary; and he would have been with you in every time of trouble." (D&C 3:7-8)
Typing this has been a very interesting experience. Every time I think about working on this post I have felt: "No, it's a lame post. You should go out to eat!" (We don't hardly ever go out to eat) "You should go do something fun!" (I am not a 'fun' person. Work and play are considered the same thing if I'm in charge.) But oddly enough - they were STRONG feelings I was having. I wanted to blow this popsicle stand (my house) and go live it up. I felt so unsatisfied with my life. And most of all - I wanted to SHOP. I don't like buying stuff. I mean, I like shopping for things I need and making a wise choice but we've gone minimalist the last couple of years and I've spent hours and hours cleaning and giving away tons of stuff. But oh how powerfully did I want to shop. Ah the devil and his minions. Ever busy and never taking a day off. 

For more prayers to assist with your journey of discernment try this link. If you feel like your prayers are stagnant - why not give these prayers a try and learn a new language, even the language of the angels? You may argue that it's weird to read a prayer that you who thinks that or some other power? In order to obtain discernment, you must start in prayer. I won't take up any more of your time - you got things to do. 

Good Fight