Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Are you feeling It?

When I was a missionary, my companion (the missionary I was assigned to work with) and I visited the apartment of a man who hadn't been to church for a while. When we arrived at his place, he invited us in and we asked him how it was going. He proceeded to confess "sins" to us which made me feel uncomfortable because of the nature of the "sins" he was discussing and because we were not in a position to hear anyone's confessions. It was what he said next that is the purpose of this post. He told us that he was possessed with an evil spirit that made him commit these transgressions. After leaving his place, my companion started expounding on how he had such an evil feeling in his apartment and that he could tell that an evil spirit was indeed there. I had no such feeling and told him that as well, I just thought the guy was a bit odd. We discussed it with the bishop who also visited him and came to the same conclusion and feeling as my companion. I felt horrible, inadequate as a missionary and out of tune with the spirit. I prayed for help. The bishop convinced this man to come to church and in priesthood meeting, the bishop, along with every adult priesthood holder in the ward (still to this day the largest blessing circle I have ever seen) gave him a blessing and cast out the evil spirit. I still insisted to my companion that I didn't feel anything dark or evil about this man, and he told me I need to be more in tune with the spirit. I was transferred to a different area soon after this. A couple months later, at a Zone meeting, I ran into the two missionaries who were now working my former area. I asked about this man to see how he was doing. They started laughing about how crazy he was and even mentioned that he admitted to making up the story about being possessed so that he could explain to us why he had not been coming to church. There wasn't an evil spirit, there never had been. Why did my companion and the bishop insist that there was?

3 Comments:

At 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a greaty story!

I don't remember that one, so it probably wasn't with me as your companion, but correct me if I'm wrong.

A couple of things about your point:

It reminds me of the puritan days in American of people casting out evil spirits and burning witches etc. LOL

Another story it reminds me of is Korihor from the Book of Mormon.

I wouldn't be so concerned that one person feels the spirit and another doesn't. It's not a sin that some don't feel promptings where others do IMO. In most cases I've observed some people don't have a gift for such descernment or it just doesn't apply to them at the moment.

In this particular case the members might have been caught up in what the man was saying and the general lack of good "spirit"; where you were simply seeing a man that was off his rocker.

Like Korihor, the man knew what he was up to and played it out for his own purposes. There was probably a lessoned to be learned by everyone involved.

Again, its probably a choice everyone involved has to make for themselves. The man wasn't really possesed in the puritan sense, but was obviously making a claim for a purpose that was not inspiring either.

Perhaps next time he'll ask for a sign and his tounge won't work and he'll be trampled to death...

-Sterling

 
At 6:37 PM, Anonymous Joel said...

First, welcome to postmormon.org. I think your participation in the community will be extremely valuable.

Second, thank you for blogging about your experience. It's important that people be provided a clear view into the lives of those struggling with the Church. We are real people, we aren't anti-Mormon, we just express how we feel. Thank you for doing so.

I hope you don't mind, but since my blog is heavily weighted with my mission experiences and thoughts about the Church and religion, I've added your blog to my blogroll at www.joel-junior.com. Feel free to check it out!

Thanks again, and welcome to the community!

- Joel

 
At 11:47 PM, Blogger eskeptique said...

People believe what they want to believe. Many people want to believe that they have power; in your example priesthood power was believed in. And the person is seduced into believing this because they have the power to save. Who doesn't want to be a savior?

 

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