First of all, I was given a Priesthood blessing from my husband who holds the Melchezedek Priesthood in which I was instructed that my eyes would be open to the truth and be able to see things as they really are. I was beginning at this time to notice that when there was contention in our home, a devil needed to be cast out.
That is how I started, by recognizing that every time there was an argument or lack of peace in our home, it was because of a little devil. I started casting them out in my mind (not out loud because I don't want to offend any one), but just in my mind picturing the words, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to depart."
At first it was wonderful. It seemed to always work. It was the cure all. One time Robert and I were on a date and I was absolutely aware of a little devil, even where it was, he came around my shoulder and whispered something right in my ear, which came right out my mouth. What I said started a fight between Robert and I that did not stop until I finally commanded that little devil to leave. I was so amazed that we just could not stop fighting any other way.
However, there were times when the emotional levels in the home were less than optimal, and the devil would not leave after having been commanded. I thought this was interesting and pondered what to do. Sometimes I would be impressed to talk to it, in my mind, and tell it how much I loved him/her and wanted them to go reconcile themselves to Jesus. I had some success with this. Sometimes I felt a huge energy change and I knew that that spirit had listened and had gone to Jesus. In fact one time the Lord told me that he sent a certain female spirit to me so that I could help her feel loved enough to have the courage to go back to Jesus. What a joyous experience that was! (I need to add that the only spirits that are allowed to repent are disembodied spirits, in other words, those who have had a body but have not gone up to heaven. Demons, or spirits that have never had a body, are not allowed a second chance to repent).
But not all evil spirits are trying to get help. Some just want to destroy us. They want to transfer their shame onto us and sometimes, casting them out doesn't keep them from coming back. Luke 11:24-26 teaches:
24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.
25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.
26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.
How many times have we tried to stop a bad habit with a rush or gung ho and exhilaration, only for it to last a few days and then we are back to our old ways, with fervor? Or tried a diet, only to gain back MORE weight than when we started. Lets face it, sometimes we like our devils, and when they leave, we are unhappy.
The key here is to make it to a higher kingdom. D&C 88:37-40 reads:
37 And there are many kingdoms; for there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser kingdom.
38 And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions.
39 All beings who abide not in those conditions are not justified.
40 For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things
If you cleave unto enough truth (in other words, hold fast enough to Jesus Christ and His commandments) it enables you to reach a higher plane of truth. This is how the atonement enables us to become better permanently. We are talking about low and slow, permanent spiritual growth.
This is where plain old obedience comes in to play. Job 28:28 explains, "And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding."
I love this scripture because it emblems the process of spiritual growth. We start our journey far away from God. We see Him all powerful on His throne, and we don't know Him, we don't know how He will treat us, If He is a loving God or one quick to judgement, and we fear that He is the latter. So that fear instills in us enough wisdom to start to obey His law, to treat people kindly, to forgive them, and to turn off the tv to serve them a little bit. As we depart from our evil habits, a roller coaster ride of reaching for Christ and falling and reaching again and falling again begins. It takes diligence and determination. But as we continue reaching, a little light appears. And we hold to that and continue in it until we have a little further light.
When I was trying to learn how to lose weight the Lord's way, I realized I was going to have to give up on trying to be a decent weight in a month or even several months. I realized I just wasn't strong enough to stay on a diet and keep to it after losing the weight. I began to obey the Holy Spirit, as it whispered to me what to do. The first thing I had to do was to stop dieting and eat whatever I want, whenever I want, unless the Holy Spirit warned me not too. It was a much different process, but it was one that I could actually do. Most of the time, I would reach for a treat, and the holy spirit gave me permission to go ahead and enjoy. MOST of the time, Heavenly Father wanted me to enjoy the food I was reaching for. Probably once a week starting out, I would reach for a second helping or something and the spirit would say, "NO." Usually it would be after I decided to eat something, so it was hard. But because it was so few times, I obeyed. I knew that God would not ask me to run faster than I had strength. And He didn't. He was much kinder and easier with me than I had previously been on myself. It became a joy to obey Him.
The result is little by little, I started learning a little bit of self control at a time. I didn't have to be perfect. That is what the atonement is all about. The atonement gives us TIME to get back home. And Heavenly Father knows how to utilize our time that results in permanent growth. So I gave up trying to lose weight and just started focusing on my relationship with the Holy Spirit. The more light that flooded me, the less need I had for dessert.
I will admit one time I was eating Ice cream, and I knew I shouldn't, but I just couldn't help it. I had to have it against my internal will. I sat down to eat, even crying on the inside about it. At that moment, I felt God's overwhelming love just sweep over me. I couldn't believe that He loved me WHILE I was sinning, not after when I was trying to repent, but actually DURING my sin He loved me still. Well, I still ate the ice cream, but gained a lot more confidence in God's love for me which helped me to turn to Him the next time I felt sad instead of ice cream. I was beginning to see how it was worth it to give up all my sins to know Him.
So obeying the commandments given to you through the Holy Spirit is the way to go, because it strengthens your relationship with the Savior. Sometimes it requires grit, but most of the time if just requires turning over your will to God. If we try to do things on our own, they won't last. But if we have a relationship with God, our little changes will last, and we will be happier, because not only is our house swept clean, but it is filled with light, so why ever need more evil to feel the emptiness? The light is life-sustaining, We will eventually live forever because of this incredible light.
As you turn to truth and let that harbor inside, those devils just cannot get back. As you invite the presence of Heavenly Father into your tabernacle, to dwell with you, and to be with you in your sleep/dreams, those demons just can't stay. They have to leave, because you are moving on to a higher kingdom, and they probably aren't ready to come with you. So you will leave them behind.
Heaven is everywhere, if you make it that way, for Luke teaches in chapter 17 verse 21, "Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." And chapter 11 verse 20 states, "But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you."
Simply put, if you have the presence of God with you, the devils will have to leave. All of us have the presence of Jesus Christ with us all of the time. His spirit is known as the light of Christ. Doctrine and Covenants 84:85 states, "For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ." If we hearken unto the Spirit of Christ, we can enter into His kingdom and receive much healing. As we continue in our spiritual journey, we can eventually receive the presence of God and receive even more blessings of peace and safety.
The best way to prepare to receive the presence of God is to be baptized by immersion under the authorization of Jesus. This is why I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The keys to baptize (Which John the Baptist held) were given to Joseph Smith in the 1800s. Joseph Smith organized the church in 1830 after having received these keys. This is the gate that allows the Holy Ghost (presence of God) to be with us, when we are ready to receive it.
The introduction to the Doctrine and Covenants explains how this happened thoroughly:
In the course of time, Joseph Smith was enabled by divine assistance to translate and publish the Book of Mormon. In the meantime he and Oliver Cowdery were ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood by John the Baptist in May 1829 (see D&C 13), and soon thereafter they were also ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood by the ancient Apostles Peter, James, and John (see D&C 27:12). Other ordinations followed in which priesthood keys were conferred by Moses, Elijah, Elias, and many ancient prophets (see D&C 110; 128:18, 21). These ordinations were, in fact, a restoration of divine authority to man on the earth. On April 6, 1830, under heavenly direction, the Prophet Joseph Smith organized the Church, and thus the true Church of Jesus Christ is once again operative as an institution among men, with authority to teach the gospel and administer the ordinances of salvation. (See D&C 20 and the Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith—History 1.)
Where in the bible does it say Joseph Smith would get keys from John the baptist? Well, in the book of Revelations chapter 14 verse 6 it states, "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people." I believe that this scripture alludes to the fact that the keys to baptize would be restored by angelic ministry.
So the permanent resolution to casting out devils is to instead invite the spirit of Jesus and eventually the presence of God to be with us through baptism by immersion and receiving the Holy Spirit by laying on of hands. And these are invited in when we obey His voice. We are his sheep, and we can know His voice. John 10:27 reads, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." His voice is inside of us. The more we discern His voice and follow it, we will be lead to greater peace and comfort in this life.
A good way to practice knowing what Jesus voice is telling us is to pray, and write out the thoughts that come after wards. Or to imagine a good close friend answering your question with love. Every time I pray, Heavenly Father has a message that qualms my anxiety and brings greater peace. I know His voice because it is a comfort to hear it. Whereas the voice of the devil is always bringing me misery, even if it is a logical and sound argument.