Today I came face to face with evil.
Evil, actually, with the capital "E."
Background: When the clients come in to sign their cases, I have usually met with them several times to answer questions, etc. After they're done signing I will meet with them so that they can ask any final questions, discuss any finer points of their case for the last time before filing, as well as to explain once again the bankruptcy process and the time-line.
This particular couple was signing their case and reviewing their paperwork. My receptionist came into my office with a warning that he was going to have questions about how to account for his charitable contributions. She is not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and so does not really understand all the lingo, vocabulary, and ins-and-outs, so she did not question his statement that he was a "card-carrying member" of the Church, and allegedly showed her his card.
Now, I am not sure what kind of card he showed her, exactly, but when he told her that he pays tithing not to the LDS Church, but a Church of his own founding, I had to start questioning the situation. After doing a little digging on the internet, I found out that this man had been excommunicated fifteen years ago; I could not find a reason or explanation for the excommunication other than that he no longer felt the Church was teaching the Gospel, and had not for over one hundred years. He is also a self-proclaimed prophet and discounts any authority held by any prophet following Joseph Smith.
It was a troubling and disturbing experience--literally an anti-Church screed. I have read anti-LDS materials before, but this was completely different than anything else I had read. The vitriol poured from my computer screen.
He spends a lot of time bemoaning his situation and calls himself a lone voice in the wilderness. What he is from all indications ia an anti-Christ.
Not "THE" but "AN" anti-Christ.
Just so we are clear, I will define my terms. Anti-Christ: An opponent to Christ, the Gospel, and His Church.
He reminded me of Korihor, except that he proclaimed a belief in Christ. Of course, it was not the Christ I know and love. I would argue that this doesn't preclude him from being an anti-Christ. Yes, it's an odd argument, but one can believe in Christ and still work against him. One can believe in "a" Christ and still work against his true Gospel and against His Church.
I wasn't online long enough to discover any of his in-depth issues with the Church, but I was there long enough to start to feel the darkness gather in my office.
Then I brought the couple into my little office for our chat.
All of the Light in my office vanished. Against my will, my nature, my judgment, and my normal custom, I became extremely nervous that he would see my Scriptures on my credenza or my Temple picture on the shelf. I have never -- NEVER -- been ashamed or embarrassed of these objects and I was not today. Rather, I did not want a confrontation; I simply wanted him out of my office immediately.
He started our chat with the information that he had been excommunicated, as if he were proud of it. He probably was and is, come to think of it. The conversation went downhill from there. The room filled with a spiritual darkness the longer he talked, a darkness like I have never felt before. It may sound corny or melodramatic...unless you have actually felt it, experienced it.
I have no idea what I told him or what we discussed. I do remember that I had difficulty thinking and formulating thoughts and words. And it was not simply distraction; it was a physical difficulty.
I do not want to spend much more time on this story; perhaps I have already said too much. I left the office right after they did and found myself having to take extreme measures to cast away the darkness. It was quite a while before I felt better.
Satan is real.
He is not a cartoon character, he is not a "concept."
He is real.
I think that I have felt the tiniest bit of what the Prophet Joseph describes in the account of the First Vision.
Again, Satan is real. His servants are everywhere and they are cunning.
But the good news? We have the Truth and the Light on our side; so long as we are on the Lord's side, we can have hope and look to Him for guidance and protection.
The Light will triumph and prevail, of this I have faith. Good will conquer Evil; Good is stronger than Evil, always.
Christ is my Redeemer and my Savior. He is real; He lives. His people shall ultimately overcome the world and have eternal life and exaltation.
There will be no more Darkness. Only Light. His Light. All He asks is that we come unto Him and follow His word.
It is just that easy.
This is my testimony to you, in His name.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Today I came face to face with evil.