I read, Yearning for the Living God, by F. Enzio Busche a few years ago. He was a Seventy in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The account I have quoted is informative on many levels. As you read this, I hope you can feel Elder Busche’s testimony and gain understanding about the workings of the spirit, both the spirit of God and an evil spirit.
“The following experience is probably one of the most sacred in my whole life. It happened in the very beginning of my service as a General Authority…On one trip…I…stayed in the basement of the mission home…I was very tired when I finally went to bed at around 11:00. I fell asleep as soon as I was in bed. I woke with a start when, at about 1:00 A.M., the mission president came into my room. The light was on and he was speaking to me, but I was still half asleep and did not understand what he was saying…I focused on listening to him and was surprised by what he said. He said that in the evening, a missionary had been possessed by an evil spirit. His companion had called the assistant to help cast it out. The assistants had gone and done that, but as they got back to their own apartment, the evil spirit had entered one the assistants. The other was so shocked that he did not know what to do, so he went straight to the mission home.
The mission president was appalled, of course, because this was not just an ordinary missionary. This was one of the stalwart, experienced missionaries who was speaking gibberish and not in control of his physical movements. The mission president had tried to cast out the evil spirit but had failed. He began to panic, but then he realized that he had a General Authority in the basement. That was when he came down to try and wake me up.
…I… asked the mission president to give me a little time. I wanted to get dressed first. I immediately began to pray with a deep, fervent plea for help. I felt so helpless because I had never been in a situation like that. Crazy thoughts came to my mind. For instance, I wished I had stayed in a motel, but I knew there was no way to escape.
I finally dressed and had no further excuse to tarry longer, so I went upstairs. As I went up, I heard noises and unintelligible sounds, and fear began to creep into my heart. I felt that fear come from the ground, from below, trying to sneak into my system. I could understand why, when people are afraid, their knees begin to shake. When I got to the living room, I saw the elder sitting in a chair, shaking all over, making uncontrolled movements, speaking with foam on his lips. His companion and the mission president and his family were all staring at the spectacle with shock and fear.
As I entered the room, it was like a voice said to me, “Brother Busche, you must make a decision now.” I knew immediately what decision it was. I had to decide whether to join the fear and amazement and helplessness or to let faith act and let courage come in. I knew of course, that I wanted to have faith. I wanted to have the power, the priesthood power, and I wanted to know what to do to save the situation.
In that moment, two scriptures came into my mind. One scripture was very simple: Moroni 8:16, “Perfect love casteth out all fear.” And the other was the same: 1 John 4:18, “Perfect love casteth out fear.” But I did not have love. I had fear. What do we do when we have fear but not love? My mind was drawn to Moroni 7:48, where the Lord points out how we can gain love: “Wherefore,…pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love”.
I prayed with all the energy of my heart, “Father, fill my soul with love.” I cried from the depths of my being, without wasting any time. It all happened in a split second. After that it was as if my skull was opened and a warm feeling poured down into my soul-down my head, my neck, my chest. As it was pouring down, it drove out all of the fear. My shivering knees stopped shaking. I stood there, a big smile came to my face-a smile of deep, satisfying joy and confidence.
Suddenly, those in the room looked not scary, but amusing. It was just funny to see them all there. I learned in that moment that when we are under the influence of the Spirit, we can find a sense of humor and the ability to smile and not take ourselves too seriously, and we can laugh at ourselves. Then it dawned on me that the adversary’s weapons are sarcasm, irony, and cynicism, but that the Lord’s power is a gentle sense of humor. I have learned more and more since then that the adversary cannot deal with a sense of humor. He does not have a sense of humor; he does not even know that that is. He is always dead serious, and when you have a sense of humor, you are in control of the adversary’s influence.
I still did not know what to do. I had great confidence, but I did not know what to do with it. As I stood there, it was as though someone came and put his arm around me and said, “Let me do this for you. I can take it from here”. I was very happy with that idea. Then I watched myself do something very strange and surprising because I did not know what I was doing. I went to the young man who was sitting on a chair shaking uncontrollably. I knelt in front of him and put my arms around him, pulling him gently to my chest. I told him, with all the strength of my soul, “I love you, my brother.”
In the very moment I did that, the evil spirit left. The missionary came to his senses, looked at me and said, “I love you, too”. He snapped right out of it and asked what had happened. For about an hour after that, we had a spontaneous sharing of testimonies, jubilantly praising God and singing and praying. It was an exuberant experience of the workings of the spirit of love, which is the Spirit of Christ and by it overcoming all evil.
We later learned the cause of the missionary being in that situation. That evening, at an investigator’s home, the missionaries had seen an inappropriate movie against the established guidelines. Because of that, he lost the Spirit and fear entered his soul. The fear allowed the evil spirit to enter. That same fear must have come to the assistant, as he probably had never experienced anything like that before. In his insecurity, he may also have let fear come into his heart so that the evil spirit could enter him after he had helped cast it out of the other missionary…I had reason to marvel at the goodness of our Father in Heaven. I may have needed that experience of learning in the early days of my service as a General Authority…we are here to learn about the reality of the Living God and also to understand the powers of darkness are real”. Yearning for the Living God, by F. Enzio Busche, pp. 270-72,
You are always upbeat, Jared. You are much appreciated.
Elder Bushe, spoke several times at Stake conferences when I was in collage, in Lubbock, Texas. His standard opener was that when he got baptized he told the branch president that it was on the condition that he never had to give a talk or hold a calling. 😀
Thank you so much for sharing this story. It is exactly what I needed to heara this morning as I read it. If we can face all situations with love and not fear, then the adversary will not be able to be present. Thank you again….now I can do what I need to do today….something that is not easy, but needs to be done.