Episode 270: The book that completely changed my life with Dennis Deaton

Dennis R Deaton is Co-founder of Quma Learning Systems and a nationally known leadership trainer, motivational speaker and award-winning author. His book, Ownership Spirit: The One Grand Key that Changes Everything Else, was the 2009 National Best Books Award Winner in the Business Motivational category.Brother Deaton has held numerous leadership positions in the Church including Bishop and Counselor in a Stake Presidency. He currently serves as patriarch in his stake and temple worker in the Gilbert Arizona temple.He has taught numerous Adult Education courses for the Church Education System, and was a regular speaker at BYU Campus Education Week for 22 years. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Utah, and his doctorate, Cum Laude, from Washington University in St. Louis.Dennis’ latest book, Looking Unto Christ in Every Thought: Defeating Fear, Doubt and Discouragement is his capstone work, and has already received widespread praise for its life-changing message on drawing on the power of Jesus Christ in our daily thoughts.

Dennis' https://lookinguntochrist.com/

Dennis' coaching and speaking info https://quma.net/index.html

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Okay, I have Dr. Dennis Deaton with me today. I am so excited. To talk to you today. Can I call you Dr. Deaton? It feels kind of like just call me Dennis. Let's just call you Dennis. All right. All right. I'll call you Dennis. Um, and okay. I just got to start off with, I, I wrote you an email telling you why I was dying to have you on my podcast.

And for anyone who hasn't heard me talk about this already, because I feel like I've talked about it on social media and I've just mentioned it a little bit in, you know, Other podcast episodes, I talked about my experience meeting Elder Renlund and asking him my question, which I'll, I'll briefly go over again, but basically I got to Utah and I had been preparing.

For months to give a talk or a speech or whatever at BYU Women's Conference and then the very next day at the Utah Coalition Against Pornography. And in preparation for these two talks, I have never felt more opposition in my life. Before anything leading up to anything and so I got to Utah on the first night that I was there I was with a group of women who are all they all actually we were all gathered by Emily Bell Freeman Because she runs an account called inklings So she's had each of us on as guests to speak about a general conference talk, which is like our church's biannual or semi annual conference and there's speakers.

And so she would have each of us meet with her on this Inklings Instagram account and talk about one of the most recent talks. And so then that cohort, we kind of have stayed together as a group and we get together periodically. So they decided to have a dinner. Right before women's conference, because there were a few of us coming into town for women's conference and I told that group that I was experiencing so much opposition.

And one of them. My dear friend, Tana said, you need to read this book. You need to read looking under Christ in every thought. And she told me it's on audible. You can listen to it as you're driving around this week. So I immediately downloaded it and started listening to it. And to make a long story short, it has in the course of the last few weeks, just totally changed my life.

And I, I don't say that lightly. It's not just like some, you know, cute saying that I, Say to every author, but it has completely changed the way that I think about my thoughts and about the adversary and about my mission here in life and who's in charge of my direction and how much power I am giving Satan versus how much power I am aligning myself with God's will and all of those things.

So I'm, I'm super excited to get into this today, but that's how I found you. But I'm curious how you found. This work, because from what I've read in your bio, it reminds me a little bit of Clayton Christensen, right? You are an author. You kind of had this other like secular educational career, and then you got into this work.

So how did that happen? Well, I got into the secular, uh, aspect by first, uh, being well grounded in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I, and particularly in the scriptures, I grew up in, in what we call in the, uh, let's say community and inactive home, meaning my parents weren't, uh, going to church regularly, although they were baptized members.

Uh, but I. Uh, you know, it seems like I was born in the Testament, and I knew the first time I went to, uh, heard, uh, the stories that were told about the gospel and the Lord Jesus Christ, and I knew they were true, and I knew, uh, that, uh, that was an important part of my life, that it was going to be something that I would, uh, devote my life to, even at a very young age.

Uh, but, uh, when I got into the mission field, I realized that Uh, there was something that, that, uh, had not, uh, occurred in my life that had happened in the lives of, of, of other Latter day Saints, uh, or at least a lot of them, and that was something called a patriarchal blessing, uh, for those of you that are not members of the LDS community, there's, there's That's a special blessing given by a person with an ordained office in the priesthood that gives a person a picture of their eternal possibilities and who they are and what they're capable of doing.

And I suspected, I guess, that I would get one of those when I got in Mitchell and some of my companions would read me parts of theirs. And I pictured that I would go home and, and, and do that, uh, to get one. But I got involved in, in my career as a dentist and general dentist. And I started finding that there were a lot of people that were, uh, in the dental profession that were unhappy.

They were, the dentists were leading the field in all sorts of inauspicious categories. Uh, depression, uh, it's suicide even, and, uh, alcoholism. And, and I couldn't figure out exactly why, because we had all this autonomy. We could hire and fire who we wanted and we could work extra days. We want to, nobody would bother us if we took a day off.

And I began delving into. Works by William James and Napoleon Hill. They resonated with the gospel for me. And I knew that I wanted to help Dennis in all walks of life, all different backgrounds. So I started taking gospel principles, matching them up with some of those principles of James and Hill, and then presenting what I would call, we would call a secular seminar.

And it's just caught fire. Uh, the part that I gave it, As the seminar was called dental practice with peace of mind and the first day was about dental practice. The next day was about mind management and the mind management just started to take off and and one thing led to another. And pretty soon I had an opportunity to speak to Motorola and DuPont and some of these large Fortune 500 companies teaching mind management principles.

So that's how I kind of, and I left dentistry because I could see that this is where the Lord was leading me and he wanted me to go. And, uh, and, uh, so I started taking gospel principles, putting them into a secular vernacular. And then I thought at the end, pretty much at the end of my, uh, uh, corporate career that I was kind of finished with writing books and so forth.

And then I started getting an impression. Uh, about the fact that I needed to go back and take the secular stuff, the things that a lot of techniques that I'd developed there and put them back into the gospel context and write a book, a faith based book for people who believed in Jesus Christ and wanted to grow closer to their savior.

And so that's when, uh, I started thinking about the book, but I put it off. I, I, I said, Oh, I don't want to write another book. It's, you know, it's, it's a, it's a labor that, uh, you gotta go through a lot of, uh, writer's block and self doubts and so forth, I hadn't put a lot, a lot of, uh, things together in, in, uh, the context that I was using them there.

And then finally, um, I got a very strong impression. It was practically a rebuke. And I actually, it's like I heard a voice in my head that said, well, if you're not going to write it, I'm going to get somebody else to do it. And it stunned me. It shocked me. It humbled me. I still today shudder that Heavenly Father had to be so direct with me to get me to undertake the process.

So I immediately repented. I promised him I'd do my very best and that was in November of 2019 and uh, uh, then we were into the COVID situation and I had lots of time where I was not speaking, giving live seminars and so, um, I was able to just focus on the book. And I consider it the Lord's book. Um, he commissioned it.

There's several chapters where he wrote them. I was just sort of a secretary. Uh, recording is, uh, the revelations that were coming to me. And I, and I got two days, two, two years, almost to the day. That I'd gotten that rebuke, um, I was holding the galley copy of the book in my hand. Wow. That is really cool.

And I also had no idea that you were a dentist before you were an educator, I guess, or I don't know what you would call yours. I know you're a motivational speaker and, you know, a thought leader. So probably thought leader would be more appropriate, but still, that's so cool that you went from that to teaching so many people and probably helping people out of a dark place.

And then now sharing this, you know, light and truth with others. And I, I did find that really interesting when you talked about the rebuke that you received from the Lord, where it was like, if you don't do this, I'll find someone else to do it. And I have definitely felt that way with different things in my life that I've felt called to do.

So my next question for you is, what kind of opposition did you face putting this book together? Cause I would imagine you had to have faced opposition, or are you just so smart at this point that you just don't even, you don't even let Satan bring you down. As long as we are in mortality. We are going to experience the onslaught of the adversary, trying to undermine our spirituality, to knock us off course, fill us with fear, discouragement, doubt, whatever, but if we begin to recognize that it is not our own thinking, that these are being implanted, they're being, they masquerade as our own thoughts, but they are part of the opposition we have to overcome, then we can start directing our future.

Efforts at refuking the adversary and calling him on his attempt to try to slow us down, make us miserable, uh, fail and fall on our face and just confront him with it. And the more we do that, I think the less of a grip he has on us. But, but yes, in the writing of the book, there were some days when some doubts up doubts were pounding on my head.

Who are you to think you can write a book like this? And what I have come to teach in that book is what I use to write the book. And that is, I just, you need to address the adversary directly. Don't take responsibility for temptations or negative thoughts. You are not. thinking impurely if you have an impure thought that's injected into your thinking.

It's one thing to be tempted. It's another thing to go along with the temptation. So it's, it's not that we're ever going to be free of having these thoughts, uh, pop into our mind. But we have the absolute ability to decide what we're going to dwell on and what we're not going to allow ourselves to dwell on.

We are the chooser of the subject matter of our thoughts. We don't get to sometimes choose the initial topic. It'll be. Trust upon us, but whether we stay with the thought or we reject it, that's totally in our control. So yeah, that, that feel like it's a complete answer. Yes. Well, no, if you have more to say, absolutely.

By all means, not necessarily, but I just, uh, want every Christian that's listening, anyone of any faith out there that feels like, um, they struggle to maintain. Their spiritual poise, their connection with God, that they're likely experiencing, uh, a thought from what we call in Christianity, Satan, an adversary.

I, I, uh, when I was speaking in the corporate sectors, I couldn't really refer to a faith based term, so I started realizing that everybody in the room, even the CEOs. I had to admit that from time to time they were plagued with an inner skeptic, this doubter, this critic that, uh, constantly undermining their, their, their faith in themselves and what they can accomplish.

Uh, Oprah Winfrey, uh, has a classic example of the fact that how universal this is when she talks about the fact that she's interviewed some of the most successful What would appear to be most self confident, self assured people on the planet. And the first thing they ask her when the interview is over is how did I do?

They're worried about, you know, how they come across and everybody is plagued to some degree with, with self doubt feelings, insecurity, feelings of inferiority. But they're not coming from our own mental processes. The fact of the matter is we're not alone in our heads. We have our own thoughts, we have our own thinker of thoughts, and, and that thinker of thoughts is the chooser of the subject matter, in the sense of what we're going to concentrate on, allow to dwell and whatnot.

But we also have the light of Christ, we have whisperings of the Spirit, we're receiving promptings to do good. And most of the time that that will be even our first impulse. Inherently, we are kind and loving and thoughtful people. The kind of selfish person that's self centered and only worrying about our own personal interest is kind of an aberration that's occurring here because of the onslaught of another voice in our head.

We have the voice of the adversary. And he used the same methodology as the, as the, our heavenly father does in communicating with us. There's a scripture in the book of Mormon that says that the natural man, that's all of us in this fallen mortal state, the natural man is an enemy to God and has been from the fall of Adam.

Will be forever and ever unless he yields into, into the atti, enticing of the Holy Spirit and put it off the natural man and become at the saint through the atonement of Jesus Christ. Now, how do those enticing of the Holy Spirit come become His thoughts, impressions, uh, in the scriptures it's referred to the still small voice, meaning we don't actually hear it audibly.

We hear it in our mind. Well, that is that Lucifer Satan is the the great counterfeiter. He uses the very same methodology and He's become very skilled and been able to put thoughts in our mind that seem as though they are our own thoughts But they're not. And when we can begin to recognize those, uh, false impressions, then we have a real, much better chance of defeating him and his, and his ploys.

So, uh, the key is to, uh, sort of assume from the very beginning that our Heavenly Father is the most loving, kind being that we can possibly can conceive of. He wants nothing but our best interest. Uh, one of the apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, uh, Jeffrey R. Holland, made this statement, he says, My brothers and sisters, the first great commandment of all eternity.

Is to love God with all our heart, mind, and strength. That's the first great commandment. But the first great truth Of all eternity is that god loves us with all his heart might mind and strength and when I really let that sink into my soul, my mind my head it just it's so touching to to feel that truth that God has an infinite love for us He says that love is the foundation stone of eternity and it should be the foundation stone of our daily lives So that is, uh, a key that we can go to our Heavenly Father anytime we're perplexed, anytime we're feeling down, oppressed, suppressed, and go to our Heavenly Father in prayer and plead for help to be lifted up and to feel a reassurance that He's there for us.

Um, I love in the Sermon on the Mount where the Savior is trying to get us to, to grasp that concept. And I'm going to kind of paraphrase it in my own way. He said, which manner of parent among you having a child who would ask for an egg would give him a serpent or who asked for a fig would give him a thorn?

And the answer is, well, no loving parent would do that. Right. Then the Lord reason wants us to reason it out. If ye being fallen, immortal, imperfect parents know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more does your heavenly father know how to give good gifts unto his? So we need to be expecting the heavenly father is always only blessing us.

Yeah, yeah, and one of the most powerful thoughts that I wasn't really thinking I'd bring it up in this session But it's it's definitely Meant to be here coming to you. Yeah, I want to hear it. Yeah, is that we have the Notion that Heavenly Father will sometimes give us a no and I don't believe that Really?

I believe his very character is he has to answer. Yes You Or bless us with something better. He's going to either give us what we asked for, or if it's not in our best interest, or he being generous and loving and wanting us to have something, an experience even far greater, he will answer that with something different than what we prayed.

If you want to call that a no, that's all right, but it's kind of a cheap, uh, an ineffective way to characterize it. I prefer to think that. He is always going to answer my prayer, and if I don't feel it or see it immediately, it's because something better is on its way, and all I need to do is be patient and leave the timing up to him.

And I also believe this, Corrine. I believe if we have to wait, he pays interest. Mm hmm. I like that. The end result will be far greater than the one we asked for had he answered it immediately. everybody. And so I have a question with that. Um, So I know there are going to be people who are listening to this who will have Experiences similar to the one that i'm going to bring up and that is that my brother in law was killed shot and killed Five years ago.

He was the father of four little kids and he was just such a good man um beloved by his community, you know, just Everything you would want in a really good dad and he went to evict a tenant and this tenant We still will never know exactly what happened, but he shot and killed my brother in law my you know my husband's only living full brother and it was obviously just Devastating and when we found out he was missing before we knew that he had actually died you know, we just started praying like crazy that we would find him that all would be well and obviously That's not what happened.

So in this, I think there's probably going to be someone who's listening to this who, and, and I've accepted that that was that the heavenly father won't. Um, take away someone's agency. So obviously that was someone else's agency to take someone else's life. But also, um, I mean, I've accepted that that was, that this was somehow part of the plan, but I just would love to hear your experience with that because I, I know of people who, I mean, I have a dear friend whose baby died in childbirth.

Recently. And I look at that and I'm like, Oh, that I, I can't imagine much worse heartbreak than carrying a baby for nine months. And the day that you're supposed to meet them, the baby dies. So in really heavy circumstances like that, how, how do you teach someone that like that was God's It goes back to that.

You have to accept that fundamental premise that he loves every one of us with all his might, my mind and strength. And this thing that we call earth life and this thing we call death mean really nothing to him in the scope of his eternal purposes. We are all eternal beings. We are begotten spirits, meaning we'll never have an ending.

We're going to be going on through stage after stage of development. And there are certain lessons that all of us have to learn and one of them is to rely on him. This is going to be kind of a convoluted answer to get to this very, very poignant, important question that you brought up. There is in a movie that was popular 20 years ago or so, which was about, it's based on a true story about Rudy Ruediger, who was a, Uh, wannabe football player, small in stature and poor and not getting good grades where he could even get into Notre Dame, but he was a big Notre Dame football fan and his dream was that he wanted to go to Notre Dame and play football.

Right. So he winds up eventually getting to be kind of affiliated with the team and kind of a water boy, bus boy, polishing helmets and so forth. And eventually he gets to start to show up on the field and practice a little bit. And he's getting on to the point where he's running out of time. He's not going to be able to stay around Notre Dame much longer.

And being a good Catholic boy, he goes to, and Notre Dame being a Catholic university, there's a lovely cathedral there. And he goes, and he's praying, and, uh, uh, Father Cavanaugh, kindly, uh, priest there associated with the, the cathedral, he sees, uh, Rudy and mentions that he seems like he's deep in thought, and wrote, Rudy says, Oh, I, I'm just praying, I, I, I want to have this goal that she, uh, I want to have this happen in my life, and maybe I'm not praying hard enough.

Maybe I'm not good enough. And Father Kavanaugh says, well, I don't think that's really, um, the problem. It's not that you're not praying enough, that you're not good enough. He says, in my 37 years of theological study, I've come up to understand, I've come to understand two incontrovertible truths. Number one, there is a God, and number two, I'm not him.

Now, if we really let that dwell in, there's scriptures that say, Be still and know that I am God. Heavenly Father is asking us at times in various ways, some of them so desperately poignant that it just seems like, can there really be a God above us? That he is striving to, uh, help us grow in faith in him.

Faith is a power, uh, that has to be cultivated. It can't be given. It has to be cultivated. And so there are going to be disappointments, inexplicable tragedies that will occur in the course of life. But we are not in the position of telling God how to run his universe. Or, uh, tell, uh, his, the leaders of his churches, and I'm talking about all denominations here, how to run those churches.

We're not God. A lot of us have the idea that we have the right to, to write Heavenly Father's job description for him, tell him how he should run these things and how things should turn out. So there will come in almost every life, especially I think if you're being good and striving to live up to the gospel principles and promises, where you will have inexplicable tragic experiences.

I have a sister in law, my sister's Um, younger sister who had a example just exactly like you're talking about what carried its child nine months in just the last few days. Suddenly the heart was not there and her Susan's father, my, my wife's father and my sister in law's father was actually the Doctor that was the, uh, OB, the obstetrician that was going to be delivering that baby.

And it was actually probably harder for Daddy, that's what we all call him, because he felt like somehow he had let Jill and her husband down, that he had botched something as a doctor, overlooked or missed something. But down the road, there has been a couple of spiritual experiences where Jill and her husband and her family have come to some really amazing, um, explanations of why that took place.

And I can't even promise that that will happen in a person's lifetime, but I do believe with all my heart that there's a scripture that says, pray always. Be believing, and all things will work together for your good if you walk uprightly. Hmm. And we are down here to be tested. We actually agreed to do it.

Heavenly father couldn't make us come down here. It was an invitation, and most of us wanted to come on and take on these trials and go through these growth experiences. Says in job that, that, uh, the inauguration of the plan, that the sons of God cheered for this opportunity to be tested and go through these gut-wrenching experiences.

And when my wife and I have gone through some gut wrenching experiences, we, one of the things we do to kind of keep each other, our bearings straight is we'll grab each other, hug each other together, and then we'll look at each other and say, just remember, we cheered. We cheered to have this happen. Yeah.

I am personally of the opinion, and I can't prove it to any of you out there, that there's nothing that happens in this lie. No matter the circumstances that we did not agree to experience as a part of our own personal curriculum. Yeah, I believe that with all my heart and my husband does too. I don't know that it's anywhere in the scriptures, but we definitely believe that we sat down and had a little planning meeting with our heavenly parents and said, okay, we're down with this.

We're going to do it. Yeah, yeah, we knew ourselves and we knew what we needed as well as our Heavenly Father and so we often I think it's a little bit like a guidance counselor preparing a freshman for their electives in high school. What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be a doctor. Okay, you ought to be taking these electives.

I think we knew what we needed to learn. I he will and I think he offered us maybe even a menu Well, you could learn it this way. You could learn it that way this could happen in the course of your life because he cannot use force or coercion in any form it is all by invitation by love unfeigned and so Um, if we can muster the faith to start believing in those terms You We need to shed our tears.

We need to not deny or pretend like something tragic hasn't happened. We need to experience the full measure of grief and go through the grieving process. It's healthy and it's part of life. But if we can keep perspective that we're not God, He knows why. And he knows what's best for us. We can, we can make our way along that path.

And I am absolutely convinced that, uh, once we get on the other side. And review our life with, with him. We will see if not earlier, we will know then why, and we will be grateful. This, um, principle that he is the most loving being we can possibly conceive of is so important for us. Um, There's a, a scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants, which is one of the, the books, the revelation that Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints and their members believe is of God.

Uh, it's section 82, verse 10, and it says, I, the Lord, am bound when you do what I say. But when you do not, you have no promise. You do not what I say. You have no promise. That was my first scripture mastery scripture that I ever memorized. So I still remember that one. Okay, and when I memorized it at first, I thought it felt like It was kind of an ultimatum almost a threat And now i've come to really feel that heavenly father is saying that with a tear in the corner of his eye And a lump in his throat.

I'm the Lord and bound when you do what I say. But if you do not what I say, I can't bless you. It's based on law. You've got to obey the law upon which the blessing is predicated. You had a wonderful experience with Brother Remlin recently. One of his statements, just, I love it. I can't, uh, tell you how much it means to me.

He kind of shocked me. He did it. He did a wonderful, uh, exaggerated pause between this statement. He says, Heavenly Father does not want you to be obedient. You know, I kind of do what he says. He wants you to choose to be obedient. And that is the key. We have to choose to believe we have to choose to be obedient.

It's that chooser, that chooser prerogative that it ultimately determines. how fast we progress, how much we learn in our trials. There's even no limit to the what can be learned in a significant trial. I would say in, in the two examples or three examples that you've given that there's probably multiple layers of what could be learned by all the parties involved or even, even remotely affected by it.

And one of the questions, one of the trying to teach me with this one. What do you have? What would you have me learn? Okay. What do I need to know? Yeah, that's, I, I don't know that I've asked that about some of my trials, but it is interesting to think of them as, I love that you write in your book that the curriculum is personally tailored.

And it's funny, I was talking to Eldorado's wife. Right before I got to have my conversation with him. And we were talking about how my parents are about to go on their second mission. They were, um, their first senior mission was during COVID. And I told her that before they left, I kind of had this vision that while my parents were on a mission, I was just going to be blessed with so many, like, just showered with blessings.

And that ironically, it was actually one of the hardest times of my life. Like I had debilitating postpartum depression after having my fourth child. And so as I, I was explaining this to her, she said, yeah, well, sometimes we don't get to pick what those blessings are and they come in form, a form of teaching us something.

So it's exactly what you were saying. Um, so I thought that was kind of funny and, and. You know, interesting for me to think about while my parents are about to go serve their second mission. But I did want to get into just a little bit. I, I think it is such a gift and so incredible that in your book you teach about some of the ways that Satan gets into our mind or deceives us and those things were just fascinating for me to learn.

So maybe if we could go through just a few of those that you like for people to learn and understand, that would be really great. Okay, and I think to answer your question, uh, concisely, rather than me rambling along. I'm actually going to go to a page in, uh, a portion of the, of the book, Looking Under Christ and Every Thought.

Without discounting the gravity of major sins when I oughta, I submit that Satan's efforts to lure us into committing major sins is but the proverbial tip of the iceberg of his satanic ploys. He is only prevalent, he has other prevalent and frequent strategies he unleashes on us that are potentially more injurious and are diabolically disguised.

Hear it, O ye ends of the earth. Any thought that tears you down, diminishes your sense of worth, questions your identity as a child of God, or urges you to doubt, belittle, or berate yourself, is not coming from your intelligence of spirit, it is certainly not coming from a divine source. It is coming from the depths of the infernal pit from Lucifer and the household of Satan on the dark side of the veil.

Any thought that diminishes a person's value. Is a satanic thought. Any thought that urges you to be critical, judgmental, or negative. A podcaster's guess is a satanic thought. Heavenly Father's love for you, any thought that sows doubts about the reality of God or Heavenly Father's love for you, Christ's desire and ability to lift, empower, and save you is a satanic thought.

Any thought that encourages you to shirk, dodge, minimize, or rationalize your responsibility for your actions, reactions, sins of commission, sins of omission, preventing you from repenting and progressing are assuredly satanic thoughts. God bless you. Any thought that discourages you or holds you back from improving in order to draw closer to God, your spouse, your loved ones, your neighbors, or is a satanic thought.

Any thought that leads to impatience, petty judgments, unkind characterizations of others, clerks at the store, people in front of you in line, or slow drivers. Is coming from the adversary, any thought that perpetuates ill feelings, promotes negative emotions, sadness, misery, loneliness, depression, prolonged guilt or anxiety is a satanic thought, any thought that includes you to incline you to postpone or forgo a righteous impulse or an act of kindness or a compassionate service.

Is a satanic thought. So you're kind of getting the gist there, but the most satanic thing of it all is that Corinne is that he is able to convince us that none of that has anything whatsoever to do with him coming from us. Right. Right. And so now then he wants us to beat ourselves up for the thoughts that he has injected there.

And so that's so true. So I wanted to point out, uh, that extensive list to just kind of get us to the point to realize that as long as we don't attribute it to the adversary, then we're going to be fighting the wrong foe and falling into his trap of, of, you know, belittling, belittling, belittling ourselves.

Yeah, we've all, we've all heard the phrase, um, negative self talk. It's, it's two thirds. Correct. It is negative and it is taught, but it's not self. It's coming from the enemy of our soul. Wow. That is profound. Yes. And where you said it's a trap. That's interesting. Cause I got my husband to read this book and sometimes like husbands are maybe, maybe just my husband, but sometimes they don't want to be told what to do.

So at first he kind of resisted reading this book cause he was like, well, just because you had a life changing experience with it, doesn't. necessarily mean that I will. So I want you to lower your expectations. And I was like, okay, but I really, at the same time, he started telling me I'm feeling so much opposition right now.

I'm feeling more opposition than I ever have. And I was like, Neil, do you remember that I had the opportunity to meet one of the 12 apostles, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ? And I could ask him any question I wanted. And the one question I asked was this was how do I, I, I literally said to elder Renlund, I cannot.

get Satan to leave me alone. He is relentless. How do I get him off my back? And so he was like, okay, okay, that's true. So as he read your book, the, the summary of what you just said is what stuck out to my husband, which is that basically anything that's negative is coming from Satan and it's all a trap.

All of it is a trap. So that was kind of his summary that he goes back to frequently just to remind himself that if it's negative in any nature. That it's coming from the adversary and that it's all a trap. And I, I believe that too. I've, you know, been saying that our whole marriage where my husband has been very open about struggling with pornography addiction.

And that, that's not my, that's, that's not the way that Satan tries to take me down, but he, he'll take us any way he can get us. I don't think he cares what the method is. It's just as long as it works, as long as he can get us to resent someone or to feel frustration or anger or doubt or discouragement, any of those things, you know, he's just happy to get a win.

And we talked about a little bit earlier that sometimes we'll get a impulse from the spirit help somebody to do something, uh, that would be positive and uplifting and beneficial for an unselfish act. What will happen then is that other voice will start getting us to rationalize about they don't need it, they're too busy, you're too busy, uh, and talk us out of it.

For example, a lot of people in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints make a commitment that they're going to go to the temple on a regular basis. Well, you can just almost count on the fact the night before or early in the morning of your, your temple appointment, you're going to have all sorts of chaos break loose in your house.

Kids will have to have special projects done or whatever. And you'll have all sorts of, uh, uh, reasons to suddenly say, Well, I'll just take care of those and then I'll go to the temple some other time. There's a classic story told, uh, by one of the, uh, I think it was Bonnie Parkin, when she was the General Relief Society president, talked about her sister in law lived next door to President Kimball.

Church and it saw that and they went to the same congregation, the same ward, and he showed up one day with a brand new suit. And she had recently been to Asia and picked up some beautiful silk material and she realized that one of the pieces she had would make a beautiful tie. So she goes ahead and creates this tie.

And then she gets it done, puts it in a little package, and she's gonna go to the next door to the Kimball's home and knock on the door. She gets up onto the porch, and at that point, she gets this thought. Where's it coming from? You tell me. What do you think you're doing here? He doesn't need that. You, you're, you're going to embarrass yourself, uh, all this sort of reasons why she should just walk away.

And so she does. She does a pivot on the porch and starts to walk down the stairs. And Sister Kimball apparently had noticed the arrival of this woman. I believe her name was Susan. Uh, and then she's leaving. And so she came to the door and she said, Susan. And? What's going on? She said, Oh, I don't know. I'm just had this foolish idea.

I saw President Kimball's beautiful suit and I made him a tie and I was going to give it to him. And I just, I don't know. I had a second thoughts about it. And Sister Kimball walked up and put her arms around her and said, Oh, Susan, never suppress a generous thought. Uh, and that's that that story that was told in general conference years ago has stuck with me and I frequently.

Think about that when I have an impulse to do good and I'll start that the rationalizer will start telling me that it's not going to do any good and it's going to, you know, uh, I'll simply say to myself, don't suppress this thought, act on it. And that gets me, gets me past the rationalization and gets, you know, just shuts Lucifer down.

He doesn't, I don't let him. Stop me from doing and I'm not saying that every one of those acts that I do is, you know, some cosmic, uh, uh, spiritual experience. There's just a lot of little things, but at least I didn't let Lucifer impede something that could have been right. Right. Well, I wanted to go back to.

Just briefly to, um, to what you suggested about the temple where it's like, Oh, every time you try to go, there's something. And my husband and I decided in 2019 that we were going to start going weekly. And I was afraid at first, cause I thought that very thing, like every time we try to go, something bad happens.

So I kind of stopped. Wanting to go to the temple. So this weekly, um, commitment was felt like a lot, you know, but it was right after president Nelson, the prophet of our church had said, make an appointment. And keep it with exactness and joy. And that word appointment, like really popped out to me because I thought, okay, what are my appointments?

They are, I have a hair appointment. I have a nail appointment. Like I don't miss these appointments because if I do, I have to wait another three months before the girl that does my hair can get me in. And so I thought, okay, I'm going to make a weekly appointment and I'm going to stick to it. And for me, it was like, I had to just say, None of it's going to work.

I'm going to go either way. So you might as well leave me alone. And I feel like it works. I feel, I feel like after Satan saw like, Oh, she's going to go either way. It was like, you know, week we go to the temple and it's fine. And we go every week, but I was so inspired by your story where you said you, you just like had a breaking point where you said I've had enough.

And so can you talk about that just for a minute? Yes, I'd be happy to do that. When you were, you know, you were saying you weren't sure what title I went by in my profession, I called myself a corporate educator. I had created this curriculum. Human development. That was very powerful. One of the, uh, most popular versions of that is all about taking ownership for your outcomes.

Uh, and, and it became very, very, very popular. And I would, uh, from time to time get a, a call or an email. I get an appointment from a, from a company to say, we've heard all about this. We wanna have it in our, in our culture. We're gonna have you come in for a pilot seminar and, uh. And if it goes well, then we're going to roll it out in the company.

Well, most of the time they've been scheduled at other two, three, sometimes four months, uh, for, for the sake of both our schedules. And I would just know that there'd be just start to become every so often out of the blue, there'd be this. Pain of fear and doubt and questioning that, you know, you're going to fall in your face.

This is, these are a bunch of corporate, uh, hardcore, um, hard hearted driving business people. They're going to take your little soft scale stuff and they're going to chew you up and spit you out. And. I would, I would have sleepless nights and the night before I'd usually be playing into a location. I wouldn't sleep all night and I'd get up the next morning and be just almost bound up in this fear.

And then when I'd stand up and say, good morning, ladies and gentlemen, that fear would leave. It felt like the spirit would come. And And, uh, the talk would go great. And I had people coming up and saying, Oh, this is fantastic. Something I've been looking for and needing. And it seemed like the more opposition that led up to it, the better it would go when I finally delivered, delivered it.

And then I'd be driving to the airport and wonder why did I put myself through all of that anxiety? And then I finally, when I really got onto this idea that it's, it's Lucifer trying to stop it, That I had one of these moments when I had that very same thing happen where I'd been pent up in a lot of pre uh, presentation anxiety, and it had gone great.

And on the way I was in Denver, I'd given the, the, uh, the seminar in one of the outskirts cities. I was driving to that airport and I had just been fed up with it, and I just yelled at the top of my lungs. Uh, directly at the adversary, calling him out, saying, I'm never going to let you do that again. And I just dumped this 55 gallon, uh, barrel of animosity towards all the torture he'd put me through, uh, needlessly.

And I was, I was complicit in, I was allowing that to happen. And it seemed to really turn the tide. And every time now I have a presentation, even like a podcast here, I'll have a little quiver here. Is it going to go well? I know two things. Number one, he wouldn't be bothering me trying to get me not to do it unless it was going to accomplish a lot of good.

It's sort of a backdoor confirmation that it's going to go well. Yeah. And so that was one point. And then the second point is, um, I am actually going to turn the tables on you, Lucifer. I'm going to spend more time in preparing. I'm going to learn more about that company. I'm going to be really prepared.

I'm going to put more into this. You're going to be so sorry you tried to stop this. And you can even use it on a little simple level. A lot of times we'll get up on our Sunday morning and we plan to go to church. And especially I think when Susie and I had a household of kids and had to get everybody ready and most of the time I was to a meeting and she had to do it on her own.

And sometimes we had the idea, maybe it'd be just better if we just stayed home. Okay. So when that comes to my mind now, what I like to do is do 180 degree reversal. I say, Oh, you don't want me to go to church. Well, I'll tell you what. I'm not just going to go to church. I'm going to go to church. I am going to go there with an intent and I'm going to look for everybody or anybody that I feel like just needs somebody to put their arm around and I'm going to put my arm around and I'm going to tell them that I'm glad to see them.

I'm going to mean it. And when I ask them how they're doing, I'm going to, I say it like I want to hear the answer and I'm going to put something, some effort into that relationship. If they're going to have a service project and I already have something on my schedule rather than using that as a good excuse, I'm going to say, I'll go and then I'll figure out a way to reschedule mine and then so I can go there.

I want to look for an opportunity to bear my testimony or maybe make a good comment in, in one of the lessons or one of the meetings. I am going to go to church. And, as corny as that sounds, try it. It really does work. Uh, it, uh, you get a lot less of those attempts at preventing you from going there and playing pull out and all that you do.

Going to the temple when you're committed to do it. Going to temple, or to the church, not with the idea of how much am I going to get out of it, but how much can I give, how much, who can I lift, who can I help, uh, that might be in, uh, struggling with something. And, uh, And it's, it's, um, it's an effective way to turn the tables on the adversary to make him miserable instead of letting it be the other way around.

Yeah. Well, I have to tell you, I had the same, uh, you inspired me to have the same experience where I just said, I'm done. I'm done having Satan. Use me as a puppet and, you know, control my life and control me by fear. I realized I was being controlled so often by fear, fear, like you're saying of something not going well, something not working out.

And interestingly too, when I talked to Elder Renlund, he gave me this advice. He said, number one, I always think of the first vision. So he instructed me there. And, and that is a, that is like a key part of our religion where Joseph Smith prayed in a grove of trees when he was 14. And before a lot of people miss this part before he received his answer, he felt this like thick darkness.

That gathered around him and he was, I mean, he felt like he was, he says something like to the point of destruction, like he, he fears death and I have experienced that recently. I've had two panic attacks in the last month. First time in my whole life. The first of the two, my husband took me, like called an ambulance and I went to the hospital thinking I was having a heart attack and then, you know, now that I've had two of these, Both times felt more pain, more physical pain than I've ever felt in my life.

Um, and I've had five kids and, you know, been in labor before. And I know what that feels like. And this was even worse. Um, so that's very relatable to me, but anyway, sorry, I'm getting way off track. So Elder Renlin said, number one, I think of the first vision. And about that, you know, that Joseph had to push through that thick darkness.

But number two, he said, I want you to call it out, call it what it is. And you say that in your book. And then he said, call down the powers of heaven to help you. And so after reading your book, hearing that instruction, I got to that point in your book where you talked about. How you said you were done, and I just had that same experience where I said, I'm done having the adversary Control my life so much and I'm not gonna listen to fear anymore I'm not gonna listen to this doubt or discouragement which has really You know, since I decided to not just do the fashion blog, but to talk about things that are of greater importance, the more I've gone into that realm, the, the more opposition I've faced.

And so reading your book and understanding, Oh, that just means. That it's really important. That was one last thing that Elder Renlund said too. He said, I always know I'm on the right track and I always know it's really important if I feel that kind of opposition. So, uh, for whatever it's worth, your advice in this book is exactly what An apostle of Jesus Christ also told me was his best advice for this same thing.

Like I said, I don't feel like I'm the author of the book. It was the Lord and he's certainly guiding his, his quorum of the 12 and the first presidency. They are inspired, amazing, prophetic. Uh, human beings and, uh, and it just, it's the Holy Ghost telling all of us to the principles that we can use to try closer to our savior.

And I think we're probably winding down here. And that's one of the things I really want to emphasize now in place of listening to the spook. And, and, and when you, uh, really stop and think about it, these things are happening because you're listening, uh, to them, they're not. And so. First thing you want to do is stop listening and start talking and you talk, you talk back to him is the first step.

And then the second one is you want to go to your heavenly father in prayer and just say heavenly father right now, Satan is trying to play his old tricks on me. He's trying to discourage me. He's trying to fill me with regret. He's trying to, um, you know, make me, uh, Sad or depressed, you know, what name, name, whatever the emotion is that you're feeling on you at that point.

And then simply just say, Heavenly Father, I need to feel. I need to feel that you're with me, that you understand what I'm going through. I need your help. What can I do now? Is there somebody I can do a service for right now? Is there a text that I can send? Is there my next door neighbor? They need somebody to knock on their door and say, I'm thinking of, of you.

Are you all right? Uh, do some kind to act and I promise you that you will answer that, he will answer that prayer. And there'll be some times, it's not gonna happen every day and all the time, but there'll be some times when you'll actually feel his hand on your shoulder. Or sometimes you'll actually feel like he's embracing you, letting you know that he's there and you're all right.

I just loved in your book, how you talked about, one of my favorite things that I learned is when you said it's not about you. And that's one of Satan's things that he wants us to be confused about. That when you start thinking in the line of what the savior would want you to think about, it's how can I help someone else instead of how is this, how's fear affecting me?

How does everything affecting me? Yeah. You know? Yeah. So I loved that. Okay. Well, I just have to say with like as much passion as I can possibly muster that anyone who's listening to this, if you've gotten anything out of this, this is only a fraction of all the good things in your book, Dennis. So they have to read the book.

The book is awesome. Right. The book's always better than even the podcast. So you have to go read it, looking into Christ in every thought, but I want to give you the opportunity to just answer this last question of mine, which is if there's one message that you want the person listening to this podcast episode to remember, what do you want that one message to be?

I think it would be going back to the idea that our heavenly father is the most loving kind, generous. Supporting being we can possibly think of that we are as children and that is our fundamental nature that we are not by nature, unkind, critical of others, or quick to find fault with them, other people or ourselves.

That's all being instigated by our, our adversary. And this self talk where we're beating ourselves up, we would not do that to a child that we loved. Right. We would not do that. That would not be our nature. In fact, I think I'm fine. Yeah, I've got it here. Nelson Mandela in his book, Long Walk to Freedom said, no one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion.

People must learn to hate. And if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love or love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite, because we came from a kingdom of love and we're the children of the, of a loving God, we would not be as unkind to ourselves as these thoughts are in our head that should tell us.

That they are not our thoughts. Be kind to yourself. Give, uh, the spirit a chance to confirm to you that those kinds of thoughts are not your responsibility. They're not coming from you. What you do with them is your responsibility. And you have the right and responsibility to cast them out. To focus your mind on Something better.

The one thing that, uh, uh, leave you with is that in mortality, we can only think of one thing at a time. No matter how busy we get, we can only think of one thing at a time. You can't answer two questions at the same time. You can't solve two problems. So by choosing one thought, you're actually precluding or excluding everything else.

So when you are being plagued by these thoughts, Rather than listen to him. That's when you pick up the scriptures. That's when you go to prayer. That's when you do something kind to get your mind focused on that one thing and then that shuts the overtures from the adversary and You gain strength and a closer relationship with your Savior.

I love that. Well Um, is there, is there any place that I can direct people to find you? Do you post things? Are you go to the website? If you want to get the book, any, any, it comes in several forms, hardback, two sizes, a softback, a Kindle book, and an audio go to looking under christ. com, looking under christ.

com. Okay. And then you can order anything there that you want. You, if you want to. Uh, look into the professional side of the equation. It's qma learning.com or just qma.net QU a.net. Okay. And you can Awesome. Put a message there if you want to look into some, uh, one-on-one coaching, or you want to, uh, have schedule me to come to teach a fire site or something like that, that's a way to do that is to go looking into christ.com or to qma qa.net.

Okay. Wonderful. Thank you so much for being here today and sharing all this wisdom. It's been extremely enlightening for me and, and I'm just super grateful for the way that your book has changed my life. Oh, that's a sweet compliment. I think I really thank you for having, giving me this opportunity to share it with some other people as well.

You're keep, you're doing some awesome work, Corrine. Keep doing it. Thank you.

📍 Thanks so much for listening to Mint Aero Messages. We're so grateful that you spent time with us today. Make sure you go follow us at Corinne Stokoe or at Mint Aero Messages on Instagram. And then if you have a second and you love the show, I would love it so much if you'd leave a rating or a review on Apple Podcasts.

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