23. Evil Spirit Entities


Communications between mortal humans and eternal entities are a fundamental occurrence recorded on numerous occasions throughout the archives of history. Joseph Smith was no exception; he testified to the world that he had received a series of heavenly messengers; who directed the restoration or setting up of Smiths church. Fearlessly Joseph Smith had clear doctrines regarding the dark demonic forces of Lucifer or Satan and accepted the reality of evil spirit entities. He believed in visions and visitations from immortal realms. Turning to his understanding of the nature of spirits, and their governing laws, the Mormon Prophet Smith, claimed many revelations.

As stated openly on different occasions, Ann Folger is concerned regarding demonic possession and the death of Pierson! Ann considers the devil to be a real entity with real power; for her, God and the Devil are in opposition. Spiritually all faiths teach the doctrine of a struggle between the forces of opposing spirit entities. Undoubtedly, whether we like it or not, the facts stand firm. All religions require the existence of both a God and a Devil, it’s a principle we cannot change, as written into the pages of human history. Ann believes she has a good spirit, which she wants to keep safely inside her body; consequently, she was afraid that a devil, or evil spirit, would jump from Pierson into her body! In her understanding, as recorded in writing and verbally witnessed, Ann is terrified that she will become a victim suffering the adverse effects of demonic possession.


During Sojourner-Truth’s interview, the questions were inappropriate, one of which was, and I quote. ‘What had become of Pierson’s devil, or evil spirit?’ The response from her was direct and aimed at the person presenting the questions. She responded, quote, ‘that it might have entered into one of them!’ (Ref: H82)

Love, lust, hate, jealousy, and fear are some of the strongest emotions we all experience. Understandably, Ann Folger has, at this time, a real love and lust attraction towards Matthias. This attraction, intermingled with her fear of Matthias, is due to his irrational, violent outbursts, which include the threat of damnation within the kingdom of heaven. Contained in this portion of the above statement, Ann’s fear of rejection inside the kingdom of heaven is also presented through the words of Sojourner-Truth. From all the evidence thus provided, it is apparent that Ann Folger lived her life in a state fear.

Searching for answers to our questions, we have investigated some of the information regarding evil spirits, as presented by Joseph Smith and Matthias. Interestingly the details within this and previous chapters clearly show a religious acceptance of both good and evil spirit entities. We have examined historical reports informing us of multiple demonic possessions, the details of which have been alarming and unforgettable. We have discovered the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith had strong viewpoints on evil or wicked spirits, which he was not afraid, or ashamed to share, as a voice of warning, to any person who showed interest or concern!

Prophet Matthias, on the other hand, does not keep records of his doctrine on such matters. Additionally, his fears appear self-centered, promoting control in a narcissistic manner!

Interestingly we have examined extraordinary historical coincidences in Europe, showing the uncanny similarities between the self-proclaimed Prophet Matthias of the second great awakening in the U.S.A and the Prophet Matthias of Europe. These curiosities point towards demonic possession due to the exchange of evil actions and words. Informatively, we have outlined these similarities, which are unquestionably challenging for any open-minded person. As we consider these challenges, we should remember the sexual immoralities perpetrated on the innocent minds and bodies of virgins. These innocent virgins were in the vile darkness of either a disgusting man or a man with a corrupted, perverted evil spirit. After reading all the historical facts, each careful reader should evaluate the evidence and reach their conclusions regarding a battle between good and evil spirit entities as claimed by most religions, and denominations

After considering all the facts, it is my genuine opinion that Matthias and his disciples sought to help Pierson during his sufferings. Looking at the disciples inside the Zion of Matthias, we can liken them to a flock of sheep, following a shepherd towards the edge of a dangerous cliff. Unquestionably, the disciples of the notorious American claimed Prophet Matthias thought they were under attack from demonic evil devils from the unseen spirit world. These demonic evil spirits were, as the evidence continually portrays, interested in Matthias’ actions. With this kind of delusion, is it any wonder that Matthias and his disciples considered that they were under attack from demonic entities?

While talking about the sickness, or fits that Pierson endured during the last few days of his life, Sojourner-Truth said in her statement, quote. ‘They affected his sinews and muscles, drawing his head on one side, and almost round: and while in these fits, he would utter singular sounds, at first unintelligible, and then less so, as the fit increased in strength; while his gestures were very singular and sometimes disgusting; if a person ought to feel disgusted at the actions of a sick man.’ (Ref H74) The words of Sojourner-Truth read like a recent review of a classic horror film, depicting demonic possession. Could this be yet another coincidence, or are we witnessing the death of Pierson via demonic possession and its dire effects on the human body after years of being tormented!

From the dawn of humanity, self-abuse and claimed demonic possession has attracted the attention of believers and nonbelievers. History is full of such events; we have records of individuals, cities, even societies that fall into devilish ways based on immorality and self-abuse. Perhaps this also is the case for the departed Mr. Elijah Pierson! In her dictated statement, Sojourner-Truth verbally presents evidence, she said, and I once again quote. ‘It has been already noticed that Mr. Pierson, though extremely modest in his deportment, was of an amative disposition, which increased the severity in the loss of his wife. Indeed, after her death, we have evidence of his practicing onanism for a considerable period.’ (Ref: H74) The origin of the word ‘onanism’ is foreign, and after translation into English, we know what was, in reality, happening to Mr. Elijah Pierson. Shockingly the explanation of ‘Onanism’ is indulging in masturbation.

Shockingly, Sojourner-Truth informs us that Mr. E Pierson was engaging in masturbation while in the presence of Matthias, Ann, and their devoted disciples! Persons’ disgraceful onanism is against all accepted moral codes of New York society. As a side note, Sojourner-Truth did not use the word ‘onanism’ when describing the actions of Mr. E Pierson. Sojourner-Truth said, and I quote. ‘Mr. Pierson appeared conscious of something ridiculous or disgusting in his manners while in these fits, for he frequently asked persons about him, whether he said or did anything wrong while the fit was on him and seemed very anxious to avert both the fits and their consequences; and for that purpose gave particular instruction to some of the household: Isabella (Sojourner-Truth), he instructed to strike the palms of hands and the strong sinews on his neck, when the fit was about to draw his head on one side or around, and to rub him in various parts, and restrain him from any improper act. When his fits came on when at the table, as they sometimes did, Matthias would lead him from the table into another room, agreeable to his wish. When these fits were coming on, the presence of particular persons affected him in a singular way, and especially the presence of Mrs. B. H. Folger: if she appeared in the commencement of his fit, he would look at her intensely, stretching forward his head and one of his hands, as if he would draw her to him, and exclaim Ann, Ann, Ann, Ann, Ann, etc. etc., repeating with greater rapidity, and looking more eagerly and wildly as the fit advanced; he would also alternate this expression with the exclamation, looking at her as before, and exclaiming, my wife! my wife! my wife! Etc. etc., repeating more rapidly as the fit grew stronger. During this time, while endeavoring to approach her with one hand extended, he would feel about his person with the other within his clothes. His whole appearance at such times excited disgust in that lady and she would leave his presence as soon as possible, using even the term brute to express her disgust; Matthias too would attempt to rouse him on such occasions to a sense of propriety by exclaiming, Why, Elijah! what are you saying, what are you about, while other persons would remove his hand, and hold him. When these fits came on in bed, Mr. Pierson would generally throw himself out of bed; and this led Matthias to observe that he had a Devil which appeared to like the floor best, and therefore some bed-clothing were placed on the floor, on which he sometimes lay. These bed-clothes he would frequently draw to him as if embracing a person, still making singular exclamations, or, in the strength of his fit, unintelligible noises, and using improper gestures, which made his friends, interfere, and endeavor to rouse him.(Ref: H75 & 76)

The decline and destruction of Pierson; from a Christian God-fearing man, devoted to his loving wife, and his Christian faith, has been horrendous! Unfortunately, Pierson’s fall from respectability is no private matter, as the penny press newspapers are fully aware of his interconnection with Matthias. Understandably, his siblings and other family members disapprove of his connections with Matthias. We have no evidence that any of Pierson’s family members even considered the possibility of demonic possession, as they, for the most part, have been kept in the dark regarding the real-life and death challenges that Pierson suffered!

The immorality and iron fist control which Matthias holds over his disciples is without dispute; in many ways, he is like a captain of a ship, sailing forward into the abyss of a watery grave, full of tears, sadness, lust, and madness!

On countless occasions, Matthias has cursed nonbelievers of his doctrines; he even accused them of being possessed by evil spirits! Surprisingly the idea of a matched spirit becoming evil was also accepted due to the continued practice of re-matching or re-marrying the persons concerned! The only constant was the inconsistency of events, as they adapted and moved forward with each passing day. Under normal conditions, and to the outside world, Matthias and his actions must be considered abnormal; bordering on the verge of insane!

Attempting to summarize Pierson’s condition, once again from Sojourner-Truth, we read and quote. ‘Mr. Pierson’s manners while in the fits had excited a degree of acknowledged disgust mingled with pity, and a desire to assist him; and when to these fits, sickness was added, the pity and sympathy of the family were increased, but this was partly paralyzed by an increasing disgust, the consequences of his sickness.’ (Ref: H76)

Cutting through layers of mass confusion in Pierson’s health care we see a conflict of interest for Matthias and his disciples. Unfortunately, a double-minded approach, swayed by fancy and desire, has, as we have experienced on numerous occasions throughout recorded history, been the result of claimed demonic possession. The Matthias of Europe in 1553 and the Matthias in America during the 1800-s experienced the same double standards: one moment both Matthias’ say and want one thing, then without warning, they issue a full reversal of words, actions, and meanings! In conclusion, some would cry out ‘madness or insanity’ while others would whisper in dark corners’ possession or evil spirits!’ Each person must consider the evidence and decided for themselves!

Within the History of the Mormon Church, we find Joseph Smith’s teachings on evil or demonic spirits. For the sake of continuity and full disclosure, I shall present the un-edited version of Joseph’s understanding and instructions on this subject matter. The information is not the entire doctrine on this topic. The Mormon Prophet Smith had the following to say regarding evil spirits. Please note that we have resisted the temptation to correct the spelling and grammar from this public domain document as we do not wish to either add or take away anything from its original meaning.

We quote. ‘One great evil is, that men are ignorant of the nature of spirits; their power, laws, government, intelligence, etc., and imagine that when there is anything like power, revelation, or vision manifested, that it must be of God. Hence the Methodists, Presbyterians, and others frequently possess a spirit that will cause them to lie down, and during its operation, animation is frequently entirely suspended; they consider it to be the power of God, and a glorious manifestation from God-a manifestation of what? Is there any intelligence communicated? Are the curtains of heaven withdrawn or the purposes of God developed? Have they seen and conversed with an angel, or have the glories of futurity burst upon their view? No! But their body has been inanimate, the operation of their spirit suspended, and all the intelligence that can be obtained from them when they arise, is a shout of glory, or hallelujah, or some incoherent expression; but they have had the power. The Shaker will whirl around on his heel, impelled by a supernatural agency or spirit, and think that he is governed by the Spirit of God, and the Jumper will jump and enter into all kinds of extravagances. A Primitive Methodist will shout under the influence of that spirit until he will rent the heavens with his cries; while the Quakers (or Friends) moved as they think, by the Spirit of God, will sit still and say nothing. Is God the author of all this? If not of all of it, which does He recognize? Surely, such a heterogeneous mass of confusion never can enter into the kingdom of heaven Every one of these professes to be competent to try his neighbor’s spirit, but no one can try his own, and what is the reason? Because they have not a key to unlock, no rule wherewith to measure, and no criterion whereby they can test it. Could anyone tell the length, breadth, or height of a building without a rule? Test the quality of metals without a criterion, or point out the movements of the planetary systems, without knowledge of astronomy? Certainly not, and if such ignorance as this is manifested about a spirit of this kind, who can describe an angel of light? If Satan should appear as one in glory, who can tell his color, his signs, his appearance, his glory? -or, what is the manner of his manifestation? Who can detect the spirit of the French prophets with their revelations and their visions, and power of manifestations? Or who can point out the Spirit of the Irvingites, with their apostles and prophets, and visions and tongues, and interpretations, or who can drag into daylight and develop the hidden mysteries of the false spirits that so frequently are made manifest among the Latter-day Saints? We answer that no man can do this without the Priesthood, and having a knowledge of the laws by which spirits are governed; for as no man knows the things of God, but by the Spirit of God, so no man knows the spirit of the devil, and his power and influence, but by possessing intelligence which is more than human, and having unfolded through the medium of the Priesthood the mysterious operations of his devices; without knowing the angelic form, the sanctified look and gesture, and the zeal that is frequently manifested by him for the glory of God, together with the prophetic spirit, the gracious influence, the godly appearance, and the holy garb, which are so characteristic of his proceedings and his mysterious windings. A man must have the discerning of spirits before he can drag into daylight this hellish influence and unfold it unto the world in all its soul-destroying, diabolical, and horrid colors; for nothing is a greater injury to the children of men than to be under the influence of a false spirit when they think they have the Spirit of God. Thousands have felt the influence of its terrible power and baneful effects. Long pilgrimages have been undertaken, penances endured, and pain, misery, and ruin have followed in their train; nations have been convulsed, kingdoms overthrown, provinces laid waste, and blood, carnage, and desolation are habiliments in which it has been clothed. The Turks, the Hindus, the Jews, the Christians, the Indian; in fact, all nations have been deceived, imposed upon, and injured through the mischievous effects of false spirits. As we have noticed before, the great difficulty lies in the ignorance of the nature of spirits, of the laws by which they are governed, and the signs by which they may be known; if it requires the Spirit of God to know the things of God; and the spirit of the devil can only be unmasked through that medium, then it follows as a natural consequence that unless some person or persons have a communication, or revelation from God, unfolding to them the operation of the spirit, they must eternally remain ignorant of these principles; for I contend that if one man cannot understand these things but by the Spirit of God, ten thousand men cannot; it is alike out of the reach of the wisdom of the learned, the tongue of the eloquent, the power of the mighty. And we shall, at last, have to come to this conclusion, whatever we may think of revelation, that without it we can neither know nor understand anything of God, or the devil; and however unwilling the world may be to acknowledge this principle, it is evident from the multifarious creeds and notions concerning this matter that they understand nothing of this principle, and it is equally as plain that without a divine communication they must remain in ignorance. The world always mistook false prophets for true ones, and those that were sent of God, they considered to be false prophets, and hence they killed, stoned, punished and imprisoned the true prophets, and these had to hide themselves in deserts and dens, and caves of the earth, and though the most honorable men of the earth, they banished them from their society as vagabonds, whilst they cherished, honored and supported knaves, vagabonds, hypocrites, impostors, and the basest of men. A man must have the discerning of spirits, as we before stated, to understand these things, and how is he to obtain this gift if there are no gifts of the spirit? And how can these gifts be obtained without revelation? Christ ascended into heaven and gave gifts to men, and He gave some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Evangelists, and some Pastors and Teachers. And how were Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers, and Evangelists chosen? By prophecy (revelation) and by laying on of hands: by a divine communication, and a divinely appointed ordinance through the medium of the Priesthood, organized according to the order of God, by divine appointment. The Apostles in ancient times held the keys of this Priesthood of the mysteries of the kingdom of God and consequently were enabled to unlock and unravel all things pertaining to the government of the church, the welfare of society, the future destiny of men, and the agency, power, and influence of spirits; for they could control them at pleasure, bid them depart in the name of Jesus, and detect their mischievous and mysterious operations when trying to palm themselves upon the church in a religious garb, and militate against the interest of the church and spread of truth. We read that they cast out devils in the name of Jesus, and when a woman possessing the spirit of divination, cried before Paul and Silas, these are the servants of the Most High God that show unto us the way of salvation, they detected the spirit. And although she spake favorably of them, Paul commanded the spirit to come out of her and saved themselves from the opprobrium that might have been heaped upon their heads, through an alliance with her, in the development of her wicked principles, which they certainly would have been charged with, if they had not rebuked the evil spirit. A power similar to this existed through the medium of the Priesthood in different ages. Moses could detect the magician’s power, and show that he [himself] was God’s servant he knew when he was upon the mountain (through revelation) that Israel was engaged in idolatry; he could develop the sin of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, detect witches and wizards in their proceedings, and point out the true prophets of the Lord. Joshua knew how to detect the man who had stolen the wedge of gold and the Babylonish garment. Micaiah could point out the false spirit by which the four hundred prophets were governed. If his advice had been taken, many lives would have been spared (2 Chronicles 18) Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and many other prophets possessed this power. Our Saviour, the Apostles, and even the members of the church were endowed with this gift, for, says Paul, (I Corinthians 12), to one is given the gift of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discerning of spirits. All these proceeded from the same Spirit of God and were the gifts of God. The Ephesian church were enabled by this principle, to try those that said they were apostles, and were not, and found them, liars. (Revelation 2:2.)

In tracing the thing to the foundation, and looking at it philosophically, we shall find a very material difference between the body and the spirit; the body is supposed to be organized matter, and the spirit, by many, is thought to be immaterial, without substance. With this latter statement we should beg leave to differ, and state that spirit is a substance; that it is material, but that it is more pure, elastic and refined matter than the body; that it existed before the body, can exist in the body; and will exist separate from the body, when the body will be mouldering in the dust; and will in the resurrection, be again united with it. Without attempting to describe this mysterious connection, and the laws that govern the body and the spirit of man, their relationship to each other, and the design of God in relation to the human body and spirit, I would just remark, that the spirits of men are eternal, that they are governed by the same Priesthood that Abraham, Melchizedek, and the Apostles were: that they are organized according to that Priesthood which is everlasting, without beginning of days or end of years, that they all move in their respective spheres, and are governed by the law of God; that when they appear upon the earth, they are in its probationary state, and are preparing, if righteous, for a future and greater glory; that the spirits of good men cannot interfere with the wicked beyond their prescribed bounds, for Michael, the Archangel, dared not bring a railing accusation against the devil, but said, The Lord rebuke thee, Satan.

It would also seem, that wicked spirits have their bounds, limits, and laws by which they are governed or controlled, and know their future destiny; hence, those that were in the maniac said to our Savior, Art thou come to torment us before the time, and when Satan presented himself before the Lord, among the sons of God, he said that he came from going to and fro in the earth, and from wandering up and down in it; and he is emphatically called the prince of the power of the air; and, it is very evident that they possess a power that none but those who have the Priesthood can control, as we have before adverted to, in the case of the sons of Sceva. Having said so much upon general principles, without referring to the peculiar situation, power, and influence of the magicians of Egypt, the wizards and witches of the Jews, the oracles of the heathen, their necromancers, soothsayers, and astrologers, the maniacs or those possessed of devils in the Apostles’ days, we will notice, and try to detect (so far as we have the Scriptures for our aid) some few instances of the development of false spirits in more modern times, and in this our day. The French Prophets were possessed of a spirit that deceived; they existed in Vivaris and Dauphany, in great numbers in the year 1688; there were many boys and girls from seven to twenty-five; they had strange fits, as in trembling’s and fainting’s, which made them stretch out their legs and arms, as in a swoon; they remained awhile in trances, and coming out of them, uttered all that came in their mouths.

Now God never had any prophets that acted in this way; there was nothing indecorous in the proceeding of the Lord’s prophets in any age; neither had the apostles, nor prophets in the apostles’ day anything of this kind. Paul says, Ye may all prophesy, one by one; and if anything be revealed to another let the first hold his peace, for the spirit of the prophets is subject to the prophets; but here we find that the prophets are subject to the spirit, and falling down, have twitching’s, tumbling’s, and fainting’s through the influence of that spirit, being entirely under its control. Paul says, let everything be done decently and in order, but here we find the greatest disorder and indecency in the conduct of both men and women, as above described. The same rule would apply to the fallings, twitching’s, swooning’s, shaking, and trances of many of our modern revivalists. Johanna Southcott professed to be a prophetess, and wrote a book of prophecies in 1804; she became the founder of a people that are still extant. She was to bring forth, in a place appointed, a son, that was to be the Messiah, which thing has failed. Independent of this, however, where do we read of a woman that was the founder of a church in the word of God? Paul told the women in his day. To keep silence in the church, and that if they wished to know anything to ask their husbands at home; he would not suffer a woman to rule, or to usurp authority in the church; but here we find a woman the founder of a church, the revelator, and guide, the Alpha, and Omega, contrary to all acknowledged rule, principle, and order. Jemimah Wilkinson was another prophetess that figured largely in America in the last century. She stated that she was taken sick and died and that her soul went to heaven, where it still continues. Soon after, her body was reanimated with the Spirit and power of Christ, upon which she set up as a public teacher, and declared that she had an immediate revelation. Now the Scriptures positively assert that Christ is the first fruit, afterwards those that are Christ’s at His coming, then cometh the end. But Jemimah, according to her testimony, died and rose again before the time mentioned in the Scriptures. The idea of her soul being in heaven while her body was [living] on earth, is also preposterous. When God breathed into man’s nostrils, he became a living soul, before that he did not live, and when that was taken away his body died; and so did our Savior when the spirit left the body, nor did His body live until His Spirit returned in the power of His resurrection. But Mrs. Wilkinson’s soul [life] was in heaven, and her body without the soul [or life] on earth, living [without the soul, or] without life! The Irvingites have apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and angels. They profess to have the gift of tongues, and the interpretation of tongues, and, in some few instances, to have the gift of healing. The first prophetic spirit that was manifested was in some Misses Campbell that Mr. Irving met with, while on a journey in Scotland; they had [what is termed among their sect] utterances, which were evidently of a supernatural agency. Mr. Irving, falling into the common error of considering all supernatural manifestations to be of God, took them to London with him, and introduced them into his church. They were there honored as the prophetesses of God, and when they spoke, Mr. Irving or any of his ministers had to keep silence. They were peculiarly wrought upon before the congregation and had strange utterances, uttered with an unnatural, shrill voice, and with thrilling intonations, they frequently made use of a few broken, unconnected sentences, that were ambiguous, incoherent, and incomprehensible; at other times they were more clearly understood. They would frequently cry out, there is iniquity! There is iniquity! And Mr. Irving has been led, under the influence of this charge, to fall down upon his knees before the public congregation, and to confess his sin, not knowing whether he had sinned, nor wherein, nor whether the thing referred to him, or somebody else. During these operations, the bodies of the persons speaking were powerfully wrought upon, their countenances were distorted, they had frequent twitching’s in their hands, and the whole system was powerfully convulsed at intervals: they sometimes, however, (it is supposed) spoke in correct tongues, and had true interpretations. Under the influence of this spirit, the church was organized by these women; apostles, prophets, &c. were soon called, and a systematic order of things introduced, as above mentioned. A Mr. Baxter (afterwards one of their principal prophets) upon going into one of their meetings, says, I saw a power manifested, and thought that was the power of God, and asked that it might fall upon me, and it did so, and I began to prophesy. Eight or nine years ago they had about sixty preachers going through the streets of London, testifying that London was to be the place where the two witnesses spoken of by John, were to prophesy; that (they) the church and the spirit were the witnesses, and that at the end of three years and a half there was to be an earthquake and great destruction, and our Savior was to come. Their apostles were collected together at the appointed time watching the event, but Jesus did not come, and the prophecy was then ambiguously explained away. They frequently had signs given them by the spirit to prove to them that what was manifested to them should take place. Mr. Baxter related an impression that he had concerning a child. It was manifested to him that he should visit the child and lay hands upon it and that it should be healed, and to prove to him that this was of God, he should meet his brother in a certain place, who should speak unto him certain words. His brother addressed him precisely in the way and manner that the manifestation designated. The sign took place, but when he laid his hands upon the child, it did not recover. I cannot vouch for the authority of the last statement, as Mr. Baxter at that time had left the Irvingites, but it is in accordance with many of their proceedings, and the thing never has been attempted to be denied. It may be asked, where is there anything in all this that is wrong?

1st. The church was organized by women, and God placed in the church (first apostles, secondarily prophets), and not first women; but Mr. Irving placed in his church first women (secondarily apostles), and the church was founded and organized by them. A woman has no right to found or organize a church-God never sent them to do it.

2nd. those women would speak in the midst of a meeting and rebuke Mr. Irving or any of the church. Now the Scripture positively says, Thou shalt not rebuke an Elder, but entreat him as a father: not only this but they frequently accused the brethren, thus placing themselves in the seat of Satan, who is emphatically called the accuser of the brethren.

3rd. Mr. Baxter received the spirit on asking for it, without attending to the ordinances, and began to prophesy, whereas the scriptural way of attaining the gift of the Holy Ghost is by baptism, and by laying on of hands. 4th As we have stated in regard to others, the spirit of the prophets is subject to the prophets; but those prophets were subject to the spirits, the spirits controlling their bodies at pleasure. But it may be asked how Mr. Baxter could get a sign from a second person?

To this, we would answer, that Mr. Baxter’s brother was under the influence of the same spirit as himself, and being subject to that spirit he could be easily made to speak to Mr. Baxter whatever the spirit should dictate; but there was not power in the spirit to heal the child. Again, it may be asked, how it was that they could speak in tongues if they were of the devil! We would answer that they could be made to speak in another tongue, as well as their own, as they were under the control of that spirit, and the devil can tempt the Hottentot, the Turk, the Jew, or any other nation; and if these men were under the influence of his spirit, they, of course, could speak Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Italian, Dutch, or any other language that the devil knew. Some will say, try the spirits by the word. Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God. John 4:2, 3. One of the Irvingites once quoted this passage whilst under the influence of a spirit, and then said, I confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.

And yet these prophecies failed, their Messiah did not come; and the great things spoken of by them have fallen to the ground. What is the matter here? Did not the Apostle speak the truth? Certainly he did-but he spoke to a people who were under the penalty of death, the moment they embraced Christianity; and no one without a knowledge of the fact would confess it, and expose themselves to death, and this was consequently given as a criterion to the church or churches to which John wrote. But the devil on a certain occasion cried out, I know thee, who thou art, the Holy One of God! Here was a frank acknowledgment under other circumstances that Jesus had come in the flesh. On another occasion, the devil said, Paul, we know, and Jesus, we know, of course, come in the flesh. No man nor set of men without the regular constituted authorities, the Priesthood and discerning of spirits, can tell true from false spirits. This power they possessed in the Apostles day, but it has departed from the world for ages.’

In the above quotation from the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith, we read his ideas regarding the reality of evil spirits. Surprisingly Joseph Smith recognized the activities of what he calls false spirits within the membership of his church; and within other denominations such as; the Irvingites, Johanna Southcott, and Jemimah Wilkinson. Smith best defined the activities of evil spirits when he said, quote. ‘The Turks, the Hindus, the Jews, the Christians, the Indian; in fact, all nations have been deceived, imposed upon and injured through the mischievous effects of false spirits.’ (Ref 216)

Cautiously we should not in today’s modern society refute the reality of evil or demonic spirit entities just because they are not for the most part affecting us! In short, the world’s population has dramatically increased over the past 200 years; however, the progress of humanity has not stopped the reported claims of demonic possession or evil spirits! Shockingly in today’s modern world, we are bombarded with movies and news reports of continued demonic possession in all its different forms. Horrific evils are being committed continually by persons claiming to hear voices, telling them to murder, rape, and abuse innocent members of society.

Curiously, evil spirits can be faith-promoting due to the traditional understanding that if evil spirits exist, so do good spirits! With the acceptance of both good and evil spirits, the reality of a God and a Devil becomes apparent. With this form of logic prevailing, the only possible outcome must surely be faith-promoting, not faith demoting!


Just a few months after the unexpected report of the appearance of evil spirits in and around the area of Kirtland, Ohio, we find a most remarkable event occurring. Approximately one year after the establishment of Smith’s church, some Elders in the Priesthood are confused by the claimed outpouring of demonic spirits. In their confusion and desire to gain spiritual understanding, they visited with the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith.

In Smiths’ version of the facts, we read, quote. ‘During the month of April, I continued to translate the scriptures as time would allow. In May, a number of Elders being present, and not understanding the different spirits abroad in the earth, I inquired and received from the Lord the following.’

Joseph Smiths instructions to the Elders in his Church.

Hearken, O ye elders of my church, and give ear to the voice of the living God; and attend to the words of wisdom which shall be given unto you, according as ye have asked and are agreed as touching the church, and the spirits which have gone abroad in the earth.

Behold, verily I say unto you, that there are many spirits which are false spirits, which have gone forth in the earth, deceiving the world.

And also Satan hath sought to deceive you, that he might overthrow you.

Behold, I, the Lord, have looked upon you, and have seen abominations in the church that profess my name.

Behold, verily I say unto you, there are hypocrites among you, who have deceived some, which has given the adversary power, but behold such shall be reclaimed.

To preach my gospel by the spirit, even the Comforter which was sent forth to teach the truth.

And then received ye spirits which ye could not understand, and received them to be of God, and in this are ye justified?

Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the spirit of truth, doth he preach it by the spirit of truth or some other way?

And if it be by some other way it is not of God.

And again, he that receiveth the word of truth, doth he receive it by the spirit of truth or some other way?

If it be some other way, it is not of God.

Therefore, why is it that ye cannot understand and know that he that receiveth the word by the spirit of truth receiveth it as it is preached by the spirit of truth?

And that which doth not edify is not of God and is darkness.

But know this, it shall be given you what you shall ask; and as ye are appointed to the head, the spirits shall be subject unto you.

Wherefore, it shall come to pass, that if you behold a spirit manifested that you cannot understand, and you receive not that spirit, ye shall ask of the Father in the name of Jesus; and if he give not unto you that spirit, then you may know that it is not of God.

And it shall be given unto you, power over that spirit, and you shall proclaim against that spirit with a loud voice that it is not of God.

Not with railing accusation, that ye be not overcome, neither with boasting nor rejoicing, lest you be seized therewith.

To the faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smiths’ teachings are God-given, via revelation, and inspiration. Smith’s doctrines on the reality of good and evil spirits are openly available within the archives of the Mormon Church. They are in the public domain and can be either accepted or rejected. What cannot be denied or dismissed is the simple fact that the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith expounded his claimed doctrine on evil spirits, all of which he was not afraid to reveal. The Mormon Prophet claimed revelations from his God regarding both good and evil spirits. Additionally, he gave instructions on how to distinguish between the two different kinds of spirit entities! For this investigation, the evidence presented is undeniable! As usual, we have no detailed written records explaining the so-called Prophet Matthias’ position on evil spirit entities. In overview, we have second and third-hand versions recorded by court officials, newspapers, and his disciples. Within the next chapter, we shall continue our investigation into demonic possession, along with considering further connections between the two Prophets, after which we shall keep moving towards the conclusion of this shocking story.