S1E4: Ghosts and the Spirit World
Updated: Mar 21, 2021
Sorry not sorry, but we love our theme song. It’s, as the kids might say, hip.
Onto the Exciting Things
Onto our “loosey-goosey” episode, as we like to call it, because there’s not a lot of doctrine about this. It’s in the church but we have limited context.
About what? GHOSTS!
It’s spooky time. Spooky and spiritual time, our favorite time.
Specifically, we will be talking about ghosts, the spirit world, the supernatural, and spirits. We just love the spooky things and we feel that in our soul. It feels good. It’s already a big part of our personalities, so we wanted to share that with you. Let’s hack that door open (a little bit? A lot?) like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.
Heeeeeere’s Kaylee and Tracy!
We’re Hacking Our Souls Into Your Souls
Tracy went on a paranormal ghost tour in St. Augustine, FL, just the other week. We want to say it was just for this episode, but it was actually a treat for her birthday! “It was equally fun and terrifying.” Stay tuned to learn more.
Overall, we know there is a lot that connects ghosts and the spirit world. We need to distinguish that not all the time is it going to be something scary. “Not all spirits are scary and bad; there are good spirits.”
“When we think about the spirit world, it’s about part of the plan of salvation, the next step for us after this life, after we die. That’s another step we take.” Ultimately, it’s not just scary things like The Conjuring, The Curse of La Llorona, and more. There are good things about the spirit world and there are good things about ghosts. There are good things and bad things in everything.
Note: The church has no specific doctrine on ghosts. The things we say are from our own experience, gifts from the spirit, experiences from friends and family, and a few comments from modern prophets.
The plan of salvation seems like a good place to start. If you don’t know, you can now know. If you do know, here’s a refresher.
The Plan of Happiness
The plan of salvation is Heavenly Father’s plan for all of His children, which is all of us. We are the spirit children of our Heavenly Parents who lived with Them before this life, which we term the pre-mortal existence. While there, a plan was presented to come to earth, get a body, endure trials, work hard to become like Them, and eventually finish to join our Heavenly Parents in a life beyond this one. That’s why we are here!
But not everyone liked this plan. A third of them did not like it. They wanted to follow Lucifer, or Satan’s plan, where he would save everyone without agency and he would have all the glory.
Heavenly Father was like, “Nah, B, I don’t want that. I’m going to send my beloved son, Jesus, to be the savior to make sure everyone has a chance in this lifetime.”
With that plan, it includes us passing through the veil of forgetfulness. That means we forget our pre-earth life and come here. We start fresh. The whole purpose here is to become more like the savior, keep his commandments, and be ultimately good. Then we all die, SURPRISE, (memento mori, anyone?), and pass through the veil again.
Once you do, you enter the spirit world where it’s basically split into two kingdoms. (These areas may appear literal, emotional, or mental divisions, we have no idea!) Spirit Paradise and Spirit Prison.
The former is a place of rest, a place for the righteous and those who followed and accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ. The prison is more of a prison of your sins. All is not lost of course, for there is the chance to learn, repent, and then lovely people on earth should be doing your temple work to help you move forward. On Tracy’s mission, they called this the “Bus Stop” because you’re waiting but you can still do things. It’s an opportunity for you.
Is anyone in Spirit Paradise helping? THEY SURE ARE.
Joseph F. Smith was reading the third and fourth chapters of Peter 1 where it talks about the spirit world. He had a lot of questions as he read that he wanted to get answered. He read 1 Peter 3:18-20 and 4:6:
18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water….
6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
Joseph F. Smith went on to write in Doctrine and Covenants 138:11, 14-15:
As I pondered over these things which are written, the eyes of my understanding were opened, and the Spirit of the Lord rested upon me, and I saw the hosts of the dead, both small and great…
All these had departed the mortal life, firm in the hope of a glorious resurrection, through the grace of God the father and his only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
I beheld that they were filled with joy and gladness, and were rejoicing together because the day of their deliverance was at hand.
He essentially goes on to say that these people were joyful, preaching to the souls in prison the everlasting gospel about the resurrection, redemption, and repentance. They ministered to the spirits in spirit prison just like the Savior did.
When Christ was crucified and laid in the tomb for three days, his spirit was in the spirit world with Heavenly Father. Peter 1 talks more about how Christ taught those who came before him and had no idea about the gospel. These people were just and good and they wanted to learn. Christ went and taught them and then was resurrected. It also mentions how those in the spirit prison, or those who had committed terrible sins while alive, Christ did not go and teach them; He sent messengers to teach them instead (like missionaries).
The Gospel According to Tracy
As far as she understands, the savior set this pattern up so that those who had been baptized into the church of Jesus Christ, in the early days and the latter days, and who continue to live their covenants, would become missionaries in the spirit world to go and preach to those in the spirit world.
Kaylee heard from a church leader once about how they had lost their father. It’s hard to move on even when you believe in the next life. It hurts. This person started to pray, asking for insight and comfort, double-checking about the next life, does he know what is going on here?
This person was fortunate to receive a dream that answered these questions. Their father appeared to them and said that yes, everything is okay. You’re going to be okay. But I have to go back because I am so busy right now. There is a lot to do over there. It’s not all about the (virgin?) Pina Coladas.
Spiritually and mentally, it will be rest. No stresses from life. No more bills or worries like that. “Think about what it’s like going to the temple,” Tracy explains. “And you just go in and you instantly feel like everything is focused and you focus on that work. Even when you’re a temple worker and you know you’re busy that day, you still feel calm and you still feel rested. That sort of rest.”
After unspecified time in the spirit world and time here on earth, because only Jesus knows the time frame, it ends when he comes back to us. What if that happened at General Conference?! Would have been great for April 2020. Just saying.
Second coming, everyone gets resurrected. Everyone and anyone. Body and spirit are bound together again. Then the Millennium. One thousand years of “dating for singles”. One thousand years to fix everything and that is Christ’s job.
With Christ managing your dating life, how can you possibly lose?
After that, Satan will be locked away and he can’t affect anyone. He’s in time out forever. Then judgment comes in. Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father are there where they will set you where you will be most comfortable for time and all eternity.
To remember: we came from Heavenly Father’s presence. We are on a spiritual journey. Things don’t end when we die. It’s just a step forward.
Beyond The Physical
Our physical journey is less important than our spiritual journey.
The church doesn’t have specific doctrine on ghosts, as we mentioned before, but there have been Latter-Day modern prophets who have made comments about ghosts and about the spirit world which is wonderful. We highlighted D&C 138, for example.
“The spirits of righteous people who have died 'are not far from us, and know and understand our thoughts, feelings, and motions, and are often pained therewith.” - Joseph Smith
Think about your family members who have passed on. Ancestors and people you were close to, they are lingering and checking in on you. They don’t want you to be upset. They are there and they are caring for us in the way that they can. We can still connect in a different kind of way.
Sometimes the veil between this life and the life beyond becomes very thin. Our loved ones who have passed on are not far from us.” - Ezra Taft Benson
As well as this quote:
"Where is the spirit world? It is right here." - Brigham Young
It is not a world away. It’s right here with us. This can be a comforting idea. And it makes sense. There seems to almost be “proof” when you look at the examples of the church regarding spiritual experiences and spiritual visitors that members have had in their lifetimes. We have Gabriel, Moroni, and a lot more in the Old Testament.
“Overall, in the Holy Bible there are references of spirits coming to talk to people. Even those who don’t support the teachings in the Holy Bible since, you know, we still have examples in the latter days…. These are all good spirits. It’s important that we believe and understand that it is entirely possible for spirits to visit and/or linger here on earth for some time.”
D&C how to tell if it is a good or not spirit? Know who you are meeting! Let’s explore that scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 129, the entire section.
Our step process for loveable garbage to remember:
Ask if you can shake their hand
They will say yes
When you shake it and can feel their hand, they are good spirits of our Heavenly Parents
When you shake it and cannot feel their hand, they are not good spirits
Don’t let your life be ruined by a bad spirit! Be prepared! There have to be good and bad spirits. Just be prepared. The one-third that didn’t come down to earth never had a chance to have these bodies. They are mad about that. Ignore them and avoid them.
They just want me for my body.
Feeling self-conscious or ashamed about your body? There are a few BILLION souls who would kill to have it.
What To Do About The Occult
We have been advised not to participate in things of the “occult.” Don’t try to make contact with spirits is the main thing to avoid. Here is what we found:
The LDS Church teaches in its "Aaronic Priesthood Manual 2" that Ouija boards, séances and spiritualism are tools of Satan and that members have been counseled to avoid them completely.”
Is Hasbro the devil? We may have to look into that.
“Genuine spirituality warms and grows in our hearts. The fake spirituality is often scary and leaves scars. Permanently. There is usually no mention of God in the occult, only signs. Yet we have learned not to seek for signs. The effect of bizarre cultism is immediate but temporary. The sacred grows slowly, must be nurtured, and leaves lasting effects.” - Nov. 1972 Ensign
“Just thinking of it that way, if you’ve ever gone to a friend’s house and talked to their Mom after they have spent an hour screaming at a demon in their basement, it’s like that. It can leave permanent scars. You will know when something is not of God. Anything that comes from God is going to be warm, it’s going to be comforting and uplifting, and you will feel that in your heart. It will make you feel good. If you are testing the waters of spiritualism, you might not feel so great.”
You will know when something bad is around you. You cannot deny it.
Maybe just stay afraid. That could save you.
Of course, things can change for you. We can talk about this and then immediately turn to when Tracy attended her tour and tuned in as their tour guide accessed their Bluetooth spirit box. Basically an ouija board in a speaker. Terrifying.
Tracy’s Legit Tour To Learn From
Tune in for Tracy’s story. It’s better in the podcast.
She and her friends made it to the office where the hosts said “We want to introduce you to the paranormal world.” Not so scary. That’s obvious. “Here, take these talismans.” Okay, this might be a good time to leave. Just maybe.
Many mistakes were made that night. Learn from this.
The talismans were like small monopoly pieces on a string. The host explained wearing them one way or another just as an indicator that you are open to them interacting with you.
Hmmmm. Maybe take it off? It’s up to you. The host explained there would be a well where you can listen with an EMF reader and then we’ll go to a lighthouse to use divining rods and tune in to the spirits.
Tracy was happy to wing it. People took pictures to try and catch spirits on camera. But Tracy could feel when something or someone was close, looking over her shoulder or something. It was a warm evening, thank you Florida, but there were definitely some cold spots along the way.
The host’s spirit box was turned on. Only works on airplane mode on Bluetooth without other interfering issues like cell towers, etc. She set up 3 different EMF readers and was just watching. White noise was the norm. The host is a super empath and can sense a spirit coming by before the EMF reader can pick it up. She mentioned in the past she’s always been able to connect to spirits like this.
(More detail is provided in the podcast. But in case anyone is not comfortable reading too much into this, we're going to focus on the main elements of the story before moving on.)
Once settled, she started to ask questions to see if she knew any of the spirits there. An EMF reader went crazy as we watched it. Then on the spirit box, we could hear something.
The host continued to ask more questions to the particular spirit there. A few more questions in, and then another spirit arrived. Lots of stares and gasps. Whether you believe or not in spirits, it was a pretty scary encounter.
All the ghosts have stories and names and personalities.
Once done with these conversations, they proceeded to the most haunted lighthouse in the United States. (Tracy will be building her own lighthouse for her future home). They stood outside the gate and settled down at the park for this.
Divining rods (L-rods) were handed out. It’s a thin L-shaped rod that you grasp and then it bends above your hands straight out. They can move with the wind but the spirits could move them when requested as well as hold them still during the strong breezes. More questions proceeded in order to understand what was going on. This gave a chance for everyone, like Tracy, to connect with the ghosts.
(fun fact about divining rods used by church members located here)
Overall, Tracy had a lot of questions but was also terrified. Though Tracy and Kaylee talked about going back, we have yet to do it in early 2021; thanks Covid. Maybe someday in the future, though.
Want To Be In Tune?
Kaylee doesn’t. She didn’t like scary things growing up but has learned to accept the inevitable. There can be a balance between accepting there are things out there and keeping a distance. Spirits won’t (usually) come to you if you’re not ready or comfortable with the idea.
Knowing she was practically tempting the devil, Tracy prayed at the tour quietly for safety and security to keep everyone safe and all right. Right after, the host spoke up and said that they sensed an evil spirit and that they were not invited. “Only kind spirits with good intentions are welcome here. We don’t recognize or affiliate with bad spirits and we politely ask you to leave at this time.”
How do spiritual gifts tie in? There is a particular gift that the Lord can give us. That is the gift of discernment. This special gift given to many people can mean many different things. Maybe it means knowing right from wrong, evil and good, that sort of thing. There are different ways to interpret this gift.
But Tracy has a sister who has the gift of discernment of spirits. For the physical ones, she can generally tell where they are in a building.
In another way, Tracy’s former Bishop’s wife could see spirits. She bore her testimony once on Fast Sunday. She explained how it’s strange and she didn’t usually talk about it since people don’t really want to know about it. But she felt prompted to talk about it and how she can see spirits. She explained how she could see spirits of peoples’ family members of those who had passed along with former members of the ward who had since passed on. She said she can look into the congregation and told everyone, “They are closer than you think and they are watching out for you.”
The veil is thin. The spirit world is real. And your family members care about you still.
Such a confirmation can be comforting. There is a lot of pain that weighs us down. That is an important gift that can be put to good use alongside visions and prophecy. People have had visions about the spirit world which is amazing.
Understanding the Spirit World
Tracy knew a man in her ward who had a vision about her own father in the spirit world and what he was doing there. This man didn’t tell Tracy and her family until just before her mission, two years after his passing. The man wrote everything down for them to save every detail.
The vision was about Tracy’s father in the spirit world being a missionary and teaching lessons. One thing he was called to do was to go to the furthest reaches of it so he could teach his ancestors, specifically the Finnish ones. Tracy’s family always joked how the hardest people to teach in her family would be the ancestral Vikings. Her father went to them and talked about the gospel. Unfortunately, the ancestors didn’t all want to have the gospel with them. But her father spoke up and explained their ancestry, and explained how he had been called there to call them to the repentance. He knew and the Lord knew that those ancestors wouldn’t listen to anyone but their own family, and so that’s why her father was there. In this manner, Tracy had the opportunity to go on a mission alongside her father on the different planes.
Since this happened, the roadblocks that Tracy faced in doing family history for her father’s side of the family faded away and everything began to improve. They used to be super stuck, but it’s been exploding ever since.
Our Work in the Spirit World
The spirit world is there, it’s real, and we will get there eventually.
Kaylee’s grandfather was buried with his missionary name tag on. No idea if that’s normal, but that has always stuck with her. This has always stuck with her to know the example he set. He had the chance to serve two missions in this life and can teach more in the next.
Maybe we won’t all be teaching?
Tracy brought up a brilliant point about our gifts in the spirit world. There is a lot of work to do and the Lord will always put us where we can do the most good based on our skills. Those who are good at teaching will teach. There will be enough work. Maybe we can organize classes or do something else to help out.
Consider your personal grasp on mortality.
It’s important to consider, to be aware of life and death. Losing someone can be the hardest thing you will ever experience. Time helps us out. Sometimes through grief, we can find hope and have a better grasp on how we see this life and the one that comes next. You can find peace through this.
We need to accept death, maybe to the point of embracing it. That’s not about dancing on a grave but learning to live with the unknown. It can be healthy to let go of your fear and worry about this.
The spirit world is everywhere around us, so close. It’s around us. They are here with us.
Fun fact before we go: Kaylee’s grandmother was very passionate about guardian angels during her lifetime. She was committed to the church and the gospel and believing in the world beyond ours. No idea how she did this or where these beliefs came from, but she once shared how she knew some of our ancestors and how they were specific guardian angels for Kaylee’s older sister.
Good spirits exist. They can be guardian angels, in a sense, whether or not we sense them, who are here to help us out. Your family and closest friends who may have passed are here to help us and they love us. They are looking out for you. That is the greatest thing ever.
The Next Step Forward
“That’s what makes this the plan of happiness. There is so much more to this life. There is a life after this with people there who are so excited for us and they are working hard and they also know that we will join them. Not soon, but in a sense, it’s definitely soon. And it will be a celebration.”
Like the Day of the Dead where people celebrate and visit with their ancestors, we can do the same someday. (We can’t say too much since we’re not from this culture and don't want to get anything wrong, but those are the basic tenants that we understand.)
When you pass on, there will be a welcome people of your loved ones who are there to congratulate you for trying so hard. They will hug you and celebrate you. It’s going to be great. There is so much work for us to do in this life and in the next one. We have a lot to be excited about in our futures.
Regardless of what crappy things are happening in our lives, we will do our best so that we can be worthy of that eternal family. Even if it’s just a few of us, we want that.
The gospel is true. Keep learning about your families, spirits, and the world beyond us. We invite you to remember that a lot of this episode is based on our own experiences without backup or proof from the church and true doctrine. Your experiences will be your own. As you can see, Kaylee and Tracy have had vastly different experiences. Pray for yourself to have a better understanding.
“There is so much potential and so much goodness that we can have and that we can each experience for ourselves in this lifetime.” Memento Mori.
We hope the spirits who invariably listen to this episode don’t hate on (or haunt) us.