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Exorcism in the LDS Church?


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#1 ChristKnight

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 09:50 PM

I was just watching a segment on ABC's Nightline on [Catholic] exorcism, perhaps catalyzed by the new movie "The Rite" (based on the book "The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist" that describes the real life training and experiences of a Catholic exorcist).

How do LDS view such matters? Do LDS believe that demonic possession is possible? Does the LDS Church have a history of performing exorcisms? What is the LDS view on Satan and demonic influences in our world?
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#2 TAO

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 09:56 PM

Yes, there are exorcisms. But I don't know all too much about them... Gohan could tell you some things about them though.

Edited by TAO, 27 January 2011 - 09:56 PM.

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#3 jadams_4242

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 10:03 PM

I was just watching a segment on ABC's Nightline on [Catholic] exorcism, perhaps catalyzed by the new movie "The Rite" (based on the book "The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist" that describes the real life training and experiences of a Catholic exorcist).

How do LDS view such matters? Do LDS believe that demonic possession is possible? Does the LDS Church have a history of performing exorcisms? What is the LDS view on Satan and demonic influences in our world?

We "know" that when we follow the commandments, satan has no power over anybody and simply canott take over ones being; now if a person does not follow the lord in all things, the spiritual companionship will not be there; yes they can and will be controled by the advesary;;;i can say it is all true having lived on both sides of the fence; if a person has been taken over, they must first; relize and admit it, {which most demonic persons wont do} and if they relize it,and actually desire to get out from the hell; the Holy preisthood will do the job.:P
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#4 Gohan

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 11:29 PM

...Gohan could tell you some things about them though.

I never had to deal with actually casting one out of a person, although two of the Elders in my Zone did have that distinct displeasure.

Got to be careful though, a lot of people attribute things to possession far too often. I think there was an episode of 'Criminal Minds' about that recently...

But yeah, they're around. Not fun to deal with. As far as I know, and that's not a ton, there's no calling for it. And no 'official' prayer/rite/ordinance either.
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Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, "Oh crap...he's awake!"

And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.(John 21:25)

 

"We're wandering around as strangers looking for things to recognize, and whenever you see something which you know is good, true, and beautiful, that's an act of recognition. And you recognize it as such not by analyzing it, but it comes to your memory, it hits you, 'I've seen that, I know that's right' and so forth." ~ Hugh Nibley


#5 Hamba Tuhan

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 11:48 PM

Do LDS believe that demonic possession is possible?

Yes.

Does the LDS Church have a history of performing exorcisms?

Yes.

What is the LDS view on Satan and demonic influences in our world?

He/they are very real but, as mentioned above, only have power as people surrender it to them. Casting out evil spirits, in my experience, is nothing like what's portrayed in movies or on TV. At all. It's simple, straightforward, and effective. Which would make for very short, boring entertainment.
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#6 nicolasconnault

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 11:59 PM

Got to be careful though, a lot of people attribute things to possession far too often. I think there was an episode of 'Criminal Minds' about that recently...


Very good point. As our understanding of mental illness and neurobiology improves, we start to realise that some of the behaviours that may have been attributed to demonic possessions in earlier times are actually illnesses that can be treated. Some, however, are genuine. A righteous follower of Christ, who has the gift of the Holy Ghost, should be able to tell the difference, detect the evil spirit and cast it out. I believe the priesthood is used for that purpose, and the pattern is shown in the temple.
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#7 Joseph Antley

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 02:27 AM

At the risk of fulfilling 2 Nephi 28:22, Satan and his minions don't have a big part in my personal beliefs, and I don't give a whole lot of credence to exorcism accounts. I think that the apparent fact that exorcisms, in both the Catholic and LDS churches (and I would assume other churches as well), happen overwhelmingly more often in 3rd world countries speaks loads.

Of course if I were a participant in an exorcism I might have a different opinion. But from what I have to go on now, it seems to me that most cases of exorcisms aren't so much due to literal possession by demonic spirits so much as psychological or neurological disorders combined with cultural superstitions where people can and will be possessed by demons.
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#8 nicolasconnault

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 06:38 AM

At the risk of fulfilling 2 Nephi 28:22, Satan and his minions don't have a big part in my personal beliefs, and I don't give a whole lot of credence to exorcism accounts. I think that the apparent fact that exorcisms, in both the Catholic and LDS churches (and I would assume other churches as well), happen overwhelmingly more often in 3rd world countries speaks loads.

Of course if I were a participant in an exorcism I might have a different opinion. But from what I have to go on now, it seems to me that most cases of exorcisms aren't so much due to literal possession by demonic spirits so much as psychological or neurological disorders combined with cultural superstitions where people can and will be possessed by demons.


None of the stories I have heard have ever been in "3rd world countries", and only one (in which I participated) was likely to be due to mental illness. I certainly wouldn't risk fulfilling 2 Nephi 28:22 because of a lack of experience with demonic possessions...
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#9 Jason

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 09:38 AM

Casting out evil spirits, in my experience, is nothing like what's portrayed in movies or on TV. At all. It's simple, straightforward, and effective. Which would make for very short, boring entertainment.

That is my experience as well, though occassionally additional confrontations are necessary, because sometimes they do come back.
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#10 maupayman

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 12:58 PM

Man, you guys live in a scary world. I'm curious, how does one know when a person is possessed?
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#11 Joseph Antley

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 01:21 PM

Man, you guys live in a scary world. I'm curious, how does one know when a person is possessed?


They typically start speaking in Latin and/or reverse English and react violently to consecrated oil.
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#12 mfbukowski

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 02:28 PM

As has been mentioned, the pattern is taught in the temple and I have a testimony that it works.
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#13 maupayman

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 02:30 PM

As has been mentioned, the pattern is taught in the temple and I have a testimony that it works.

You have actually gone through that process with someone?
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#14 mfbukowski

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 02:33 PM

You have actually gone through that process with someone?

I am just going to leave it at that
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#15 Jason

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 02:37 PM

Man, you guys live in a scary world. I'm curious, how does one know when a person is possessed?

This isn't a subject to discuss lightly. Pearls before swine, and all that.
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'How shall a man judge what to do in such times?'
'As he ever has judged,' said Aragorn. 'Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves, and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house.'

#16 Joseph Antley

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 02:56 PM

Saw this quote by Martin Luther recently and enjoyed it: "The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn."
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#17 Gohan

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 04:10 PM

Saw this quote by Martin Luther recently and enjoyed it: "The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn."

Ha...Luther... Fun quote, but I'd recommend against it. I'm with mfbukowski on it being set down in the Temple and beyond that, go find a Bishop, Stake President, or someone else in authority.

Edited by Gohan, 28 January 2011 - 04:27 PM.

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Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, "Oh crap...he's awake!"

And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.(John 21:25)

 

"We're wandering around as strangers looking for things to recognize, and whenever you see something which you know is good, true, and beautiful, that's an act of recognition. And you recognize it as such not by analyzing it, but it comes to your memory, it hits you, 'I've seen that, I know that's right' and so forth." ~ Hugh Nibley


#18 AddamS

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 05:03 PM

Does anybody see any contradiction in the idea that 'evil forces' may posses someone and the belief in free agency?

I can wrap my head around the concept that some people believe there is an adversary to goodness that would set traps of temptation externally so mankind would follow a 'wrong path' (by choosing to do so). But the idea that this adversary could affect a person's actions from within his or her own soul seem to contradict the idea that 'God' gave man free-agency. I would think that this free-agency would be absolute and not interruptible by outside influences internally.

Does this imply that 'Satan' can take away your free agency?
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#19 Hughes

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 05:09 PM

There's only one authority over the devil and his demonic power. Christ alone.
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"There are many things in the Bible which do not, as they now stand, accord with the revelations of the Holy Ghost to me." - Joseph Smith

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#20 Joseph Antley

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 05:10 PM

Does anybody see any contradiction in the idea that 'evil forces' may posses someone and the belief in free agency?

I can wrap my head around the concept that some people believe there is an adversary to goodness that would set traps of temptation externally so mankind would follow a 'wrong path' (by choosing to do so). But the idea that this adversary could affect a person's actions from within his or her own soul seem to contradict the idea that 'God' gave man free-agency. I would think that this free-agency would be absolute and not interruptible by outside influences internally.

Does this imply that 'Satan' can take away your free agency?


I've seen many problems with reconciling the idea of demonic possession with LDS theology, and this is chief among them, and one of the reasons why I don't personally subscribe to it (in the traditional sense).
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