Priesthood Authority and Casting out Evil Spirits

Posted on July 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Jesus Christ

Follow Gramps:

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail
Print Friendly

In Jesus’ day, it seemed common for demons or evil spirits to take possession of mortal bodies; and be cast out by priesthood authority. Such incidents seem less prevalent currently; and Church leaders do not refer to such in talks, etc. Seizures, etc., all seem to be ascribed to medical/physical deficiencies. Can you shed some insights on this? Thanks Gramps.

Reid

___________________

Reid,

I state unequivocally that Jesus cast out literal devils, and that such possessions unfortunately occur in modern times. The first miracle of this dispensation had Joseph Smith casting a devil out of Newel Knight (who saw the spirit leaving) (History of the Church vol. 1, ch. 9). Such power is no light thing, as it is only granted through much prayer and fasting (Matt. 17:21), which makes complete sense when considering Joseph Smith’s and Moses’ confrontations with that evil one. An encounter with any spirit (unembodied or not) who is in open rebellion against God is weighed down with darkness and I state again is no light thing. Overcoming such then becomes the sort of experience that is only brought up when the Spirit prompts of its appropriateness.

Shortly before serving a mission, I mentioned to my father that the instructions for performing ordinances really covered the gamut: births, baptisms, dedications, deaths – the only thing that was missing was casting out demons. The mood turned quite solemn as my father taught me, “if you ever need to command Satan to leave, you follow the pattern shown in the Temple.” I never followed up with him on that instruction. It was clear to me that he was convinced of the reality of the Adversary and (unlike the things of God) was uncomfortable dwelling too long on it. Suffice it to say, he learned what he needed to and passed that on to his children.

In the modern Church (and even in the New Testament Church, as far as I can tell), miracles are mentioned to bolster the faith of the believing saints and to uplift them. Casting out devils is probably the least uplifting of the gifts of the spirit, but is shared on occasion to testify that this sign still follows “them that believe” (Mark 16:17). It was prophesied that the Messiah would carry such power (Mosiah 3:6), and as I mentioned it is recorded in the Church annals to testify in token form that such authority is still exercised in the Lord’s church.

Gramps

 

Summary
Article Name
Priesthood Authority and Casting out Evil Spirits - Ask Gramps - Q and A about Mormon Doctrine
Author
Description
In Jesus' day, it seemed common for demons or evil spirits to take possession of mortal bodies; and be cast out by priesthood authority. Such incidents seem less prevalent currently

Follow Gramps:

Is it fair that some shall be barred from Celestial glory?

September 28, 2014 7:44 am

Question Gramps, D&C 88:22 says “For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory.” I understand temple marriage (more)

Can one be forgiven of incest?

September 27, 2014 7:27 am

Question Gramps, Recently a discussion was going on about sins that are forgivable and unforgivable.  It was mentioned that incest was ranked as an unforgivable sin.  Can one (more)

Do you have to be dead to be called forth for the resurrection?

September 24, 2014 7:56 am

Question Gramps, My daughter came home from school recently and said that her seminary teacher told them if their patriarchal blessing said they would come forth on the (more)

Did the Hoffman papers prove a Prophet can be led astray?

September 21, 2014 9:07 am

Question Gramps, If prophets are led by God and will never lead his people astray why did Gordon B. Hinckley buy the phony Hoffman letters that led to (more)

Why doesn’t the LDS church encourage the members to cry out for repentance?

September 19, 2014 10:22 am

Question Gramps, Why doesn’t the LDS Church encourage the members to cry out repentance? As you can see, prophecies are beginning to unfold very quickly. I admire those (more)

Did the Savior personally baptize anyone?

September 18, 2014 8:22 am

Question Gramps, Did the Savior personally baptize anyone, either in Jerusalem or in the Americas?? Lee   Answer Dear Lee, The scriptures state that Jesus encouraged baptism among (more)

Sending in questions to Ask Gramps

September 17, 2014 8:11 pm

At this time we are experiencing some technical difficulties when trying to submit a question to Ask Gramps.  Currently it doesn’t appear as if the question is going through, (more)

Who are the 144,000 spoken of in Revelation?

September 17, 2014 8:26 am

Question Gramps, Who are the 144,000 spoken of in Revelation ? Thank you. Donna     Answer Dear Donna, Joseph Smith was asked the same question (along with (more)

Are there scriptural references that Christ was nailed to the cross?

September 16, 2014 8:10 am

 Question Gramps, I have been a member all my life and I had someone ask me a question and I was stumped. I have asked Institute teachers and (more)

Why not polyandry in the Celestial Kingdom?

September 15, 2014 7:49 am

Question Gramps, The subject basically says it all. It doesn’t make sense to me that Heavenly Father would treat his daughters and sons differently from one another. Why (more)

Where can I find Ezra Taft Benson’s talk about the last days?

September 9, 2014 10:50 am

Question Gramps, I keep hearing about a talk that Ezra Taft Benson gave in a devotional regarding events leading to the last days.  Have you heard of it (more)

Why wasn’t Priesthood authority restored first?

September 7, 2014 7:31 am

Question Gramps, If the Priesthood is the power of God given to men on earth, why was it not restored first? Wouldn’t this power and authority be  required (more)