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I know someone who is active in church who uses ‘casting prayers’.  She can’t figure out why she has to spend all day saying casting prayers and some kind of mouth or teeth clickings she does, and why she has to ask almost daily for a priesthood blessing and isn’t getting healthier. And she has to do something, not sure what, to find out if she should go to the temple.. Personally I think she is on a wrong path. Are these casting prayers a good thing to do?





Hi Janet,

I’ll get straight to the point and then explain. I believe you are correct that your friend is on the wrong path and her behavior patterns in this very unconventional matter are akin to something ancient and modern scriptures warn against repeatedly, witchcraft, sorcery and Wiccan rituals. What she is doing is akin to “casting” spells, which, as you may be aware, is something very tightly connected with witches, sorcery, wizards, etc. I’m not talking about the kinds of fun stories J.K. Rowling writes that go into the fiction and fantasy realm beyond what regular Wiccans believe in or practice. I’m referring to the evil influence that Satan encourages that tries to make a mockery of priesthood power and legitimate revelation by trying to replace it with unholy and compulsory means of connection with the spiritual.

The Lord has taught us very clearly how to pray from both ancient and modern prophets and there are a few elements of prayer your friend is missing.

1. Prayer is meant to be a two-way communication between us and God. “Casting” prayers implies the idea that she is merely “throwing” words out into the air, maybe intended as a weapon to “fend off” any would be attackers from the other side. Prayer is not something that can just be “thrown”  or “cast” into the air. As Elder Christofferson taught: “We ought not to think of God’s plan as a cosmic vending machine where we (1) select a desired blessing, (2) insert the required sum of good works, and (3) the order is promptly delivered.” We cannot simply “cast” prayers and expect God to simply robotically make our wishes come true.

2. The fact that your friend continues this pattern daily is akin to the “vain repetitions” we are commanded to avoid in Matthew 6:7. If she’s doing the same thing over and over again with no different results, that should, in and of itself, be a revealing factor in her confusion.

Thousands of examples of the proper order of prayer in General Conference and such illustrate that there is a correct way to pray. Strange things like this “mouth or teeth clickings” she does is expressly warned against in the Doctrine and Covenants as well. In section 49 it talks about a group who also used strange physical behaviors to attempt to connect with the spiritual, called the Shakers. The Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual says this about them:

Not far from Kirtland, Ohio, the new headquarters of the Church, was a religious society known as the Shaking Quakers. Formerly members of the Society of Friends (Quakers), they were called Shaking Quakers or Shakers for two reasons: their dress and manners resembled in certain respects those of Quakers, and their manner of worship included shaking and physical contortions. The society seems to have had its beginning in England during the latter part of the 1700s. Ann Lee, founder of the Shakers, immigrated to America with her followers just before 1800. Settling in Ohio, they were in such close proximity to the Saints that it was only a matter of time until there was some intermingling between the two groups. One of the Shakers, Leman Copley, joined the Church but retained many of his former beliefs. Still, he wished to go and teach his former friends. Concerned, the Prophet inquired of the Lord and received the reply found in section 49.

Section 49 teaches that they were in need of repentance because they only had a distorted version of the truth. Your friend seems to be exhibiting a elements of a combination of false teachings from Shakers and Wiccan practices, both of which are influenced by Satan.

This might explain why she is confused with her perceived need to receive priesthood blessings every day, as she is perhaps unaware that she is actually inviting evil spirits to dwell with her every day. Evil presence – whether it be in the form of Satan’s personal unembodied minions or deceased persons who have subjected themselves to him – can certainly affect a person’s mental and even physical health. Since the spirit of God is the source of all life, truth, understanding, clarity, health and longevity, when someone invites evil spirits near them, displacing and pushing away the presence of anything holy, the more this happens, the more draining and damaging the effect can be on the physical body as well.

I hope this helps.







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