Does our Church practice casting out devils? If so, how it may be done, is there any special ordinance or just by priesthood holders prayer and fast? Why do not we hear much about such process? Does it mean that it is not widely used (or open) practice, or devils stopped to capture our bodies?
Vladimir Shkroba, from Kiev Ukrainian Stake
The practice of casting evil spirits out of those who are possessed was a practice in the early days of the Mormon Church, and it has never been rescinded nor terminated. It is not, nor ever has been, a very common practice, but is still invoked when the situation demands. The procedure is an ordinance of the gospel, and is normally accomplished by those holding the Melchizedek Priesthood laying their hands on the possessed person and authoritatively commanding the evil spirit to depart. In other circumstances where evil spirits may be felt by the priesthood holder to be present, he may raise his right arm to the square and demand by that same priesthood authority that the evils spirits depart. Both priesthood authority and faith are required for such an ordinance to be successful.
Here are a couple of quotes on the subject from John Taylor, who was contemporary with the prophet, Joseph Smith, and the third president of the Mormon Church, and Thomas S. Monson, who is the First Counselor to President Gordon B. Hinckley, the current president of the Mormon Church.
“This same [priesthood] power has also been abundantly manifested in these latter days in the midst of the Saints of God, in deliverances from evil, in escapes from enemies, in the quelling of mobs, in the stilling of the angry waves of the sea, in the healing of the sick, in the casting out of unclean spirits, and in many other miraculous manifestations of the power and goodness of God, and of the authority with which He has invested His servants who are endowed and clothed upon with the Priesthood, which is endless and after the order of the Son of God” (John Taylor, Mediation and Atonement, p.87).
“If you go on a mission to preach the Gospel with lightness and frivolity in your hearts, looking for this and that, and to learn what is in the world, and not having your minds riveted-yes, I may say riveted-on the cross of Christ, you will go and return in vain. Go forth weeping, bearing precious seed, full of the power of God, and full of faith to heal the sick even by the touch of your hand, rebuking and casting out foul spirits, and causing the poor among men to rejoice, and you will return bringing your sheaves with you. Let your minds be centered on your missions and labor earnestly to bring souls to Christ” (Thomas S. Monson, Favorite Quotations from the Collection of Thomas S. Monson, p.49).