The Mormon Church, officially called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and commonly abbreviated LDS, is a modern Christian organization. Exorcism, in Christianity, is as old as Christ. Naturally, LDS churches would teach exorcism as a means of purifying the body from evil influences. But they do not believe in demons and angels as entities that are entirely separate from the spirits of mankind, as most Christians do. Because of this belief, their views on exorcism also differ.
Spirit and Body
The LDS church believes that every living thing is a spirit, and that these spirits were all created in the beginning by God, often referred to as Heavenly Father. The spirit body, that part of a person that exists eternally, enters the mortal body at birth, creating the soul. This combination of spirit and mortal bodies is a near perfect form, and though the spirit body is separated from the mortal body at death, they will be rejoined in the resurrection and made perfect and immortal.
The Devil and His Angels
A traditional view of the Devil is that he is a fallen angel. According to LDS teaching, angels are spirits, the same that make up mankind. The Devil was one of these spirits that Heavenly Father created in the beginning, but he rebelled and persuaded one third of the host of Heaven to join him. He and this third of all spirits were cast out and denied the opportunity to ever have a mortal body.
The Body of God
God and Christ, according to LDS teaching, have a body of flesh and blood. It is seen as a blessing and a privilege for the spirit body to join with the mortal body. Just as the Devil sought God's power in the time before God made the world, he and his spirits seek to bedevil and dominate flesh and bone bodies now.
Casting out Demons
The LDS church defines no special ritual for the process of exorcism. What might be referred to as demonic possession in more common Christian tradition is viewed simply as a manifestation of a spirit that is not from God -- that is, a spirit acting on the part of the Devil. How each individual LDS church handles this will vary from institution to institution, but will almost certainly involve the Priesthood. Some prescribe no rites other than the Priesthood calling on God to cast out evil spirits, while others take a more formal approach with several days of fasting and prayer.
- Acts 19, NKJV, Biblegateway.com
- "Spirit." The Guide to the Scriptures, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
- "Angels." The Guide to the Scriptures, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
- "Devil." The Guide to the Scriptures, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
- Doctrine and Covenants 130:22, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
- Doctrine and Covenants 50:31, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
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