classylady

Asking evil spirit to depart

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I’m not sure how to ask this. This is a topic that isn’t often discussed and rightly so. We don’t want to dwell on negativity. But, I’m trying to write some family history, and then discuss it with my family in a Family Home Evening format. The experience I’m writing about is one where my grandmother raised her arm to the square and in the name of our Lord commanded an evil presence to depart. My questions: As a woman, did she have the right to do so? Or, because she was an endowed member, and under her husband’s priesthood could she exercise that power? Or, can any worthy person do what she did? Or was my grandmother wrong to do so? There are a few articles in Ask Gramps about this, but it only mentions men.

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41 minutes ago, classylady said:

I’m not sure how to ask this. This is a topic that isn’t often discussed and rightly so. We don’t want to dwell on negativity. But, I’m trying to write some family history, and then discuss it with my family in a Family Home Evening format. The experience I’m writing about is one where my grandmother raised her arm to the square and in the name of our Lord commanded an evil presence to depart. My questions: As a woman, did she have the right to do so? Or, because she was an endowed member, and under her husband’s priesthood could she exercise that power? Or, can any worthy person do what she did? Or was my grandmother wrong to do so? There are a few articles in Ask Gramps about this, but it only mentions men.

It has long been my impression that many of the principles of doctrine given to us in revelation are more vague than precise.  Without going into a long drawn out discussion - I believe this is because G-d wants us to learn to rely on spiritual guidance and exercise faith rather than to rely on our logic and understanding.  I realize this is somewhat of an oxymoron, especially in a forum like this where we speak mostly in terms of our logic and understanding.  With all this said I will respond according to the understanding of The Traveler.

First, I would express that I have had extensive experience dealing directly with unclean spirits.  These spirits are bad children and will push whatever boundaries they can get away with whenever it is possible for them to do so.  As expressed in D&C section 10 - they will lie, deceive and destroy whatever truth they can to make it appear that you are being caught in a lie.  There is no way possible to negotiate or compromise with them.  Unlike many fables you cannot make a deal.  Their very coordinated and well planed objective is to destroy any effort to resist them and subject you to their control.   The only way overcome their influence is through the atonement of Christ and thus in his name.  In short we cannot cast them out of ourselves.  Rather we must through various means petition our redeemer for deliverance.

Part of the circumstance of our fallen state requires that we are subject to Satan and his host of unclean spirits.  However, we also have a covenant with G-d to be delivered by Christ our redeemer.  The greatest gift that has been granted to us for this is the Gift of the Holy Ghost that is given to all those baptized by an authorized servant of Christ.  Anyone with the Gift of the Holy Ghost has power available to them to deal with any circumstance that may arise concerning unclean spirits.   If I can I will call upon the Melchizedek to stack the deck sort of speak, as much in my favor as possible but realizing that deliverance comes only from Christ.

One last warning, unclean spirits will return with increased vengeance if a way is opened for them.  It is my understanding that the best way to keep such a way closed to them is a considered resolve to repent and draw closer to Christ.

 

The Traveler

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Joseph Smith taught that many of the early Relief Society sisters had the gift of healing, that it was a gift of the Spirit, and used Mark 16 to justify the practice among the sisters. Those same verses speak of casting out devils and I think the same applies for that.

Quote

He said the reason of these remarks being made was, that some little foolish things were circulating in the society, against some sisters not doing right in laying hands on the sick. Said that if the people had common sympathies they would rejoice that the sick could be healed... 

President Smith continued the subject, by quoting the commission given to the ancient Apostles in Mark, 16th chapter, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th verses, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."

No matter who believeth, these signs, such as healing the sick, casting our devils, etc., should follow all that believe, whether male or female. He asked the Society if they could not see by this sweeping promise, that wherein they are ordained, if it is the privilege of those set apart to administer in that authority, which is conferred on them; and if the sisters should have faith to heal the sick, let all hold their tongues, and let everything roll on.

...

Respecting females administering for the healing of the sick he further remarked, there could be no evil in it, if God gave His sanction by healing; that there could be no more sin in any female laying hands on and praying for the sick, than in wetting the face with water; it is no sin for anybody to administer that has faith, or if the sick have faith to be healed by their administration. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 224)

 

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5 hours ago, classylady said:

I’m not sure how to ask this. This is a topic that isn’t often discussed and rightly so. We don’t want to dwell on negativity. But, I’m trying to write some family history, and then discuss it with my family in a Family Home Evening format. The experience I’m writing about is one where my grandmother raised her arm to the square and in the name of our Lord commanded an evil presence to depart. My questions: As a woman, did she have the right to do so? Or, because she was an endowed member, and under her husband’s priesthood could she exercise that power? Or, can any worthy person do what she did? Or was my grandmother wrong to do so? There are a few articles in Ask Gramps about this, but it only mentions men.

ANY disciple of Christ has the right to ask Him for aide, including driving out negative spirits.  For example, Joseph Smith did so during the preamble to the First Vision-- he had no priesthood at all, wasn't baptized, or even taught the fullness of the Gospel.  

Edited by Jane_Doe

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6 hours ago, classylady said:

I’m not sure how to ask this. This is a topic that isn’t often discussed and rightly so. We don’t want to dwell on negativity. But, I’m trying to write some family history, and then discuss it with my family in a Family Home Evening format. The experience I’m writing about is one where my grandmother raised her arm to the square and in the name of our Lord commanded an evil presence to depart. My questions: As a woman, did she have the right to do so? Or, because she was an endowed member, and under her husband’s priesthood could she exercise that power? Or, can any worthy person do what she did? Or was my grandmother wrong to do so? There are a few articles in Ask Gramps about this, but it only mentions men.

I have no reliable insight to offer. If you want opinion, mine is that since a married and endowed (i.e. sealed to her husband) woman is a member of the highest order of the Melchizedek Priesthood, she has access to Priesthood power even though she herself does not hold the Priesthood. I personally see no fault in what your grandmother did, though admittedly all I know about it is the brief description you gave. So there's an unreliable opinion, for whatever it's worth to you—which is probably not much.

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7 hours ago, classylady said:

I’m not sure how to ask this. This is a topic that isn’t often discussed and rightly so. We don’t want to dwell on negativity. But, I’m trying to write some family history, and then discuss it with my family in a Family Home Evening format. The experience I’m writing about is one where my grandmother raised her arm to the square and in the name of our Lord commanded an evil presence to depart. My questions: As a woman, did she have the right to do so? Or, because she was an endowed member, and under her husband’s priesthood could she exercise that power? Or, can any worthy person do what she did? Or was my grandmother wrong to do so? There are a few articles in Ask Gramps about this, but it only mentions men.

Depends on what you consider doctrine and what era (I know this is a vague answer, but unfortunately, many things change and so a straight answer is hard to give).

Up until at least around the mid 1970s, the answer to your question would be yes.  She did.

This was somewhat inferred by Joseph Smith but later reinforced by Brigham Young.  The teaching was that woman could exercise their husband's priesthood in the absence of their husband, as they were one in sealing under the order of the Lord and thus under the Patriarchal and Celestial orders of the Priesthood.

We see examples of this in Church history (mostly with them doing healing, but occasionally in other matters), with the most famous being Joseph F. Smith witnessing his mother exercising this at times in his youth.

Today, this is no longer taught.  It is no longer mentioned.  In that light, if we go by modern Church resources, it is a much harder question to answer.  If we go off what we can normally read, it is generally inferred that these things are not performed by woman and thus any priesthood actions such as the blessing of the sick need to be done by the Elders of the Church or those who are of the male gender (and it should be noted that previously, it was normally okay for woman to utilize the priesthood, normally only in the absence of their husband, though they could also aid in a priesthood blessing if there was no other to assist in the home, for example).  My guess is that in the modern day church, that the general feeling is that this is not done, and only the men who have had the priesthood granted to them are the ones to do any of these things.

However, there is not a lot of guidance for or against a woman doing this, but the lack of instruction of teachings on it seem to infer to me that generally woman do not perform any priesthood functions for any reason in the  Church.

A recent talk by the Prophet has tossed some mystery on this though.  In this, he inferred that the priesthood was not actually how it has been taught, thought, or instructed as in the past.  There is no need for it to be passed on by the laying on of hands for many things, and thus EVERYONE has the priesthood who is a faithful member, including woman.  However, he did not really elaborate what that means regarding what woman can do exactly with the priesthood that they supposedly have.  It has been inferred later that woman have priesthood authority over their church positions, and if we see being a mother or wife as an official position in the church, that would infer that they have priesthood authority to do whatever they want in the Home...BUT (and this is a BIG BUT) that is really an unknown and has not really be specified.

In addition, the latter inference from the talks are actually directly countering talks that were given regarding the priesthood and how it operates all the way up until at least 2012, which can be confusing to many.  As per many of those talks, only men have the actual priesthood in the formal sense of church ordinances, blessings, keys, and powers.  This means, it is unclear in our present day church what the priesthood allows woman to do or not to do in the current church doctrine except with the idea that woman in leadership positions (such as Relief society President) can have some authority under the priesthood and as such the power to utilize their own preisthood (as per Nelson and other speakers after his historic talk a few years ago).

That said, when threatened by such as you describe, I think any Saint can call on the Name of the Lord to ask for help and to try to cast such a thing out from the home.

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No reason she couldn't do it if she had enough faith. The priesthood is not always necessary to overcome the adversary and his followers. God would not leave one of His daughters subject to torment and/or fear just because she does not hold the priesthood.

"Although the devil laughs, his power is limited. Some may remember the old adage: 'The devil made me do it.' Today I want to convey, in absolutely certain terms, that the adversary cannot make us do anything. He does lie at our door, as the scriptures say, and he follows us each day. Every time we go out, every decision we make, we are either choosing to move in his direction or in the direction of our Savior. But the adversary must depart if we tell him to depart. He cannot influence us unless we allow him to do so, and he knows that! The only time he can affect our minds and bodies—our very spirits—is when we allow him to do so. In other words, we do not have to succumb to his enticements!

We have been given agency, we have been given the blessings of the priesthood, and we have been given the Light of Christ and the Holy Ghost for a reason."

Robert D. Hales, Apr 2006 General Conference

Edited by scottyg
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18 hours ago, classylady said:

I’m not sure how to ask this. This is a topic that isn’t often discussed and rightly so. We don’t want to dwell on negativity. But, I’m trying to write some family history, and then discuss it with my family in a Family Home Evening format. The experience I’m writing about is one where my grandmother raised her arm to the square and in the name of our Lord commanded an evil presence to depart. My questions: As a woman, did she have the right to do so? Or, because she was an endowed member, and under her husband’s priesthood could she exercise that power? Or, can any worthy person do what she did? Or was my grandmother wrong to do so? There are a few articles in Ask Gramps about this, but it only mentions men.

Here's a summary of all that has been already said:

The quote that Mordor provided has some insight into what happened, and what is allowed.  As Jane said, casting out devils is a matter of faith in Christ, not necessarily the Priesthood alone.

I have wondered, what is the difference between having the gift of healing per the gifts of the Spirit, vs the power to heal through the Priesthood.  There may be a difference in form.  But what is the difference in function/power?  I'm not sure there is any.

At some point (I'm sorry I don't have the reference) the Brethren decided that the fact that many people asked the question you did also opened the door to people thinking that women held the priesthood.  While (as Vort said) women can hold the priesthood through their husbands, I believe it is more vicarious than by investiture or extension.  So, they were discouraged from using the same forms (arm in the square and laying on of hands).  Obviously there are some exceptions to this.  But there is a reason why it is restricted.

So, in the end, no there was nothing wrong with what she did.  But the impression you got from it was exactly why it has been discouraged in later generations.

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Thanks everyone for your input. It has been very helpful.  My husband and I are trying to prepare a Family Home Evening lesson that we will personally teach to our children and grandchildren.  We want to incorporate actual spiritual experiences we have had, or our ancestors have had. We are trying to get across the blessing of knowing where we came from (who we are), why we are here, and where we go after death. I’m trying to decide if my grandmother’s experience might be too controversial. Yet, it is very profound. Some of the experiences I will be sharing are experiences we, my husband and I, and our ancestors have had as to help from the other side of the veil. These are experiences that I feel very strongly need to be shared with my posterity. They are sacred. And, I feel there is a purpose to them and it can help strengthen their testimonies. I want them to know we are watched over, and at times help is given us. But, there are also times when the Lord stays his hand. And I also want them to know the adversary is real, and we can command an evil spirit to leave our presence. I’m just wondering how much I should share, or even really go there. I’m still praying for inspiration.

Last night as I was sorting through some family history papers, I know I was led to a very specific experience my husband’s grandmother had after the death of her husband. My mind keeps flooding with events I remember being told about as a child. Some of the experiences are recorded. Others are not, such as my grandmother’s experience with commanding an evil presence to depart. My mother told me that one, and as I’ve talked to a few other extended family members, they remember being told it too, but some had forgotten until I brought it up. It needs to be recorded. 

I was questioning this idea of even doing a Family Home Evening for the kids and grandchildren. Is this inspired? Or is it just my wishful thinking that my husband and I can help influence the kids and grandchildren. Some are really struggling with their testimonies. But, after finding that experience on my husband’s grandmother, I feel I’m being led. There is no stupor of thought here. 
 

There is so much evil out there. My desire is for them to have rock-solid testimonies. For some, I’m afraid it may already be too late. Hopefully, something we say will get through to them. There is always hope. And, we will never give up. I have a 15 year old granddaughter who is already questioning her sexuality. She’s a baby! Why does she need to worry about this at her age? Kids are bombarded at such a young age with this, and made to think they need to choose. Im so tired of all this worry for my family. I’m looking forward to the Second Coming. 

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Very cool @classylady!   Now that my dad has been gone for almost 20 years, I'm just thrilled to death at every tidbit or picture that shows up on ancestry.com, or from random relatives on Facebook.

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2 hours ago, classylady said:

Thanks everyone for your input. It has been very helpful.  My husband and I are trying to prepare a Family Home Evening lesson that we will personally teach to our children and grandchildren.  We want to incorporate actual spiritual experiences we have had, or our ancestors have had. We are trying to get across the blessing of knowing where we came from (who we are), why we are here, and where we go after death. I’m trying to decide if my grandmother’s experience might be too controversial. Yet, it is very profound. Some of the experiences I will be sharing are experiences we, my husband and I, and our ancestors have had as to help from the other side of the veil. These are experiences that I feel very strongly need to be shared with my posterity. They are sacred. And, I feel there is a purpose to them and it can help strengthen their testimonies. I want them to know we are watched over, and at times help is given us. But, there are also times when the Lord stays his hand. And I also want them to know the adversary is real, and we can command an evil spirit to leave our presence. I’m just wondering how much I should share, or even really go there. I’m still praying for inspiration.

Last night as I was sorting through some family history papers, I know I was led to a very specific experience my husband’s grandmother had after the death of her husband. My mind keeps flooding with events I remember being told about as a child. Some of the experiences are recorded. Others are not, such as my grandmother’s experience with commanding an evil presence to depart. My mother told me that one, and as I’ve talked to a few other extended family members, they remember being told it too, but some had forgotten until I brought it up. It needs to be recorded. 

I was questioning this idea of even doing a Family Home Evening for the kids and grandchildren. Is this inspired? Or is it just my wishful thinking that my husband and I can help influence the kids and grandchildren. Some are really struggling with their testimonies. But, after finding that experience on my husband’s grandmother, I feel I’m being led. There is no stupor of thought here. 
 

There is so much evil out there. My desire is for them to have rock-solid testimonies. For some, I’m afraid it may already be too late. Hopefully, something we say will get through to them. There is always hope. And, we will never give up. I have a 15 year old granddaughter who is already questioning her sexuality. She’s a baby! Why does she need to worry about this at her age? Kids are bombarded at such a young age with this, and made to think they need to choose. Im so tired of all this worry for my family. I’m looking forward to the Second Coming. 

While I do not know what you should do with your family I think sharing family experiences and family history is very important to do. 

I remember as a child my father encouraged me to speak with my Grandfather about his life and history.  I did occasionally, but not as much as I should have.  I did not get as much of my family history as I wish I had.  Today, in the present, I wish I knew more about my grandfather's generation and their lives.  It is something that is very hard to do as they are no longer around and have not been around for many years. 

Part of the problem is that I did not write down the stories he told me.  I do not recall all the things that he said to me. 

I think that this happens with many families.  It may be that your grandchildren (and perhaps even children) would love to hear about these family stories.  Those of the grandchildren who are not as interested today, may find that they wish they had heard more later in their life.  In addition, many may not write down what they hear now.  Having a written record that they can read later in life could be invaluable and may be one of their most precious items later in life.

I asked my mother for an item similar to this when I was younger.  She included stories and more.  As I come from a non-member family, what she included was far more important than anything I could guess it would be later in life.  She also included all her genealogy as far as she could remember it which is perhaps my most precious item I have today.

Even if you do not tell them the stories, recording them in your own words and making a special copy for each of your children (who could then pass it on to your grandchildren), or if you have time and resources, perhaps a copy of it for each grandchild as they reach a certain age of responsibility  (perhaps mid-twenties) may turn out to be one of the most special items you have ever done for them.

Edited by JohnsonJones

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On 2/8/2021 at 2:29 PM, classylady said:

I have a 15 year old granddaughter who is already questioning her sexuality. She’s a baby! Why does she need to worry about this at her age? Kids are bombarded at such a young age with this, and made to think they need to choose. I'm so tired of all this worry for my family. I’m looking forward to the Second Coming. 

The barrage of pornography available on cellular phones and many other electronic devices with other wicked messages to twist people's reason are continually sent out to many.  It is popular and cool now to become a homosexual, bi-sexual or pursue other sexual paths other than being heterosexual.  Chastity and marriage between a man and woman are such an important part of our eternal progression.  Evil is now continually called good and good evil.

I am also very concerned about the spiritual wickedness that has forced its way into our Government.  Already our freedom of speech and religion is under assault and it won't be long until many full blown attacks are also made on the 2nd Amendment as well.  We need the LORD's grace more than ever to survive these last days.  I'm not looking forward to many trials ahead that await the Saints of God.

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I agree with @Backroads It was by faith that the brother of Jared moved the mountain - not by the power of the Priesthood. If mountains can be moved through faith, then probably evil spirts can be cast out in the same way. See also

21  Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
22  And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

(New Testament | Matthew 21:21 - 22)

With the exception of conveying authority to the performance of ordinances, I think there is nothing that can be done through the Priesthood that cannot also be done through faith. 

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7 hours ago, askandanswer said:

I agree with @Backroads It was by faith that the brother of Jared moved the mountain - not by the power of the Priesthood. If mountains can be moved through faith, then probably evil spirts can be cast out in the same way. See also

21  Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
22  And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

(New Testament | Matthew 21:21 - 22)

With the exception of conveying authority to the performance of ordinances, I think there is nothing that can be done through the Priesthood that cannot also be done through faith. 

I am not sure that the priesthood of G-d should ever be discounted.  In our last conference there was a talk about a young man with the Prophet Elijah.  When he saw the armies gathered to oppress them was greatly concerned.  But the prophet Elijah prayed that the young man's eyes be opened - to discover that there were many more "with" them than "against" them.  Note that the scripture quoted above were the words Jesus spoke to his Apostles - to whom Jesus had ordained to the Priesthood and to the office of Apostles.  He did not speak this to all his disciples and followers.

As near as I have been able to determine - all the works of G-d are done with the authority of the priesthood (seen and unseen) and are validated (revealed) by faith.

 

The Traveler

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On 2/16/2021 at 2:28 AM, askandanswer said:

With the exception of conveying authority to the performance of ordinances, I think there is nothing that can be done through the Priesthood that cannot also be done through faith. 

The Priesthood is not needed to perform many miracles in the name of Christ according to my understanding.

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2 minutes ago, Still_Small_Voice said:

The Priesthood is not needed to perform many miracles in the name of Christ according to my understanding.

The power of God is Priesthood...  No miracle can happen without Priesthood (aka the power of God).  Miracles often do not require Priesthood Holders  there is a big difference

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On 2/19/2021 at 7:54 AM, estradling75 said:

The power of God is Priesthood...  No miracle can happen without Priesthood (aka the power of God).  Miracles often do not require Priesthood Holders  there is a big difference

So if women can be the instrumentality through which miracles are performed, perhaps through their faith and prayers, would it then follow that they are exercising the Priesthood?

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1 hour ago, askandanswer said:

So if women can be the instrumentality through which miracles are performed, perhaps through their faith and prayers, would it then follow that they are exercising the Priesthood?

This is a tougher question to answer...not because it's hard to answer, but it's walking on egg shells.  There's a fine line that's being tread today between validating the Priests and Pastors in other religions who claim to be using the Priesthood and utilizing it's power (and thus, if they are, validating their religions and churches) and the emerging teachings that many are thinking is being taught regarding everyone being able to use the priesthood.

There is ALSO the danger which is where it appears there is a push to redefine what the definition of the Priesthood is today within the church and how, if accepted as such, ties directly into the direct problem I just stated above. 

Following down that path ultimately will mean that every Christian church that claims to have and use the priesthood has claim to be the REAL church and the REAL religion, because they have just as much authority and right to use it in the same ways as others without any other external conference of power or authority.

Hence, the difficulty I have directly answering the question easily.

That said, the question you ask can be seen as too broad a question to directly answer in light of the above.  The Priesthood itself is seen as the Power of the Lord, however the authority of the Priesthood is related to offices and keys of which the ordinances of the Gospel are given.  A simple answer are that ALL miracles that come from God are the manifestation of the Priesthood in our lives regardless of whom it comes through.  However, there are certain blessings and ordinances that come solely through those upon whom the power and authority has been conferred upon and upon whom the keys have been ordained to.

Edited by JohnsonJones

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