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In 1888 a Mormon woman in the Southern States mission of the LDS Church requested a visit from the missionaries. She said she was possessed by the devil and asked the elders to help her by the laying on of hands. They were happy to comply and the evil spirit was summarily dismissed. Then things took a turn for the worse.

This, and other stories of Mormon exorcism are featured in this special edition of the Maxwell Institute Podcast. Learn more about the history of Satan as he was understood before, during, and after the life of Jesus, through Catholicism and the Protestant Reformation, to the days of Mormon prophet Joseph Smith and beyond.

About the Guest

No one has done more research on dispossession in Mormonism than religious studies scholar Stephen C. Taysom, associate professor in the department of philosophy and comparative religion at Cleveland State University. He is author of Shakers, Mormons, and Religious Worlds: Conflicting Visions, Contested Boundaries. He edited Dimensions of Faith: Mormon Studies Reader. His article on Mormonism and exorcism was recently published in the journal Religion and American Culture. It’s called “‘Satan mourns naked upon the earth’: Locating Mormon Possession and Exorcism Rituals in the American Religious Landscape, 1830-1977.




This episode is a tribute to and homage of LORE, by Aaron Menke. If you haven’t already done it, you should check that podcast out.

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