By about 325 A.D. the Nephites had reached this point: “And it came to pass that there were sorceries, and witchcrafts, and magics; and the power of the evil one was wrought upon all the face of the land” (Mormon 1:19). On the scale of depravity, this condition seems to be worse than having the land overrun by robbers and secret combinations, though not as bad as the human sacrifice and cannibalism that later arose among the people.
So, what does this mean? Something along the lines of our modern-day astrology, Ouija boards, and Wiccanism, or something deeper and darker? Were there Nephite wizards and witches walking around actually casting spells on people?
Even more compelling to me is the question of whether we can expect to reach a similar state in our own civilization, or post-civilization if and when today’s order breaks down. Do we already have “sorceries, and witchcrafts, and magics” infiltrating our society in some form, and how much worse will they get?
I sometimes wonder if movie special effects, fantasy stories featuring magic, psychedelic drugs, and other cultural trends are preparing our civilization for a time of “sorceries, and witchcrafts, and magics,” a time when amazing supernatural signs and wonders from the evil one will become openly apparent. And when that time comes, I expect that priesthood power will be similarly beefed up to match and counter the wizardry and that God’s people will enjoy righteous supernatural reinforcement and support.
What do you think? Are we getting closer to latter-latter-day times when both evil and good supernaturalism will become more open and prominent aspects of the battle? And what forms will these aspects take?