Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"Sorceries, and Witchcrafts, and Magics"

I'm a new permablogger over at the Mormon Matters blog, and following is my first post. Judging by the response, I'm not sure it's really my ideal crowd, but I'll probably try a few more posts in the next few weeks.

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?


Alb said...

Why do you say it's not ideally your crowd?

Christopher Bigelow said...

It doesn't seem to be my crowd because in the comments on my post, everybody seems skeptical of whether the devil has supernatural power or even exists and also seems to think that the Book of Mormon is just Joseph Smith's creative autobiography.

However, some of the other permabloggers have posted things that I can relate with. I guess the wacky nature of my post attracted those with less belief.

nephite blood spartan heart said...

I went to go read the comments at Mormon Matters and all I can say is ARRRRRGGGGGGGH! Do these people not remember Joseph used a seer stone to translate most of the BoM.I can't help but think that they have fallen into a (Sorry) wordly viewpoint on spiritual things. What influences man? The spirit of God,Man and ta dum, the Devil. Nietsche said he was amused at how thought comes to man before he can think it, ipso facto, we can't trust our own faith and feelings. Whatever, to me, if true, it only points to the belief I have of evil spirits whispering in your ear, not to mention Man is also an enemy to God. Two on one. Mormonism was once full of such thoughts on the supernatural. Nephites weren't stupid, they wouldn't be afriad of a lightswitch, would Jaredites? Come on, accept we are a peculiar people and with good cause. It honestly angers a little more than saddens me, at how that many people had such skeptical comments. I did notice other topics there and Chris, I dont know if it is your ideal crowd. Will the read your next book. I don't know, but Im looking forward to it.