Bruce R. McConkie
In imitation of true religion with its miracles, signs and gifts of the Spirit, Satan has substitute rituals and practices called magic. Attempts by unauthorized and therefore powerless ministers to duplicate the miraculous wonders of true religion result in the degenerate worship of magic. In its nature magic is the art which produces effects by the assistance of supernatural beings or by a mastery of secret forces in nature; magicians (those skilled in magic) are necromancers, sorcerers, conjurers, and the like.
Magic has flourished among apostate peoples in all ages. The magicians of Pharaoh’s court had power given them from Satan to duplicate many of the miracles wrought by Moses. (Gen. 41:8, 24; Ex. 7:11, 22; 8:7, 18-19; 9:11.) The court of Babylon supported a great corps of magicians. (Dan. 1:20; 2:2-27; 4:7-9; 5:11.) In the latter part of their history, among the Nephites, “there were sorceries, and witchcrafts, and magics; and the power of the evil one was wrought upon all the face of the land.” (Morm. 1:19; 2:10.) Among some of the false sects and branches of modern Christendom, particularly as these are found in some of the less advanced nations of the earth, magic plays an extensive role in worship. Special curative and protective powers, for instance, are supposed to attach to items blessed by officials in these churches. 1