Celebrating Halloween

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DarkJedi
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Re: Celebrating Halloween

Post by DarkJedi » 31 Oct 2013, 03:24

I agree with you Mackay11. Dressing up/trick or treating/etc. is very much the same as Santa bringing gifts at Christmas, Easter eggs, giving your sweetheart candy or flowers on Valentine's Day, or wearing green on St. Patrick's Day. Most people make no connection with the history of Valentine's Day (most probably don't even know the history) and what we do. My kids growing up certainly made no connection between Halloween and evil. I actually see it as more of an issue for some evangelical Christians, the same one who won't read and watch Harry Potter, but I don't understand their logic. Halloween is not rooted in evil.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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SamBee
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Re: Celebrating Halloween

Post by SamBee » 31 Oct 2013, 16:12

Although Christmas and Easter have pagan roots, they can at least be identified as Christianized. With Halloween it's not even a Christian veneer most of the time.

Apple bobbing can be put in the Christmas tree category - harmless but pagan. I've no problem with that... Likewise eggs symbolise new life... can be fitted into the pagan symbol appropriate for Christianity group. But there is no Halloween equivalent to that.

But living skeletons, vampires, zombies, witches etc don't belong in a church IMHO.

It's very hard to reconcile the idea of black magic, smashing windows, children out begging candy in the dark from strangers, seances, driller killer films and some of the other nastier aspects of Halloween with Christianity!
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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SamBee
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Re: Celebrating Halloween

Post by SamBee » 31 Oct 2013, 16:16

Halloween is essentially the old Celtic New Year, Samhain, when the doors between the world are open. The pumpkin (formerly turnip) lamps are there to ward off any evil spirits which might be wandering about while the
doors are open.

The All Hallows business gives nothing to it but a name these days.

It was - and still is - a time when folk practise magic of an unsavory
and malignant nature.
Last edited by SamBee on 31 Oct 2013, 16:24, edited 1 time in total.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Celebrating Halloween

Post by Curt Sunshine » 31 Oct 2013, 16:18

But living skeletons, vampires, zombies, witches etc don't belong in a church IMHO.


I'm totally cool with that perspective, even if I don't feel as strongly about it.

I also have never seen those things in a church, except for in the "cultural hall" and only when it's too cold or rainy/snowy to have an activity in the parking lot. Except for those who feel the most strongly about it, that seems like a reasonable place for it to happen.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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SamBee
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Re: Celebrating Halloween

Post by SamBee » 31 Oct 2013, 16:22

Fair enough Ray. I'm fairly alright with the pagan aspects of other "Christian" festivals, but there is definitely something very nasty about Halloween which you don't get with the others. It's traditional - for example to curse folk at Halloween, and tell frightening stories.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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DarkJedi
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Re: Celebrating Halloween

Post by DarkJedi » 31 Oct 2013, 18:41

SamBee wrote:Fair enough Ray. I'm fairly alright with the pagan aspects of other "Christian" festivals, but there is definitely something very nasty about Halloween which you don't get with the others. It's traditional - for example to curse folk at Halloween, and tell frightening stories.
I'm fine with it too, Sambee, and I see your point. I just want to point out that many, perhaps even most (especially with children) don't celebrate the holiday in that fashion. Our kids were never witches or zombies and never even asked to be. The holiday doesn't have to be about evil and it's not about evil for at least some. We told a lot more frightening stories around the campfire than we do at Halloween (where we don't do any), and honestly I've never known anyone who has "cursed" anyone or practiced witchcraft or voodoo on Halloween or any other time. Living in a small rural town probably gives me a different perspective, but we actually know the kids that come to our door - or at least know which family they belong to and about where they live.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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QuestionAbound
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Re: Celebrating Halloween

Post by QuestionAbound » 06 Nov 2013, 15:50

It's all about the candy for me and my kids. Costumes are simply a "gateway" to get the candy. :)

What I hate to see is the "spook alleys" at church. THAT is not okay in my book.

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SamBee
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Re: Celebrating Halloween

Post by SamBee » 12 Oct 2018, 19:19

Digging this old thread up, because during recent consultations for our stake activity on Halloween, one of the bishops in a neighboring ward complained about this very issue. The Americans seem unphased, but I have heard comments from locals about it... not instigated by me.

I can't remember if I said this above, but round here Halloween is a license to some people for bad behavior - i.e. smashing windows, egging people and other nastiness. LDS don't seem a part of this, but it does seem ingrained.

I see it as a commercialized festival like Christmas, not an almost entirely.commercial one like Valentine's Day. It goes back a long way. The American version is essentially from the Celtic festival, with a lot stolen from the Mexican Day of the.Dead and heavy dollop of post-war consumerism.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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