Celebrating Halloween

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SamBee
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Celebrating Halloween

Post by SamBee » 30 Oct 2013, 10:39

Image

As someone of Celtic descent, Halloween is pretty much in my blood, along with second sight, alcoholism, mood swings and remembering battles and oppression that took place a number of centuries ago.

But it's always mystified me why the True Church celebrates something blatantly unchristian. Unlike Christmas and Easter, which are Christianized festivals, Halloween is hardcore pagan... it's about evil, death, the undead.

Granted, we do have a bit of a thing about the dead in our church... baptizing them etc... but celebrating Halloween is plain bizarre for a church. There's no doctrinal justification. Sure, it might be fun, but so's extramarital sex (sometimes), gambling and violating the word of wisdom, and we don't do them officially.

I'm carving out my pumpkin tonight... but I'm fully aware that this isn't Christian, and that's pretty much as far as my heathenism goes.

(Incidentally I hear in the States, dressing as a Mormon missionary is a popular Halloween costume these days. Quelle ironie!)
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."

Roadrunner
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Re: Celebrating Halloween

Post by Roadrunner » 30 Oct 2013, 11:12

I think many people - including me - celebrate Halloween just because it's fun. A chance to dress up like someone you're not.

Many holidays are different than the supposed reason we celebrate them. I think I read a pamphlet by a member of the Q12 (Hunter maybe) who wrote an article that Christmas is basically a pagan holiday, or is based on one, but we still celebrate it anyways because of the "good" things and in spite of its pagan traditions. Independence Day for the US might be better commemorated on July 2. Easter eggs are pretty meaningless in light of what Christians believe. I don't have any problems celebrating any number of holidays as long as people don't go overboard.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Celebrating Halloween

Post by DarkJedi » 30 Oct 2013, 11:30

I really don't think the secular celebration of Halloween is evil. In my mind it's about socializing and kids having fun. I'm sure there are people who see it as evil but I really think they're in the minority. It's sort of like exchanging gifts at Christmas and the whole Santa Claus thing - not really part of the Christian holiday but when you ask most people about it that's what they'll bring up.

FWIW, I don't think the church celebrates Haloween. There are no special talks given to recognize the holiday like there are at Christmas, Easter, and Mother's Day, etc. Members of the church celebrate Halloween and some wards sponsor Holloween or related parties, but I don't think we can classify that as the church celebrating Halloween. Likewise, there is no prohibition in church handbooks, GC talks, and so forth about celebrating Halloween. The GHI makes a very brief mention and simply reminds leaders of the prohibition against masks (which I really don't understand, but that's another topic). You point out there's nothing doctrinal supporting Halloween, but there's nothing doctrinal prohibiting it either - unlike adultery.

Lastly, and please understand I'm not being argumentative or contrary here and I am by no means attacking anyone, Halloween does have roots in Christanity - at least Catholicism. It's "All Hallows' Eve" the night before All Saints Day. It does actually have a clear religious undertone to some. By the way, I've never seen any of the couple hundred trick-or-treaters that come to my house annually dressed as an LDS missionary. This year I'm betting on lots of zombies.
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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mom3
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Re: Celebrating Halloween

Post by mom3 » 30 Oct 2013, 11:58

One of my favorite Onion videos. Satire all the way.

http://www.theonion.com/video/in-the-kn ... ize,14284/
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Celebrating Halloween

Post by Curt Sunshine » 30 Oct 2013, 12:15

I have no problem enjoying secular holidays, even the ones (like Valentine's Day) that I see as manufactured for commercial reasons. I see Halloween in that vein.

I also have no problem with the prohibition on masks at church events like trunk or treat. Given the crap that happens in our modern society on a regular basis, I'm okay with making sure the people who are there are known to someone - especially with so many kids in one location being, generally, unsupervised. I have more problem with the explicit prohibition on "cross-dressing" since I see it as much more cultural and homophobic.
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 » 30 Oct 2013, 13:49

Must admit it's a funny one. I associate Halloween more with films that "are not uplifting", ouija boards and demons than carols, angels and the gospel.

Granted Christmas and Easter are Christianized, but the Christian aspect of Halloween seems to exist only in the name now.

I tend to think Christmas and Halloween are converging. Is Satan going to come down the chimney? Will we start seeing Halloween stuff for sale in December? Or November?
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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cwald
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Re: Celebrating Halloween

Post by cwald » 30 Oct 2013, 14:06

So we have a holiday that focuses on spirits, ghosts, magic, demons, people coming back to life, mysticism, supernatural etc....and we call it evil?

Sounds like church to me?

Halloween is my favorite holiday...by far.

I've been celebrating the concept all month....movies, decorations, books, podcasts...

I've even been slowing turning into a zombie all week at school.

Halloween is a pagan/Christian holiday. More pagan than Christian for sure, but....

Halloween is not evil. People are evil.

IMO.

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  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

Roadrunner
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Re: Celebrating Halloween

Post by Roadrunner » 30 Oct 2013, 14:28

cwald wrote:So we have a holiday that focuses on spirits, ghosts, magic, demons, people coming back to life, mysticism, supernatural etc....and we call it evil?
This makes me grin.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Celebrating Halloween

Post by DarkJedi » 30 Oct 2013, 19:33

cwald wrote:So we have a holiday that focuses on spirits, ghosts, magic, demons, people coming back to life, mysticism, supernatural etc....and we call it evil?

Sounds like church to me?

Halloween is my favorite holiday...by far.

I've been celebrating the concept all month....movies, decorations, books, podcasts...

I've even been slowing turning into a zombie all week at school.

Halloween is a pagan/Christian holiday. More pagan than Christian for sure, but....

Halloween is not evil. People are evil.

IMO.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
I like you more and more all the time cwald.
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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mackay11
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Re: Celebrating Halloween

Post by mackay11 » 31 Oct 2013, 03:11

SamBee - I think this is especially an issue for 'old-school' Europeans. We have an activity every year at the chapel. We don't call it a halloween party, it's a harvest party. But it falls on or near 31st October. People come in fancy dress (no masks) and we have "trunk or treat," apple bobbing, donuts on a string etc etc.

We enjoy it, we go home, we don't worry about it.

A lot of the older members get a bit upset that we do it and don't attend. Our concession is that it's not called a Halloween party - but everything else is the same. Our friends at the local catholic church are having a party tonight called the 'Light Festival' - still with apple bobbing etc. Each to their own.

I don't see Halloween as any more satanic than Harry Potter. It's just make believe and play. Do you give your kids easter eggs? Pagan fertility festival ;)

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