Skip to comments.Opinion: Mormon zombies are hard to find — is Halloween fit for LDS? [The OTHER World Series]
Posted on 10/25/2013 10:46:34 AM PDT by Colofornian
I need to find a good Mormon monster one that seeks out non-tithe-payers or feasts on those who drink Diet Coke. A Zion zombie, perhaps, that eats the brains of, you know, the pure in heart.
Zombies are really popular this year.
The Mormon Munsters have you been invited to their family home evening?
Or The Addams Family with special guest Eve. The mother of all wants you to clean your room.
How about a well-placed mummy not the kind that makes you do laundry, but the dry, dusty Egyptian variety. After all, Egypt has ties to Mormon-dom through Moses and Abraham, as well as Joseph and his amazing coat. The angel of death and those spooky long fingers was very scary, and the look is not all that hard to re-create with dry ice and a fog machine.
The dilemma is that I am not trying to scare people. The other dilemma, more of a predicament really, is that I dont know what place Halloween really has in Mormon-dom. As an LDS dad, one who is seeking the virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy (LDS Articles of Faith), Halloween leaves me in a seriously scary quandary.
Currently I am a father of teenagers who like pizza and texting. A scary night for them is a night without their cellphones. And spooky is them having to do their homework without their iPod while sitting at the table very frightening.
As an LDS dad, Halloween leaves me in a seriously scary quandary. When my daughter was younger she asked me why we celebrated Halloween. I told her that we didnt. She looked around at the colored lights, the black lights, the giant white ghosts floating in the yard, the spooky music being piped to the street, the table of cookies and popcorn and misty burbling punch and the Edgar Allen Poe's raven perched on my shoulder and said, Okaaaay.
Still, celebrate seems like a strong word. But based on results, I am defiantly celebratory on the 31st of October. So, why do I, a practicing Mormon, celebrate a holiday that seems to have base in the druid, the pagan and the pranks, the haunted and even the undead and all things seemingly un-Christian?
Yes, the imagery of Halloween has changed somewhat, even from Halloweens of the 70s and 80s when I was a participant and not a party planner. The holidays typical colors of black and orange have softened to include green and purple.
Witches can be cute, as can be vampires, scarecrows and zombies. Threats of mischief are to be taken as adorable, and we bribe the kids in costume at our door with candy or at my dad-the-dentists house, toothbrushes.
Originally, children in Great Britain disguised in costumes went from door to door. They visited homes and were rewarded with cakes, fruit and money. Its all about the candy now. Try picking the trick when you are presented with the option. See what happens. My guess is that you will get some confused faces and someone will call you a grouchy old man. Hurt my feelings, it did.
They carried jack-o-lanterns to guide the souls held in purgatory. True, these lanterns were first created with Irish turnips.
We use pumpkins now, both bigger and easier to carve. Just try to whittle something really scary, like a Ute fan, on a turnip.
Elements of the autumn season, such as fallen leaves, bare branches, corn husks and scarecrows are images we conjure for the season, right along with themes of evil, death and the occult, murder, mayhem and monsters, both mortal and mythical, without a second thought.
Its just one night a year some Mormons say, and that it is. Many believe that Halloween is simply a fun excuse to get together. Often, Trunk or Treats are held in or around the neighborhoods LDS chapel with little or no negative significance to the practice. Others reject Halloween as a holiday, concerned that it trivializes paganism and is incompatible with their Mormon beliefs.
I took my children to the Trunk or Treat that was held in my ward building several years ago. However, there is no such church/ward sponsored celebration this year, and that is fine by me. In its place is a chilly chili fest, and I am in charge of the corn bread. It just seems a better fit for church. And anytime I can eat and talk and be in charge of something is a holiday for me.
Other friends believe Halloween is much like the Mexican holiday Dia de Los Muertos, a day to celebrate their loved ones who have passed. They light jack-o-lanterns not caring if they are pumpkin or turnip to help guide their beloved dead.
I like the idea of remembering the dead. I rather hope someone will remember me. This predicament, like many other quandaries in my life, I have had to decide for my own, with my wife, what is appropriate for my family.
I have not found instruction by the leaders of my church concerning Halloween specifically, but I have discovered a whole lot of common sense.
I am starting to understand what Elder James E. Faust, formerly of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, might have meant when he said in the Ensign (November 1987, p. 33), No good can come from getting close to evil. Like playing with fire, it is too easy to get burned: The knowledge of sin tempteth to its commission. The only safe course is to keep well distanced from him and any of his wicked activities or nefarious practices. The mischief of devil worship, sorcery, casting spells, witchcraft, voodooism, black magic and all other forms of demonism should be avoided like the plague.
That is the direction I find myself to be heading with my family concerning Halloween. Maybe my fixation with lights of all color as a party planner is an attempt to chase darkness from among (us).
Personally I plan to celebrate this Halloween with my family by eating. Yes, there will be hordes of candy involved. And I may be dressed like Edgar Allen Poe, Gandalf or Elmer Fudd.
Or, maybe, the Creature of the Latter-day Lagoon.
(And while we're talking about Egyptian ties to Mormondom, don't forget the "Reformed Egyptian" supposedly revealing the Book of Mormon Joseph Smith supposedly translated while looking thru a hat! Or the Egyptian funeral documents that Smith "translated" as the "Book of Abraham" later)
In case you missed this week's The OTHER World Series threads, here they are!
Nothing like wasting space on this 15 minutes of bigoted hate. Jesus would be so proud of you. You are most likely a Satan worshipers by the evidence posted here. I bring the hot dogs and sores to roast on your Hellfire.
ALL: Per WilliamRobert's FR HomePage of WilliamRobert: ...am active in my Church (LDS
And these latest comments in response to me simply posting an article published by KSL.com...owned by the Mormon church...posting an article written by an active Mormon!
(Well if this flick didn't make it into Mystery Science 3000's lineup, looks like one they've overlooked and qualifies quite nicely! :) )
“Nothing like wasting space on this 15 minutes of bigoted hate. Jesus would be so proud of you. You are most likely a Satan worshipers by the evidence posted here. I bring the hot dogs and sores to roast on your Hellfire.”
But Mormons don’t technically believe in a “hell.” They believe in an outer darkness, which may or may not even be permanent, followed up with 3 levels of heaven, where the vast majority of mankind will go, with only the Mormons going to the Celestial Heaven where they will become gods of their own planets and dwell in the presence of God. Christians of all stripes will be trapped in one of the lower heavens, in eternal envy of the Mormons, which is what will be defined as a kind of “hell.”
This is written by a mormon, do you mean mormons are haters?
Suggestion: Mormons call Halloween, “Baptism Day.”
Could be dubbed, "Mass Necro-Baptism Day!" (and how fitting is that?)
(Where they try to make the "dead" the "undead")
Now that you mention it, what does the Christian community think about Halloween? Seems like this author is conflicted. I have seem other Christians express similar concern, expecially around the Christian homeschool community I am involved with. Is there a consensus? Or is the jury still out?
Yes. "Conflicted" is a good assessment -- both within this article and those who have a Judeo-Christian heritage. Many Christian churches try to offer "Harvest festival" alternatives.
Culturally, I think part of it is that you have many who recall Halloween in the pre-Exorcism movie release years ... vs. what it's come to represent since then.
The Hollywood media fare has definitively gotten worse in this regard. Even the Halloween movie series...already violent...was horrendously bad/corrupt from so many other angles with one of its recent sequels. (Might have been its last)
Those who look @ the history of Halloween usually do a lopsided take & tend to focus only on the pagan Druids of the UK region. They tend to ignore its very name -- "Hallow" as another word for "holy" ... based upon the reality that "All Hallow's Eve" was named as such because it preceded Nov. 1 "All Saints Day" -- when the saints of the past were acknowledged.
One more thing: Reformation Day -- when Luther nailed 95 Theses on the Wittenberg Door -- is Oct. 31. Doesn't get quite as much play as it once did...but the 500th anniversary of that comes up in four years...so attention will turn to that big time in some Protestant quarters.
How ‘bout somethin’ reeeeally spooky?
The mishies who keep showing up on your doorstep day after day after day?
The words “We’ve missed you!” intoned with a glassy stare & vacant smile?
Green Jello and carrots?
What about a decapitated SHIZZZZZ on the front lawn?
For non-Mormons who don't comprende that last lucid elcid comment re: Shizzzzz...Shiz is a Book of Mormon character who...well, allow me to cite Ether 15:31 where this final showdown occurs between two warriors, Shiz and Coriantumr. Coriantumr winds up "smot[ing] off the head of Shiz..."
"...AFTER he had smitten off the head...Shiz raised up on his hands and fell; and AFTER that he had struggled for breath, he died."
So, imagine a character arriving at your front lawn on Halloween.
He gets "decapitated" , right?
He then raises up on his hands, OK?
THEN this body is struggling for breath, right?
Good Halloween Front-Lawn Theater, right?
(Actually, just your typical Joseph Smith yarn contained in the Book of Mormon!)
I liked America better when people practiced their desired religion and left everyone else alone.
America has become a land of busybodies.
(Yet no comment on 80,000 Lds missionary spiritual "busybodies" out & about...knockin' on doors...ringin' doorbells?)
If not, rather inconsistent, wouldn't you say?
I "practice" my "desired religion" and it includes the Great Commission.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.