THE MORMON CURTAIN
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Topics surrounding Mormonism and Hollidays.
| The thing that is so powerful about Christianity is that it gives meaning to human suffering.
God is not only anthropomorphic but God became a human being and suffered like a human being. Greek gods are like humans and engage into human shenanigans, especially sex and the pursuit of status. They suffer defeat but the Greek story is not about invoking sympathy with divine suffering.
Any explanantion that relates human beings to their environment appeals to our emotions. I have a screen saver depicting the solar system. My children can look at the reiterating images for up to an hour. They just suck up this kind of information. I presume humans are hard wired to seek for meaning. The ability to create meaning is an evolutionary advantage because meaning is about an individuals relationship to its environment. Understanding the meaning of our existence helps us make better decisions. More importantly, if we share the same worldviews they empower us to cooperate with other individuals. That is probably why people respond emotionally to tales about meaning.
Detour/Illustration of what happens if science is interpreted without a frame of reference providing meaning: the reason why US primary and secondary education policy continues to fail is because policy makers are not having a debate about the meaning of education. Instead they are focusing narrowly on test results that do not properly reflect if learning has taken place. They are losing themselves in the details of empirical studies. These studies then justify policy decisions that are counterproductive such as wittling down the play time in Kindergarten, eliminating exercise and arts programs, and overregulating recess. Then they are surprised that the performance of underprivileged males collapses. Had the policy makers asked themselves some basic questions about the nature of childhood and education, they may have recognized the folly of such decisions. More importantly, they would have a frame of reference for the empirical work, which would have empowered them to effectively use the insights of currentresearch.)
The questions of meaning are so big that they cannot be scientifically answered. One cannot test entire worldviews because testing requires specificity. Worldviews are about the linkages, connections and the big picture. Worldviews require poetry and mythmaking. Even Carl Sagan's or Albert Einstein's work is myth making. Sagan's priorities are reason and evidence. When the evidence shifts then Sagan would presumably adjust his worldview. The Morg's priority is its property. When its cash flow and power are threatened then the Morg changes its behavior if not its worldview.
In Judeo-Christian ethics the first two commandments insist on loving God and one's neighbors. In statements of identical logical structure the neighbor substitutes for God. That indicates to me that a Christian way of life does not necessarily require a believe into the supernatural. Indeed, it is not impossible to justify Christian ethics entirely in Darwinist terms. For a religion that teaches that God became a human and suffered like us that is not a big leap to make.
| In a private e-mail thread, Peter_Mary and I were discussing how traditionally holy Christian holidays are sort of blown off in the Mormon church, or rather, underemphasized in comparison to other religions. I never felt I ever got an acceptable answer from my dad or any church elder when I've asked about this in the past.
Every time I've ever tried to explain anything about the church to a nonmember, I always got stuck on the holidays. I can't come up with a viable and sane explanation for why Easter, for example, is barely a blip on the radar. Lent, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday -- none of those are ever discussed, nor celebrated, or even acknowledged with anything more than the typical pat answer, "We prefer to emphasize Christ's life rather than his death." That's great, but I never even knew what Lent is until I was a grownup and had a job where some other employees were Catholic.
Which doesn't explain to me why Christmas isn't too big a deal either. Sure, the Chorister picks some special songs to sing on Sunday and there might be a musical performance one evening before Dec. 25. But there's no special services for either of these holidays, nor does anything particularly of note occur during the "regular" holiday services -- unlike some other Christian religions. There's no nativity in the front yard of the churches, really nothing special about the Sunday nearest Christmas service at all. (Besides it might be a tad more crowded than usual as all the inactives' guilt kicks in, but that happens in all churches.)
Certainly, the emphasis on the materialism and the gift thing is there. I wonder if the Relief Society classes start trending toward Martha Stewart-y gift idea projects around November and December? (Spray these pine cones with silver spray paint to make festive decorations that also make great gifts! It's a good thing. )
As a kid, I always felt sort of shortchanged because all my classmates who were Catholic or Catholic-Light (Episcopalian ) got to do the egg hunts and easter baskets and all that. Not that those are Christian traditions in the first place. Is it possible the Mormons downplay Easter because its roots are so strongly dug into pagan traditions? Why would that make any sense, if one takes a look at the temple ordinances? In our family, it seemed like we weren't very consistent about a big Easter dinner -- there was a ham and everything (well, another ham, besides myself, for eating) but extended family attendance was more optional. At least at Christmas, we'd have a big dinner and sort of require anyone related to us to join.
I think the Mormon treatment of Christian holidays, or lack thereof, has a lot to do with the reasons many people believe that the Mormon church isn't a Christian religion. That, and the practice of not hanging crosses and crucifixes everywhere. (IMHO: At least we got that one right!) I don't recall seeing any special lights, decorations or trees on any LDS buildings during the holidays....
What do you think of this? What do you think are the real reasons (not just the reasons we're told) for this? Did, or do you do anything special within your families to put more emphasis on these religious holidays? Did you find that you miss the emphasis that other religions place on them, and is that as a kid or as an adult? Other random, but tangentally related, thoughts?
| I hate what Mormonism does to Mothers' Day. For as long as I can remember, Sacrament meeting on Mothers' Day has always featured various male speakers that extol the virtues of Motherhood and the divine nature of womanhood. This isn't necessarily a bad thing at all, but for some inexplicable reason, Mormon men can't seem to help but take it to a ridiculous level of self-deprecation and insincerity.
For example, why is it that Mormon men, when speaking on Mothers' Day, feel the need to describe their wives as "the more spiritual one" and the one who "keeps everything together"? Why do they have to speak of their wives as if they, the men, were bad little boys who stand in awe of the more dignified shadows of their mates? Why do they profess to be such bumbling, inadequate fools? Is this really true? And if it is, then what the hell is wrong with these men?
Every year, it seems to devolve into a big dumb-fest, where the men all seem to think that by making themselves out to be stupid, helpless, worthless men, they somehow elevate the status of Mother and Wife. Is this how women ought to be appreciated, by men admitting or claiming their feeble and dim position by comparison? This is like saying, "I will honor you by demonstrating that I am dumber than you." How nice.
It seems strange also that this elevation of Woman and Mother is really only universally significant once a year for Mormons. I have known many women over the years who privately voice their disgust over the hair-brained actions and opinions of husbands, Bishops, and other male leaders who refuse to listen to what women have to say (ask any woman who has had the displeasure of obtaining Ward budget funds for a youth activity). If the men in the Mormon Church really feel so stupid and humbled by the presence and influence of women, why don't they feel such deference every day of the year? The 'aw, dopey me' routine I hear on Mothers' Day comes off as completely insincere, just looking at how the church treats women all year long. Mormon men love to say how so much more spiritual and special women and mothers are, yet they cannot allow women to affect church policy beyond what insipid craft they are permitted to enjoy at Enrichment Meeting or what the choice of hymns will be next Sunday.
My sensibilities were further offended yesterday when one idiot quoted yet another idiot (paraphrasing Gordon B. Hinckley): "The man who seeks to elevate his position by abusing his wife makes a grave mistake. How could he have been born were it not for a Woman?" What the hell does that mean? Yes, men ought to be loving and kind toward their wives, but to say men ought to love their wives because it took a woman to give birth to men is a totally stupid argument! I mean, it took a man for that birth to happen as well, right? How can these people think they find wisdom in such illogical stupidity?
Why can't Mormon men just honor Mothers, and let that be it? Why do they have to pretend to be stupid, weak, and inferior? Why do they have to spend the rest of the year proving they lied on Mothers' Day? Why do they have to employ illogic to suggest that Mothers are important?
Mom, if you're reading this, I love you because you taught me that I should endeavor to be a strong, intelligent, self-assured man. I don't love you because I think I'm stupid, I love you because you taught me that I am not.
| Ah, it’s that wonderful time of the year again. A time to celebrate the things for which we are thankful; a time to reflect on the year; and lots of quality time spent with TBM family members.
I do love my very large (well most of them) TBM family and they’ve been, for the most part, extraordinarily understanding of my family’s decision to leave TSCC. But I do dread most of the family Thanksgiving rituals.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but Thanksgiving is a well orchestrated and choreographed event beginning early in the day with activities for the children such as writing stories inevitably about TSCC (what else is there?), or drawing pictures of Joseph Smith, interspersed with stories told by the adults relating close calls with adversaries, car accidents, and spilled milk. And don’t forget the songs! Oh those songs. The day culminates in The Feast. But before we attack The Feast, we are treated to a round table type of meeting wherein everyone is called upon to tell everyone what he or she is thankful for this year. Sadly, this ALWAYS includes, “The Restored Gospel,” “The True Church,” “The priesthood,” “My callings,” “The Prophet,” “The challenges Heavenly Father has given me this year (fill in the blank),” “Moisture,” and the perennial children and sometimes adult favorite, “I know the Church is True. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. And I love my mommy and daddy.” In the end, it boils down tojust another run of the mill fast and testimony meeting.
When our turn comes up, our thankful for list is considerably different as it conspicuously omits all of the above and instead focuses more on our friends new and old, relationships, our marriage, health, life experiences, etc. My oldest daughter, the “spiritual” one in our family, may even say something having to do with religion, albeit not the right one. Although she’s not religious per se, she does have many devout friends of other faiths and diverse backgrounds, so on occasion she’s made comments about a “Jesus Freak” friend or even, oh my, a Buddhist friend. Now those were shocking for the TBMs for sure, leaving them with jaws dropped! But the things we usually share seem to be so foreign to the rest of the family that it leaves them seemingly confused and definitely speechless. It takes a moment for them to recover and get their game back when they move on to the next in line.
We’re used to it by now, having gone through many such occasions, but it still can be uncomfortable. Which leads me to a couple of things I’m thankful for that I can’t say at the “Feast and Testimony” dinner, and that is we get to remind them that contrary to popular belief regarding the fate of apostates, we haven’t been struck down by lightning or punished for our “sinful” ways. That we have a great life, in fact a much BETTER life than we ever imagined as members of TSCC. And, finally, I have to admit that I take pleasure in the one time of year that we get to turn the tables on them and give them a little bit of their own exclusivity medicine and watch them squirm in their seats!
I wish one and all a great Thanksgiving. And if you’re spending it in the company of your TBM relatives, I know exactly how you feel, so make the best of it and good luck.
| Trunk-Or-Treat Parties Ruin Halloween For The Non-Mormon Kids |
Thursday, Sep 7, 2006, at 07:52 AM
Original Author(s): Evelyn
Topic: HOLIDAYS -Link To MC Article-
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| How about the mormon "trunk or treat" parties at Halloween? (Is this a Utah, Davis County thing, or more widespread?) They're held in the local church parking lot, usually a night or two before halloween. We usually find out we are invited if/when someone sticks a flyer on the front door the day before the party.
Instead of going trick-or-treating, ward members dress up, decorate their car trunks with Halloween themes, park in the church parking lot, and hand out candy to the kids who are brought to the parking lot by their parents.
This event was started under the guise of "safety". You know...I guess it keeps all the mo kids safe from all us evil witchy non-mo's who, of course, always hand out poisoned candy.
Because of this event, very few children come to our door trick or treating because they've already done "trunk or treat". We do not attend these events even though we are always invited. We don't want to be targeted for conversion efforts.
When we take our kids around the neighborhood trick-or-treating the traditional way, there is almost no one at home giving out candy because they already did the "trunk-or-treat" thing. Apparently everyone in the ward believes that their party is the only game in town, and a few even seem irritated that we are knocking on their door. ("Didn't you guys go to trunk-or-treat night??!") Most just black out their houses and hide for the night.
So, we wander in the freezing cold around a dark, empty neighborhood with no success. So then we climb in the car and try grandma's neighborhood, hoping for greener pastures. Same thing. No one home, no one answering their doors. The kids are tired and disappointed that they didn't get to show off their costumes to anybody. We get a pizza and rent some videos and hit the 50% off candy sales the next morning.
Back when I was a kid, all we had to do to get a good haul of candy was walk once around the block. Everyone was home, and everyone gave out candy. Now...there's nothing out there...thanks to the ward trunk-or-treat parties in our 99% LDS neighborhoods.
| So this last Saturday, since my birthday was on Sunday, my wife and I got rid of the kids and went out to dinner and a movie. We had to pick up one of our kids from the church when we were done because the couple we had left him with was participating in the ward social.
The theme of the event...
"Dress like your favorite HOBO." I am not kidding. I thought it sounded stupid when they announced it last week in church. Why not just call it..."dress like you favorite homeless person, or dress like your favorite bum, or welfare cheat, or oppressed minority group." Seriously, who comes up with these ideas?
So I propose some other ward activities to show how sensitive the church is to racial, social, and other societal issues.
1. Dress up as your favorite transvestite dinner. (I wonder how that would go over)
2. Dress up as your favorite assasinated dictator dinner.
3. Dress up as your favorite oppressed minority dinner.
4. Dress up as your favorite pornstar dinner.
5. Dress up as your favorite Serial Killer dinner.
6. Dress up as your favorite currently at war with the United States Relgious Group person.
7. Dress up as your favorite abused child dinner.
8. Dress up as your favorite apostate from the church dinner. (I could come as me)
9. Dress up as your favorite Oppressed African National Person dinner.
10. Dress up as your favorite excommunicated early church leader dinner.
I don't know maybe I am just being a little too sensitive, but dressing up to celebrate homelessness and poverty (and train riding) and then gorging ourselves on food instead of actually like helping homeless people with said food seems kind of vulgar to me.
| Received "Shaken Faith Syndrome" Book For Christmas |
Thursday, Jan 1, 2009, at 05:34 PM
Original Author(s): Shaken Up
Topic: HOLIDAYS -Link To MC Article-
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| My soon-to-be ex-wife's parents gave me the gift that just keeps on giving. The 'Shaken Faith Syndrome' book.
Signed by DW's parents and even MY parents who live out of state and haven't spoken with me since I announced I would be resigning from the LDS church.
Wife says there's still a chance for me to fix this if I'll repent, go to the Bishop with my concerns, and allow the 'spirit' back into my life.
I opened the package wrapped in beautiful wrapping paper to find a Smithmas card with testimonies from her parents, my parents, wifey herself, and other less-connected family members sharing about how happy the gospel has made them.
I remained silent. Everyone stared at me, awaiting some kind of spiritual intervention that would somehow manifest itself - after all, the spirit testifies of truth, right?
I was speechless. 'Have any of you read this?' I asked. 'No, no. We bought it for YOU to read.' replied my father-in-law. My mother-in-law quickly chirped, 'It has all the answers to those questions you've been thinking about.'
I grabbed my coat and keys. Left the book on a table in the dining room.
I heard my mother-in-law whisper to someone, 'Well, that's rude. He didn't even stay for dinner.'
I ignored it.
I enjoyed a quiet drive back to my home.
So, here I am at home. Writing to tell you about my wonderful Christmas present.
| Midwest Area Conference Was Today (easter), Monson, Oaks, Spoke. It Was Awful! |
Monday, Apr 13, 2009, at 07:51 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: HOLIDAYS -Link To MC Article-
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| Well, I thought you folks might want to hear about Easter Sunday in the Midwest. See we didn’t celebrate Jesus being resurrected. Folks in Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Minnesota got to hear from the Prophet via satellite tv. I didn’t take notes, but here is how I remember.
1st speaker… Steven Snow. It wasn’t on Jesus, but he managed to mention him a couple of times. He almost said testiphony instead of testimony (I swear, it was like “testifon…errr testimony”).
2nd speaker (token female speaker)…Margeret Lifferth (In the primary presidency). She spoke on faith. I was pleasantly surprised that she didn’t talk baby talk like most of the women. She said some corny stuff, but all in all it was ok.
3rd Speaker (Dallin H Oaks). Ok, he seriously looks evil. He jumped around to quite a few subjects and probably pissed everyone off. He talked about how people are struggling in the economy now and it’s not the church’s job to help people. They were warned and the church’s programs are not there to help them.
4th speaker (Thomas S. Monson) Lots of corny stories about widows and food (man this guy likes food). He also made a big to do about how the young women aren’t transitioning to relief society (meaning they aren’t fitting into their role as a subservient woman). He also talked about how there are so many women whose dh’s aren’t members and what should they do. He said that they need to be extra nice to them and then they will join the church. He made a couple of really corny jokes that people hardly laughed at.
One of the speakers (I don’t remember which one) made a comment about how we celebrate the true meaning of Easter unlike all the other people with their Easter bunnies and eggs.
I probably missed some of the best stuff. There was lots of Pay, pray, obey, and very little Jesus. It was a sad, empty way to spend my Easter morning.
| My Dissapointing Easter: Midwest Area Conference |
Tuesday, Apr 14, 2009, at 01:01 PM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: HOLIDAYS -Link To MC Article-
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| I didn't know I would be spending my Easter with a large congregation watching a satellite broadcast of three people on subjects other than Easter. It was very impersonal, disappointing, and unfulfilling. I honestly don't remember hearing anything other than a passing reference about the glorius resurrection of Christ. Happy, Easter! :(
I took a few notes from the Easter Midwest Area Conference another poster described. Not word for word:
Dallin H. Oaks: In his introduction, he spoke rather condescendingly of the way others celebrate easter: "This conference is NOT EXCLUSIVLEY FOR EASTER..WE celebrate it WEEKLY...It is far more significant than the large and unique celebration of one Sabbath per year...Others are celebrating today with candy, eggs, and bunnies."
The majority of his talk was on subjects unrelated to Easter.
He told young people they lacked perspective. "You have ONLY 10 years of perspective...YOU DON'T SEE EVERYTHING AROUND YOU...Perspective is an advantage your parents and grandparents have.." He then brought in an example of perspective from an Audrey Hepburn movie, African Queen as if show he was in touch with culture Two main characters trying to reach Lake Victoria by boat don't realize how close they are because their perspective is obscured by the growth around them)
Oaks then spoke about his many years in Illinois and how he had spoken at virutally every stake conference in the Midwest since "being called to be an apostle 25 years ago" this month.
He emphasized how he and others had REPEATEDLY counseled us to avoid debt and become self-sufficient: "I have said this again and again at numerous stake conferences around the midwest... AVOID DEBT."
He then gave advice for keeping out debt. He paused for a few seconds, encouraging members to write these things down. "Husband should regularly tell their wives these four thingss:
1) I love you
2) I'm sorry
3) Yes, dear
4) We can't afford it"
He made it very clear that the church welfare progarm was to be used as a last resort. I'm sure if anyone falls into need now or is using the system, they must feel VERY GUILTY. I felt really bad for a large, faithful, tithe- paying family in sitting close to me. Their father had lost his job and the church had been helping them with their mortgage payments so they wouldn't be foreclosed. Oaks words must have been very painful to them.
As an aside, the fasts offering program here in the Midwest is running a huge deficit (according to our leaders). A new strategy has been introduced to increase donations: the deacons will now travel by car great distances with the priests to collect fast offerings (this is done in Utah where member live close together-not as practical our here).
He then indicated that through TITHING we can QUALIFY for all blessings the Lord has for us.
Steven Snow: Spoke for several minutes about how his son was injured in a bike accident and was left in a coma for days. Spoke of the fun he had asking his son afterwards what day it was, knowing his son would always get it wrong because he had lost his short term memory.
Then he somehow twisted this into an lesson of how we must not lose or short spiritual memory and how we cannot rely on our long term memories, such as our mission experience, to keep us going strong. I found this intersting because many GAs have told me that their missionary experience is often the only thing that keeps them going in the gospel.
He then mentioned how we cannot hang our faith on visits from heavenly messengers, noting how Laman and Lemuel turned away after seeing an angel. I wasn't sure how to reconcile this with importance placed on the first vision.
Summary: we cannot rely upon past spiritual experiences. Compare this to Elder Eyring's talk, "Remember: from a few years ago.
Margeret Lifferth: A very nice lady who spoke about growing up in Ames, Iowa and other warm fuzzies that warmed up local members.
President Monson: I don't remember what he talked about. He spoke very softly and they didn't turn up the sound. I looked around and it didn't seme like many were payng attention. I think he was telling some nice stories about widows and little boys in his trademark sing-songy voice.
Rather than speak about Christ, the speakers essentially spoke about getting more people to do their duties, come to chruch, participate in activities, and pay tithing.
| Sucked In To Father's Day Sacrament Service |
Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009, at 09:00 AM
Original Author(s): Royaloak
Topic: HOLIDAYS -Link To MC Article-
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| Woke up this morning, took the dogs out for a good walk, and came home for breakfast. My wife says all the kids are counting on you to go to church for Father's Day and you will get cookies at church. I haven't been for months but thought, if I get a cookie for all my effort it can't be that bad. Service was everything I dread. The best Fathers are those who live up to their priesthood or whatever that means. And only those fathers who are worthy can have a cookie.
Up theirs!! I took a cookie anyways and threw it away.
I have raised 4 beautiful children who are independent, thriving members of society not some cult followers. I deserve my cookie for who I am not for what they think I should be.
I won't' be sucked in again.
| Does Anyone Else Remember The Days When The Morg Celebrated Holloween With Gusto? |
Friday, Oct 16, 2009, at 08:11 AM
Original Author(s): Cheryl
Topic: HOLIDAYS -Link To MC Article-
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| When I was a kid in Clearfield, we wore masks and whatever costumes we could throw together from our closets and enjoyed an all out Halloween festival at the wardhouse.
There were elaborate decorations, fortune telling, apple dunking, a cosume parade with prizes, and games of chance with no religious connotations. This event was on the last primary day before Halloween when primary used to be during the week.
On Halloween night, we went trick or treating, again with masks and costumes. The treats were small treasures, a bubble gum, a lollypop, a jaw breaker. Every Halloween we'd stumble on one or two very generous neighbors who handed out candy bars or popcorn balls.
No one in those days complained about kids wearing scary or unapproved costumes. It was just once a year and kids deserved a little fun. It nourished their esteem and their imaginations.
Now the mormon church has depeleted most of the fun from the holiday with their trunk or treat activity. Cars pull into the church lot, open their trunks, and kids make the rounds in twenty minutes getting a bag of candy. The parents don't have to take them from one house to another or talk about manners and traffic or other safety lessons. The kids don't get to imagine goblins or ghosts along the way. They don't get to connect with their neighbors. They just get their loot and go home to watch TV, often with the front porch light off to dissuade nonmo kids from asking for treats.
Too bad about all of that. : (
Oct. 31 falls on Sunday and, every time that happens, a handful of communities in southern Alberta approve the rescheduling of observances to Saturday the 30th.
BTW, what's the point of refusing to trick or treat on Sunday but still handing out candy? Makes no sense, per usual....
Communities such as Raymond, Cardston and Magrath, where there are sizable Mormon populations, all make the move.
Raymond Mayor George Bohne says the town has moved every Halloween on Sunday to Saturday for the last century and they've never heard a negative word.
"The bottom line is tradition," Bohne says.
"Our families are all inclusive. We won't turn anybody away from the doors if, for some reason they chose to go on Sundays – on the traditional day – as opposed to the day we've set.
"But by and large, we've had almost 100 per cent co-operation."
I'm not anywhere near the Alberta area, but in my local newspaper, some idiot wrote a similar letter to the editor recently, citing the importance of "family" as an excuse to throw all the normal Halloween traditions away. She went on and on about how "it's not because of trunk or treat that our familiy doesn't do trick or treat anymore....it's because Halloween, for us, is a family day. We reserve that day for family celebration." It was painfully obvious that she was automatically included in the stupid trunk or treat party because she is a practicing mormon; therefore, her kids all get to participate in a community Halloween celebration (albeit a boring, watered-down poor substitute for normal Halloween) without feeling like they're crashing some strange church's party. She might feel differently about it if her kids' only choices were to crash the mormon's party since that's the only place anyone's handing out candy or to not trick or treat at all. This choice is what my kids are saddled with. I offered to take them to the church parking lot if they wanted to go (even though I dread showing up on mormon turf), and they asked if it was "that thing where you just walk around in the circle of cars in the parking lot." I told them it was and they thought a minute and said, "No, I don't want to go." It was too boring for them to bother with even if they were getting free candy out of the deal.
My question for all those people who suddenly are soooo concerned about Halloween being a "family day" is, "Why can't the traditional trick or treat on October 31st be an activity enjoyed by the whole family?" That's my beef with trunk or treat (besides that it's boring - even for the kids).....that it's a cop-out. Parents too busy for their kids can just speed on down to the church and throw candy into bags for 45 minutes, speed back home to the TV with their huge sugar load to eat while they watch, and be done with it. Accompanying your kids on a traditional trick or treat takes up much more time and more effort to get the big stash the kids are hunting. But why is that a bad thing? Spend one night of October every year devoted entirely to your kid, building great memories and promoting a real sense of community...not just the selected members of the community that enjoy marching in circles in a church parking lot and to hell with anyone who doesn't want to do that. If your kids are starting to outgrow trick or treat (and therefore trunk or treat, as well), why couldn't a family stay home, light the Jack-O-Lanturn, play Halloween games, take a walk down memory lane together with the old photo albums with pictures of Halloweens past, have a Halloween themed meal together, watch a spooky DVD or read aloud together a Halloween book while answering the trick-or-treaters at the door? Why couldn't any of those scenarios qualify the Halloween celebration as a "family day"? I'll tell you why....it's because their beef isn't really that the traditional celebrations somehow prevent families from spending time and building memories together....it's that it takes too much time and effort to do it the normal way. IMO.
| I'm guessing that I'm older than most people here, so maybe some of you aren't able to remember how the church idolized Christopher Columbus in the 60s and 70s.
After all, he's mentioned in the Book of Mormon--"And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters, and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land."
This, of course, was Christopher Columbus himself.
We were taught this.
Joseph Smith translated it from the writings of Nephi who saw, in a vision, that Columbus would discover the Promised Land.
Mark E. Peterson spends a whole chapter in his book, "The Great Prologue," citing examples of how and why Christopher Columbus was influenced by the Spirit of God. (Interestingly, most of the citations are from CC himself who spouted those declarations in order to get his way and keep his sailors from abandoning him.)
In church classes and speeches from the pulpit, there was always a lot of hoopala concerning Columbus and his discovery. There were explorers before Columbus. Why didn't they succeed? It was because God was waiting for Columbus, because He knew Columbus would send settlers to the new world who, according to Peterson, "Would make permanent homes," people who would "fit into (God's) program for the restoration of the gospel. Peterson's book was released just in time for the bi-centennial celebrations.
In 1976, the church also printed a large pamphlet with the same ideas--a pamphlet that could have been written by the Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation. It came with four lessons appropriate for Family Home Evenings. This pamphlet, stamped with the church logo, was titled "The Great Prologue: A Prophetic History and Destiny of America." In it you learn that "The Holy Ghost inspired Columbus," "The Power of God was with the Colonists," and that "The Lord Reserved America for His Purposes."
You really don't hear too much talk about this from the pulpit any more.
The bicentennial was the decade after the 60s. The VietNam War had just ended. More people had begun to start thinking for themselves, and there was a LOT of information being published that cast doubts on the godly character of Christopher Columbus.
I remember that the church leaders reacted with a fierce comeback. That those who cast aspersions against the great explorers and founders of this country were working with the devil. After all, these men were in league with God to bring people to this continent where the true church could flourish.
(This was the same time that stories of Washington's Slaves and Jefferson's dalliance with Sally came out in the news. I don't have any sources at hand, but I remember church leaders scolding those members who would spend any time listening to this kind of talk.)
So, I guess we must forgive Columbus' taking slaves, allowing or even participating in rape and murder of native people, because he was paving the way for the restoration of the gospel.
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