The following is excerpted from LDS Living. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.
Halloween—that confusing mix of eeriness, morbidity, candy, trick-or-treating, and family fun. Always during this time of year, a strange thing happens among our readers. Suddenly, LDS Living becomes bombarded with comments obsessing over this holiday, but the views expressed in these comments are so contrary, it’s confusing.
Some readers request more Halloween content while others fixate on the holiday’s pagan origins, saying Latter-day Saints should not celebrate such a day.
This got me wondering, what has the Church officially said about Halloween?
Official Church Statements
It turns out, not much. In the Church’s handbook, it states that decorations for ward parties or holiday celebrations should be approved by the stake president and cannot be used in the chapel or on the exterior of the building. These restrictions only broadly, not specifically, address Halloween and focus on how the holiday can be celebrated at a branch, ward, or stake level, not for individual members.
What Prophets and Apostles Have Said
While Church leaders have not addressed Halloween in particular, they have addressed some Satanic practices associated with this time of year. In 1989, Elder Boyd K. Packer warned young men and young women to avoid participating in dark spiritual practices, no matter the circumstances:
“A warning: there is a dark side to spiritual things. In a moment of curiosity or reckless bravado some teenagers have been tempted to toy with Satan worship. Don’t you ever do that! Don’t associate with those who do! You have no idea of the danger! Leave it alone! And there are other foolish games and activities that are on that dark side. Leave them alone!”
President James E. Faust elaborated on this same topic, saying:
“It is not good practice to become intrigued by Satan and his mysteries. 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’ (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1939, p. 373). 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.
But where does that leave us when it comes to trick-or-treating, dressing up for parties, or ward trunk-or-treats? The Family: A Proclamation to the World counsels: “Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.” Couldn’t those activities include holiday traditions you share with your family?
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf adds, “In family relationships, love is really spelled T.I.M.E.” While this advice is not specific to October 31st, it provides a good guideline for any situation. Are our Halloween celebrations helping us spend time and create memories with family and friends? Do they bring the Spirit, along with fun? Do they help us seek “anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy”? Are there ways we can bring more of the virtues of the holiday into our lives?
To read the full article, CLICK HERE.