November 01, 2016

What is Halloween?

I think for most Americans, Halloween is a traditon of tricks and treats and the fun of dressing up...
When you look past the capitalistic front, you can see the religious traditions behind it. Many Christians do not celebrate it as they see it as a satanic holiday, while others claim that it is a Christian one.
I suppose I have a much different take on it than most people. I was raised by a Catholic mother. I went trick or treating, costume parites etc.. When I reached adulthood I investigated other faiths, including Paganism. I learned about the true history of the Pagan traditions.
Halloween was begun as a way to honor ancestors. It was understood that Samhain was the night where the veil between the living and the dead was the thinnest and their deceased ancestors could visit. There was no conjuring up evil spirits, to the contrary, the costumes were to scare away evil spirts. They left treats for their dead ancestors and they performed dances and rituals to keep them safe from harm.
I didnt realize how much these traditions actually made sense, untill I found the fullness of the gospel. The more I learn about our afterlife, and Heavenly Fathers plan of salvation, the more I understand these rituals. Having been in the Temple, the place closest to Heaven on Earth, I can now appreciate the celebration of our ancestors.
I do not think the pagan (or shamans) faith is evil. I find much peace in their traditions. They have faith in a supreme being, they just understand him/her differntly. They do not have the fullness of the gospel,but they have a wonderful base of understanding the one thing Heavenly Father wants us to focus on, Family.
So as my own family takes a journey on our path to find how we should celebrate the various holidays, we have decided that while we will continue to avoid the worldly secular and comercialized celebrations, we will start a tradition of our own in celebrating our ancestors. Our family who has come before us and should not be forgotten. Heavenly Father has revealed to us the importance of knowing our heritage. We will be working on a visual family tree for the children... and gourd decorating will just add a little bit more fun to the mix..
If you are interested in finding out more about your ancestors check out  https://familysearch.org/  or find a local LDS meetinghouse and ask about the family history center. Its free and the workers would love to help you..
Have a Happy Halloween!