From the Homefront: Tiffany Gee Lewis: Is the Sabbath-day trick worth the treat?

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  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Oct. 28, 2010 8:09 p.m.

    To All:

    I haven't celebrated Halloween since my son quit going out. The main reason is because I hated to have to put the dog in the kennel so that he wouldn't scare the kids when they came to the door. Whether you go out or not is entirely a personal decision. It is a decision you have to make and decide whether it is in keeping with the spirit of the law or obeying the letter of the law.

    No where has the Church come out and said we shouldn't go out on Sunday nor that we should. The reason is because we shouldn't have to be told what is right or wrong all the time. That decision is entirely ours.

    None of us probably keep the Sabbath entirely holy every minute of every Sunday. For this reason we shouldn't condemn those who do something different than us. Since the Sabbath is for doing his work it really is up to us to determine if meeting neighbors and contribution to them is worth the candy then who am I to tell you it is wrong. I'm sure the Lord knows our heart.

  • KC Mormon Edgerton, KS
    Oct. 27, 2010 4:39 p.m.

    Idaho Coug | 3:47 p.m. Oct. 27, 2010
    Well said. I think too many LDS are becoming Pharisees with things like handing out candy on Sunday. They forget the SPIRIT of the law for the LETTER of the law. Several years ago my very less active brother took his two kids out on a Sunday Halloween in an area that was a high majority active LDS. A flier was actually put on doors from the local ward to not turn on your lights because the trunk or treat would be the Halloween for the members that year. NO thought was given to the less actives or non LDS. How close do you think that brought them to the LDS Church? I know for my brother at least it drove him farther away rather than bring him back in to the fold.

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    Oct. 27, 2010 3:47 p.m.

    This is a very simple decision for me. I will have my light on and handing out candy both Saturday and Sunday. And my kids can go to the ward party as well as Saturday and Sunday trick or treating.

    Isn't it becoming more and more clear that our uniqueness as Mormons is NOT drawing more to the Church but rather just making us seem more strange in general? It makes us feel good about ourselves but more and more I realize it is not making others want to be like us. Turn off your lights and risk turning off your neighbors. But so many of us pride ourselves in our "righteous behaviors" that I'm sure there will be a lot of dark LDS homes this Sunday.

  • Mayfair Claremore, OK
    Oct. 27, 2010 6:30 a.m.

    John Pack Lambert of Michigan,

    Yup, the kids with layered, fuzzy or furry costumes had them unzipped and unbuttoned, or parts taken off and carried instead, trying to dissipate the heat.

    And a couple of trick or treaters, when asked which candy they were planning on eating first, responded they didn't want any candy, but could they please just have a drink because they were so hot.

  • ? Fort Knox, KY
    Oct. 27, 2010 6:23 a.m.

    While I was growing up, whenever Halloween fell on a Sunday, folks went trick or treating the day before, on Saturday.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Oct. 26, 2010 10:56 p.m.

    I am not sure there is any "heat of the day" in any upper mid-west state at halloween time. In some such states you at times find snow on the ground.

    I can see banning night trick or treating. It can become a time for roudy teenagers to do roudy things.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Oct. 26, 2010 10:52 p.m.

    Actually there is no official Church position on when the Sabbath begins or ends. I am fairly sure there is nothing that would prevent you from starting your Sabbath at sundown on Saturday and ending at Sunday on Sunday.

    I generally am more in the when I go to sleep on Saturday night to when I go to sleep on Sunday night camp, but that is just the way I try to observe the Sabbath and have no problem with following a different way.

    I think it would even work to do a one-time sundown to Sunday Sabbath for this halloween. I would suggest that this involve clearly starting the sabbath when the sun sets on Saturday, but as long as the way you do it works for you and you can feel in line with the Sabbath, then go for it.

  • Mayfair Claremore, OK
    Oct. 26, 2010 1:44 p.m.

    I found the "when to trick or treat" approach taken in a upper midwestern state to be humorous:

    Not only does each town and township and village make their own decision as to what day, but what TIME trick or treating will take place. (these are published at great length in print and online.)

    Last year, our daughter's town instructed residents that the time was to be 1:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon.

    I know parents of little children might like the light of dusk vs complete darkness, but isn't
    1 to 4 in the blazing sun (and heat of the afternoon) a bit much?? :)

  • bummy New Philadelphia, OH
    Oct. 26, 2010 12:43 p.m.

    We have way too many members that thinks we need a prophet to tell us what we can & can not do on the Sabbath Day. We have been told by the prophets & scriptures many times & places about how to keep the Sabbath, so anyone still not sure about this law of the Lord, well it is getting to the point of too late. We have been told & I am so happy I KNOW! :) Also, holloween should have been taken off the calendar many years ago. Search & find how it got started & "IF" you are like me, you will understanf what I am saying is TRUE!! :)

  • KC Mormon Edgerton, KS
    Oct. 26, 2010 11:43 a.m.

    One thing to keep in mind for all those LDS Members who think it is wrong to hand out candy on Halloween if it falls on Sunday. We are to be examples to our non-LDS friends and neighbors, what kind of example are we setting if we tell them we want to exclude you this year because it is Sunday? How do they look at our actions? is this the way we want them to think of us? Especially those in Utah were a large number are LDS. If you do not think it is right to go out on Sunday I can understand but should we not think about the people who are not LDS as well? I will admit the older teenagers drive me nuts but I handle them the same way ever year, I have good candy for the younger kids and things like Dumb Dumbs for the older who really are to old to trickortreat. I find each year the number of older kids gets smaller and smaller. This helps me meet the families in the area as I give out candy and my wife as she takes our kids around.

  • EgbertThrockmorton Layton, UT
    Oct. 26, 2010 11:03 a.m.

    We will be giving out candy on both nights as our neighborhood is 50/50, many are going on Saturday night, many are going on Sunday. It's NOT that big of a deal, nor will we choose to be offended in any manner.

  • diamondladi Gambrills, MD
    Oct. 26, 2010 10:30 a.m.

    Great article. I've never lived in Utah, I live in Maryland, but the last time Halloween fell on a Sunday our town had trick or treating on Saturday. (I was very pleased!) They won't be doing that this year- but we will still participate. It helps that my youngest is 18 and not as confused by these choices. I realize that as Latter-day-Saints that we don't follow the sundown to sundown sabbath rule, but I still feel better that at least a good portion of the Sabbath will have passed before "Halloween" starts.

  • Outlier Vancouver, BC
    Oct. 26, 2010 10:29 a.m.

    When I was Bishop about 6 years ago, I encouraged everyone to "get out and meet your neighbors" on Halloween - sends a bad message if we're the "house with no lights on" pretending to not be home. When you live in an area where you are a minority, this is a great way to meet your neighbors and socialize with them.

    I really don't like the "trunk or treats" that occur a day or two before - all this does is increase the amount of candy our kids consume and creates a "Second Halloween" -isn't one enough?

  • RoundelRider Mapleton, UT
    Oct. 26, 2010 10:21 a.m.

    It's the trunk or treat activities that have killed the fun of Halloween in Utah. Years ago I became uncomfortable with the concept of scaring children, so I took another tack - I got some floodlights and put them inside the front door, put a sign on the front door asking: "Where will you go when you die?" and dressed in white with a "St. Peter" name tag. When I opened the door I had the Hallelujah chorus playing. The neighbors loved it! The next year I had a more elaborate Book of Mormon theme planned when our ward started doing the trunk or treat thing (I call it the ward candy grab - quick score for the kids so they can then go canvas the neighborhoods too!) Our street is now mostly dark on Halloween and it's not nearly as fun.

  • Reader Sandy, UT
    Oct. 26, 2010 10:05 a.m.

    This is not an easy situation to call. We first came face-to-face with a Sabbath Halloween over twenty years ago when our eldest was about seven. We lived outside of Utah, and our ward decided to do a Saturday Trunk or Treat (this was a fairly new concept then). Our children did not trick or treat, but we did hand out candy at our door to trick or treaters. It was hard for our children.

    Now it seems that Trunk or Treats have become yearly ward occurances in addition to not instead of children trick or treating - the kids get a double whammy of candy. In reference to the article refering to the neighborly visiting during trick or treating, I find this to be a rare occurance. It seems like a great number of the kids are teenagers in what are a stretch to call costumes. They are running door-to-door collecting as fast as they can. Many more kids are not even from our community but are being driven door to door by parents, again collecting as much as they can. I think Halloween trick or treating has ceased to be a friendly neighborhood activity.

  • Pam in Illinois Great Lakes, IL
    Oct. 26, 2010 9:06 a.m.

    This year we are going to the trunk or treat on Saturday with our annual chili cook-off and the next day we are delivering treats to our close neighbor friends who we have been fellowshiping. Our porch light will be off.