Halloween on Sundays

With fall comes Halloween and, this year, the dilemma of whether to participate when it falls on a Sunday.

Growing up, my parents would graciously decline the birthday party invitations that we received when they were scheduled for a Sunday.  Many of these parties involved going to places, such a pizza parlors, that most Mormons would eschew on Sundays. But others were merely gatherings at homes.  Still, they got the same treatment.  I also remember Halloweens that fell on a Sunday.  Some members would not let their children participate and sponsored special Saturday Trick-or-Treats.  But my parents, it turns out, didn’t have an objection to trick-or-treating on Sunday.  More recently, I’ve been to wards where church activities were not allowed to be held on the Friday and Saturday before fast Sunday.  In other wards, this seems fine.

No one should criticize anyone else’s Sunday worship practices in this post.  However, I have to confess that I am puzzled as to why we sometimes think it is taboo to participate in these activities when they touch on the Sabbath.  They are amongst the few opportunities that we have to come together with our neighbors in celebration.  They do not immediately strike me as incompatible with principles of Sunday worship.

So my question to the bloggernaccle:  How widespread are these decisions to not celebrate holidays/birthdays that fall on Sundays?  For those who opt not to celebrate, what factors motivate you?  Does it matter where the celebration is held or what the holiday is?  What factors motivate those who do participate?


  1. As a non-American, Halloween is a particular celebration I find entirely bizarre. Even after 10 years in this country, I honestly cannot fathom the yards with fake graveyards and horrific effigies that terrify my small children for weeks on end.

    However, my take on this topic is not concerned with it falling on the Sabbath. I do not believe an early evening festive stroll around the neighborhood greeting our community members is in any way inappropriate.

    What drives me crazy is the practice of eschewing any community or neighborhood involvement, replacing it instead with the odd practice of “trunk or treat”. Where ward members fill their trunks (well, I still call them boots, radical foreign person that I am) with candy and the kids go on a sugar festival from car to car. No one participates with their own neighbors. In fact on years where this happens on any day other than a Sunday, especially in very LDS areas, non-members have no doors to knock on because everyone else is down at the church. What kind of strange message does that send?

    Finally, I get spectacularly frustrated when the hoopla surrounding the ward Halloween Party (and related budget) is more substantive than the coming Christmas celebration. Something is a bit off here.

    Back to your original question, we accept Sunday birthday invitations and the like, if they are for close friends and held in their homes i.e. do not involve causing entertainment establishments to be open and people having to work. Our children seem to understand the distinction and so far have accepted it well. I am sure the day of rebellion is coming. But that’s the position we’ve taken thus far.

  2. we’re with chrysula on birthday parties… we’ve skipped everything but the closest friends and even then, they’d been smaller and at home. we skipped a sunday birthday pool party and a sunday birthday at an indoor jumpy place over the summer, but arranged to bring a gift by beforehand. our kids go to a very small school (about 150 kids pre-k through eighth grade) and we’re the only mormons. we’re a close-knit community, but all eyes are upon us.

    this is our first sunday halloween with kids old enough to be aware. at this point, we’re leaning toward t-or-t’ing at the grandparents’, an aunt and uncle’s, and the few well-known neighbors in-between. then family movie night? we’re not sure yet. we don’t get kids in our current neighborhood and we’ll be in the process of moving anyhow.

  3. Birthdays and holidays weren’t really a problem in my childhood Utah community. I think everyone in the neighborhood did the Halloween thing Saturday night.

    My parents were very strict about other Sunday activities though. The problem was that my family did not replace our usual activities with uplifting or spiritual ones. Sunday was a day of contention. I spent most Sundays in my bedroom with the door shut, angry at my parents (especially fast Sundays). My mom and I had one of our worst arguments about me wanting to exercise on Sundays. Unfortunately I still haven’t learned to fill my Sundays with uplifting activities.

  4. Steve Evans says:

    Chrysula, try All Saints Day instead. Far more non-Yankee.

  5. Barefoot Mike says:

    I’ll be taking my three boys trick-or-treating through the neighborhood on Sunday the 31st this year. We’re about the only mormons in our neighborhood, so it is an especially great way to meet new people.

  6. In semi-defense of the Trunk or Treat practice, when you and the rest of your ward live in a not-so-good neighborhood, the Trunk or Treat was a nice way to give the kids a chance to trick or treat without inadvertently knocking on the door of a meth house. And the Trunk or Treat was usually a very popular event for members of the community who weren’t Mormon. I think it was a net positive.

    I honestly don’t remember whether I was allowed to trick or treat on a Sunday when I was a kid. But birthday parties I’m sure were off-limits.

    Now we live in a place where Sunday is a regular work day (we have church on Fridays). So this year’s Halloween is not a problem. Now I just need to check if anyone around here actually celebrates it…

  7. I’m an adult convert, so the notion that you wouldn’t take part in a community holiday like Halloween just because it falls on Sunday strikes me as rather small-minded. I used to live in the southern US, and there it was common for the community to move trick-or-treating to the day before when Halloween was on Sunday.

    I’ve never let my kids attend birthday parties on the Sabbath, either, but they’ve accepted that without too much squawking.

  8. philomytha says:

    It’s very simple actually. You’re not supposed to do fun stuff on the Sabbath. If you enjoy it, it must be wrong.

  9. who’s got time for trick or treating with all the home teachin’ taking place that night?

  10. I don’t do Halloween. Aside from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I have no interest in that segment of our culture.

  11. I like dressing up, I like meeting neighbors…I detest fear and this fixation with gruesome bloody yuck. I don’t eat sugar. So halloween is kinda a win/lose kinda thing for me.

    We normally do slow trick or treating…actually talking to the people who’s home we visit. This works especially well with older people who have been prepared. They don’t really need a host of people ringing their doorbell and getting candy from them…getting them up and down and up and down…they need someone to listen to them talk.

    I don’t see door to door candy begging as a sunday acitivty. I could be persuaded to believe talking with your neighbors and actually spending some time getting to know them as a sunday activity.

  12. whose…curses

  13. Natalie B. says:

    My ward does trunk or treat at the ward Halloween party, but I don’t think it is a substitute for trick-or-treating. I’m assuming most people do both.

  14. We are in the same stake, Other Bridget! Anyway, we’ve always lived in places where there was no such thing as trick-or-treating, but when I was a kid I was very distressed about the idea that the church told me I couldn’t go trick-or-treating that year!! I think I went anyway.

    Two years ago when Halloween was on a Friday here, I let my kids go out and trick or treat on the compound where we live. It was the second time they’d lived in a place where they could actually trick-or-treat, and I let them go.

    Tomorrow (Friday) I am going to a Girl Scout function after church. I am one of the leaders, so it’s really important that I be there, but I didn’t set the time or date; several of the other leaders did, and it’s at a bowling alley. I feel pretty icky about this, but I’m going anyway.

  15. The Sabbath is a day of worshipping God.

    Now, baking pumpkin cookies, or making cute Halloween candy bundles and taking them to your neighbors can fall under “serving fellow man” and getting to know them, therefore worshipping God by loving His children.

    But how does dressing up and running around, threatening your neighbors with harm if they don’t give you candy worshipping God?

    Just askin’.

  16. Since our current ward hasn’t been existence long enough to have had Halloween fall on a Sunday, I don’t know how others will mark the day. But our 10-year-old will be trick-or-treating on Halloween and having a fun time doing it. If Sunday isn’t a day for enjoying yourself with your children and visiting neighbors in a friendly manner, as well as for welcoming the neighbor kids to your front door, what day is?

  17. We don’t celebrate Halloween on any day. Problem solved.

  18. I’ve heard that trunk-or-treating has made its way from the mission fields into the Zion Curtain and into neighborhoods that are predominantly Mormon anyway. To which I ask, what’s the point?

    When I grew up in Ohio, it was moved to a Saturday, like it’s done here in the South…

  19. I love trick-or-treating on Sunday. It’s such a neighborly event – when everyone comes out of their homes to visit. It’s the BEST when the weather gets warm. I think it’s compatible with with keeping the Sabbath and that not doing it makes us seem strange and isolated.

    OK, the creepy stuff doesn’t fit that well – yeah, so maybe the kids should just wear “wholesome” outfits on Halloweens that fall on Sunday…(!) (:

  20. Steve Evans says:

    “dressing up and running around, threatening your neighbors with harm if they don’t give you candy ”

    Remind me not to trick or treat in your neighborhood.

  21. “More recently, I’ve been to wards where church activities were not allowed to be held on the Friday and Saturday before fast Sunday.”

    Natalie, do you know what the rationale is for that practice? Are all the other weekends in that ward so overly scheduled with activities that they want to have one weekend clear of activities so that people can slow down before fasting and perhaps have a more contemplative experience?

  22. Peter LLC says:

    Well, I live with snakes and lizards and other things that go bump in the night because to me everyday is Halloween.

  23. We live in a neighborhood with few children. We have older neighbors who tell me they look forward to seeing my kids every year in their costumes. We just can not go. Probably a moot point, as as long as we have lived in the south Sunday Halloween has been moved to Saturday.

    For our family, the sabbath is for us and not to show off to the rest of the ward/neighborhood how pious we are. I reject the Puritan practices of old. Foolish traditions of the forefathers as far as I am concerned.

    As soon as church is over, off come the church clothes, play with friends, attend home only birthday parties, swim at someone’s home, some TV ( preferably movies), sleep, read, study, and cook. Sunday taboos, for us, is staying out of business establishments and the YMCA.

    I want my children to love the gospel. The last thing I will do is turn them off of church with heavy handed shame. So far, a joyful attitude about Sunday is working.

  24. I’ve either lived in Utah – where Trick-or-treating is done on Saturday (if H falls on a Sunday). Or in an apartment in the San Fernando Valley (where the Persians, Vietnamese, and Mexicans don’t really trick-or-treat regardless of what day it may be). So this has never been a dilemma for me.

    But I LOVE Halloween. It, like New Years, is one of the few holidays that is centered around community, friends, and fun, and isn’t burdened by some patriotic or religious message (not that I have anything against patriotic or religious holidays, I love them too). I think its great for kids too, it gives them a chance to be the monsters instead of scared of them. Our culture seems so afraid of death, little things like Halloween give us a chance to approach it in a fun manner. Most cultures have something similar, why would you want to shelter your kids from that? Nevermind, I don’t want to know.

  25. 23 – My feelings exactly.

  26. Mostimportantly says:

    Hmmm… let me think… I only trick or treated as a child until the age of 10. I don’t remember missing any Halloweens so I assume I did it on a Sunday at least once. Having lived in Utah for 20 years since, all Sunday Halloweens are moved to Saturday so I have had no need to make a choice about this for my kids.

    As far as other Holidays and Birthdays go, even though my neighborhood in Arizona growing up was not heavily LDS (as I hear they are now), Sundays seemed to be a rest day to everyone else as well. Our neighborhood was filled with kids playing everywhere ever day of the week except Sunday when it got very quiet. I don’t remember getting birthday invites for Sundays. I do remember relaxing at the pool at member friends homes on Sunday.
    My Husband’s family had the Easter bunny on Saturday growing up. His mother felt it was distracting to the meaning of Easter to do it on Easter Sunday. My husband and I do the Easter bunny thing for our kids on Sunday because basically, I disagree. It never took away from Easter’s meaning when I was young and once again, I think kids are done with it by about 10 years old and that is also about the time when they can start to understand and focus on the atonement anyway.

  27. We have also had this dilemma. To make it worse the Activity Committee chair decided to not do a ward halloween party this year, because she would be out of town and has chairs a committee on one. My wife decided she would organize it for her and got the bishop’s blessing, so at least we will have something. We’ve been thinking of just letting the kids dress up and answer the door, but were not totally against the trick or treating on Sunday either.

    As an aside, I went trick or treating on my mission. I dressed up as my companion and he dressed up as me. When we went to the Bishop’s house for lunch, the Bishop caught on halfway through the meal and remarked to my companion Elder G, that is an astonishingly good costume. Unfortunately, the door approach of “Trick or Treat” had exactly the same effect as any of the other door approaches I used in Germany, though I admit to only using it once before the guilt made me stop.

  28. Another +1 for Trunk-or-Treat. Many of us know our neighbors well enough to not want our kids knocking on their doors. Also, in wards and branches with large boundaries (ours is 20+ miles across) it’s a nice and safe way to get to participate with people you love. We tend to get A LOT of non-members at ours who really appreciate our efforts to create fun memories for our children. The cake walk has become so popular that we’ve had to add cupcakes for all participants (can’t have hurt feelings you know).

    BONUS: In my house Oct. 31 is the birthday of all 4 of my kids!

  29. When we lived in Utah, we didn’t have any problems because most everyone did their trick or treating on the Saturday night before. We still had candy for those gentile kids who came both nights, though.

    Now we have no small kids at home anymore. Here in the Seattle area, this may be the only time I remember that Halloween fell on a Sunday since we moved, so our ward moved their huge extravagant (and best attended by non-members) holiday event to Saturday night. We’ll still have candy for the neighborhood kids on Sunday night. But our big event for Halloween is that it is our oldest son’s birthday, and we will be getting together with him and his wife and his other siblings for a small scale party anyway.

    While I sometimes wonder at the gruesome aspects of the holiday, for the most part it always seems to be good clean fun. I did have a little fear that maybe we had gone over the line when as YM president, our youth put on a spook alley at our ward party, and we actually made a couple of 10 year olds cry, and at least one older teenager who asked to be guided out of the thing halfway through. We may have been a bit over the top on that.

  30. In my house Oct. 31 is the birthday of all 4 of my kids!

    Is your Anniversary in January?

  31. Mike from Atlanta says:

    When I was a teenager in Utah the YM adult leaders built the most outrageous spook alley each year and used Halloween as an opportunity to get even with the youth for all the stunts we had pulled during the previous year. A nearby meat packing plant proved useful along with the creative use of electricity and plumbing, mixed in with wholesale discarding of spoiled food storage. My first year the classic movie “The Night of the Living Dead” was shown at the ruins of an old building in the canyon and I couldn’t sleep for a week. Costumes allowed some older teens to do things they might refrain from otherwise in the way of exploiting younger teens; either sexually, violently or by stealing their candy. One of my classmates went to a pot smoking party where they also had a seance and he was killed in an auto collision racing back down the canyon.

    I am so thankful those “good old days” seem to be past and we can worry about relatively minor things described above.

  32. meems #14, saying you’re in the same stake as me narrows it down to what, five countries? Six? We’re new here so I haven’t quite figured it out.

  33. Melissa DM says:

    Oh score! I didn’t realize it was on a Sunday this year. I’m totally using that as an excuse not to have to come up with Halloween costumes for the kids.

  34. Steve Evans says:

    Melissa! How’s things? Kids, plural??

  35. stephanieq says:

    I recently moved to a place where the university sports (football and basketball) are holidays unto themselves.

    Our family could have chosen not to participate. We could have not bought the requisite shirts and hats in the school colors nor the flags to wave outside our home. We didn’t have to have a neighborhood barbecue to celebrate football.

    We did it because we wanted to be part of the community and celebrate traditions right along with them.

    All ya’ll that are dissing on Halloween seriously need to chill out. Halloween is a beloved tradition and can bring people together.

    It’s a time to step outside yourself and be someone you’re not. It can be a time to contemplate the meaning of life and one’s own death. It’s arty and entertaining and damn fun to put up decorations.

    So you can complain about Halloween and keep your porch light off and keep from having fun.

    Or you can get into the spirit of the tradition and bond with your family and fellow man.

    I think trick-or-treating on Sundays can make Halloween even more meaningful because what are Sundays for? Family and tradition.

  36. 24-I shelter my children from some scary things mostly because I am the biggest chicken in the world and still get nightmares frequently. My younger children go where I go – hence no scare. My older children are free to plan their own scary activities and attend them.

    I’m. a. wimp.

    I’ve heard this big spirit of fear is bad, gore is bad, violence is bad thing…and some of it is interesting….but mostly I avoid it because it gives me nightmares. Heck I still avoid watching Wizard of Oz. Those monkeys…yikes

  37. Melissa DM says:

    Finally starting to calm down, hence the reappearance in the bloggernacle. I don’t know how you guys do it with multiple multiples! I feel like they’re always plotting against me.

  38. Steve Evans says:

    Melissa, that’s because THEY ARE. Awesome to see you again.

  39. StillConfused says:

    I personally don’t care if an invitation falls on a Sunday. If it is something I want to go to, then I do, irrespective of the day of the week.

    I think it sucks when Halloween is on a Sunday. Because then there is the question of whether Trick or Treating should be on Saturday or Sunday. The net result being less trick-or-treaters over all.

    I love Halloween. I think it is a blast.

  40. I’m with britt k, I’ve never seen the Wizard of Oz all the way through simply because I can’t get past the monkey scenes!

    Where I live in San Diego, it’s less of a family neighborhood, so Halloween is more like Mardi Gras for the adults than anything else. It always amazes me how the women here can make any costume slutty. Slutty cat, slutty vampire, slutty angel…you get the picture.

    I’m not much into Halloween. I live in a secure building so I never get any trick or treaters from outside and I think there are only 2 or 3 infants in our entire building. I haven’t participated in the trunk or treat at the ward, but I probably should.

  41. Natalie B. says:

    21: I have no idea what the rationale is. It truly puzzles me.

  42. 39 Some people appreciate that ability ;)

    And lets not forget the slutty pumpkin

  43. I’m not sure there will be much difference in my neighborhood for Halloween on Sunday or on any other day. We live on a quiet cul de sac, and the last couple of years have been the only ones to have our lights on and hand out candy. Because of that, few kids even bothered coming our way. My wife is out of town this year, so I think Halloween will be the Primary progam in sac mtg, followed by a Harry Potter movie marathon.

  44. Nearly every church, every denomination where we live holds a trunk or treat or some kind of party/festival. The schools do it as well. The mall has trick or treating. The university holds a trick or treat. The science museum has an event as well.

    Our kids don’t trick or treat because between the schools, our ward, and every other available party/festival available they get enough candy. And I’m too lazy to walk them around the neighborhood. Plus, if I leave no one will be there to pass out the candy because DH won’t do it. Besides, my girls LOVE to pass out the candy (although my oldest daughter is super stingy with it).

    Also, most of the kids who trick or treat in our neighborhood don’t live in our neighborhood. It generally occurs in this town that parents drive their kids to the “good” neighborhoods to go trick or treating.

    We won’t pass out candy on Sunday but if any kids come the night before we will.

  45. fortunately we’re in a southern community which shifts these sorts of things over to Saturday without a second thought. doesn’t sound like the westerners fare the same… is that due to an overly sensitive religious culture? live in zion sounds very odd IMO

  46. I think trick or treat is probably something I’d do on a Sunday with my kids. I like the arguments about going out and meeting neighbors. It seems like a friendly family activity. It is also a far cry from watching NFL football all day…which has become incredibly pervasive within our people and is an activity that so many Mormons wrongly justify using every argument they can possibly conjure up. I know that this post isn’t for discussing people’s Sunday practices and whether they approve, but I find it appropriate to juxtapose the quasi-religious practice of watching football after church with trick or treating and visiting our neighbors. If watching the NFL is ok (I think it isn’t) then trick or treating is ok.

  47. porter Rockwell says:

    Once every seven years our little precious snowflakes have to forgo trick or treating. So far, none have been too emotionally devastated. In fact just the opposite, they actually have fun being at home handing out candy to people that come to the door.

    And if it is really about “meeting the neighbors”, and not just rationalization because you are too weak to tell your kids “no” once in a while, why not have neighbor kids over for a simple halloween party on saturday?

    It is really not that hard to tell your neighbors– “ya.. we believe in the commandment to “keep the sabath holy”, since it is one of the ten commandments, it really is not all that far “out there” to most Christians, even though they generally do not live it, (it’s not like explaining baptism for the dead).

    Also, I find most of my neighbors find it a chance to get very drunk, so I don’t actually enjoy seeing them that night.

    Trunk or treating at the Church party on saturday night satiates the kids, and I think it is healthy for them to have to stand up for what they believe in once in a while

  48. Thank you Porter for pointing out the obvious: the only reason to trick or treat on Sunday is because you’re a weak-willed sissy who can’t say no. If I’d only known that it “is really not that hard” then I wouldn’t have wasted my time contemplating the moral costs and benefits.

  49. “More recently, I’ve been to wards where church activities were not allowed to be held on the Friday and Saturday before fast Sunday.”

    I would guess that such policies are intended to enable/encourage families to spend more time together by eliminating one source of competing demands for a day or two each month. Some wards/stakes apply the policy to the weekend of fast Sunday; others pick another weekend each month.

  50. 46. I agree 100%… “If watching the NFL is ok (I think it isn’t) then trick or treating is ok.”

    Monson’s address last week to the RS sums up my thoughts on this… if this thread is any indication, sunday halloween could become yet one more measurement of self-righteous judgement… oh, the busy-bodies should rejoice!

  51. This is only the second time since having kids that we’re faced with the decision, and last time we lived in New England where we ended up going with the very few member friends we had and it strengthened our church community. But here in Idaho it seems different. Like Chrysula, I don’t really enjoy the idea of the trunk or treats, and we rarely go, so the traditional style is our default. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the holiday and resent being somewhat dragged into it by consumerism.

    I’d be more supportive of the idea if it actually did involve meeting and getting to know neighbors. But that’s a very big ideal. Most years it’s either too crowded on the front porch for any adults, or the kids are old enough to be going around by themselves (too old to be trick or treating at that point IMO) So it’s rarely the community builder it could be.

    That said, we’re not about to be curmudgeons by turning off our lights in a very young neighborhood, and there’s just no way to feel justified in making your kids hand out candy to other kids on what is understandably one of the best nights of young childhood. I don’t get too into the whole ghouls and goblins part so it doesn’t feel sacrilegious, but we’re going to at least show that we’re part of the community, even if the argument feels a bit false. It may not be spiritual, it may not even be service, but it doesn’t seem sabbath breaking either.

  52. When I was growing up we’d see people Trick-or-Treating well into the Thanksgiving season.

    Then again, the majority of the kids on the street came from divorced parents. Apparently they were getting 2 Halloweens even if it was snowing and Santa was on display.

  53. I’m not sure what the exact hours are this year, but here in Champaign, trick-or-treating is an authorised event in the community for approximately two hours during daylight hours. So very different from when I was a youth and started knocking doors at 6 pm and went until 10 or sometimes even 11 pm. Late night trick-or-treating almost always resulted in us getting the left-overs, especially in retirement communities.

    We do a tri-ward trunk-or-treat that is in conjunction with a tri-ward Halloween party that includes the traditional potluck dinner. The party usually starts around 6 pm, which means those families that wish to knock doors in their neighbourhoods can. Of course, the Champaign community has had a lot of problems in recent years with vandalism and, in the past couple of weeks, random violent attacks against people of all ages, so I am guessing that more and more people are avoiding the community knocking and doing trunk-or-treats, which are sponsored by a variety of community organisations and churches. I actually haven’t heard anything about what our ward is doing this year, but I will not be surprised if the decision is to have the party on Saturday night.

  54. Antoinette says:

    I’m with #23 also. The Sabbath is not about piety, it’s about rest, it’s about enjoying the day, with particular emphasis on respecting, reverencing and praising the Lord. How can anyone enjoy the Sabbath if they’re thinking about how it looks to other people?
    I don’t see anything wrong with B-day parties on Sunday, as long as it doesn’t interfere with meeting times. I would think the biggest concern is getting the kiddies to calm down and get to bed for school the next day.
    As for Halloween…I haven’t celebrated Halloween since I was 8 years old, so I don’t have an opinion on it either way. I think it’s ultimately a personal choice. Is it a spiritual choice for some? Yes, and to that, I say, that if you don’t feel right about it, don’t do it, but one thing my parents did was explain the roots of Halloween, the history of it, it’s origins and I came to a personal decision about it and I told my mom that I no longer wanted to celebrate it.
    To parents, I would say, don’t let others pressure or badger you about the issue, arm yourselves and your kids with information about not just Halloween, but all holiday/observance traditions and make an informed choice on the matter. It’s on a completely individual basis, to me, and it’s not up to us to judge.

  55. Thanks for posting about this topic. It’s one that’s near and dear to me as I LOVE Halloween.

    I’ve not read all the comments yet, so I might be covering old ground here.

    I personally have no problem with kids trick or treating on Sunday Halloween. I wish more members would be a *little*more open minded about it.

    I see people who have no problem diving headlong into the secular Santa-based celebrations of Xmas when they fall on a Sunday, but bristle to participate in Halloween. What’s the difference? Either they’re both right or both wrong, IMO.

    Anyway, I also feel the pressure to conform to the thoughts of the more conservative part of my ward who see no room for Halloween on Sunday (and for most of them, no need for Halloween, period.) I see it as a GREAT excuse to go out and meet my neighbors of other faiths, or for that matter have them come to my door with their kids without me soliciting them! What an opportunity! The other 364 days of the year (aside from dropping brownies off at their door at Xmas) many of these neighbors are wary of socializing with the “weird Mormon” neighbors.

    I think we should embrace Sunday Halloween for the unique opportunity that it is. But, I realize some neighborhoods, this doesn’t fly.

  56. Growing up in the South, Halloween activities were held on Saturday in respect and reverence for the fact that the ENTIRE Sabbath Day is the Lord’s Holy Day.

    With the world becoming a more dangerous place, our family and extended family stopped the door to door trick-or-treating activities years ago in favor of invited all of our friends to the local ward building where we hold a Fall/Harvest themed carnival.

    We encourage costumes but minus the gross and gory that scare little children, and ask that people remove their masks so everyone knows who they are at the activity so everyone can be safe.

    All families bring homemade goodies and candies, we have a supper event prior to opening the carnival events and everyone goes home safe and happy.

    We have a GREAT non-member/neighbor turn out and it has helped bring families into the church!

  57. Natalie B. says:

    Anyway, I also feel the pressure to conform to the thoughts of the more conservative part of my ward who see no room for Halloween on Sunday (and for most of them, no need for Halloween, period.)

    I feel that it is always the case that we end up conforming to the most conservative points of view on these issues. Having a conservative view often acts like a veto, while the same deference is not given to those who feel (maybe just as strongly) differently.

  58. Halloween is just not in the Sabbath thinking for our family and we have never had to face this dilemma because we live in Utah and it is automatically moved to Saturday. We all might question “where that started?” I can not come up with anything that would justify this Holiday to be celebrated on Sunday and for me to feel good about it…especially when you know it’s beginnings.
    Sunday is a Holy Day we celebrate every week, not a Holiday. The world seems to have forgotten or doesn’t understand what a Holy Day is anymore. With that being said, celebrating this Holy Day is much more important for me than any other day, including Halloween, so I would have to celebrate with the ward trunk or treat on saturday,or have a private party of our own…then honor the Sabbath and by pass the sunday candy grab.
    I don’t think we should be snubbed or considered unusual for standing up for our values…there are plenty of other things that make us stand out and that is ok…it just might be the example the world is in need of about now!

  59. So, I just learned tonight that we are not doing a tri-ward Halloween party. One ward is having their party on the 23. Another ward is doing theirs on the 29, and my ward is going to be celebrating on the 30th. Ah well.

    On this topic of the Sabbath in general… I grew up being taught that the Sabbath is for family activities. I went to college and joined a single students’ ward. The members of the ward were both my friends and my family. It kinda blurred the distinction about whom I should spend time with on Sunday. I now worry more about whether the activities I engage in on the Sabbath are uplifting or not, and move from there.

  60. In our city, the City Council designates 6pm – 8pm as “trick or treat” time, for children up to 9 years of age when accompanied by a parent, altho, I was pleased to see that some were accompanied by an older, teen-age brother or sister (old enough to drive and thus provide safe transportation), who were clearly helping the youngster have a good time.

  61. stephanieq says:

    “I can not come up with anything that would justify this Holiday to be celebrated on Sunday and for me to feel good about it…especially when you know it’s beginnings.”

    You mean how it was a holy day to honor our ancestors? Sounds like it fits in perfectly with LDS beliefs.

    Halloween was a time to celebrate life and death. I can’t come up with any reason not to justify celebrating it on a Sunday.

    (I can understand people’s lack of desire to be drawn into candy and consumerism, but just try to see it for the fun it can be. In fact, you have the perfect time to make it fun for your own family. I get the sense that some here think they are better than the rest of us because they are somehow being good examples by abstaining from Halloween on the Sabbath.)

    “The sabbath was made for man; not man for the Sabbath.”

  62. I think you mean Nov.1…All Saints Day when you talk about celebrating ancestors. All Hallows eve would be the day when basically all hell breaks loose it’s last time before the Saints battle them back, win and there is all saints day.

    I don’t understand celebrating Halloween as far as being more accepting of death. I would be fine with that…it’s just that death, most often, does not invovle a knife through the skull or some other blood dripping violence-that’s hollywood. Death is most often at the end of a long life.

  63. Terra Kay says:

    We live in Iowa and for the most part almost every city has beggars night. It is always held on a week night (never Sunday)other than halloween and the city even sets the hours. Usually 5 to 8 pm. This is tradition here because so many of the adults have made halloween their own party and there is much drinking going on. This gives one night for the police to patrol the city because of the children and halloween night being patrolled because of the adults. Every group of children that comes to the door has one child that is required to tell a joke. I thought it was so bizarre when we first moved here but with the way the world is getting it is making more sense all of the time. All of our wards celebrate trunk or treat but never on the night of beggars night. Tradition is very strong in these towns.

    I allow my children to go to gatherings on Sundays with other kids who they are close to if it is not a business establishment.

  64. Darcy Nalder says:

    I live in Canada where the temperatures are quite cold at Halloween time and there is usually snow on the ground. Needless to say, we aren’t out chit chatting with neighbors and enjoying the festivities. Mostly we run from house to house to keep warm or in more recent years from the car to the houses because of the danger of going to houses of people we don’t know. So I guess it depends on where you live whether this is a time to get to know neighbors. More neighborly visiting usually happens at ward parties I find. As for whether this is an appropriate activity for Sundays, I have to side with those who feel it is not. I lived in Utah for 10 years and I noticed that Halloween is a bigger deal in the United States than it is in Canada. I never have liked the gory part but I did fun decorating with the best of them until it hit me that I had more outdoor Halloween decorations than Christmas ones. I wondered what message that was sending to my non-LDS neighbors? I also thought it was kind of odd that we tell our kids to not talk to strangers but then we send them door to door begging from them just this one day. And then there is the sugar issue which is clearly not a healthy thing to be doing. The origin of Halloween leaves a lot to be desired regardless of what it has turned into today and so I just couldn’t find enough things that were uplifting about it to support it on Sunday or any other day but I particularly object to participating on Sundays. I really don’t believe that hot on everyone’s mind is the idea that oh boy I get to go meet my neighbors on this really fun festive event and while I’m at it I will eat a little bit of candy. Maybe some of you people do, but I would venture to guess that most do not. It’s about getting candy and the biggest haul ever. At least that is what I have observed in the U.S. and Canada. Then there are the haunted houses which are big business in the U.S. which are all about blood, gutts and gore and how badly can we scare people, not to mention horror films that surface at this time which is all really about making money. When I started taking a tally I had to admit that there simply wasn’t enough that was wholesome, lovely, of good report or praiseworthy about it to observe the event and it certainly doesn’t fit with my definition of Sabbath day observance.

  65. Sunday isn’t community day. It’s the Lord’s day. Sunday isn’t when we should be working on our community relationships. We have been counseled to engage in things that will increase our testimony and relationship with God. It is supposed to be a day that is different from the other six.
    Many of the surrounding communities here in Indiana do trick or treating on Sat. if Halloween falls on Sunday. And, like I’ve read from others, A ward Halloween party is usually in addition to community trick or treating, not an alternative. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills! The Sabbath is not a special day to many, is it? People don’t want to deny their children of that fun time? There are so many fun, exciting things we could choose to do on Sunday, but that’s not what the Sabbath is for.

  66. Jennifer Holland says:

    I agree with Kim. Why are any of us “Christians” even acknowledging that Halloween even exists? It goes against everything that Christ ever taught and stands for. Seriously. Why are we even having this discussion? If you don’t know what I’m referring to then research how Halloween came to be. If it’s not a holiday that is straight from pits of Hell, then I don’t know what is. Shame on us.

  67. Halloween is of the devil with mask hiding your true identity,children taught to go begging,frightening people.Here in England we have bonfire night which is now more celebrate with organised groups so that the safety angle can be in force.Why not jusy have a fancy dress party with out the ghosts and ghoulies on a night near to that date.i deplore that it has come over here to england.People say it is a bit of fun but to me it is akin to devil worship.Thank you for letting me air my veiws

  68. CLauricella says:

    What I love about the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that its teachings bring us nearer to God the more we understand and live it. Where the Prophet and leaders don’t come out and state exactly how we should act, then it is up to each family to figure out what it is the Lord expects from them. Our best place to find answers is in the Scriptures.

    In Doctrine and Covenants 59:11-14 the Lord tells us the answer. Sitting down with our families and discussing what the Lord says about our dilemmas is great for at least three reasons: first, it demonstrates to our kids that we can solve our challenges by searching the scriptures; second, it teaches them that what the Lord says is more important than what the world says; and third, it binds the whole family together as they determine their standards and traditions with each other using the voice of the Lord as their compass.

  69. The world seems to have forgotten or doesn’t understand what a Holy Day is anymore. . . .
    I don’t think we should be snubbed or considered unusual for standing up for our values.

    So if I understand correctly: You’re okay with snubbing the world for not having your values, but you’re not okay with the world snubbing you for having different values. Awesome.

    Sunday isn’t community day. It’s the Lord’s day. Sunday isn’t when we should be working on our community relationships. We have been counseled to engage in things that will increase our testimony and relationship with God.

    If I’m not mistaken, the idea that the “sabbath” (Saturday technically, but lets not dwell on that detail) is a day of ONLY rest was a Jewish idea particularly prevalent up to and during the life of Christ. Lets not forget that He spent a large part of his ministry visiting with the sick, afflicted, and sinners of the Jews healing them and teaching them. The idea that it is not a community day is not a Christian idea.

  70. I get that this is a hot-button issue because some people have very strong opinions, but I think the bottom line is you as a family need to decide what is appropriate for your family. We live in the Chicago area and because Halloween falls on a Sunday this year and my husband and I feel that trick-or-treating is not an appropriate Sabbath Day activity, it basically came down to option A) our kids don’t go trick-or-treating at all this year or option B) host a trunk-or-treat since our ward isn’t doing anything. So we are hosting a trunk-or-treat the Saturday before. I don’t feel like it is the church’s responsibility to host a trunk-or-treat regardless of what day Halloween falls on, but it’s always appreciated to give people an alternative. The rest of the time, we go trick-or-treating in our neighborhood and get to socialize with our neighbors. My neighbors aren’t going to think twice about us not participating this year. My point is it’s a personal choice and instead of accusing people of being small-minded or sinners, let’s respect each other and respect all of us having agency to choose what’s appropriate for our own family.

  71. Correction to 69: Lets not forget that He spent a large part of his ministry visiting with the sick, afflicted, and sinners of the Jews healing them and teaching themon the sabbath.

  72. Living in Victoria, B.C. Canada you wouldn’t think of letting
    your child go door to door on Halloween. You would have
    to scour every apple and candy to make sure it didn’t contain a needle or drug of some kind. You would have to absolutely ban anything homemade such as popcorn balls,
    cookies, or homemade candy. When my children were younger we would not let them trick or treat even at homes
    of friends on the Sabbath. A neighbor at the opposite corner of our street knocked on the door that Sunday evening with a large brown bag of treats for our children.
    He explained how much he respected us for our observance of the sabbath but wanted our girls to have a treat from he and his wife. We were the only “Mormons” in the neighborhood. People do observe.

  73. I truly think it is a matter of personal decision making. For me, Halloween is one of my favorite Holiday’s because of the history and tradition behind it, not the commercialism or consumerism of the holiday. When Halloween fell on a Sunday when I was growing up, my parent’s let us children make the decision of whether or not to trick-or-treat. If we chose to not trick-or-treat, my mother usually did something special to make it a good day for the family, like a special dinner and a “Halloween” movie. But what mattered most was that it was a desicion made as a family. We all chose to spend it together, whether we went trick-or-treating or stayed home and passed out candy to the kids that came to the door.

    As for parties on Sundays…If we couldn’t all attend as a family we couldn’t go. And that’s a tradition that I will pass on to my family. Sunday was the one day we could be together as a family when we weren’t pulled in all different directions by school, work, and other activities.

  74. Other Bridget: I’m in KSA! Nice to meet you!

  75. B. Russ…does it not seem possible that some people dont’ associate healing the sick, visiting the fatherless and such with…trick or treating?

    This was a post asking for a variety of opinions..not a trap with a bright shiny hot topic…right?

  76. Just to clarify, I’m not anti-Halloween. It’s just not a holiday I actively celebrate.

  77. This is the first time we’ve encountered this dilemma with our small children. Our ward is planning to have a Trunk-or-Treat the night before, which IS our ward “Halloween party.” It’s cheap and doesn’t require a whole lot of planning or money. For Sunday, we’re planning to just stay home and make caramel apples or something. I’m not too concerned about it. Every family does what they think is best for them. So we’ll see how it goes. Our reasoning was that we don’t want our kids to forget what day it is, with all the candy and costumes and spookiness of the day. But we may end up changing our minds. We’ll see.

  78. britt k – It seems very possible. I wouldn’t associate healing the sick and visiting the fatherless and such with trick or treating. Nor was that my arguement. I do however think it is a false assumption that we should hermit ourselves in on Sundays to be with families.

    But, the simple fact is, I think this can and should be a topic decided on individually and as families. I think there are good reasons to trick or treat, and good reasons not to. And I’m perfectly fine to let others bypass the holiday. I do find it troubling, however, when people assume that the only reason one would want to participate is out of weak-willed disobedience. Or that one who would participate must be of a lower spiritual construct.

  79. I’m a convert to the church. My daughter was five when I joined.
    We lived in a Colorado mountain town where Halloween was a very big deal. Downtown was closed off and merchants handed out candy that is donated by residents. Yes it’s cold, usually windy, and often snowy. However it’s the first holiday after the busy summer season and it’s a chance to see friends and neighbors. I can’t ever remember acts of destruction(tricks). My daughter was eight the first time Halloween fell on a Sunday and she decided not to go out. When she was a freshman in high school she went out. I didn’t see anything wrong with it.
    I agree with 68 sitting down as a family making the decision what will and will not be done on Sunday gives everyone a chance to have a voice in the decision. As the only members in my family we often went to family birthday parties and holiday celebrations on Sunday. Let us not forget the family is central to our Heavenly Father’s plan. If I show up at Heavenly Father’s door without my family, He’s going to tell me to go get them.

  80. First time I’ve read your blog…pretty interesting stuff!

    I have to weigh in on the side of no trick-or-treating on Sunday. I personally do not care for Halloween itself, but I think trick-or-treating is a fun thing for the kids. I remember going out myself, and being excited to dump out that pillowcase and see what I got :)

    Anyway, I agree with the folks who mentioned the whole “Sabbath is a Holy Day” belief. I think the day is to be spent resting, reading, and just being joyous. And to me, that means having dinner, or a movie at home, or games with my family & extended family. (That’s where the joy comes in!) I’m not too strict about what is or is not appropriate, and I think the Lord understands that.

    I just do not think Halloween and the Sabbath go together…

  81. We equate candy gained on the Lord’s day to lottery winnings. In order to help our children gain their own testimony of this truth, we guilt them into turning over all of their candy except for 1 piece of their own choosing. Parenting can be a lot of fun!

  82. I think the “trunk or treat” phenomenon began about the time that parents were panicking about children being poisoned or harmed by bad guys offering them goodies – that’s about the time that hospitals were offering to x-ray trick or treat candy to look for razor blades in apples, pins in candy bars, etc. Malls responded by setting up trick or treating to the stores, and wards began having trunk or treat parties. That way, you know your kids are getting their candy from people you trust. At least, that’s the way it has worked here in Northern California. We still have a trunk or treat party in our ward the Friday or Saturday before Halloween each year. The kids generally go trick or treating in their neighborhoods on Halloween too, thus getting a double dose of candy. Our practice on a Sunday Halloween was to not have the kids trick or treat, but to have them help us greet trick or treaters at the door and help give out candy, which is nearly as fun as going door to door anyway.

    The “trust” thing doesn’t always work, however. My teenaged son and his friends set up a car at a trunk or treat. Their treat they gave out was frozen broccoli. :)

  83. Trunk-or-treating did not originate with Mormons. I can’t figure out where it started, and I don’t really care to expend the resources to track it down. Maybe someone else kows.

    Regardless, I am really enjoying the general theme of the Anti-Halloween-on-Sunday Party. It seems to be based on the notion that fun =/= Sabbath appropriate.

    Awesome. The Sabbath is a day for misery. Better get the horsehair coats out. Or at least the sackcloth and ashes.

  84. I understand that B. Russ.

    It seems to me that in general those who don’t care for the holiday (ME-THE UTTER WIMP) aren’t in a rush to see to it’s celebration on Sunday. We can find other ways to have fun and visit our neighbors.

    Then there are some who LOVE the holiday and make the most of it whatever day it falls on.

    There’s a mush in the middle with various feelings of halloween spirit.

    Then there’s those at either end who are what make the bloggernacle so fun…The great Pumpkins themselves willing to spit on those who do not feel the full spirit of the one and true holiday-those who don’t celebrate must be absent of mirth, joy are are so tightly wound they are a dredlock-but don’t tell them that they will feel as if the distance between a dredlock and marijauna is to slight and are thus unworthy of a temple recomend.

    There are of course the Moses’ arkers-They have studied the matter carefully, consulted prophets and scriptures and found out what their family should be doing…THEN they figured if it’s right for them..it MUST be right for ALL mankind. If Noah built and ark..we all must. IT is after all a saving principal, Noah’s family would have DIED surely looking like those blood dripping masks right before they keeled over.

  85. Our ward in AZ uses Halloween as an opportunity to invite the whole area to a chili eat and games with candy and cookies for prizes as well as a trunk or treat in the park within our ward boundaries. Chili, prizes, and candy are all donations brought by the people participating… no budget issues there.

    Even the missionaries are there with a type of game based on the Iron Rod and they have pamphlets and Books of Mormon available if anyone wants one. There are signs up for at least a week before inviting everyone to come to the party. When Halloween is on Sunday, we have the party on Saturday. We have a great turn out with lots of non-members. Everyone has fun, especially the kids and it is a safe place to go for everyone. Not all neighborhoods are safe for kids to go anywhere, even with their parents.

    Just wanted to share another way it can be a great time to share with all of our brothers and sisters and have fun.

    Happy Halloween everybody!

  86. Steve Evans says:

    This Halloween I’m dressing up as a religious prude.


  87. Grandma Judy says:

    I didn’t read all of the remarks, but a good share of them and feel so surprised that nothing was said about how our Father in Heaven feels about HIS Day being celebrated in this manner. Sunday is not my day and it isn’t your day either. Sunday is the Lord’s Day. When there is so much conflict and confusing remarks about “should we or shouldn’t we celebrate on Sunday, then that is the time we need to ask the Lord. The Bible will tell us all we need to know about this subject. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” – follow our Prophet. There! The debate is forever at an end!! Don’t get mad at me for my opinion, this is the Lord’s law – NOT mine!

  88. I’m confused, Grandma Judy. What has our Prophet said about Halloween, exactly?

  89. Thomas Parkin says:

    We celebrate Halloween by burning some devil infested “trick-or-treaters.” We build a bonfire in the back yard (we call it the roaster … although the younger kids now just call it “the grill!”) The screams as the devil comes out of those poor children are a little frightening for the younger kids, but it’s not like it’s going to scar them. Some of you will say that this is a little harsh, but I ask you, “are we Christians or aren’t we?” Would you rather have your beloved children hell bound wearing masks and begging for candy? Or, would you rather rather the devil literally cooked out of them? Salvation isn’t for wimps. Sometimes parents have to show a little courage. ~

  90. Thomas Parkin says:

    “BONUS: In my house Oct. 31 is the birthday of all 4 of my kids!”

    Woah. There are no coincidences, yeah?

    Alex (my son) was born on Halloween. His doctor was at a Halloween party when she was called in to do the delivery. She was dressed as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz … and as she didn’t have time to change before Alex came, he got delivered by Dorothy … ruby slippers and all. Pretty cool. ~

  91. StillConfused says:

    I just finished my trick-or-treat goody bags. If you come to my house on Halloween, you will receive a bag containing: a glow necklace, a glow in the dark tattoo, a ghost on a spring (pop up style), a sticky wall spider, an eyeball candy with a gooey center, an organ candy (as in brain, heart etc), a halloween button, and a mini playdoh.

  92. I am handing out pass along cards for a free Book of Mormon

  93. 91 – Holy crap, I don’t know where you live, but I’m slapping on a costume and driving there. I want that goody bag!

    88 – Ardis, you misunderstood her. When she said “Follow the Prophet” she was refering to herself. And she, as our Prophet, was telling us to serve the lord and not participate in Halloween. Sometimes you have to read between the lines.

  94. “Growing up in the South, Halloween activities were held on Saturday in respect and reverence for the fact that the ENTIRE Sabbath Day is the Lord’s Holy Day.”

    Except, of course, for the high school football practices on Sunday so the kids wouldn’t miss the college football games on Saturday.

    I know that’s not common, but I saw it at one school while we lived in Alabama. When I asked about it, I was told that it was ok because the kids went to church on Wednesday nights.

    Everywhere we’ve lived, Halloween has been celebrated on Saturday when it fell on Sunday – even by the Gentiles, heathens, pagans and atheists. The Orthodox Jews and Jehovah’s Witnesses didn’t participate, but that’s probably because they are so similar in all other ways.

    Halloween: the Great Bonding Holiday

  95. #89 – I stand in awe.

  96. one year my husband hadnt got all his home teaching done. so kids in costumes was his solution and Yes, he stayed at each persons house a good 20 min or more to visit them. he is quite a talker. and bonus, those that were normally “unavailable” were answering their doors and talking to my husband that night.

  97. I appreciate the church’s prohibition of masks, lest our Halloween party turn in to Eyes Wide Shut.

  98. The Sabbath is the Sabbath. We have our Christmas traditions, but when Christmas falls on a Sunday, it’s a different kind of Christmas. We always try to keep the Sabbath day holy. We don’t allow our kids to go outside and play on Sabbath, so we haven’t let them trick or treat on the Sabbath either. This is the first year everyone is old enough that they don’t want to dress up or trick or treat at all. But we’ll still make some Halloween goodies and open the door for those that want to trick or treat at our house. Luckily, we’re not in one of the busy neighborhoods!

  99. This has come up recently as a topic of discussion among my circle of friends and acquaintances. I live in Oregon, in a very kid-friendly neighborhood. I will let my kids trick or treat on Sunday. I think my stipulation will be that I will have all 5 of my kids go together, rather than letting the teenagers go with friends. And yes, incidentally, I let my teenagers trick-or-treat. My philosophy is that as long as you are willing to dress up, knock on doors, and politely say “trick or treat!” and thank you, you can go. I’m not a big fan of sullen teenagers who come dressed in regular clothes and expect me to give them candy, but if you want to participate in the spirit of the holiday, more power to you!
    I cannot think of any reason that we would not let our children participate this year. My rules for sabbath day behavior are that generally it is a day for family and close friends. We spend lots of time outside when the weather permits. We don’t play video games, although we do watch TV (although this is primarily just to give us a one-day break from the dang things- and I find that video gaming tends to isolate family members, rather than bringing them together).
    My daughter came home from YW a couple of years ago telling me that her teacher had said that they should only watch things that were “G-rated or church related” on Sunday. Waaah? My response was that if it’s not okay to watch on Sunday, it’s not okay to watch at all- we don’t just up our standards one day of the week. That said, we do try to make Sunday “feel” different in our house. It’s not a day for heavy chores, big grocery shopping (though we do often run out for a forgotten item), trips to the mall, going to the theatre, etc. Mostly I follow my gut- if it feels okay, I do it.
    That said, I know that every family has a different way of doing it- my only beef is with people who teach my children in primary that jumping on the trampoline is wrong on Sunday. It may be in their house, but it’s not in ours. Please stick with doctrine in class, and keep your household rules to yourself.

  100. “I didn’t read all of the remarks, but a good share of them and feel so surprised that nothing was said about how our Father in Heaven feels about HIS Day being celebrated in this manner.”

    So, does the Lord get cranky about not getting what he wants on his day? My wife does this on Mother’s Day.

  101. Kateri Welch says:

    I am thankful for the guidance of a Prophet of the Lord on the earth today. President Monson talked about the three R’s of choice in the October 2010 General Conference.

    We all must make choices. Some will affect our eternal destination; others will not.

    We must evaluate whether the outcome of any choice we make will affect our eternal progression.

    Below is a link to President Monson’s talk that may have to be copied and pasted to get to:

  102. “Some will affect our eternal destination; others will not.”

    Sure, what say you about this issue then? Does it have eternal consequences? I doubt it.

  103. “My daughter came home from YW a couple of years ago telling me that her teacher had said that they should only watch things that were “G-rated or church related” on Sunday. Waaah?”

    This reminds me of a time on my mission that a member very piously turned his nose up when I mentioned something about The Simpsons, and he said, “My rule is that if I wouldn’t feel comfortable watching it with the Saviour, I don’t watch it at all.” After I got home, he was raving about Desperate Housewives on Facebook. So what was that about having standards? I may be a borderline heathen, but at least I’m consistent!

  104. Leigh Ann Smith says:

    We are going to have our firebowl lit with marshmallows and chocolate and graham crackers available in our front yard, plus candy for the visitors. We have told our church friends to feel free to drop by, along with the neighbors.

  105. I LOVE Halloween, but my children did not trick-or-treat on Sunday. Our town basically said that people could trick-or-treat on Saturday or Sunday. It is also not just the Mormons out trick-or-treating on Saturday. We will, however, open our door for others who come on Sunday. We made a choice for our family, and we let others do the same.

  106. Erin Swartout says:

    I am taking my kids out trick-or-treating. I don’t see what’s wrong with it. We are spending time as a family and having fun together.

  107. Shirae Telford says:

    Ardis (88), you ARE confused! (and B.Russ-93- seriously? wow, what attitude! lol)… Grandma Judy was very clear in her statement that the Lord instructs us in the scriptures how to keep His day holy. And unfortunately Halloween trick or treating, no matter how innocent & fun, doesn’t fall into the category of worship, or service like visiting the sick or poor in heart. HEY, I realize how that sounds – and I am NOT perfect with this principle – but I am deciding today to make the sabbath a more holy day, out of RESPECT for the most high God, and fear of breaking one of his main commandments that I’ve covenanted to keep. We may not like it when we read it, because it makes us feel uncomfortable, but HIS words are there, in the scriptures, and in modern day talks by prophets & apostles, and they are easy to understand. “For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High; thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day.”And on this day thou shalt do none other thing, only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that thy fasting may be perfect, or, in other words, that thy joy may be full.” (D&C 59). Ok, Father in Heaven doesn’t want us to be miserable & frustrated on Sunday, he wants us to have joy as we take the opportunity to grow spiritually. If we stay home from trick or treating on Sunday and pout because we “can’t” particiapte, and instead watch tv or waste time with the wrong attitude, we are still not keeping it holy so there’s no difference. We are all on different levels of testimony, and we all have the freedom to choose -that’s the whole point of us being here anyway, to see “what we will choose”. We are also commanded to not judge each other when we or someone else chooses a higher standard than others in our church. We are to realize that we’re all growing, learning, and should all be trying our best. God has set the standard VERy high with his commandment to honor the sabbath day (it is a day for worship & being uplifted, service, visiting the poor and sick, and basically for NONE OTHER THING, I mean, yikes!) but if our hearts are pure and humble, we will realize that not only is it not too much for the almighty God to ask, for his children to honor and remember him in a reverent, special way ONE day of their week, but that it’s also an opportunity to become closer to Him; more like Him. THat is our goal with all of things in this gospel. Follow the example of the Savior, as we try to do with all things. Jesus didn’t hide away like a hermit on Sundays, refusing to socialize with anyone but his family, but the time he spent with others was spiritually uplifting to them. He did not find joy on the sabbath by recreational things/his own ideas of fun, rather he received joy by serving & worshipping his Father. I close this ridiculously long comment with the words of Isaiah (God’s words through him): ” If thou turn away … from doing THY pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words, Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” So it’s as Grandma Judy said, The Lord hath spoken it, it’s HIs day, it’s not about OUR own pleasures or fun ideas. We each need to decide for ourselves how strictly we want to observe God’s commandments, and think of it in this way: the more we obey, the more we will be blessed, rather than thinking of it in the way that the less we obey, the more we will be condemned.

  108. “And unfortunately Halloween trick or treating, no matter how innocent & fun, doesn’t fall into the category of worship…”

    As for me and my house…we worship chocolate.

  109. We are also commanded to not judge each other when we or someone else chooses a higher standard than others in our church. We are to realize that we’re all growing, learning, and should all be trying our best.

    And might I say, yours and “Grandma Judy”‘s remarks are beacons of this principle. Thank you for obviously not judging us wicked hellbound sinners.

    We each need to decide for ourselves how strictly we want to observe God’s commandments

    And again, thank you for helping me decide for myself and my house the only possible way which we can follow God’s commandments. Thank you for not leaving any ambiguity about exactly how we should decide for ourselves. You truly are a kind soul in deciding for me how to decide for myself.

  110. I am a newly baptized member of the Church and have to admit I was horrified when I heard my ward was planning to hold a ‘trunk or treat’! In my past I spent quite a few years involved in paganism/witchcraft and struggled for a very long time to escape the hold it had on me. It is very addictive, and could even be likened to a powerful drug. There are temptations everywhere and like all ‘recovering addicts’, there are ‘triggers’ which, if I’m not constantly watchful, can draw me back into it. Halloween, is not, as many think, an American idea. It is much older than that. It is a pagan celebration. It is an occult activity, and I was not expecting to have to deal with its presence in my newly found Church. The Scriptures strictly forbid ANY involvement with the occult, or at least I know throughout the Old and New Testaments there are countless Scriptures I could quote. I can’t speak for the book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, or Doctrine and Covenants, as I am not yet as familiar with them. No Christian Church should have anything whatsoever to do with pagan/occult practices. It is not just ‘a bit of harmless fun’ as some suppose, rather it is a dangerous and forbidden practice which has the potential to lead a person very far away from God and believe me, (because I speak from personal experience), finding your way back can seem almost impossible if not for the amazing grace and forgiveness of a loving Heavenly Father and the atonement provided by Jesus. The Church needs to be prepared for more and more new converts/members who are coming out of these practices, and should not be putting temptation in their way. This practice of observing Halloween should be banned in the LDS Church. I, and others like me, don’t need or want it.

  111. I am still confused by why trick-or-treating on Sunday would be wrong. What a great way to friendship neighbors. I am definitely taking my kids trick-or-treating. All my neighbors have starting asking if we will allow it. Sometimes I think they just see mormons with all the things we can’t do. It makes them not want to come to church and visit. We have lived here 5 years so they have slowly figured out we will not be at the pool or tennis courts on Sunday. Our kids will not particitpate in the sports tournaments or birthday parties on Sunday. But walking through the neighborhood and enjoying the potluck before we will participate in. After all we do have linger longers on Sunday.

  112. “As for me and my house…we worship chocolate”

    And here lies the scariest part of halloween. american chocolate.

  113. RandomPasserby says:

    (I apologize for butting in, but I came across this post on MormonLife and found it rather interesting, seeing as I have a current conflict with this myself)

    Last time I remember a Halloween landing on a Sunday, my family just handed out candy – we did Trunk or Treat before and were satiated, and as it is while my mother has still allowed my brother and I to do traditional Trick-or-Treating as well, she never, EVER let us touch the candy we got from anywhere but the store where she bought candy for us and Trunk-Or-Treat – and that stood for years.

    This time, now that I’m 19 and trick-or-treating in my neighborhood is all but dead apart from two other families in my ward, this isn’t a problem. The problem now, though, is a certain non-member friend of mine. She’s Baptist and thus usually respects and even most of the time shares my belief that the Sabbath Day ought to be respected…

    Except, on holidays her interpretation of the Sabbath differs a little from mine. Now granted, over the several holidays-that-have-landed-on-Sunday this year I’ve been weak-willed and acquiesced to her requests that we hang out and celebrate together, so I’m no angel when it comes to Sabbath-Day observance, and I really should be better at that. But Halloween…. well, this one I told her flat-out I wasn’t going to do Halloween on Sunday. I’m fine with doing something Saturday, but not Sunday. At first, she reluctantly accepted, but now she’s got onto this idea of going out to a local farm after church and spending Halloween that way – and insists that I come.

    I talked to my mother about it, who is working on Sundays nowadays anyway (health care never sleeps), and she told me: don’t justify it.

    Now granted, from reading everyone’s comments here it looks like this issue is largely one that’s between the individual/family and the Lord… as for me though (can’t speak for the family really), I think I’m in the anti-Halloween-on-Sundays camp – at least as far as actually trick-or-treating and/or my friend’s farm romp plan goes. Handing out candy to non-members who will still trick-or-treat anyways is fine – I actually look forward to it this year, seeing as we’ve had a few new families move in that I might be able to get to know a little better, or at least make an acquaintance. As for full-out participating in it beyond that though…

    You know, it’s only every six or seven years that a holiday will land on a Sunday (accounting for the leap years throwing things off). The rest of it, as long as it doesn’t involve breaking the commandments, we’re free to celebrate such holidays. Is it too much to ask to sacrifice that one year that it’s on a Sunday? Just my two cents, feel free to ignore.

  114. RandomPasserby says:

    eep… sorry for the overly long comment.

  115. Thanks for stopping by, Random. Sorry I don’t have any real answers for you though.