In the United States, trick-or-treating is a fun part of Halloween tradition--and a lot of Mormon families join in to celebrate. But how do Latter-day Saint families handle Halloween? Take our poll about trick-or-treating to help us find out.
Growing up, the rule was simple: once you're a teenager, you're no longer allowed to go trick-or-treating. Not as simple was enforcing that rule.
I went trick-or-treating until I was at least 16.
Halloween was a big deal in my childhood home--in fact, I think my dad liked going trick-or-treating more than us kids did. Thus, when the fated 13th birthday came (and went), while my mom rolled her eyes, he still allowed us to dress up in a fun costume and go door to door.
I admit that at 16, I was probably too old to trick-or-treat (even if I did have some good clean fun doing it).
What does your family do? Do you trick-or-treat (or trunk-or-treat)? How old is too old to go? Tell us your answers in the poll below!
These two essays, much like their authors, come in different shapes and sizes, but both reach toward the same conclusion: beauty is truth. And the truth is that everything God created is beautiful, your body included.
Charming and chubby. Who says they are mutually exclusive? Charming is appealing, pleasant, captivating, magnetic, alluring, and attractive. Chubby is seen as decidedly unattractive. For me, chubby means that my body is bigger, that I have love handles, big breasts, and a belly. But it does not mean that I am not charming because charm is a behavior, an attractive personality that exudes happiness and makes people feel better. My big body reflects my big heart under my big breasts and a big laugh in my big belly. My charm comes from my tendency to savor life at every level and to share it. I cry big tears at sad movies, sad books, or the sorrow in someone else’s life. A big smile brightens my face when I see a gorgeous sunset or others’ happy moments.
My chubbiness has nothing to do with my charm unless I let my insecurities about being chubby interrupt my charm. When I focus too much on how the world perceives a chubby body, I feel less valuable. My big heart loses the capacity to care; my big laugh and smile disappear. The only thing that changes, however, is my focus: I am still chubby, and I can still be charming. But here is the secret: in order for charm to coexist with chubbiness, I have to love my big, chubby body! I have to stop worrying about how the world perceives chubby people because when I pay the world’s view no attention, I am charming. And when I am charming, no one notices my outer shell—they notice the woman with a big love of life.
Raising teens to become adults with a strong personal identity and a healthy view of physical intimacy goes hand in hand. Here is how identity and intimacy are related and how you can help your teen understand how living the law of chastity leads to greater happiness.
Identity formation in the teen years can be complex, yet surprisingly simple. The main objective of identity development is simple and straightforward: youth develop a clear sense of self and the role they play in the larger world around them. Youth need to know who they are and how they fit into the “bigger picture.”
Healthy identity development is an essential precursor to healthy intimacy. That’s because intimacy involves the sharing of one’s self. A good definition for intimacy is that intimacy is the vulnerable sharing of one’s self that is received with kindness and often returned.
Intimacy involves vulnerability and risk. When we share our deepest thoughts, feelings, dreams, fears, and (in marriage) our bodies, there is the risk that we might be rejected, unwanted, or ignored. When we take the risk to share our deepest and most revealing parts of ourselves, we hope that the other person will understand us, love us, and receive us with kindness and tenderness. When they do receive us with such kindnesses, we feel bonded and connected to them. If they, in turn, share deep and tender parts of themselves with us, the bond of intimacy is strengthened.
The term “often” is also essential to the definition of intimacy. It suggests that such intimate moments occur in the context of an ongoing, committed relationship. It means that intimate moments are to be repeated with frequency if they are to help the intimate relationship grow. One-time intimate exchanges, however intense, cannot build relationships that long endure. Rather, marriages are built on the repetition of small but meaningful shared kindnesses that happen often and consistently. Such predictable patterns of kindness lead to the pattern of trust in a loving relationship. The marriage commitment provides the assurance of lifelong opportunities to often share such intimacies.
Working on Sunday is sometimes unavoidable--but finding the Spirit doesn't have to be hard. Here are 10 tips from someone who's been there on how to make the Sabbath day holy, even when you're away from a chapel.
After graduating high school, including a rigorous released-time seminary program, I was on the spiritual high of my life. I was so sure that I would live the principles of the Church and stand for them no matter the cost. I would magnify my callings, I would read my scriptures every day, and I would never work on Sundays.
But life isn’t always so simple.
When I left for college that summer, I got my first real job doing IT work. I was occasionally required to work on weekends. Including Sundays. But I loved what I did, so I made a prayerful decision to stay.
I had a horrible time of it that first year. I had grown up going to Church every Sunday, and suddenly missing one or two Sundays a month, I felt… bad. I didn’t feel the Spirit as much as I used to. And I felt guilty. I learned from sad experience that you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone.
Making room for Christ in your Sunday work day is no substitute for standard Sunday worship, but sometimes our circumstances make it so we simply can’t avoid working on the Sabbath. No matter where we are and what we’re doing, here are a few different things to try (in addition to Sunday scripture study) that worked for me to put a little “sun” back into my “day.”
We learn a lot from the examples of righteous prophets in the scriptures like Alma and Nephi--but we can learn just as much from the bad examples. Here are five lessons from five lesser-known "bad guys" in the Bible.
The Bible is filled with famous bad guys like Cain, Goliath, and Pharaoh who are classic examples of how not to act. But there are plenty of other lesser-known bad guys in the pages of the Bible who have powerful lessons for us as well. See if you recognize some of these bad guys in our world today.
Rabshakeh: Can You Hear Me Now?
Rabshakeh was the captain of the Assyrian army who tried to conquer Jerusalem in the days of Isaiah. After his army had the city surrounded, Rabshakeh shouted blasphemous and threatening statements “in the Jews’ language,” (Isaiah 36:13) in an attempt to frighten the people into surrendering.
Isaiah told the people, “Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard” (Isaiah 37:6) and prophesied that the Lord would deal with Jerusalem’s enemies in His own way (Isaiah 37:35-36). By trusting the word of the Lord through the prophet, the people of Jerusalem were saved, and Rabshakeh’s army was defeated.
Inspired by Satan, modern-day Rabshakehs often look powerful and may appear to outnumber us. They will use fear to try to shake our faith as well, and they will often do it in our own language. Satan can speak any language he wants, including “Mormon,” if need be. Modern Rabshakehs will use words and phrases familiar to Latter-day Saints to mock and ridicule. They will twist the scriptures or the words of the prophets and apostles out of context to try to confuse us and destroy our confidence. But if we trust in the Lord and listen to His prophets, we too can have the courage to ignore modern Rabshakehs.