Monday, October 31, 2011

Mormon Halloween

So who am I kidding? This blog has become a mormon blog. As such, here are some quotes from past Mormon General Conferences on a Halloween theme. From funny to scary, from serious to fairy-tale, here are a few samples:

Apparently quite serious:
Some people do not believe that there are any devils. There are thousands of evil spirits that are just as ugly as evil can make them. The wicked die, and their spirits remain not far from where their tabernacles are. When I was in England, twenty-eight years ago next June, I saw more devils than there are persons here to-day; they came upon me with an intention to destroy me; they are the spirits of wicked men who, while in the flesh, were opposed to God and his purposes. I saw them with what we call the spiritual eyes 
-Heber C Kimball 1865

This one also serious and referring to rappers in the 19th century:
Let the Rappers go ahead, then, for it is not possible for them to deceive the elect of God; and let the witch of Endor, and all other witches and wizards, with the prince and power of the air at their head, do their best, if we keep the commandments of God we shall continually soar far above their power and influence. 
-Jebediah M Grant 1854

A home-teaching joke:
I remember a question someone once asked at a stake conference. A man said, " Brother Howard, do you know why we can never get more than 83 percent home teaching in the Church? " I said, " No, why? " He said, " Because no one wants to go on Halloween and New Year's Eve. " 
-F Burton Howard 1996

Seemingly harsh and real story:
In the bishops' meeting last evening in this hall, Bishop M. O. Ashton told two stories that deeply impressed me. Each story was about a bishop and some boys. In the first one, a group of boys engaged in some Halloween pranks of a rather serious, provocative nature. The bishop secured the names of the boys and charged them to come to the sacrament meeting and publicly ask forgiveness for engaging in the pranks committed, on pain of excommunication for failure to do so. In consequence there are in that community today a number of families that grew up outside of the Church.
-Joseph F Merill 1945

Scary that this was said straight faced in general conference:
To look upon a man who is deformed or maimed for life, -- a dislocated jaw, a broken nose or an eye knocked out -- is naturally revolting. How unsightly and ugly! 
-Rulon S Wells 1929*

Scary cautionary tales:
We ourselves are the creators, in a large measure, of our troubles. Once, so the old story goes, a medical student determined to build a monster out of the cemetery and dissecting rooms. He did so, and the thing assumed life. This horrible monster killed the student's bride and strangled his best friend. Is there a lesson in this for us? 
-Charles A Callis 1935
Robert Louis Stevenson captured this constant struggle between good and evil in the classic novel about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The story tells us that in the beginning " Dr. Jekyll is a highly respected London physician, a good and kindly man, who in his youth had showed inclinations toward evil which, however, he succeeded in suppressing. Interested in drugs, the doctor now chances upon one which enables him to change his external form to that of a repulsive dwarf, the very embodiment of evil, whom he calls Mr. Hyde. A similar dose permits him to return to the form and personality of the benevolent doctor. Many times the doctor becomes Mr. Hyde, thereby giving this side of his nature more and more power. Jekyll finds it increasingly difficult to regain his virtuous entity and also finds himself occasionally becoming Hyde without the use of the drug... " 
-James E Faust 2000

And finally, a calming tale on Halloween:
I want to tell you a story. I call it " Night and Shadows. " " Once upon a time, a little girl wandered through a dense forest on her way home. It was very dark. She was frightened and began to cry. The tears rolled down her face, as she timidly crept along. Suddenly an elf appeared before her.' Are you frightened' asked the elf.' Yes, I'm scared,' answered the little girl, glad to show her fear,' Ain't you?' "' Not a bit,' answered the elf. "' Well then you don't see the ghosts and goblins running around the trees, and the funny looking eyes up there in the branches, and the bats and ugly things flying through the air, and the scary noises, can't you hear them?' " And the elf said:' I don't blame you for being scared, I'd be scared too if I saw all those ugly things. You see that when little girls have tears in their eyes, they can't see things as they really are.' "' Just let the tears dry in your eyes, and then we shall take a good look at these ghosts and goblins, and ugly things. See those terrible eyes in the branches of the trees? Why they are just the stars trying to light up your pathway so that you can find your way home; and the big moon is trying to help them. And those big things aren't ghosts, they are just the shadows of the trees. And what you thought were ugly bats and ugly things are just the leaves falling on your pathway, making the path soft for your tired feet. And the noises. Why, that's the wind blowing through the branches, and the trees are trying to sing a song to make you happy as you go along'. 
-Levi Edgar Young 1932

Happy Halloween!

* Here's the quote in context (not that it helps):
But says one: I have no faith in God and no hope in a future life. How unnatural! How such a one must have resisted every natural impulse of the heart to have fallen into such an abnormal state of mind! No faith, no hope. Spiritual deformities. To look upon a man who is deformed or maimed for life, -- a dislocated jaw, a broken nose or an eye knocked out -- is naturally revolting. How unsightly and ugly! But not half so hideous or so repulsive is he who is thus physically deformed as he who is spiritually deformed, wanting in these Christian qualities so inherent and natural to all mankind. No faith: he does not ask and hence does not receive; he does not seek and hence he does not find; he does not knock an therefore the door is not opened unto him. No hope. How unnatural! -Rulon S Wells 1929

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