I love this time of year. I hate time changes. I love the colors on the mountains. I hate when it gets almost summer warm after I've gotten snow boots out. I love crisp mornings. I hate runny noses. I love the smell of spiced pumpkin. I hate the smell of spiced vanilla. I love extra chocolate choices in the seasonal section of the grocery store. I hate blood and gore and the living dead.
I really do love this time of year. But as we have been coming up to Halloween we have been having some discussions here at our house. A couple of weeks ago we went to Lagoon. It was our last hurrah with our passes. It was also Frightmares. Last year we went in the evening and I hated it! I hated the characters coming up and chasing and scaring. So this year we went earlier in the day. We rode rides and had fun and then headed to that side of the park. The characters weren't as scary and it was light outside. We got into one of the lines for a haunted house. Daniel said it was an old movie theme. Love it. We were thinking Alfred Hitchcock. We stood in line for a while. As we got closer to the building we could see the posters on the walls. They were R-rated gore and living dead movies. So we looked at the pamphlet again and read slower this time. There was no old in the description. They were gory, bloody, night of the living dead movies. We got out of line and told the kids that the movies they would depict were R-rated and so we would be leaving. We were all relieved.
Years ago I was taking an Institute class while in college. Yep, I went to college! I hope it doesn't surprise you. Anyway, my Institute teacher was wonderful. As we got closer to Halloween, he spoke of an experience he had had several years earlier. His wife had just had a baby boy. He passed away due to some difficulties. As his wife recovered from pregnancy, delivery and loss, he went to the local mall in Provo to get white clothing for his son. As he walked toward the mall there were movie posters up. And they were graphic. The one that caught his attention was of a grave with a bloody arm coming up out of the ground. It stung him. He had just lost his baby boy and he and his family were looking forward with joy and hope to the Morning of the First Resurrection. And that poster, as well as the others around it, was mocking that great gift.
I walked away from my class that day with a renewed appreciation for the Resurrection. Many years later, when my brother Aaron passed away, the Resurrection became our reality. We have taught our children over these last 10 years that the Morning of the First Resurrection is going to be the best day ever. Jesus will come and we will see Aaron, Opah, Grandma Shelba, Lyndsay and Rebecca again. It will be a glorious day and we want to be there.
But when we see these depictions of gore and blood and living dead, zombie like creatures, we become desensitized to what our bodies are. Temples of God. Death is not scary or ugly or gory. When Jesus went to Lazurus to raise him from the dead, Lazurus did not rise from his tomb bloody and gross and scary. He shined bright with the Light of Christ. That is how death should be thought of. Bright. Lovely. Reuniting with so many loved ones.
While discussing Halloween and haunted houses and gore for Family Home Evening last week, we decided as a family that we would not go where the Holy Ghost would not. Haunted houses are a red light for the Holy Ghost. Gory costumes are a red light for the Holy Ghost. We still love Halloween. We love the excitement of dressing up and having fun with friends and getting candy. But you will not see us gory or gross.
And you will, I hope, see us the Morning of the First Resurrection. Bright. Beautiful. Full of life.