Some Mormon Ghost Tales

When leaves start turning bright colors of amber and orange and occasionally the first snow falls, its that time of year again. At the end of October ghosts, ghouls, strange beings, and killers walk the streets. Kids laugh and candy is handed out as if grown on trees. You guessed it; Halloween has arrived.

I have to admit that Thanksgiving is a good day of rest and food while Christmas is exciting and special. Halloween on the other hand has its own pleasures. For once those who are imaginative and don’t see the world the same way as others can let loose. Dressing up and acting like a fool or other is just plain fun. With these thoughts having been expressed, I will be writing about two themes for this time of scares and spooks.

This first post is about ghosts and otherworldly frights. Mormonism is full of stories about angels leaving messages and spirits roaming the world. Despite or even because of that there aren’t too many ghost stories passed along in its history. Part of this could be the specific teachings related to the afterlife and those who hang around. There are only two reasons theologically recognized why a visitor from the other side of the veil of life is seen; to leave a message from the Lord or daemons tormenting mortals. There are plenty of stories about both.

One of the first Mormon stories in history is of an evil possession during the First Vision and an excorcism years later. Not many probably put the former in the catagory of ghost story, but it can fit into the genre. These are great starts for the subject of Mormon spooky tales. Continue reading

Learning from an “Honorary” Mormon

Years ago Andrew Bowen was an Evangelical Christian with very set beliefs. Anyone who didn’t share his faith were both going to hell and worthy of contempt. No one deserved his and God’s wrath more than Mormons. whenever Mormon missionaries came near he would curse and yell at them, chasing the bike riders away. It was a scene from the Mormon past made contemporary.

His wife became pregnant and they expected the start of a wonderful life with the new child. Surely God was blessing him for faithfulness to the Lord. Then tragedy struck. Not only did they lose the child, but in a way that his faith taught him should never be chosen; abortion. If they didn’t do it then both mother and child would die. There was no way around it and the experience crushed all his faith.

Grappling with personal and spiritual loss, he decided to research religion for at least one year. His method was to pick a faith for a month and completely immerse himself in the traditions and teachings. He became a self-described “honorary” member of whatever he picked for the month with the help of an inside mentor.

Having already been a Jew and Hindu, among other faiths, his next step was the biggest so far. Taking up the courage to repent of his abuses he “became” a Mormon. As it happened he picked July, although it doesn’t appear he completely realized in its entirety how important a month for Mormon culture. He understood Pioneer Day as a religious holiday, but he never mentioned July 4th with spiritual significance. There are at least a few things a Mormon can learn from what he wrote. Continue reading

Justified Civil Disobedience.

I rarely go political. I’m going to do so today, against my better judgment.

Illegal Immigration is justified Civil Disobedience on a massive scale.

A few points:

1.  I refuse to use PC terms like “undocumented worker” or simply “migrant” (or “immigrant”);  that robs it if the true power of what is happening.  Yes – it’s illegal – and that’s the whole point.  Civil Disobedience isn’t really civil disobedience if it  isn’t breaking a law.

2.  Opposition and a desire to enforce the borders is not, in my mind, usually racist.  It’s a disagreement.  Some people value keeping the law, and while I disagree in this one instance, I despise the constant accusations of racism that occur when this debate happens.  Yes, there is racism, and I’ve seen it (I have relatives who hate Mexicans merely because of their darker skin and different language), but the accusation of racism is too casually thrown about.

3.  Read this article (warning – some bad language) which only scratches the surface of what is wrong with current immigration law.  I am not necessarily a totally 100% open border advocate, but our current immigration laws and policies are evil and deserve to be ignored.

I think that’s good for now.  We’ll see what the rest of all y’all have to say.

No greater love than this

Her rough demeanor belied the goodness and warmth that her close friends and family knew so well. No stranger to hard work, she took side jobs cleaning houses and offices to supplement the family income. On weekends, she often cooked fry bread with her family and invited her friends to enjoy hot fry bread via Facebook. Her father’s fry bread stand was a crowd favorite during the annual Easter pageant at the Mesa Arizona Temple.

She often put the needs of her family and friends ahead of her own, going without so others would not; freely giving of herself. Tragically, she gave her life defending her family from an armed intruder.

Continue reading

Lessons from the Fire

This is part three of our experiences being evacuated from our home due to the Las Conchas fire. Read part one HERE and part two HERE

I’ve thought about many things over the last three weeks. The day of and the days after we evacuated, thoughts of, “Where will we live if our house burns” to “How will we know if our house burns” permeated my thoughts. As I had more faith and confidence that our house was not going to burn, my thoughts turned to the things we did well in our evacuation, and the things we needed to do better. I’d like to share some of my thoughts with you.

Las Conchas fire smoke. Photo by Joyce Anderson

The things we did well:

As I mentioned in my first post, because of the Cerro Grande Fire in 2000, our ward is very focused on preparedness. We have listened to our friends who were in that situation and took their advice to heart. One thing that my friend Connie, whose home was lost in 2000, has repeated time and time again is, “If you are spiritually prepared, you will be able to get thru the temporal trials.” I felt that we were spiritually prepared and put our faith in the Lord. Our faith and the faith and prayers of others carried us thru the week we were on the run. Continue reading