An article in the December 2015 edition of Liahona caught my immediate attention with the activity they inserted into their lesson for the month. See image on left.
It’s one thing to lead millions of people away from the Lord into what is essentially an eternity in hell, but it’s quite another when you employ the same tactics on little kids. As you can see in our example today, this is exactly what the Church has done.
We’ve highlighted other editions of the Liahona in the past, and have asked why they use godless items/images in their lessons while encouraging kids to be upstanding members of society. We’re wondering why they don’t employ the same standards for themselves…
This month’s lesson features a labyrinth to use as an example of following in the footsteps of Jesus.
Mr. Monson strongly encouraged the kids to serve others, and provided a list of ideas for the kids to accomplish this task. One thing he mentioned stuck out, causing me to wonder…
The LDS prophet listed ideas like ‘visiting the elderly’, ‘making treats for the neighbors’, and ‘volunteering in your community’. While all these things sound admirable (and so they are!), what about teaching the kids what gifts the Wise Men delivered to the Lord, and the spiritual meaning each of them represented?
Writing out the biblical verses, and researching what those things meant at the time would be an awesome gift to give someone!
Lest I digress, let’s take a look at some of what Mr. Monson said, and then look at the spiritual meaning of labyrinths –
Liahona, ‘Make Time for the Savior,’ December 2015;
‘…In our busy lives, with ever so many other things competing for our attention, it is essential that we make a conscious, committed effort to bring Christ into our lives and into our homes….’
How does using a labyrinth bring Jesus into your home?
What purpose does a labyrinth serve for you, or God?
At the end of the lesson they highlighted a section for the children. Here’s what it says just before they inserted the labyrinth game –
Follow the Light
After Jesus was born, Wise Men brought Him gifts. They followed a new, bright star in the sky to find Him.
Follow the path to get to Jesus. What gifts could you bring Him?’
I highly doubt Jesus would approve of a labyrinth game. Sorry, Mr. Monson.
While many people aren’t aware of the spiritual dangers of this evil tool, I’ve posted part of a great definition of its dangers I found on GotQuestions? you can read below. As you’ll soon learn, it’s a tool used by Mystics and the Contemplative ‘Christian’ groups. There’s nothing about it that speaks of God, or being holy at all!
We’re praying God’s Holy Spirit will warn the little kids to stay away from this awful teaching, and that Jesus prompts the adults to question their motives!
Here’s what GotQuestions? had to say, and be sure to check out their site to read the rest of this great article!
“A labyrinth is a path which leads, via a circuitous route, to the center of an intricate design and back out again. A labyrinth’s route is unicursal; that is, it has only a single path. Unlike a maze, a labyrinth is designed for ease of navigation, and it is impossible to get lost within one.
A prayer labyrinth is a labyrinth used to facilitate prayer, meditation, spiritual transformation, and/or global unity. The most famous prayer labyrinths today include an ancient one in the cathedral of Chartres, France, another in the cathedral of Duomo di Siena, Tuscany; and two maintained by Grace Cathedral, an Episcopal church in San Francisco. While prayer labyrinths have been used in Catholic cathedrals for centuries, the past decade has seen resurgence in their popularity, especially within the Emergent Church and among New Age groups and neo-pagans.
Labyrinths have been used by a wide variety of cultures for at least 3,500 years. Evidence of ancient labyrinths exists in Crete, Egypt, Italy, Scandinavia, and North America. Ancient labyrinths had what is usually called the “classical” design of seven rings, or circuits. They were decidedly pagan in function: many labyrinths were dedicated to a goddess and used in ritualistic dances. The Hopi Indians saw the labyrinth as a symbol of Mother Earth, and the hundreds of stone labyrinths along the Scandinavian shoreline were used as magic traps for trolls and evil winds to ensure safe fishing.
In the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church adapted the labyrinth for its own purposes within its cathedrals. The classical form gave way to a more intricate design of 11 circuits in 4 quadrants, usually called the “medieval” design. Within Catholicism, the labyrinth could symbolize several things: the hard and winding road to God, a mystical ascension to salvation and enlightenment, or even a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for those who could not make the actual journey.
The modern “rediscovery” of the labyrinth and its use in church settings is celebrated by groups such as The Labyrinth Society and Veriditas, The World-Wide Labyrinth Project. According to these groups, the labyrinth is a “divine imprint,” a “mystical tradition,” a “sacred path,” and a “sacred gateway.” The stated purpose of Veriditas is “to transform the Human Spirit,” using “the Labyrinth Experience as a personal practice for healing and growth, a tool for community building, an agent for global peace and a metaphor for the blossoming of the Spirit in our lives” (from the official Veriditas website)…”
The Labrynth in the December 2015 Liahona is meant simply as a game to entertain children regardless of what the historical value is. There is no significance implied to its symbolism or historical use. The Liahona is typically read from a parent to a child. The lesson is discussed, activities are played and the small questions are answered.The LDS church teaches service to others is important therefore making President Monsons message relevant in this issue. With that being said, the spiritual meaning of the gifts to the child Jesus are not neglected from doctrine, but this lesson specifically is meant to convey service with a Christmas theme to others in our present time. Whether or not Jesus approves of a Labrynth game is irrelevant and cannot be answered. I think despite our differences in doctrinal understanding we may both agree Jesus would approve a message of service to our fellow brothers and sisters. This is simply a way to help children learn that Jesus served others on earth and because of our love for him and his children we strive to serve others as well. Bringing this lesson into our home and sharing it with children is what invites the Holy Ghosy into our homes. I hope this May help you and your readers comprehend the viewpoint from an LDS family’s perspective. In Love, John