Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Microfilm, Mediums, and Mormons! Oh My!

What is Spiritualism?

Spiritualism begins with a belief in all of us having spirits and that there is an afterlife, but it extends to the belief that we can communicate with those beyond the grave through Mediums, Clairvoyants, Psychics, Ouija Boards, and other stuff. Spiritualists studied and analyzed this communication thinking it could be documented and measured scientifically. It seems to be a religion quite absent of faith; these men and women were always on a hunt for truth that could be proven temporally. It grew in popularity in the early 20th century, but died out quickly.

Why would I write a paper about it? Because I could. And I needed a topic for my Honors Thesis somehow based on Sherlock Holmes or his ingenious creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

See? I'm not the only one!
When I found out that Conan Doyle became a fervent Spiritualist towards the end of his life, I made a few jokes about it. I'm not the only one. His contemporaries also ridiculed him for his belief in summoning spirits and talking to ghosts. However, because of his fame Conan Doyle helped make Spiritualism very popular in the 1920's. Because it mattered so much to him that he put his personal fortune, time, and efforts into promoting it, I figured it warranted a study. I've written a paper on his involvement in the Cottingley Fairy Photos, a longer one on his trip to Salt Lake City in 1923, and a Thesis on Spiritualism in Salt Lake City newspapers for a decade.

(I'm about as obsessed with Sherlock Holmes as I am with Batman, but I can get away with writing about Holmes in an academic setting. I tried using Batman once, but it failed.)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle became involved in Spiritualism early in his life, but fully devoted himself to it after World War I. In the War, a few of his close family members died in battle, which had a profound effect on him. After learning this, I wasn't surprised to see that he was looking for a way to talk to his family again. Spiritualism told him he could.

Now, as members of the church, we know two things. 1) We will see our family members again. We can be sealed to them and feel that bond between us whether in life or in death. Knowledge of the Plan of Salvation is a great spiritual comfort to us. 2) We never go messing with the occult. When you summon spirits, you invite all spirits in. And where did that angry, jealous, deceitful, nasty 1/3 of the host of heaven go? Right here.

Many, if not all Christian churches around the time of WWI told their congregations to not get involved with Spiritualism. We're told very clearly in the Bible not to heed the counsel of wizards and stuff. But in a war with an unprecedented number of deaths and rampant illness, soldiers were coming back from the battlefield with questions. Some had seen their fallen comrades on the field of battle after they had died. Some families had talked to their fallen sons. And the churches were telling them to not pursue these experiences further. Lots of people did, though, and Spiritualism rapidly grew in popularity. I think there was even a Spiritualist Society in Utah, albeit a short-lived one.

I have no doubt that thousands or millions of people have seen or talked to the spirits of departed loved ones. I probably won't because ghosts freak me out. The best way to get to know what to expect beyond
the grave is to study the gospel and the Plan of Salvation. If you want to know what is up with that, just ask me.

I have no right to make fun of anyone for their beliefs. Every human comes with a bucket full of experiences and relationships and views of the world that forms what they believe. I have no idea what anyone has gone through, not even the slightest. So, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I would like to apologize for that. I hope someone has done your temple work and sealed your family together. If not, could his nearest living relative please send me a message? I have a book for you to read.

Remember: Sherlock Holmes says, "No!" to illegal drugs, and you should too.

1 comment:

  1. Ms. Johnson,

    I strongly urge you never to play in the occult. As you said, one invites all spirits if he/she tries to conjure up spirits and doesn't know if it will be a good or bad one. Some Christians are given the gift to speak with spirits but only by His command.

    I hope Sir Doyle was saved and had a personal relationship with Jesus to be able to go to Heaven when he passed from here. If he wasn't, he went to Hades/Hell.

    No one can do a baptism for him to go to Heaven. He had to make his decision when he was here on Earth. The only being that busted the Gates of Hell to get Abraham, and the others after He rose from the dead was Jesus because He is God. None of us can never do that because we are not God. God can do anything because He is 3 persons in One. He is the Alpha and the Omega.

    I noticed that you said we are to seal our family here so we can see them in Heaven. Well, I know that one day I will see my relatives up in Heaven one day because they made a decision to accept Christ into their hearts as did I. John 3:16 gave us that peace and salvation. Who should every believe in Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life.

    I am not sealed to anyone here on Earth. As a Christian, I am only sealed to Jesus by being saved. Read Matthew 16:19 and Matthew 18:18. I think people misunderstood what those verses really mean. They talk about that when you bind your relationship with Jesus here on Earth, it is bonded up in Heaven.

    If you want to know the true Gospel and Plan of Salvation, you have to read the Bible and nothing else for it's God's Word and to and to add to it goes against God. Don't believe me, read it. I hope that helps. Have a blessed day. Peace be with you.