Tag Archives: religion

Finding LDS Truths in Disney Films

By Toni Yee

Members of the LDS Church patronize Disney movies because they’re wholesome family entertainment promoting purity and hope; they capture the sweet magic of children. Most importantly, they teach lessons related to the teachings of the Church.

In Gordon B. Hinckley’s talk, he shared the story of a man who related Joseph Smith’s story to Disney. “Every time I would tell the bishop that Joseph Smith’s story was more Disney than Disney, he would tell me, “Maybe so, but it’s all true.” Members not only find happily ever afters in Disney movies, but also, in gospel truths of the Church.

The teachings of the Church is mostly emphasized on the importance of family. Elder Tom L. Perry, said “One of the great messages of the gospel is the doctrine of the eternal disneyandfriendsnature of the family unit. We declare to the world the value and importance of family life, but much of the confusion and difficulty we find existing in the world today is being traced to the deterioration of the family. Home experiences where children are taught and trained by loving parents are diminishing.” One Disney movie that strongly emphasizes family is Lilo and Stitch. “Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” This line was made famous by Stitch who was adopted by Lilo’s family.

Goal setting is an essential part of every individual in order to attain the desired outcome and success. It is always good to have dreams in order to stay motivated. Just like Cinderella, she dreamt of attending the ball with her step sisters, but they did not want her to. Cinderella’s friends knew about her desire to go and because of her kind heart, they helped her. “Whatever you wish for, you keep. Have faith in your dreams, and someday, your rainbow will come smiling through. No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dreams that you wish will come true.” Elder M. Russell Ballard said, “Set goals that are well balanced—not too many nor too few, and not too high nor too low. Write down your attainable goals and work on them according to their importance. Pray for divine guidance in your goal setting.”

Past experiences are meant to be overcome. Whether we choose to disclose these experiences, like Simba has in the Lion King movie, is up to us as individuals and our personal relationships. There are some aspects of the past that hurt tremendously but Rafiki offers a sound advice. “The past can hurt, but the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.” We can either take our past experiences and use those as learning tools or we can pretend that they never happened and run, risking making mistakes as a result of the pain we are trying to avoid.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said, “I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone, nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead, we remember that faith is always pointed toward the future.” The pain of tackling the past might be overwhelming and hard, but in the end, we become the best version of ourselves.


New sitcom on heaven: “The Good Place” (but what if you’re there by mistake?)

By Kayna Kemp Stout

“The Good Place” (NBC) starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson is a new sitcom about what happens in the afterlife. Mormon viewers will chuckle, squirm, and nod their heads in unison at the portrayal of the grand beyond.

The Good Place - Season 1
THE GOOD PLACE — “Tahani Al-Jamil” Episode 103 — Pictured: (l-r) Ted Danson as Michael, D’Arcy Carden as Janet, William Jackson Harper as Chidi — (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC)

For starters, we believe the afterlife is a busy place with comings and goings as we know it now, which is how The Good Place portrays it. We LDS adherents also believe we will be with like minded souls who have a similar goodness quotient. This also is a commonality with the show. However, the show has a twist. A few mistakes are made in the admissions process; there are unworthy clandestine members of the righteous neighborhood who were accidentally admitted. This creates havoc in an otherwise perfectly functioning afterlife. Can heaven or kingdoms as we Mormons say have flaws in them? After viewing three episodes, there are six main characters orchestrating the shenanigans in the holy neighborhood.


Ted Danson is the architect of the community with a human-like robotic assistant that knows everything, and can procure whatever is needed instantly. A modern-day version of 50001417Samantha without the nose-twitching from Bewitched. Add to the cast the two interlopers who are each paired with a benevolent member of the community, and you have the basis for many scripts about honesty, authenticity, and consequences. One of the amusing consequences of the misfits is their inability to swear in the good place. “Fork” substitutes for other four-letter word involuntarily replacing what they intended to say. I also enjoy informative lectures about ethics from the character whose former life was a college philosophy professor. He is tutoring the misfits in doing what’s best for the others in the neighborhood instead of just selfishly caring about themselves as they were accustomed to on earth. This makes for some good Sunday School lessons, which most Mormons would appreciate.




Seven Classic Rock Songs with Moral or Religious Themes

By Dan Stout

Mormon classic-rockers: Here’s our list of notable rock classics with religious and or spiritual themes. Whether you agree with our selections, one cannot deny the power of these songs to evoke deep feelings; their inspirational power compliments LDS teachings from love to overcoming adversity to dealing with the passing of loved ones. Recognizing they are numerous, let us know about favorites we overlooked.

51iUJ2aSDTL1 “Never Die Young” by James Taylor.

At the top is J.T.’s tender and inspiring admonishment to “hold up” the courageous “golden ones” whose legacies endure beyond the grave. Exquisite melody and soft lead guitar elegantly speak of people of purpose; we must “never let them fall.” Eventually, they “sail on to another land beneath another sky.” It’s music of hope for eternal life.

 2 “The Weight” by The Band

When I asked a devout fan of The Band, what this song meant, he replied simply, “Helping someone.” Aided by one of rock’s most soulful voices Levon Helm, “The Weight” is #41 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Went down to Nazareth, I was feeling about half past dead…” Fulfilling a promise to check on several people, the weary traveler presses on in the name of compassion. The narrative’s characters reflect several Biblical themes.

 3 “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton

A victim of a tragic accident, Clapton’s four-year-old son Conor is the subject of this moving elegy. Co-written with Will Jennings, it asks, “Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven?” Clapton plays acoustic guitar on this song which “is what kept me alive through the darkest period of my life.”  

hqdefault4 “Hotel California” by the Eagles

According to Eagles drummer Don Henley, the song has taken on a life of its own spawning wide-ranging interpretations. The line, “You can check in anytime you like, but you can never leave” is part of our vernacular. It is a warning against materialism, excess, and the recognition that art and commerce have blended to our detriment.

5 “American Pie” by Don McLean.

Perhaps the poem of America’s soul, it’s a Whitmanesque piece about “the day the music died,” a reference not only to Buddy Holly’s premature death in a plane crash, but the end of the American dream. McLean calls it “a morality song” chronicling a shift in the wrong direction toward a less idyllic period.

 I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died

 The chorus, “Bye, bye miss American pie remains a ubiquitous call to gird up our loins to face a new and more challenging world.

6 “Bright Eyes” by Art Garfunkel

Written by Mike Batt and performed by Art Garfunkel for the film version of the book, “Watership Down” it deals with both the sting and natural phase of death. Garfunkel’s thin tender voice is so soothing that the song is commonly sung at funerals.

henry-diltzcrosby-stills-nash-csn-couch7 “Find the Cost of Freedom” by Crosby Stills and Nash

Commitment to a cause is the simple message. Stephen Stills uses Civil War imagery as he challenges us to: “Find the cost of freedom buried in the ground. Mother Earth will swallow you. Lay your body down.” How ready are we to make the ultimate sacrifice for what we believe in?

What pop or rock songs have touched you deeply?