Moana Enchants

From the astonishing and colorful images of its cinematography to its endearing  characters, Moana captivates the attention and adoration of its audiences, including the most skeptical one.

Despite the fact that Moana does not follow the traditional Prince Charming story line, which is well used by feminist groups, Moana shows not only the beauty of the Pacific Islands culture but also a cute story of triumph and friendship.

I watched this show with my girls, and we enjoyed every minute of it.

Only two negatives for this movie.

  1. In one scene Moana seems to refrained herself from swearing a real bad word. The writer seems to think that will give the character more personality and assertiveness. I disagree! Leave kids alone when it comes to this influence.
  2. I love music, but sometimes to much of it is tiresome, specially if the songs seem to follow the same format and tone… Maybe one or two are good enough! let’s just hear the story without using music to tell it so much! I get it, LaLa Land is a musical and won an Oscar, but movies are more real when the characters speak and not sing.

Fear vs Hope

Once again, President Uchtdorf inspires with a message that transcends our own discernment of things or, better yet, gives exquisite answer to intriguing questions that sometimes go unanswered because simple and profound truths get buried by the loud voices of confusion and hate.

I have witness thorough out my life how people with a religious, political or social purpose have forced their agenda using fear to motivate their followers or listeners. President Uchtdorf puts it so clearly when he says:

“Fear rarely has the power to change our hearts, and it will never transform us into people who love what is right and who want to obey Heavenly Father. People who are fearful may say and do the right things, but they do not feel the right things. They often feel helpless and resentful, even angry. Over time these feelings lead to mistrust, defiance, even rebellion.  

And later states:

“The Lord has made it clear that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, [and] temperance.”3

As parents we try to use different methods to make our children obey us as we try to protect them. One of these methods is certainly instilling fear in them.  We think that fear will stop them from entering a world that might destroy them or will move them to do what we want them to do. I have seen people that go as far as using “end of the world” strategies or the world is not safe and therefore I will keep you with me at all costs…I see that a lot in parents that choose home schooling.

“One of the ways Satan wants us to manipulate others is by dwelling upon and even exaggerating the evil in the world. Certainly our world has always been, and will continue to be, imperfect. Far too many innocent people suffer because of circumstances of nature as well as from man’s inhumanity. The corruption and wickedness in our day are unique and alarming. But in spite of all this, I wouldn’t trade living in this time with any other time in the history of the world. We are blessed beyond measure to live in a day of unparalleled prosperity, enlightenment, and advantage. Most of all, we are blessed to have the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which gives us a unique perspective on the world’s dangers and shows us how to either avoid these dangers or deal with them.” President Uchtdorf

We all love our children, we want them to be safe and free from suffering, but I realize that we can’t do it with fear. Sometimes we want to protect them from everything but we can’t.  We can be a presence of comfort and guidance, but we cannot give them fear as a tool because they will not survive.

I don’t believe God wants His children to be fearful or dwell on the evils of the world. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”10 He has given us an abundance of reasons to rejoice. We just need to find and to recognize them. The Lord often reminds us to “be not afraid,” to “be of good cheer,”11 and to “fear not, little flock.”12

If we want to persuade our children to make the right choices and be prepared to confront the world, we need to talk to them as intelligent human beings no matter their age. We need to teach them of the dangers of the world and give them spiritual tools to survive it as we still instill in them great hope that the world is still a wonderful place, and, if they ever find it troubling, they have the power to change it. As we do that, let’s listen to President Uchtdorf when he says:

“God motivates through persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, and love unfeigned.8 God is on our side. He loves us, and when we stumble, He wants us to rise up, try again, and become stronger.”

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2017/04/perfect-love-casteth-out-fear?lang=eng

 

Why do we need religion

Religion is or should be a school of learning. A place where imperfect human beings go to learn the Gospel of Jesus Christ or the things of God. Hence, by participating in righteous activities and teachings you become a better human being no matter the state of your spirituality. For instance, you need religion the same way you need a school to learn to be a doctor. In a college setup environment, a teacher teaches you to save a human life. In a church environment, a teacher teaches you the things of the Lord, how to save your soul, a friend’s soul or how to live a life free of sin, which gives you the best alternative to find happiness away from the conflicting influences of the secular world.

Religion should not preach hate but love as Jesus Christ did. He walked across the land teaching people to love one another and to lay down their lives for their friends. What a great example and what a wonderful message to spread around the world. However, he did not only share this message, but he also built a church and taught people His Gospel. He called Apostles and introduced saving ordinances such as the symbolic baptismal covenant and the concept of the resurrection and Eternal Life. Therefore, He believed in religion, but a religion where we go to learn eternal principles such as the priesthood, the companionship of the Holy Ghost…a guiding force that teaches you in whispers based on your faith.

Jesus Christ taught us amazing things and left us with the greatest gift of Salvation. His actions and words are forever stamped in our souls. Who cannot be inspired by the Sermon on the Mount, or the symbolic Sacrament as he said good bye to his disciples in the Last Supper, or be eternally thankful for His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane as He opened the way for us to achieve exaltation, or his physical agony on the Cross…

All of his teachings and life need to be taught… Religion, used in a positive way, does that. People who are offended by Religion should stay away for the ones that purposely criticize and diminish other people’s beliefs, but should look for the ones that seek to improve our lives through the teachings of Jesus Christ. To each its own though. However, let’s remind us all of our Savior’s message…”if you love me, keep my commandments…” (John 14:15) His commandments are found in his Gospel. His Gospel is his religion.