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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Memories

Bear with me on this one.  It's going to take me a bit longer to get to my point on this.  I'll start with a few examples that lead to it.

Monsters Inc.

In this movie, we could compare Randall to the adversary, Waternoose to one of his followers, Sulley to our Heavenly Father and Mike Wazowski to the Savior.  How?  Who made the machine designed to force the screams out of children, who convinced Waternoose that the only way for the company - compare to God's family - to succeed was to kidnap children and suffocate the screams out of them - compare to taking away our agency - to keep things going?  They would have run out of children eventually anyways, so the plan was destined to fail in the long run.  Once they sent Boo - compare to God's children - to her bedroom in the end - compare to our mortal life - and shredded the door - compare to the Fall of Adam and Eve - thus eliminating all foreseeable possibility that Sulley would ever see her again, who was it that went to find all the missing pieces and inflict injury on himself willingly - compare to Christ's suffering in the Atonement - so that Sulley could see Boo again?  Remember how the door he opened to see her again in the end was only operable if every single piece was there?  Remember how only a complete, infinite atonement, wrought by Someone who had, of His own free will, paid our price for sin, is sufficient to compensate for our fallen natures?

X-men.

Magneto could be compared to the devil because his plan was to force mutant abilities on every human being without their consent, similar to satan wanting to force us to obey.  In the end the movie points out how that plan would have failed because humans who don't have those genes are killed by the effects of the transformation, similar to us not being changed into a godly state and thus not being able to endure or live in the presence of God if we just obeyed mindlessly with no faith.  Wolverine could be compared to the Savior because only he had the ability to save Rogue's life by giving her his power long enough to save her, knowing the effect it would have on him, that it could have killed him.

Liar Liar

No matter how hard Fletcher tried to have success with his career, no matter how many times he tried to make promises to his ex wife and son, which he always broke, he learned that honesty and willful, loving promises that he keeps is the only thing that would repair and reunite his family.  Similarly, the only thing that ever had a chance to reunite any of Heavenly Father's family was love and honesty, coupled with eternally unbroken promises between us.

Bruce Almighty

Well, if you've seen the movie, it's not hard to see parallels all over the place in this one.  If you haven't seen it click here.

Ratatouille

I'll make this one short. The phrase "anyone can cook" is parallel to the fact that any mortal can live and change to become the kind of person that is worthy of the inheritance God has prepared for them.  There are others in this one, but I'll move along.

In a previous entry, I also made a comparison to gospel parallels in Stranger than Fiction.  To read it, click the link, press Ctrl+F and type the name of the movie.  In another entry, I illustrated gospel parallels to the Green Lantern movie.  Again, to read about it, click, Ctrl+F, "Green Lantern".

Good heavens.  I could go on typing literally for days, maybe even weeks, pointing out the parallels to God's plan and the Atonement of Christ in movies, music, books, magazines... you get the picture.

So why did I not title this one "Parallels to the gospel"?

Why do you think so many areas of life are just teeming with these kinds of metaphors?  Why do so many of these kinds of things have so many of those legitimate comparisons?  How is it that from atheist to protestant, from born again Christian to agnostic, from authors to playwrights to producers to artists, anyone who ever produced a work of any kind has included, intentionally or not, however subtle or obvious, parallels and echos of God's plan with and for us, including and especially the reality of His Son Jesus Christ and His sacred role in that plan of love?

I think what Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said about hearing testimonies of Christ illustrates the answer very well.  Said he, "...when you declare the truth, it will bring an echo, an unconscious memory to the [listener], that they have heard this truth before—and of course they have. A ... testimony invokes a great legacy of testimony dating back to the councils in heaven before this world was. There, in an earlier place, these same people heard this same plan outlined and heard there the role that Jesus Christ would play in their salvation.  The fact of the matter is [they] are not only hearing our testimony of Christ, but they are hearing echoes of other, earlier testimonies, including their own testimony of Him, for they were on the side of the faithful who kept their first estate and earned the privilege of a second estate. We must always remember that these [people] were among the valiant who once overcame Satan by the power of their testimony of Christ!"

Why else would these kinds of themes so undeniably and utterly saturate the whole of modern experience and imagination, the minds and hearts those who put their work and energy into these great reminders for everyone?  Because deep down, they remember it too!  They crave it, they try to recreate these memories, whether they mean to or not because, in the depths of their heart and soul, however aware of it they are or are not, THEY. WANT. IT. BACK.  Everyone, somewhere inside, craves the love of our Heavenly Father in their lives.

Why do you think so many of the great prophets, including the Messiah Himself, felt so strongly for the people to whom they ministered?  I think it's possible that they were also aware of these memories in them and wanted to awaken those memories and help them remember how to return to our Father and inherit all that He has in store for us, to fill the void in their souls many are not even aware is there in the first place.

It's little wonder, therefore, that Helaman said the following to his sons, Nephi and Lehi: "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall. [emphasis added]"

I love having even the smallest reminders of His love for us.  I'm not as good as I want to be at keeping those memories fresh, but when they are there, even only if for a small moment, I'm home; and I'll do whatever it takes to make it back to live with Him and have nothing but sweet memories to be with me forever.