latter-day saint

singing with angels

SINGING WITH ANGELS Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) WHAT’S SINGING WITH ANGELS ABOUT? A woman finds renewed faith and strength singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir while facing several personal and family struggles. IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: B) With gorgeous music and beautiful cinematography, Singing With Angels is in many ways a delight for both the eyes and ears. When the choir sings, the movi ...[Read More]

persona non grata

Lindsey Stirling’s Dad Wrote the Most Exciting LDS Thriller

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, entertainment critic) Many Latter-day Saint novels are painfully amateur. Good intentions don’t always equate good fiction. Steven J. Stirling, however, has more than enough talent with prose and storytelling to hang with the big dogs of mainstream espionage if he so chose, as evidenced by Persona Non Grata. That he uses his gifts to tell a story that is as fa ...[Read More]

Father of Lindsey Stirling Exposes How to Defeat Satan

Father of Lindsey Stirling Exposes How to Defeat Satan

By Jonathan Decker, Clinical Director, LMFT A doctrinal expose on Satan may seem like a hard sell at first. After all, most of us have a million other things we’d prefer to read about, not to mention that curiosity about the devil usually leads away from good. But Stephen Stirling’s latest offering, Shedding Light on the Dark Side, is not a book to be afraid of. Quite the contrary, this work (subt ...[Read More]

noah

Who Was Noah? Hollywood vs Gospel

By Jonathan Decker (Clinical Director, LMFT) Note: this article was written from a Latter-day Saint perspective to coincide with the release of the 2014 film Noah.  Pop culture provides us with opportunities to engage with the people around us, share our beliefs, and clear up misconceptions. The Church’s high-road response to The Book of Mormon musical (purchasing ad space in the playbill, placing ...[Read More]

batman

BATMAN’S MORMON CONNECTIONS

By Jonathan Decker (Clinical Director, LMFT) Note: this article was originally written for the site Mormon Movie Guy in 2012. It is written from a Latter-day Saint perspective. Did you know that Chris Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy feature not one, but two Brigham Young University alumni? Or that two of its actors starred in separate movies about Latter-day Saint missionaries? While this may not seem ...[Read More]

states of grace

Overlooked Gem: STATES OF GRACE (2005)

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) Elf. A Christmas Story. Home Alone. It's a Wonderful Life. Miracle on 34th Street. The movies we watch around the holidays get us in the yuletide mood and often lift our spirits. Though I'm a fan of all those films and more, there's a nagging problem: most of our beloved Christmas movies have nothing to do with Jesus Christ. One overlooked gem hel ...[Read More]

joseph smith

JOSEPH SMITH: PLATES OF GOLD Family Movie Review

REVIEW (GRADE: A-)   This has been a prolific decade for films about Joseph Smith. Ten years ago the Church produced The Restoration, a lovely short film about the First Vision (watch it here) that improved greatly on the cheesy and dated 1976 version. Then non-Mormon actor Jonathan Scarfe brought conviction and charisma to the role in the Work and the Glory trilogy, his performance arguably the b ...[Read More]

TC Christensen

T.C. Christensen Talks 17 MIRACLES, TESTAMENTS, JOSEPH SMITH

By Jonathan Decker, Clinical Director, LMFT Note: This interview originally appeared in Meridian Magazine and is written from a Latter-day Saint perspective.  LDS church members may or may not know the name, but they are likely familiar with the work of talented filmmaker T.C. Christensen. As a cinematographer, director, writer, and producer he has had a hand in many beloved films, including The T ...[Read More]

treasure in heaven the john tanner story

TREASURE IN HEAVEN Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) If you’ve ever seen a Latter-day Saint film that brought your soul to a higher plane, odds are T.C. Christensen had a hand in it. As a writer, director, producer, and cinematographer, he has helped add professional gloss, creative warmth, and spiritual sincerity to projects such as The Testaments of One Fold and One Shepherd, The Work and the Glor ...[Read More]

emma smith my story

EMMA SMITH: MY STORY Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) WHAT'S EMMA SMITH: MY STORY ABOUT? Explores the life, trials, and triumphs of Emma Smith, wife of Latter-day Saint prophet Joseph Smith. Rent or buy it here.  IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: A-) Produced by the Joseph Smith Jr. and Emma Hale Smith Historical Society, this lushly-shot and very well-acted take on the life of Emma Smith was directed by Gary ...[Read More]