lds

violent

Is Violent Media Ever Okay? A Latter-day Saint Perspective

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) Author's note: I have a great respect for the beliefs of others and have learned much from them. Although I am a devout Latter-day Saint, I do not impose my beliefs upon my clients and I support their worldviews in therapy. I include this article here so that all of my writings can be found in one place. This article originally appeared in Modern ...[Read More]

Jamesthemormon

Jamesthemormon: Not Your Parents’ “Mormon Rap”

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, entertainment critic) This article originally appeared in Meridian Magazine.  In 1988 The Walter and Hays Band released the cheesily-quintessential “Mormon Rap.” The song was meant as a winking in-joke for Latter-day Saints, with lyrics like I’m a fine young man, I’m living clean, Don’t smoke, don’t drink, If you know what I mean. Don’t touch Soda Pop if It ha ...[Read More]

What Does Latter-day Saint Doctrine Really Say About R-rated Movies?

What Does Latter-day Saint Doctrine Really Say About R-rated Movies?

By Jonathan Decker (Clinical Director, LMFT) During promotion for my book 250 Great Movies for Latter-day Families I was invited to give an interview with The Student Review, an independent publication from students at Brigham Young University. This is that interview. For my interview with BYU's official newspaper The Daily Universe click here.  What started your love for movies? I can trace it di ...[Read More]

saturday's warrior

SATURDAY’S WARRIOR Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) WHAT'S SATURDAY'S WARRIOR ABOUT? Several siblings leave heaven for Earth, experiencing together the struggles of mortal life in this musical interpretation of Latter-day Saint doctrine. IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: B) Mainstream audiences are likely unfamiliar with Saturday's Warrior, but for lifelong Mormons the musical is a staple of their culture. P ...[Read More]

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]

once i was a beehive

ONCE I WAS A BEEHIVE Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) WHAT'S ONCE I WAS A BEEHIVE ABOUT? Still mourning her father's death, a teenager from a Protestant family gets roped into attending a Mormon summer camp.  IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: B+) Faith-based comedies often fall terribly flat. Wholesome doesn't always equal funny, and good intentions don't necessarily lead to polished screenplays (or performanc ...[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]