Jane and Emma

JANE AND EMMA Family Movie Review

By Trina Boice  WHAT’S JANE AND EMMA ABOUT? Based on the true story of Jane Manning, this touching movie illustrates the sweet friendship between her and Emma Smith, wife of Latter-day Saint prophet Joseph Smith. It’s a story you have probably never heard before, but one that will warm your heart, strengthen your faith, and add greater depth to your knowledge of history.  Jane was one of the first ...[Read More]


Family Reviews: Big River, Merry Wives of Windsor, and The Foreigner at UT Shakespeare Festival

By Jonathan Decker (Clinical Director, LMFT) The Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival delights every year with first-rate, stunningly-acted performances of The Bard’s works, along with other fantastic plays. Enjoying the cool weather of Cedar City and its charming small-town shops and restaurants, along with the plays themselves is an annual highlight for my wife and I. This year we had th ...[Read More]

White Privilege- A Latter-day Saint’s Perspective

White Privilege- A Latter-day Saint’s Perspective

By Jonathan Decker, Clinical Director, LMFT “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required.” (Luke 12:48) You know in testimony meeting when a person says they didn’t want to stand up and speak but felt that they needed to? That’s me right now. I don’t want to court controversy. I’m not a “kick the hornet’s nest” type of person. I don’t want the inevitable flood of angry comment ...[Read More]

racial equality in the book of mormon

The Book of Mormon: A Story of Racial Equality?

By Jonathan Decker Note: This article is written from a Latter-day Saint perspective.  Context is Everything The most accurate description of race in The Book of Mormon is not that dark skin is bad and light skin is good, but rather that “all are alike unto God” and that “the first shall be last, and the last shall be first.” Context is everything. Critics of The Book of Mormon often cite isolated ...[Read More]

race in mormon history

Race in Mormon History

By Jonathan Decker 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, working within their worldview in therapy. I include this article here so that all of my writings can be found in one place.  This article, “Race in Mormon History,” originally ran in Mer ...[Read More]

red tails

RED TAILS Family Movie Review

  RED TAILS REVIEW (GRADE: C ) I had truly hoped that Red Tails would be spectacular. Heaven knows it had the potential to be: the true story on which it's based (that of the segregated African-American WWII fighter pilots, the Tuskegee Airmen) is loaded with heroism, tragedy, and triumph. Also, George Lucas served as producer while others directed and wrote (as happened in the better films o ...[Read More]

great debaters

Overlooked Gem: THE GREAT DEBATERS (2007)

  Denzel Washington's second foray into directing (after Antwone Fisher) takes the basic structure of an inspirational sports movie and turns it on its head, as a small-town school goes up against the Ivy-League giants of the nation. The action and strategy, however, revolve around words and ideas, not athletics. Telling the true story of an East Texas “negro college” during 1930' ...[Read More]

THE HELP Family Movie Review

THE HELP Family Movie Review

  THE HELP REVIEW (GRADE: A) One of the best films of the year so far, The Help displays an impressively-acted balance of prejudice and tolerance, hatred and love, despair and faith, heartache and belly laughs. Like one of my all-time favorite films, Life is Beautiful, The Help performs the impressive feat of taking a dark chapter of human history and injecting it with light, hope, and humani ...[Read More]



By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) A thoughtful, faithful and informative treatment on the controversial and misunderstood subject of African-American Mormons, Nobody Knows is long overdue and a most welcome gift for anyone seeking clarification on this matter. With interviews from black Latter-day Saints, both prominent and person-next-door, as well as insights from ministers from ...[Read More]


INVICTUS Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) With Clint Eastwood directing, Morgan Freeman playing Nelson Mandela, and Matt Damon sharing top billing, how could Invictus fail? The answer is that it doesn’t, as this rich historical drama provides great insight into South African history and the philosophy of one of the 20th century’s greatest leaders. The film tells the true story of Mandela’ ...[Read More]