I love Disney movies and I love Disney songs. Not only are they fun, but some of them teach eternal truths, dare I say, better than some of our own Primary songs! Here are a couple of my favorites:
#1: Endless Night, The Lion King
Alright, admittedly this song is translated from the Spanish Broadway production, but that doesn’t mean it’s message is any less true! Do you remember this scene? Simba has just as a spiritual visitation from his father, Mufasa, reminding him of who he really is. Well, like many of us, Simba’s confused and dealing with issues from his past. In desperation he calls out to his father:
You promised me that you would always be here. I don’t know why you won’t come when I call out to you. I try to hold on, yearning to hear your voice because maybe if I just hear you, I’ll come to my senses.
Have you said a prayer or two like this? So have I. In moments of desperation, it’s difficult to believe that Heavenly Father will guide, comfort, and protect us. Trust is especially difficult to give when we have called out in pain and haven’t felt any comfort or heard any response from God. But Simba’s got a good attitude about prayer and receiving answers that we can learn from:
The night will end, soon the morning will come. The heavens will open up once more and the sun will shine.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us to be hopeful, faithful and patient. Our Heavenly Father loves us and hears our prayers. But to witness this sunrise, sometimes we have to sit through the dark night. Like Simba, we can be confident in knowing that the sun will rise and God will answer our prayers.
#2: Almost There, The Princess and The Frog
Who can resist Princess Tiana’s charm and wit? She had a dream and nothing was going to get in her way of achieving it…except maybe being turned into a frog. But what does Tiana have to do with the gospel?
Trials and tribulations, I’ve had my share. There ain’t nothin’ gonna stop me ’cause I’m almost there.
Trials and tribulations, that’s what. All of us experience trials in this life, it’s why we’re here! Remember the account of the pre-mortal council? God said that we would be proved to see if we would do whatsoever He commanded us to do. I’m not talking about blind-obedience here, and neither is Heavenly Father. Please, humbly ask questions and sincerely seek answers from the correct sources. Rather, Tiana and I are talking about the fact that opposition is a part of life and the very trials we are facing are opportunities to listen to God’s counsel. With faith and thanks to Jesus Christ, there is nothing that can stop us; we’re almost there!
#3: The Bare Necessities, The Jungle Book
Ah yes, the bare necessities of life—clothing, food, shelter, love. But sometimes we doubt that they will come to us. For whatever reason, we think that Heavenly Father won’t provide that next meal or someone to love us. And yet, Baloo reminds us of a really important principle about life on Earth:
The bees are buzzing in the trees to make some honey just for me…
The bees are making honey just for him, and for us. In Doctrine and Covenants 59 the Lords says:
Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; yea, for food and for raiment…to strengthen the body and enliven the soul.
The point is this: Heavenly Father has created this world and everything in it to provide for us. This includes expressions of kindness, compassion, mercy and so forth. Understanding this can help us to see that Heavenly Father is the ultimate provider and that all good things come from Him.
#4: The Colors of the Wind, Pocahontas
So we know that Heavenly Father created this world for us, but we should also know that we have a responsibility to be good stewards over the Earth and its inhabitants.
Pocahontas sings that every rock, tree, and creature has a life, a spirit, and a name. We know these same things by understanding that all things were created spiritually before they were created naturally and that Adam named every living creature. And it doesn’t take a genius to know that Mother Nature is alive. Given that each of these things—the earth, plants, and animals—are creations of our Heavenly Father, we should respect them and take care of them.
President Joseph F. Smith once wrote:
…The unneccessary destruction of life is a distinct spiritual loss to the human family. Men cannot worship the Creator and look with careless indifference upon his creations. The love of all life helps man to the enjoyment of a better life. It exalts the spiritual nature of those in need of divine favor.
So it goes without saying that:
The rainstorm and the river are [our] brothers, the heron and the otter are [our] friends, and we are all connected to each other in a circle, in a hoop that never ends.
#5: He Lives in You, The Lion King
Okay, we have to end with The Lion King because it’s just too good! This song is also translated from the Spanish Broadway production, but please, indulge me one last time:
They live in you, they live in me, they can always see us. They’re always here, in every star, in every being, in your reflection, they live in you.
Okay, I think that the eternal truth we can pull from this song is two-fold: 1) our ancestors are always with us. We are part of one big human family. Our ancestors live in us in the sense that we are built from parts of their DNA and that many of our beliefs and traditions stem from them. If you’ve ever had someone that you know pass away, you know that there are certain mannerisms their family, close friends or even you, reflect. You’ve also probably recognized how something they cherished (like the stars) can remind you of them and help them to feel close by.
The second eternal truth is that God lives in us. Not physically, but definitely spiritually. You are a child of God who has been endowed with qualities similar to His. As His child, you have the opportunity to develop His attributes. He bestows upon you spiritual gifts and capabilities to help you in mortality and beyond. In these ways, and many others, He lives in you.
And there you have it, eternal truths and Disney going together better than chocolate and peanut butter! Do you have another Disney truth to add? Let us know in the comments below 🙂