The Best LDS Movies of All Time
Our church culture seems to have grown into something of entertainment. We have a lot of fun in wholesome, silly ways. We hold talent shows not only to share a skill but to make people laugh! We tease about the weird things “those Mormons” do and we can quote movie lines as well as anyone.
Creative Latter-day Saint artists have added their footprints to the entertainment industry now for many years. Some of our best productions were never even on the big screen. Some of them we love because they are so bad and others we relate to, while there are still those that inspire and lift! Let’s check them off.
“Johnny Lingo” As one of the most well- known and well-loved movies, it is only 24 minutes in length but has withstood the years. It was created as an object lesson in self-esteem, and we loved it! We girls all secretly wanted to be eight-cow wives, too! One of the most memorable lines in the movie is “Mahana, you ugly!” Created by BYU-Hawaii, it is an LDS classic!
“Napoleon Dynamite” I admit, this movie is so dumb that it is hilarious. It seems to be plotless with plenty of unique characters stuck in another time. However, we all cheer on the hero as he wins over the girl at the end by playing tetherball. There are several famous faces in the movie that make us wonder how they got there. If you haven’t seen it, watch it late at night with a friend.
“Singles Ward” Can we not all identify with at least one character from this movie? Anyone who has gone to a singles ward can appreciate the comic complexity of this Utah-culture dating scene. Don’t miss this one! It follows the life of a young man who is disenchanted with going to church but starts coming back when he seeks out a faithful young woman. It’s fun to watch for the many cameos as well!
For those who have served missions or are involved in missionary work somehow, we can always get a good laugh at some of our most awkward or difficult moments on the mission. “The RM” and “The Best Two Years” are both awesome movies that will have you laughing to tears and then have your heart burst as you are reminded of the special experiences from your own service. These two movies could start some amazing family discussions about missionary service.
“17 Miracles” and “Ephraim’s Rescue” If ever you have the desire to connect to our pioneer history or want to have a deeper sense of gratitude to those who were courageous early members, these are the movies for you! I am always touched by the beautiful experiences of our pioneer members. The suffering and persecutions they faced were horrendous and yet we are reminded of the beautiful ways in which the Lord stood beside and blessed them in their trials. These are wonderful faith builders!
Lastly, we can’t forget “The Other Side of Heaven” which was based upon the book by Elder John H. Groberg about his missionary service in the Kingdom of Tonga. This movie is a beautiful way to look into the faith of other cultures. President Thomas S. Monson encouraged him to write both memoirs of his missionary service, one as an Elder and one from his service nine years later as a mission president.
Elder Groberg has been speaking recently as The Other Side of Heaven 2 is released in June 2019 across the nation. Elder Groberg said, “After President Monson died, I was kinda hoping he would stop bothering me so much about making the second movie, but it has actually been the opposite. He is more insistent now than he ever was before, that we have to get that film done now.” (as quoted by Director Mitch Davis, from June 2nd Facebook live Q&A with Elder Groberg)
I am thankful for the many creative artists and directors who put these stories in front of us, who enlighten, entertain, uplift and inspire. So, what are you going to watch tonight?