The Gospel Plan of Happiness Explained in Movie Quotes

If we listen carefully, and squint hard enough, we can find the gospel plan hidden throughout Hollywood. There, on the big screen, we can find nuggets of truth, or at least, poetic lines to illustrate the plan of happiness. Consider:

Before we came to earth, we lived with Heavenly Parents, the family of our souls, whom we have never seen with our mortal eyes. “You have another family, far away,” said Ian Holm as Capitaine Phillippe D’Arnot in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984); “one you have never seen.”

We lived with them in a beautiful preexistence, which probably looked an awful lot like the bright and peace-filled afterlife. “It’s easy to get turned around,” said Alice Braga of that place as Jerry in Soul (2000). “This isn’t the Great Beyond. It’s the Great Before.”

There, our spirit bodies and all creations were formed from intelligence. “Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter,” acknowledged Frank Oz as Yoda in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980). Everything was first created spiritually. “I know every rock and tree and creature has a life, has a spirit, has a name,” testified Irene Bedard as Pocahontas in Pocahontas (1995).

So, the Gods then created an earth for us to obtain bodies and to be tested. Planet earth was a remarkable creation. “In the beginning, there was only ocean,” noted Rachel House as Gramma Tala in Moana (2016). But soon there were plants, animals, and humankind. The world is “a wonderful place, filled with wondrous creatures,” observed Leon Redbone as Leon the Snowman in Elf (2003). We quickly realized like Mandy Moore as Jamie Sullivan in A Walk to

Remember (2002) that “Maybe God has a bigger plan for me than I had for myself.”

“Know that you’re going to be tested every step of the way,” we were told by our Heavenly Father before we came to earth, to use the words of Oprah Winfrey as Mrs. Which in A Wrinkle in Time (2018). We surely optimistically replied like Tate Donavan as Hercules in Hercules (1997) as we left His presence and came to earth: “I won’t let you down, father!”

We were born into families. “In this life, family is the most precious gift we are given,” taught Maria Konstadarou as Yia Yia in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005), “The most sacred,” as Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto in Fast & Furious 4 (2009) put it, “There’s nothing stronger than the bond of family.”

While on earth, we learn to have faith to get through life’s path. “We cannot be lost as long as we keep faith in God and in ourselves,” said Gérard Depardieu as Christopher Columbus in 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992). After all, our Heavenly Father does live and still anxiously watches over us in this life. “He lives in you. He lives in me,” said Robert Guillaume as Rafiki in The Lion King (1994). “He watches over everything we see.”

We can pray to our Heavenly Father when times get tough. “Always keep a prayer in your pocket,” advised Meryl Streep as Aunt March in Little Women (2019). Because life does have trials. “It’s supposed to be hard,” remarked Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan in A League of Their Own (1992). “The hard is what makes it great.”

In the test of life, we continuously have opportunities to choose the right. “Our lives are the sum of our choices,” declared Henry Czerny as Eugene Kittridge in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One (2023). And Kristen Bell as Anna in Frozen 2 (2019) encourages us to “Just do the next right thing.”

When we make mistakes—and we all will—we can always choose to rise up. “Why do we fall sir?” asked Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth in Batman Begins (2005). He answers, “So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.” God loves effort and loves the repentant! “God has a long history of working through flawed people,” said Kelsey Grammer as Pastor Chuck Smith in Jesus

Revolution (2023).

Eventually, we may fall in love and start a family of our own. “People do fall in love,” observed George Peppard as Paul Varjak in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961). “People do belong to each other, because that’s the only chance that anyone’s got for true happiness,” he said. And thanks to the covenant path where we can be married for time and all eternity, death need not end a happy marriage! “Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while,” correctly pointed out Cary Elwes as Westley in The Princess Bride (1987).

In fact, because of temple ordinances, we can wield together generations of our ancestors. “A thousand generations live in you now,” said Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019). “One weak link can break the chain of a mighty dynasty,” warns Patrick Stewart as Seti in The Prince of Egypt (1998).

In time, our sojourn on earth comes to an end. “Death is just a part of life, something we’re all destined to do,” said Tom Hanks as Woody in Toy Story 3 (2010). But it is not the end of us. “End? No, the journey doesn’t end here,” said Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2013). “Death is just another path. One that we all must take.”

When we pass on, we enter into a glorious place of peace and rest. “There is a happy land, far far away, where saints in glory stand bright, bright as day,” noted Terry Saunders as Lady Thiang in The King and I (1956). And as angels we do not abandon our loved ones still remaining on earth. “You think the dead we loved truly ever leave us?” rhetorically asked Michael Gambon as Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004). “You think that we don’t recall them more clearly in times of great trouble?” In fact, according to Samantha Morton as Agatha in Minority Report (2002), “The dead don’t die. They look on and help.”

Ultimately, we all receive our final judgement. “All accounts are balanced in the end,” said Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne in Batman vs Superman (2016). And in hindsight, our time of testing on earth will seem so brief. “A whole human life is just a heartbeat here in Heaven,” said Robin Williams as Chris Nielsen in What Dreams May Come (1998). “Then we’ll all be together forever.”

Mike Winder is the author of the new book Hidden in Hollywood: The Gospel Found in 1001 Movie Quotes