4. Self-Worth, Divine Potential, and Freedom
When Elsa ran from her identity as queen of Arendelle, she thought she was allowing herself to be free and express who she really was. “No right, no wrong, no rules for me, I’m free” as she sings in her beautiful, lonely ice castle in the tops of the snow-covered mountains. However, the “freedom” she gained from walking away from her insecurities, her attempts to control her powers, and her responsibility as a queen and a sister nearly killed the person she loved most, ultimately making her a fugitive and eventually a captive in chains. It wasn’t until she embraced herself for who she was—magical powers and all—and accepted her role as a leader that she found true joy and freedom and gained control of her powers. This is the same with us. When we try to hide from our identity as sons and daughters of God, thinking we’ve found freedom by not living the commandments or by truly doing what we want to do, we find ourselves in greater bondage and with bigger burdens. As the scriptures warn us, “And there are also secret combinations, even as in times of old, according to the combinations of the devil, for he is the founder of all these things; yea, the founder of murder, and works of darkness; yea, and he leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever” (2 Nephi 26:22, emphasis added). We find true freedom in keeping the commandments and recognizing our responsibilities and privileges as children of God. Keeping the commandments is what gives us access to our own “powers” of faith and the Spirit. As we embrace ourselves and all the gifts or flaws we have been given, acknowledging our Father in Heaven, we have greater self-control, confidence, knowledge, and sometimes even power. After all, Jesus Christ has told us, “for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you” (Matthew 17:20).
5. The Power of Family Relationships
While many of these gospel lessons have been shown by Elsa, there is a powerful gospel message that Anna illustrates very well.
Anna and Elsa have an inseparable sisterly bond at the beginning of the movie, but after the accident, Anna’s memory of Elsa’s powers is erased and Elsa withdraws in fear, and guilt, leaving the two estranged for most of the movie. But even when Elsa is pushing her away and Anna can’t remember why, she never forgets that sisterly bond. She does everything she can to connect with Elsa. She sees the good in her, is not afraid of Elsa’s powers, and once she understands why Elsa has been hiding for so many years, Anna even braves a snowy climb just to let Elsa know that she isn’t alone in her trial. In the end, Anna forgives and loves her sister, sacrificing her life to save Elsa despite all of the things Elsa has done to push her away.
While we may not have to sacrifice our lives or even risk emotional danger for others, Anna’s example is, in a way, a reminder of our own mandate as ministering brothers and sisters and as human beings to love one another as we are loved by our Savior. Sister Jean B. Bingham reminded us in the April 2018 general conference, “After all is said and done, true ministering is accomplished one by one with love as the motivation. The value and merit and wonder of sincere ministering is that it truly changes lives! When our hearts are open and willing to love and include, encourage and comfort, the power of our ministering will be irresistible” ("Ministering as the Savior Does," April 2018 general conference).
Whether members of the Church or not, we are each heavenly brothers and sisters, and we can each follow the example of Anna, in our own families, in our neighborhoods, and in our ministering. We can gently, persistently, and genuinely love those who are struggling. We can let them know that we are there for them. Again and again and again. And we can forgive them and welcome them when they are ready to reach out to us. Anna, though a little impulsive at times, is a wonderful example of “be not weary in well doing” (2 Thessalonians 3:13). Her love for her sister was ceaseless, and in the end, she sacrificed herself to save her sister—an action that could also, in a way, remind us of our Savior’s unceasing love and sacrifice for us, His brothers and sisters.
6. Love Is [Not] an Open Door
This was perhaps one of my favorite lessons of Frozen: that love at first sight is not as easy or happy as it has always appeared to be in the movies. Unlike Anna and Hans romantically sing to each other, love is not necessarily an open door of bliss and carefree living. While love may open doors to new growth, learning, and happiness, we know that love and marriage take work and involves honest communication and commitment from both people. Love is a process, not an event. As Elder Lynn G. Robbins explained in an October 2000 Ensign article “Agency and Love in Marriage,” “Too many believe that love is a condition, a feeling that involves 100 percent of the heart, something that happens to you. They disassociate love from the mind and, therefore, from agency. In commanding us to love, the Lord refers to something much deeper than romance—a love that is the most profound form of loyalty. He is teaching us that love is something more than feelings of the heart; it is also a covenant we keep with soul and mind.” Anna learns this lesson the hard way after her failed “true love’s kiss” with Hans leads her to recognize the love that has been growing between her and Christoff and that he has shown through his selfless actions throughout their journey. Like Anna, we may still run into a few Hans-like people in our lives, but the Lord has promised greater happiness if both partners take time to build and work on their marriage and dating relationships.
Whether you’re seeing Frozen 2 this weekend or not, I hope you now have a few new positive perspectives on this popular film. For more gospel messages from Disney films, check out “Profound Gospel Lessons from The Lion King,” “4 Disney Movies That Teach Powerful Gospel Lessons,” or “10 Life-Changing Gospel Lessons from Winnie the Pooh.”