3 Gospel Lessons on Eternal Love and Family As Taught by Disney

True Love Withstands Time

Who can forget the touching opening to another Disney Pixar masterpiece, Up. The story of Carl and Ellie, told so simply yet so poignantly, can’t help but resonate with viewers.

Their story is one of commitment, of finding strength with each other in good times and bad. It’s a marriage of loss and hardship, joys and memories, and striving to create a family despite heartbreaking setbacks.

But more than that, theirs is a story of true love—and I don’t mean true love in the fairytale sense. I mean true, real love. The kind of love that takes two people full of flaws and quirks and somehow miraculously fits them together to form a functioning whole. The kind of love that exposes weaknesses and imperfections only to help us grow stronger and work towards perfection—together.

But sadly, as the movie continues, we discover that this love can’t last. Or do we? Long after we’ve  come to the heartbreaking realization that Carl is left old and alone in the world, the mood of the movie begins to change.

Through his adventures, Carl comes to find that his and Ellie’s love hasn’t really died. Her memory and her spirit are still with him. Even after death, her influence is inspiring him to reach out and look up—to make experiences, help others, and reach heavenward. I can think of no love truer than that.

In short, Up portrays a marriage in complete contrast with the world’s definition of marriage today—one that supports prophetic views about the importance and longevity of marriage.

Take this counsel from our beloved Elder L. Tom Perry:

“The entire theology of our restored gospel centers on families and on the new and everlasting covenant of marriage . . . We believe that marriage and family ties can continue beyond the grave—that marriages performed by those who have the proper authority in His temples will continue to be valid in the world to come. Our marriage ceremonies eliminate the words ‘till death do us part’ and instead say, ‘for time and for all eternity.’
"We also believe that strong traditional families are not only the basic units of a stable society, a stable economy, and a stable culture of values—but that they are also the basic units of eternity and of the kingdom and government of God” ("Why Marriage and Family Matter—Everywhere in the World,” April 2015 general conference).
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