If you haven’t heard by now, Jake has decided that The Geeky Mormon needs to go in a new direction, and as me contributing articles does not fit with his vision for the site, I will no longer be writing. For the time being, plan on me still writing, but exclusively for my personal blog, The Jedi in Jeans. It was a pleasure writing for The Geeky Mormon and sharing all of my geeky thoughts with you. Before I go, here are a few things I want to share with you that I have learned from both my interests in sci-fi and fantasy, and from my faith as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in other words, from being a Geeky Mormon. I won’t elaborate on some of the themes too much. A picture’s worth a thousand words, so I will include pictures/quotes from our favorite stories as well as appropriate scripture references. I may very well have addressed some of these themes in my other posts. Other than that, I will leave the interpretation to you.
Evil is real, and it is subtle
The most powerful enemies are the ones you never see coming. They claim they’re not hurting you, or they make it look like someone else is out to get you. The best media villains (and by that I mean the ones that I think are the most evil) are the ones that plot, manipulate, and abuse individual will for their own agenda.
2. People are Complicated
Good and evil are real, but there are very few people that align with either extreme one hundred percent. People you think of highly will do things that are wrong” or “problematic” or “improper” or even just “different. People that you don’t like at all will occasionally do “good” things.” So don’t pass out labels. If you don’t really know the person, then you don’t really have the right to say what kind of a person they are. It is good to believe the best in others, but thinking too highly of someone can have drawbacks. The people that you think your friends are might not turn out to be who they really are, so keep an open mind about people.
3. Appearances are Deceiving
This is a theme as old as humanity. Beauty does not always mean good, and ugliness does not always signify evil. The smallest and simplest creatures can possess the greatest strength. The most insignificant deeds can lead to powerful changes. The smallest mistakes can lead to catastrophe. Deception can be a powerful weapon as well as a weakness.
4. It is in our power to CHOOSE who we become
Everything we choose can change what we become. One of the most important things we choose is our attitude towards circumstances beyond our control.
It doesn’t matter how far we’ve gone or how much wrong we’ve done, or what anyone else has done to us, we always have the power to say no to evil and yes to good, say no to our fears and say yes to doing what is right. You don’t have to be ruled by the darkness inside of you–by your fear or your insecurity, or by your anger or your pain. On the flip side, one concession to that which is wrong can lead you to more bad choices, and that will lead down the path you don’t intend to follow.
Remember that choices come with consequences.
5. Love is the greatest power
Love is not just romance but also friendship, familial affection, and just everyday human decency. Love doesn’t always do the biggest things or appear in the most visible ways.
It is so powerful and yet so difficult to master, and there are so many small things that go along with it
We in the LDS Church believe that the greatest kind of love is charity, or the Pure Love of Christ. I think of it as selfless love—the love that gives without self-interest.
It includes kindness to people you don’t even know.
It includes forgiveness to people who have wronged you the most.
It includes keeping your promises, and your commitments, even when you don’t benefit personally from doing so.
Love is letting the person most important to you be imperfect, let them do things on their own time.
Love is believing that there is good in others even when all evidence points contrary.
Love is evil for what it is, but still loving people who do bad things.
6. Family is both who you are related to, and who you choose to belong to
Family is more than superficial, it is standing by someone else when you need them the most. It is also being there for them in the good times. Family is the people you choose to make time for. Family is the people you give the benefit of a doubt even when you think they’re wrong. You need those relationships in your life no matter where you go.
7. Happily Ever After is something you work for Every Day
It’s not just for you, it’s for the people you care about. It’s working for the greater good.
Happily Ever After doesn’t have to wait for your happy ending, it can start today when you choose the right. Happily Ever after isn’t just the big moments once in a while, but the little things every day.
8. Be United
The easiest way for the enemy to destroy you is to make you think that what you want is more important than what the other person on your team wants. Sometimes those wants are just that: wants. Sometimes those wants are our own doubts and fears.
It is great to obtain our desires, but greater still to help other people to reach the same goal. Find a way where everyone can win. If you have to suffer a few discomforts in the short term, let it go. Take care of yourself but don’t be so shortsighted that you neglect someone else—particularly someone else you care about.
9. True Nobility Comes from Within
At the end of the day, pretty dresses, royal titles, and crowns are just empty symbols without people who are worthy to wear them. If you want to be a real leader, then use your influence to do good.
10. Accept that Darkness Exists, but Live in the Light
Don’t focus on the evil more than necessary to deal with it. Choose to fill your life, your heart and your mind, with goodness. Choose to see the positive and good things in the world. And then fill the world with that light.
May the Force be with you.