New book compares classic and modern movies to LDS beliefs

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Jonathan Decker's new book 250 Great Movies for Ladder-day Families can be found in stores now. (Photo by Sarah Hill.)
Jonathan Decker’s new book 250 Great Movies for Latter-day Families can be found in stores now. (Photo by Sarah Hill.)

In today’s world, movies that are both good and clean are almost impossible to find.  Jonathan Decker, a licensed marriage and family therapist and writer for Meridan Magazine, has created a solution to finding films that are not only entertaining but that also have messages that align with the values of the LDS Church.

His book, “250 Great Movies for Latter-day Families,” outlines movies from the silent era to today.  With titles from “Singin’ in the Rain” to “The Avengers,” there are movies to satisfy every preference.

“I thought that members of the Church could use a handy guide to movies that meet, or at least approximate, LDS standards,” Decker said.  “I also wanted to encourage more active film-viewing by providing gospel discussion guides that tie the movies’ themes back to the scriptures and teachings of Church leaders.”

Hyuna Yoon, a pre-graphic design major from Korea, agreed with Decker’s ideas.

“If we watch good movies, you can take more and share your thoughts and inspiration,” Yoon said. “Bad movies just make you want to leave.”

“250 Great Movies for Latter-day Familes” is the newest release for Cedar Fort Publishing and Media. Cedar Fort took on this project because it contains qualities that are a part of the company mission.

“Part of our company mission is to publish ‘life-enhancing and inspiring’ products,” Catherine Christensen, acquisitions editor for Cedar Fort, said. “This book fits that requirement perfectly by helping us enrich our lives with wholesome media.”

Each movie review comes with a brief synopsis, an overview of the suggestive content and a list of messages that can be discussed afterward. A list of scriptures relating to those messages is also included.

“I dug deep for the good stuff, from Charlie Chaplin to Audrey Hepburn all they way up to ‘The Avengers’ to find movies that meet high standards for artistry, entertainment value and morality,” Decker said.

Decker believes this movie guide could be used “for dates, family home evenings and get-togethers.”

“I’d love for this book to help people find amazing films that they may not have heard of, as well as to see beloved movies in a new light,” Decker said.

Students are rallying around the idea. Kylie Treadwell, an exercise science major from Fort Worth, Texas, thinks this book would be a great alternative to the stereotypically “clean” movies.

“Most turn to Disney movies because they know that they are clean,” Treadwell said. “It would be nice to have a list of more adult choices.”

Yoon agreed that Decker’s book is something he and his friends can take advantage of when it comes to movie selection.

“My friends would definitely buy it,” Yoon said.

“250 Great Movies for Latter-day Families is available now at Deseret Book, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Visit mormonmovieguy.com for more information.

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