And no, this is not a sponsored post or anything of the sort. I just really have to tell you about how much I love Living Scriptures!
I bet you expect me to tell you something sappy and spiritual about how their animated films have filled my household with the Spirit and given my children an unshakable testimony of the Gospel and left them begging for me to keep watching, right?
Well, if that is the case, I am sorry and a little disappointed to admit that it was actually like pulling teeth to get my kids to watch any of the animated stories from The Book of Mormon or The New Testament. I guess old school animation about churchy stuff is not as exciting as The Emoji Movie, much to my disappointment. 🤷🏻♀️ I was hoping that they would love it as I did when I was a child. But actually, now that I think about it, I don’t think I was all that excited at first, either.
Even though I didn’t grow up Mormon, the Animated Stories from the New Testament (Now known as Living Scriptures) was marketed as “Bible stories” to Christian households, and so my dad bought them for us. At first, it didn’t seem all that exciting to me as a kid, but the more I watched, the more the message grabbed hold of my heart. The Miracles of Jesus was one that I always remembered. It was my favorite. I believe it was instrumental in my testimony and understanding of the Savior, and to this day, I still get choked up when I watch it. The film might be animated and meant for children, but the message is Truth, loud and clear, and meant for all. Even my 20-month-old understood what was going on when Jesus raised the girl from the dead. When she opened her eyes, my daughter sighed with relief and lifted her little arms and said,”Yay!”
The Good Samaritan was another one of my favorites. I think it really creates a story that speaks to the hearts of children. I know that my kids can feel the Spirit when they watch it. My four-year-old always sucks her thumb and gets close to me and says, “Mom, I love you!”
I admit, I really enjoy the stories, too. Journey to The Promised Land is another favorite. I sing right along with it: “Step by step I’ll climb the highest mountain, step by step I’ll cross the raging sea! There is nothing I can’t do, doin’ it with two, Dear Lord, stay step by step ahead of me!”
The best part is when Nephi and everyone are working hard shaving down logs and building the ship while Laman and Lemuel are sitting there getting back massages from their wives and slacking off. They really are comedic gold sometimes, too.
And speaking of comedic gold, the folks at Living Scriptures are marketing geniuses. In addition to making their films available as a streaming service like Hulu or Netflix, they have also catered very well to their demographic. We know whose money they want.
Yep, its Older Millennials. Like me.
You know, the LDS parents of young children, who want our children to grow up in the Gospel but also want nostalgia and entertainment. And my friends, Living Scriptures has indeed brought those things. All of the classic LDS comedies- The Singles’ Ward, The RM, and Sons of Provo– they are available, too! And you can bet I have been watching those after my kids are in bed. Even though those movies were probably only considered moderately funny at their time and are also specific to that particular point in time (what is now, like, 15 years ago) I was not around Mormon culture back then, so it is all fairly new to me. And, I personally feel that the writers were hilarious and way ahead of their time. They poked fun at pop culture, Mormon culture, and Utah culture. They made jokes and references that really only a handful of people get. Yet, if you are a 30-something Mormon who has ever lived in Utah or experienced the YSA culture, you will find yourself laughing.
(And on that note, I know Will Swenson is a big deal Broadway actor now and even made an appearance in The Greatest Showman, I think his excellent acting skills and comedic timing really shone through in these old films!)
If you have been on the fence about whether or not to get a subscription, I would say, go for it! It’s only $7.99 a month, and the first month is a free trial!
I am sure my parents didn’t think they were giving me something that would create an impression for the rest of my life when they first got me those films on VHS tape back in the early 90s, but now here I am streaming those films on my phone and watching them with my own kids! I think that is actually kind of special, don’t you think?