Wonder Woman Mormon Movie Review
Warning: Spoilers Ahead
If you have seen Wonder Woman, then you probably noticed some gospel parallels. I thought it would be fun to look at a few of them here.
If you haven’t seen Wonder Woman, then there will be spoilers in these posts. You have been warned.
If you haven’t seen Wonder Woman, what are you waiting for*? GO! I’ll wait.
*I am not being paid by Warner Bros., DC Comics, or anyone else for this. I just like it when I see the gospel taught in parallel stories. Some day I need to do a series about all the fun gospel principles in Harry Potter too. But not today.
The Women of Themyscira
Themyscira is the name of the protected island where Diana (aka Wonder Woman) lives with her mother and aunts. The name of it comes directly from Greek mythology, where the Amazon tribe of women live. It is secluded and hidden from the hostilities and temptations of the outside world. The Amazons were able to start a new life improving themselves by sequestering themselves to this island away from ancient Greece. With the island blessed by the gods of Olympus, no man was allowed to physically set foot on it.
Diana’s mother is Queen Hippolyta. As any mother is, Hippolyta is fiercely protective of Diana, and even though they are a tribe of women warriors, the queen is hesitant to let Diana learn the art of fighting.
After some persistent begging and pleading, Diana convinces her mother that it is a good idea for her to be trained by the best warrior, her aunt Antiope.
Training a Warrior Princess
Her training is intense. Antiope holds nothing back from Diana, and insists that she rise to the highest level possible. The final test, of course, is if Diana can fight and beat Antiope in a head-to-head match.
Just because she’s being trained in all manner of combat though, Diana still loses nothing of her innate kindness or compassion. Her education is seen to, to the point where when she does eventually leave Themyscira to go to the world of man, her education is second to none. She is fluent in many languages, for one thing.
One of the most notable attributes Diana carries with her to the outside world is a firm understanding of who she is. She was raised the daughter of a queen, trained by the best warrior, taught by the best teachers, and retains a regality about her because of how she was educated.
As she interacts with people in completely foreign (to her) environments, it never once crosses her mind to question her place in that new society, or wonder if she’s doing the “right” things. She was trained by women who knew that she had a great mission to fulfill, and she goes into the world to do just that.
Diana was successful in the world for one reason: she had been trained by good women, and she knew who she was.
Okay, so that was two reasons. But they’re pretty much the same thing. She was trained by good women who taught her who she was. There. Better?
Know Who You Are
Just like Diana, we each have our specific and individual mission to fulfill. Sheri Dew said in the October 1999 General Conference, “We are unique because of our covenants, our spiritual privileges, and the responsibilities attached to both. We are endowed with power and gifted with the Holy Ghost.” (“We Are Women of God.”)
When you know who you are, you can then teach the next generation who they are. It is imperative for us – and them – to have a firm understanding of this principle if they are to succeed in a world that is increasingly growing more wicked. “…having a vision of the importance of this responsibility is essential. We must understand our—and their—divine identity and purpose before we can help our children see who they are and why they are here. We must help them know without question that they are sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father and that He has divine expectations of them.” (Joy D. Jones, ” A Sin-Resistant Generation,” April 2017 General Conference.)
Training Your Warriors (Princess or Otherwise)
The training scenes in Wonder Woman were thrilling to watch on the big screen. For one thing, it was exciting to watch strong and powerful women on screen taking action to defend themselves and others. It’s not often that a major Hollywood film lets women take such a huge, central role in the movie, without a man to drive the plot forward.
There were also many parallels between how they prepared the next generation to be as strong as they were, and what our prophets and apostles encourage us as mothers and women in the gospel.
We Need Strong Women
In October 2015, Elder Russell M. Nelson gave a talk, “A Plea to My Sisters.” In it, he outlines (sometimes quoting Elder Packer) several attributes the church leaders would like to see women of God develop in our lives. Please do refer to the whole talk because it is beautiful. But here are some points from it I’ve put in outline form.
The world and the church needs women:
- Who are organized and women who can organize.
- With executive ability who can plan and direct and administer.
- Who can teach, women who can speak out.
- With the gift of discernment who can view the trends in the world and detect those that, however popular, are shallow or dangerous.
- Who know how to make important things happen by their faith and who are courageous defenders of morality and families in a sin-sick world.
- Who are devoted to shepherding God’s children along the covenant path toward exaltation.
- Who know how to receive personal revelation.
- Who understand the power and peace of the temple endowment.
- Who know how to call upon the powers of heaven to protect and strengthen children and families.
- Who teach fearlessly.
- Who speak up and speak out in ward and stake councils.
- Married sisters who speak as “a contributing and full partner” as you unite with your husband in governing your family.
- Who have a bedrock understanding of the doctrine of Christ and who will use that understanding to teach and help raise a sin-resistant generation.
- Who can detect deception in all of its forms.
- Who know how to access the power that God makes available to covenant keepers and who express their beliefs with confidence and charity.
- Who have the courage and vision of our Mother Eve.
The Undefeated Army
In Alma is the story of a famous undefeated army: the stripling warriors of Helaman. We know that their secret weapon was faith, and we know that they learned about that faith at their mothers’ knees (see Alma 56:48). It wasn’t their fierce fathers who taught them to be unafraid in battle; they learned everything they needed to know about God and faith in Jesus Christ from their mothers.
When they say, “We do not doubt that our mothers knew it,” can’t you just imagine a woman of God teaching her children about faith in Jesus Christ? And where full faith is, there is no room for fear. These young warriors were children at the time their parents were converted and decided to lay down their own weapons of war. They probably watched their parents struggle with the inner conflict of giving up the only kind of life they had known – of fighting and warring continuously – versus reconciling those feelings with the new ones of peace from the gospel.
I can easily picture a scene where a father is persuaded to change his life around because his wife had felt the stirrings of a testimony and knew that a change was needed. A young child would have watched his mother convince his fierce warrior father to give up the only life he knew and completely submit himself to the will of God.
Imagine how that child is affected as he watches that scene unfold. Then fast forward 15 years to that same son on a battlefield. He knows and understands faith because his mother was a woman of God who taught fearlessly, worked with her husband to be ‘a contributing and full partner” as she united with her husband in governing her family. (Remember Elder Nelson’s list?) These mothers were women who knew how to call upon the powers of heaven to protect and strengthen children and families.
They were women who knew how to call upon the powers of heaven to protect and strengthen children and families. No wonder, then, their sons were fearless in battle!
In a World Where….
Can you imagine a world where women raise their children as Antiope and Hippolyta taught and trained Diana? There would be more than just one wonder woman (or wonder man!) on this earth with a certain understanding of her mission and capacity; there would be thousands!
Each one of those well-trained souls would be enough to make the foundations of hell tremble and shake (see Alma 48:17); an army of them would be enough to bring Satan to his knees and start the millenial age.
“Sisters, the time has come to unleash the power of righteous happiness that exists among women of God. The time has come for us to be anxiously engaged in the work of saving souls. The time has come for us each to stand tall and to stand together. Imagine what will happen when we mobilize the sisters of Relief Society to stand together to help build the kingdom. We will see the awakening and arising of a sleeping, slouching giant.” (Sheri Dew, “Stand Tall and Stand Together,” October 2000 General Conference.)
Let us stand tall, and stand together, as we awaken the sleeping, slouching giant that is an island of women who know that we are daughters of God.