Don’t let “Hakuna Matata” be your motto.

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It’s been said, if you laugh at the Joker, he wins.

Likewise, if you practice “Hakuna Matata,” you lose, and the film fails.

I am of course talking about The Lion King, which I think is even more Mormon than Star Wars. (Up there with Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but that’s another post.)

Sometime I do want to do a full essay on The Lion King, but this isn’t that post either. This is just a reminder of Mufasa’s warning to his son: remember who you are.

It’s practically a cliche now. But the answer to “Who am I?” continues to be asked daily by so many in both the world and even the church. And the answer is anything but cliche.

Former Seventy Vaughn J. Featherstone shared the following story:

Many years ago I heard the story of the son of King Louis XVI of France. King Louis had been taken from his throne and imprisoned. His young son, the prince, was taken by those who dethroned the king. They thought that inasmuch as the king’s son was heir to the throne, if they could destroy him morally, he would never realize the great and grand destiny that life had bestowed upon him. They took him to a community far away, and there they exposed the lad to every filthy and vile thing that life could offer. For over six months he had this treatment—but not once did the young lad buckle under pressure. Finally, after intensive temptation, they questioned him. Why had he not submitted himself to these things—why had he not partaken? These things would provide pleasure, satisfy his lusts, and were desirable; they were all his. The boy said, “I cannot do what you ask, for I was born to be a king.”

That’s who you are. Born to be a king or queen. Simba forgot that because instead he lived the life of “Hakuna Matata.” Though it’s flashy and funny and happy in the film—leading so many who watch it to think it’s the principle message of The Lion King—it is also the only obstacle holding back a prince from becoming a king. It is the opposite of the point of the movie! For because Simba was lost in his tropical decadence, the entire kingdom was nearly laid to waste. As John Bytheway pointed out, all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to be doing something else.

Epicureanism might be Timon and Pumbaa’s motto. Don’t let it be yours.

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