Sunday, January 16

Even as Frogs

A few years ago Disney produced a film called "The Princess and the Frog" - an adaptation of the fairy tale The Frog Prince. The film wasn't a smashing success; I don't even remember hearing much about it when it first came out in theaters. But recently I watched it with my ever-present lens of how it applies to my life, and that movie will never be the same.

In most Disney films the romance is strikingly one-sided. Beautiful princess falls for thief, servant, beast, etc... Or handsome prince falls for servant, sleeping stranger... In every case, the condescension is one-sided and complete as the perfect mate stoops to let another partake of his or her glory and join together in "happily ever after."

But in this movie it's not that way. 

There is a prince, but he's a lazy useless spendthrift, not a handsome knight who has worked to someday become a ruler of his kingdom. And the princess lacks the ability to see the importance of people in her life above her beloved dream for a restaurant.

Both protagonists have major flaws, which better describes the predicament I face. I have major flaws in my life (not being attracted to any girls yet is a major one, attraction to guys another)... and so do the people I date. I've never found a girl I could fall in love with... and I've often wondered if I was supposed to "settle" for something, or someone less. I realize now that the answer is a resounding NO! True love is something beyond physical appearance or even attraction. True love stays when everything else has disappeared...

In the movie, both protagonists are frogs. One is a workaholic while the other is a bum, and both want fulfillment of their own desires, no matter what it takes. They travel together to ask Mama Odi to help them achieve their dreams... but, instead, she helps them look inside their souls. And as they do, they realize what they need... and ultimately give up their wants to fulfill their needs. They decide that life together is worth it, even as frogs... and while the rest of their lives take huge amounts of work, their patience and perseverance pays off in the end.

Facing my own trials, Mama Odi's advice and the theme of the film hits home. Part of me wants a drop-dead-gorgeous guy at my side who understands me, loves me, and can be my soulmate, and vice versa. But there is a difference between what I want and what I need. The Spirit of God teaches that eternal happiness comes through Jesus Christ and the saving grace that only He can offer. And so while I want one thing, what I really need is the faith and strength to live my life according to His will, no matter what the sacrifice.

Someday I know I'll find my own frog princess. Not someone who is perfect and takes pity on me as lowly pond scum, but a woman who can fall in love with me in spite of my faults... and who I will fall in love with in spite of hers as well. The falling in love on my part will need a miracle, since it has never happened. But miracles happen every day... And it will happen for me. With God's strength we'll make the commitment to work to make it turn out right. Yes, life will be impossibly hard... and there will be pain and sorrow. But God stands at my side today, and He will stand with each of us as we keep His commandments. His love for all His creations is eternal, even for imperfect beings with weaknesses and liabilities... whether literal or metaphoric frogs.


  1. I enjoy your metaphor (much more than I enjoyed the movie, actually) but I believe there is something that can be added to it. I am happily married for nearly 3 years, and one thing I've learned is that I love my wife not just in spite of her faults, but even because of her faults. The things she lacks tend to be the things I don't, and vice-versa. Our relationship can be deepened because we complement each other like that. So I love her for the things she lacks as much as what she has.

  2. Mormon Guy, I hope I meet you in person one of these days. If you're as honest and upfront in person regarding your faith and wonderful heart as you are on the blog, I can definitely see myself falling in love with you. You are a good man. Don't ever doubt it! I know that you'll find your frog princess someday. I have no doubts of your wonderful future, and I enjoy seeing your life chronicled on this blog through the good and the bad. Thank you for being YOU. That's all God asks for and all He needs: your best self. And I am sure He's proud of your progress. Indeed, you have made progress. I hope you see it.

    Thanks so much for sharing your marvelous testimony and your gift for writing. My dream is so affect this world for good a tenth as much as you have. You are a remarkable inspiration. Like I said, I sincerely hope to meet you someday.

  3. What we want and what we need are often times two different things. Infact, not realizing those differences can cause huge problems in our lives... debt, adultary, addictions are all cases of us putting the natural man before our spiritual/emotional/personal NEEDS.

  4. Mychal:

    I remember hearing about that and learning about it in marriage prep classes. And I guess looking back at the mission - the closest thing to having someone at your side every day - that was true. It was nice to have a companion who loved doing things I didn't, and to be able to contribute how I could. Most of my companions were so incredibly different from me, though... I wonder if it's a shadow of things to come. Maybe I'll have kids that mirror their personalities. That would be an adventure...


    Your comment made me laugh. I am honest with my faith in real life, but most of the time it actually makes people uncomfortable - not adoring. People shy away from me because every single conversation comes back to the gospel and they're not used to seeing all of life through that lens. They'd rather play Black Ops and not think about how the game environment is intrinsically affecting their subconscious goals and methods of solving problems than actively try to find something that better matches what they should be doing. I've even had people make posters that said (with my real name) "What would Mormon Guy do?" I wish that being honest and upfront with my faith would find me more friends in the Church and the world, but it seems to divide the people into people looking up and people looking down. If you could see me as the person I am - not a spectacular guy on a pedestal, or an arrogant snob who thinks he's perfect... but just someone who is trying to do what is right, then we could be friends... that is, if we ever meet. Eventually we will; it may just take longer than this life. And in the meantime the Internet does some pretty cool things, like making blogging possible. Crazy. Thanks for your comment.


    Agreed. Our needs and wants are often not exactly in line. Hence the nature of prayer - alignin our will with God's. Hopefully someday my wants will perfectly mirror my needs, and the Lord will be able to trust me as He did Nephi, son of Helaman... knowing that he would never ask for anything that would not be the will of God.

  5. Your comment about wanting a "drop-dead-gorgeous guy at my side who understands me, loves me, and can be my soulmate" drew a sardonic sigh and eye roll. Looks again.
    I have a dear friend, whom my soul is deeply attracted to. Oh, how different we are. Reportedly he is good looking, handsome, hot. I wouldn't say I have noticed. When I think of him my mind reflects the peace, comfort, and joy I feel when we are together.
    My thoughts also turn to the words of President Thomas S. Monson. During the most recent General Relief Society meeting he said, "I ask: if attitudes, deeds, and spiritual inclinations were reflected in physical features, would the countenance of the woman who complained be as lovely as that of the woman she criticized?"
    I like people because of how I feel when I am with them. May God grant you and me our miracles.

  6. StrongEnough:

    I agree wholeheartedly. And I like the quote you shared from President Monson. Some of my best friends have been people who the world has ignored... but whose hearts are in tune with God. I've found that, for all the hype about looks in the world (and sometimes in my subconscious), great relationships have nothing to do with them. People can be handsome and sarcastic, or humble and sincere... and I'd rather spend an hour with someone kind and compassionate than anyone else.

  7. I love your blog! Kudos to you for your honesty and personal insight. I am a "frog princess" to someone who is much like yourself. Before marrying me last year, my amazing 41 year old husband had only been with men. I knew it long before we married and I knew it would be a lifelong challenge for us to deal with. He is a man who loves the Lord and lives a committed like to the gospel and his temple covenants. Our marriage has not been easy, I won't lie. I'm very insecure knowing about his past, and sometimes I find myself questioning my choice to marry him. But we are working through it all together. I love him for who he is and the experiences that he has had. It's all made him who he now is now. I know that your "frog princess" is out there too. I'm so glad that our experiences don't dictate who we are!! Thanks for all of your inspiring blog posts!!


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