March 3, 2014 by FHElessons
You’ve heard of Dinner and a Movie? Well, this is FHE in a Movie, and I’m hoping it will become a new series on my blog! The fun part is that you get to watch a movie together as a family. The FHE part is that you will draw a lesson from the movie for your family as you watch.
Today’s lesson comes from the movie Hercules. I’ve thought about this lesson ever since the movie first came out but have never had a chance to give it. If your kids have already seen the movie, you can give the lesson first and then let them think about it as you watch the movie together. If they have never seen Hercules, you can pause the movie at the appropriate times to talk about each point in the lesson as you go.
Opening Song: I Am a Child of God
The story of Hercules is a wonderful analogy of our lives here on Earth. As you watch the movie, here are the main points to bring out and discuss:
1. Hercules is a Child of God: Hercules finds himself in a mortal existence. He prays to God and asks, “Who am I?” God answers, “You are my son!” Just like Hercules, we are all Children of God.
2. Hercules wants to return to live with his Father in Heaven. He asks his Father how he can come back to live with Him again. His Father tells him he can come back as soon as he proves himself a “true hero.”
3. He has to learn how to return to his heavenly home through experience. We have to do the same. Hercules sets about trying to learn how to be a hero. Everything he tries earns him the praises of men. He becomes famous, and everyone loves and appreciates him. But his Father tells him, “I’m afraid being famous isn’t the same as being a true hero.” It is easy to mistake the things that bring us the praises of men as being the important things in the world, but we need to remember to seek to do the things that God wants us to do.
4. Hades represents Satan. During Hercules’ mortal journey, Hades tries to prevent him from joining the fight against the powers of destruction. Hades fights against Zeus just as Satan fights against God.
5. Satan’s deals may be tempting, but they will make us unhappy in the end. Hades offers Hercules a deal: Give up your powers for 1 day, and I will give you the thing you most want. Although Hades’ deal seems like a good one on the outside, it is actually deceptive and hurtful. Hades knows that if Hercules takes his deal, all will be lost for the whole world. And, in the end, Hades can’t even deliver on his promise of keeping Meg from being hurt. Hercules ends up very sorry and sad.
6. Hercules becomes like God when he sacrifices himself for someone else. Christ sacrificed himself for us. Hercules sacrifices himself to save Meg. He loves Meg more than he loves himself. In doing this, he becomes a true hero and is able to return home to live with his Father in Heaven. We don’t have to give up our lives to sacrifice ourselves. We can sacrifice for others in many ways. What are some ways in which we sacrifice our own desires or interests to benefit someone else? How does this help us become like God and return to Him again?
Something Extra: At the outset, Hercules renouncing his Godhood to stay on Earth with Meg seems to kind of ruin the analogy. However, here are a couple of ways you could spin it to work with the lesson:
- Not only does choosing the right get you back to Heavenly Father, it also helps you to have happiness while living on Earth.
- In order to reach the Celestial Kingdom, you need to have a spouse.
Fun treat idea to go with this movie: Pita Bread! For my recipe, click HERE.
Set up a bar with different flavors of hummus for everyone to dip their pitas in, or make sandwiches with your choice of fillings. To make S’mores Pitas, cut a small slit in a whole pita and add chocolate chips, marshmallows, and graham cracker pieces. Toast until insides are melted.