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The Heart of Te Fiti
Te Ka ~ Te Fiti
Moana – A Parable of Christ – Part 1
Moana – A Parable of Christ – Part 2
Moana – A Parable of Christ – Part 3
Moana – A Parable of Christ – Part 4
Moana – A Parable of Christ – Part 5
Moana – A Parable of Christ – Part 6
WARNING: If you have not seen the movie yet, the remainder of this post is full of spoilers. I had to assume that readers had already seen the movie in order to write it.
THE HEART OF TE FITI
The central focus of Moana is the Heart of Te Fiti. In my opinion, the Heart of Te Fiti represents Jesus Christ; all that he is, all that he taught, and He himself. When understood in this way, the Heart of Te Fiti the missing puzzle piece which not only completes the whole, but defines it.
Jesus Christ is the Heart of Te Fiti because the power behind the Creation of Earth is vested in him (Abraham 3:24, D&C 88:3-13)
Jesus Christ is the Heart of Te Fiti because he is the key element of the Plan of Salvation. In a grand council in the premortal world, our Heavenly Father presented a plan for the further development and advancement of all of his spirit children. Jesus was chosen by the Father to play the central role in that plan. Of all the children, it was Jesus who was the most willing and the most full of love for the rest of us that he was willing to be the Savior and Redeemer of us all (Abraham 3:27). The sacrifice required to be the Redeemer is why Jesus bears the title of The Lamb Slain From the Foundation of the World, as used in Revelations 13:8.
Jesus Christ is the Heart of Te Fit because he succeeded in fulfilling his mission; bringing life and light to all mankind who desire it. If he had failed, the rest of us children would have faced only eternal darkness and death (2 Nephi 9:6-13). But he did not fail. When he arose on Resurrection Morning, our Savior had defeated all the powers of death and hell. The only thing that can bring darkness now is the lack of Christ or the lack of truth about Christ, as is well illustrated in the darkness that spreads from island to island when the Heart of Te Fiti is missing. As we keep the Light of Christ constant in our lives, darkness will lose its place. The shadows will flee and eventually have no place in us at all (Matthew 11:29-30)
Jesus Christ is the Heart of Te Fiti because, if treasured, “the teachings of the diligent Jesus Christ” bring lasting growth – improvement and progression – into our lives. For he taught “I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10) If we choose to be teachable and to exercise our faith, we can obtain that abundant life which He promised.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf asked, Does the Spirit of God dwell in your hearts? Are you ‘rooted and grounded’ in the love of God and of your fellow men? Do you devote sufficient time and creativity to bringing happiness to your marriage and family? Do you give your energies to the sublime goal of comprehending and living ‘the breadth, and length, and depth, and height’ of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ?…Those who do not wish to learn and change probably will not and most likely will begin to wonder whether [Jesus Christ] has anything to offer them. But those who want to improve and progress, those who learn of the Savior and desire to be like Him, those who humble themselves as a little child and seek to bring their thoughts and actions into harmony with our Father in Heaven – they will experience the miracle of the Savior’s Atonement. They will surely feel God’s resplendent Spirit. They will taste the indescribable joy that is the fruit of a meek and humble heart. They will be blessed with the desire and disciple to become true disciples of Jesus Christ.”
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Luke 12:34).
Jesus Christ is the Heart of Te Fiti because it is the treasured stone. The Rock of our Redeemer beautifully fits into the analogy of the Necklace of Covenants Made, Treasured and Kept. We can choose to wear it and live by it, or not. What one enshrines or hides away within the locket of their heart is their true treasure (Proverbs 23:7, Matthew 6:24). Symbolically speaking, I also believe that not everyone wearing the Necklace actually has the same stone housed within. What’s in your locket? We keep the Heart of Te Fiti in our lockets by guarding it, always choosing to keep it there. So be sure of your stone (Helaman 5:12, D&C 88:7, 3 Nephi 18:24).
Jesus Christ is the Heart of Te Fiti because it is available to everyone. Heavenly Father withholds the saving grace and power of His Beloved Son from no one (2 Nephi 26:28). It is God’s Will to save as many as desire it, for he will “force no man to heaven” (Moses 5:9, D&C 29:2). We can choose to accept Christ or not. We choose if that acceptance is partial or full (Rev 3:15-19). We can choose whether His heart sits on a shelf gathering dust or becomes an active, illuminating, constant part of our lives. God offers his children the patterns apparent in the Son’s power of godliness to have for our own, to become ours forever, if we choose to accept this mission. He is already committed to us. He has already chosen us. Forever and for our good. Are we committed to Him? Have we chosen Him? Forever and for His glory?
Jesus Christ is the Heart of TeFiti because those who hate truth hate those who carry the Heart. This is why Maui called the Heart of Te Fiti “the homing beacon of death”. It is true that many people have been persecuted, oppressed, reviled, attacked, robbed, driven, tortured, and killed because they have been carriers of Christ. (That is what the Greek name Christopher means, “Christ carrier”). That is why true disciples have to eventually come to the determination that come what may, they will not forsake the Savior. They have to make the deliberate choice to stay with him and continue to try and become like him, no matter what anybody else says or does.
It was [the knowledge that their course in life conformed to the will of God] that enabled the ancient saints to endure all their afflictions and persecutions, and to take… not only the spoiling of their goods, and the wasting of their substance, joyfully, but also to suffer death in its most horrid forms; knowing (not merely believing) that when this earthly house of their tabernacle was dissolved, they had a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (2 Corinthians 5:1)… In offering whatever sacrifice God may require of us, we obtain the witness of the Spirit that our course is right and pleasing to God (Lectures on Faith,  67, 69-71). With that knowledge, our faith becomes unbounded, having the assurance that God will in due time turn every affliction to our gain. some of you have been sustained by that faith as you have endured those who point fingers of scorn… and cry, Shame! (1 Nephi 8:26-27), and you who have stood firm with Peter and the Apostles of old, ‘rejoicing that [you] were counted worthy to suffer shame for [Christ’s] name. (Acts 5:41)“ – Elder D. Todd Christofferson, The Power of Covenants, April 2009
As Elder Russell M. Nelson recently testified, when we honestly try to follow the Lord, we will obtain help. We will receive personal witnesses of instruction and comfort and joy. We will know, by the approbation of God, which can be felt by the Spirit, that we are worthy and indeed capable enough to complete our mission here on earth while navigating the return voyage of emulation successfully. Jesus Christ helps us become our best selves. Only the Heart of God does that.
TE FITI ~ TE KA
This symbol is so deep. It is many layered, like an onion. I think these layers are why the film survived the creative and commercial process of its release. Moana is the exquisite Gospel pearl that it is because, from it’s inception, a deliberate effort was made to honor the culture and accentuate the righteous traditions of my people. THOSE ROOTS ARE GOOD (Jacob 5:36,59).
At first take, and in the simplest of terms. Te Fiti ~ Te Ka represents an individual who has been subjected to the offense of unrighteous dominion. I am a domestic abuse survivor. So the symbolism of what happens when the heart is robbed away from a once peaceful and beautiful woman, an honored woman, was just breathtaking. This is especially true when Moana looks across the great gulf to see the spiral scar there in TeKa and still glowing. I remembered how badly Maui had just attacked her, chopped at her: this same Maui who had inflicted the original damage in the first place in order to please himself. To realize that TeKa has been misunderstood and wrongfully attacked for acting in her own self-defense… to realize that no one really saw her for her … to see how she was wrongfully judged and misunderstood, with stories told about her which were untrue… with labels and ugly names of dishonor attached, such as demon… oh man, I have totally lived that. This scene just made me bawl.
Related to this first symbol is a second one: Te Fiti ~ Te Ka represents the grieving, bereaved parent. Think furious Mother Bear. Think of Disney’s Dumbo, the Baby Mine whose mother had only limited access to and control over her own child’s destiny. It was false accusation and cruel external forces which caused her to endure bondage and enforced separation from her offspring. I thought here of my own struggles; of losing the supervised visitation that I had won because of the testimony of 10 brethren in our church – all friends of my ex – who denied that my kids were in any danger. I thought of all the countless visitations that came afterward, but especially of the first. How my 18-month old baby boy – still a night-nurser – screamed, terrified, in his car seat. He pounded hysterically on the windows with tears and snot pouring down his face. My ex-husband callously continued to back out of my parents’ driveway, ignoring his cries and the miserable wailing of his 4-year-old sister. If it had not been a greater sin, with greater negative consequences, I would have given anything at that moment to have killed that man dead. Now look at how Te Ka reacts when she sees Moana holding up the Heart of Te Fiti (3 Nephi 18:24). She zeros right in, as any mother would (Isaiah 49:14-16). That stone is hers and she wants it back! She wants to be at-one again. She wants to be reunited with what she has lost, which is not only hers but a part of her own being. I would have done the same thing as Te Ka if somebody had held up my children, freed from my ex and the Courts and offered to return them back to me, for good.
With these two prior meanings in mind, I now suggest a deeper meaning: that Te Fiti ~ Te Ka is a symbol for God, or Elohim, our Heavenly Parents. All that our Heavenly Parents have desired for their children here on earth has been our good, but what has been done by their children? Their Son was taken away from all doctrine connected back to Them. Scriptures were translated incorrectly and self-appointed committees of religionists decided doctrine, altering words or erasing passages at will. Their son’s life, lovingly given to mankind to be an Exemplar, Redeemer and Mediator, did not have to leave its throne – their Heart – his place of safety and honor. When Christ condescended to come here, He was not equally honored. Instead, he was rejected and killed. His memory and teachings endured the further indignation of being misused and misrepresented “posthumously” (or so mankind thought). Then, the Christ and the full light of his Gospel were taken away; lost for a time to man. Only the Will of God was left to intervene and act in the affairs of men, as It chose.
Human agency was purchased with the price of Christ’s suffering. This means that to those who blame God for allowing human suffering, Latter-day Saints can respond that suffering is less important than the gift of agency, upon which everything else depends, and that none of us has paid a greater price for this gift than Christ. – Professor C. Terry Warner, quoted by Elder D. Todd Christofferson, 22 Apr 2010, BYU.
But mankind, misunderstanding their Creator and his Will for them, feared and hid themselves from him. Like Moana’s father, most shunned approaching God or immersing their lives in him. They shut themselves away, usually only approaching his borders to feed or serve themselves. Actions were done in the name of God by mankind which would never have been the will of God. Time after time, blame has been laid upon God when the agency which He paid such a high price to give us is misused. We scream for him to take that agency away again; scream at him when it is negatively exercised by others; scream at him when he continues to respect that agency and honor the Price that has already been paid for it.
To make matters worse, false priests and teachers like Maui came next. They claimed to know the will and mind of God. They, by their cruelty, usurpation of power and misuse of truth, often caused greater damage and misunderstanding than before. In reaction, many people decided God did not exist at all, claiming that truths were myths and true hearts foolish or just meaningless. Then, as now, there were few truly humble and sincere followers of God. Few who knew, by their own experience, that “God is not dead, nor doth he sleep”. Using erroneous beliefs about Deity as the starting place to learn more of him is where even the best logic goes off track. For example, I used to think, as many do, that Jehovah, the “fiery” God of the Old Testament was nothing like the Jesus, the gentle yet dignified God of the New Testament and the Book of Mormon when in actuality, that God is one and the same. The fault in perception was not God’s. It was mine.
It is we who see through a glass darkly, peering with lava-blinded eyes and supposing that we see a vengeful, unforgiving God. It is we who think we see a Deity who seethes with hatred and condemnation, who is only intent on our destruction. It is we who cry that he is a senseless God who allows seeming injustices to happen and who demands too much, all of which makes no sense anyway. So we don’t even try. Too many choose not to honor him or his laws. It is we who write creeds, attempting to command and define God, when He never told us in holy writ that he ever was without parts or passions. He told us we were created in his image; nevertheless, we men deny that godliness and so never learn to exercise our own latent power. It is we who refuse to believe that our Creator could have any feelings even akin to ours and then turn around to judge him according to our own! Therefore justified, we condemn his actions while not really even knowing him or his heart.
Sometimes the world seems against you.
The journey may leave a scar
But scars can heal and reveal just Whose you are
Here is what God’s heart really looks like. It is tender. For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men
Lamentations 3:33 (20-33.) As Elder Dallin H. Oaks explained, “For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, … shewing mercy unto … them that love me, and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:5-6). The meaning of jealous is revealing. Its Hebrew origin means “possessing sensitive and deep feelings”… Thus we offend God when we “serve” other gods—when we have other first priorities.”
Elder Jeffrey R Holland taught, “Many years ago, Elder Marvin J Ballard (1873-1939) taught that God ‘is a jealous God – jealous lest we should [ever] ignore and forget and consider as unimportant His greatest gift unto us’ – the life of His Firstborn Son … As the prophet Isaiah wrote, the Lord has ‘graven the upon the palms of [His] hands (Isaiah 49:16), permanently written right there in scar tissue with Roman nails as the writing instrument. Having paid that price in the suffering that They have paid for you, the Father and the Son will never forget nor forsake you in your suffering (Isaiah 49:14-16, 1 Nephi 21:14-16). They have planned, prepared and guaranteed your victory if you desire it, so be believing and ‘endure it well’ (D&C 121:8). In the end it ‘shall be for thy good’ (D&C 122:7), and you will see ‘everlasting dominion’ flow unto you forever and ever ‘without compulsory means’ (D&C 121:46)” See also Moroni 8:23, Jacob 6:10, 2 Nephi 28:5, Mormon 8:28, Jacob 6:8, Mormon 9:26 and Moroni 8:28
3.) And finally, a passage from the 7th chapter of the Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price:
28 And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept; and Enoch bore record of it, saying: How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?
29 And Enoch said unto the Lord: How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?
30 And were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth, yea, millions of earths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of thy creations; and thy curtains are stretched out still; and yet thou art there, and thy bosom is there; and also thou art just; thou art merciful and kind forever;
31 And thou hast taken Zion to thine own bosom, from all thy creations, from all eternity to all eternity; and naught but peace, justice, and truth is the habitation of thy throne; and mercy shall go before thy face and have no end; how is it thou canst weep?
32 The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency;
33 And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood;
34 And the fire of mine indignation is kindled against them; and in my hot displeasure will I send in the floods upon them, for my fierce anger is kindled against them.
35 Behold, I am God; Man of Holiness is my name; Man of Counsel is my name; and Endless and Eternal is my name, also.
36 Wherefore, I can stretch forth mine hands and hold all the creations which I have made; and mine eye can pierce them also, and among all the workmanship of mine hands there has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren.
37 But behold, their sins shall be upon the heads of their fathers; Satan shall be their father, and misery shall be their doom; and the whole heavens shall weep over them, even all the workmanship of mine hands; wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?
It is we who do not perceive clearly. That is why we mistakenly battle against and curse God. We do not see him. This is why we wrestle against the very one whose greatest vested interest and most soaring joy is our success. For we are what Creation was all about.
For behold, this is my work and my glory —
to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
How then, does mankind approach an offended God? A God who loves us profoundly, despite the wounds. We do this by proving that we love him just as much.
[God] looketh down upon all the children of men; and he knows all the thoughts and intents of the heart; for by his hand were they all created from the beginning. – Alma 18:32
And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them – Abraham 3:25
…He that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. – Romans 13:8
There is never a time when the spirit is too old to approach God. All are [in] reach of pardoning mercy. – Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 191
Some people are striving and striving to get faith, when saving faith is simply confidence in God, flowing from walking in obedience to His commandments. – Heber C. Kimball
Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and knowthat I am; – D&C 93:1
I found it highly significant that in order to approach Te Ka, who fiercely stands in self-defense of the tender bosom of Te Fiti, Moana had to prove her mettle. Moana had to show she was totally interested and 100% invested in going there, no turning back. Moana had to find her way to and navigate through a strait and narrow pass.
It was only when Moana recognized the supposedly evil Te Ka as being one and the same as the benevolent Te Fiti, that she lost her fear. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7) Moana’s calm and knowing reaction reminds me of the Old Testament analogy of how God waits patiently and carefully, refining our souls just as the silversmith purifies silver. The smith knows it is done when he can see his own image reflected back in the surface of the molten metal (Malachi 3:3, Alma 5:14, 19). It is not the smith who changes. It is the silver.
Moana knows who Te Ka is because she knows who Te Fiti is. Moana knows who Te Fiti is because she knows who she is: a beloved child of the Creator and as one with the Heart of Te Fiti. Moana can approach her Creator with confidence because she realizes that she herself has become just like the Son whose memory she has carried, so faithfully and so well, all this long journey home (2 Nephi 4:35, D&C 61:27-28, Helaman 10:4-5). Moana knows she will not be rejected. She knows she is Theirs.
I have crossed the horizon to find You
I know Your Name
They have stolen the Heart from inside You
But this does not define You
This is not who You are
You know who You are
And now I do, too
1 Samuel 16:7
… Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature… [look] on the heart.
The veil of error, misunderstanding and unbelief has fallen for Moana.
Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you—yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.
Hongi, per Wikipedia
A hongi is a traditiona Maori greeting… It is done by pressing one’s nose and forehead – at the same time – to another person at an encounter…
In the hongi, the ha (or breath of life), is exchanged and intermingled. The breath of life can also be interpreted as the sharing of both parties’ souls.
Through the exchange of this physical greeting, one is no longer considered manuhiri (visitor) but rather tanager whenua, one of the people of the land. For the remainder of the stay, one is obliged to share in all the duties and responsibilities of the home people…
When Māori greet one another by pressing noses, the tradition of sharing the breath of life is considered to have come directly from the gods
It is because Moana has become so much like her Creator that she is able to enter into his presence. What a beautiful reunion. I hope for such an at-one-ment with my Maker, too.
2 Nephi 26:23-24
23 For behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you that the Lord God worketh not in darkness.
24 He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.
17 Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;
18 Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;
19 Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.
20 And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.
21 And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.
22 Behold, this is according to the law and the prophets; wherefore, trouble me no more concerning this matter.
23 But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousnessshall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.
24 I, the Lord, have spoken it, and the Spirit beareth record. Amen.
I am Katharine, daughter of a village chief, born in the Land of Great Water. I will cross the horizon to find my Creator, for I know His name and He knows mine. I will not just hold the heart of Elohim, I will embody it ~ I will return his Virtue, his Truth, his Light, his Life: HIS SON, His Sacrifice… back to Him. For I shall see Him as He is, for I shall be like Him. I am the Village Crazy Lady, like Mary Kekahuli Manunui was before me: Those stories? It’s true. All of it… And like her, I see who YOU are: a child of the Creator.
We can draw the conclusion that there is to be a day when all will be judged of their works, and rewarded according to the same; that those who have kept the faith will be crowned with a crown of righteousness; be clothed in white raiment; be admitted to the marriage feast; be free from every affliction, and reign with Christ on the earth, where, according to the ancient promise, they will partake of the fruit of the vine new in the glorious kingdom with Him; at least we find that such promises were made to the ancient Saints. And though we cannot claim these promises which were made to the ancients for they are not our property, merely because they were made to the ancient Saints, yet if we are the children of the Most High, and are called with the same calling with which they were called, and embrace the same covenant that they embraced, and are faithful to the testimony of our Lord as they were, we can approach the Father in the name of Christ as they approached Him, and for ourselves obtain the same promises. These promises, when obtained, if ever by us, will not be because Peter, John, and the other Apostles, with the churches at Sardis, Pergamos, Philadelphia,and elsewhere, walked in the fear of God, and had power and faith to prevail and obtain them; but it will be because we, ourselves, have faith and approach God in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, even as they did; and when these promises are obtained, they will be promises directly to us, or they will do us no good. They will be communicated for our benefit, being our own property (through the gift of God), earned by our own diligence in keeping His commandments and walking uprightly before Him. If not, to what end serves the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and why was it ever communicated to us? – Joseph Smith (TPJS p 66)
Moana – A Parable of Christ – Part 1
Moana – A Parable of Christ – Part 2
Moana – A Parable of Christ – Part 3
Moana – A Parable of Christ – Part 4
Moana – A Parable of Christ – Part 5
Moana – A Parable of Christ – Part 6
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