21748

To LDS Women: A Stake President's Take on Your Beauty, Purpose, and Priorities

In my Ph.D. program, I wrote many papers about my family.  In my journey to find myself, I once wrote that I could be better described as the 5th sister in my family.  It’s a self-given title I embrace with respect and honor.

When I was 13, I met Melissa.  She was lovely, smart, and righteous.  I was so drawn to her then.  We began dating just shy of our 17th birthdays.  Except for my two-year mission in Hawaii, we have been together.  We will celebrate 24 years of marriage this July.  She is the best person I know.  She is the love of my life.  I want her and none else.

I share this with you so when I tell you that you are beautiful you will understand that it comes from a place of me, as your spiritual brother, telling you, my spiritual sisters, that you are lovely and that you are beautiful.

You Are Beautiful Women

Embracing your beauty is the 1st message your Heavenly Parents wish you to hear.  President Heber J. Grant once said, “A beautiful . . . woman is the perfect workmanship of God.”  In the Spirit of what Elder Bednar taught our stake when he visited recently, perfection takes eternity and the word perfect needs to be changed to complete.  Thus, a beautiful woman is the most complete workmanship of God.  And so you are.  I believe we often misunderstand the word beautiful in this sense.

Although each of you have physical attributes of beauty—yes I said each of you—the Lord cares very little about such things.  As he said to Samuel the prophet, “for the Lord seeth not as a man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

So what does it mean to be beautiful before the Lord?  Beautiful means to have noble and spiritual qualities.  Each of you are noble and each of you have been given spiritual gifts.  Your nobility was secured in the premortal world as daughters of God.  But this nobility was exemplified in the Garden of Eden when Eve was created.

Read the rest of this story at lds.net