This lesson was mistakenly published last week as Lesson 36.
• In what ways will caring for your body now affect your future health? How will developing healthy habits in your teens prepare you to bear and raise children?
• What are some ways that people in the world harm their bodies? In times of temptation to misuse our bodies, how can we respect them instead?
• How can good physical health contribute to good emotional health?
• How is our agency compromised when we don’t take care of our bodies?
• How do eating disorders jeopardize health, feeling the Spirit, and the future?
Excerpt from "The Sanctity of the Body," by Sister Susan W. Tanner, October 2005 General Conference:
I remember well the insecurities I felt as a teenager with a bad case of acne. I tried to care for my skin properly. My parents helped me get medical attention. For years I even went without eating chocolate and all the greasy fast foods around which teens often socialize, but with no obvious healing consequences. It was difficult for me at that time to fully appreciate this body which was giving me so much grief. But my good mother taught me a higher law. Over and over she said to me, “You must do everything you can to make your appearance pleasing, but the minute you walk out the door, forget yourself and start concentrating on others.”
There it was. She was teaching me the Christlike principle of selflessness. Charity, or the pure love of Christ, “envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own” (Moro. 7:45). When we become other-oriented, or selfless, we develop an inner beauty of spirit that glows in our outward appearance. This is how we make ourselves in the Lord’s image rather than the world’s and receive His image in our countenances. President Hinckley spoke of this very kind of beauty that comes as we learn to respect body, mind, and spirit. He said:
“Of all the creations of the Almighty, there is none more beautiful, none more inspiring than a lovely daughter of God who walks in virtue with an understanding of why she should do so, who honors and respects her body as a thing sacred and divine, who cultivates her mind and constantly enlarges the horizon of her understanding, who nurtures her spirit with everlasting truth” (“Understanding Our Divine Nature,” Liahona, Feb. 2002, 24; “Our Responsibility to Our Young Women,” Ensign, Sept. 1988, 11).
Oh, how I pray that all men and women will seek the beauty praised by the prophet—beauty of body, mind, and spirit!