I was asked to write a spiritual thought for our Relief Society this month, and though it has nothing to do with our puppy, or Morgan's awesomeness, I thought it would still be nice to share here. Enjoy.
Last night about 50 million people tuned in to watch the Academy Awards. They critiqued and admired the perhaps thousands of stars dressed in what they would consider their very best. For months the women had been dieting and trying new ways to sculpt perfect arms. For weeks they had met with designers and stylists trying to stay ahead of the styles and create that groundbreaking beautiful look that journalists would praise. As these gorgeous women stepped onto the red carpet nerves, fear, and self-consciousness flooded their thoughts as they desperately attempted to portray confidence. Many of these women have been on a no food diet. Many exercise 4 hours a day, and many are addicted to various drugs that pump their bodies with adrenaline and caffeine thus hyping their metabolism. These unhealthy bodies are cloaked in diamonds, fine materials, and excessive makeup. Some have gone into serious debt to pay for their appearance. But they know they are under critique and as a star and a model to the world they are obliged to be what the media coins “perfect.”
So we sit back and soak in “perfection.” We watch from the comfort of our homes in old sweats with a big bowl of pasta wondering why our bodies don’t look like theirs. We admire the clothes, the makeup, the accessories and hair, curious if we could ever look so beautiful. This handful of women, not even half a percent of our country’s population represents the ideal, the standard by which we will judge ourselves for another year. We agree with the journalist when it is noted that so and so has put on weight, or that some other girl had an outdated dress. We admire, we critique, we get it, we now know what “perfect” is.
But do we? Sisters, these women attended parties last night drinking away their sorrows, their stress, and their pain. Many went ‘home’ to truly broken homes with a number of divorces already behind them. Few have children, and those who do are forced to deal with teaching them how to be perfect children of perfect people. A great number of lives have been cut short by substance abuse, but at least they looked good on camera.
These are not perfect lives. How dare we degrade such a divine concept, perfection, with images of sickly women bathed in material beauty? What is perfection? What should I look like? What should I wear? Who should I be?
As Christ says in Matthew 6:24; 28-33“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Strive to be perfect in the way the Lord would have us be. Our healthy lives, our softer bodies, our chaotic homes bursting with Christ-like love, families and happiness, our $20 dress from Target is far more perfect than most of those beautiful idols flaunting “perfection” will ever be. By looking to them as models, we are setting ourselves up for self-deprecation, depression, and angst. Look to yourself; look to the example of the Savior. Be proud of the beautiful and original woman God made you to be. Flaunt your own shape, delight in messy joyous children, celebrate a life without debt, and be confident in knowing your divine worth. Be a perfect you.
Read tonight a few scriptures about being perfect and throw away those images of what you deem to be a truly beautiful woman, and replace it with a picture of somebody you admire: perhaps a grandmother, a sister, or maybe even you. May I suggest 3 Nephi 12:48, Psalms 101:2, James 1:4, Moroni 10:32 and Deuteronomy 25:15.
Oh Sisters, we are so blessed to have good role models in our lives, but more importantly, we are blessed to know that we are daughters of God, and he made us unique in so many ways. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Whatever you are, be a good one.” I completely agree and therefore encourage you to be a perfect you.