I believed beauty was only determined by what is on the outside, but I have learned that it is our inner goodness that makes us beautiful.
“Suck in your stomach.” “Straighten your hair.” “Those clothes don’t look good on you.” Hearing these comments from those around me was normal. Physical appearance was important to my mother, who made us dress up for every occasion, no matter what. As a result, I took meticulous care of my looks. My eyebrows needed to be plucked perfectly, and my outfits needed my mother’s approval. Some days, it got tiring.
When I got to college, I met someone whose appearance went against everything I had ever learned. Initially, I thought that they could do a better job of maintaining themselves. I wanted to stay away from them because of how they looked, but I loved talking with them. I was conflicted.
During this confusion, I found an article by Bishop Gerald Caussé called “Harmony of Body and Spirit: A Key to Happiness.” Bishop Caussé says, “Goodness radiates a certain kind of beauty…Those with pure and charitable hearts have a lovely countenance that is charming, is attractive, and draws people to them. I am not speaking about beauty as defined by the world…I am speaking of the beauty people radiate because of their inner wholesomeness.”
This person I met had the inner beauty that Bishop Caussé was describing, which “comes from our personal inner light rather than from aesthetic or physical criteria alone.” This person had an amazing spirit, and that spirit is what drew me to them. I learned to not judge someone else based on their looks; instead, I should look inside of them to see their inner beauty.
Listen and read Bishop Gérald Caussé’s BYU speech Harmony of Body and Spirit: A Key to Happiness to learn more about how our spiritual nature can change our physical attractiveness and help us find happiness.
Source: BYU Speeches
—Xochitl Bott, Latter-day Saint Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY JAKOV ZADRO
Find more insights
To learn more about our divine worth, take a look at Emma Hill’s Latter-day Saint Insight’s article “Our Worth In God’s Eyes.”
To learn more about our true identity as children of God, take a look at Rebecca Brown’s Latter-day Saint Insight’s article “Remembering Our True Identity.”