Friday, April 29, 2011

Deep Beauty

I had a great conversation with my brother Brett this morning. We spoke about a lot of things but one thing really stood out to me. We were talking about the time my grandparents spent living in Washington DC. For the first time in my life I saw some of the challenges they might have faced there, and my respect for them deepened immensely. Brett shared with me some letters of correspondence between my Papa (grandfather) and Presidents Harold B. Lee and Gordon B Hinckley. The content of these letters truly spoke to my heart. President Lee inquired how they were doing in a glamorous world where "all that glitters is NOT gold." President Hinckley inquired about their homesickness and encouraged them to quietly and humbly do the work they were called to do, knowing that Zion awaited them upon their return back home.

The correspondence between Papa and the brethren opened my eyes to see the potential for a sense of difficulty in their circumstances. While my Papa had a demanding assignment, Nana was primarily responsible for the rearing of their little family. We have numerous records from my grandfather, but for the first time I wished I knew how Nana felt. I wished I could talk to her and find out her perspective, as I'm sure it would be rather enlightening. There they were, in a high society position, and yet they weren't wealthy by any means. I wondered if Nana ever felt out of place as a humble and modest woman, in a fashionable upper-class world. I wondered if she ever sought to fit in or questioned her value.

My heart went out to her and I felt certain that she had demonstrated great faith during those and many other difficult days. Her quiet example of virtue and womanhood has blessed my life in countless ways. I see my mother in her. I see me in them. I see the value in a beautiful and faithful woman of God, and it is indeed far above rubies.

Having just finished a Standards night on the importance of modesty with the young women I work with, my respect for my dear grandmother deepened. In a world where we all want to fit in, it is truly beautiful to see women who stand out because they stand for truth and righteousness. Working in an aesthetic industry, I know all too well the emphasis the world places on appearances. I myself am often caught up in wanting to fit in and have to remind myself that my value comes from within.

Sister Dalton defines the kind of beauty my dear Nana possessed, the kind of beauty that really matters.

"Deep beauty springs from virtue. It is the beauty of being chaste and morally clean. It is the kind of beauty that you see in the eyes of virtuous women like your mother and grandmother. It is a beauty that is earned through faith, repentance, and honoring covenants. The world places so much emphasis on physical attractiveness and would have you believe that you are to look like the elusive model on the cover of a magazine. The Lord would tell you that you are each uniquely beautiful." Elaine S Dalton

Today I caught of glimpse of the past and I realized it isn't too different the world I live in now. The sound counsel of Prophets of God to my own dear grandparents has spoken peace to my heart. I must remember that all that glitters is not gold. Real happiness and peace is waiting at home.

With Love,

1 comment:

Spencer said...

So beautifully put. What a treasure to have those letters to your grandparents. What a treasure to have your grandpa's first-hand accounts. It's stories like this that remind me how important it is to keep records myself.