There are No Ordinary People

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Beautiful Inside

At the first of our marriage, my husband said quite often, "I didn't marry you for your looks." Finally I teased him a bit by saying, "That really doesn't sound too flattering." He explained what I really already knew, that this was intended to be the highest compliment he could give me. He said, "I love you for who you are intrinsically and eternally." The Lord said: "Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; … for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7). In families, friendships, dating, and marriage, we should value not just beauty and résumés, but rather character, good values, and each other's inherited divine natures.

In a stake in Chile the young women did this at camp by keeping a book of each other's virtuous qualities. Each day they got better acquainted and wrote down the intrinsic good they were learning about each person there. At the end of the camp, they shared their thoughts, helping each person to see more of the divinity within herself. Their leader said, "We were literally basking in this wonderful spirit of kindness and goodwill. I can honestly say that I never heard a word of complaint from the girls! They were flourishing in a sweet spirit of mutual acceptance that is not often present among teenage girls. There was no competition, no contention. Our camp had become a little bit of heaven" (personal correspondence). The girls recognized and reaffirmed the divine natures of each other, and the Spirit filled the camp as these virtuous thoughts were expressed.

C. S. Lewis wisely said: "It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship. … There are no ordinary people. … Your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses" ("The Weight of Glory," in Screwtape Proposes a Toast and Other Pieces [1974], 109–10)"

"Daughters of Heavenly Father" - Susan W. Tanner, YW General President - April 2007 General Conference