I wrote this essay primarily in response to a TV show which promoted an “anything goes” approach to sexuality, health, and beauty. Well, anything doesn’t go. All bodies are not created equal. We declare a universal standard of beauty morality and health as typified by the Gods. Every person regardless of their beauty is of infinite worth, but this doesn’t mean bad lifestyle choices such as those which lead to obesity or other scenarios of poor health, are equal to those which lead to good health. Further, in the resurrection, all physical imperfections will be resolved provided that we are true and faithful.
For a similar article of quotes on beauty from the prophets, including citations to several quotes referred to here, see my article on Beauty Quotes.
What’s weird is you’ll see some good movie then see the actor street clothes etc. and they’ve made themselves uglier & weirder. Why prioritize fitting in over being beautiful? If I had to guess, I’d wager God wants us to be beautiful. Further I think there are objective standards in these matters.
There are objective standards of beauty, and maintenance of the body, rather than letting it go wherever the wind blows, is beautiful. We do not judge others based on their health conditions and health choices, but we also reject the modern trend to just accept ourselves the way we are without striving for excellence in objective health standards. We do not condone indulgence or neglect of the body. The world would tell us to accept ourselves the way we are, Christ would tell us to come unto him, and improve ourselves. He taught that in losing ourselves we find our truest selves. it’s been said that life is 10% about what happens to you, and 90% about what you do about it.
The Devil has no body, and wants us to live beneath our privileges of strength and self-esteem which come from maintaining a healthy body. Indeed, prophets have taught that the very punishment for Lucifer’s rebellion is that he will never have a body. Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother (these 2 working together in the position called “God”) also have bodies. Though all die, all will be brought back to life with their bodies in what is called the resurrection. Jesus Christ is alive today and still has his body (he always will). President Packer taught that Joseph Smith taught that those who have bodies have power over those who do not.
Our spiritual sensitivity is also dulled with we do not take care of our bodies, and dulling our spiritual sensitivity is certainly a chief objective of the Devil.
The resurrected apostles of Jesus Christ appeared in the temple to a latter-day prophet, from the back of the room, he could not discern between them, and their appearance all resembled Jesus Christ.
In a vision of Adam and Eve on a throne, Joseph Smith saw that they were both tall with broad shoulders.
From the fall of Adam, the human race hasn’t been beautiful all too often. Disease has set in, and we await the resurrection to receive the full stature of celestial bodies.
Resurrection rewards differ based on the kingdom you rise unto. A celestial body is much more beautiful and powerful than a body of the other kingdoms.
Only those in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom will have the power to procreate. See Elder Bednar’s talk on how those who mistreat or neglect procreation here will be denied it there.
Brigham Young taught that those who reach exaltation will all become as beautiful as the angels that surround the throne of God.
Brigham Young also taught that appearance matters not in this life, that he would marry a woman with a 3-foot-wide head if she was righteous. Physical appearances are reconciled in the resurrection. This life is about faith, the next life is about beauty. The 3-foot-wide head spoken of here would be reconciled in the resurrection to a handsome regular head resembling that of our Heavenly parents.
Joseph Smith taught that if you are faithful, all your losses will be made up to you in the resurrection. Surely physical deformities and irregularities which persons must suffer with in this life are included in that recompense.
Zion is beautiful the scripture says. Brigham Young taught that though we obsess not over beauty, we do our best, and make ourselves attractive as we can. There is no seance in self defamation. But there is also no seance in wasting your time inordinately in beauty, including wasting your money in much beauty product in Babylon.
We should not show the details of our bodies in public. They are temples, and are only to be accessed by the authorized spouse, lest the temple become unholy.
We are naturally more attracted to persons whose bodies are healthy, and who adhere to biological scientific standards of health such as the body mass index.
Nephi saw a vision of Mary the mother of Jesus, and declared that she was a most beautiful woman, “fair above all others”
Modern art attacks beauty also. Further, strong arguments can be made that some forms of music are objectively better than others.
Satan is trying to blur the lines between good and evil by getting us to believe that there are no standards of right and wrong, no objective lines of what is good and what is evil. He uses bad and unskilled art to water us down against true beauty, and leads us further from the belief in God thereby. To believe in God is to believe that there is a right and wrong, and line between good and evil.
Yes it’s sad when we can’t make great art, or don’t have great bodies. But that is why we look forward to the resurrection and the grand millennium, where we will become exponentially beautiful and talented. We endure our trials at present with faith, and we find joy in what God has already bestowed upon us. Even those with less than ideal circumstances can be optimistic in that God has promised that the faithful will gain salivation. Joseph Smith defined salvation as no less than to “put all enemies under foot”, or in other words, overcome the barriers in your way to having a fullness of joy.
Let us rejoice in beauty while not defiling our bodies with evils such as pornography and immodest dress. Let us rejoice in a glorious future, and let us be other-centered, and focus on serving others so that we may be truly happy. We find joy in service, and patiently await all things foretold by the prophets including health for all in the glorious resurrection!
Note: One race should not esteem itself above another. President Kimball in Faith Precedes the Miracle speaks of how historically many races have thought they were superior, only to be cut down by the Lord when they became ripe in their pride. May we gain our worth and identity from God not from race.