Greetings MOL Family!
Last week in our study, we were seeking to understand the beauty of God’s plan to restore us back into His image. There is a GREAT work that must be done, in a LITTLE time; and it is only by cooperating with God, that we will gain true success in His plan! God has a part, and we have a part…
What Is True Beauty?
Take these bodies of ours, for example. Is there something to do to dress the garden and to keep it? Yes, indeed, from head to foot. But suppose that I don’t like the way God made me. Listen, friends, remember that when God took earth and formed it in His image, He exalted matter to the highest pinnacle that it was possible to place it. Matter can get no higher than to be formed in the image of its Creator. You see that, don’t you? Very well. If I see that, the greatest honor that I can give to God is to say, “Lord, I thank Thee for making me like Thyself. Oh Lord, help me to work with Thee to keep that image.”
But what if I say, “Lord, I don’t like the way You made me; and I am going to do everything I can to change it.” Isn’t that the greatest insult I can hurl at my Creator – that this matter exalted in His image turns around and says, “I don’t like it, and I am going to change it if I can”?
There are bold ways to say that, and there are subtle ways to say it. satan inspires the rebellious spirit that dares to boldly avow its blasphemous disregard of the Creator’s plan. But he works far more subtly to introduce little ways of deviation; little things that say: “Lord, I don’t like the way You made me. I am going to improve on it.” Some of the ways are almost childish and pathetic. Some of them are so ugly. But all of them lead away from giving glory to the Creator. I wonder what Heaven thinks of it all.
There are some people who are looking for straighter, longer hair. I wonder why? My friends, because [for them] it is not naturally straight. If it had been naturally straight, they wouldn’t be looking for ways to change it. I know of some other people, they are looking for methods, not to get straight hair, but to get the opposite. I wonder why?
There are bleaching creams that people purchase that will make the skin, supposedly, change from dark to light. I have my doubts. There is a verse in the Bible about that, you know. But people are paying out millions of dollars every year, trying to look like what they are not – from the natural to the artificial, from the real to the false, from the actual to the make-believe – and all with the idea of becoming more what? More beautiful. But what is beauty, friends? Is it natural, or artificial? Well, that all depends, you see, on how we look at it.
In the book, Ministry of Healing, we have a wonderful statement that will help us a bit on this. Oh, I pray that our heavenly Father will help us to appreciate what He thinks is beautiful. It says, of the dress, that:
It should have the grace, the beauty, the appropriateness of natural simplicity. – Ministry of Healing, pg. 288
The correct model for physical development is to be found, not in the figures displayed by French modistes [dressmakers – fashion makers], but in the human form as developed according to the laws of God in nature. God is the author of all beauty, and only as we conform to His ideal shall we approach the standard of true beauty. – Ibid., pg. 292
Oh, He is the One who really makes things beautiful, and we can work with Him, if we will. We are not to mar God’s work.
Let’s look at the feet, a moment. You remember a number of years ago over in China, many of the women, the high-caste women, had their feet all bound up. Do you remember? Have any of you seen pictures of that? Do you know why? Well, the empress had small feet, and the ladies of the court wanted to have their feet look like the empress’ feet, you understand. Oh, think of the pain of millions of women in China, in generations gone by!
If you go over to China today, you won’t find very much of that, friends. You have to come to America to see that – feet bound, cramped, twisted, and changed – the very bones changed. How? Through fashion. We are made in His image. God wants us to cultivate the beauty of keeping what He made the way He made it. And every shoe we get should be purchased with the idea of keeping what the Creator made, the way He made it, instead of twisting it and changing it and perverting it. What do you say? Yes. Is that important?
In the medical journals, and the scientific journals, Dr. Hardinge (an instructor of our medical college, many years ago) found reports of scientific experiments that show:
“The so-called moderate heel does more to displace the bones of the spine, the vertebra, than the extremely high heel.” – Dr. Hardinge
If you don’t know why that is, you would be interested in his article. I want to read a statement from the General Conference committee on this point:
“As a matter of health, as well as of beauty and utility, low-heeled shoes should be worn. High heels, by throwing the body off balance, cause strain which often results in serious physical disorders, while it takes a distorted sense of beauty to find any grace, either in the shoe or in the posture and walk of the wearer.” – General Conference Committee
That’s a good statement, friends. It is the truth. Let’s heed it. What do you say? Well, from head to foot, from foot to head… The face, you know, is the special place where the image of God is to be reflected. We are to catch the smile of God and reflect it to others. All about the face is a frame. And God intends everything about the face to be such that people think of Jesus and not what a wonderful job somebody has done in defacing the image of God.
Let me ask you something, dear friends. What do people think of when they see your face? What do they think of? Well, what a wonderful job some beauty shop did in changing you so you look different from what you would naturally? Or what a wonderful job your cheap imitation of a beauty shop has done?
Ah, someone says, “Don’t we need to do something to make ourselves look good?” Yes. For Christ’s sake, whose witnesses we are, we should seek to do what? Make the best of our appearance. But not by falsely pretending to be something we are not, not by unnaturally changing what God made, but by accepting what He made, and making the best of that, my friends.
I leave it with each one’s conscience. But you can find in the Bible and in the Spirit of Prophecy, and in the findings of science, that which will help you in this matter.
Now, turning again to this book of Revelation, in closing. In the 18th chapter and the 4th verse, we have God’s last call. It is a call out of where? Out of Babylon. You remember what the 8th verse calls Babylon? That great city. And in 18:4, the angel says, “Come out of her, My people.” For many years now, the Spirit of Prophecy has been urging upon our people to come out of the cities. Do you know why? Ministry of Healing tells us:
Life in the cities is false and artificial. – Ministry of Healing, pg. 364
So, God is calling us back to Eden – to live the beautiful life in the beautiful surroundings; to get away from the works of man, which bring glory to men, and come where God is at work, that we may give glory to God.
Let’s choose God’s natural, beautiful way! What do you say?
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* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.