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"Far above Rubies"

Certain TV shows and previews reminded me of a quote from Sister Margaret Nagauld:

"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity."

We need to be classy women--women with manners, discipline, integrity, virtue, sincerity, and charity. Sister Nagauld isn't the only one to have said this:

1. "It is, unfortunately, all too easy to illustrate the confusion and distortion of womanhood in contemporary society. Immodest, immoral, intemperate women jam the airwaves, monopolize magazines, and slink across movie screens—all while being celebrated by the world. The Apostle Paul spoke prophetically of 'perilous times' that will come in the last days and specifically referenced something that may have seemed particularly perilous to him: 'silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts' (2 Timothy 3:1, 6). Popular culture today often makes women look silly, inconsequential, mindless, and powerless. It objectifies them and disrespects them and then suggests that they are able to leave their mark on mankind only by seduction—easily the most pervasively dangerous message the adversary sends to women about themselves.

"And so, my dear young women, with all my heart I urge you not to look to contemporary culture for your role models and mentors. Please look to your faithful mothers for a pattern to follow. Model yourselves after them, not after celebrities whose standards are not the Lord’s standards and whose values may not reflect an eternal perspective. Look to your mother. Learn from her strengths, her courage, and her faithfulness" (Elder M. Russell Ballard).

2. "It is not for you to be led by the women of the world; it is for you to lead the . . . women of the world, in everything that is praise-worthy, everything that is God-like, everything that is uplifting and . . . purifying to the children of men" (President Joseph F. Smith, quoted by Elder Ballard).

3. "Woman is God’s supreme creation. Only after the earth had been formed, after the day had been separated from the night, after the waters had been divided from the land, after vegetation and animal life had been created, and after man had been placed on the earth, was woman created; and only then was the work pronounced complete and good.

"Of all the creations of the Almighty, there is none more beautiful, none more inspiring than a lovely daughter of God who walks in virtue with an understanding of why she should do so, who honors and respects her body as a thing sacred and divine, who cultivates her mind and constantly enlarges the horizon of her understanding, who nurtures her spirit with everlasting truth" (President Gordon B. Hinckley).

4. "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies" (Proverbs 31:10).

Challenge: Be a virtuous woman, not a woman of the world. Note, this post also applies to men!

photo by Paul Krasovic

Comments

Mrs. Sanchez said…
I was thinking about this the other day. The proverbs 31 woman is really amazing. (proverbs 31:10-31) Intimidating and impossible to do perfectly, but inspiring all the same.

I had the chance to spend some time with my old neighbor Lauren at her Graduation party yesterday. Her and her friends were talking about stories involving alcohol, meaningless sex, etc. I encountered a lot of this at UCSB as well. In my life so far, I have always chosen to withdraw myself from events like this.

But, it occurred to me last night that perhaps I should be there. And I should be the person who does not drink and does not participate, but is there to help those who need it. To stand out from the crowd. To be their friends and to reveal an alternative way of living. To watch out for those who get too drunk and pass out, to offer the honest advice when needed and to be the sober driver.

It reminded me of the verse, "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:14-5:16

I know Jesus himself was criticized by spending time with the tax collectors and sinners.

My fear is that by completely avoiding that crowd, we are hiding our light under a bushel.

What do you think? I mean, as long as you are not tempted by that lifestyle.
Anonymous said…
Women are super divinely designed children of God and must believe it themselves-DAD
Francesca said…
Thanks, Francine, for your insightful comment. I think you made a very good point, though it ought to be practiced with care. While Jesus did spend time with sinners, he never was there while they were sinning. So I think your advice works best in situations like that graduation party or another social event, but not at a regular party. (To me, offering to be the designated driver is similar to giving kids condoms; in other words, an enabling act).

I think we best shine our light when we invite others to participate with us in activities that show how to have fun without sex and alcohol, as we both do with our game nights and cheesy parties. Offering alternative activities is a great way to stay away from sin without shunning others: instead of trying to light up a dark room with our candle, we invite them to our lit room, leading them to Christ.
Mrs. Sanchez said…
Thanks for your insight as well. PS. I love our cheesy parties. :)
Anonymous said…
I find it puzzling to see how parents allow their daughters to dress, talk, and behave. The beauty of a modest, clean, sincere, and virtuous girl is immeasurable. She will grow up to be a "10 cow wife", wonderful mother, friend and diciple.

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