Unmasking the MaskAs told by Spencer W. Kimball in his talk,

To Bear the Priesthood Worthily (Ensign, May 1975).

“It is the stance that counts.  When one wants to be tall, he starts by stretching himself heavenward. If he wants to be noble, he puts on noble garments. If he wants to fly, he must get wings. If one wants to be righteous, he needs to put on the cloak of righteousness. There is the story told of Lord George Hall of an earlier time. It is a mythical story. Believe it or not, but at least take the lesson if you find one there.

The Phantom

film: Phantom of the Opera. No positive change in the masked protagonist.

film: The Mask. No convincing change in the masked protagonist.

film: The Mask. No convincing change in the masked protagonist.

‘Lord George had led an evil life. He had been a drunkard, a gambler, and a cheat in business, and his face reflected the life he had led. It was a very evil face. One day he fell in love with a simple country girl to whom he proposed marriage.  Jenny Mere told him that she could never marry a man whose face was so repulsive and so evil-looking; and also that when she did marry, she wanted a man with a saintlike face, which was the mirror of true love. Following a custom of the day, Lord George went down to Mr. Aeneas in Bond Street, London. Aeneas made waxen masks for people, and his skill was so art-perfect that the person’s identity was completely hidden.  As proof of his skill, it is said that many spendthrift debtors, equipped with his masks, could pass among their creditors unrecognized.  Aeneas went to his storeroom, selected a mask, heated it over a lamp, fixed it to Lord George’s face; and when Lord George looked in the glass, he has the face of a saint who loved dearly.

"I have bought your soul for God." -  Les Miserables (Here's some wax for that mask!)

film: Les Miserables. With a transformative change in the protagonist.
“I have bought your soul for God.” – Valjean becomes LeMer
(And look, there’s even some wax for that mask!)

So altered was his appearance that Jenny Mere was soon wooed and won. He bought a little cottage in the country, almost hidden in an arbor of roses, with a tiny garden spot.  From then on his entire life changed.  He became interested in nature, he found ‘sermons in stones, books in brooks, and good in everything.’ Formerly he was blasé and life had no interest for him; now, he was engrossed in kindliness, and the world around him.

Valjean rescues Cosette

Valjean rescues Cosette

He was not content with starting life anew, but tried to make amends for the past. Through a confidential solicitor, he restored his ill-gotten gains to those whom he had cheated.  Each day brought new refinements to his character, more beautiful thoughts to his soul. By accident, his former companions discovered his identity.  They visited him in his garden and urged him to return to his old evil life.  When he refused, he was attacked, and the mask was torn from his face. He hung his head. Here was the end of all; here was the end of his newfound life

"Take my love, for love is everlasting. And remember, the truth that once was spoken: To love another person is to see the face of God"

“And remember, the truth that once was spoken: To love another person is to see the face of God”

and his love dream.  As he stood with bowed head, with the mask at his feet on the grass, his wife rushed across the garden and threw herself on her knees in front of him.  When she looked up at him, what do you suppose she found? Lo! Line for line, feature for feature, the face was the same as that of the mask. Lines of beauty – regular features.’ There is no doubt that the life one leads and the thoughts one thinks are registered plainly in his face.’ ===============

The difference between a hypocrite and a teacher: A hypocrite says one thing and does another. A teacher, having seen the error of her ways and abandoning them, repents and thereafter uses every means in their power to prevent others from meeting the same harm that they met. A teacher says Do as I do NOW. – paraphrasing Mr. Lew Schlesinger, as near as I can remember, who was speaking of his wife, Laura.

The vision that you glorify in your mind, the ideal that you enthrone in your heart, this you will build your life by, this you will become. – James Allen

Too much undisciplined leisure time in which a person continually takes the course of least resistance… gradually wastes a life, wastes a family. It ensures that one’s capacities stay dormant, God-given talents remain undeveloped, the mind and spirit become lethargic, and the heart is unfulfilled. Such a life gives no service, makes no contribution, enjoys no larger vision, and short of repentance and change, slips down to spiritual decay and death. – Stephen R. Covey, The Divine Center

Abraham Praying

Abraham Praying

If we could read in detail the life of Abraham, or the lives of other great and holy men, we would doubtless find that their efforts to be righteous were not always crowned with success.  Hence we should not be discouraged if we should be overcome at a weak moment; but on the contrary, straightway repent of the error or the wrong we may have committed, and as far as possible repair it, and then seek to God for renewed strength to go on and do better. – Lorenzo Snow ♪ ♫

♩Could You Believe? by Twila Paris

He was a friend to sinners
He was a gentle man
Beautiful, humble master plan
His voice could pierce the darkness
Quiet an angry sea
I hear Him saying follow me
I look in your eyes and I tell you these things
But somehow I know that it’s hard to believe

Could you believe if I really was like Him
If I lived all the words that I said
If for a change I would kneel down before you
And serve you instead
Could you believe

What manner of men ought ye to be? Even as I am.

What manner of men ought ye to be? Even as I am.

He was the Lamb of mercy
Undying hope of men
Waiting for love to come again
He is the light of heaven
Radiant Prince of peace
I Hear him saying, “Follow Me”
I look in your eyes and I tell you these things
But somehow I know that it’s hard to believe

Could you believe if I carried my own cross
If I saw that the children were fed
If for a moment I held my opinion
And quietly led, could you believe

I am meant to be a pure reflection of the truth
So above it all I pray that I will not obscure the view

Could you believe if I stood here transparent
And through me you could see his eyes
Could you believe if you saw right inside me
and there was no disguise

Could you believe if I was really like him
If I lived all the words that I said
If it was clear that I held in my heart
What I know in my head
Could you believe, could you believe
Looking at me, could you believe
Could you believe?

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