Questions and Answers


Liahona and readers’ answers are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.

“I’m not attractive. Please don’t tell me that I am. Why was I born this way?”

Liahona

  • Heavenly Father and many others love you.

  • “Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”

  • Don’t compare yourself with others. Focus on becoming your best self.

  • You inherited your basic physical traits. But how you speak, dress, and take care of your health is up to you. A smile, a pleasing personality, or a light in your countenance can make you attractive.

  • Physical appearance won’t stop anyone from serving God, receiving essential ordinances, or living faithfully to the end.

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

Instead of thinking about your appearance, you might think about your relationships. You are a daughter or son. If you have siblings, you are a sister or brother. You are a cousin, a friend, a ward or branch member. Many people love and appreciate you just as you are.

You might think about your best qualities. Maybe you are a kind person, a hard worker, or a good friend. Whatever your abilities, you are blessed with important talents, a unique personality, and a purpose for your life.

You might want to ask Heavenly Father who you are and how He feels about you. “For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7; emphasis added). Prayer, scripture study, and keeping the commandments will help you know that you have a noble heritage; you are a spirit son or daughter of our Heavenly Father, who loves and cares for you.

Look Inward

You may feel bad about the way you look when you compare yourself to others, based on the world’s view of what is important. People sometimes feel discouraged or envious when they think others are better looking (or smarter or more popular) than they are. Or they might feel prideful when they see others they think are not as good looking (or as smart or popular) as they are. A healthy comparison is comparing who you are now with who you could be—your best self.

Do What’s in Your Control

Some things about your physical appearance aren’t within your control. But other things that can make you more attractive are within your control, such as sharing your talents, improving your personality, being neat and clean, and increasing your spirituality. Working on those things can help you feel better about yourself too.

Look Up

The Savior knows how you feel; He experienced your hurts and pains (see Alma 7:11–12). With His help, you can use this life the way it was intended—to live by faith and learn to do Heavenly Father’s will (see Abr. 3:25).

Developing inner beauty—including a pure, kind, grateful heart—will bring you peace and happiness, and your challenges won’t seem as troubling.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

“I testify that no one of us is less treasured or cherished of God than another. I testify that He loves each of us—insecurities, anxieties, self-image, and all. He doesn’t measure our talents or our looks; … He cheers on every runner, calling out that the race is against sin, not against each other.” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Other Prodigal,” Liahona, July 2002, 72; Ensign, May 2002, 64.

Readers

God knows that you’re hurting, but sometimes life’s problems will help you to grow spiritually. Heavenly Father wants you to do your best with the gifts He has given you. If you do your best to help others and help them be happy, they will see your inner beauty, and you will feel better about yourself. Lynnette Drouin, 18, Whitecourt Branch, Edmonton Alberta Riverbend Stake

We may not have a perfect body in this life, but just remember the wonderful blessings our Father in Heaven has given us: family, friends, and the gospel. Ammalyn C. Loterte, 19, Lopez First Ward, Lopez Philippines Stake

Heavenly Father created us in His image and likeness (see Gen. 1:26–27). We should accept ourselves as we are since He loves us as we are. For Him there are no favorites, no ugly ones or beautiful ones. He looks on our hearts, and if we have a pure heart and kind feelings, our appearance isn’t important. Alma Iris Sánchez Echeverria, 17, Siguatepeque Ward, Comayagua Honduras Stake

Heavenly Father knows you have many good qualities, but He wants you to discover them. He wants you to love yourself as much as He loves you. Most teenagers compare themselves to others, but we should simply be the best we can be and choose the right. Others will notice the Light of Christ peeking through. Nikelle Bird, 16, Shoreline Ward, Richland Washington Stake

Our physical appearance can stop us from being the most popular in school, but it will never stop Heavenly Father from loving us. Happiness isn’t found in appearance. Happiness comes from knowing we are children of God, who wants us to find happiness by loving and helping others. Elder Moroni Abraham Jiménez Pérez, 20, Mexico Mexico City West Mission

I considered myself unattractive. But my mom told me I was beautiful because of what I had on the inside. Now I am happily married to a good man who took me to the temple. If you do what is right, the Lord can help you find the person who will see the beauty that others cannot see. Claudia Alonso, 20, Woodlake Ward, San Antonio Texas East Stake

In the sight of God, you are a precious jewel. He has blessed you with the gifts you need to live a righteous life. Beauty fades with time, but the values and things you have done won’t. Rex Daniel D. Lomboy, 16, Binalonan Second Branch, Urdaneta Philippines Stake

It seems that just about every girl thinks she is unattractive. When I have those thoughts I am forgetting how much Heavenly Father loves me. Each person has beauty and uniqueness. Most important is to have a beautiful spirit and inner peace. Svetlana Kopitova, 18, Kolpino Branch, St. Petersburg Russia District

I believe that the most important thing is a person’s spirit. Not being physically attractive doesn’t stop you from being a good person. The day will come when our bodies will be perfected. Angeles Natalia Tissera, 15, Roque Sáenz Peña Branch, Roque Sáenz Peña Argentina District

Thanks to the teachings of my family, I know that true beauty is not what strikes man but that which pleases God. Let’s cultivate more humility, patience, and love to cheer up those around us. Merirani Johnston, 15, Fautaua Ward, Papeete Tahiti Stake

[photo] Photograph by Matthew Reier, posed by models