I hung my schoolbag in the closet and saw my reflection in the full-length mirror on the door. I stopped and looked at my loose ponytail, my wrinkled shirt, and my sagging socks. Words from my Primary teacher came back to me: “You are a special daughter of our Heavenly Father. He has many blessings in store for you in your future.”
I leaned forward and peered into the mirror, wishing I could see the future. What would I be like when I was 12 or 22? Would I be pretty? Would I be smart? Would I marry in the temple? Would I have beautiful children? These were my dreams, but were these the blessings God had in store for me?
“What are you looking at?” It was Mom’s soft voice.
In the mirror’s reflection I saw Mom standing behind me in the doorway.
“Me,” I said. “It’s just me in the mirror.”
Mom came and looked over my shoulder. “‘Just you’ is someone very special,” she said.
“That’s what my Primary teacher said. She said Heavenly Father has many blessings in store for me. What does my life have in store?”
“Come to my room. I want to show you something,” Mom said.
In her bedroom Mom opened a small box and lifted out a silver handheld mirror.
“It’s beautiful,” I said, fingering the letter B etched on the back.
“This was my grandmother’s mirror,” Mom said. “When I polish this mirror, I try to imagine what Grandma Beatrice saw when she looked into it. Maybe at first she saw a young girl, like you, dreaming of her future.
“I can imagine the light of happiness she saw in her eyes when she looked at her long braids in the mirror before her baptism. Did you know she wasn’t able to be baptized until she was 18 years old?”
I shook my head. “No.”
“And then after her marriage to Grandpa, she had a baby daughter who lived only two days. I imagine the eyes she saw in this mirror then were swollen with tears.
“Many years after that, she would have seen her joyful reflection as she prepared to go to the temple to be sealed to her husband and three children.
“As an older woman, she may have used this mirror to place a hat on her head before going to her Relief Society meetings.
“And finally, as a gray-haired widow, she may have seen the brave determination in her eyes as she lived for many years alone but faithful to the end.”
“Did Heavenly Father bless Great-Grandma?” I asked.
“Yes, He did,” Mom said.
“Was Great-Grandma happy with her life?”
“Yes. It wasn’t exactly as she planned. Some of it was very hard, but she put her trust in God, and those experiences helped her become more like Him.”
“I guess I don’t really need to see the future,” I said, placing the silver mirror gently back in its box. “I’ll just trust in Heavenly Father and follow Him.”
“I’m sure God has a wonderful life in store for you,” Mom said. “And if you follow Him, in the end, the face you see in the mirror will reflect His image. And that would truly be a dream come true.”
“Search out your heritage. It is important to know, as far as possible, those who came before us. We discover something about ourselves when we learn about our ancestors.”
President Thomas S. Monson, “Constant Truths for Changing Times,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2005, 21.
Illustration by Dilleen Marsh