Remember when I took Independence Day to the extreme and chopped off my hair as a symbol for my independence from vanity? You get what you pay for in the hair styling world and as a missionary, I went the cheap route. That was by far the worst hair cut I have ever had or ever intend to have again. It's only taken me, what, 7 years to grow it out.

All this talk about missions has brought up some good memories. Like why I cut my hair. I was serving with Sister Richards (now Kathryn Kimball). When I first got that transfer call, I was a little scared because she had a reputation of being a very bold work horse. Not that I wasn't a hard working missionary, I was. I'm just not the most bold person in the world. I never thought I'd have the opportunity to serve with her, but I will be forever grateful that I did. It changed my life. It was through a conversation with her about boys--she was getting ready to go home to her cute beau, Daniel--that I decided to cut my hair. I was so tired of attracting guys with what I have recently heard called the "shiny" things. I told her that I had always wanted to cut my hair short but hadn't because boys like long hair. I realized just how vain I had become. And so, as a token of saying screw you to all those boys whose crap I had put up with (please excuse the language), I gleefully snipped away my luscious locks.

At one of my last zone conferences I was approached by one of the assistants to the President. He was beside himself and told me that his girlfriend back home had just gotten a tattoo. She wrote him, “ I know President Hinckley said not to, but…” and tried to “justify” her decision.

For some reason (maybe the dramatic hair-cutting) I had become well known by the elders as a “lover of virtue." Earlier that month had been talking to this same elder on the phone who asked me then, “What’s the big deal about virtue?” I intensely responded, “Virtue is everything vanity isn’t. Maybe I’ll explain it to you sometime.”

That day, Elder Nuttall and I talked about what that kind of rationalization reveals about a person and what we can and cannot settle for. Then he gave me a challenge to write him a discourse on virtue, which I gladly accepted.

I have to say, that in the last seven years I have not always been a prime example of virtue, in fact I have fallen flat on my face several times. I will continue to be a work in progress. But this memory is a great reminder for me of where I've been and where I want to be, a little pat on the back for keeping some goals for 2009 so far, and a pep talk for hiding some certain items of swimwear from myself this summer.

Thomas Jefferson once said (or wrote, I'm not sure) that "happiness is the aim of life, but virtue is the foundation of happiness."

I concure, Mr. Jefferson.

1 comment:

T*town said...

This picture is priceless!