A group of Mesa, Arizona boys have started a new trend among Mormon boys. A leader for the Mormon teen girls, Jayme Bawden, was looking for something special to show the Mormon girls at their annual conference. She remembered another group of Mormons in her previous church organization who asked the boys to make a video for the girls to watch at this conference. She asked the boys in her new home to do the same and they did. They used a popular song called “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction and created a music video which was shown to the girls at their conference.
The video was very popular with the girls, who were touched that the boys had delivered this message to them. The video ended up on YouTube and other groups of Mormon boys began doing the same for the girls in their own congregations to watch at their conferences and camps. Some added additional features. For instance, in one, the boys were asked what they felt made a girl beautiful. The girls fell silent as they listened to these hard-to-access insights. In many camps, the girls requested the video time and again.
At a recent conference, the Mormon prophet Thomas S. Monson told men and boys that every woman deserves to be told she is beautiful. These videos were one way the boys were able to carry out that wise bit of advice. While it was meaningful to the girls, who were more likely to listen to a message about inner-beauty from their peers than they were from adults, it was also a valuable experience for the boys.
These teen boys heard a leader tell them that girls need to hear that they are beautiful. Making the video put action to the thought and as they made the video and learned of the happiness it brought the girls, they certainly had the message President Monson had given them brought to life. It is likely many of them will be more aware of the importance of treating girls kindly and of pointing out their virtues. For many, it was an unexpected revelation that girls do not automatically know the boys in their lives find them beautiful. This will make them better husbands in the future. Mormon boys and men receive training at home and at church in the importance of being kind and thoughtful husbands and sons.
The girls who received the first video also received a message on beauty from Elaine S. Dalton, the international president of the Young Women’s program for teen girls. It included this thought that contradicts the message the world sends out, but which helps girls who heed it look for beauty where it matters most:
“I wish every young woman assembled here tonight would know and understand that your beauty—your “shine”—does not lie in makeup, gooey cream, or the latest clothing or hairstyles. It lies in your personal purity. When you live the standards and qualify for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, you can have a powerful impact in the world. Your example, even the light in your eyes, will influence others who see your “shine,” and they will want to be like you. Where do you get this light? The Lord is the light, “and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit.”8 A divine light comes into your eyes and countenances when you draw close to your Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. That’s how we get the “shiney”! And besides, as all of you can see, the “shiney cream” didn’t really work on my wrinkles anyway!” “Elaine S. Dalton, Arise and Shine Forth, October 2012).
Read the article on the video boys made to tell girls they are beautiful and watch several videos that have emerged from the trend:
Terrie Lynn Bittner
The late Terrie Lynn Bittner—beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend—was the author of two homeschooling books and numerous articles, including several that appeared in Latter-day Saint magazines. She became a member of the Church at the age of 17 and began sharing her faith online in 1992.