“Many things can happen to make a woman beautiful. The thing that matters most is what she thinks of herself.” – Johnny Lingo

For most Latter-day Saints, we are quite familiar with the short film Johnny Lingo which is about a merchant who paid 8 cows as a dowry for his wife, Mahana. Though this film was produced many years ago, the lessons to be learned are timeless. It teaches the value of self-worth and building that in others.

In the film, Johnny Lingo wanted Mahana to understand that she was worth more than any other woman in the island. He achieved that by paying an exorbitant dowry which caused a sensation on the island and an inner transformation in his wife.

Time has changed and we no longer measure our self-worth based on cows/dowry. The challenge today is equating our worth with what is socially popular. Sisters, please remember that understanding our identity as daughters of our Heavenly Father is the only way for us to realize our worth as individuals. During the women’s conference in October 2015, Sister Rosemary Wixom taught, “Our divine nature has nothing to do with our personal accomplishments, the status we achieve, the number of marathons we run, or our popularity and self-esteem. Our divine nature comes from God. It was established in an existence that preceded our birth and will continue on into eternity.”

Understanding one’s worth does not happen after marriage or even when you start dating. Unlike Mahana in Johnny Lingo, we shouldn’t have to wait for a guy who will offer 8 cows as a dowry to realize that we are special. We need to understand our worth as daughters of our Heavenly Father because that is who we are.

However, the journey towards discovering one’s worth is not easy. I can say that because I grew up a very insecure child. People who know me may find it hard to believe because I’m usually very cheerful and outgoing, but I’ve had my fair share of tear-full nights. It’s hard not to compare yourself to others. There’s always someone who’s prettier, skinnier, smarter, etc. The list goes on. So, how did I overcome my insecurities? I haven’t. They are still there, but I choose to feel differently about myself and I developed new habits to help appreciate who I am.

  1. Read my patriarchal blessing and ponder about my identity as a daughter of God.
  2. Learn to accept compliments and say “Thank you.”
  3. Find opportunities to serve. (It’s the best solution to forget about my worries.)
  4. Surround myself with friends who has a positive attitude about life and about themselves.
  5. Be patient with myself.

Understanding our self-worth will take time and that’s okay. The blessing is that we have a Heavenly Father who will always remind us that we are worth more than all the cows that ever existed on earth.