“There was a girl in one seminary class who seemed to be helpless and almost hopeless. I tried to encourage her and draw her out; I sensed that she wanted desperately to belong and to do something. But when she was asked to respond, give a prayer, or read a scripture, she would struggle for a while and then start to cry and return to her seat. There was some sympathy on the part of the class for her, but it is also true that there were some students who were often brutal in their comments.
“She almost never combed her hair, she had very poor clothing, and she frequently wore mismatched socks, if she wore any at all. If she arrived for class a little early, the chairs on either side of her would almost invariably be empty. If she got to class late, she could sit by someone because that would be the only seat open.
“I knew enough about her background to understand why she was the way she was. Her mother was a widow with almost no income.
“In that class were the student-body president of the high school and also a girl who had been elected the beauty queen. Besides being very handsome and intelligent students, they were talented otherwise and involved in many activities.
“One day I called the two of them into my office and asked if they would like to perform a miracle. They were interested. I told them some miracles were a little slow in developing, but they were miracles nevertheless. We then talked a little bit about the girl, and I made assignments. The student-body president was to smile and speak to her every time he saw her around school. That was all. He didn’t have to take her on a date; he didn’t have to stop and talk to her; he didn’t have to associate beyond that or single her out—merely the happy, encouraging ‘I think you’re great’ or ‘Hello, how are you today?’
“The beauty queen accepted the assignment of walking with the girl across the road from the high school to the seminary. That was all. She didn’t have to include her in her circle of friends other than to walk to and from the seminary every day. She would simply hurry to catch up with her or slow down to wait for her when they were coming across the street and just talk about whatever she wanted to talk about.
“The two of them went about their tasks quietly but enthusiastically, saying not a word to anyone else. The miracle was not long in coming. One day I knew there was something different about the girl. It took me most of the class period to figure out what it was. And then I saw what it was. She had combed her hair that day. That was an event!
“Over the next month or two the transformation continued. Our beauty queen became friendly and chatty with her during that time. She could never walk with her alone because she had her own friends following her. And so other girls were included in the group, and soon the girl was surrounded for those few minutes each day with the most popular girls at school.
“There are so many interesting details that could be related about the miracle. Our wallflower transformed herself, went to college, found good employment, married in the temple, and those who know her would never believe the ugly duckling of her youth” (Boyd K. Packer, Teach Ye Diligently [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1975], pp. 149–50).It is amazing how one simple act of one person can change another person's perception of them self. Will you be that sister or that friend that helps someone else know of her self worth!?
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