It’s hard to look at The Ugly Duchess and not come away moved by her eyes. They are completely out of keeping with everything else about her. While most folks in her shoes would be hiding behind their veil, she poses unashamedly. Those eyes shout out self-confidence and contentment; they speak of a certain inner beauty that is certainly not obvious at first glance. I, and many others, have made much of the Duchess’ ugliness. Yet the Duchess truly appears gruntled (it’s a word we don’t use enough). Perhaps not enough is made of her composure and confidence.
What explains this? Maybe she’s fabulously rich. It’s possible she’s surrounded herself with people that have convinced her that she’s the cat’s meow (like the Emperor with no clothes). Wouldn’t it be great if it was because she’s truly comfortable in her own skin?
It seems that this kind of contentedness and self-confidence is a lifelong quest for most of us. This pursuit is ever complicated by the flaws we all have. Ultimately, we’re trying to gain this elusive goal not just in this life, but when we stand before God at the last day. Maybe that’s why I find the scriptural references to confidence before God to be fascinating. Nowhere is that confidence better demonstrated than in the final words of Enos:
And I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in him I shall rest. And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father. (Enos 1:27)
The only thing that brings this kind of confidence is redemption through the atonement of Jesus Christ. It is a process that takes away the ugliness of sin, and makes us feel beautiful through and through.
. . . then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God . . .(D & C 121:45)