It now is a popular YouTube video, but first it was a memorable surprise for several young women at their LDS stake girls camp.
The theme for the Lehi North Stake Camp was "Arise and Shine." Activities had taken place to help the girls recognize what kind of attributes truly make someone shine and stand out. But the most memorable moment came when the leaders announced a surprise.
"All of our activities had to do with modesty, virtue, being kind and happy, all the things that make you attractive," said Heather Griffin, the stake camp director. "So then we took the girls down to this amphitheater and said, 'So we invited some boys to camp this year,' and all of them squealed."
It was then that a video played, featuring boys from their stake talking about girls. The answers from these 16- to 18-year-old boys are sincere. They cover topics such as modesty, attractiveness and temple preparedness with ease, even though they hadn't previously prepared answers.
"Their answers were so mature," Griffin said. "They had obviously thought about it before. If you ask someone on the spot and you respond that way, it's a part of you. They were genuinely saying how they felt."
Nate Christofferson filmed the video and had the opportunity to interact with the boys.
"They were very willing and good to work with," Christofferson said.
Although Griffin wasn't surprised by the quality answers the boys gave, she thought it was important that they had the opportunity to express their feelings.
"I think it was good for the boys to think about what they are really looking for because sometimes you have the idea about what you want, but until you verbalize it or put it into words, it's not concrete."
The words each young man spoke, as simple as they may have been, soon became the most important message the girls at camp heard.
"I think some of them wanted to believe that, that's something you want to believe that by being good and doing good you'll find a cute, good boy — I mean that's their ultimate hope," Griffin said. "But to have the boys actually saying that was such a reinforcement. It just meant so much more coming from a boy, rather than a young woman leader who always tells them that."
The video of the young men was posted on YouTube and has more than 6,000 views. Christofferson expressed his surprise at the popularity but was pleased by the comments left by viewers around the world.
AmensalimNicole wrote, "Converting to the church was the best decision I have made. I have met so many wonderful people that have put me on the path that I was searching for. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors."
Others not of the LDS faith expressed their support for the beliefs these boys shared.
Daniel Oakley wrote, "I take my hat off to these young men. I may be an atheist but my standards are exactly the same. No matter who you are, don't ever sell yourself short."
Griffin expressed the importance of this message, no matter the religious affiliation.
"I think all girls, no matter their religious preference, they want to be noticed, they want to have confidence and beauty," Griffin said. "The world tells a completly different story. But if you find beauty in the right source and look to God for confidence, you can be happy. I think all girls could benefit from that message."
Thoughts on Girls-- What some LDS Young Men think
I was asked to interview some teenagers on the subject of girls. These guys talk candidly about what makes a girl shine in their eyes. Music by Lynne Perry Christofferson, used by permission.
Sarah Sanders Petersen is an intern for the Deseret News where she writes for Mormon Times and does other feature articles. She is a communications major and editing minor from Brigham Young University.
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