A Three-Year-Old’s Selfless Donation Makes for an Especially-Heartwarming Christmas Story
By Ken K. Gourdin
Frankly, I don’t know what it’s like to lose my hair to illness. Nor do I know what it would be like to sacrifice long, flowing locks to benefit someone who has lost her (or his) hair to illness. I lack such worries and am unable to relate to those who have lost hair under those circumstances because I have already lost much of my hair to that horrible, wretched, nigh-unbearable condition known as male pattern baldness. ;-D (That last sentence is irony, in case you were wondering.)
If I had the money to pay for a remedy for my horrible, wretched, nigh-unbearable condition, would I like a full head of hair? Perhaps. But I’m not terribly vain, and, quite frankly, there are too many other things on the long list of my monetary needs for getting my hair back ever to be much of a priority. (I have long worn my hair very close-cropped in any event, in either a short flattop or a crew cut, so it probably wouldn’t make much sense for me to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to get my hair back if I’m just going to cut most of it off anyway. Besides, whether it happens in this life or not, it will happen in the resurrection, in any event.)
Elder Bruce R. McConkie, formerly of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, once testified concerning the Resurrection: “We shall be raised from mortality to immortality, from corruption to incorruption. We shall come forth from the grave in physical perfection. Not a hair of the head shall be lost, and God shall wipe away all tears.” See here, last accessed today: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1976/10/the-dead-who-die-in-the-lord?lang=eng.
As an aside, I should note that as someone who has congenital imperfections that extend well beyond my particular horrible, wretched case of male pattern baldness, the resurrection and the idea of receiving a perfect body (including – yes, I confess – a full head of hair) by virtue thereof is one of my favorite principles of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, and is one of the things I most look forward to in the life to come. While we celebrate Christ’s resurrection (which will bring to pass yours and my resurrection) specifically at Easter, the resurrection is just one of those many gifts that our Savior has given us that are worth celebrating at this Christmastime, as well. See Alma, chapter 40 (especially verse 23) in The Book of Mormon, available here and last accessed today: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/alma/40?lang=eng.
All of this is intended to highlight the “even a hair of the head shall not be lost” language of Alma 40 in order to make another point. (And no, I don’t think that passage means we will all be hippies in the hereafter: it simply means that, whatever a “full head of hair” is for each of us, that’s what we will have. Enter three-year-old Ariana Smith (hat tip to Dan Peterson, of Patheos and BYU, for calling the story to my attention). In a matter of weeks, Ariana went from being determined to never relinquish her long, flowing, Goldilocks- or Rapunzel-like hair to being perfectly willing to do so – so that another little girl, who had lost her hair to illness, could have Ariana’s after she donated it to Locks of Love. (Personally, I think Ariana looks just as good with slightly-shorter hair as she did before her big-hearted, kind gesture.) See here, last accessed today: http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/year-girls-selfless-donation-viral/story?id=27288793.
Incidentally, hair – and one’s sacrifice thereof – figures prominently in another story I rather like, the telling of which is rather common this year, and which I will discuss in another post.