Friday, March 19, 2010

Aging Well

We hear this term a lot - "she's 'aging well;'" or "people with olive skin 'age well.'" What do we mean when we say that?

When we use this phrase, I think we're usually referring to people who are getting older while yet maintaining a youthful appearance. Today however, I've thought of another way of understanding this phrase.

I stumbled upon the webpage of an artist today that does graphical renderings of people advancing in age. I was particularly intrigued with this video of a man going from what looks to be his 30's into what looks to be his 80's or 90's. Check it out:

I liked grabbing the playhead and scrubbing the timeline back and forth to watch it change faster or slower. I especially liked making it play in reverse. It made me think of the resurrection.

Isn’t it cool?

I liked watching the eyes, and that is what spurned this thought—how does one really age well?

Inside that changing body, he’s still the same guy, the same child of God. His body will age, change and eventually decay whether he likes it or not, but what happens to the inner man is up to him. He can't choose or change what type of mortal body he gets (remember?), but by his choices today, he can determine what type of resurrected body he gets, and how joyful he can be until then.

Is he progressing? Is he coming unto Christ? What does he watch / listen to for entertainment? What does he do with his spare time? Is he filling his mind with light? What does he do to nurture and consistently soften his heart? Is he making and keeping sacred covenants? To what extent is he focusing on emulating Christ? How often does he worship in the temple and bask in the sanctifying power of its restored priesthood ordinances?

For me today, my responses to these sort of questions have begun to answer whether or not I'm "aging well."

These scriptures seem to describe what is to truly "age well": Matthew 15:11 ; D&C 101:36-38 ; D&C 50:23-25 ; D&C 88: 7-22, 34, 67-68, 107.


  1. When I was in my late teens my family had a wonderful couple for hometeachers, Brother and Sister Anderson. They were an older couple, probably in their late 70's. They always had a sparkle in their eyes and a smile on their face(I called it perma-grin). They were filled to the brim with gratitude for everyone and everything around them. I never heard a disparaging remark come out of their mouth. They spoke freely about God, His mercy and blessings. Their testimony of the Savior was not just in word but in the choices they made every day of their lives. They were a beautiful example of charity and oneness in marriage and of Christlike love for everyone. They shined so bright! I loved to be around them and glean from their wisdom.

    About five years ago, I saw Brother Anderson in the temple...

    His physical health had declined for he needed to constantly be on oxygen and he carried a cane but he still had that strong and vibrant spirit... he hugged me and gave his regards to my family. His eyes shined as bright as ever and he still had that warmth of spirit that could soften any frozen heart.

    I will never forget this wonderful couple! What an impression they made on me... they helped me see what true beauty is!

  2. Great example, Alicia. They did it, huh?