There are many kinds of masks.
There are masks which physically hide our faces and invisible masks which we wear to cover our hearts. There are limitless reasons for which we might choose to don them. There are cultural celebrations and special events where they are used but what about the daily incidents when we choose to put them on?
All kinds of masks
I remember being a child around Halloween. It was one of my favorite celebrations because of the costumes! What other time did you get to become something or someone else? The church hosted its usual activities at that time as well. Even back then, I was aware of the rule about not wearing masks inside the church building. It might have sounded odd to some people, but it made sense to me somehow. To me, masks, in general, symbolize deception.
There are many kinds of masks. There are masks which physically hide our faces and invisible masks which we wear to cover our hearts. There are limitless reasons for which we might choose to don them. There are cultural celebrations and special events where they are used but what about the daily incidents when we choose to put them on?
For example, I may be hurting daily due to some great weakness of mine. If I put on a smile, go about my day and pretend that I can do everything I need to be able to do, that could be considered a mask. We might hide worries and concerns underneath invisible masks. Other masks hide such challenging things as eating disorders, abuses, self-loathing, etc. Some might believe that if you’re not hurting anyone else, who cares what you are hiding? But often, we are hurting someone; that someone is our self.
Dropping our masks
When we refuse to allow the Savior to heal us or when we hide behind our challenges, we are not progressing. We cannot live a life of integrity when we can’t even be open and honest with our own self. If we can’t be honest with ourselves, how can we receive the pure love of Christ? If we can’t receive the love of Christ, how will we ever have the courage to drop the mask?
President Monson said to the Relief Society sisters, “That love never changes. … It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve it. It is simply always there.” 1
We must seek that love God wants to give us and by so doing, we can be healed of those things which cause us to employ facades.
Another very real mask is one most visible on the internet. I have noticed through discussions and comments on social media or news stories, that kindness for one another feels like a thing of the past. Grown adults are making unnecessarily rude, discouraging and heartless comments. I know that without the internet to hide behind, they would never say those same things directly to anyone.
Shedding our masks
There is one whose sole purpose is to entrap and ensnare mankind. He hides behind all kinds of masks. We can see him underneath the thin covering of selfishness, of anger, inside most of the media, within our world governments, seeking power and influence over others. He hides behind many good things also and with one small twist, perverts them for his own purposes. And he most definitely cannot be trusted.
Gratefully, Heavenly Father in His wisdom gave us a plan in which a Savior would be in place to help us shed our masks and be healed. It is only through Him that we can overcome the challenges and struggles we face. I am grateful for our Redeemer, Jesus Christ who changes hearts and helps us to become a new creation in His hands so that we can drop the masks that so easily pull us away from Him.
1 “We Never Walk Alone”, President Thomas S. Monson, October 2013, General Women’s Conference