Seeing Things That Were Not Seen Before

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf tells a story in the First Presidency message for December 2010.[1]

One night a grandfather was reading a story to his four-year-old granddaughter when she looked up and said, “Grandpa, look at the stars!” The older man smiled kindly and said, “We’re indoors, honey. There are no stars here.” But the child insisted, “You have stars in your room! Look!”

The grandfather looked up and, to his surprise, noticed that the ceiling was peppered with a metallic glitter. It was invisible most of the time, but when the light struck the glitter a certain way, it did indeed look like a field of stars. It took the eyes of a child to see them, but there they were. And from that moment on, when the grandfather walked into this room and looked up, he could see what he had not been able to see before.[2]

Despite the simplicity of this story, it touches on many powerful themes.

  • Creativity: The child looks at an ordinary object, the ceiling, in a new way, and is able to see the stars.
  • Grace: The grandfather would not have seen the stars without the child’s help.
  • Conversion: After she teaches him, he is always able to see the stars.
  • Revelation: The words of the child are like the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
  • Obedience and Humility: The grandfather looks up at the insistence of the child even though he does not believe her at first.


[1] Uchtdorf, Dieter F. “Can We See the Christ?” Liahona, December 2010.

[2] President Uchtdorf does not reveal the identity of the grandfather. Could it be him?

tagged: conversion, creativity, grace, humility, obedience, revelation

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