Feb 14, 2013

The Face of God, and Other Faces

By Susan Knight


As we pulled up to the parking lot at church on a recent Sunday, I mentioned to my daughter, Jewely, about how much easier it was back east to be in a ward where I knew everyone. When someone new came to church it was only one person or family to remember.

There are hundreds of new people to meet in a new ward. That is a challenge for me, so I've come to understand.

When I was at LDStorymakers boot camp one year, the mentor at my table told us to forgive her if she walked by us during conference without acknowledging us. She told us she has a condition whereby she doesn’t recognize faces well. That was a revelation to me.

I sought her out to hear what she had to say. I have the same problem but didn’t know it was a real condition. I, naively, thought everyone was like me, though I noticed some people were better at facial recognition.

Though my “face blindness” is not extreme, I have a problem unless I have many interactions or have known someone a long time. And if a woman changes her hairdo or hair color, I’m doomed.

At one ANWA chapter meeting, I erroneously introduced one sister as another when she came to my door for her first meeting. She was gracious and politely corrected her name. (Insert blushing smiley face here.)

Thank goodness for Facebook. I determined to study our chapter’s page and pictures before the meetings. Please forgive me, my wonderful chapter sisters.

I always wondered how people could identify actors so readily in movies. And who can describe eyes, a nose, a mouth or chin to a police sketch artist, or pick someone from a lineup? They all look alike! For me, there’s no way.

When I had been at my job in Utah for four months, I told a friend I finally got a handle on who everyone was. That was seeing my co-workers every day.

In my ward, I can’t distinguish people unless I’m their visiting teacher or they’re mine. I need to see the bishopric or Relief Society presidency sitting up front each week, or do something together with someone many times.

A thought came to me that Sunday morning. This could be what it’s like to be familiar with Deity. How will we know our Savior if we don’t make him part of our everyday lives through prayer and fasting, reading our scriptures or attending the temple? We won’t be able to distinguish when the Holy Ghost is near unless we have “met” more than once or twice. We must interact every day in order to be acquainted with the countenances of divine beings.

Perhaps some of you are more perceptive at discerning facial features, but I’m sure, without a doubt, I will know the face of Christ when I finally see Him.

Yes, I’m sure of it.


  1. So beautiful, Susan! That is what matters when we come to the end of our journey here. I am bad with names and faces, too. My younger sister is amazing. She can point anyone out even from childhood, even if she didn't know them well.

  2. Wonderful conclusion! At least you are in good company, unless I see someone and their name at the same time I have a horrendous time trying to remember who is who.


    1. Yes, I am in good company. You included?
      I challenged myself to really look at people now and to silently name a feature on their face. I hope that helps.
      How can a good writer describe someone without noticing their features?
      Hmmm....that's a question I ask myself.

  3. I love your analogy, Susan. Thank you for sharing your wonderful insight! great post! hugs~

    1. Yes, it just came to me as I was bearing my testimony. I know the Lord loves me :) He loves you, too.
      Thanks for your comment ♥


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