The Great Stone Face, by Nathanial Hawthorne


As a boy, Ernest had wondered about the Stone Face that was formed by the rocks far up on the side of the mountain near his home. He often sat with his mother talking about the face. Once he asked if she thought they would ever see such a man with such a face and she shared what her mother had told her. Some day it was destined that a great one, who was noble and kind, would come and he would have that face. 

Ernest spent years studying the face each day looking up. He saw deep love in the face and he learned to recognize that in others. Ernest hoped to see the man who would come and he waited for him throughout his life. As he grew older many came and many brought some nobility even being felt by the people to be the one at first but never was the right one found. 

Often the people would shout saying, at last he has come, and what Ernest never understood is how they were so deceived. Eventually the people would come to know they had been wrong. 

Near the end of Ernest's years a poet came and spoke to the people. Ernest stood and added his own thoughts to the poets strong words. He spoke from his heart and mind and his words had power and depth, because they harmonized with the life he had always lived. The poet, seeing Ernest's face as he spoke, saw the grandeur it had assumed and shouted, "Behold!" Ernest is the likeness of the Great Stone Face."

The people saw it was true and they all felt  that the prophecy was fulfilled. When Ernest was finished he took the poet's arm and walked home, still hoping himself that some wiser and better man than himself would come eventually, bearing a resemblance to the GREAT STONE FACE.

Thomas Monson, the last President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was a lover of literature. He said of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic account,"The Great Stone Face, we adopt the mannerisms, the attitudes, even the conduct of those whom we admire — and they are usually our friends."

Some more thoughts on "Who do we Admire" and "The Great Stone Face" in the Daily Comment section in this blog.

The Great Stone Face
By Nathaniel Hawthorne