ELAINE PENCE | Courtesy Photo

Bekah Pence, a returned missionary of only six months was crowned this year’s Miss Virginia.

Pence was excited to be involved in this year’s pageant, but not for the reasons that many would think.

“I didn’t get into this pageant because I wanted to,” Pence said. “It actually was an opportunity that I felt like, by the Spirit, Heavenly Father wanted me to take.”

Last October, Pence returned from serving as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She served in the Nevada Las Vegas Mission.

Having never competed in a pageant, Pence was not as interested in winning as much as she was about sharing her beliefs and standards, one of which was sharing that women can look gorgeous while still being modest.

“I’m a firm believer in not just being modest, but you can also be absolutely drop-dead gorgeous, not just beautiful.” She said.

Throughout the competition, Pence was able to share more of her beliefs with the judges and other contestants, including an opportunity to give a Book of Mormon to one of her competitors.

Pence will be competing in the Miss United States pageant in Washington, D.C. in July.

To read more about Pence’s experience in the competition visit Deseret News.