In a powerful message given by the great Truman G. Madsen, a compelling sermon on sacrificing like unto Abraham, he concluded with literally the last sentence something along the lines of ‘and seeing all this, will we want to be known as the generation who complained about BYU dress codes? Such trivia is beneath our dignity.’ (For that lecture, see “Power from Abrahamic Tests | Truman G. Madsen” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TmVpO285gE) Then he ended the address immediately after saying that. Surely the issue of modesty is a great sign of rebellion of the sisters of our day, and giving it up when so many around them wont is perhaps one of their Abrahamic tests indeed.
Thesis: Modesty is the opposite of sexy, you can’t have both. Sexuality shouldn’t be on public display, but should be reserved for married couples in private settings. Women shouldn’t seek to be the center of attention by their dress. The temple is a model of modesty we should emulate. Tight clothing is immodest, aka sexually provocative. The phrase “modest is hottest” isn’t true, since modest clothing shouldn’t elicit sexual arousal.
-So there’s a new company advertising in Utah to sell clothes that are ‘sexy modest’. Here’s how it goes. There is a continuum. On the one side, is modest. On the other is sexy. They are 2 opposites. The modesty side suggests to the audience a person, just a person. An intelligent person who you can interact with to build society. The other side of the continuum suggests to the audience ‘sex’.
-Look at the word ‘sexy’. The ‘y’ on the end means ‘pertaining to’. If something is ‘fruity’ it pertains to fruit. Fluffy pertains to fluff. Spongy pertains to sponges and sponginess. So sexy pertains to sex.
On the far end of the continuum on the sexy side is a healthy nude woman presenting herself for immediate mating with you. A little further on the continuum toward modest is a woman in per se a bikini, and so forth. The point I’m making is that if women are trying to be modest and sexy at the same time, it’s not going to happen! It’s like trying to turn left and turn right at the same time, won’t happen folks! So, let’s stop obsessing over being ‘sexy’ and settle for all things relating to sex to be left to married peoples’ bedrooms. For real. This company could better call themselves “Sort of Modest Clothing” or “Only a little bit Sexual Clothing”.
-Another popular term I reject is “Modest is Hottest”. To say a woman is ‘hot’ comes from a sexual connotation. In the Spanish language to say ‘estoy caliente’ (I am hot) means ‘I want sex’. Technically speaking, the ‘hottest’ is the far end of the continuum on the sex side. So no, modest isn’t hottest, and that’s ok! Public clothing shouldn’t be “hot”! Shouldn’t make people get ‘hot’, aka shouldn’t sexually arouse other people. Is modest dress the most attractive to wear in society? Yes certainly! Nothing to me is more attractive than to see a person clothe themselves with dignity! That is attractive! That is the kind of person I want to associate with, the kind of person I can have an intellectual moral conversation with!
-One pitfall concerning modesty that many fall for is the tightness issue. Hate to break it to you folks, but tight clothing is immodest clothing. Tight clothing reveals more of the sexual functions of a person. That plain and simple. The ‘strength of youth’ manual makes no qualms about this and says to avoid ‘tight or revealing clothing’. Brother Brigham called out the sisters of his day, telling them that having their dresses drawn tightly around their forms makes them unattractive (JD 19:64-65). So no, I don’t need to know the exact shape of your breasts buttocks and thighs to appreciate you as a person!
-Where is the woman who is reserved in her manner of dress? She is becoming extinct. I prefer to see someone humble, reverent, meek, reserved, content, unpretentious, docile, unobtrusive, and polite than someone who is brazen, overbearing, domineering, pushy, rude, haughty, inflated, conceited, flamboyant, boastful, imposing, pompous, bragging, imperious, egotistic, arrogant, proud, and flaunting themselves as though there were no law, no restrictions, no guidelines, only self-government. In short, as though there were no God to hold them accountable for their interactions with their fellow beings. Immodest women demand worship/praise without doing anything to earn it.
-People say, ‘ah but its ok to be attractive!’ Yeah, I don’t disagree with that. But so many, including probably this ‘modest sexy’ company, cross the line. Women have to be satisfied without being the envy of the world by their dress. Modest dress simply won’t attract as large of an audience, deal with it! So you can’t be as adored by the masses as the queen of Egypt, deal with it! For the sake of your dignity, and men’s sanity, please, ditch the sexy narrative! The temple is an example of a place where there is NO PUBLIC DISPLAY OF SEXUALITY. Is that too much to ask?! Let’s model our society after the temple, and keep sexiness where it belongs!
-To view my other essays and quote compositions on modesty, use this link: http://richardsonstudies.com/category/familyroles/modesty/
For LDS Quotes on beauty, see this composition: http://richardsonstudies.com/2018/01/17/beauty-lds-quote-composition/
-Other Notes, Comments, and Conversations about my article “Modesty Sexy Continuum”:
1. One friend mentioned these general issues with the theory: “Women should be able to wear what they please. Men and their lack of control shouldn’t keep women from wearing what they like. Women have had breast and vaginas buts and thighs from the beginning. Do We really still have to play hide and seek? Do men still not understand just cause it’s there doesn’t mean you can touch it. Sexy women and modest women have something in common we want to feel confident. We never asked to wear extra clothing because it felt great in the blazing sun. It was to make sure some idiot didn’t have a stupid excuse to rape us (like her ankle and shoulders were showing so she was asking for it) because men made it that way not us. Can you blame women for wanting to celebrate our bodies not “His body”(our husbands). Our temple so why is loving it decorating celebrating it wrong?” My response is as follows: “I never said men are excused in rape because of sexual clothing of women. I disagree with you on your ideas how women should dress but we can agree to disagree. As for celebrating the body as a temple, temples are closed to the general public. I think our bodies should be too. Here is a question for you: why don’t we just walk around in the nude?”
2. Another friend had this to say, “I have bought stuff from this company and it is very modest, and actually everything I’ve bought is lose fitting and comfortable. Sometimes the word “sexy” can be taken way out of context or too over analyzed, in this case it is the case. Cause all of her clothing is very modest, and I’ve seen it firsthand.” My response is as follows: “I stand corrected then, but I still think we shouldn’t try to be ‘sexy’ in public. Yes, the word sexy has become synonymous with attractive, but I think it sends a bad subliminal message to young people. I’m also a bit skeptical of some of what we call modest, we like to wear tight clothes that I think push it too far”
3. Another friend had this to say, supporting the theory: “I Love your input and comments Nate! I too found the name to be Contradictive. As a woman I am concerned by those who feel that they have the Right to wear whatever they want to wear, but then say that the men DON’T have the Right to look, feel, or think how they want too. Why are Her rights more Important than His? While she’s saying, “How dare he look at me that way?” He could be saying, “How dare she dress in a way that makes it hard for me to look away?” I have 4 sons who have been taught to respect women. Why are women no longer taught to respect men?”
4. Another had this to say, “I think it is very important in this situation to do our very best to love both men and women who either choose to wear what we consider to be immodest clothing and have inappropriate thoughts. The important thing is not to condemn MEN all together, nor women all together. The example we set in our dress and our actions is usually the more effective way to help others do what is right. To generally condemn this particular company and the people who buy clothes from the, in my opinion, brings no one closer to Christ. In the spirit of love, I hope we seek to see people for who they are regardless of what they wear, or, for that matter, where they shop.” My response: “Yeah this company likely sells lots of modest clothes it’s just not good that they advertise sexy”
5. Another yet said this, “Maybe the idea to sell the clothes is that dressing modestly doesn’t have to be dull, old, or boring but rather appropriate and trendy.” My response, “Yes I think it’s great to dress trendy as long as we avoid the public sexual trend. Not a fan of the name of this company.” Their response was in agreement.
6. Another commented on the yoga pants epidemic as follows, “Like wearing leggings as pants. My stake president in high school warned about that one now it’s all the rage. I can see both sides of your point” My response, “wise stake president. Those things are a plague. Can someone explain to me how those don’t qualify as ‘tight fitting clothing’ which the FTSOY bans? lol. This is a fun debate on yoga pants I had with some folks http://richardsonstudies.com/…/yoga-pants-freedom…/”
7. One commented thus, “Did you say, “a nude woman presenting herself for immediate mating with you”? You might be taking yourself a little too seriously my man.” My response, “Yeah maybe so. I’m just trying to make the point that modest and sexy are 2 opposites, and it’s weird / dangerous when people think they can have both. On the far left of the modest sexy continuum is a woman presenting for mating. On the far left of that continuum is something like a temple robe. We’re lost touch with what the word ‘sexy’ means, it means pertaining to sex. I don’t like that we’ve made being sexy a desirable public thing. Everything pertaining to sex should be reserved for married people in private.”
-Another series of comments and responses:
Referring to how we use the term sexy now to mean attractive:
“it’s because the root or original meanings of words stays the same but the modern usage and meaning change. Woman have curves – well some of them. I find them sexy but I’m not trying to breed with them, find them inappropriate or immodest if tastefully shown off. There’s a lot of grey area here. I don’t think modest woman should have to dress like polygamists to be modest and even their dress tapper at the waist showing some curve. It’s very subjective homie”
“Sensible attractive clothing can do a lot to make a woman feel confident. As with all things, moderation is a good rule. Here is a thought… If a woman’s body is to be treated the same as a man’s body, then why do temple garments differ in coverage? Men’s sleeves and neck line are far more conservative. How are we supposed to reconcile that? …I want me a low-cut tank top garment too! Maybe if I got me some of those my chances of immediate mating with my lady might go up.”
My response to these:
Ok I want to be somewhat sensible in how I wrap this up, but my apologies in advance, my opinions on this topic are quite serious and there’s really not a gentle way to go about this. I feel that to understand the point I’m trying to make we need to step back and get a bigger world view, so here it goes. My attack isn’t focused against this “Sexy Modest” clothing company, which is probably trying to do a good thing, but more so against what their name reflects about our present society, and implies for our society in the near future. The attempt to bridge modest and sexy is a reflection of a sex obsessed society. This company’s title (Sexy Modest) both a reflection of this obsession, and breeds more of the same. I will also attempt to show what’s behind the ‘it’s just language shift’ argument.
My intention of writing this essay isn’t just for our little conversation here, it will have usefulness in other venues in which I will employ it. This isn’t an attack on you, it’s an attack on our societal norms, the which are most difficult to escape, and often quite hidden from our understanding. In fact, we eventually get to the Noah principle, which is that it gets to a point where things get so bad in our society, that the most merciful option God can use, and hence the one he eventually employs, is to burn society down and start afresh. The rising generation have decreasing power to succeed the more saturated our culture becomes in evil. Well did Joseph Smith say, “Noah came before the flood, I have come before the fire.” In fact, in Matt. 24:22 Jesus prophecies that in the last days, unless the 2nd coming happens soon, we’re not going to make it, “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” God will have mercy on us and soon remove us from this thoroughly corrupt society. Not a few prophets have declared that this generation is parallel in evils to Sodom, and that deliverance is neigh.
(PS – if any LDS person still feels that the 2nd coming of Christ is scores or even hundreds of years distant, I invite them to review these messages from our prophet Russel Nelson: “You are True Millennials (2016): http://richardsonstudies.com/2018/01/27/true-millennials-president-russell-m-nelson-2016-summary/ ; “Youth Battalion of the Lord (2018): http://richardsonstudies.com/2018/06/09/youth-batallion-lord-latter-days-president-nelson-june-2018-summary/)
-Should we go with the flow in the shift from sexy meaning pertaining to sex to it meaning ‘attractive’? If the word sexy has changed from its original/root meaning, we should fight to take it back. It’s like what they’ve turned the word “Christian” into, basically anyone who can sing about “Jesus Rockstar”. Another definition we have lost is Sabbath. Sabbath is now associated more with holiday than holy day. We’ve lost the term ‘courting’ to ‘hanging out’. We’ve turned the term ‘unchastity’ into ‘testing sexual chemistry’. We say, “she’s hot!” when that too is a sexual reference; in Spanish “estoy caliente” (I’m hot) means “I want sex”. It suggests that someone’s appearance is triggering our sex hormones, increasing our body temperature, etc. Sure, we’ve adapted to our environment and can control our thoughts from always going to sex when a woman is immodest, but folks, being modest has merit in and of itself. And we will lose less young people who haven’t developed this control yet if we shift to a modest culture and dialogue. There are scores of examples of how people with an agenda have changed the words we use to make good not seem so good, and bad not seem so bad. Language does influence culture. The book 1984 by George Orwell and the book Brave New World by Aldous Huxley have brilliant commentary on language becoming a political weapon to change culture. Let’s not go with the flow on these revisions, let’s make a separate side society which hasn’t lost its mind. “The Emperor” has put on a nice set of new clothes folks! Will we just let him strut around like that or will we speak up?!
-Have you guys seen all the restaurants and banks advertising that their business is ‘the sexiest’? They suggest that the more you use their products, the sexier you’ll become! To me it’s this simple: We are obsessed with sex! We’ve made sex and sex-ness our measuring rod for cultural excellence and desirability. Intellectualism? What a joke!
-Here’s an idea, let’s just change our coinage to be called sex! I can see it now: “That’s going to cost you 2 sexes sir.” “Ah what a rip off! A piece of junk like this should only cost 1 sex!” “Nah man this is super-hot, I would give at least 2 sexes for this baby!” “Did you bring the sex?” “I’ve been saving up my sex all week now let’s go spend it!” etc. WHAT THE HECK! This is where we are going folks. Actually, our slang “F” word has essentially already accomplished this, and it’s a matter of time till the slang becomes the norm. Even in the past decade the “F” word and its sexual connotation has made leaps and bounds of being publicly accepted as normal language.
-Just ask people who lived 100 years ago – if you would have told them that the word ‘sex’ would be the new word for ‘cool/attractive’, they would have gasped and called you a charlatan. Imagine how ugly that could get. I will spare you from offering specific examples, but people really do just that, they take a word about a sexual body part, and use it in speech to express any excitement, and even any disappointment. So, what’s it going to be like 100 years from now? (or 10 from now; Actually, I’ve even heard people speak in this very way at the present date. It breaks my heart and leaves me speechless. The go to swear word of our time, the “F” word, is commonly understood to mean 2 things: to destroy or damn, and to participate in sex. ) You think me crazy for using this logic, but I have proven that given the dramatic shift in the past 100 years in language, dress, chastity and overall respectfulness, that these future predictions aren’t radical but logical outcomes of our current projectory. Well was it said by a builder of this nation Samuel Adams say that a people universally corrupt in their manners cannot be governed by even the best of systems. Alas, as the prophet Isaiah has said, we soon we find ourselves torn from war in our own and, and we will sit upon the ground and weep.
-It becomes harder and harder to teach my children not to be obsessed with sex in our sex obsessed society. A young person, even if subconsciously, thinks, “if being sexy is the ideal, if I have sex, I will be ideal!” In other words, you could hear a young person say “oh Jon said my shirt is sexy, that I am sexy. Hey, wait a second, I remember a word just like sexy which could help me get Jon for my boyfriend, sex! Why didn’t I think of this before! Sex, sexy, they’re almost the same word! Jon seems to like things pertaining to sex and sexiness, maybe if I have sex with him, he will like me!” (If this isn’t making sense, consider this analogy: if vanilla was a favorite thing in society, we could say “that’s so vanilla!”, or “that looks/tastes like vanilla!”. Eventually, the female would logically say to herself, ‘this boy keeps commenting about whether things are “vanillay” or not, he must love vanilla, I will give him vanilla so he will like me!’) Yes, there are young women who have said that the way they know whether a boy likes them or not is by weather the boy will speak to them after sex. We’ve got some problems people.
-I may find myself having this conversation, “What are your goals in life son?” “Um, duh dad, were you born last century? My goals are centered on frequent sex with as many women as possible!” I’ll respond “Well actually son I was born last century… At any rate, you’re attracted to the opposite gender and you haven’t done a private sex change at school behind my back so that makes this a little less complicated, but son, we’ve got some talking to do. Though you’re not suffering with some issues, if you stick to your current philosophy, you’re going to hell.” Then of course we would explain why such a pursuit would lead to the misery of hell, and eventually the location of hell, essentially due to failing to understand and uphold the dignity of human life, and leaving a wake of chaos and depression for generations to come.
-Hopefully television has a very limited invitation in our homes, lest this doctrine of sex seeking be relentlessly taught and hardly resisted, even if subliminally and subconsciously.
-Though there may be some scenarios where birth control is beneficial, its wake has had plenty of negative consequences to our societal norms and dialogue. Sex was the sacred ritual of life. Now it’s too often used as a mundane beastly pleasure hoard fest, like the priests of King Noah, they spend all their strength with harlots rather than doing productive things in society. Ooh but don’t call anyone a harlot that’s offensive. Feminism is famous for saying “Men are sexually promiscuous without repercussions, in the name of equality, help us to have that too!” Rather than what they should have said is, “Men are being scandalous! Women, you must take the moral high ground, boycott scandalous men, and if anyone forces themselves upon us, castrate them and jail them for a decade!” Part of our problem is that we don’t punish provable rape severely enough.
-And then there’s that pesky biological attraction factor which says the more sexual a woman appears, the harder for a young untrained man to resist her, and the harder for the trained man to keep his thoughts clean. That’s still a thing. Many psychologists agree that women often fail to realize how powerful the appearance of a woman is to a man. President Spencer W Kimball said that immodest dress of women leads to impure thoughts of man, and that the immodest dress is a sin of the woman. He agrees that women often fail to realize the effect they are having on men with their dress.
-Women dress immodesty for attention because it works! All that hassle, goodness me, it’s a lot of work to put on such a pompous presentation, but they do it because it works. Supply and demand. So really this rebuke isn’t just directed to women, it’s equally directed to men for brewing up such petitions of our women folk.
– Here’s one many haven’t thought of before that one of my BYU professors brought up in a marriage class at BYU: The adults are too obsessed with sex too, they have been taught that chastity is something we strap ourselves down to until marriage then they are free! No more restraint! But really, it’s disabling the Elders of Israel to have them living with sex-oriented goals. They go to business college so they can get plenty of money so they can attract a model wife and have plenty of sex. Well did Nibley point out that a theme of Babylon is that they insist on having plenty of sex! This is part of why divorce is so high today. Spencer Kimball said sex is one of the if not the very top issue people divorce over. We’re teaching bad ideas about sex and expecting marriages to resist it. Fail!
-Yes, there is moderation and gray area, but I submit in and out of the church, we are too immodest in our society. Seeking sexiness in our clothing isn’t helping that.
-There’s a principle called Hegelian dialect. The basic premise is that if you take something you want to change, and start shouting for the polar opposite, eventually the people will ‘meet in the middle’. This happens over and over until what was once far right has become far left. It’s like Lachoneus, “come down just a little. Ok now a little more. Very nice. Coming along very nicely now…” So, we have the 2 polar opposites: modesty (essentially temple robes) and sexy (essentially nudity). The more people call for sexiness, the more the modest people feel they need to move to the left to be more tolerant. We move more and more left, and before you know it, like the frog put in the pot of cold water slowly heated to a boil, we never saw it coming. Big issues come along as fruits of immodesty and sex-oriented culture. We’ve essentially said this by accepting the modest sexy dogma, “Slightly sexual is the new modest”. Though the church isn’t as corrupt as society at large when it comes to modesty, we’ve seen in the past 50 years how small compromises of accepted public behavior have led to essentially women walking around in bikinis in the summer. We’re almost as bad as Europe with this stuff, they have plenty of nude beaches, lots of nudity everywhere in Germany. Europe leads the way in social corruption. America resists European trends but eventually follows them. Similarly, the LDS resist American trends, but eventually follow them. Look at childbearing for example. US went from about 4 to 2 average, LDS have gone from about 6 to 4 average. LDS still ahead, but falling proportionately with the masses (PS the number of children you have is up to you and God, I’m just pointing out the common principle that we are, as a people, inevitably influenced by the culture we live in). The Book of Mormon explains that the Lord’s people are the only ones not lead astray, BUT EVEN THEY err because of wicked doctrines surrounding them, “They wear stiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and whoredoms, they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men.” (2 Ne. 28:14) God told the great Joseph Smith that “you cannot always tell the wicked from the righteous” (D&C 10:37). So not even Joseph, that mighty archangel of the last dispensation, could always tell who was to be trusted. This means we shouldn’t think it strange that it’s possible for us to get lead astray on some matters. We are not fool proof yet. Alexander Pope’s famous poem comes to mind, “Vice is a monster of so frightful mein, as, to be hated needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”
-As far as the ‘nude presentation for sex’ phrase I mentioned earlier in the article which a few have quaked at, I’m doing an important debate tactic which is taking it to the logical extreme to see if the opponent realizes what they’re calling for. I have some people who are such adamant advocates for women’s right to wear whatever the blazes they want that I must ask them: so why do we wear clothes at all? Once they answer that question, which they often don’t, we can start to talk about where to draw the line, and why we should try to be modest at all.
-The “For The Strength of Youth” handbook says we should avoid tight and form fitting clothing. Here is the quote, “Immodest clothing is any clothing that is tight, sheer, or revealing in any other manner. Young women should avoid short shorts and short skirts, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and clothing that does not cover the shoulders or is low-cut in the front or the back.” (https://www.lds.org/youth/for-the-strength-of-youth/dress-and-appearance?lang=eng ) So the prophets have declared their message, now we see how the saints respond to the word of God. It’s ok to criticize church members for how they adhere to the prophets’ teachings. That’s what we do whenever we give a talk in church etc., we teach the doctrines the prophets have taught, and hope the saints catch on and do something about it. When the people reject the words of the prophets, the word of the Lord is withdrawn, and they’re left to figure it out on their own. Alma teaches this in Book of Mormon. Alma 12:10-11 says “10 And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full. 11 And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.” This is what happened with socialism for example. By and large the prophets don’t preach against socialism now because in Utah, a good sample of the LDS people, we voted a vast majority for FDR 4 times in a row, etc. Now because the people rejected the prophets on this point, we suffer the consequences of decreasing liberties and heavier tax burdens. We used to hear more hard lines about modesty. Stake presidents would call out yoga pants, etc. But the more people have embraced immodesty and sex culture, the more their hands are tied on this. One quick example: let’s say a society is eating too much McDonalds, but they’re also committing adultery. God’s messengers can say stop eating so much McDonalds so they can honor their temples and have the spirit, but they’re going to focus their message on getting them to stop being adulterers. Thus it is with getting the saints to stop being immodest. There are bigger fish to fry. However, this doesn’t mean immodesty is irrelevant. Indeed, the smaller issues can be roots to the bigger problems. Therefore, we try to perfect ourselves and stay away from “the line”.
-History is replete with strong people who just got too close to a ‘slippery slope’ and fell. Like David. In essence, the masses are saying, “let Bathsheba bathe in public! She has rights! So maybe God did create us, then why hide her beauty God has blessed her with! Why should she be ashamed of her body! Why should she be limited because of how men who don’t know how to control themselves react to her!” Oh ye rising David’s, GOD HELP YOU!
-It seems there are 2 aspects of immodesty (3 if you count inappropriate corporal and linguistic attitudes & advances): 1. Showing too much skin and 2. Too tight of clothing. Society at large has a big issue with both aspects. The LDS, thanks to limitations of temple garments, don’t have a huge issue with showing too much skin, but they do have a big issue with wearing too tight of clothing. Our clothes aren’t flowing, they are clinging. We squeeeeeze into our clothes. Yes, in the temple the women’s dresses do have some amount of curvature, but very minimal. Temple dresses are elegant and attractive, but very different from our outside of temple dress norms. I say the more we pattern our lives after the temple the closer we will get to God and Zion. What is the temple? It’s where heaven meets earth. It’s God’s way of saying, “Good news children, those of you who have accepted my gospel within my church and become temple worthy, you’ve proven yourselves worthy of a peek into what it’s like where I live here in heaven!” Temples are heaven. We are so unaccustomed to heaven that we are scared at this thought, but we will learn in time how to truly become a temple people, and walk and talk with God himself! Well did the grand LDS historian Nibley teach that our social standards are million miles away from celestial society! This is why getting answers to prayer can be so hard: Prayer to God in heaven is culture shock! We kneel down and attempt to pull ourselves away from this fallen world and seek to approach the gates of heaven, and the very throne of God. We essentially have to bread down the gates, to pound on them incessantly, until God sees us fit to enter his realm, being purged of the ideas and mantras of Babylon. Well did the early LDS saints choose as their theme that Millennial slogan, “HOLINESS TO THE LORD!”
-Look at society 100 years ago vs society today. Yesterday’s underwear has become todays outerwear. Some old film will show a woman being terrified by being seen in her sleeping clothes or undergarments, which are in every standard more modest than what we wear on the outside today. There are 2 options: are they crazy, or are we? I say today and forever, we are the crazy ones. Take a step back: descent people have covered their bodies with clothes for the past 6,000 years. Naturally the queen of Egypt was quite pompous and had no regard for such. Queen of Egypt and other such historic minorities aside, including fallen cultures like loin cloth Lamanites who are specifically identified as a fallen society in holy writ, are we so bold as to say the past 50 years of dress standards are wiser than the past 6,000 combined? I for one think the past 50 years are the crazy ones. We’re obsessed with the new, the trendy. Give me a break!
-Women should consider how what they wear makes men feel. As someone brilliantly said earlier about this, “I too found the name (Sexy Modest Clothing Co.) to be contradictive. As a woman I am concerned by those who feel that they have the Right to wear whatever they want to wear, but then say that the men DON’T have the Right to look, feel, or think how they want too. Why are Her rights more Important than His? While she’s saying, “How dare he look at me that way?” He could be saying, “How dare she dress in a way that makes it hard for me to look away?” I have 4 sons who have been taught to respect women. Why are women no longer taught to respect men?”
-Brigham Young said the women in the church in his day were starting to wear too tight of dresses (which begs the question of what Brother Brigham would have to say about the current generation), “Wont you be so kind and so good as to take those pins or the india-rubber cords out of the back of the skirts of your dresses, so that you will look comely. They make you look uncomely, to see your dresses drawn around you, showing your form. Mothers ought to be ashamed of teaching their children such things.” (Brigham Young JD 19:64-65)
-Let it be clear I’m not arguing for women to be ugly. I’m arguing for a movement toward beauty and away from sexiness. Here is Brigham Young again saying how women should try to look pretty, “Let the sisters take care of themselves, and make themselves beautiful, and if any of you are so superstitious and ignorant as to say that this is pride, I can say that you are not informed as to the pride which is sinful before the Lord, you are also ignorant as to the excellency of the heavens, and of the beauty which dwells in the society of the Gods. Were you to see an angel, you would see a beautiful and lovely creature. Make yourselves like angels in goodness and beauty” (DBY, 215). (see also Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, (1997), 131–36 Ch. 19 The Relief Society and Individual Responsibility; see also https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-19?lang=eng)
-Here the Lord says let our garments be plain, “And again, thou shalt not be proud in thy heart; let all thy garments be plain, and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands;” (D&C 42:40)
-You’ll also note in the above scripture about clothing being ‘the work of thine own hands.’ Brigham Young taught that it was so important to avoid ‘Gentile fashions’ that the saints should make their own clothes. If it was important to avoid ‘Gentile fashions’ back then, oh how much worse is our predicament today!
-The Book of Mormon was written for our day, and it says in 2 Ne. 13:16-17, “16 Moreover, the Lord saith: Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched-forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet—17 Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion” Can the term daughters of Zion have any other meaning than church members? I suppose it could refer to women living in America in general since America is, as JS taught, the land of Zion. Either way, we’re in trouble. One of you said we don’t need to be like the Amish or Islam in our dress, but notice how he doesn’t say ‘the daughters of Islam/Amish are cursed”. The Lord is angry about how we dress at least here in the US, and likely in the church, the ‘daughters of Zion’.
– Joseph F. Smith rebuked LDS mothers for sending their daughters into public half naked, “It is almost past belief that there should be mothers who take pride in seeing their daughters go dressed immodestly, if not indecently, but there are such mothers, and their actions are astounding if not execrable …We complain that our daughters go…half-naked before the public. It is an outrage, and should not be tolerated by Latter-day Saints under any conditions…In this matter of dress and social conduct, then, the mothers have a deep responsibility, and their great organization—the Relief Society is a fit instrument to bring about reforms by having the mothers make the effort in the homes of the Saints. (Improvement Era, Dress & Social Practices, JFSmith, Dec 1916, http://www.ldswomenofgod.com/2008/06/05/modesty-a-call-to-the-women-of-the-church/)
-While garments shield many adult church members from immodesty pitfalls, what about the young women? The Relief Society Magazine (which was an official RS publication of the Church) expressed sorrow that mothers in the church allow their daughters to go out in public “half nude”: “The dress should be made to cover the shoulder and upper arm; the round or V neck should not be extreme; and the skirt not immodestly short. Very sheer material, while beautiful in itself, is not in good taste unless worn with underclothing which properly covers the body…Mothers who have persistently violated modesty and their own covenants…these mothers would naturally view with entire complacency the half naked condition of their daughters in public places. But when these examples spread, and we hear good Latter-day Saint mothers defending such looseness on the ground of expediency, or common custom, it is time for public teachers and watchers upon the towers of Zion to arise and cry out a warning note. We can refuse to read or buy books and magazines that exploit adultery and loose moral standards. We can remain away from theaters and picture shows that portray vice and sin in glittering colors and suggestive references.” (RS Magazine, RS in its Attitude to Dress & Social Customs, Feb 1917; RS Magazine, Social Work: Dress, Apr 1917)
-I suggest our use of tight clothing in the church often puts us with what I call the “body worship” movement, a movement I’m nervous about associating with. This movement includes ultra-form fitting clothing. The participants often have done well in covering their skin, but I liken it to wearing paint of a different color than your natural skin tone, and going in public. It’s pretty near that. Why people… This is a trend which some religious people participate in unwittingly, but I’ve seen it more particularly manifest in areligious people who seem to have no standards whatsoever concerning physical boundaries. Hand in hand with developments like this we have seen a rise in premarital cohabitation, out of wedlock births, single parent households, etc.
-I find ‘pioneer’ dress more appropriate than most of the dress we use. USA dress is more fun and entertaining than pioneer dress, but life isn’t about being entertained all the time. It’s about, as Brigham Young said, learning and preaching the gospel. “Men are that they might have joy” doesn’t equivalate “men are that they might be entertained all the time”. We spend so much time on trying to ‘look sexy’ that we don’t have time to read books. Some are appalled by the dress in Islamic nations, I agree if such is forced, but electing to dress that way may not be such a bad thing after all. Remember the temple, how do we dress there? Shouldn’t that hint to us that tight clothing is not of God? When prophets have theophanies (personal appearances of God to them), what is God wearing? Let me give you a hint – it’s not tights. Do you want to become like God? Then turn those tights into dish rags, and praise God for the wonder of having a body like him and his wife! Promise to God that you will from this point forward, respect that body, and not show it off in public as you have hitherto done. Be beautiful, but be modest. Don’t emphasize your sexuality through your dress. Emphasizing sexuality through dress is the name of the game in Babylon, this is why Brigham Young instructed the early saints to make their own clothing rather than buy into the clothing fads of Babylon. What a cheap trick, to present yourself to society with your sexual-foot forward, rather than your best foot forward. Your best foot is your knowledge of your divine identity and divine destiny. Show this best foot forward by dressing in a way that reflects your simple divinity rather than your sub-feature of sexuality. Sexuality is part of the status of the Gods, but it is kept within strict bounds of marriage. If sex is exclusive to marriage in God’s plan, shouldn’t being ‘sexy’ also be exclusive to marriage in God’s plan? So the question boils down to this: how interested are you in God’s plan? You might become more interested in God’s plan when I remind you that the privileges of sexuality in the next life and forever thereafter are only to be enjoyed by those who have espoused to follow God’s plan in this life. Truly, our sexual nature and power is a message from God that great things are in store for the faithful, and is a key to knowledge, that the Gods in fact procreate themselves. Read into this further, and receive the shocking message that you are the spiritual progeny of the Gods, and can become like them of you live within the bounds which they have set.
-It was mentioned that women feel empowered when they wear ‘sensible attractive clothing’. Indeed! But notice the difference between the disposition of a woman thus clothed verses a woman whose goal is to look ‘sexy.’ Here are words that come to mind when someone suggests modest dress: humble, reverent, meek, reserved, content, unpretentious, docile, unobtrusive, and polite.
Now these words come to mind when someone suggests ‘sexy’ dress: brazen, overbearing, domineering, pushy, rude, haughty, inflated, conceited, flamboyant, boastful, imposing, pompous, bragging, imperious, egotistic, arrogant, proud, and flaunting.
I propose that though our societal definition of sexy has shifted to mean attractive in general, it still carries with it these negative connotations.
You can test this by asking: If someone is sexy, which set of adjectives would you associate them with? Now how about someone who is very sexy? Now how about someone who is extremely sexy? You see, the further left you go on the modesty sexy continuum, the more you go away from humility and go toward pride. So, we see that along with modesty on far right, humility is far right. Along with sexy on far left, we see pride on far left.
-When you think of Christ and the modesty sexy continuum, where would you place him? Is Christ sexy? Is he modest sexy? Or is he just modest? To assist you in your diagnosis, consider this scripture about Christ, “I am meek and lowly in heart” (Matt. 11:29). Also consider “he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him” (Isa. 53:2, a Messianic prophecy). In light of this conversation, the phrase “he had no form” may take new meaning – he didn’t wear skin tight clothes! He didn’t try and fix himself up to be flashy! We can at least draw from these scriptures that Christ didn’t spend lots of resources (time, money, thought) in making himself attractive. This seems to but heads with the fashion industry who essentially promise eternal youth and forgiveness of sin when you use their products. You’ve heard the commercials, “young living oils!” “a new you!” “feel renewed and rejuvenated!” “get a new start!” How ironic that the Messiah, the one who really has and offers these gifts, had little to nothing to do with trendiness and appearances. We could even make an argument that the fashion and beauty industries are forms of priestcraft!
-Just to get you thinking, I’d like to bring up Jews and swimming. Yep, gender segregated swimming at the beach (not to mention their wonderful modest bathing suits). Want another example of gender segregation? LDS temple instruction. What’s the point? Think twice when you think a colony of mostly nude people getting together is normal and wonderful. The other point: we get much too casual with each other in our everyday dealings and recreation. Males and females are biological creatures which do well to set limitations among themselves to keep order and enable unobstructed learning. Lest you say, “don’t use the Jews as an example of good behavior they look beyond the mark!” recall this Book of Mormon scripture (meant for our day) tells us to have respect for the Jews, “the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles?” (2 Ne. 29:4) and “Yea, and ye need not any longer hiss, nor spurn, nor make game of the Jews, nor any of the remnant of the house of Israel; for behold, the Lord remembereth his covenant unto them, and he will do unto them according to that which he hath sworn.” (3 Ne. 29:8) There is a concept know in our and other churches called ‘holy envy’. Essentially it is that we respect other religions for strengths they possess which we do not. Since we’re on this highly controversial topic of how other religions dress, let’s bring up every American’s and every Christian’s favorite: Islam! I’m not in favor of forcing women to dress a certain way, but I’d rather see us dressed in robes than dressed in tight circus monkey clothes. The circus monkey spandex clothes really delete respectfulness and reverence for the body. One more note about Jews, LDS prophets have said that the Americans who killed Joseph Smith were just as wicked and apostate as the Jews who killed Christ – so don’t think we’re so much better than the Jews as a society!
-One more note on the topic of swimming, though some level of clothing adjustments is required, we too often take bathing suits too far. The “For the Strength of Youth” manual says, “Never lower your standards of dress. Do not use a special occasion as an excuse to be immodest. When you dress immodestly, you send a message that is contrary to your identity as a son or daughter of God. You also send the message that you are using your body to get attention and approval.”
-America is the most prosperous nation in the history of the world. But while we have excelled at economic success, we have not been the most spiritually enlightened people. According to Joseph Smith, Elder Bruce R. McConkie and others, we are not as spiritually enlightened as the ancient patriarchs. They were taken to God as in Enoch’s city (and others like it we have not record of). Brigham Young taught that the reason the LDS didn’t get to stay in Missouri is because they were not worthy of it. The ancient patriarchs had spiritual knowledge and power which we don’t have. The reason? Our limited willingness to magnify gospel callings (not limited to formal church callings). Our slowness to follow the prophets, even when they ask “hard” things of us. The pioneers called objections to God’s councils “useless cares” which they sought to drive away in that old battle hymn “Come, Come Ye Saints!”
-Let’s not push the line and see how close we can get to the edge of Babylonian culture and civilization, let’s be different! Let’s show them how strong we can be as an independent people who set their own standards, completely independent of their trends! Like Daniel in Babylon, lets show them what God can make of a people who obey His laws! The Lord invites us in our day (the D&C applies to all not just JS), “And now I command you, my servant Joseph, to repent and walk more uprightly before me, and to yield to the persuasions of men no more” (D&C 5:21). He also chastises us, “And behold, how oft you have transgressed the commandments and the laws of God, and have gone on in the persuasions of men.” (D&C 3:6-7)
Note: I don’t talk much here about men’s need for modesty. Like women, the way they dress, speak, and generally present themselves, can send a message of holiness to the Lord, or of selfishness and spiritual immaturity. Another sad note is that men promote immodesty by giving their smiles attention and kindness often to only what they deem the more ‘attractive’ women. Everyone is hungry for acceptance and love, everyone wants to be noticed. If the men would react to the modest women with the same favor they do to the immodest women, immodesty would disappear overnight.
NOTE: Some consider this article to be prudish. As for dressing like a prude, that’s tricky. What many call ‘prudish’ today was yesterday’s norm. For example, Brigham Young told the sisters of the church that he didn’t like how their dresses were drawn so tightly around their bodies, he said “Wont you be so kind and so good as to take those pins or the india-rubber cords out of the back of the skirts of your dresses, so that you will look comely. They make you look uncomely, to see your dresses drawn around you, showing your form. Mothers ought to be ashamed of teaching their children such things.” (Brigham Young JD 19:64-65). He also spoke of how it’s ok and good for women to try and look attractive, but there is a point where being attractive can turn into vanity if we aren’t careful.
Responding to “What’s wrong with wearing yoga pants in public? Why not just let people live the way they want?”
Includes discussion on public dress, privileges of religious societies, privileges of non-religious societies, the grace of Jesus not being a do-whatever-you-want-clause, US dress vs Islamic nations dress, possible outcomes of accepting immodesty as a cultural norm.
The real question at stake here is “what is wrong with immodest clothing in general?” To that we could have a very lengthy conversation. I’ve written at some length on the subject on my website RichardsonStudies.com in the family section, subheading modesty.
I know of at least one university professor who says the moment he brings up the modesty epidemic in his classes, the students outrage and write bad reviews about him; aka literally his job is threatened when he does that, so he doesn’t do it anymore. Amazing! Let me just say that I am not alone in thinking that modesty issues are the basically number 1 manifestation of pride of the female members of the church – a flagrant disregarding of prophetic council.
There are a lot of potential issues with the “let people live the way they want to” idea…. But I’m not calling for a law banning yoga pants in public, I just think the degree to which they expose the body is indecent. Private institutions could ban yoga pants however, and that is a splendid idea! For example, it is against the BYU dress code to wear them. The basis of religious societies from the beginning of time is the idea that a group of people want to live with certain values, so they flee society as a whole where they can safely live those values in peace and prosperity. As far as our society is not a society governed by the laws of God, we will not push them to the standards of God. The only people who should be governed by the laws of God are people who voluntarily enter that governance, and of course even the laws of man should conform to some extent of the conscience.
I don’t think less of people who wear the stuff in public, I just don’t like it. Wearing a form fitting outfit in public means married men see you. You’re not a man so I don’t expect you to understand this, but when a man (or particularly an adolescent) sees a woman in something quite like underwear, he has a devil of a time not wanting to seduce that woman. He has a hard-enough time controlling himself around a beautiful woman dressed modestly. Yoga pants are often so extremely form fitting that it’s a kin to merely painting the nude body a different color and going in public. Further when an adolescent or child is exposed to a basically nude woman’s body, it triggers and or heightens hormones which weren’t supposed to activate until a slightly later age when he can better handle sexual arousal.
For good reason, the restored church of Jesus Christ has counseled against “tight or form fitting clothing.” I know you aren’t associated with the church at this time, but you can recognize that it is an institution generally in favor of family-based values. Basically, exposing the body to persons to whom you are not married to undermines the concept of marriage. Sexual exposure and sexual union are to be kept in marriage, otherwise marriage is disincentivized and the commitment aspect of marriage is undermined, the commitment aspect being fundamental when things are hard in a marriage, especially raising children. Without marriage, pregnant women are more likely to live in poverty, abandon their children or neglect or abuse them (or to abort), so marriage is critical for survival of the human race. Further a child may see a seminude woman and investigate full nudity since the seminude was such a pleasurable experience, which leads to pornography. Studies show pornography teaches inappropriate messages about human sexuality including animalistic misogyny and a total lack of commitment toward sexual partners. Without marriage/commitment to a sexual partner, society falls apart, children not having 2 parents etc., or the next generation of children never being born at all (childlessness/diminished childbearing being a critical issue right now in all nations except Africa, the repopulation quota being below the minimum amount (about 2.3 children per couple)).
Let it be known that I never said single or unmarried parents are evil people, I know plenty of them who are good people whom I love and respect. Difficult situations with international and national laws often make these issues complex. I merely said more problems are more likely to arise when there are parents without marriage, and that marriage is the ideal situation for adults, and parents.
I have no issue confessing that while it is not the woman’s fault if she is raped, she will be held accountable before God for how she dressed and acted in general, whether or not she happened to be raped. Seductive women are not blameless in the world. Anyone who denies this is a godless creature who knows nothing about the laws of the cosmos. Unfortunately immodest clothing is so engrained in our society that many women do it without realizing they are. We have a sexually obsessed climate in our public schools etc., which is one of the main reasons many parents homeschool their children.
I was asked by the same “where can you find a verse in the bible about dressing modestly?” in an attempt to down the argument. Though I could have pointed him to several passages, I responded this way: That’s the problem with Protestants, they always want a scripture for everything. As far as my religion goes, yes, we do have prophets who have spoken on standards for modesty: they’ve said that we should not wear tight or form-fitting clothing! You look too dead profits for all your instructions; they cannot clarify all of the issues that you will find in your life. If you reject the living prophets, you have only your conscience to guide you. The conscience is a powerful tool, but living in a society so steeped in sin, it is easy for even the best of people to make serious mistakes within their lifestyle choices. That is why the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is near; the fire will be similar to the flood. The reason for the flood was because things got so bad that people learn bad things from their parents to the point where there was no hope for the rising generation. The fire will come for a similar reason to spare the innocent and rising generation who have no resource for finding answers to their lifestyle choices, their fathers having rejected the prophets, and their conscience not having much of a chance from such evils surrounding them on every side. We have debated at length in the past this topic of the need for modern revelation and I will not seek to do so in more detail in this instance.
I was asked by a Protestant, “but doesn’t Jesus save us in our sins? Do you think Jesus can’t forgive?” He was suggesting that there should be no real requirement or expectation in regard to our actions because of the bounty of Christ. I said this: This will not be the first time we disagree theologically. Just because Jesus is graceful and forgives us of sins doesn’t mean he approves of sins; if the Bible doesn’t make that clear enough, The Book of Mormon says it in plain English that Jesus does not save us in our sins, but he saves us from our sins. The idea of Jesus saving us in our sins suggests that the need for repentance is not really pressing. Jesus saves us from, not in, our sins. Repentance is an absolute requirement to gain salvation. Repentance means confession and forsaking of sin. Sin is when people willfully rebel against God. If a person knows immodesty is bad, they are sinning when they do it. If they are ignorant, God will take that into account; but everyone has conscience which they must be accountable for.
The Protestant suggested that my views on modesty are similar to another country hinting at Islam, suggesting in a degrading tone that I should leave the USA and go live in an Islamic nation, which I knew he was doing, but I responded this way: Indeed Gods people are pilgrims and strangers in this land and we seek for a better! He then cornered me by specifically saying that perhaps I would rather live amongst an Islamic country where they dress to a higher standard of modesty; he seemed to approve of the way we live here in the US; I responded this way: When it comes to dress they do a lot of things better than we do; I don’t approve of everything they do but I can take my hat off to a lot of what they do as far as modesty goes. The way that Mormons dress in their temples suggests that we are way off in the USA; I don’t have any shame in admitting that in fact I’m embarrassed for people who approve of the way we dress here
In Islam of course the bad thing is that they force the women to dress that way and they hurt or kill them if they don’t; this is never God’s way; even an ancient Israel if someone was breaking one of the laws of God they had two choices: suffer the punishments written in the law book of Israel which is often death or get out of Dodge! In other words if you want to live in Israel you live like an Israelite and if you want to live like a pagan you live with the pagans and of course Israel will receive her award and the pagans will receive theirs; religious persons volunteer; in volunteerism you can’t be forced to do this, force was in fact was Satan’s plan – he wanted to force people to be good and that is the most evil thing ever, yes, the definition of evil! This is not to say that religion as a whole is evil, but that certain aspects of it if interpreted as a need to abuse or kill women are evil.
A woman said don’t you think that this is anti-woman? She said she was sorry for disagreeing but that she should stand up for her beliefs. She said that though I confessed it is not a woman’s fault when she gets raped, that my other comments diminished that, and so I responded this way: Indeed I respect you very highly for standing up for yours oftentimes I have more respect for people who stand up for a view contrary to mine then I do for people who have a few similar to mine who don’t stand up for it. I hope that in these series of messages I’ve expressed the idea that if a woman thinks she can dress however she wants, and it won’t affect anyone – I think that’s incorrect. Further I believe that the effect we have on other people will be a very important aspect of our discussion with Jesus Christ that at an upcoming date. It’s not that we can control other people’s feelings and actions but to say that our actions do not influence others is a very large and dangerous idea in my opinion.
This conversation reminds me of the great philosopher Thomas Moore’s book on Utopia, towards the very end says something like “their Utopia had its weaknesses and strengths, but you know what was the strangest thing about them was they didn’t wear any pants!”
When you raise boys of your own and see their struggles in these matters you may see this a little differently. Perhaps not. This is a more complex issue than a brief comment this size can manage, so forgive any aspects of it which may seem harsh at face value. My formal academic training in family science and my experiences have lead me to these conclusions. I recognize you may view this differently, and you can always expect kindness from me even amidst our disagreements.
I hate to say it, but I think we have reverted to the “short skin girdle about their loins” style, which Enos describes as the degeneracy of them if old… (Enos 1:20) I don’t mean to be negative but it’s so disturbing!
It’s like the end of the book Utopia by Thomas Moore about a weird supposed utopian society which collapses where he says “but you know the strangest thing about them? They didn’t wear any pants!”
I know many of us do wear pants (yoga pants don’t count that’s as good as painted skin nude), but we tolerate the pant-less folks in our society…
Think of the reaction to booty shorts in 1800! The reaction would make them go out of style in mere days. Or quite seriously perhaps get locked up for illegal prostitution attempt. Some stores say no shirt no service, they should start saying no pants no service (that used to go without saying…). By the way, underwear aren’t pants either.
If you disagree oh well. I’m still your friend but I would have you know my feelings on the matter.
We are trying to be good, please have mercy on us! We love you for you, not for your body. You are beautiful but please express it in appropriate ways.
True, in Babylon, they reject you if you don’t display in this way, but come to Zion, where we love you for your moral courage! In Zion, we recognize you as sisters, not as objects! In Zion, we praise your intelligence and leadership, rather than obsessing over your bodies! Your bodies will be employed in the full pleasurable measure of their creation, and indeed shall be admired by your spouse, but to display such a masterpiece in the public square defiles it. True the charm of handsome women and men is a pleasing and important part of strong society, but here we are speaking of more than charm and cleanly beauty, we are speaking of insisting on all curvatures of the flesh being public centerpieces.
Well did the prophet Brigham Young denounce the sisters of his day for tying their dresses around them too tightly to show their form.
Some things are so special and so beautiful, and showing them in public is nothing short of a tragedy. Displaying something so powerful to the public will result in doing more harm than good. Instead of promoting art as the common argument proclaims, it rather promotes delinquency and the dissolution of the family, which is the bedrock of society itself.
Well has the Psalmist said, that beauty is the essence of Zion (Psalms 150:2)! Yes, beauty has its climax when expressed within the bounds the Lord has set. Is it not written by Isaiah the prophet that the women walking haughty with outstretched necks will receive baldness and stench? And on the other hand, is it not written by Brigham Young the prophet that those who obey God will become as beautiful as the angels which surround the throne of God!
-“Do not underestimate the important symbolic and actual effect of appearance. Persons who are well groomed and modestly dressed invite the companionship of the Spirit of our Father in Heaven and are able to exercise a wholesome influence upon those around them. Persons who are unkempt and careless about their appearance, or adopt the visual symbols of those who often oppose our ideals, expose themselves and persons around them to influences that are degrading and dissonant. Outward appearance is often a reflection of inward tendencies” (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, ed. Clyde J. Williams , 220).
-Once a young man in the Church had many racy pictures of women on his walls in his bedroom. Brad Wilcox, a professor of BYU and current mission President, went in and taped word blogs next to the mouths of the characters saying things like “I hope they call me on a mission!” and “I love to see the temple!” and “I’m a daughter of my Heavenly Father who loves me!” and “I am of infinite worth!” and “Keeping covenants keeps me safe!” The boy thought this funny at first but then realized the meaning of it, and he took all the pictures down.
– In the Book of Mormon we are told that we are to give strict heed to the commandment to not reveal more than God deems ok to reveal. This passage pertains to priests teaching the people. They aren’t to reveal the mysteries to the dogs, the pearls to the swine, the meat to the children only capable of handling milk, etc. A similar doctrine is in modesty. The intimate parts of our bodies are only to be shown to our spouse. The body is good and beautiful, but like the Priesthood, the doctrines of the kingdom and the mysteries thereof, when used in the wrong way, or in the wrong setting, or shared with the wrong audience, it’s a disaster, and what is meant to be glorious and eternal becomes degrading and sinful. Yes, we are at risk of not getting celestial bodies if we don’t live a celestial law in this life. So because the body is beautiful, we must wait and use it in the God ordained ways. As we do this, we will become more beautiful than ever. Our self-expression will increase- not in showing intimate parts of our bodies to people, but in using that where it’s ordained: in marriage; and we will be endowed with power to express ourselves in a satisfactory way deeper than our fondest expectation. We will find ourselves not just fitting in in society, but in an eternal society which will not vanish like the one we are in now. We will not only find romance, but healthy, ultra-fulfilling and eternal romance, brought to deeper fonder and more powerful levels than we could have ever imagined. That realization can begin in this life, and remain at climax in the next as we perfect ourselves in the gospel path.
-“Wont you be so kind and so good as to take those pins or the india-rubber cords out of the back of the skirts of your dresses, so that you will look comely. They make you look uncomely, to see your dresses drawn around you, showing your form. Mothers ought to be ashamed of teaching their children such things.” (Brigham Young JD 19:64-65)
-Thomas S. Monson teaches we can be lively vibrant and beautiful in your dress while living within the standards of modesty the Lord has set.
-Brigham Young considered it grotesque to see woman dressed in tight clothing that showed the curves of their body, and asked them to go change into something lovely. (See “Woman and The Priesthood” by Rodney Turner.)
-*Modesty is a bold statement about what we think we are worth, and weather we think we have to sell the sacred parts of ourselves to gain the acceptance of others.
-*Animals are savage; they focus on sex and food. They don’t wear clothing because they want to advertise their sex appeal freely. That is their nature and is appropriate for them. But humans are an entirely different creature: they have superior intelligence. They organize more. They wear clothing in an attempt to take the focus off of the carnal appetites, and focus the attention on the mind and character. They only show their sex appeal to their sex partner, whom is their legal spouse of the opposite gender. They preserve sexual relations for marriage because they know that the family is the basic unit of a functioning society. But when humans begin to wear tight clothing, they begin to increasingly appear as though they had no clothing on. The curvature and sexual organs of the body become more present for every person they come into contact with to see. That is in essence to advertise that part of your body which is sacred and reserved for the center and government of the family unit, to be plastered upon the minds of every creature, in or out of society’s foundations. The human who wears tight clothing is debasing himself to that of a beast. What is so bad about being a beast? Christ means “the word” which is “logos” in the original Greek text of the New Testament. There are many meanings to the word logos, but one significant trend in those meanings is something that is superior to that of a beast, the things which cause humans to be separate from beasts (speech, language, sermons, large story, reason, logic, intellect, inquiry, study, biology, council, court case, etc.). The things which lift the human to a higher plane. (Interpretation analysis of logos by Stephen Bay, Brigham Young University Dr. of Ancient Greek).
-There is a difference between sensuous (appealing to the senses) and sensual (sexually arousing). (passage attributed to speech from Brad Wilcox)
-*There is art with nudity, if you get an erection, know that has crossed the line and become sensual not sensuous.
-*If a person has had addiction to something bad, they can be more sensitive to the good side of that thing. For example, one recovering addict of pornography may see nudity in art literature or films and have that trigger memories for him that can cause deep trouble. Hence, where to draw “the line” is a personal choice.
-“Through your dress and appearance, you can show the Lord that you know how precious your body is. You can show that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Prophets of God have always counseled His children to dress modestly. The way you dress is a reflection of what you are on the inside. Your dress and grooming send messages about you to others and influence the way you and others act…Never lower your dress standards for any occasion. Doing so sends the message that you are using your body to get attention and approval and that modesty is important only when it is convenient.
Immodest clothing includes short shorts and skirts, tight clothing, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and other revealing attire. Young women should wear clothing that covers the shoulder and avoid clothing that is low-cut in the front or the back or revealing in any other manner. Young men should also maintain modesty in their appearance. All should avoid extremes in clothing, appearance, and hairstyle. Always be neat and clean and avoid being sloppy or inappropriately casual in dress, grooming, and manners. Ask yourself, “Would I feel comfortable with my appearance if I were in the Lord’s presence?”…Do not disfigure yourself with tattoos or body piercings. If girls or women desire to have their ears pierced, they are encouraged to wear only one pair of modest earrings.” (“Dress and Appearance,” For the Strength of Youth: Fulfilling Our Duty to God, (2001 https://www.lds.org/manual/for-the-strength-of-youth-fulfilling-our-duty-to-god/dress-and-appearance?lang=eng&query=monson+dress)
-“Dress in such a way as to bring out the best in yourself and those around you. Avoid extremes in clothing and appearance” (Preparation Brings Blessings
THOMAS S. MONSON President of the Church, April 2010 Conf. Report http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2010/04/preparation-brings-blessings?lang=eng)
-“Plan and attend dances where dress, grooming, lighting, dancing styles, lyrics, and music contribute to an atmosphere in which the Spirit of the Lord may be present.” (That We May Touch Heaven THOMAS S. MONSON Second Counselor in the First Presidency https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1990/10/that-we-may-touch-heaven?lang=eng)
-“Modesty is an attitude of propriety and decency in dress, grooming, language, and behavior. If we are modest, we do not draw undue attention to ourselves. Instead, we seek to “glorify God in [our] body, and in [our] spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:20; see also 1 Corinthians 6:19)…Central to the command to be modest is an understanding of the sacred power of procreation, the ability to bring children into the world. This power is to be used only between husband and wife. Revealing and sexually suggestive clothing, which includes short shorts and skirts, tight clothing, and shirts that do not cover the stomach, can stimulate desires and actions that violate the Lord’s law of chastity…In dress, grooming, and manners, we should always be neat and clean, never sloppy or inappropriately casual. We should not disfigure ourselves with tattoos or body piercings. Women who desire to have their ears pierced should wear only one pair of modest earrings.” (LDS Topics: Modesty at official LDS site https://www.lds.org/topics/modesty?lang=eng)
-“40 And again, thou shalt not be proud in thy heart; let all thy garments be plain, and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands; 41 And let all things be done in cleanliness before me.” (D&C 42:40-41)
-“There are many examples that show that people tend to act according to the way they are dressed. I believe that’s a good general rule to follow…Dressing modestly is a mark of spiritual maturity. You should already be developing this kind of maturity as you prepare to go to the temple. Learning to dress modestly now means you will have fewer dress or style conflicts when you finally receive the privilege of wearing temple garments (*the garments to a ways down the arm so shirts must have some sleeve)…The scriptures also give us advice about clothing. They indicate that costly apparel can be a source of evil pride (see 2 Ne. 28:13). They tell us that the main purpose of clothing is to cover our nakedness (see Mosiah 10:5). They indicate our responsibility to provide clothing for the needy (see Jacob 2:19). And Alma 1:27 tells us that the good Church members “did not wear costly apparel, yet they were neat and comely.” But the scriptures also talk about being clothed with righteousness, light, charity, and glory (see D&C 29:12, D&C 45:44, D&C 65:5, D&C 84:101, D&C 85:7, D&C 88:125, D&C 138:30, Moses 7:3). This says to me that what we are is much more important than what we wear. I think it is significant to note that when the Savior appeared after his resurrection, he was simply attired. “They saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe” (3 Ne. 11:8). Here was the Master of Creation! He could have worn anything he desired, but he chose a plain, white robe. This teaches me an important lesson. Just as we can be too casual in our clothing, we can also be too pompous. The Savior’s presence brought dignity and honor to the situation. He didn’t need to impress anyone by what he wore. In the temple, this also holds true. Each person dresses in white. It is the right clothing for the spiritual climate. It adds to the sacred beauty of the setting. And it reminds us that there is no social status before our Father. What distinguishes our souls is their righteousness, and to be clothed in righteousness is what matters most of all.” (Right for the Climate BY ELDER JOHN H. GROBERG of the Seventy https://www.lds.org/new-era/1992/03/right-for-the-climate?lang=eng)
“-clothing is more than a superficial matter. Clothes were provided by God to shield and protect us against not only the harsh elements of nature but also the temptations of our fallen natures, which the adversary seeks to exploit. Clothing allows us to express our individuality and to develop one of the most gracious of all virtues—modesty. The word modesty ultimately stems from the Latin term modus, meaning “measure.” Hence modesty connotes balance, proportion, restraint, and (from the same root) moderation. Its opposites would be excess, extremity, lack of restraint, outlandishness, intemperateness, immoderation, and so forth. Thus modest dress is measured, as are modest speech and conduct. Like charity, modesty “vaunteth not itself, … doth not behave itself unseemly.” (1 Cor. 13:4–5.) It does not seek undue attention, does not flaunt itself, but shows respect for the feelings of others. Though it means much more than merely good manners, modesty belongs among the social virtues because it requires sensitivity and tact. Modest people are aware of prevailing standards of taste and decency. They know that within the bounds the Lord has established, norms of modesty may vary from culture to culture, from generation to generation, from youth to age, and even from one activity to another. For example, the athletic shorts that are appropriate at a Church basketball game would be inappropriate at sacrament meeting. Similarly, the knee-covering skirt that might have been considered immodest a century ago is generally acceptable today, except in some countries where it still might be regarded as highly provocative and immodest. Modesty requires sensitivity about what our dress communicates to others…What we wear serves more than the practical functions of keeping us warm in the winter and shaded in the summer. Dress is a language that we employ to express who we are—to make statements—and dress that is modest in what it covers may still be immodest in what it communicates…The Lord’s Church does not take a position on the innumerable fashions the world invents in its endless retailoring. In this, as in so many other things, we must learn to govern ourselves based on correct principles…—Does my attire call improper attention to me? Do my clothes cause people to focus on my outward appearance in such a way that they might either misunderstand me or misjudge my character? —Is my attire revealing? Does it properly cover my nakedness? (Here, the temple garments might serve as a guide to the Lord’s standards.) —Does my clothing suit the occasion? Does it fit the environment in which I am wearing it? For example, we are asked to wear our best clothing (whatever this may be) to the temple and to Church meetings in order to lend reverence, restraint, and dignity to the atmosphere where sacred ordinances are performed. —Do I feel comfortable with my grooming and dress in the presence of those I most respect and admire? Does my dress set a good example for those I love—my children, siblings, co-workers, fellow Saints? (We might choose different swimming, jogging, or car-washing attire if we knew we’d meet the prophet while we were wearing it.) —And finally, does my attire and grooming require so much of my time, attention, and means that I neglect more important, weightier matters? A sonnet by Shakespeare vividly raises this issue. The poet laments the attention he lavishes on his outside while letting his soul “pine within and suffer dearth.” He asks himself: “Why so large cost, having so short a lease, Dost thou upon thy fading mansion [body] spend?” Rather than starve the soul, he resolves: “Within be fed, without be rich no more.” (Sonnet 146.) …As parents, we can use the child’s earliest years to instill principles of modesty and to form correct habits. My wife, for example, remembers the time during her childhood when she enthusiastically brought her mother a picture of a woman in a strapless gown. “Look how pretty this dress is, Mommy,” she said. Her wise mother quietly replied, “Oh, no, Susie, we don’t wear dresses like that,” and then explained why. Thus she prepared her daughter as a child to dress in a modest way after she grew to womanhood. My wife, in turn, taught her daughters from their infancy not to go without shirts and not to wear bikinis and other immodest types of swimwear. Likewise, we gave our son a coat and tie when he was baptized so he could begin to dress like the priesthood holders he saw passing the sacrament. Our conviction was that children needed to begin early to form habits that will help them be modest adolescents and adults. Even more important, they should come to know and to feel that the body truly is a temple. (See 1 Cor. 3:16; D&C 93:35.)…Teenagers need to learn to balance the sometimes competing demands of what’s in vogue and what’s virtuous. Practicing modesty need not make them misfits; this is not what the Lord means when he says he would have us be a “peculiar” people. Peculiar literally means we are his special treasure, purchased with his blood. Latter-day Saint teenagers show themselves peculiar in the true sense when their dress and demeanor reflect their spiritual identity as covenant citizens of “an holy nation.” (See 1 Pet. 2:9; see also “Peculiar,” Bible Dictionary.) Many teenagers feel the need to dress like others in their peer group or to wear styles that enhance their sense of themselves as individuals, as attractive, and as different from adults. This is not wrong, so long as their fashion also sets them apart from the crude and vulgar and unworthy, and so long as their dress is conducive to the Spirit. Like children, adolescents also need to be explicitly taught principles of modesty. Adults sometimes forget that the adolescent who suddenly looks so grown-up may not comprehend the changes in his or her body. Teenagers are sometimes still children in big bodies who do not fully understand their own new emotions, much less the effects their physical development may have on the emotions of others. A teenage girl, for example, may not have any idea how her appearance in a swimming suit might affect the boy with whom she often goes to the beach. She needs to be taught by her parents—gently and delicately—about adult emotions. Similarly, most teenagers need to learn new sensitivities about how to sit and walk and carry themselves, as well as learning what various fabrics and cuts of clothing do on their particular bodies…Yet for teenagers as for children, modesty is finally much more than a matter of tight pants or spandex swimming suits, of hemlines or necklines. Rather, it’s a line drawn in the heart; it’s the result of truly believing that the body is the temple of the spirit. The same holds true for adults, who may be the worst offenders against the principle of modesty. Certainly their guilt is greater to the degree that they are more knowledgeable. Further, adults who have received their endowments wear a reminder from the temple that the body is a temple, too, for both are sacred sanctuaries of the spirit. The Lord has provided the Saints a powerful shield and protection against immodest dress. Many, however, seem to be lax and casual about wearing temple garments. Yet strict observance of this obligation still remains a precondition of temple worthiness, just as necessary as observing the laws of tithing, chastity, honesty, and the Word of Wisdom. Though the Church has not developed pharisaically detailed rules regulating our manner of dress, we are asked to declare our obedience in this matter. If we must err, we should do so on the side of caution.…our temples are kept beautiful on the outside. I spent many, many hours grooming the temple grounds—weeding, watering, planting flowers, doing all I could to make the exterior reflect the sacred spirit inside the Lord’s holy house. Surely the Lord expects us to groom and care for our physical tabernacles also—not as the world does, but in order that the Spirit of the Lord may find a fit sanctuary to dwell with our own spirits. This is the ultimate aim of modesty. (To Clothe A Temple by John S. Tanner, Ensign Aug. 1992, John S. Tanner is president of the Brigham Young University Fourth Stake. https://www.lds.org/ensign/1992/08/to-clothe-a-temple?lang=eng)
-“the way an individual dresses reveals a lot about attitudes and priorities. Okay, I know—we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover. But it’s hard not to form an opinion of a woman who always wears plunging necklines and short skirts, or a man who goes out in public wearing nothing more than a pair of skintight biker shorts…Our own confusion is sometimes fueled by the constantly shifting public standards of modesty, which can be hard to keep up with. There was a time in the not-so-distant past when it was considered indecent to expose an ankle or a knee—even on the beach. When I was in high school, the raging debate was the question of whether or not it was appropriate for girls to wear jeans to school. Today, my children have to contend with school standards so liberal that nearly anything goes except wearing your underwear outside your clothes. And these days, who can tell?…Even within that definition, however, there is room for interpretation. Exactly where on the thigh do shorts become “short shorts”? How tight do pants have to be before they are “revealing”? And does “low-cut” mean anything other than turtlenecks? Clearly, For the Strength of Youth teaches the correct principles and leaves us to govern ourselves. And that’s the way it should be. Heavenly Father has given us the freedom to choose, and we can’t grow or receive blessings from obedience if all the decisions have been made for us…We would be wise to examine the books, magazines, movies, and television programs we allow into our homes. Do they reinforce our values, or are they working against us? If it’s the latter, we will want to consider eliminating those negative influences. Things are tough enough as it is—we don’t need the extra competition…For the Strength of Youth tells youth that “you can also show respect for the Lord and yourselves by dressing appropriately for Church meetings and activities, whether on Sunday or during the week.” (P. 8.) This was a problem in our ward because of a disagreement over what constituted appropriate dress for Mutual. The youth thought that if they could wear something to school, they should be able to wear it to an activity at the chapel. But the adults didn’t like the idea of shorts for anything except sports, and they established a “no shorts” policy that prompted a little rebellion among the youth. So, one activity night we took our youth and their leaders to a park near our neighborhood. While we cooked hot dogs and roasted marshmallows, we read the guidelines from For the Strength of Youth and gave everyone an opportunity to express their views. A few weeks later in our bishop’s youth council meeting we asked the quorum and class presidents to help the bishopric establish a standard that everyone could live with. Interestingly, the policy we chose was pretty close to the one the adult leaders had tried to impose. But the young people felt better about it because they came up with it themselves…A U.S. Supreme Court justice once said that while he wasn’t exactly sure what obscenity is, he knew it when he saw it. The same could be said of modesty—and especially immodesty. Sometimes it’s a hard concept to define—until you see it. But what are you supposed to do then? A lot depends upon the situation. Obviously, it isn’t a good idea to walk up to a stranger at the swimming pool and say, “Listen, pal, that swimming suit you’re wearing offends me and I wish you’d change into something more modest.” Not only is such an approach unlikely to accomplish anything, it might prove hazardous to your health. We usually have the most impact on those with whom we already have a relationship. And the best approach I’ve found for a situation like this was taught to me by a teacher, who suggested that you find a moment when you’re alone with the person you need to talk to and then speak simply and honestly. “Look, this is going to be a little awkward for both of us,” you might begin, “but it would be wrong if I didn’t tell you that your swimming suit is not exactly appropriate for a Church activity.” Those words let the person know you care. It’s important, however, that you focus on the swimming suit (or the dress or shorts) as the problem, not the person wearing it. And since you’re in the delicate position of correcting one of Heavenly Father’s children, you’ll want to remember the Lord’s counsel to do so with “gentleness and meekness, and … love unfeigned,” and then afterwards to show “an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy.” (D&C 121:41, 43.)…I recently heard of a Mia Maid adviser who saw her young women slipping when it came to modesty. So she wrote down comments she had heard from others who justified immodesty, and she built a lesson around asking her girls to come up with their own snappy comebacks. For example: “I’m not sending out any messages with my clothes. I just wear what I like.” Response: “Then why do you keep checking the mirror to see how you look?” “I dress for comfort.” Response: “Then why don’t I ever see you in muumuus?” “I wear skimpy clothes in the summer because it’s hot.” Response: “And exposing more of your skin to the burning rays of the sun is supposed to cool you off?” “They had fun coming up with answers,” the Mia Maid adviser said, “but I knew I’d made my point the next week when one girl said I hadn’t played fair. I asked why and she said she had tried to rationalize buying a cute top that was low-cut, but her own clever response had popped into her mind. ‘I guess I talked myself out of it,’ she said.” “Yes,” the adviser confessed, “that was the general idea.”…One family I know was really struggling with the issue of modesty. One of their daughters absolutely defied family standards, altering her clothes with tucks and safety pins the minute she arrived at school. “We talked, we pleaded, we yelled, we tried to teach,” her mother told me, “but nothing worked. My husband and I finally tried to convince ourselves that she was just a rebellious spirit and there wasn’t anything we could do about it.” Then a Relief Society lesson on personal revelation struck a responsive chord. “It occurred to me that maybe all our daughter lacked was a spiritual witness that modesty is important,” the mother said. “If we couldn’t convince her, maybe the Lord could.” The parents looked for ways to improve the spiritual climate of their home. Family prayers and scripture study became more frequent. Family home evenings became more focused. Sunday became the most significant day of the week, with lively discussions of Church talks and lessons and with each parent trying to find a little more one-on-one time with each child. The parents also worked to strengthen themselves spiritually through their own obedience, study, and temple attendance so they could respond to the whisperings of the Spirit when it spoke. And it did. One Sunday after church the mother found her daughter sitting alone in her bedroom, crying. When the mother gently pressed for an explanation, the girl told her that she had overheard some of the boys in the ward talking about her in a manner that suggested a lack of respect for her values and standards. “I’m not like that,” the young woman cried, “and it bugs me that they think I am.” The situation gave the mother the opportunity to show love and support for her daughter, and then to talk about some of the messages the daughter was sending with the clothes she wore. When the father came home, he joined the discussion. But instead of simply telling their daughter what to do, the parents encouraged her to go to the Lord and receive a personal witness of the importance of modesty. The father even gave her a blessing to that end. The result? “We still have our moments,” the mother admitted, “but things are better. Much better. And our relationship with our daughter is improved, too.” When it comes right down to it, that’s really what modesty is all about—improved relationships. Those who follow Church standards of dress and appearance will find that their relationships at home will be less stressful, and their relationships with friends—especially those of the opposite sex—will be more fun and appropriate. But mostly, they will notice improvement in their relationship with Heavenly Father. And that stands to reason, doesn’t it? Our physical bodies are among the greatest gifts he has given us. When we show respect for our bodies, we show respect for him, and any relationship that is based on mutual respect is going to feature lots of trust, confidence, and love.” (Joseph Walker, More than Hemlines and Haircuts, Ensign Feb. 1992. Joseph Walker, national media specialist for the Church’s Public Affairs Department, is second counselor in the presidency of the Bountiful Utah Orchard Stake. http://www.lds.org/ensign/1992/02/more-than-hemlines-and-haircuts?lang=eng)
-“Today more than ever before, our children need clear guidance in dressing modestly. In many modern societies, standards of modesty and even decency in dress have all but vanished. Styles that once might have been seen only in a cocktail lounge or an inappropriate magazine are now being marketed to children—and at younger and younger ages. So waiting until our children approach their teens to teach them about modesty is waiting too long. The task of countering the world’s standards can be daunting—especially when children grow older and want to fit in with their peers. But by starting in their earliest years, we can give our children a firm foundation for dressing modestly throughout their lives…One mother reinforced these points in a family home evening lesson. She began by showing a picture of the Salt Lake Temple and one of a gambling casino. The family discussed how architects strive to harmonize form and function as they design buildings. They noticed how the towering spires of the Salt Lake Temple lead the eye upward toward the heavens, inviting reverence and awe. “I explained that the temple’s outer dignity and grandeur accurately reflect the sacred purpose of the building—to lead us toward God,” the mother says. Then the family discussed how the casino’s exterior reflects the purpose of that building. “We could see how the gaudiness of that building indicates excess. It beckons people to seek worldly pleasures,” this mother continues. The family talked about how building materials, colors, and design all contribute to the overall purpose of a building. “When I held up pictures of a person in modest clothing and one in immodest clothing, our children immediately made the connection that clothing can reflect the purpose of a person,” she explains. The family could see that immodest clothing draws attention to the body of the person wearing it. They could also see that modest clothing allows the spirit of the person wearing it to radiate. “We ended by discussing how the way we dress can either contribute to or detract from our divine purpose as children of God,” she concludes. “I challenged our family to make sure that the way we dress accurately reflects who we really are and what we are about.”…Lessons alone are not the most effective way to teach modesty. Here are some ways we can create a family culture that supports our children in dressing modestly: • Set a family standard by always dressing appropriately yourself. If you have been to the temple, wear clothing that completely covers the garment. Even if you have not yet been to the temple, wear clothing that is appropriate to wear once you have. • Eliminate from your home any entertainment that dulls children’s sense of what is appropriate and what isn’t. Every visual medium—movies, computer games, television shows, music videos—carries a message about clothing. If a child’s favorite pop star dresses provocatively, a young child may want to copy him or her and may begin to think these styles are not so bad. • If you cannot find appropriate clothing, sew or have someone else sew for your children if possible. • Write to or visit stores to let them know that you want wholesome styles for your children. • Even when you or your children are participating in athletics, your clothing can be modest and tasteful as well as appropriate for the activity. If your child is required to wear an immodest uniform or costume for a school or an extracurricular activity, work with the coach, teacher, or principal to find a more appropriate style. You may even need to help your child consider giving up an activity that requires inappropriate dress. • Don’t buy clothing that looks unwholesome or “borderline” simply to help children fit in with or be popular with peers. Help them feel comfortable with looking different by explaining that this kind of “differentness” is one way they can affirm their faith and be a light to others.
Of course, modesty goes beyond the exact length or style of a clothing item. A crude logo can make even a sweatshirt immodest. Modesty involves both the motives and attitude of the wearer. Those who flaunt their bodies or use them to get attention do not look modest, regardless of what they wear. • Does my clothing draw attention to my body or to my beliefs? Do I look provocative or wholesome? • Am I dressing for success in a worldly way or dressing for the respect I deserve as a child of God? • Does my clothing accurately reflect my identity as a follower of Jesus Christ and a member of His Church? As we help our children resist the immodest fashions of our time, we will also be helping them “improve in everything that is good and beautiful.” We will be helping them enjoy the Spirit more abundantly in their lives as they stay on a path that leads them toward the blessings of the temple and of eternal life.” (Jan Pinborough, Everything Good and Beautiful, Liahona Magazine, https://www.lds.org/liahona/2003/03/everything-good-and-beautiful?lang=eng)
-“We can create a style of our own. … We must be different. We need not do anything we do not wish to do. We can create our own style and standards. We can influence the patterns among our own people, and we can also help to develop proper community patterns.” (President Spencer W. Kimball, “On My Honor,” Ensign, Apr. 1979, 3)
-“Did you ever think that your body is holy? You are a child of God. Your body is His creation. … How truly beautiful is a well-groomed young woman who is clean in body and mind. She is a daughter of God in whom her Eternal Father can take pride. How handsome is a young man who is well groomed. He is a son of God, deemed worthy of holding the holy priesthood of God.” President Gordon B. Hinckley (“A Prophet’s Counsel and Prayer for Youth,” Liahona, Apr. 2001, 37)
-“You have heard the phrase ‘Your actions speak so loudly, I cannot hear your words.’ Our actions indeed speak volumes about us. We need to stand tall in following the counsel of the prophets to attire ourselves modestly. … Mothers, you can be our examples and conscience in this important matter. But remember, young people can detect hypocrisy as easily as they can smell the wonderful aroma of freshly baked bread. Parents, counsel your sons and daughters and then join with them in standing tall against immodesty.” Bishop H. David Burton, Presiding Bishop (“Standing Tall,” Liahona, Jan. 2002, 76)
-““All Israel are looking to my family and watching the example set by my . . . children. For this reason I desire to organize my own family first into a society for the promotion of habits of order, thrift, industry, and charity; and, above all things, I desire them to retrench from their extravagance in dress. . . .…I am weary of the manner in which our [young] women seek to outdo each other in all the foolish fashions of the world…“I desire [our girls] to retrench from their extravagance in dress, in eating and even in speech. The time has come when the sisters must agree … to set an example before the people of the world worthy of imitation. … I want you to set your own fashions … and set the style for all the rest of the world. … I want my daughters to learn to work and to do it. … There is need for the young daughters of Israel to get a living testimony of the truth. … I wish our girls to obtain a knowledge of the Gospel for themselves. For this purpose I desire to establish … a Retrenchment Association, which I want you all to join, and I want you to vote to retrench in … everything that is bad and worthless, and improve in everything that is good and beautiful. Not to make yourselves unhappy, but to live so that you may be truly happy in this life and the life to come.” (President Brigham Young (1801–77), quoted in Susa Young Gates, History of the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association (1911), 8–10.)
-“I wonder sometimes if we as mothers are the ones who make our children feel the pressure to be popular and accepted. Educating our desires so our standards are the Lord’s standards sends a clear message that in the Lord’s kingdom there are no double standards. … These scrutinizing young people notice. They notice how short your shorts are or if you had to tuck and pin to wear that blouse; they notice what you wear (or don’t wear) when you are working in your yard; they notice which line you are standing in at the movie theater.” Sharon G. Larsen, former second counselor in the Young Women general presidency (“‘Fear Not: For They That Be with Us Are More,’” Liahona, Jan. 2002, 78)
-“[The] youth received a lot of attention when they put on a local fashion show that not only displayed modest fashions, but demonstrated their love for the gospel…The fashion show came after the young women and young men in the stake spent a year preparing and building community support for their efforts to promote modesty. More than 4,000 community members signed a petition encouraging stores to provide more modest clothing options, and more than 500 attended the fashion show, which was held at the stake center…In the show, the Laurels modeled, and the priests were ushers and escorts. On the runway the young women wore clothes from their own closets to show others it is possible to find modest, stylish clothes without spending purse-loads of money…Sam Rogers, 17. He told the media: “Girls think they have to wear certain clothes to interest us, but they don’t. I just like to see girls dressed modestly.”…“After doing so much work to promote modesty in our community, I have come to recognize that I am not weird or out of fashion for dressing the way that I do,” says Lindsay Orton, 17…The Naperville stake also has a “style committee” that works to help adults and youth in the stake learn how to dress modestly and where to find helpful community resources…“They weren’t just helping us find modest dresses, but cute modest dresses.” “Dressing modestly gives me self-respect,” Amelia Weinert, 17, said. “I want boys to like me for me. Wearing the kind of dresses you find in most stores, you get attention for the wrong reason.”…Ariel Lewis, 15, from Tucson, says, “Every time I told someone why I wanted them to sign the petition, it strengthened my testimony that modest clothes really matter. I stood stronger for what I believed in. This experience has really strengthened me.” Brittany Blotter, 17, from the Naperville stake, agrees: “I have completely changed,” she says. “The way I feel is different. The way I act is different. I’m just so happy!” (New Era LDS Magazine, Jan. 2005, “Cute and Modest”, by JACQUELYN BENSON, MARY LEE CALL, AND EMILY O. JENNINGS, https://www.lds.org/new-era/2005/01/cute-and-modest?lang=eng)
-“You see them on TV, on the covers of magazines, in the movies, even at school—girls with bare midriffs, wearing tight clothes and spaghetti straps, short skirts, and even shorter shorts. Revealing clothes are not in short supply, either. Most stores have shelves and racks full of them, especially in the summer. No wonder that as young women we’re having such a hard time finding something stylish to wear that is also modest. Instead of looking a little harder, we may be tempted to give up. Some girls may dress in the latest style without giving modesty a second thought because “that’s what everyone is wearing.” Others feel they have to dress to impress…a member of our stake presidency was asked, “How would you describe the trends and fashions for young women these days?” He replied, “More and more revealing, tighter, lower, shorter, anything to emphasize the physical body.” A recently returned missionary said, “I don’t feel like I should hang out with young women who dress immodestly because I get distracted from what I need to be doing.” Our Young Women leaders…taught us how to get a more natural look with our makeup. One Young Women leader surveyed some of the members of our stake, asking their opinions about how girls dress. For example, one of the young men surveyed said, “I don’t respect girls who dress immodestly.” Another said, “I don’t care about girls who dress like that [in revealing clothes].” One comment from a priest spelled out what most of the young men seemed to feel. He said, “There’s a line between suggestive and attractive. A lot of young women try to play the line, not just in their clothes, but in their makeup and attitude, too. It’s unattractive when they look suggestive and act stuck up.” (New Era LDS Magazine, “Dressed Up!” by Nikki Miner, https://www.lds.org/new-era/2003/05/dressed-up?lang=eng)
-“Your feet are throbbing, your back hurts a little, and you have been walking for hours. Although this may describe the way you feel after a long hike at camp, it could also describe the way you feel after shopping for a modest dress…Modesty is not a trend. Modesty is a style. ” (To read more from the article about how youth put together a clothing design company for modest clothing, and appealed to stores for modest clothing, and were interviewed by the Wallstreet Journal, the British Broadcasting Corporation, and The Kansas City Star, see Jan. 2002, New Era LDS Magazine, Caroline H. Benzley, https://www.lds.org/new-era/2002/01/evaluate-your-style?lang=eng)
-*be not ashamed to be pioneers of faith like your forefathers! You may stand out for being different, so did they, so did Christ in the battles of his time. This is one of the great battles of your time.
-*I say the reason why women are immodest when they are it is largely from the wickedness of men. The men are the more forceful gender. Traditionally they preside and call the shots in dating etc. They like their woman to appeal to their carnal nature. The men themselves like to look manly, so they do so (except for the off shoot branch of boys who dress like woman in tight pants etc., them having no self-esteem or sense of identity). The men would feel uncomfortable in wearing tight clothes normally. They would feel out of place, showing their bodies to the public. They wouldn’t put this burden on themselves! But they make the women do so, not considering how the woman don’t enjoy being placed on the public market any more than them men would.
The women say “ah if my shorts are higher or my neckline lower or the curves of my flesh more revealed by the tightness of my clothing, I’ll turn more heads. Boys will pay more attention to me. Men are the leaders in this marriage and matching up game. They ask the women on dates, they ask the woman to marry them. It’s them whom I must appeal to. They are in charge here. What they say goes. I am in bondage to the whims of their will.”
Is this to say the woman or people in general must not be beautiful? Heaven forbid! The angels around the throne of God are more beautiful than we can imagine (and Brigham Young promised we would look like them if we are true and faithful, reaching exaltation). But modern society’s definition of beauty is one hundred miles away from the truth inasmuch as they teach the public exposure is needed to express beauty. There are objective beauty standards, but we don’t need to show off beauty inappropriately. The body is a temple, and temples aren’t open to the public! They are glorious even from the outside appearance, but they do not expose the sacred parts!
When someone speaks out against how the woman truly is not attractive in tight clothing or revealing their sacred body to the profane public, the woman takes great offense. “I have my rights! I don’t have to be traditional! I am progressive!” But I say they are making excuses for being in the bondage of men.
What is the core issue? The demands of the men.
We are in a time in history like that which has happened before, we see in some ancient art that the people were portrayed to be natural, like the Greek sculptures simply speaking. Then simply speaking in Roman art the people are portrayed as focusing on the metaphysical aspects, yes, and their bodies are painted in unrealistic proportions etc., like legs so skinny that a dress could curve in and out like a wave, or a waist so skinny that one hand of a man could encompass it. Now we are forcing that on each other, expecting it. Our heroes, the movie stars, are all health nuts, or bulimic, or anorexic, or drug addicts, and all of them photoshopped, to try and keep up with the Jone’s on this. It’s a never-ending battle they fight against themselves.
So what is to be done? The woman I say could change, but the core issue perhaps is with the men. Stop abusing the women in demanding their profanity to be accepted by you!
While I’m on this subject I may as well speak of another terrible thing. Watch a film of the old west, where fiddles played in their music, where dances were held in the open daylight, and men respected the women they danced with. They asked their hand for a dance, and bowed to the woman when the dance was done. They immediately shift your gaze to a modern dance, where the room is dark and massive, you don’t know most the people there, strobe lights are going to make you aware of only glimpses of the people around you, people jump up and down like crickets in no particular rhythm or congruity, there is booming music which sounds only like a drum rolls with occasional squeal, people dance in herds rather than in couples, acting like animals rather than humans. It’s not conducive to dating, but is more like a pornographic film, where bodies are waved endlessly in front of you until you vomit, faint, or do something stupid. It’s so loud that you can’t talk to the people at the dance, so that forces the mode of communication to be by touch, but not in the traditional way. You see this scene is dark, whereas years ago it was light. The contrast is stark fearsome and real.
The human race will go wherever we want it to, what will we choose to be a part of? You have to be the one to say no to the dross, and only accept the holy pure and uplifting. But let us be aware that acting like animals leads us to become animals.
Logos is the word to describe Jesus Christ in the book of John. It means “the word”. The word was with God it says. Well ‘logos’ can be translated in many ways, but it’s many meanings boil down to this: logos is the thing that separates the human race from the beasts. That is the purpose of the gospel of Jesus Christ, to keep us from degreasing into beasts, and to get us back on track when we are lost. That gospel encompasses everything decent and uplifting. It embraces the thoughts of cherishing each other, of loving others for who they are, for what they stand for rather than what they look like.
-secular= lack of sacred
-sacred= only for those worthy; not secret, but must be qualified for.
-temple= beautiful and extreme ecstasy, but only allowed in with recommend
-body= a temple
-immodesty= no temple recommend access to see the sacred
-sacrament to who is unworthy= damnation
-seeking false gods= pleasure in ways other than appointed methods of temples
-immodesty= idol worship
The reason I write this is because often people try and justify immodest clothing saying it has nothing to do with sexuality.
Perhaps the modest women are those who get raped in the statistics, the immodest ones don’t mind the extra-marital (meaning outside of marriage) sex. Extramarital sex and rape are 2 different things, but the immodest woman is more likely to accept rather than reject the sexual advances. If the man is determined, which unfortunately he often is, this will result in the modest woman being raped, and the immodest woman having just another affair.
We have so much unchastity now, so many don’t require marriage for sex now.
If we were to track the sexual activity of both victims of rape as well as consenting persons, I predict we would see through the roof higher sexual activity (voluntary or involuntary) of those who dress immodestly compared to those who dress modestly.
We need to be a more chaste society, and though we rebuke the rapist 10000-fold, we should also rebuke the immodestly dressed person even if only 10 fold.
I’m calling for not only a society where women are not raped, but also a society where women (and men) value sexual chastity, meaning no sexual relations outside of marriage, and respect of spouse inside of marriage.
Sacred vs Profane: Bodies as Temples: A strange episode of current events of a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
This is why this country is going to fall; in an immoral immodest pornographic fashion show by the company Victoria’s Secret, the only thing people are saying is that it is racist. Though racism is bad, they are here straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel, ignoring the real vice of this project. This is looking beyond the mark.
They’re not calling it what it is: pornography. This society has decided to call immorality, “culture”, so that it cannot be shunned. Granted its “complete” nudity and the act of sex itself on display, but it’s close enough to corrupt us.
Are not our bodies temples? Is it not written, that temples are the house of God, holy places? Profane means in the open, sacred/holy means private, not open to public viewing. If the temple is holy, and thus closed off to the general public, so should our bodies be. And what when we profane the temple of God, and the temple of our bodies? Then the wrath of God is sent among the people.
(see also the Objective Beauty article)
-“I think it has been taught by some that as we lay our bodies down, they will so rise again in the resurrection with all the impediments and imperfections that they had here; and that if a wife does not love her husband in this stand she cannot love him in the next. This is not so. Those who attain to the blessing of the first or celestial resurrection will be pure and holy, and perfect in body. Every man and woman that reaches to this unspeakable attainment will be as beautiful as the angels that surround the throne of God. If you can, by faithfulness in this life, obtain the right to come up in the morning of the resurrection, you need entertain no fears that the wife will be dissatisfied with her husband, or the husband with the wife; for those of the first resurrection will be free from sin and from the consequences and power of sin.” (Brigham Young, JD 10:24)
-“Sisters, I testify that when you stand in front of your heavenly parents in those royal courts on high and you look into Her eyes and behold Her countenance, any question you ever had about the role of women in the kingdom will evaporate into the rich celestial air, because at that moment you will see standing directly in front of you, your divine nature and destiny.” (Elder Glenn L. Pace (First Quorum of the Seventy, 1992-2010) in a Brigham Young University Devotional, March 9, 2010.)
-“Wont you be so kind and so good as to take those pins or the india-rubber cords out of the back of the skirts of your dresses, so that you will look comely. They make you look uncomely, to see your dresses drawn around you, showing your form. Mothers ought to be ashamed of teaching their children such things.” (Brigham Young JD 19:64-65)
-“If I were a lady I should be careful whom I married: I should want to be pretty sure that the nam tried to live his religion as revealed to us. Young folks generally marry because they love, sometimes because they are pretty. It is said that beauty is “only skin deep,” and I believe it is so, it will shortly fade away. We should be reasonable on this subject, as well as on others; but when a person is love struck, there is no reason in them. We should never be struck very bad. We should love so that we could throw him off at any time if he does not do right.” (John Taylor, JD 19:167)
-“A great many women are more nice than wise. If they can get a man with a pretty face, they think it is all there is about it. Some men think if they can get a woman that has a handsome face, that is all there is of it. But it is that woman that has a head and sensibility,- I do not care if her head is three feet long,- it has nothing to do with the character that lives in the body. It is the character that is in the man’s house, the spirit that is in the man; it is the spirit that is in the woman and in the house that makes the woman and that makes the man.” (Brigham Young JD 5:92)
-“Let the sisters take care of themselves, and make themselves beautiful, and if any of you are so superstitious and ignorant as to say that this is pride, I can say that you are not informed as to the pride which is sinful before the Lord, you are also ignorant as to the excellency of the heavens, and of the beauty which dwells in the society of the Gods. Were you to see an angel, you would see a beautiful and lovely creature. Make yourselves like angels in goodness and beauty” (DBY, 215). (see also Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, (1997), 131–36 Ch. 19 The Relief Society and Individual Responsibility; see also https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-19?lang=eng)
-“If Jesus lives, and is the Savior of the world, Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God, and lives in the bosom of his father Abraham. Though they have killed his body, yet he lives and beholds the face of his Father in Heaven; and his garments are pure as the angels that surround the throne of God; and no man on the earth can say that Jesus lives, and deny, at the same time, my assertion about the Prophet Joseph. This is my testimony, and it is strong (DBY, 459). (See also Chapter 47: President Brigham Young’s Witness of the Prophet Joseph Smith
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, (1997), 343–51, see https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-47?lang=eng)
-“Let the people build good houses, plant good vineyards and orchards, make good roads, build beautiful cities in which may be found magnificent edifices for the convenience of the public, handsome streets skirted with shade trees, fountains of water, crystal streams, and every tree, shrub and flower that will flourish in this climate, to make our mountain home a paradise and our hearts wells of gratitude to the God of Joseph, enjoying it all with thankful hearts, saying constantly, “not mine but thy will be done, O Father” (DBY, 302). (See Chapter 31: Thrift, Industry, and Self-Reliance, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, (1997), 225–33; https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-31?lang=eng)
-“Beautify your gardens, your houses, your farms; beautify the city. This will make us happy, and produce plenty. The earth is a good earth, the elements are good if we will use them for our own benefit, in truth and righteousness. Then let us be content, and go to with our mights to make ourselves healthy, wealthy, and beautiful, and preserve ourselves in the best possible manner, and live just as long as we can, and do all the good we can (DBY, 302).
Every improvement that we make not only adds to our comfort but to our wealth (DBY, 302).
It is your right, wives, to ask your husbands to set out beautiful shade and fruit trees, and to get you some vines and flowers with which to adorn the outside of your dwellings; and if your husbands have not time, get them yourselves and plant them out. Some, perhaps, will say, “Oh, I have nothing but a log house, and it is not worth that.” Yes; it is worth it. Whitewash and plaster it up, and get vines to run over the door, so that everybody who passes will say, “What a lovely little cottage!” This is your privilege and I wish you to exercise yourselves in your own rights (DBY, 200).
Make good houses; learn how to build; become good mechanics and business men, that you may know how to build a house, a barn, or a storehouse, how to make a farm, and how to raise stock, and take every care of it by providing proper shelter and every suitable convenience for keeping it through the winter; and prove yourselves worthy of the greater riches that will be committed to you than this valley and what it can produce (DBY, 302).
I have been into houses which have not had the least convenience for the women, not so much as a bench to set their water pails on, and they have to set them on the floor, and yet their husbands will sit there year after year, and never make so much improvement as a bench to set the pail on. Yet they have the ability, but they will not exercise it (DBY, 198–99).
Let the husband make an improvement upon his kitchen and pantry and upon his bedrooms for the benefit of his family, and improve his gardens, walks, etc, beautifying your habitations and their surroundings, making pavements and planting shade trees (DBY, 198).” (See Chapter 31: Thrift, Industry, and Self-Reliance, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, (1997), 225–33; https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-31?lang=eng)
-“People are contending, quarreling, seeking how to get the advantage of each other, and how to get all the wealth there is in the world. … But suppose we go to work to gather up all that there is in the bosom and upon the surface of our mother earth and bring it into use, is there any lack? There is not, there is enough for all. Then do look at these things as they are, Latter-day Saints, and you who are not Latter-day Saints, look at things as they are. And I do hope and pray for your sakes, outsiders, and for the sakes of those who profess to be Latter-day Saints, that we shall have good peace for a time here, so that we can build our furnaces, open our mines, make our railroads, till the soil, follow our mercantile business uninterrupted; that we may attend to the business of beautifying the earth (DBY, 295).” (See Chapter 31: Thrift, Industry, and Self-Reliance, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, (1997), 225–33; https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-31?lang=eng)
-“The Lord has done his share of the work; he has surrounded us with elements containing wheat, meat, flax, wool, silk, fruit, and everything with which to build up, beautify and glorify the Zion of the last days, and it is our business to mould these elements to our wants and necessities, according to the knowledge we now have and the wisdom we can obtain from the heavens through our faithfulness. In this way will the Lord bring again Zion upon the earth, and in no other (DBY, 294).” (See Chapter 31: Thrift, Industry, and Self-Reliance, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, (1997), 225–33; https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-31?lang=eng)
-“We will have to go to work and get the gold out of the mountains to lay down, if we ever walk in streets paved with gold. The angels that now walk in their golden streets, and they have the tree of life within their paradise, had to obtain that gold and put it there. When we have streets paved with gold, we will have placed it there ourselves. When we enjoy a Zion in its beauty and glory, it will be when we have built it. If we enjoy the Zion that we now anticipate, it will be after we redeem and prepare it. If we live in the city of the New Jerusalem, it will be because we lay the foundation and build it. If we do not as individuals complete that work, we shall lay the foundation for our children and our children’s children, as Adam has. If we are to be saved in an ark, as Noah and his family were, it will be because we build it. If the Gospel is preached to the nations, it is because the Elders of Israel … preach the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth (DBY, 291).” (See Chapter 31: Thrift, Industry, and Self-Reliance, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, (1997), 225–33; https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-31?lang=eng)
-“If happiness is the most attractive accessory a young woman can have, then a smile would have to be the most charming cosmetic. Make-up, if applied tastefully and in moderation, can enhance appearance. But no amount of eye shadow, lipstick, or mascara could possibly compete with the natural attractiveness of a genuine smile. It brightens the room. It cheers others. It communicates friendship, love, and optimism so much more than any cosmetic ever could. It puts people at ease and is welcoming. Truly in the world of glamour, there is no close second to a genuine smile.” (Nov. 2008 New Era Magazine, True Beauty By Elder Lynn G. Robbins Of the Seventy https://www.lds.org/new-era/2008/11/true-beauty?lang=eng)
-“If you are discouraged about your appearance, it will help to see yourself through the eyes of those who love you. Hidden beauty seen by loved ones can become a mirror for self-improvements. This phenomenon of the person internalizing the expectations of others with subsequent positive change has become known as the Pygmalion effect, after the famous play in which the “guttersnipe,” Eliza Dolittle, becomes the refined My Fair Lady. The beauty was always there; Eliza only needed help from others to discover it.
Our Father in Heaven provides the perfect example of this principle. He sees our divine nature. We are His children. The way He sees us, because of His love for us, is perfect. The mirror which He holds constantly before us, if we will only raise our sight to look, is the one in which we should trust. Its image is always true and never distorted. He reminds us, as He did Moses, “Thou art my son [or daughter]” (Moses 1:4).” (Nov. 2008 New Era Magazine, True Beauty By Elder Lynn G. Robbins Of the Seventy https://www.lds.org/new-era/2008/11/true-beauty?lang=eng)
-“And they did impart of their substance, every man according to that which he had, to the poor, and the needy, and the sick, and the afflicted; and they did not wear costly apparel, yet they were neat and comely.” (Alma 1:27)
-“And again, thou shalt not be proud in thy heart; let all thy garments be plain, and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands;” (D&C 42:40)
-“And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.” (2 Ne. 23:19)
-“Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” (Psalms 29:2)
-“And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me: Look! And I looked and beheld a tree; and it was like unto the tree which my father had seen; and the beauty thereof was far beyond, yea, exceeding of all beauty; and the whiteness thereof did exceed the whiteness of the driven snow.” (1 Ne. 11:8; the tree refers to the gospel of Jesus Christ)
-“Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.” (Psalms 50:2)
-“I saw the transcendent beauty of the gate through which the heirs of that kingdom will enter, which was like unto circling flames of fire;” (D&C 137:2)
-*Isaiah speaks of babylon having it’s red and scarlet robes, and all sort of gaudy adornment, but them the gospel being simple and truly beautiful. When Jesus comes to the Nephites from the sky, he is simply wearing a white robe, and is shining!
-“When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah.” (Psams 39:11)
-“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the , she shall be praised.” (Psalms 31:30)
-” ¶In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,” (Isa. 28:5)
-“And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.” (Psalms 90:17)
-“¶But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was.” (Ezek. 16:15)
-“Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.” (Psalms 96:6)
-“Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.” (Ezek. 28:17)
-“And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever.” (2 Chronicles 20:21)
-“All that pass by clap their hands at thee; they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying, Is this the city that men call The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth?” (Lam. 2:15)
-“And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.” (Isa. 3:24 pronouncement upon the wicked)
-“For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” (Isa. 53:2 prophecy of the Mortal Messiah Jesus Christ)
-“And from the daughter of Zion all her beauty is departed: her princes are become like harts that find no pasture, and they are gone without strength before the pursuer.” (Lam. 1:6 pronouncement upon the wicked)
-“For Zion must increase in beauty, and in holiness; her borders must be enlarged; her stakes must be strengthened; yea, verily I say unto you, Zion must arise and put on her beautiful garments.” (D&C 82:14)
-“Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!” (Isa. 28:1)
-“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” (Isa. 61:3)
-““I shall not attempt to paint to you the feelings of this heart, nor the majestic beauty and glory which surrounded us on this occasion; but you will believe me when I say, that earth, nor men, with the eloquence of time, cannot begin to clothe language in as interesting and sublime a manner as this holy personage. No; nor has this earth power to give the joy, to bestow the peace, or comprehend the wisdom which was contained in each sentence as they were delivered by the power of the Holy Spirit! Man may deceive his fellow-men, deception may follow deception, and the children of the wicked one may have power to seduce the foolish and untaught, till naught but fiction feeds the many, and the fruit of falsehood carries in its current the giddy to the grave; but one touch with the finger of his love, yes, one ray of glory from the upper world, or one word from the mouth of the Savior, from the bosom of eternity, strikes it all into insignificance, and blots it forever from the mind. The assurance that we were in the presence of an angel, the certainty that we heard the voice of Jesus, and the truth unsullied as it flowed from a pure personage, dictated by the will of God, is to me past description, and I shall ever look upon this expression of the Savior’s goodness with wonder and thanksgiving while I am permitted to tarry; and in those mansions where perfection dwells and sin never comes, I hope to adore in that day which shall never cease.” (Oliver Cowdrey in the Book of Joseph Smith History in the Pearl of Great Price, also in Messenger and Advocate, vol. 1 (October 1834), pp. 14–16.)
-What is immodesty? It is the prequel, the gateway drug, to get us into pornography. It is all of the Devil. Are women beautiful? Many of them indeed are, but we should refuse to admire those who break commandments of modesty; admiring the uncovered body of a woman other than one’s wife leads to the corruption of the soul. This is one of the reasons the Lord councils us to marry as young adults, not late adults. We are meant to enjoy beauty, but it must be within the bounds which the Lord has set. Truly those who procrastinate marriage are setting themselves up for more temptations, more trials, more sorrow, less pleasure, more risk of guilty associations. Getting married is good, getting married soon after a full-time mission is much better.
-what is the Devil counterfeiting with showing the female body and the union of bodies? He is displaying the eternal order of the priesthood, and making it public to anyone with money. Anyone with money and power is who gets the girl in his game. You don’t need to have good character, you don’t need to treat her well, you just need to be so rich that the crumbs you throw to her from your table are more than she ever imagined possible by way of riches. She comes at no real cost to you, and you accordingly treat her like an animal, giving not a second’s thought for her emotions, for her needs, for her entire person, which is so much more than her body.
-now the Devil has done the same thing which he did with the tower of Babel, and with the prototype of Babylon in every generation. He has told the people that they can obtain exaltation, obtain the highest privileges, without going through the real work. This is the same thing that was done in premortality: Satan traded Gods plan for a quick fix plan of his own, which like our economy, is a bubble about to burst, built on phony credit and non-backable coinage.
-the female body here we will say is a representation of the temple of God. Only the candidate with the correct authority enters into that house. It is closed to the public. It is cloaked from the full view of the common man. I speak respectively of the entire human race. Each female is only to permit her male husband. What is the kingdom of God? It consists of this and this alone: each person building up his family unto eternity, and as parents together, the man and the woman couple becoming God’s themselves. Wherein is the admittance to the highest kingdom of God? Marriage in the temple. Marriage in the temple is the only sure way that we can obtain exaltation. Without marriage in the temple, there is no exaltation. Yes there is salvation, but the fullness of salvation is that we become like the express person of Jesus Christ himself, Jesus being the prototype of a saved being, just like his father is the prototype of the ideal man. Jesus strove to be like father. Now we do likewise. So what have we in the exaltation of man? We have eternal youth, and the eternal union of man and wife, and all the splendors that involves. Not only do we have this our family in the world to come among the exalted, but we have the perfected bodies to enjoy, which we do not here enjoy. Even the most healthful and beautiful of persons do not have the joy and satisfaction, the strength and immaculate glory which the resurrected celestial candidates receive with their bodies of absolute perfection. Satan uses immodesty then pornography to lure people into thinking that they can have a woman, and a fine beautiful strong woman at that, without any real effort. But in reality, the only candidates who will have a woman not only in this blink of an eye short life, but in the resurrection and world to come, are those who attain to the glory of the Lord.
-The man has great desires for the woman, that is his holy nature to so desire. Satan says that woman, seemingly forever young, can be his without the gospel plan. But in reality, only the gospel plan offers eternal access to the marriage relationship. Those who do not honor the laws of God will not be privileged with the bodily functions of reproduction and sexual interaction in the resurrection. The great power of procreation and the pleasure that comes with it is one of the greatest tests given to man; God is giving us a large taste of the power of Godliness to see what we do with it, and we will give an accounting to him for what we did with it, and based on that accounting, He will determine whether the candidate will have continued and greater access to that power and pleasure, or weather that power will be taken from them entirely.
-Satan ever seeks to be in charge. He says come follow me and I will bring you the divine. He climbs over the wall instead of going through the gate. He inspires men to build the tower of Babel to get to heaven without temples and covenants with God. He seeks not to become strong and help others become strong, but to be the only one strong, and to keep all others subject to him. See Elder Christofferson’s address titled “A Message at Christmas” a BYU Devotional December 2017 for more on this subject in great and powerful detail.
-Is the display of the body bad? In public, yes. There is sacred, and there is profane. The world as taught by Satan recognizes no difference between the two. But the body itself, and the sexuality and extreme beauty thereof, these things are divine, and so powerful, that they must be kept within the eternal bonds of marriage.
-plainly stated, the only way a man and woman can enjoy each other’s bodies forever, and those bodies to remain forever young (made possible by the resurrection (and the best (celestial) resurrection is given only to the true followers of Christ)), is by living the gospel of Jesus Christ. Satan knows this a fundamental component to eternal joy, and he tries to make us think that he has the corner on that market, but in reality, what he offers quickly fades away and doesn’t offer the entire package. his counterfeit doesn’t include the emotional closeness and the trust that can exist between two faithful spouses. Social scientists have long known that those components of an intimate relationship not only increase the probability of the relationship being long term, but they also increase the sexual satisfaction experienced by the couple.
I wrote this essay primarily in response to a TV show which promoted an “anything goes” approach to sexuality, health, and beauty. Well, anything doesn’t go. All bodies are not created equal. We declare a universal standard of beauty morality and health as typified by the Gods. Every person regardless of their beauty is of infinite worth, but this doesn’t mean bad lifestyle choices such as those which lead to obesity or other scenarios of poor health, are equal to those which lead to good health. Further, in the resurrection, all physical imperfections will be resolved provided that we are true and faithful.
For a similar article of quotes on beauty from the prophets, including citations to several quotes referred to here, see my article on Beauty Quotes.
What’s weird is you’ll see some good movie then see the actor street clothes etc. and they’ve made themselves uglier & weirder. Why prioritize fitting in over being beautiful? If I had to guess, I’d wager God wants us to be beautiful. Further I think there are objective standards in these matters.
There are objective standards of beauty, and maintenance of the body, rather than letting it go wherever the wind blows, is beautiful. We do not judge others based on their health conditions and health choices, but we also reject the modern trend to just accept ourselves the way we are without striving for excellence in objective health standards. We do not condone indulgence or neglect of the body. The world would tell us to accept ourselves the way we are, Christ would tell us to come unto him, and improve ourselves. He taught that in losing ourselves we find our truest selves. it’s been said that life is 10% about what happens to you, and 90% about what you do about it.
The Devil has no body, and wants us to live beneath our privileges of strength and self-esteem which come from maintaining a healthy body. Indeed, prophets have taught that the very punishment for Lucifer’s rebellion is that he will never have a body. Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother (these 2 working together in the position called “God”) also have bodies. Though all die, all will be brought back to life with their bodies in what is called the resurrection. Jesus Christ is alive today and still has his body (he always will). President Packer taught that Joseph Smith taught that those who have bodies have power over those who do not.
Our spiritual sensitivity is also dulled with we do not take care of our bodies, and dulling our spiritual sensitivity is certainly a chief objective of the Devil.
The resurrected apostles of Jesus Christ appeared in the temple to a latter-day prophet, from the back of the room, he could not discern between them, and their appearance all resembled Jesus Christ.
In a vision of Adam and Eve on a throne, Joseph Smith saw that they were both tall with broad shoulders.
From the fall of Adam, the human race hasn’t been beautiful all too often. Disease has set in, and we await the resurrection to receive the full stature of celestial bodies.
Resurrection rewards differ based on the kingdom you rise unto. A celestial body is much more beautiful and powerful than a body of the other kingdoms.
Only those in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom will have the power to procreate. See Elder Bednar’s talk on how those who mistreat or neglect procreation here will be denied it there.
Brigham Young taught that those who reach exaltation will all become as beautiful as the angels that surround the throne of God.
Brigham Young also taught that appearance matters not in this life, that he would marry a woman with a 3-foot-wide head if she was righteous. Physical appearances are reconciled in the resurrection. This life is about faith, the next life is about beauty. The 3-foot-wide head spoken of here would be reconciled in the resurrection to a handsome regular head resembling that of our Heavenly parents.
Joseph Smith taught that if you are faithful, all your losses will be made up to you in the resurrection. Surely physical deformities and irregularities which persons must suffer with in this life are included in that recompense.
Zion is beautiful the scripture says. Brigham Young taught that though we obsess not over beauty, we do our best, and make ourselves attractive as we can. There is no seance in self defamation. But there is also no seance in wasting your time inordinately in beauty, including wasting your money in much beauty product in Babylon.
We should not show the details of our bodies in public. They are temples, and are only to be accessed by the authorized spouse, lest the temple become unholy.
We are naturally more attracted to persons whose bodies are healthy, and who adhere to biological scientific standards of health such as the body mass index.
Nephi saw a vision of Mary the mother of Jesus, and declared that she was a most beautiful woman, “fair above all others”
Modern art attacks beauty also. Further, strong arguments can be made that some forms of music are objectively better than others.
Satan is trying to blur the lines between good and evil by getting us to believe that there are no standards of right and wrong, no objective lines of what is good and what is evil. He uses bad and unskilled art to water us down against true beauty, and leads us further from the belief in God thereby. To believe in God is to believe that there is a right and wrong, and line between good and evil.
Yes it’s sad when we can’t make great art, or don’t have great bodies. But that is why we look forward to the resurrection and the grand millennium, where we will become exponentially beautiful and talented. We endure our trials at present with faith, and we find joy in what God has already bestowed upon us. Even those with less than ideal circumstances can be optimistic in that God has promised that the faithful will gain salivation. Joseph Smith defined salvation as no less than to “put all enemies under foot”, or in other words, overcome the barriers in your way to having a fullness of joy.
Let us rejoice in beauty while not defiling our bodies with evils such as pornography and immodest dress. Let us rejoice in a glorious future, and let us be other-centered, and focus on serving others so that we may be truly happy. We find joy in service, and patiently await all things foretold by the prophets including health for all in the glorious resurrection!
Note: One race should not esteem itself above another. President Kimball in Faith Precedes the Miracle speaks of how historically many races have thought they were superior, only to be cut down by the Lord when they became ripe in their pride. May we gain our worth and identity from God not from race.
A film about abuse to who make our clothing. See Netflix for the documentary film.
-throughout history we have shown who we are through what we wear; what we fundamentally wish to communicate about ourselves.
-it’s now about big business interest
-for a long time most of our clothing was made in the USA up till the 1660’s
-today the USA makes 3% of it’s clothes
-1/6 clothes worn in the USA are made in Asia
-in fashion they now have not two seasons a year but about 52 seasons a year so they can pump out more product
-bringing clothes from other countries now the clothes are super fashionable affordable for the commoner
-global market means we get what we want and at so cheap that we don’t care about throwing it out
-there is always someone willing to make it cheaper so workers’ rights don’t exist in many countries. If they up their costs the buyer goes to someone else.
-something has to give: either the prices rise, or manufacturers cut costs by
-factory leaders ignored a warning to evacuate a building from it being structurally unsafe, cracks being in the building, and it collapsed killing a 1,120 in India. They make about 2$ a day at this garment factory. Twas the “Rana Plaza”. Several others have collapsed killing additional hundreds. Everyone who buys cheap fashionable clothes should take responsibilities for these deaths.
-it’s called “fast fashion” this trend of cheap fashionable clothes
-this is a global world we live in now in the 21st century, yet we ignore each other’s problems.
-many justify the cost
-sweat shops lead to physical capitol, human capitol. American’s don’t care about others getting very poor working conditions wages, children working.
-people justify sweat shops saying people choose that lifestyle
-the Fair-Trade Movement is a champion of this cause
-there are about 40 million garment workers in the world
-one lady age 23 said she earned 10$ a month when she began at the garment shop in Dhaka. She is a leader of a union at her work where they demand a list of certain human rights. In response, they locked the doors with the people inside and 60 staff members attacked the workers
-clothing is the most labor dependent industry in the world
-Texas is the biggest cotton patch int he world. 80% of it is GMO grown. It’s not spot sprayed for weeds, whole fields are sprayed now. Cotton plant we see is being reengineered to keep up with our demands. The land is reconsidered as if it were a factory. Nature heals itself in small pockets, but spraying the entire field, we don’t know what’s going on.
-Monsanto patenting GMO plants trying to get a monopoly on the seed.
-pesticides are an ecological narcotic: the more they are used the more they need it.
-pesticides in India where cotton grows there is much larger cancer and physical handicap and mental handicap.
-in one village near the cotton field there are 60 mentally retarded children.
-those who make the GMO’s are the same who make the pesticides and who make the drugs, so it’s win-win with them
-250,000 farmer suicides in India the past 16 years; about 1 farmer every 30 minutes and is the largest recorded wave of suicides in history
-studies show that the more people say material values are important to them, the more depressed and anxious they are. That is at odds with the thousands of advertisements we get daily. Advertising is a species of propaganda. We always think of propaganda as a foreign thing but it’s here at home. Advertisers tie the consumption of their product as saying that your needs will be satisfied by buying their product.
-car commercials show success with certain car
-shampoos commercials show a person getting better hair from it, and more love and appreciation from others
-people are getting poorer and poorer because of all this
-the things people need are very expensive like a home and college education, but people can buy clothes for cheep and it’s a way they feel good despite their poverty and not having what they need
-consumptionism: two kinds of products. 1 is things you use a long time; the 2nd is things that you use up like chewing gum and cigarettes. They try to get us to use more of the second type.
-landfill is showing how much we are throwing away clothes
-fashion should never be thought of as a disposable product.
–82 lbs. of textile waste a year the avg. American throws away each year. It sits in landfills for 200 years or more releasing toxic gases.
-only about 10% of clothing from USA donated to poverty goes to the USA the rest goes to developing 3rd world countries is sold at their shops and makes people who sew not be able to find a job there.
-if you don’t like where clothes come from you don’t have to buy into it.
-the practices of these shops undermine what most people believe is upright
-skin is the largest organ on your body so when you wear GMO and pesticide cotton you ingest what’s on it like eating an apple.
-the communities where the GMO pesticide cotton is grown have the biggest hit for the worse
-the current model is all about the profit, but they ignore the costs of the farmers who don’t have access to education and healthcare, many effects from this.
-the shoes we buy also are from a center in India the effect of the production pollutes the ground gets in their drinking water for them. They often have Jaundice from this. Chromium is in the water it makes digestion problems and leads to Jaundice and several liver etc. cancers.
-fashion today is the most polluting thing on earth second only to oil
-people assume the natural resources we’ve been using are going to be there forever.
-the “cost” of production in the GDP doesn’t consider all the damage to people.
-greenhouse gas emission costs aren’t considered with this.
-many of the garment workers’ children are raised by others and they only get to see them once or twice a year
-the Bangladesh workers get up early work all day that’s all they do. One worker says these clothes are produced “by their blood” and doesn’t want anyone to wear such clothing.
-we should treat the foreign workers with the same respect we would want USA workers to have if we want supplies for foreign workers.
-the jeans are sold for 30 cents each then they’re sold for 20 dollars.
-people make us think we are rich because we can buy many clothes but it’s making us poorer and the owners of the fast fashion are who get richer.
-H & M is one of the largest producers of clothing in Bangladesh and Cambodia they refused to be interviewed for this film.
-Cambodians not protest in the streets for reasonable minimum wages but the police open live round gun fire on them.
-the police have come because workers are demanding a wage of 160 US$/month. They say, “the government doesn’t care how poor we are”.
-Cambodian government are desperate for this business so they hold down minimum wages. Since they don’t own the businesses they don’t have consequences of bad business practices which if we saw Walmart etc. doing in front of us we would outrage and boycott their goods.
-these dollars translate into human capital (*just what Cain did: converted life into property.)
-the international companies have battled for and won wars to protect their stuff but the won’t let protections on the humans that make their products. Bills have been submitted to US Congress to stop these things but big businesses step up and stop it.
-major brands seed and chemical companies are growing in
-Richard Walf of Harvard and Yale speaks of the problem being in this system. He says: Economic system of USA has been protected no one could criticize it; capitalism couldn’t be questioned, and without maintenance over 50 years, it’s rotting, wages getting pushed down more and more. (*Note: greed not capitalism is the issue)
-fashion industry is in Bangladesh because they can get the cheapest workers there
-all companies in Bangladesh care about is getting more money no matter what they have to do to the environment
-a small group of executives and shareholders make the decisions.
-people think that if we become less materialistic our economy would tank. Yes. So we must change they type of economy we have because it comes at a very high price.
-Black Friday does 10 million transactions in the first ten minutes. 15,000 people in the NYC Maceys. People shop like there will never be a chance to get stuff again with money they don’t have for gifts to people they don’t like. (*I say it’s not that buying is bad, again it’s the greed that causes excessive buying and hence bad sweat shops)
-intensity of chemicals and frequency of their use increases and causes brain tumors to 47 year olds from working in it. Men in agricultural industry and the oil fields have brain tumors age 40-50 there are many brain surgeons near by who live off of that industry.
-there is no long-term sustainability with the way we are doing things now
-fashion people should be responsible in who they choose to provide their products. Some have begun to do this.
-Martin Luther King Jr. said America needed a revolution of values and not treat people like things for profit.
-if USA wants to spread industry around the world then benefits if it should be given to who do the work
-we need all consumers to be activists asking simple questions about where their clothing comes from and who say it’s not okay for this clothing to come to me at the expense of people dying.
-will we continue to turn a blind eye to the lives of those behind our clothes? Everything we wear was touched by human hands