Modesty as Taught by the Prophets

-“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 [1996], 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

-“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

-“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

-“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

-“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

“-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.

-“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.

-“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,

-“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,

-“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,

-“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,

-*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 becoming 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.

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