From personal experience, I expect swapping backpacks for shoulder bags to
result in several truly epic bike wipeouts.Sudden weight shifts will
@strider303 ... ah, yes, you're right an active person could carry
scriptures and manuals with them each week at church ... or just download the
Gospel Library App on their smartphone.
For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure I would be dead if my camelbak
had been banned on my mission. Tracting in 130 degree weather without one sounds
like a deathwish to me. People loved asking me what it was; it was a great
conversation starter. It was even a dark, missionary-esque color. I hope the
mission presidents in hot areas see fit to make Camelbaks an exception.
Brother Benjamin Franklin, you're not getting the point.It's true about the shoulder bags causing back issues. I served in
Europe ten years ago where we could only have shoulder bags. They worked and
looked great, but I did have pain on one side of my body for a year after I got
home.Love the changes! Truly great moves by a truly great church!
Right before a Zone Conference, my daughter's mission president sent the
AP's to tell my daughter to stop wearing bright, fashionable clothes.
Apparently they thought her clothes would cause issues with other sisters and
elders. My daughter's modest, yet fashionable style has allowed her to make
many more contacts and teach more lessons than any other set of missionaries. A
few days after the Zone Conference, the mission office sent photos of the
conference to all the missionaries' parents. I was delighted to see my
daughter in the middle of one photo wearing her bright pink blazer! Gotta love
my self-assured daughter who follows the Lord and the new dress policy!!
I served in Seoul, Korea, some 20 years ago and upon arrival to the MTC our
batch of sisters were told that we weren't allowed to wear red dresses or
clothing, something that back then was considered conservative/preppy attire in
the US. Nor were the elders supposed to wear red ties. We couldn't write
appointments in red pen, either because red writing meant you were referring to
someone who was deceased. It wasn't a Church thing, but rather a cultural
thing. It was also during the "pre-Internet" era. I am so happy for
those serving now who can look at the website and see everything they need.Please don't knock the Church for seeming behind--I think it is
amazing with how well they keep up with so much when society and cultures around
the world are not only unique to their country, but fashion trends are all
It is possible that the emphasis on should bags and the like is a result of
realizing that the new suit colors look less professional and wanting to
counteract that. However my general understanding is that backpacks have never
been actually encouraged, but came about because they are more convenient for
missionaries on bike. When I was on my mission as I said before they were
officially discouraged, but especially when we covered areas on bike while
living outside the area the desire to carry sufficient materials to hand out
while tracting outweighed other considerations. I do have to wonder if were as
effective in our time use and material distribution policies, but that was the
way we did things.
The attack on bikes is what is absurd. being on a bike allows a connection to
the area while still being able to cover a reasonably large area. There are many
areas where it is reasonable. Also, considering how congested traffic is in some
areas, they actually allow covering more area than a car. There may be some
areas where walking is effective, but bikes are useful and workable.
To be truthful, I think when I was a missionary backpacks were officially
discouraged, but riding around on a bike they always seemed to be the most
effective way to carry additional copies of the Book of Mormon, pamphlets and
such. Maybe we would have done better if we had used shoulder bags, but even
during the summer when we just proselyted in white shirt, tie and dark pants and
not a suit coat people still at times thought we were the police.On
another note, it is not like the policy says "no dark pants or suits",
it just allows lighter ones, so those with all dark are still OK.
There is always a need to find a balance between professionalism and
approachability. We want our missionaries to look professional, but we need to
continue to maintain a current and not an our dated look.
You have to jazz up the dress standards if you want younger kids to go on
missions.If it ain't cool or cute, you'll get a lot less interest.
I continue to remain very concerned about the seeming indifference about these
rule changes. These sorts of things matter and make a difference. I am
saddened at how ignorant our world and society has become on so many things
nowadays, from religion to politics to simple etiquette and common sense. One would like to believe that of all faiths to represent dignified
appearance, it would be the LDS Church. They have not done so. They have
ignored the feelings of those like myself who would like to see that their
representatives not provoke unnecessary problems to their ministry. This was a nation founded on high ideals and ethics, a nation united in its
belief in divinity. I am grieved that I continue to find rampant denial,
widespread wishful thinking, and hearts bolted shut among the LDS Church and its
members to these potentially problematic rule changes and friends like myself
who would help them. How these good young people can be persuaded to do such
things is beyond me.
Cool! (What can I say?...I love khaki.)
No I don't think God really cares what we wear. There is no commandment
about not piercing yourself or tattoos, however the leaders had set guidelines.
It doesn't show people in the best light, but it isn't immoral.
Is someone is the jungles of South America or Africa going to understand that a
suit and tie means gravitas and importance when it is not a part of their
@GeoMan"Your scriptures, some pamphlets, and a few copies of the Book
of Mormon is all you need."And some water. Preferably somewhere
so that it doesn't get any of the other stuff wet.
Hutterite - just type in "extreme tattoo" in youtube and watch any of
the first videos that hit. You tell me if God is happy with what some people do
with their bodies. Sad, really really sad.
@Mayfair"Carmen-And they looked worse than the pale, veined,
blotchy, doughy, ugly bare legs we are treated to now??"So let
me get this straight DN: You allow this offensive statement to be published but
you censor my honest and benign response to it? I don't get it.I would like to know just who is Mayfair referring to--our Sisters in
Missionary service? That is a pretty sweeping and mean generalization.
Glad for the updated styles. It was time for the young funeral director look to
go. Modest and tasteful don't have to be separate concepts. Definitely an
improved missionary image.
To All Missionaries: Please be careful if you go to any of the larger cities in
America. Very dangerous. There are some sections of every city you should not
even enter. I would not enter these areas myself.
I just want to share my opinion and experience regarding the "backpack
issue."I served before any missionary would have dreamed of using a
backpack. The first time I saw a missionary with one I thought it looked...
weird. I'm glad to see them go.As to how to live without one,
it was never a problem. I had a handle-bar bag on my bicycle for carrying
pamphlets or copies of the Book of Mormon. Ever missionary that has a bicycle
should have a luggage rack on that bike. Strap the shoulder bag to that if a
messenger bag is a problem. (Please note that couriers that ride bikes as their
transportation use messenger bags, it really isn't a problem.) A messenger
bag is really just a briefcase with a shoulder strap. Very much more
professional than a backpack.As to the back problems, missionaries
don't go off on five-day expeditions. They don't need to be carrying
around 30 lbs of stuff. Your scriptures, some pamphlets, and a few copies of
the Book of Mormon is all you need. The current editions of the Book of Mormon
are really light-weight.
Earnest....this had nothing to do with inspiration. You don't think the
brethren can think these things out on their own?
DOES God care what you adorn your body with. I would think He wants his sons and
daughters to dress with modesty, cleanliness, and respect towards one's own
appearance and body. Does He care when his children tattoo pierce and defile
their bodies? I believe he expects us to be clean, wholesome, and modest. I
would expect nothing less of MY children.
I once lived in a new housing development that a nearby LDS church had targeting
for proselytizing. Over the period of four years I had Mormon missionaries
ringing my doorbell every few months. I was friendly with them (they sometimes
came in on cold nights) and got know a few of them, both elders and sister
missionaries. The thing that impressed me first was their clothing. They could
have stepped out of the pages of a fashion magazine or a clothing catalog. First impressions are important, but you can take it too far. At that
time I was working for a large international consulting firm. My manager
actually yelled at me for driving a pick-up truck. He wanted me to buy an
expensive sports car so our clients would see my wealth and prosperity. He also
gave me detailed instructions on what to wear. My goal was to dress just one
step above the client. The message to the client was, "We are superior to
you but not so much that you would be uncomfortable."The Mormon
missionaries can keep their nice clothes, but I hope they don't start
@Moniker Lewinsky"If you've already sent your missionary
off with the old fashions, just find a way to budget for some new duds. Along
with budgeting to have mom stay at home, 10% gross, a generous fast offering,
oh, and did you hear that the church is asking for more mission fund
contributions as well?"You don't have to contribute
anything if you don't want to. Nobody is forcing you to donate a dime to
the Church. Why would you feel the need to get him new duds now? You don't
even have to support your son for the privilege and blessing of going on a
mission (which, by the way, is a lot cheaper than keeping him home or sending
him to college).So exactly, what is your point?If you
are going to come on here and complain about contributions, just don't
When my father served his mission - towards the end of the 50's, they were
required to wear hats. Of course some dress standards change over the years.
The trick is to follow the changing trends which display respect, high
standards, and a sense of high self respect. Our living prophets don't
dress in the same attire as did Moses, Elijah or even Abraham. But like them,
they dress appropriately for their era.
To all of those who think shoulder bags will cause physical problems - The
backpacks caused just as many back problems as a shoulder bag(and a shoulder bag
should be worn across the body). Missionaries would overload them and then walk
all day with that on their backs. The packs missionaries would use were not the
hiking type with even weight distribution. They were just the bookbag types most
kids use for school. Believe me, I know because I served as the wife of a
mission president, and I can't tell you the number of back and shoulder
problems that were directly caused by overloaded backpacks. As far as appearance
goes, the backpacks on sisters looked even worse than the packs on elders.
So glad we have a prophet in these times to be able to get inspiration to make
For those of us that served in Scotland in the early 70's this regulation
is a bit redundant. We were some of the best and worst dressed missionaries in
history. I could tell tales for hours.
I don't think this is going to make as big a difference as everybody thinks
it is going to. . . Basically, nothing has changed for the men. You could pretty
much wear whatever you wanted when I was out five years ago anyway. The women
get to wear brighter colors, big wup.
AS to name tags, I see everyone I work with on our mission have a name tag on
the right side of their uniform. Oh, We're on an Air Force base. Most
name tags also are on the right to facilitate seeing the name when you shake
hands. I would venture that the reason most people place the sticky name tags
seen at conventions etc. on the left breast is due to them being right handed
and it is an easy motion to get it there.One way to facilitate
elimination of the back pack is to reduce the amount of stuff that is carried.
But if you are to carry scriptures, extra copies of the Book of Mormon,
pamphlets, some water - it is extremely hot here in Texas and fluid replacement
is a critical issue, you will need a back pack. Check out what an active member
has to carry to Church on a Sunday: Scriptures; Relief Society/Priesthood manual
or copy of Conference Ensign; Sunday School manual if teaching; and a day
planner or smart phone.
having lived in northern Europe and often doing splits with the full time
missionaries, I often noted people just walking away when approached with the
black missionary name tag. When I approached young people in English, we could
at least begin introductions and spend more useful time with students walking
the inter-city. Could this be the beginning of changing the name tag.
I am still holding out for tank top t shirts before I go on my mission....
@Hutterite"Does god care what you adorn your body with?"Yeah, The Lord does kinda care how you adorn yourself:Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with
modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly
attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good
works.1 Timothy 2:9-10But let your adorning be the hidden
person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which in God's sight is very precious.1 Peter 3:4 I
appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies
as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual
worship.Romans 12:1 I'm just throwing this one in because
this, too, is adornment as well:You shall not make any cuts on your
body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.Leviticus 19:28And my personal favorite:Like a gold ring in a pig's
snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.Proverbs 11:22
Dare to be different. dare to stand alone, dare to have a purpose firm, dare to
make it known...what ere thou art dress well thy part...scriptures fit well in
an iPod or iPhone, even better , stored in a missionaries memory...be bold, let
the Spirit guide.
These are some great changes and will definitely make the missionaries more
approachable as well as comfortable while still being modest. I think the nice
colors will simply serve to attract people to them and the message. I think
shoulder bags will look nicer, but I do think the backpacks are better because
the missionaries can wear them with the weight balanced on both shoulders so it
doesn't cause back pain. I think a choice between them would be good.
Hutterite, God may not care, but then, He's the choir. The Elders and
Sisters aren't teaching Him, their audience isn't already in the
seats. And it never hurts to look like someone your audience wants to be like.
As long as our young missionaries are dressed in modest clothing, isn't it
nice that it is also enjoyable for them to wear as well? Smile, Hutterite, and
be happy for them, and for their enthusiasm to share the Word with others. It
isn't the clothes that encouraged them to wish to go on missions, it is
their love of the Lord. Be happy that they feel joy in their calling!
Carmen-And they looked worse than the pale, veined, blotchy, doughy, ugly bare
legs we are treated to now??
Why does a central authority have to determine everything? Why can't
individuals make their own decisions as to what they will wear?
If you've already sent your missionary off with the old fashions, just find
a way to budget for some new duds. Along with budgeting to have mom stay at
home, 10% gross, a generous fast offering, oh, and did you hear that the church
is asking for more mission fund contributions as well?
I think this change is wonderful for our young people who are planning to go on
a mission. The lighter colors for the Elders and the more vibrant colors for
the Sisters are great! They will still "stand out" in a crowd for their
modest clothing but they will at least look in-style.
Glad to see the Sister Missionaries will be able to dress more like the other
young people and still be modest. I live in Texas and the heat can be
dangerous. It has always concerned me that the young men missionaries on
bicycles cannot wear straw hats or caps. People die from prolonged exposure to
the sun and by "prolong" I don't mean all day. It just takes an
hour of so. Those who have to work outside take salt tables to help them retain
water and wear some kind of head covering. We've never had any of our
missionaries suffer from heat stroke or heat exhaustion, but it has to be
because they angels are watching over them. When I see them out, I offer them
water and caution them about the heat. This is especially true of new
missionaries. They have no idea how dangerous it can be to be outside without a
Best bag ever was available for my two missionaries in the MTC bookstore.
Daughter's bag lasted 10 years--mission, college, young mom... Handles
could be changed up to be a shoulder bag or a backpack.
What is wrong with backpacks? They are so functional.Now they are going to
make them carry shoulder bags, i.e., man purses?@DigomartYou're missing the point entirely. Dressing up in a suit and tie does 2
things--it sets you apart in uniform as a representative of the Church, and it
shows respect and reverence to the work. You say you are going to
show up to church in casual attire to show your "desire to . . . worship the
Lord, to love and serve Him." How do you do that when you can't show
enough respect and reverence to dress up. If you are too poor, that is one
thing, but if you can afford it, there is no excuse to present yourself in your
The skinny ties being abolished is odd, and an example of how Church policy is
sometimes a result of Utah's regional culture. For the rest of the
country, narrow ties have replaced the wide ties of the 90's and 00's,
at least for the under-40 crowd. Utah is very slowly catching on. I'm
hoping that the Church only means the extremely skinny ties, and will allow the
Elders to wear the type of narrow ties that their slim-cut suits were designed
to be worn with. As for backpacks, I'm not so sure that this
is really a change in policy. I seem to remember when I got my missionary intro
packet eight years ago, that it said we were supposed to wear shoulder bags. It
wasn't until I got to my mission that I realized that backpacks were just
the norm anyway. It's just not practical to wear a shoulder bag on a bike.
As Senior couples in Cambodia, our mission president reprimanded my husband for
wearing khaki pants and for me wearing colorful (Khmer fabric) skirts. I hope he
is reading this!
@HutteriteIn some ways no, God does not care what you adorn your
body with. He will provide if you are on His errand. I think THAT is the
message of the scripture you may have been referring to (see Matthew 6:28).
but, in every case, he certainly wants people to dress modestly. In the
missionaries' case, I'm sure His gospel wouldn't move at the pace
it has if the missionaries wore cutoffs, ratty sneakers, and tee-shirts. So I
guess, in a sense, He does care how you dress. There are several reasons::1. The public takes them much more seriously when they do.2. They show the gravity of their calling.3. It is respectful of
their Lord and Savior.@b.ryceRegarding the sandals. What may
look funny in one culture might not in another. And the mission presidents have
the say on what the missionaries wear in their mission anyway. I would say, if
you're serving in 41 degree Celsius heat (106 Fahrenheit) and you are in
the poorer parts of the world, you will be more comfortable in these sandals,
while still not affecting the impression you make on the native cultures.
Back when I served, I wore nothing but dresses as a rule. We didn't wear
skirts and tops or suits. We also wore colorful clothing. Don't know if
the rules changed or if it just got easier for sisters to wear black suits. As
for the Elders, felt bad that they had to wear those dark suits on hot days and
such drab ties. I like the light suits, they look classy.
I could not have gone without a backpack on my mission. I was in all bike areas
were using a backpack was the only way to carry all of the stuff we had to bring
Joy, unfortunately, mission presidents are "requiring" shoulder bags,
even for missionaries who are already out. Moms are panicked. Some
missionaries don't have the money for extra thing. I don't understand
the issue the church has with backpacks. They are better for your back and
easier to deal with when riding a bicycle. And the outfit the
"sister missionary" is wearing in the picture is absolutely horrible and
distracting, in my opinion. I also noticed the "typo" about
where to wear the badges. Someone didn't do his job well!
However, it is so very important to not dress in a way that others will envy and
covet our clothing. We should not call attention to our clothing or make a
fashion statement. Think about it!
bigtommy, Some of the missionaries in our ward are on bike. Having them
walk/ride public transportation would make them much less effective in their
areas. I do occasionally see businessmen wearing white shirt/tie riding bikes
here. If you don't have a car, or need a car, bikes are the next best
thing - not public transportation that comes once an hour with long layovers.
And walking 10 miles across an area?The only issue I have is
requiring shoulder bags. I bought one while in the MTC and never used it when
biking on my mission. Have you ever rode a bike with a shoulder bag?
Glad the rest of the Church is catching up. When I was in Samoa 56 years ago, we
were so excited when our mission president allowed us to "bare" arms and
wear short sleeves when we wanted. I never tried the lavalava (ia faitaga) but
have seen a lot lately.
Shoulder bags? A rose by any other name is still a purse. So now the elders can
carry a purse... Not that there is anything wrong with that.
To Brother Benjamin FranklinOne could argue that suits themselves distract
and detract from the mission of teaching the Gospel of Jesus. How odd and
distracting it is to most people (north Americans, anyway) to have to deal with
young men who are required to dress so strangely (and in a manner so unsupported
by the Bible or Book of Mormon) unless we accept, by some uncomfortable stretch
of belief, that they are representing something akin to corporate America. I
recall thinking as a missionary that dressing in a suit was somehow noble. It is
not necessarily so. It is often simply bowing to a fashion of the world that is
(in many cases) incompatible with the Gospel of Christ. I am not sure why I
spend so many years believing that wearing a tie was the/a mark of a (male)
follower of Jesus. It seems so strange now to think that I once subscribed to
such. (Especially odd since Jesus is never depicted in LDS iconography as
wearing a suit and tie.)Tomorrow I will probably wear jeans to
church . . . and I want my greatest desire to be to worship the Lord, to love
and serve Him.
I didn't realize light colored-suits were ever illegal. Mine were all dark,
but I always assumed most elders (or, more likely, their mothers) chose dark
suits because they would not have to be cleaned as often (or at least one
operated under the assumption that they were not dirty enough that they had to
be cleaned). Also, are we talking about khaki as a fabric or a
color?And I DO recall (20~30 years ago) wishing that sister
missionaries were required to wear women's suits (tailored skirt and
blazer) instead of being allowed to wear the cotton dresses that so many wore,
which made them look like younger versions of Ma Kettle or Minnie Pearl. (If you
don't know who they are, check wikipedia--they were WONDERFUL as characters
on screen.)Of course, since I was in Japan on my mission, no matter
what clothing we wore, we were a loveable but dumb circus act anyway, as
foreigners in suits on bicycles.
If it's gravitas that is desired, you're fighting a losing battle as
long as missionaries are so young, and as long as they wear labels or nametags
on their shirt or jacket fronts.
I'm loving all these changes in missionary work. I served from 2009-11 and
I had a light colored suit, skinny ties, used Facebook, emailed friends instead
of just family, avoided wearing a suit coat as much as possible, chose a sweater
over a suit coat, never knocked doors in the mornings, etc. It's almost
laughable that all these things are allowed now. I do not feel as guilty anymore
and I laugh at all my zone leaders who were super anal about everything.
Skinny ties are out? What about those elders who went out back in the
bennybehind the 8 ball? huh? positive thinking will improve lives, try it.
if you read the article it says most of these changes were made about three
years ago, the website was just updated to reflect those changes.
Well, there goes Mr. Mac's profit for the year....
I do not understand the backpack issue. How can you ride a bike with a shoulder
bag? And like '2cents_EM' said above, there will be more back
problems. Plus I think it is strange that this issue is coming up now, when the
color of suits is changed. Seems like shoulder bags would have gone with dark
suits more appropriately.Name tags-- in almost every industry, name
tags are worn on the left, not the right. And if a man is wearing a suit jacket,
the tag is placed on the outside pocket of the jacket. I don't understand
why the church now wants the tag to be worn on the lapel. It just looks dorky to
The biggest thing I love about this is no more back packs! I refused to wear one
as a missionary because I thought it did not look dignified. Thus
began my obsession with messenger bags.
Does god care what you adorn your body with?
The article said they are encouraged to choose a shoulder bag but did not say
they had to runout and buy one if they already had backpacks. These
changes always are incorporated in as time passesand also refers to the
new missionaries. Parents should not panic and think they have to run out and or
sendmoney for the missionaries to make the changes today. I'm
glad about the lighter suits because in hotter climates dark clothes just make
it harder. I'm also glad the sisters are not required to look like
old maids but happy fun missionaries who love the gospeland want to be
someone you would want to know. It also shows that you can look great and still
be modest. Good example for younger girls.It's an exciting time in
the church. The gospel is moving forward to everyone throughout the world and we
have a righteous generation to move it along. I'm just so impressed with
I certainly worry about the back problems a shoulder bag will cause for
missionaries walking long distances. The human body is designed for equal
distribution of weight.I was grateful more than once to have a
backpack with me while tracting. It was the last line of defense when the dog
It's about time these changes were made, because the Church has been behind
the eight ball on this. I am very concerned about the loosening of modesty
standards for elders and sisters, though. We need the focus on the message, not
the clothing. If missionaries are all dressing up in distracting clothing
styles, how do we expect people to join the Church because of the Holy Ghost,
and not because of a handsome missionary?
When I was on my mission, they made all the missionaries in my mission use
shoulder bags because they looked more professional. Eventually they went back
to the backpacks because there were so many missionaries having back problems.
It's about time! What took the Church so long to finally get around to
this sort of thing? They have really been behind the eight ball on these
things. The Church shoots itself in the foot way too much on these things.
This change should have happened at least five years ago. I suppose
it is merely what we deal with living here (sigh).
Now if we could just liven up the music and lose the funeral marches.
Yes! The backpacks really needed to go. They look completely ridiculous and
undermine the gravitas of the missionaries' message. Next on
the chopping block should be bikes for the exact same reason. If your mission
doesn't have cars, then just walk. Wearing dress clothes while riding a
bike looks absurd.
Pantyhose were a nasty invention that became standard wear for far too long.
They didn't breath or wick moisture so they creating breeding grounds for
bacteria, attendant odor, and frankly, often looked awful as well. Thank heaven
the younger generation is pitching these in the dustbin of history...
The FAQ on the church web site says "When possible, wear the nametag on the
upper-right side." but all photos show it on the left.
To samhill - nope!
I wonder if a backpack, slung over one shoulder, will be permitted?
Wait a minute... khakis were previously inappropriate? News to me. I wore them
on my mission 10 years ago.
Don't miss the newly approved closed toe sandals! Looks pretty weird for
As a former mission president's wife, I am sooo glad the backpacks are
gone, especially the camelbaks. They just presented such a poor image. Also glad
to see fauxhawks addressed.
Great my fish neck stockings are out! Wait I'm a dude.
Yep just sent my son just entered and we purchased all those dark pants that
hold a crease.
So glad to see the backpacks go away...
My son enters the MTC in 2 weeks. Looks like we're in the market for a
shoulder bag. And I thought we were done shopping...These changes
overall look great. What a fun time to be a missionary!
And my son just entered the MTC with all DARK pants AND a black backpack!He'll be sent home for sure . . .