Comments about ‘LDS Church tweaks dress and grooming requirements for missionaries’

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Published: Friday, July 12 2013 4:55 p.m. MDT

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Nana Sid
West Jordan, UT

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.

Gainesville, TX

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 head covering.

Bremerton, WA

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.

moniker lewinsky
Taylorsville, UT

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?

A Scientist
Provo, UT

Why does a central authority have to determine everything? Why can't individuals make their own decisions as to what they will wear?

City, Ut

Carmen-And they looked worse than the pale, veined, blotchy, doughy, ugly bare legs we are treated to now??

Sacramento, CA

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!

Holladay, UT

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.

Roy, UT

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.



"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 2:9-10

But 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 19:28

And my personal favorite:

Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.
Proverbs 11:22

Salt Lake City, UT

I am still holding out for tank top t shirts before I go on my mission....

Boise, Idaho

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.

Salt Lake City, UT

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.

MiddleofNowhere, Utah

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.

Harwich, MA

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.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

So glad we have a prophet in these times to be able to get inspiration to make these changes!

Sandy, UT

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.

Medical Lake, Washington

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.

Idaho Falls, ID

@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 contribute.

Daniel Leifker
San Francisco, CA

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 driving Lamborghinis.

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