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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Gram Cracker
Price, UT

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.

Harwich, MA

Earnest....this had nothing to do with inspiration. You don't think the brethren can think these things out on their own?


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.

Saint George, UT

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.


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.

Idaho Falls, ID


"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.

Cedar City, Utah

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.

Salt Lake City, UT

"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.

Layton, UT

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 culture??

Layton, UT

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.

The Caravan Moves On
Enid, OK

Cool! (What can I say?...I love khaki.)

Brother Benjamin Franklin
Orem, UT

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.

Gallup, NM

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.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

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.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

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.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

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.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

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.

South Jordan, Utah

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 constantly changing!

LaCrescenta, CA

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!!

Centerville, UT

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!

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