Comments about ‘Ask Angela: A dad wonders how to approach an immodestly dressed woman at church’

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Published: Monday, Oct. 14 2013 10:00 a.m. MDT

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Provo, UT

About three year ago in testimony meeting a young man stepped to the podium. He was dressed in basketball shorts and an undershirt without sleeves. He said he had walked into the Church and sat there and felt a spirit unlike any he had ever felt. As I look around the chapel I could see different looks on people's faces as this young man bore his "testimony" of the spirit he felt.

Fast forward and I watched this young man walk through the chapel with a white shirt and tie as he headed to a singles ward function. I stopped him and told him I recalled his first time in the chapel. He laughed and said that he did not know why he had actually come in the building, just that something told him to do so. He was now preparing to go the the temple and was dating a young woman in the singles ward.

We are not capable of judging others and how they dress should never be a concern.


Angela, you show wisdom beyond your years, and you give sound advice here. What about young women dressing in too short skirts, however???? There are a couple of them in our ward, it is a challenge as their leader knowing whether to address this to the girl or their mother. In this case, they are active since birth - just waiting for the process - I don't know - may or may not work. It's a touchy topic. Thanks for the column.

The Scientist
Provo, UT

The most salient outcome of religion is this: judgmentalism and intolerance.

In the thirty years I have been living among "the Saints", as a nonbeliever, I have been subjected to worse comments, actions, anonymous notes left in my mailbox, an things you could not believe unless you were there - many worse than what has been described here.

As much a Mormons say Angela's answer is the right one, out in the Wards and Stakes, Mormons are self-righteously and arrogantly condemning and offending others in startling ways!

And even if they don't confront the "bad" people, they gossip horribly in their PEC and Ward Correlation meetings!

It really is shameful.


Many hypocrites exposed at Harper Valley PTA meeting by a mini-skirt wearing mother.


As a woman who became active in my faith as an adult, I too had to learn how to have my outer appearance mirror my inward standards. I had help from a dear sister who cared enough for me to help me in this.

My clothes, though not too short or low were form-fitting and back then I had a form to fit. This dear sister offered me her sweater. It was in the heat of summer and I declined. She gently reaffirmed "You need the sweater". As I declined again, she then indicated by gesture that my curves were too prominent and I spent the rest of the service with my arms folded over my midriff to de-emphasize. I then made it a point to wear a jacket or looser clothes.

Luckily I had a budget to afford clothes. If I could not have made such purchases, I now know here there are / were sisters who would have taught me how to modify what I had to fit my chosen life or loan / give me of their own.


Most of you are way too judgmental of the Dad. As a dad of four teenage boys I have the same concerns.

The dad has the same right to want a safe haven for him and his boys from the influences of the world as the single sister does. But whom do we risk offending?

There are many men in every ward that I have been to that struggle with pornography addiction. Having scantly clad women attending church is equal to having an alcoholics anonymous meeting in a bar.

There are dress standards for church. These standards need to be taught.

In my perfect world both the boys and the sister would be taught the standards of the church and the principals of the atonement.

Cardston, Alberta

Let's all show more warmth and love towards everyone we meet in or out of church. Let's all be better neighbors whether they mow the lawn on Sunday or not. We may never know the full impact of our actions good or bad. Odds are that sooner or later our warmth and friendliness will pay dividends. For the concerned Dad: what a great opportunity to take a few bonding minutes with your son. Reinforce YOUR family values but also explain how it must be for a newly active member or an investigator to be at Church. Show these folks lots of love.

Fort Thomas, KY

In my opinion, the best thing you can do is treat this young lady with respect and kindness. Show her with the same enthusiasm you show other members of your ward, and your sons will see how you value people simply because they are children of God. They will learn to emulate this.

Wilf 55

This dad needs counseling for bringing up the question.

American Fork, UT

Good answer. It's not your place to say anything, make her feel welcomed and she will change on her own. As for you boys, they are going to have to learn to control their thoughts inside and outside of church.

canada, 00

Where I live , pre-judging, gossip, and outright lies are rampant , to the point that to keep my family safe and active in the gospel , we have had to back off , and go it alone. We were made to feel unwanted, told that "we live beyond our means" (no mortgage, we own everything lock,stock , and barrel. OWE nothing), i have been called a liar, cheat , mistreat my wife and kids and the list goes on . My wife was ready to toss in the towel entirely. My point is that I live in a stake that would aptly be well-named to call it the busy body stake. Mind your own business folks, you don't know anyone's full story, you never will, worry about your own life . LOSE YOUrSELF IN SERVICE , then you'll have no time to judge, You don't have that right anyway , only god does.

Big Red '93
The High Plains of, Texas

@ The Scientist

As a Mormon living outside of Utah for most of my life, but especially in the past 11 years, I can say the exact same thing about other religions and what they talk about at their church leadership meetings, what I and my family have been subjected to as Mormons in a mostly 'Christian' region. Many of the churches have lessons in Sunday School on anti-Mormonism. We have friends from other religions who ask us questions because of what is said in their church meetings. While I agree with you that there are Mormons who are arrogant and self-righteous in condemning others, it is not just a Mormon issue... it is an issue of people thinking they are better than others. Gossip is all around us, not just in Utah Mormonism.

Bill Shakespeare
Salt Lake City, UT

I can't believe someone would actually consider telling this sister how to dress. Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. How about this: I'm concerned there's a brother in my ward who likes to tell the sisters when they aren't dressed properly. I have teenage sons and they are already bombarded with hundreds of ignorant simpletons during the week, I hope he can avoid them at church at least. Holy cow. Ridiculous!

Taylorsville, UT

"But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters." 1 Peter 4:15

blue springs, MO

suggest in a kind way to your family members only. if there is a female NOT dressing modestly then go to the bishop and give him your concerns, then let him handle the situation. lets remind each sister, young woman, little girl that modesty in church is important and modesty everywhere else. i do not like it when i am in church and see women's 'g' showing through a shear blouse, skirts so tight i can see them move each muscle, so low i don't like to see that much, wearing to short of skirts and dresses. i also would like to remind all yw, little girls, adults STOP wearing nasty dirty flip flops-dirty sandals-going barefoot in church is NOT showing respect. i do understand in some areas of the world flip flops-sandals are what they wear and that is fine just please make sure they are clean.

Salt Lake City, UT

@ CanadaGreywolf
Do you realize that when you talk about your fellow saints in this manner you are being just as judgmental as you claim they are?

layton, UT

(James 2:2-3). …” if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the 'gay clothing', and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool”.

Tucson, AZ

We had this same situation in our ward once. The family got baptized and mom still dressed immodestly. Through prayer and inspiration the Relief Society President had sisters (of the same age group) gather modest clothing. During a relief society function there was an exchange table set up. Sisters of all ages would find one thing and say "I think this would be adorable on you." Through visiting teachers the R.S. President found out money was tight in this home. This young couple felt their tithing was more important to Heavenly Father than their dress. After a few R.S. functions this young mother had appropriate Sunday attire, without any embarrassment and done with and from the love of a faithful daughter of God through her calling as R.S. President.


If we keep our eyes on Jesus and look full in His wonderful face, do we have time to worry about someone else and what they are wearing? Sorry, dad, but I was one who walked in with less than modest clothing. In 1977, a 'dear sister' in Colorado told me my clothes weren't right. I never forgot the pain, and it's what, 30 plus years later?
Please, suggest to the RS Pres an activity encouraging appropriate attire, in a LOVING THOUGHTFUL WAY. Then, teach your boys to look on the Savior. Then, move on and pray for this sister and all who struggle in any way. Don't forget to pray for your judgmental self as well-we all have that self, and we all need to pray to move beyond that!

hi, UT

Younger mormon women tend to cover up, but make up for it with tight clothes.

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