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

Return to article »

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

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
San Francisco, CA

Pop, what anyone else wears to church is their stewardship and not yours.

Your have stewardship over your kids. Their thoughts and feelings are their own stewardship, and also part of yours as long as you are raising them. It is your responsibility to teach them by precept and example to control their thoughts and actions, and to learn not to excuse or rationalize their thoughts and actions based on what other people do.

You also have stewardship over your own thoughts and feelings. Part of managing them is avoiding excessive "attentiveness" (YKWIM) and preoccupation with how little clothing you see on any other body.

Tucson, AZ

To Stephen 11421, first of all the chapel and Temples are not ours. They are houses of the Lord, where we as imperfect beings meet to uplift and edify not only ourselves but our church family and in doing that, our God. To say you can offend anyone is ignorant. To be offended you must give up your power to someone else. The gospel teaches us we only give power unto the Lord to wrought change in our lives. Once again this is something for Visiting and Home Teachers, R.S. President, and the Bishop to handle. As members it is our duty to pray for our leaders, give in our callings 100%, and to accept and love all Gods children, no matter what the circumstance may be. If we cannot due this then the trouble isn't with a returning member's dress it is with our disobedience to not only the baptismal covenants we have made but all ordinances and covenants we have made. The gospel is perfect not men or women. This is our time to help one another achieve this.

so it goes...

Dad, teach your sons (and yourself) to take responsibility for their own thoughts and not blame those thoughts on others...


The father is asking for help, but all it seems is that he is being shot down. No matter where we go the subject is always in our faces. Whether it’s the world flashing images and ideas that drive away the Spirit or repeated counsel to dress and behave modestly. How often is the issue of pornography brought up? No wonder some people (man or woman) are uncomfortable over the whole thing.

Everyone wants to feel welcome at church and to have it be a safe place for all to be. Just saying look away when someone dresses inappropriately doesn’t help anyone. If someone returning to church needs help acquiring clothes for church, there might be some people in the ward who would be willing to help them get new church clothes. I’ve seen this happen for young men. It should be just as easy to help women returning to activity acquire a set of clothes that they would be comfortable wearing and is appropriate for church. There must be a way to do this without condemning someone as a hypocrite for suggesting this or causing those returning to activity to feel uncomfortable.

The Reader
Layton, UT

Say nothing!!! Accept everryone who comwes to church as they are. The only thing I would say about dress is "Church is not clothes optional" Please wear something!!

brigham city, UT

My daughter was "less active" and over 21. She brought her boyfriend to church one Sunday, She wore an inappropriate out fit, He had liberty spikes, baggy pants with zippers, Piercings, Tattoos etc. Every one welcomed them with open arms. I'm sure a lot was said behind our backs but we didn't hear a negative comment. I was happily shocked at that.
They both attended a few more times dressed the same way. They felt accepted. Neither of them is active now, they aren't even together, but if someone would have said something to either of them, both would have forever been against the church. I still have hope that someday she will return to the church with her fiancé. The scripture "Thou shall not judge" doesn't have and exception clause, even on Sundays.

Pleasanton, CA

If a hitherto-less active member comes back to church, dressed immodestly, or smelling of tobacco, or with any lingering reminder of the lifestyle they have fallen into, they should be welcomed, so they will keep coming back, and re-learn the things they once knew.

Riverdale, MD

I think a more appropriate question would be, how can I talk with teenage boys about women who come into their line of vision (at church or elsewhere) who are dressed immodestly? I'd like to see a discussion about that.

I can't say I really blame the dad for thinking this way. Modesty is stressed in lds teachings. The problem is, we need to start teaching, along with teaching a principle or commandment, to teach people that it is their job to take care of their own behavior and not someone else's. If this dad thinks he needs to protect his boys from immodestly dressed women and that it is not their fault if they are tempted because of it, give him time. Give our society time. The article "Seeing a Woman" by Nate Pyle (as another commenter mentioned) is a great example of how this idea is going around our society. I think we're making progress and that this dad will listen--you probably don't need to beat it into his head or insult him.

Surrey, BC

The advice given is good and it is not a brother's place to police the dress standards. We have active, endowed, longtime members in our ward who sometimes wear tight clothes, show cleavage, or push the boundaries of modesty. Everyone is at a different level of conversion and we are commended not to judge. Lessons on modesty in RS are a great way to educate and re-educate the members not to be revealing. It is also up to the brethren to not stare and "linger" with thoughts and eyes. I think President Monson's call to hasten the rescue is going to bring all sorts of people from "Babylon" into our chapels. We should love them and help them come unto Christ. This is the Lord's church, not yours nor mine. The Lord's normal is the standard for modesty and we can all do better to live up to it.

Mark from Montana
Aurora, CO

What bothers me is when the YW presidency wear clothes that are well outside of the suggested dress code. Just seems like they should follow the guidelines in order to teach the young women about proper dress. Same goes for men and the YM programs.

St.George, Utah

Have any of the LDS hierarchy addressed the young people about laughing or making rude remarks toward the young people who attend LDS Church services in their school clothes?
Always thought families attended church services for spiritual reasons. Church was never meant to be a fashion show, or was/is it?
Women and young girls in particular appear to attempt to outdo each other with the latest, loveliest of fashion. For decades since our arrival to Utah, many a struggling family has had to deal with such sad and hurtful behavior towards their children.
Would a Bishop bring this up in his congregation?
A Bishop or other leader's words concerning THIS subject WOULD be appreciated.

Henderson, NV

I agree with much that has been said. Years ago a 30-something woman joined the church and for some reason there was a carwash to raise money. She came dressed in shorts. She didn't know any better. Someone must have said something to her. It made her quite angry, she said things like, no one told me! She continued to feel very judgmental about everything done by church members and eventually drifted off. Who knows what made her react like she did?

Stay the Course
Salt Lake City, utah

The Scientist
I read your comments find you likely intelligent and you even seemed to be softening in some of your commnents lately until this one. As far as I can discern what or who is the only common denominator in all of these terrible situations you describe over the last 30 years?

I know it. I Live it. I Love it.
Salt Lake City, UT

I suppose all these posters would be fine with someone offering me a beer at church.

I'm sorry, but women know what modesty is. And if they don't, they need to learn it as some point. Beating around the bush for 3 years while young men suffer the consequences of being around something they shouldn't? No, unacceptable.

There is a tactful way to address it, which the article highlighted. Direct approach is too risky. Suggesting a lesson for a group is a great idea. Talking to a bishop is wise. Having your boys talk to the bishop is wise. But not doing anything is foolish. So many women seem to hate the idea of being told what to wear. Why? I can handle being asked to change my life. I have been. Why is it that this issue is somehow exempt?

If it needs to be addressed, the priesthood authorities in the ward will address it. Live with it and move on. Pretty simple really.

Protecting young men is more important than ever right now.

Plano, TX

Dear Attentive Dad;

Teach your own son that not everyone will exhibit the high standards that you expect of him, and it's alright. It will work itself out in due time as long as everyone's actions toward them are positive, nurturing of the spirit and inclusive.


Been there, been that person.

Salt Lake City, UT

Wherever people go they soon learn the "norms" of the group, and adapt, almost always without coaching.

Beverly Hills, CA

Being concerned about another person's dressing standards can and has driven people away from church.

Tech your OWN sons how to control and influence their own thoughts. If you keep sheltering these boys from being able to control their own thoughts and hat they do with them, they will seek out forbidden fruit the first chance they are on their own.

Blue Dandelion
Flower Mound, TX

Yes! Yes! Yes! Perfect answer.

My husband is inactive, and it is more than a challenge to get my 15 year old daughter to early morning seminary. She hadn't been in a while, and then last Monday, gave it a try. One boy made a sarcastic comment about how she never came and a girl condemned her for wearing soccer shorts to class. She told her they were immodest. She came home embarrassed and angry--and said, "I hate seminary." She hasn't been back.

Such judgment has no place in Christ's church, not from teenagers and certainly not from adults.

Midvale, UT

I agree with the advice not to say anything, but I disagree with planning a covert activity addressing her dress. Most people can see right through it, and it very well could offend her. Just leave it be. It won't be the first or last time your boys see a woman dressed immodestly. They will survive. Teach them about respect, tolerance, and controlling their own thoughts.

Bernard GUi
Puyallup, WA

What Sales said.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments