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Ask Angela: A dad wonders how to approach an immodestly dressed woman at church

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  • inaflannel San Diego , CA
    May 13, 2014 2:50 p.m.

    In a beach city like SD Beach Dresses and other casual attire are generally accepted.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Dec. 2, 2013 8:07 p.m.

    Love that one : 1 Samuel 16:7

    7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

    When I started out in church I had to learn that the beauty of the outside woman tempts me not because of her shining light, but because of my imperfect attitude.If I change the inner man, I see what my heart desires them to be, I desire them to be with the Lord.

  • NSJ Provo, UT
    Oct. 24, 2013 12:31 p.m.

    I agree wholeheartedly that nobody should approach others about their clothes in church. I have inactive family and rejoice when they come to Church activities, regardless of their clothes. However, I especially I agree with Sales’s comment. To those attacking this father and his concern for his sons or downplaying modesty’s importance or saying immodesty is relative, I have a few words; you've no idea what you're talking about. My husband had a history of pornography addiction. He stumbled upon it accidentally as a teenager due to parents failing to filter their internet. It was an accident, but he got addicted nonetheless. He has since repented, but it took years to recover. It left me, his wife, with severe emotional and mental scars; I have had to see counselors to try to recover from the trauma, anxiety, and depression it has caused me.
    Like Sales said, immodest dress is a trigger for those recovering from pornography addictions; but it is also a trigger for ME reminding me of the pain and causing me to regress in my mental and emotional healing. Wanttowritesomuchmorebutoutofspace. I beg you, PLEASE DRESS MODESTLY.

  • Kelliebelle66 West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 18, 2013 8:17 p.m.

    One thing I have tried to impress on my children is modesty but I have also tried to impress upon them to worry about their own issues and not judge others. What's important is people and how you treat them. One of my sons was afraid to go to church without his missing white shirt. I handed him a very pale blue dress shirt and told him that it is more important to do your assignments and be worthy than to stay home worried because you don't have the exact color shirt. Well, the bishopric undid my lesson when they pulled him from the stand after the meeting started because he had a blue shirt They couldn't tell that the boy sitting next to him had a morality issue he hadn't dealt with which made my son feel even more picked on. It is not required to have a white shirt but I get they were trying to have standards but it's a shame that took precedence over worthiness. In their desire to make everything look nice and symbolic they missed the whole point of our savior's teachings. Glad this article will help people.

  • sukiyhtaky us, CA
    Oct. 17, 2013 8:01 a.m.

    I think the key word is modest. If you are dressed in a sexually provacative way then definitely the leader of the congregation should privately counsel, but some of the comments here keep mentioning wearing dresses. The 'issue' of wearing pants to church is just not an issue outside of Utah. When I have been a guest at the local LDS services I have worn pants as have many of the members. Pants are not inappropriate or immodest and many times are actually much nicer than say a jean skirt with flip flops. As long as you are 'modest' in the truest meaning of that word, God doesn't care what you are wearning just so long as you are hearing the message. It is not uncommon in the wards here to see jeans even and you have to ask does fabric choice really block the message to your brain?

  • MrNirom1 Aloha, OR
    Oct. 16, 2013 8:33 p.m.

    Well thank goodness this father, this man, this husband, voiced his concern to a newspaper columnist in a question form so everyone reading could jump down his throat. I am so happy he is asking what he should do.. rather than telling us what he did do. Can you imagine how he would have been treated had he actually done it.. rather than just asking Angela? And of course knowing that there would be some sort of response from the gallery. Whew.. he dodged that bullet!

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    Oct. 16, 2013 3:49 p.m.

    "learn to control their thoughts and eyes both inside and outside of church"…yeah, if only it were so simple…the only way to control one's thoughts and eyes in this day and age is to lobotomize oneself and pluck out one's eyeballs. But she is right…making sure the sister is fully re-activated is the priority above all else.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 1:00 p.m.

    Well if you want to make her inactive again, I would recommend criticizing her selection.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Oct. 16, 2013 10:30 a.m.

    Take things in order...let her first feel the spirit and love of God and the people around her (that's the role of this father - to do his part in helping her feel that love). Then she will change herself as she feels she needs to (which is the way things work with Free Agency).

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    Oct. 15, 2013 7:19 p.m.

    When I was inactive as an LDS, I did attend another denomination, and the pastor said, regarding dressing for church, that it didn't matter what you came in, as long as you came. He was referring, then, to the "fanciness" of apparel, but wanted us to know that the Lord wanted us there in whatever clothes we had. All I owned were jeans. I wore them, with the best of my tops, and looked pretty decent for a homeless lady. This sister may be wearing her best, and we can't know if it's all she's got. We also don't know if "dad" thinks her "immodest" clothes are such because they are sleeveless, or not below the knee, or just not what his wife wears that she said was modest, and that's his only clue. Maybe the same clothes would fit her differently because she's very tall. I would hardly judge anyone who shows up to learn about the Lord's Word, when He knows more than I about her life, and she is His precious daughter.

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    Oct. 15, 2013 6:19 p.m.

    Well, well, well. Everybody seems to feel justified in criticizing "Attentive Father" for just contemplating saying something about inappropriate clothing. At least he had the good sense to ask Angela for advice. Since so many have set the bar so low (while attempting to climb on their high-horses), I will wade into this fray where no one seems to want to hold the high ground.
    Since we don't have a photo of the woman in question, none of us can really assess whether her attire is inappropriate or not. I will say that some attire definitely is and that in some cases the ward will need to find some way (perhaps something like Angela has suggested) to guide a person to what is appropriate. Somethings are far enough "out there" that simply waiting for someone to clue-in might not be an option.
    To simply rail against "Attentive Father" without knowing what the woman has been wearing and in the absence of him having actually done anything is absolutely ridiculous. Well used Pot, meet well used Kettle. You two seem to have a lot in common.

  • bmoneyt Provo, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 5:28 p.m.

    I would say this to the father...as one parent to another, I appreciate your concern for your boys, but what if this woman was your daughter? As her father, who may have been pleading with the Lord that she would one day come back to church, how would you feel if someone who may have had the best of intentions came up to her and asked her to dress more appropriately and as a result she was hurt and never came back???

    As many others have already wisely stated, this daughter of of our Heavenly Father needs love and acceptance right now...not judgement and course correction.

  • shelia nashville, IN
    Oct. 15, 2013 5:11 p.m.

    AMEN,Angela!!

  • ovnezzy Ireland, 00
    Oct. 15, 2013 4:21 p.m.

    Coming back to church is more then Sunday attendance, and just as it may have taken some time to take that step, it may also take time to understand other principles that may need adjusting to. We love people back to church, not command them back.

  • ida-coug Pocatello, ID
    Oct. 15, 2013 4:09 p.m.

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

    So as a "non-bliever" you have been to "PEC and Ward Correlation" meetings to hear this... Hmmmmm Been to many of said meetings. Gossip wasn' part of them.
    Painting with a wide brush? Just as those who live outside Utah... oh well.... Lot of judgement/self-righteousness going on with both side of the subject. The advise given was good.

  • Essareell Waverly, IA
    Oct. 15, 2013 2:20 p.m.

    What about the Young Womens' president who posts pictures of herself in a bikini on facebook as well as posings pages containing profanity? By the way many of our young women are friends with her on Facebook so they are seeing what she is posting.

  • Mimifran Gymea, NSW
    Oct. 15, 2013 2:13 p.m.

    Why is this man even looking at this young woman anyhow? Who has the bigger beam? Get over it dad. Go do your home teaching and stop being so sanctimonious.

  • TwistedNerve Ontario, CA
    Oct. 15, 2013 1:49 p.m.

    If a congregation doesn't have SEVERAL immodestly dressed sisters, brothers reeking of cigarettes and/or alcohol, and other members/visitors full of tattoes and piercings, the members of that congregation need to repent and then get busy inviting people from all walks of life to attend. I guarantee that if this father's young sons go on a mission, they will get more than an eyeful of immodestly dressed people as they go out and teach the gospel in the way that Christ did.

  • AmberMcWhirk Prosser, WA
    Oct. 15, 2013 1:47 p.m.

    I feel like the author that nothing should be said as she has just become reactivated. She will at some time make those changes on her own.Concentrate on loving her and setting an example for her on "unconditional" love. The lesson in Relief Society is a good way to let her know without confrontation. Pray for the spirit to touch her to know what she should do.

  • WA_Alum&Dad Marysville, WA
    Oct. 15, 2013 11:37 a.m.

    At least the dad asked the question before speaking to the woman at church. Some of the venom in the comments directed towards him also shows a lack of charity. Seems we all have things to work on.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    Oct. 15, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    I feel bad for the dad's of girls who dress in revealing ways, they know she is not only drawing attention from young men, but old men notice too.

  • ? SLC, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 9:45 a.m.

    Do not the scriptures teach if a person has an issue with something someone else is doing to address it rather than keep silent? If speaking to the person would not be appropriate like a man correcting a woman, to then find someone else who can approach her. If the matter cannot be solved personally, to then take it to your church leaders. (Matthew 18:15-17)

    Church should be a place where all feel welcome. Those who have an issue with something should be able to address it without fear of causing others to stop coming. I could be wrong, but I think most if not all people have been corrected on one thing or another. Some people are often corrected by others by being told to mind one’s own business. These are then made to feel guilty for having an issue with something in the first place.

  • uwishtoo MESA, AZ
    Oct. 15, 2013 7:59 a.m.

    cont: I didn't ask others to change their ways, I had to change mine,
    This article doesn't point out how the woman is dressed inappropriately, what is acceptable for one person isn't for another. As you pointed out I also have nose piercings (tiny diamonds) and tattoos, some people don't like them and that's fine, but no one has ever come up and said anything to me about it and honestly I pity anyone that does.

    Bottom line: MYOB

    What is this dad going to do? Put blinders on his sons so they never see strip club ads or porn etc? Teach your own and they will follow, but leave others alone.

  • uwishtoo MESA, AZ
    Oct. 15, 2013 7:59 a.m.

    @ Sales Sandy, UT
    So because someone else has a problem and has certain triggers that means everyone else in life needs to capitulate so those triggers aren't activated? Hogwash!

    I am a 13 year sober drunk and addict, does that mean that my friends have to refrain from social drinking? NO! Since it is a way of life for me to remain sober now I never even think about drinking or anything else but when I was still in my early years of recovery it was up to me and me alone to recognize my own problem and my own triggers and act accordingly.

  • Sandee Spencer Longwood, FL
    Oct. 15, 2013 7:17 a.m.

    I think we should NEVER criticize the short comings of another person unless we are clearly directed by the Holy Ghost. In most cases the Holy Ghost will choose someone that is very close to the person with direct stewardship or responsibility for them to inspire to reach out. When this happens it will be done with kindness and tenderness at the right time.

    I realize this sister is not a teenager but I think we have a widespread problem in the church with way too many people thinking they need to correct our youth. Adults feel no qualms in criticizing their dress, telling them to get moving on to class and just being bossy. What they may not realize is they may be the 10th person to stop by to preach. We need to remember to stop and listen to the spirit. Most of the time it will NOT be telling us to police the actions of others. What we should do instead when we see another in error (be they youth or adults) is be a good example, sustain and compliment everything they are doing right, offer friendship and pray for their continued progress in the gospel.

  • Serenity Manti, UT
    Oct. 14, 2013 11:25 p.m.

    I wonder how that dad will protect his boys from seeing immodestly dressed women outside of Church influences. It would be best for him to teach his children instead of being so critical of a person who is trying to come back to church. Let the Spirit be her guide and if she is sincere and becomes active, she will eventually change her style of dress, and whatever needs fixing. If he says anything unkind to her, even if it's masked as a "helpful suggestion" she will think he is a snobby Mormon and will start having regrets about coming back to church. Maybe that's why she left in the first place-because of fake love. Members should love one another and treat each other with respect, realizing that the Savior loves each and every one of them especially the one who is trying to return. He should stay away from her if he can't be kind. I bet his boys don't make a huge thing out of it like he does. This story upsets me because I feel there is much hypocrisy and self-righteousness involved here. My opinion only-hope I am wrong.

  • Cindy53 Ottawa, IL
    Oct. 14, 2013 10:30 p.m.

    These are hard times to raise children young and teenagers, and we have worldly situations constantly to deal with. Maybe it would be of more value to show your teen-age boys how to respect a woman even when she is not showing respect for herself. By pointing out the courage she had to return to church and the atonement. This will bring less attention to dress issues and more on what our young men should focus on. Teach them how to look past weakness and you will be surprise how her dress will be the least of their focus. Their Dad is their example and how blessed they are to have you to be concern about their welfare and spirituality. It is just getting thoughts focus on the positive things. Prayer and scriptures will help guide you and them to.

  • pleasantgrove PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Oct. 14, 2013 10:07 p.m.

    It is amazing to me that people love to control other people. Jesus will say to them "I never knew you." Thank God for Jesus Christ and His gospel of love and mercy. His mercy is available to all who are simply humble with broken hearts and contrite spirits. Jesus was accepting of all except the hypocrites and self righteous. I am nothing, and I sin, and so do you. All these ridiculous Mormon answers, even when they think they are not judging, they are and they don't even know it. Jesus Christ is "the keeper of the gate and He employeth no servant there." Thank goodness.

  • Daniel Leifker San Francisco, CA
    Oct. 14, 2013 8:22 p.m.

    I once worked with an elderly woman who went to the ladies room to... well, you know what. When she was finished, she pulled up her panty hose and accidentally pulled it up over the outside her dress. She wandered around the office like that for over an hour, and people were too horrified to say anything to her. I finally asked my secretary (a woman) to go over to the woman and say, "Oh, let me help you with your dress," and fixed it quietly without making a big scene.

    You should invite the immodestly dressed woman to go shopping with you for clothes, but then you should harshly criticize immodest attire you see on mannequins and comment how inappropriate the attire would be in church. The woman will get the idea, and you don't have to make a single comment about her clothing.

  • Tank Top Griffin, GA
    Oct. 14, 2013 6:12 p.m.

    I have found, to survive the fiery judgements of other, that the best policy is the wear fire-proof clothing to church, yes asbestos clothing . I suppose that all others follow this policy as well. I would therefore suppose that even the short red skirt is this asbestos clothing...'asbestos' they got.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Oct. 14, 2013 5:52 p.m.

    What a great opportunity for this father to teach his children NOT to objectify women. That is really what is going on here. Whenever questions of modesty come up, it is always about women, and implicit in the discussion is the fact that so many men objectify women instead of looking at women as people. And while it is true that many women also make themselves into "sex objects", the root problem still boils down to people treating others like things instead of like people.

    And that is not "what Jesus would do".

  • thepulsiphyer Hamilton, 00
    Oct. 14, 2013 4:02 p.m.

    It really saddens me to see that anyone would put the salvation of any one person ahead of another. The salvation of those two boys is just as important as the woman in question. If the woman got offended by a remark about her clothing, that is her choice to be offended. She had better learn to take constructive criticism if she really wants to make herself a good disciple of Christ again. The part of the brain (in teenagers) that determines consequences for their actions is not fully developed until they are roughly 21, so I don't care how long that woman was away from church, she's an adult and she should know better. The word 'church' should automatically make her think "I should cover up and dress as nice a possible". as Elder Holland said: "Offend some, save many." It's not called judging, it's honest concern about the salvation of three people and there is a proper way for anyone, Bishop or not, to address it.

  • hermounts Pleasanton, CA
    Oct. 14, 2013 3:24 p.m.

    I commented before, but I had another thought. If when this sister has been back at church for a while, and making progress in other areas, but still not dressing modestly as she should, the maybe, repeat MAYBE, something should be said to her, but it should come from someone who she trusts, and who she knows cares about her, not from some random parent who is only interested in shielding his teenage sons.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Oct. 14, 2013 2:32 p.m.

    Whenever I think of modesty, this scripture comes to mind (Alma 1:27) - "[...] and they did not wear costly apparel, yet they were neat and comely."

    The saints cited in the Book of Mormon are good examples to us. Neat and comely is a good principle to abide by.

    Also, if you do a Google search for "Dress and Appearance Strength of Youth," click the first result, and it takes you to the church’s site regarding the subject. It has a lot of good resources one can use (adults and youth alike), and also a good section referencing talks from church leaders about dress and appearance.

  • Doris Gilbert, AZ
    Oct. 14, 2013 2:24 p.m.

    In my Ward I see may young and not so young sisters dressing in a what I consider inappropriate way, clothes too tight fitting, too short, too low cut, I never say anything because I know it would not help if they do not understand that Church going is to worship our Lord and not to show off the latest fashion trend nothing I can say will change that. I think of what one sister said once that she just could not imagine Jesus telling anyone to go home because they were dressed inappropriately. We are to nurture the spirit and once they understand they might change the way they dressed, not out of respect for us, but for the Spirit.

  • El Chango Supremo Rexburg, ID
    Oct. 14, 2013 2:03 p.m.

    Re:
    Kjirstin Youngberg
    Mapleton, UT

    "For too long, we as Church members have self-righteously believed rapes and assaults are the result of women dressing immodestly, when the fault lies wholly with the attacker."

    Are you serious? Since when did "we as church members" believe such a thing. Speak for yourself and don't paint with such a broad brush!

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Oct. 14, 2013 1:41 p.m.

    How is "Dad" dressed. Wrinkled shirt? Old ragged tie? Polyester suit meant for the 70's? I don't know this man and don't care to, but taking a good look in the mirror sometimes can be very insightful.

  • dustman Gallup, NM
    Oct. 14, 2013 1:31 p.m.

    The best thing to do is teach his teenage boys what is appropriate behavior for men. No matter how a woman dresses, real men can be gentlemen. Make sure the kids are taught well, and his boys should be fine. Quit trying to put the blame on the new sister.

  • No Conference Will Take Us SEATTLE, WA
    Oct. 14, 2013 1:21 p.m.

    Unfortunately situations like this do take place outside of Utah.
    However out were we are, people don't really care. If a woman shows up in pants, nobody says a word, because we learn that person is an investigator or less active. I think it's unfortunate that people have to go out of their way to ridicule someone for clothes they wear to church.

  • crazynanna medford, OR
    Oct. 14, 2013 1:07 p.m.

    Really good comments on this question. I have wondered about the same thing at times, but I do remember when my dad first went to church, years ago when he was only 19, he went in a pair of old but clean bib overalls. He joined shortly there after and was a devout member until the day he died. Serving in many positions in the church. If someone had said some thing to him I may never have become a member of this wonderful church.

  • Dadof5sons Montesano, WA
    Oct. 14, 2013 12:47 p.m.

    34 years ago my folks had friend whom you might label as a hippy. You know long hair beard beads the whole nine yards. He asked if he could come and check out our church. He did he came wearing jeans and a T-shirt and sandals. guess what? some jerk came up to him and said we don't wear clothes like that here in this church. He never came back. wonder if he would have joined the church if that sister would have kept her mouth shut? My feelings on the matter is this remove the beam out of your eye before you remove the mote from some one else's eye. If That sisters form of dress bugs you talk with your kids at home about it. and remember she is just as much a child of God and you and your son's are.

  • MidwayMom Midway, UT
    Oct. 14, 2013 11:49 a.m.

    Your reply to this man was a good one. I have seen a single sister come back from inactivity, dressed less modestly than most women in the church, because that is what she had and was used to wearing. It was her "best dress". Gradually, as the light of the gospel came into her life over a period of time, she began purchasing and wearing modest clothing by temple standards. The sweet, courageous sister mentioned in this man's question just needs to feel loved and accepted. Think of how hard it must have been for her to find the courage to come back to church. One disparaging comment may make her decide not to come again. I wouldn't want that on my conscience. She doesn't need to feel judged, or that others look down on her in any way. She just needs to feel the love and light of the gospel.

  • oldschool Farmington, UT
    Oct. 14, 2013 11:37 a.m.

    Even outside church, it's hard for a guy to say anything. I once commented to other women in my workplace how I did not appreciate a secretary who wore such low-cut tops that her nipples often were visible. What a mistake! I was accused of looking where I shouldn't be looking as though this immodesty did not exist. I learned never to comment except perhaps to a woman I totally trust. At least I didn't tell the woman directly though I'm sure she eventually heard about my comment. Has anybody else noticed how much more enjoyable it is to watch "The Voice" on television this year now that Christina Aguilera has been wearing more modest clothing and has stopped competing with herself to see how much breast she can show during the family hours?

  • TriFul Midvale, UT
    Oct. 14, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    I completely agree that the ward should just support this woman in being back to church and eventually she will reaclimate to certain standards.

    I think it is no one's place to say it directly to you at church- I had a nursing dress on yesterday and it had fallen a bit low. Someone came over and grabbed my dress and pulled it up to cover me!

    I was embarassed and hurt that someone would do that.

  • Jace the Ace Stratford, CA
    Oct. 14, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    I agree that the father should not say anything but I disagree that the sister will start dressing more modestly after she attends for a while. 10+ years ago I would agree with that but not now. We have a couple sisters that come in immodest clothing. One looks like she is going to fall out of her top every week and she's been coming for probably two years now after moving into the ward. Today some women just do not care. I had a sister hike up her dress from the bottom of her hem all the way up over her breast to feed her toddler on a home teaching visit. Underwear and all right on display for me and my teen home teaching companion. She didn't care. To me, immodest dressing and immodest styles look horribly uncomfortable but some women are bound and determined to look like street walkers, even at church.

  • Snark Provo, UT
    Oct. 14, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    The issue is not between doing something and doing nothing. It is always appropriate to express the concern to priesthood and/or auxiliary leaders and then trust their inspiration to address the problem (even if that is to simply encourage tolerance). Appropriately timed lessons and patience while the sister is acclimating may be a great approach. Lessons in Aaronic Priesthood quorums(and perhaps Melchizedek PQs too)on respect for women and being true and faithful to our covenants may also be useful. In all cases, however, we should be motivated by love for the tender sole in need of rescue. In this case there may be more than one "poor struggling seaman" or "seawoman."

  • zippa dee doo dah SANDY, UT
    Oct. 14, 2013 7:46 a.m.

    She will gradually change to the standards as she continues to attend just like anything one is doing that is not within the visual standards as well as those that are hidden.

  • rightascension Provo, UT
    Oct. 14, 2013 6:11 a.m.

    Problem seems to be the father here.

    If someone had concerns about a man coming to church in a short-sleeved shirt . . . .

    If the woman has any powers of observation, she will pick up on the dress code quickly.

  • pleasantgrove PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Oct. 13, 2013 9:49 p.m.

    This is just more non-sense, from a church that defines itself by what people wear or how they do their hair or what they do on Sunday. It's interesting that Jesus was hassled by these kinds of people and ideas too, while he was trying to heal and love and went about doing good.
    The gospel of Jesus Christ is true, but the people and the ideas that keep getting parroted are not. It is ridiculous that this is even an issue. Please get a clue and never have the relief society do a fashion and dress night which is "not" for this lady. Stop telling people what to do and be an example of Jesus Christ who loved and welcomed all.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Oct. 13, 2013 8:39 p.m.

    Even I'm smart enough to know when I'm not wanted. Sure, it makes me sad. I know who they are and stay away.

  • AkMama ANCHORAGE, AK
    Oct. 13, 2013 7:16 p.m.

    Dear Dad,

    Short answer, you can't.

    Longer answer, you shouldn't. While making church "safe" for your boys, you are making it unsafe for this woman. As so many have stated, as she is welcomed, loved, and feels the spirit, she will make changes on her own.

    Want to teach your boys something? Teach them the beauty of watching the process of change as people come to Christ. That's what their missions will be about. Perhaps initiating that process of changing hearts could begin in your home.

  • BlakeR St Joseph, MI
    Oct. 13, 2013 6:54 p.m.

    Great answer, and refreshing that most who have commented feel the same and "get it". Church is not a place for policing one another, but is a place in which we practice love and tolerance and provide a safe setting into which all can come and learn and change. There are those who The Lord has positioned to help, in a careful, discerning and private way, and they are the only ones who might be able to broach the subject and help, and even those persons, from the vantage point of their positions would most likely opt to say nothing and allow time and love to work.

  • Firefly123 Mapleton, UT
    Oct. 13, 2013 5:59 p.m.

    When we lived in another state, the RS decided to make an "apron" for a new member in a wheelchair who only wore pants. They thought they were doing her a kindness. What it said louder than words ever could, was, "you're not good enough for us in those pants." She never attended church again, and told anyone and everyone she could how horrible, self-righteous and intolerant Mormons are to others. Seventeen of her extended family members had attended her baptism and were in the process of having the missionary discussions. Ask those missionaries how they felt about the actions of those sweet RS sisters. All seventeen of the investigators quit, and joined their mother (grandmother, aunt, and friend) in condemning the church to this day.

    What would Jesus do? Love. ONLY love.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Oct. 13, 2013 4:50 p.m.

    @ I want women to be modest in their appearance] They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do. (1Tim 2:9-10 NIV)

    RE: bigv56,If we don't have someone dressed differently, or smelling of alcohol.
    What God commands Christians regarding alcohol is to avoid drunkenness (Eph 5:18). The Bible condemns drunkenness and its effects (Proverbs 23:29-35). Christians are also commanded to not allow their bodies to be “mastered” by anything (1 Corinthians 6:12; 2 Peter 2:19).

    Jesus changed water into wine. Jesus drank wine on occasion (John 2:1-11; Matthew 26:29).

  • Tu Ne Cede Malis Phoenix, AZ
    Oct. 13, 2013 4:39 p.m.

    Overall I appreciate Angela's advice, however:

    "If it's really that big of an issue, a fun idea might be to have your wife suggest a Relief Society activity focused on in style and modest fashion options. We all need the help sometimes. Plus, this would be fun and if done well, no one would feel singled out."

    This could be considered as quite "passive aggressive".

    I suggest you focus your attention on teaching your sons that they are responsible for their thoughts, no one else. Let this woman dress as she likes for as long as she likes, even if she never chooses to change, simply write it off as a person who has made different choices than you, but is still welcome at church without you, or anyone else, telling her what to wear.

  • J.D. Aurora, CO
    Oct. 13, 2013 2:59 p.m.

    I have to agree with Angela here. I'm suprised by how we pick and choose those we are critical of. We seem as a Church to have no problem with the dress at the polynesian cultural center. We also don't criticize Bill Marriot for allowing the viewing of pornography in his hotels. How can we in good conscious say anything to anyone?

  • trueblue87 Provo, UT
    Oct. 13, 2013 11:49 a.m.

    I agree with the comments and the answer given in regards to not confronting this sister about her dress. But I would also like to commend the dad for seeking out advice on how to handle the situation. Some of the comments beret this dad for his question but as a father isn't it his duty to be concerned about the spiritual well-being of his children. That is why I agree that a better course of action would be to teach his sons about loving others unconditionally and about controlling their thoughts. We live in the world and there is temptation around every corner. I liked Elder Richard G. Scott's talk in this past conference. When speaking of those who had been converted by the teachings of Ammon and his brethren began to be slaying by those not converted, they did laid down their weapons of war even at the risk of being slain, and many were, their example lead to many others being converted and laying down their weapons.

  • Jared NotInMiami, FL
    Oct. 13, 2013 11:44 a.m.

    While father definitely should not confront the woman, at least he asked before acting. What is disheartening are the many judgments commenters are making about this father (fully half of the 1st page of comments judge or cast aspersions at the father). They attack him for questioning whether or not to cast a stone by casting their own at him.

  • bigv56 Cottonwood, CA
    Oct. 13, 2013 10:40 a.m.

    If we don't have someone dressed differently,or smeling of tobacco or alcoholorsomeother thing we don't regularly see,that's not good. Where do new members come from? People figure it out eventually. Your busybody urge is not from the Spirit. Be their friend and show a good example.

  • Homer1 MIDVALE, UT
    Oct. 13, 2013 10:21 a.m.

    When I saw the headline my stomach immediately felt sick. This is a horrifying question--I can't imagine anyone who considers himself a Chirstian, follower of Christ, or member of a Christ's church to even entertain this as a valid question. I'm so glad the answer was to shut up and not say anything. How inappropriate would that be, and bordering creepy! And helping YM get control of their crazy bodies and changing hormones has nothing to do with eliminating any triggers in their environment. Their bodies are triggering with or without any external factors. It's an internal process of becoming self-aware and gaining the ability to be responsible for one's own self. It's a process not a problem to be solved by daddy, or the church, or well-intentioned old ladies. The answer to me missed the point however, by hoping that eventually a nice lesson on "modesty" would solve the problem. Who cares in the end how someone else is dressed? Stop worrying about other people.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    Oct. 13, 2013 10:04 a.m.

    Dear Dad--

    Well, you've got pretty blasted in most of these comments,haven't you?

    I'm on your side and instead of wanting to castigate and chastise you for being "so judgmental" , I agree with the few who think maybe this could be a springboard for conversations with your sons about how now is the time to decide how they can perceive and react to this situation that will be continuous in their lives. I know it seems like there should be at least one place on earth that you don't have to worry, but as President Packer pointed out in his talk Lehi's Dream and You, these days we are living IN the Great and Spacious Building. In all places now, on their missions, everywhere, this is reality.

    As has been said, quip your sons with tools to handle this for now--and for their future lives. And let them know they have a Dad who they can always come to for help and advise.

    Good luck-

    And know there are a few of us out here who applaud your being an engaged and caring father, concerned for your boys.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 13, 2013 9:37 a.m.

    The church focuses on such strange, benign things to worry about.

  • Abbygirl East Carbon, UT
    Oct. 13, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    We also had a mother of 2 in her 30's come to church dressed inappropriately, no one ever spoke a word.. I have seen men with long scraggly beards and raggedy clothes.. I don't believe Jesus cares what they look like of what they wear.. I think he is just tickled that they are there.. it is so easy to judge, instead teach your children.. in the end those who are different turn their lives around,, the dress becomes modest and the beard disappears.."As I have loved you, love one another"!

  • glennsmith Sweet Grass, MT
    Oct. 13, 2013 8:38 a.m.

    Much good advice here. Also, the quickly adverted glance and the look of disgust can do as much harm as the preaching this father wishes to do. A warm welcome with a genuine smile will do much for the sister. As noted , she will observe the dress of the other sisters, and make her own decisions about clothing. Each sister has the privilege of having a personal sense of style and, especially, following the Saviour in her own way. Too often, Mormon Pharisees try to impose their own standards upon others, when the only standard that matters is the Lord's, He who dined with the sinners.....

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Oct. 13, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    It's amazing how people tend to get wrapped up in what they consider flaws and deficiencies in others, but are totally blind to their own faults. I know some very judgmental people who don't even have the basic integrity to return phone calls after leaving voicemail messages promising to do so--yet they're right there to criticize someone else for the color of shirt someone wears to church. The first step in advancing is growing up, which implies some development of basic interpersonal skills and the wisdom to know when to be quiet. Also, notice: Gossip is NOT a social skill.

  • citi1 Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 13, 2013 8:05 a.m.

    I am appalled that anybody would even think of approaching this woman and talking to her about modesty.
    Years ago, one of the young woman leaders who was also the bishop's wife gave a lesson to my daughter's group at church and railed at them for wearing flip flops to church. Then to top it off, she left the lesson on the doorstep of the young woman who wasn't there and who she wanted to target with this message. This was my neighbor. Her mother cried to me and told me how she could only afford the 2 pair for $5.00 flip flops. The whole family was incredibly hurt and the girl did not want to return to church. I took the girl and my daughter shoe shopping and bought her a beautiful pair of church shoes and told her not to worry about the cost. Her mom called me in tears telling me how much it meant to her and the girl returned knowing she was loved.
    It's about love, not being judgmental. Hope this guy and every other person reading this keeps their mouth shut forever toward these people.

  • Chaplin Hawkeye COLVILLE, WA
    Oct. 13, 2013 5:42 a.m.

    I am somewhat conflicted by the position the moderator and others have taken. I am an ex-member who has gained a better testimony and relationship with Father-in Heaven. I have been corrected on one occasion as I speculated on the Lord's dealings with His children thru the course of the Earths history. Apparently I said something wrong and was corrected by a member of the Stake High Council in front of others. Yes, I have rethought the experience several times and felt shame and or embarrassment about it. However, I feel I am better because of it. I would rather loose one of us struggling to return than children that are vulnerable no matter their ages. If I starve you for three days and then invite you to attend a Thanksgiving dinner how are you going to fare? I stand by the very concerned father. Immodesty and pornography are 'devouring' the unseasoned 'warriors' by the hour! Quit being critical of the everyday struggling member and have the courage to stand up for major proprieties. That said, I would rather hear Heavenly Fathers view than those not in authority to lead! Thank you!

  • Just Wonderin' Midvale, UT
    Oct. 13, 2013 1:05 a.m.

    At a time when I was starting to come to church, one of my daughters went to a church dance. She was told by the chaperones (from a neighboring stake) that she was supposedly immodest and could not attend. She was wearing plain, footless tights under a dress that fell about 1" above her knee. Honestly, I think she was targeted solely for her tights because the chaperones fixated on her "leggings" (even though her dress was sufficiently long.) Sadly, our own stake president later saw what she had on and had absolutely no problem whatsoever with what she was wearing, and no one else I showed pictures of her to felt she was inappropriate either. I was really quite furious about these judgmental chaperones (who then went around smearing my daughter's reputation) and the host stake president who lectured me about her appearance (but having never actually seen her.) I ended up shedding some tears about how badly we had been treated that night. Needless to say, I haven't been back to church since. Maybe I shouldn't feel that way, but I do. People can do more damage than they realize when they try to police others.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 13, 2013 12:37 a.m.

    The way LDS are dressed is considered immodest to Moslems. In other words there is no universal standard when it comes to modesty.

  • Bernard GUi Puyallup, WA
    Oct. 13, 2013 12:34 a.m.

    What Sales said.

  • Scouter Midvale, UT
    Oct. 13, 2013 12:33 a.m.

    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.

  • Blue Dandelion Flower Mound, TX
    Oct. 12, 2013 10:58 p.m.

    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.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Oct. 12, 2013 10:40 p.m.

    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.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 10:11 p.m.

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

  • rlsintx Plano, TX
    Oct. 12, 2013 9:42 p.m.

    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.

    Signed,

    Been there, been that person.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 9:42 p.m.

    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.

  • Stay the Course Salt Lake City, utah
    Oct. 12, 2013 9:27 p.m.

    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?

  • grandma12 Henderson, NV
    Oct. 12, 2013 8:29 p.m.

    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?

  • riverofsun St.George, Utah
    Oct. 12, 2013 8:16 p.m.

    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.

  • Mark from Montana Aurora, CO
    Oct. 12, 2013 6:48 p.m.

    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.

  • Kevin Surrey, BC
    Oct. 12, 2013 6:34 p.m.

    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.

  • Kinderly Riverdale, MD
    Oct. 12, 2013 6:18 p.m.

    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.

  • hermounts Pleasanton, CA
    Oct. 12, 2013 5:21 p.m.

    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.

  • treesmom brigham city, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 4:52 p.m.

    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.

  • The Reader Layton, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 4:13 p.m.

    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!!

  • ? SLC, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 3:47 p.m.

    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.

  • so it goes... SLC, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 3:24 p.m.

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

  • ocd4life Tucson, AZ
    Oct. 12, 2013 3:22 p.m.

    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.

  • Californian#1@94131 San Francisco, CA
    Oct. 12, 2013 3:11 p.m.

    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.

  • IQ92 hi, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 2:54 p.m.

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

  • TexasConvert FORT WORTH, TX
    Oct. 12, 2013 2:45 p.m.

    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!

  • ocd4life Tucson, AZ
    Oct. 12, 2013 2:33 p.m.

    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.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 2:30 p.m.

    (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”.

  • DrGroovey Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 2:30 p.m.

    @ 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?

  • djk blue springs, MO
    Oct. 12, 2013 2:28 p.m.

    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.

  • FYI Taylorsville, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 2:21 p.m.

    "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

  • Bill Shakespeare Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 2:17 p.m.

    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!

  • Big Red '93 The High Plains of, Texas
    Oct. 12, 2013 2:16 p.m.

    @ 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.

  • CanadaGreywolf canada, 00
    Oct. 12, 2013 1:52 p.m.

    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.

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 1:42 p.m.

    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.

  • Wilf 55 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 1:12 p.m.

    This dad needs counseling for bringing up the question.

  • RachelJL Fort Thomas, KY
    Oct. 12, 2013 1:11 p.m.

    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.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    Oct. 12, 2013 12:44 p.m.

    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.

  • Steven11421 AUSTIN, TX
    Oct. 12, 2013 12:18 p.m.

    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.

  • Pssst LOGAN, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 12:15 p.m.

    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.

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 12:15 p.m.

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

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 12:13 p.m.

    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.

  • voiceofreason1234 SANDY, TX
    Oct. 12, 2013 12:12 p.m.

    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.

  • JMH Provo, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 12:00 p.m.

    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.

  • Inhliziyo Provo, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 11:55 a.m.

    I don't want to make too many waves, but I just want to point out a sad inconsistency with some of the comments here. Many are condemning the father for his desire to have his sons exposed to good things at church. These comments are inconsistent because if it was a mother concerned for her children and she wanted to approach the offending party everyone would support her, though they would offer advice for how to do it nicely. Yet here, this father has been tagged as shallow for asking such a ridiculous question. He hadn’t even done anything yet. In fact, his question was how to approach it, not how to talk to the woman. How many of us ask similar questions in our own minds? At least he had some sense to ask it and not just be impulsive.

    Now, I do want to say that I agree with the advice given; for sensitivity is definitely needed along with time to change. However, let’s give this father at least the benefit for being involved and concerned. We don't know the full story, so let's give him the benefit of the doubt.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 11:43 a.m.

    @ Kinko

    I don't know what you have against "guys" or what church you represent but, in our LDS Church, there are standards that are explicit and, as much needed as dress standards are in the workplace.

    As one poster commented the sisters can also be very vigilant as well as very forgiving.

    Here's food for thought:

    "And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire,; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh". (Jude: verse 23)

    What do you make of that? For latter-day saints, or those so aspiring, there is a similar scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 36:6.

  • InspectorC Wasatch Front, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    TO: reesegirl (from Orem) at 9:53 AM----

    AWESOME POST!! If I could give your comments 100 "likes", I would do it in a heartbeat.

    Thank you so much for sharing your amazing insights! This is one of thee best posts I've ever seen on ANY comment-board!

    So glad you "came back" to the church, and were here to share these profound thoughts today. Many blessings! 8^)

  • InspectorC Wasatch Front, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 11:15 a.m.

    Words are inadequate to state how TOTALLY INappropriate it would be for a Priesthood holder to approach a woman like this in his ward --particularly a single sister!

    DON'T YOU DARE ("attentive dad") say a word to her (except warm words of fellowship, support and encouragement!)

    IF the problem is so extreme that you and your wife just cannot live with it, my suggestion is to have your WIFE meet privately with the BISHOP, and express your concerns to him. Then LET THE BISHOP take it from there!!

    Perhaps the Bishop could involve the R/S Presidency to help guide this wonderful sister in a loving, Christlike way. But for a male member of the ward to approach her directly is absolutely WRONG.... on SO many levels.

  • JLR Eagle Mountain, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 11:10 a.m.

    I don't think this dad should say a single word. You can't "protect" your kids from all immodestly dressed people. This is a wonderful learning opportunity to show that people have free agency. She's already come back to church, don't make her feel like an outcast. Your precious darlings will survive this.

  • KinCO Fort Collins, CO
    Oct. 12, 2013 10:47 a.m.

    Sorry, Gildas, coming to Church is not at all analogous with keeping a job. We do not have dress requirements at Church, even though we encourage our children (and adults) to observe some basic standards (and those DO vary from place to place, btw). What one guy's "immodest" might be someone else's "perfectly fine". Women's clothing is not as codified as men's--should we have someone at the door of the chapel measuring hems? Checking the coverage of a woman's blouse? Maybe we could have a guy deciding whether he is prompted to "inappropriate thoughts" by the appearance of each woman as she comes in. Silly, obviously (or maybe we need to get the burkas out--except undoubtedly someone finds burkas enticing). Here's the thing--someone coming to Church as an inactive member or interested nonmember is not a member of the congregation yet. The "rules" do not apply. It would be like a business requiring a certain attire from their customers before they would agree to sell them anything. Kind of ridiculous, yes?

  • DrGroovey Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 10:43 a.m.

    A few years ago when I was serving in our bishopric, we had something like this come up. But in our case it was some sisters in the ward who were overly concerned with how another sister's fashion style would impact their husbands. Unfortunately, one of these sisters took it upon herself to talk to the sister in question and the outcome was not good. Hurt feelings, rumors, gossip, and in the end we had an entire family that stopped attending church.

    The ironic thing is that when we discussed the issue in ward council, none of the men had even noticed anything wrong with the sister's attire, but all of the sisters had. For what its worth, I think that oftentimes the sisters are harder on each other with matters like this than the menfolk are.

  • Peanuts01 London, 00
    Oct. 12, 2013 10:29 a.m.

    My inactive daughter moved to London to go to University - we turned up at the Stake Center. We spoke with the Bishop & he was wonderful and said would love to be able to help her and include her in the ward. Now my daughter was going through her Goth faze. Black clothes and make-up very dark and a dog collar (spiked) round her neck. This wonderful Bishop said that she needed to come to Church and it didn't matter what she wanted to wear! He and a lovely Institute Teaching couple from Utah loved her back to Church - she was studying to be a Children's Nurse and did shifts - they contacted her and made sure she was wanted. Her clothes were not what everyone else wore but she attended. They realised she was a Child of God and loved her and her striped tights! Now to a few years down the line she is married and sealed in the Temple to an RM and has three almost four children. Don't judge by their clothes love them as children of Heavenly Father.

  • Peanuts01 London, 00
    Oct. 12, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    My inactive daughter moved to London to go to University - we turned up at the Stake Center. Saw a Sister outside and she told us that we needed to speak with her husband who was the Bishop. He was wonderful and said would love to be able to help her and include her in the ward. Now my daughter was going through her Goth faze. Black clothes and make-up very dark and a dog collar (spiked) round her neck. This wonderful Bishop said that she needed to come to Church and it didn't matter what she wanted to wear! He and a lovely Institute Teaching couple loved her back to Church - she was studying to be a Children's Nurse and did shifts - they contacted her and made sure she was wanted. Her clothes were not everyone else wore but she attended. They realised she was a Child of God and loved her and her striped tights. Now to a few years down the line she is married and sealed in the Temple to an RM and has three almost four children. Don't judge by their clothes love them as children of Heavenly Father.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 10:10 a.m.

    When you receive training in your employment the chances are you will be instructed in appropriate dress. You may be fired for not following some basic rules. Yet in the Church you would be called "unkind" for mentioning those things - witness the responses on this thread.

    Short, tight and low cut dresses and pants worn hanging down and underwear showing are not appropriate for anyone at Church. There I've said it, and this was regularly taught in the MIA, and it is still taught in Conference talks etc.

    I agree it can be a difficult or embarrassing subject, but we are taught that men and women should observe some dress standards both in and out of Church. Some are only required at Church, the temples etc. Deacons are told they need to wear a tie when passing the sacrament and men usually wear a tie at Church anyhow. Most people do follow those standards. You deal with it as best as you can but it should be discreetly dealt as has been suggested, as soon as it can tactfully done.

  • MaxxFordham OREM, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 10:09 a.m.

    Oh my goodness, Bells and Bells, those "Mormons" are bad examples! I can't believe they were doing that! We should never shun nonmembers just for being nonmembers! What kind of "missionary work" would that be? Geeze, I feel bad for that lady and her family because some self-"righteous" LDS treated them like that. It's certainly NOT the way to be, and we've been instructed of that at general conferences previous to this most recent one. I hope that lady and her family run into some truly caring LDS people soon who will befriend them and fellowship with them instead of shunning them!

  • bellsandbells Columbia, MO
    Oct. 12, 2013 9:57 a.m.

    JoeBlow, I MUST add this to your comment on SLC members who have not lived in the real world. I worked with a sweetheart Christian lady who had lived in Manti, UT for a few years. I asked her how she liked living in Mormon country. I expected her to tell me that the neighbors offered to help them move in or brought them a meal since they were not able to cook anything yet or AT LEAST offer to babysit while they unpacked. NO!! NOT knowing that I was LDS, she said, "OH! It was awful. My husband told his company to NEVER send him back there again. The people would not talk to them because they were not the same religion. The people said they "were righteous and we were not" because we were not Mormons. Their children were not allowed to play with our children. The children in the community told our children they could not play with them because they were not RIGHTEOUS." OH>>> who are the UNRIGHTEOUS here?

  • pogo8702 SOUTH SALT LAKE, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    Serving as a member in a bishopric, even we will hesitate to do this kind of thing. Time and the good influence of the people around her will solve this EVERY TIME. PLEASE don't say anything. I live in one of the highest baptizing missions of the church, right in SL valley...and the lifetime members here show a huge amount of sensibility to these situations..

    Speaking of judgmental... I've grew in Utah..been in and out of Utah all of my professional career. .... getting a little worn over all the Utah Mormon comments I see in these comments. That's a very individual thing, as I've been in some pretty embarrassing situations in wards from North Carolina to Detroit and Denver. Yes, there is a familiarity in the West (try southern Idaho on as well as Phx area) which can be cringe-worthy. There is also a strength. Traveled enough and attended enough wards to know that it's very good to be pretty careful about thinking much less voicing such comments.

    Think twice, please. Nobody .... anywhere ... will get it right every time, including a few GA's I have known.

  • reesegirl Orem, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    I was one of these women coming back to activity. People were offended at my clothes, no doubt. I wasn't in a place spiritually to understand.
    It took every ounce of courage to return, but knew I needed to. I felt I wore a sign listing my sins; returning was the hardest part of repentance.
    Fortunately people were kind and I felt welcomed.
    Had I been approached in my fragile spiritual state, I would have stepped back into inactivity, validating my feelings of not being good enough, and being judged by self-righteous members.
    I'm a strong member today due to members who overlooked my clothing and focused on me.
    When I see women dressed inappropriately at church, realize they're still in the right place. They'll learn modesty by continued attendance and being touched by the Holy Ghost.
    Do not intervene in behalf of the Holy Ghost. You cannot mimic His influence, no matter how well put.
    Do NOT be the reason this fragile spirit falls away.
    Teach your sons the atonement. Learn to effectively guide lost sheep back to the fold.
    Love people back, don't push them before they're ready.

  • MaxxFordham OREM, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 9:52 a.m.

    To "Confused in Arizona:"
    No, I think I got Casey See's point all right. I was just trying to make a small side-point back.

    Plus, even if it *were* supposedly about rereading something, it wouldn't be about rereading the article, but about rereading Casey's comment. But really, it's not about *my* rereading anything, but *your* rereading of both Casey's comment (at least where that person says "Sunday's..." something...) and mine. Eventually you'll probably understand what I was trying to get at.

  • LittleStream Carson City, NV
    Oct. 12, 2013 9:50 a.m.

    Having a granddaughter we are trying to raise modestly, this is a problem. If they was a young woman in the ward that I wanted someone to talk to I would ask the Relief Society President to maybe ask her visiting teacher, or a Sunday School teacher. I think most people in church would not want to offend a new member, or returning member. But if not talked to she will also have a problem making friends. I think when they attend often they notice that everyone else is wearing clothes different. A visiting teacher might then bring her a dress, saying that she say it and thought of her friend and thought she would like it.

  • Kjirstin Youngberg Mapleton, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    The absolute best advice I've read recently came from the pastor of another congregation. I can't paste links here, so I will ask him to Search: "Nate Pyle Seeing A Woman" as it is the advice he needs. I pray "attentive father" reads it, absorbs it, and lives it, passing it on to future generations. Thank you, Nate Pyle, for expressing this truth so well.

    For too long, we as Church members have self-righteously believed rapes and assaults are the result of women dressing immodestly, when the fault lies wholly with the attacker. This belief, if continued to extreme, will result in burka-wearing or putting women away from lustful eyes. This false belief also results in women who were raped-some of them older women dressed in winter coats-to feel lifetime guilt that it was somehow their fault. Get real, people!

    Teach your sons, and daughters, for that matter, to look into a persons eyes. The eyes are where you find the soul-and that, after all, is what we all seek.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    Well, when I see an immodestly dressed woman I feel compelled to look another direction. And helping your sons realize that this is a problem of theirs if it bothers or entices them, can be clarified by making sure your family does two things:
    1- Dress modestly yourself; and
    2- Don't worry about how others dress.
    In our ward some of the teenage girls seem to think certain dresses are appropriate and my wife and I will remark about how we wouldn't be happy with our daughter dressing like that, but we don't say any more about it or NEVER approach another person with the subject. As others have said, in time the opportunities to teach modesty in the ward surface and that is the best approach.

    Once at work a lady I supervised dressed in an inappropriate manner so I visited with the lady at H.R. and she talked to the person and suddenly things changed for the better. No one was offended, just instructed as to what was the proper way to dress for work, and no big issue was created.

  • Confused in AZ Chandler, AZ
    Oct. 12, 2013 9:41 a.m.

    Maxx- reread the article and you will get your answer. Apparently, you missed a sentence.

  • Goldminer Salem, ut
    Oct. 12, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    It is interesting that in several of the comments the "problem" became the Dad who asked the question and NOT the Sister. If saying something to the Sister is criticism we should not engage in, why should the Dad be the focus of criticism because of his question? After all, HE was seeking guidance was he not?

    I have had this problem is several wards and we let the Relief Society provide the guidance to the women. They know how to do it in a sensitive manner and teach the eternal principles of modesty. The Priesthood can, and should, also teach these principles to the Men.

    I think guidance needs to be provided in an appropriate manner and venue. The actions of those behaving or dressing inappropriately should NOT be perceived as "acceptable" and off-limits. They are not. But, they can be addressed for the benefit of all.

  • Terrie Bittner Warminster, PA
    Oct. 12, 2013 9:30 a.m.

    I was not dressed appropriately when I first began investigating the church. No one said a word to me--I was a teenager at the time. Eventually the teacher did a modesty lesson and I learned what the rules were. (I'd thought I was modestly dressed.) Without question, if someone had spoken to me, I wouldn't have come back since I only owned one dress and couldn't afford another. After I learned the rules my YW leader offered me a babysitting job and I bought a new dress.

    Here in the east we have people come to church in jeans, t-shirts, immodest clothing...whatever they have. A stake president said that anyone who comes to church is there at the Savior's personal invitation and we should welcome them however they come.

  • Sales Sandy, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    YOUR MISSING THE POINT A guy mowing his lawn on Sunday has a neighbor approach him about it. That is just crazy! Who does that!! But comparing that to someone wearing inappropriately immodest clothing to church? I think there is a difference. It is fantastic that she is coming to church. And if this was gauged earrings and tattoos, approaching the topic would be insane!! For heavens sake I had gauged ears and many other visible piercings. But to suggest that this is the same thing is a bit naive. I have gone to support groups with friends and family for pornography addiction. I have seen what it does to families. They will ALL tell you that this type of dress is a trigger for them. It causes them to loose footing in their quest to kick their addiction. When I read people say things like "they just need to have some more self control" I wonder if they realize how judgmental that sounds? We apparently are ok to judge them, but NOT the woman? How about we don't judge either of them, and find a way to help both? Out of characters. Cant type solution.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Oct. 12, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    I would have to concur with the majority of the comments made. Our immediate attention seems to race towards how can we remove temptations from society, i.e how other dress immodestly; when our attention should always be focused on teaching ourselves and our families how to resist temptation. We cannot control others; only ourselves. Even if an individual is going around in public completely void of clothing, that does not give anyone the right to take advantage of them. 'But they are asking for it', some may justify, but still it is our own decisions and actions that will be evaluated at the judgement bar.

    As people feel the spirit, over time they will make the appropriate changes. It is our job to ensure that such a spiritual atmosphere can be experienced on a regular basis. If we are not careful we can do much to chase away the spirit through our words and deeds.

  • MaxxFordham OREM, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 9:21 a.m.

    Casey See:

    They split Sunday's... what... between churches? (What thing or things belonging to a Sunday did you mean to be referring to?)

  • Confused in AZ Chandler, AZ
    Oct. 12, 2013 9:06 a.m.

    ABSOLUTELY NOT! It is not "dad's " place to say anything to this sister about her dress. She'll catch on soon enough so just mind your own business and do not be guilty of running off someone who is returning to the fold. And, maybe dad needs to keep his eyes to himself!

  • Keen American Fork, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 8:51 a.m.

    Although tempting to want to confront this woman--or anyone--about her attire, it's better left alone. Maybe this sister "cleans up" her act...another sister may attend church immodestly dressed. Then what? Talking to every person who is inappropriately dressed, whether sister or brother, becomes a dilemma: when do you start and stop telling people how they should dress.

    Unless church has a dress code and you are the person to enforce it, it's better left to a caring, sensitive sister to kindly show a better way.

    As for your sons, they are going to see "inappropriately" dressed people at church, in public, even on missions. Equip your sons with the tools to treat everyone with respect no matter how people are dressed.

    I work at BYU and, occasionally, I see young women and men not following the BYU dress code. Unless these kids work directly for me, I don't say anything. Even if it's blatant dress code breaking, I can't accost every person. In fact, most people aren't going to say anything. After all, we have signed an honor code AND it's on our honor to obey the code.

  • sukiyhtaky us, CA
    Oct. 12, 2013 8:48 a.m.

    I'm going to play devil's advocate here, only because I worked in schools where we had to address that problem. Young girls===and I mean young...5th grade and up===attending school with lowcut and/or see through blouses, thongs hanging out of jeans, no panties on with short skirts, and if you don't think these young ladies realize what they are doing...they are. Speaking to parents usually gets the response that it is none of our business or it is the problem of the men/boys looking at them. Yes, boys need to be taught to look the other way, but if you have a girl sitting with her legs spread and no panties on...really mom and dad you think they will look the other way? It is the extended role of the school official to explain and enforce dress policy because a lot of these parents just reflect the images they too see in entertainment and don't see modesty as a good thing. In church, it is the responsibility of the bishop/priest/pastor to counsel.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Oct. 12, 2013 8:44 a.m.

    The fact that a person is even thinking of approaching somebody else at church about how they are dressed tells the story about attentive dad. And it isn't a good one.

  • pat1 Taylorsville, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    My husband and I are completing our mission in the Northeast. Here, people in the very strong wards to not criticize how less actives or non-members come to church. With time, they adapt to our customs.

    It is not the place of the dad to come up to the woman and lecture her about her dress. With time, as she becomes more active, she will dress in a more conservative fashion, because that is what she will see. Perhaps she doesn't have anything in her wardrobe like that right now and doesn't have the money to buy other clothing. What she needs right now is for people to genuinely welcome her and be interested in her. It is hard to return to activity. Be kind and not critical or judgmental. Is the father concerned about his boys, or is he uncomfortable on some level?

  • petersenjc Springville, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 8:20 a.m.

    Good answer Angela. I agree with you. I'm an LDS bishop and have this very situation going on in my ward right now. The returning-to-activity sister has already been offended by unapproving neighbors. If a man approached her in church to criticize her dress she would be crushed. She came to an interview with me in immodest attire and that gave me a chance to point out the difficulties with her clothing choices. In the bishop's office with no one else around was a much better place for her to have that learning experience than from a dad in the hallway.

  • ca2000 West Wendover, NV
    Oct. 12, 2013 8:15 a.m.

    Angela, I agree 100% with you on this one. Time will take care of it. As a dad also I've seen it work out.

  • jans Pickerington, OH
    Oct. 12, 2013 8:07 a.m.

    It would be unbelievably inappropriate and rude for this dad, or anyone, to say anything to this woman about dressing "appropriately" for church. If someone came to church smelling of smoke would you do the same? No, it would be wrong. Believe me, she'll catch on just through observation. And one person's view of what is "appropriate" is different than another person's view in many ways - is she wearing a sleeveless blouse - the horrors! Is her skirt 2 inches above the knee instead of 1 inch below? For shame! (Sarcasm here folks, if you missed it.)

    Perhaps this dad should focus on teaching his sons, and himself, to view her as a daughter of God and not a sexual object. Every person is in charge of their own thoughts and feelings and actions and should not push the responsibility off on another person, as is frequently done to women. She is coming to church to worship and find her place in the Gospel of Jesus Christ - shaming her about her dress (which is what that kind of conversation is) removes the spirit and pushes her away. So not What Jesus Would Do.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    Oct. 12, 2013 7:49 a.m.

    Silly question. Good answer.

  • Mom of ten SANBORNTON, NH
    Oct. 12, 2013 7:40 a.m.

    The advice you gave is exactly right. It is wonderful that she is coming at all. And any mention of her "style" is inappropriate, and will certainly not be a positive experience for her. She needs love and acceptance. We all have thngs that others would want to change or tweak such as coming late to service, talking or whispering instead of reverance in the chapel while the music is playing, socializing in the halls instead of going to class, not getting substitutes for teaching when we are to ge gone, having noisey kids, not volunteering to help for service projects, etc. Is any one of us perfect and has it all down right? Does he really think that her mote is so big and he has no beam? I believe that is why the scripture teach that it is line upon line, percept on precept. We are all growing and learning. And young men, and older men for that matter, need tactics that work for them to remain righteous. They CAN contol where both their eyes and thoughts go. She can not "make" them think or do anything that they did not allow themselves to do. So, good advice.

  • SparkyVA Winchester, VA
    Oct. 12, 2013 7:33 a.m.

    Many years ago we had a couple walk into church. He was dressed in a clean pair of overalls and she was wearing a jaw dropping red short-short dress. While I was trying to pick up my jaw, the Bishop's wife went up to them and welcomed them to church. Their story was a beautiful one of the Spirit leading them to pick a church out of the phone book. They were quickly introduced to the Missionaries as the "Golden" family, that being their real last name. A year later she had hung up her short short dress, and he was the new Elder's quorum President. It is obvious that we need to see things as the Lord sees them. I have seen many examples of people not understanding the principle of modesty - it is so we can see past the surface things and see into another's soul.

  • Mugabe ACWORTH, GA
    Oct. 12, 2013 7:31 a.m.

    You are correct, Angela. Members should go to church and mind their own business about how other returning, inactive members are dressed or how they smell.

    My question is this, is it the son with wondering eyes, or the father? And if not, how does he know every single Sunday what that Sister is wearing?

    If church is the only concern he has about his sons being exposed to immodest dress, then, he is way out of touch with reality.

    And too, some members ideal of immodest dress can be something as simply as not wearing a white shirt. I think much of what we fuss about is more cultural than anything that concerns the doctrine.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Oct. 12, 2013 7:21 a.m.

    It never ceases to amaze me that some people like "attentive dad" feel justified in imposing their standards on others, even in church. Do your boys go to the mall? The pool or the beach? How about talking to them?

    Many years ago, in Salt Lake, a neighbor approached me because I was mowing my lawn on a Sunday

    This is the problem of living where such a large percentage share the same view. He probably lived in SLC all his life, and knew and associated only with others that felt exactly as he did. His reality got skewed.

    It is one thing to think that I should not be mowing my lawn on Sunday. I understand that. But to think one is justified in saying something says it all.

    A Mormon outside of Utah would never do that.

  • flatlander Omaha, NE
    Oct. 12, 2013 7:16 a.m.

    Why is it every ward has people who want to tell others all their faults because their family is perfect. What is immodest to him might not be to others but he has certainly spotted her. I feel sorry for his wife and sons.

  • AnnM Plano, TX
    Oct. 12, 2013 7:07 a.m.

    Attentive dad may think he is always happy to see new people at church, but it sounds like he is only happy to see perfect people. Instead of asking about how he should approach this woman who courageously is coming back after inactivity, I think he might want to ask how he can teach his sons about seeing others as they can become, looking at them as The Lord does, How Christ left the 99 and went after the one, the celebration of the return of the prodigal son. If they can see this woman as Christ does, and be kind, and learn to notice the wonderful things about her instead of just her clothing and appearance, they can help church be a " safe haven" for her. She will over time want to dress like those around her at church. Maybe instead of thinking of church as a safe haven, it is more like a healing place where we learn how Christ atonement can heal us of our hurt, clean us from our sins. We should be helping to heal and comfort others, and teach by example. Attentive dad can't teach her to dress modestly, he can teach his sons.

  • Casey See FLOWER MOUND, TX
    Oct. 12, 2013 6:13 a.m.

    Very good advice. No one likes to be criticized. Anytime someone suggests that we change something, that is criticism.

    As someone starts to regularly attend church, if members accept them as they are, they will change. In one ward we lived in, one of the members dated and married a guy with a full row of earrings on each ear and a plug on each earlobe. He was a solid, born again Christian guy. It took nearly 10 years, but he slowly removed earrings, plugs. Early on in their marriage, they split Sunday's between churches. Then she was called to a major calling and he decided to attend every week to support her. Finally just about a year ago, he was baptized.

    It would never have happened if the members hadn't accepted him as he was. We let his father-in-law and daughter push the earrings and dress standards.

    In the Bible, we never see the Lord criticizing people for how they dressed except the self-righteous. We shouldn't either.