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

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

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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.

Provo, UT

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.

zippa dee doo dah

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.

Provo, UT

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."

Jace the Ace
Stratford, CA

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.

Midvale, UT

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.

Farmington, UT

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?

Midway, UT

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.

  • 11:49 a.m. Oct. 14, 2013
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Montesano, WA

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.

  • 12:47 p.m. Oct. 14, 2013
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medford, OR

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.

No Conference Will Take Us

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.

Gallup, NM

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.

Harwich, MA

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.

El Chango Supremo
Rexburg, ID

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!

Gilbert, AZ

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.

1.96 Standard Deviations

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.

Pleasanton, CA

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.

Hamilton, 00

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.

Provo, UT

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".

Tank Top
Griffin, GA

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.

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