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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Daniel Leifker
San Francisco, CA

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.


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.

Ottawa, IL

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.

Manti, UT

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.

Sandee Spencer
Longwood, FL

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.


@ 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.


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.


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.

Florissant, MO

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.

Marysville, WA

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.

Prosser, WA

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.

Ontario, CA

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.

Gymea, NSW

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.

Waverly, IA

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.

Pocatello, ID

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.

Ireland, 00

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.

nashville, IN


Provo, UT

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.


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.

Sacramento, CA

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.

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