In a beach city like SD Beach Dresses and other casual attire are generally
Love that one : 1 Samuel 16:77 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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
"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.
Well if you want to make her inactive again, I would recommend criticizing her
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
MYOBWhat 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.
@ Sales Sandy, UTSo 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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
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.
Re:Kjirstin YoungbergMapleton, 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
@ 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).
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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
The church focuses on such strange, benign things to worry about.
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"!
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.....
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.
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.
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!
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.
The way LDS are dressed is considered immodest to Moslems. In other words there
is no universal standard when it comes to modesty.
What Sales said.
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.
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.
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.
Wherever people go they soon learn the "norms" of the group, and adapt,
almost always without coaching.
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 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.
The ScientistI read your comments find you likely intelligent and you even
seemed to be softening in some of your commnents lately until this one. As far
as I can discern what or who is the only common denominator in all of these
terrible situations you describe over the last 30 years?
I 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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
Dad, teach your sons (and yourself) to take responsibility for their own
thoughts and not blame those thoughts on others...
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.
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.
Younger mormon women tend to cover up, but make up for it with tight clothes.
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
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.
(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”.
@ CanadaGreywolfDo you realize that when you talk about your fellow saints
in this manner you are being just as judgmental as you claim they are?
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.
"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
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!
@ The ScientistAs 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.
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
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.
This dad needs counseling for bringing up the question.
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.
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.
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
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.
Many hypocrites exposed at Harper Valley PTA meeting by a mini-skirt wearing
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.
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.
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.
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.
@ KinkoI 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.
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^)
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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; and2- 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
Maxx- reread the article and you will get your answer. Apparently, you missed a
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.
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.
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.
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.
Casey See:They split Sunday's... what... between churches?
(What thing or things belonging to a Sunday did you mean to be referring to?)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Silly question. Good answer.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.