Returned missionary wins Ms. Virginia title, champions modesty and shares faith

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  • thebigsamoan Richmond, VA
    April 17, 2015 11:10 p.m.

    Our whole family knows this beautiful young lady and her family. She is everything any honorable young man would want in a woman and more. I'm proud of what she has become and thrilled to know she has stuck to her values as a divine daughter of Heavenly Father. To those who are questioning her on modesty and bashing her on the Sabbath, may I just say two words...Zip it! Enough with your "holier than thou attitudes! Now this probably won't get printed but I hope they will.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 16, 2015 9:23 a.m.

    Demonstrated modesty is true modesty. Championed modesty is compliance.

  • riverofsun St.George, UT
    April 16, 2015 8:28 a.m.

    "We do not tell others how to dress. We do not tell everyone else they should, must or will follow what we teach".
    This is not true.
    The public schools in Utah follow a very LDS/Mormon "dress code" for everyday school wear and for girl's Prom and school dance dresses.
    Re: recent media news concerning "controversial" clothing in public schools.
    Anyone who has lived in other states in the US, any one who has seen photos of school kids in other states, Prom and Dance photos of the kids and their dates in other states.........
    Utah is very different and quite restrictive in Public Schools.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    April 16, 2015 7:12 a.m.

    I am very impressed with this young woman and with her accomplishments. I appreciate the standards she holds for herself and the example she apparently sets for others. She is a lovely young woman.

    However, I would like to see the Deseret News also feature stories about people of other faiths and their accomplishments and the examples they set too. I know there are many non-LDS people who are succeeding in various endeavors and they strive to also set positive examples of integrity, goodness and faith. I would love to learn more about the accomplishments of those good folks too and which Churches they belong to.

    Surely we followers of the LDS faith do not have a monopoly on goodness?

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    April 16, 2015 12:55 a.m.

    Many of us would consider beauty pageants, by their very nature, to be prideful, immodest, and demeaning.

    Certainly I would never like to see a daughter of mine, nor a young woman I cared for, participate in such a vain display.

  • Susie_Hodson Kansas City, MO
    April 15, 2015 9:21 p.m.

    Well done, Bekah! I've never been a fan of beauty contests myself; however, she is serving another Mission as Miss Virginia.

    President David O. McKay became well known for his saying “Every member a missionary.” Ask the assigned class member to report on missionary work under President McKay (Our Heritage, pages 116–17). Later, President Spencer W. Kimball called on Church members to lengthen their stride in missionary service.

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    April 15, 2015 3:23 p.m.

    A very unexpected venue in which to find someone advocating for Gospel teachings and standards, but I applaud this young, beautiful woman for the courage and conviction to do so. Obviously she will get criticized for it, by those who like to project their own issues onto others (like some commenters here, for example), but I don't think she probably cares. In the end, she won this battle.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    April 15, 2015 1:17 p.m.

    Too much judging of others going on here. I am not her judge. Yup, April 12 was a Sunday. Yup, her gown was very fitted. Her general message of modesty is a very important message......especially to those who think the likes of Ms Gaga and others is an image worthy of emulating.

  • artinnature Payson, UT
    April 15, 2015 1:03 p.m.

    @mdwife
    Are you the one who decides what constitutes "keeping the Sabbath day holy" and which of the commandments is greater than others? Isn't there also a "commandment" about judging others?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 15, 2015 12:51 p.m.

    I think the main thing in this comment board argument is that we shouldn't be judging any of these women for whether they're showing too much or too little skin. Of course it's not a big difference between judging attire and judging bodies in a beauty contest which is why I don't like the concept of beauty contests at all.

  • elpo Sac, 00
    April 15, 2015 11:53 a.m.

    I don't think it's possible to compete in a beauty pageant and be modest at the same time.
    Modest as defined by the topical guide: "Behavior or appearance that is humble, moderate, and decent. A modest person avoids excesses and pretensions."

  • elpo Sac, 00
    April 15, 2015 11:50 a.m.

    I don't think it's possible to compete in a beauty pageant and be modest at the same time.
    Modest as defined by the topical guide: "Behavior or appearance that is humble, moderate, and decent. A modest person avoids excesses and pretensions."

  • mdwife Richmond, VA
    April 15, 2015 11:27 a.m.

    Am I the only one who noticed that even though Ms. Virginia was being a good LDS member by being modest she broke an even higher commandment of keeping the Sabbath day holy since the pageant was on Sunday?! We really shouldn't be singing her praises for being "so faithful" etc. when she broke one "commandment" for another (and yes I know "thou shalt be modest" is not a commandment).

  • One opinion west jordan, UT
    April 15, 2015 11:26 a.m.

    Thank you Beka for being a great example and not being afraid to stand up for the Lord and families! You accomplished an amazing thing in doing so. I wish all women would realize how much better they look when they follow the standards set forth in "For the Strength of Youth". I raised my family by that wonderful booklet that incidentally has grown in spirituality over the years, but each year it was published it helped our family. To me, if it's good for the kids it is good for all of us!!

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    April 15, 2015 10:33 a.m.

    @Kjirstin
    Nice comments.
    I was thinking about the dilemma of a beauty contest.
    The definition of immodesty is calling undo attention to yourself, yet that's the objective of a beauty contestant - to call attention to yourself in a unique way. In other words, stand out from the others before the judges.
    Perhaps Bekah's uniqueness was her modesty. That's not a bad example if it works.
    Obviously she didn't compromise her standards and there is something to be said for that.

  • Kjirstin Youngberg Mapleton, UT
    April 15, 2015 9:12 a.m.

    Ten years ago, the bum-hugging gown on this winner would have been labeled too tight for Modest Mormons. Styles change. Definitions change. What does not change is the attitude of the wearer. If something you're wearing makes you feel like you're fishing for sex, it's probably too immodest for you unless that is your intent. If you feel comfortable, happy and covered, it's good. If something like the latter still makes a member of the opposite sex want to go after you sexually, the issue is with that person, not you. This is what needs to be stressed in our LDS culture.

    Someone once told his son, "It is a woman's job to dress herself each morning. It's your job to look at her as a daughter of God, no matter what she has chosen to wear."

    I like that, especially as I was not too wise in my clothing choices as a teenager.

  • Firefly123 Mapleton, UT
    April 15, 2015 9:03 a.m.

    As my husband goes in today for skin cancer surgery, I must say the "fake bakes" on a couple of those contestants are not only medically worrisome, but when you change your skin tone enough to look like another race-only with bleached blond hair-it's unhealthy on many levels. High school girls in my area do this, and I wish the young men would stop saying they like this trend; that is the only reason these girls give for doing it. It is not so attractive when large chunks of your face have to be surgically removed before you turn thirty to save your life.

  • oddman ,
    April 15, 2015 8:30 a.m.

    Terrific example of standing for what you embrace. In life we have but four choices regarding any issue:
    To react (either positively or negatively) or to act (either positively or negatively). In rereading the comments there were examples of all four choices.

  • sfcretdennis Nice, CA
    April 15, 2015 8:13 a.m.

    Chris B Salt Lake City, UT, how do you figure we set the standards? We don't till people how to dress, we teach our own what we believe to be modest and hope and pray they follow it, we do not force our members to follow our teachings. We do not however till everyone ells they should, must or well follow what we teach. Plus in the Muslim world most women are covered from head to toe and so is there face covered. That is there modesty level for their women. A lot of Muslim men try to force this on the world as well as there faith, convert or die. So your hatred of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" is clear and you harsh and unfair. You don't like us or believe in what we teach? fine don't, but lets be fair if you are going to judgmental.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    April 15, 2015 8:12 a.m.

    Don't confuse the Ms. USA pageant with the Miss USA pageant.
    They are two different pageants.

    Delegates are ages 26-39, natural born female United States citizens. Delegates must currently be unmarried but may have been married and may have children.

    @Chris B
    Anyone can define modesty as they please.

    For non hysterical people without a bone to pick with all things Mormon...Most people know modesty when they see it and when they don't.

    @RBB
    Having said this....There is nothing wrong with many two piece bathing suits.

  • emb Pleasant Grove, UT
    April 15, 2015 7:55 a.m.

    Congratulations to this young lady and all who have helped her thus far in life. emb

  • mominthetrenches South Jordan, Utah
    April 15, 2015 7:53 a.m.

    As a woman, I find any pageant sexist, but as a young girl, we always watched Miss America. They always chose the suits and were the same, one-piece suits, so women were definitely judged by appearance. I felt so sorry, even then, for those whose body types weren't flattered in the same, generic style. I'm glad she had a choice and that she chose what she was comfortable with. All women show more confidence when they feel like a million bucks! She said she did. The self-confidence in who she is makes her glow!

    I agree with the above poster who said she would have been criticized had she not followed LDS guidelines, so either way, she would be scrutinized by those who enjoy doing that.

    Way to go, and yes, I will always be troubled by pageants, but, good for her! We always need good role models in all areas of our culture.

  • common sense in Idaho Pocatello, id
    April 15, 2015 7:39 a.m.

    Calling Chris B - You just don't get it. When she said she wanted to wear a one piece swim suit it was a Personal Choice. She said, "Yeah, I really wanted to wear a one-piece. I like to be modest". End of statement.

    Did she say I'm wearing a one piece swimsuit because I am Mormon? Nope. Did she say I'm wearing a one piece swim suit because she received a phone call from church headquarters telling her to do so? Nope. Nada. Zilch.

    "Once again Mormons are convinced they alone get to determine modesty and that a two piece is immodest and that a one piece is modest".

    That statement is an unbelievable huge stretch from her simple statement that she wears one piece suits because she wants to be modest.

    Brave Sir Robin said it best, You must get really tired looking for ways to be offended.

  • Heart and Mind BUENA VISTA, VA
    April 15, 2015 7:39 a.m.

    RE: "I'm a firm believer in not just being modest, but you can also be absolutely drop-dead gorgeous, not just beautiful," she said.

    Isn't one key purpose of modesty to deflect focusing solely on the body so a person's personality, brains, spirit, kindness etc. are also noticed?

    So is trying to be "drop-dead gorgeous" compatible with the goal modesty is trying to achieve?

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    April 15, 2015 7:04 a.m.

    I too do not care for beauty contests because they can be sexist. I wonder why though advocating for less skin is objectionable to folks like Chris B. If, as some claim, the women are being evaluated on their talents, why do they need to be wearing a bikini and a gown designed to barely cover them? I think this young lady is essentially advocating for such contests to be based on factors other that how good the women look nearly naked. If Chris B finds that objectionable, he can always just turn on the TV and watch almost any show after 6:00 pm.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    April 15, 2015 6:44 a.m.

    Thanks for upholding the Mormon standard of modesty, Bekah. Had you not done so, some folks would be criticizing you for not dressing like the Mormons teach. As it is, some are calling you out for being too modest and smug.

    I don't suppose they stop to think that Muslims have a modesty standard and the Amish as well. They wouldn't dare be critical of their standards. But Mormons are fair game and the ax grinding begins.

  • common sense in Idaho Pocatello, id
    April 15, 2015 3:59 a.m.

    Chris B - Wow. Roll my eyes and yawn. Brave Sir Robin well said.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 15, 2015 12:56 a.m.

    The styles that are considered modest for us today would have been considered immodest in 1800's America and today in the Moslem world. Her one piece swim suit is a concrete example of this. Modesty is largely relative.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    April 14, 2015 11:36 p.m.

    Of the multiple references to her feeling like she is the judge of what is modest and what isn't, and her alone:

    "I was the only one with a one-piece," she said about the swimming suit portion of the pageant. "They would make a comment like, 'That's cute,' and I would just say simply, 'Yeah, I really wanted to wear a one-piece. I like to be modest,' and it was cool that they thought it was cool."

    Once again Mormons are convinced they alone get to determine modesty and that a two piece is immodest and a one piece is modest.

    Her one piece "modest" swimsuit would be considered immodest by many culture. And yet she feels she alone gets to draw the line of what is modest and makes clear her fellow contestants who wore two piece suits had "immodest" clothing

  • KC Lindon, UT
    April 14, 2015 9:23 p.m.

    Glad she had a choice about the kind of swimsuit she could wear. It is my understanding that the Miss America organization requires the contestants to wear a two-piece swimsuit at the national level. They can wear what they want at the local and state level, but if they want to move on to Miss America, they must conform. This has been the case in the past few years; before that, they were able to choose the type of swimsuit. I would hope this could change in the near future.

  • K_ANN Palatka, FL
    April 14, 2015 8:44 p.m.

    Never particularly been a fan of beauty contests - yes, I personally consider them sexist; but I understand they do provide opportunities to young women. She is a beautiful young woman and I do applaud the fact that she could win with modest clothing. And yes, I said modest. The expectations for young women today for beach, prom, and yes beauty contests etc is to show as much skin as possible. I applaud anyone who makes their own stand.

  • Go Vikings Rexburg, ID
    April 14, 2015 8:25 p.m.

    @ Chris B

    We as LDS don't believe that we and we alone make the standards of modesty. Our Heavenly Father makes them and we try our best to live them. You won't believe that but we do. So we have a difference of belief.

  • islandboy Honolulu, HI
    April 14, 2015 5:56 p.m.

    Wow, great article, great example and great young woman. Her personal choice to be modest is admirable. The fact that she won the title of Ms. Virginia says a lot about who she is.

  • Laura Ann Layton, UT
    April 14, 2015 5:53 p.m.

    Good for you, Bekah! It takes courage to be different. I'm impressed that you won because so many people are so secular these days. Good luck on the next part of your journey.

  • GB Lindon, UT
    April 14, 2015 4:43 p.m.

    I hope you feel better with that off your chest, Chris B. The question burning on my mind is, did she say "love" in her answer, or just "family" and "prayer"?

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    April 14, 2015 4:25 p.m.

    @Chris B

    "What makes them feel qualified to call the other contestants in this immodest?"

    Where did she say the other contestants were immodest? Did I miss that part of the article? Or are you inferring something that wasn't actually said? What she said was she wanted something that was modest in HER OWN eyes. That implies that modesty is a personal decision, just as your diatribe above says. Nowhere did she judge anyone else's standards or try to get them to adopt hers.

    It must be tiring looking for so many ways to be offended.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    April 14, 2015 3:44 p.m.

    Once again the LDS and Mormon community believing they and they alone decide what is modest and what isnt. She makes it clear that the average clothing worn at these things is very immodest and yet what she ended up wearing would be considered immodest by very many cultures.

    LDS people need to realize they dont make the rules on what makes something modest and not, even they though feel they do.

    What makes them feel qualified to call the other contestants in this immodest? And yes, that is what they are saying by claiming the alterations she made that other contestants didnt were in order to "be modest"

  • dwidenhouse Pleasant Grove, UT
    April 14, 2015 3:17 p.m.

    I went to school with this young lady at Southern Virginia University. She is amazing and is a wonderful example of the LDS faith! Congratulations Bekah!