This article was originally written by Samantha Shelley for LDS Living. The following is an excerpt.
Discussions about modesty have saturated the internet and the news feeds of Church members for a while now, leaving a lot of us with little desire to read yet another article about it. I’d hazard to say that interest in the topic has begun to die down, after endless rounds of “Yes, yoga pants!” “No yoga pants!” and of course, “Stop talking about yoga pants!”
I won’t be discussing the merits of spandex as outerwear in this article, because that’s been done to death. I’d rather address the subject of “modesty” from a Book of Mormon standpoint. We believe that the Book of Mormon was written for our day, so the principles about modesty taught therein should be especially poignant to us.
Surprisingly, references to clothing in the Book of Mormon never talk about covering up, unless you consider the war stories. (Who goes to war in a loin cloth? Check yourselves, Lamanites!) Rather, the references to clothing in the Book of Mormon are nearly always focused on the pride that goes hand in hand with “costly apparel.”
Jacob addressed the Nephites by saying, “Ye are lifted up in the pride of your hearts, and wear stiff necks and high heads because of the costliness of your apparel.” (Jacob 2:13)
Jacob was criticizing an unrighteous focus on outward appearances. In all our discussions about modesty, how often do we focus on the length of the skirt and not the unnecessary expense of the skirt? The tightness of the dress rather than the desire for attention and compliments the dress will receive? Do we think splurging on 10 “super cute” modest, designer one-piece swimsuits is different from buying one affordable bikini? (I am not advocating for bikinis, but I am trying to illustrate the principle that purchasing clothing in excess is not a modest way to live, just as an excessively short skirt is not modest.)
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