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Modesty

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I think it's time for a discussion on modesty. This is going to be in two parts. The second part will give you some very specific reasons for being modest.

 

What is modest? There is no doubt in my mind that the majority of Latter-day Saints do not understand what is modest by Gospel standards.  I also get the impression that they don't think it's all that important. Their ideas of modesty are heavily influenced by the fashion industry and Hollywood. Since the Church has no specific check list stating what is and isn't modest, members are left to their own devices. I know it is hoped and expected that they will do some research and find out what has been written on the subject, but very, very few do.

 

So, what is the purpose of clothing in the eyes of God? It is to conceal the body. Just prior to Adam and Eve being kicked out of the Garden, they were given clothing made out of the skins of animals. Why? Why would they need clothing? There was not another living soul around at the time, so there was no need to hide their bodies from prying eyes. Other than the problems of sunburn and freezing, they could have just ran around in their birthday suits.

 

Why is modesty so important? It is probably one of the foremost important things you can teach your children. “...Modesty is the foundation stone of chastity” and it is a requirement for exaltation (Stay on the Path, Ensign May 2007). That means that the entire law of chastity is built upon the foundation of modesty. Conversely, if modesty is the foundation stone of chastity, immodesty is the foundation stone of breaking the law of chastity. That would mean that all sexual sin is based on the foundation of immodesty. Protecting your virtue is vitally important. Mormon tells us that both virtue and chastity are “most dear and precious above all things” (Moroni 9:9).

 

So, what are the standards of modesty. As I mentioned, you can't find a checklist of do's and don'ts. However, I did find some standards that are very specific when it comes to the Church accepting photographs for the Ensign.

 

 

Things to avoid:

Do not submit photos of women and girls with low or revealing necklines, gaping button-front blouses, any tight clothing, sleeveless or spaghetti-strap tops, clothing with see-through fabrics, or any other distracting element that draws attention to the body. Tight clothing on top of other tight clothing is still emphasizing the body and is immodest. One current fashion trend is for women and girls to wear “lacy underthings” as an outer layer or something lacy peeking out from a neckline or dress hem. While some lacy edging is tasteful and modest, anything resembling undergarments looks cheap and communicates to the viewer a glimpse of “something that shouldn't be seen.” This is a difficult area to apply a precise rule to, so just be aware of this trend, and if the attire is not dignified, just photograph something else.

* * * * * *

“Women's dresses should cover the knees when sitting.”

https://www.lds.org/topics/service/create/photos/church-magizines-images-guidelines?lang=eng

 

These guidelines are pretty specific. Here is what I get from it. Tight clothing is anything that emphasizes the body. So, clothing such as yoga pants or anything made out of Spandex is not modest. Clothing made out of stretch fabrics like stretch jersey knit are not modest. Those fabrics mold to and show off the figure. That means a great deal of women's tops are not modest. Skinny jeans are not modest. Basically, what is modest are loose fitting clothes; not baggy, just loose fitting.

 

What are low or revealing necklines? A good rule of thumb is if you bend over and your cleavage shows, it isn't modest. Again, that rules out a lot of tops. I tell my daughters that the top of their neckline should be not more than three fingers below the base of their throat. I would rather them err on the side of modesty than immodesty.

 

How about your dresses and shorts? Dresses/skirts are to cover the knee when sitting down. That's pretty specific. I would say the same thing for shorts. The same standards apply to men. About eight years ago, I had a bishop jack me up for wearing shorts that didn't cover my knee. I was glad he said something. Sorry guys, but no tank tops or muscle shirts that show off your manly chest and ripped abs.

 

I told my girls that any guy who is attracted to you because of the way you dress isn't worth the time to get to know him. He's superficial and is only looking at the outward appearance. If he doesn't take the time to get to know the inner you, find someone else.

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These guidelines are pretty specific. Here is what I get from it. Tight clothing is anything that emphasizes the body. So, clothing such as yoga pants or anything made out of Spandex is not modest. Clothing made out of stretch fabrics like stretch jersey knit are not modest. Those fabrics mold to and show off the figure. That means a great deal of women's tops are not modest. Skinny jeans are not modest. Basically, what is modest are loose fitting clothes; not baggy, just loose fitting.

 

 

I don't have an issue with yoga pants, if you participate in yoga or similar activities body position is very important in doing the exercise correctly. Therefore it is necessary to wear clothing that shows where your body positions are at

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Modesty as a principle is literally not even understood by many of this generation. It is an attitude, reflected in but not defined by clothing choices. Modesty is the refusal to use one's body as a sexual bargaining chip. Sexuality is (or should be) sacred and precious; modest people are those who keep it as such. The Saudi Muslim girl who exposes some of her scalp and makes eyes at the boys is being immodest, while the American Christian girl who wears shorts and a short-sleeved blouse to a service activity may well be perfectly modest. It is not primarily a matter of clothing, but of intent.

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Modesty as a principle is literally not even understood by many of this generation. It is an attitude, reflected in but not defined by clothing choices. Modesty is the refusal to use one's body as a sexual bargaining chip. Sexuality is (or should be) sacred and precious; modest people are those who keep it as such. The Saudi Muslim girl who exposes some of her scalp and makes eyes at the boys is being immodest, while the American Christian girl who wears shorts and a short-sleeved blouse to a service activity may well be perfectly modest. It is not primarily a matter of clothing, but of intent.

 

I agree with you.  However, dressing and acting modestly is the outward sign of the inward commitment.  It is your statement that you have a strong testimony of the Gospel.  It says I will do whatever it takes to live the Gospel.  It says that I may live in the world, but I am not of the world.

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Your link gave me an error, so just in case others need it, I used google to find a link to your quote with &r=1 on the end, and that works, so I'm linking here ....  The quote you post seemed to me to be under a section specifically about pictures related to General Conference (not that it changes standards, but it provides context, as does the rest of the text surrounding the quote).

 

Maybe the church just doesn't get photo submissions with immodest males in them, but I wanted to see what (if anything) they say about men, cuz modesty is not a female-specific problem or virtue, so it bothers me immensely when I see clothing / dress standards like the quote you posted and a complete absence of corresponding text related to males.  And then the conversation goes on as if only women were (capable of being) immodest.  IMO, that gap contributes to any number of problems.

 

I also found this page: https://www.lds.org/topics/service/create/photo-standards?lang=eng which doesn't have the specifics your link did, though the standards easily cover both genders:

 

Because of the need to present people modestly, regardless of age, please avoid submitting photos of them in sleeveless tops and dresses or short skirts.

 

Also, we cannot accept photos of people, even children, in swimming suits.

...going back to reading the rest of your post now.

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My comments are in green

So, what is the purpose of clothing in the eyes of God? It is to conceal the body. Just prior to Adam and Eve being kicked out of the Garden, they were given clothing made out of the skins of animals. Why? Why would they need clothing? There was not another living soul around at the time, so there was no need to hide their bodies from prying eyes. Other than the problems of sunburn and freezing, they could have just ran around in their birthday suits.

 

I can come up with all kinds of good reasons for clothing besides concealing the body, so I don't really think this portion helps your argument.  (Further, I'm not convinced they were literally naked for their entire existence in the garden of Eden (maybe they were, but I think there's plenty of reason to believe otherwise), nor am I entirely convinced that the clothing was meant to cover physical nakedness.)

 

...no argument with the next bits of your post (though I think there's some flexibility in what's acceptable - as another of your posts mentions, even the tightest clothes (e.g. bike shorts) are OK when used for their express purpose).  And now we get back to my previous post...

 

What are low or revealing necklines? (or waist-lines) A good rule of thumb is if you bend over and your cleavage shows (top-front or lower-back), it isn't modest. Again, that rules out a lot of tops. I tell my daughters that the top of their neckline should be not more than three fingers below the base of their throat. I would rather them err on the side of modesty than immodesty.

 

How about your dresses and shorts? Dresses/skirts are to cover the knee when sitting down. That's pretty specific. I would say the same thing for shorts. The same standards apply to men. About eight years ago, I had a bishop jack me up for wearing shorts that didn't cover my knee. I was glad he said something. Sorry guys, but no tank tops or muscle shirts that show off your manly chest and ripped abs.

 

Thank you for including the guys.  Really, what can you do in a tank or muscle-shirt that you can't do in a T?

 

I told my girls that any guy who is attracted to you because of the way you dress isn't worth the time to get to know him. He's superficial and is only looking at the outward appearance. If he doesn't take the time to get to know the inner you, find someone else.

 

And did you tell them that the same goes for them when they're admiring the quarterback in his tight football pants, or Joe Six-pack on the cover of GQ in the grocery store checkout line?

As the sermon on the mount teaches us, and as Vort has already said, one's thoughts and attitudes are crucial to this virtue (well, all of them).  And while clothing is one way of expressing your understanding of modesty, and might aid others in their efforts of self-control, it's not the point; the point is to keep sacred the tabernacle you were given, and to honor the tabernacles God gave others.  If we could help young people understand the sacredness of the gift of a body, modesty and chastity might be easier virtues to teach.

Edited by zil

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One good thing about the LDS religion is that they emphasize modesty without pushing to the extreme of frumpiness. Most LDS women dress in a very classy manner from what I have seen.  When a Baptist preacher teaches on modesty it seems guaranteed that many of the ladies will take to wearing denim jumpers and turtlenecks. Ugh!!! My girls frequent LDS owned clothing stores online because they are modest and pretty. 

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Maybe the church just doesn't get photo submissions with immodest males in them, but I wanted to see what (if anything) they say about men, cuz modesty is not a female-specific problem or virtue, so it bothers me immensely when I see clothing / dress standards like the quote you posted and a complete absence of corresponding text related to males

 

I think this is a little like saying that yeast infections are not a female-specific problem, or that breast cancer is not a female-specific problem. Both statements are true, technically. But no health care professional would make such a statement.

 

There is not (currently) nearly as much of an industry for male-centered pornography as for female-centered porn; what exists is mostly homosexual in nature. The reasons for this are obvious: The natural man is attracted to nekkid women, loves to see women's body parts, up close or in a more overall context, and in general just likes the look of an attractive women sans clothing. The natural woman does not typically have this same response; the sight of a nude man, even an attractive one, typically doesn't do a whole lot for a woman.

 

Thus, women commonly trade on their sexuality with regards to men, but men do not trade on their sexuality with women -- or at least not in the same way. Female immodesty results in catcalls, ogling, appreciative looks, indecent proposals -- in short, attention, much of which might be perceived as positive. Male immodesty typically results in mocking and insults. So the two simply are not equivalent, and the difficulties of immodesty are nowhere near equally divided between the sexes.

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NOTE: I am not by any means denying that we have a big problem of women dressing, speaking, and behaving immodestly.  I am not denying that this is driven by various worldly factors.  I am denying that this is strictly a problem of the way women dress, speak, and behave; and that it can be solved by addressing only that side of things.

 

If you only teach the young men that the young women ought to dress modestly, you're teaching them that their reactions to what girls wear aren't their fault cuz the girls never shoulda been wearing that in the first place.

 

The prevalence of a problem does not, in my opinion, seem relevant.  It is possible for men to be immodest, and we should teach everyone that modesty is the standard for all of us, regardless of gender.  Immodesty includes appearance, speech, and behavior.  Immodesty includes watching that porn made for men.  Immodesty includes the ogling of men and women.  Immodesty includes the tight muscle shirt intended to attract / impress the girls (even if the girls' biological reaction isn't always as strong as the male biological reaction), as well as whatever skimpy outfit the girl is wearing.

 

I object to addressing the issue one-sided because that's part of our problem.  Even the dictionary (google's in this case) contributes to the wrong opinion that only women can be modest (and therefore immodest)... Their definition of modest:

 

 

(of a woman) dressing or behaving so as to avoid impropriety or indecency, especially to avoid attracting sexual attention.
(of clothing) not revealing or emphasizing the figure.

A man can't dress or behave so as to avoid (or encourage, if we reverse this) impropriety or indecency, especially to avoid (or encourage...) attracting sexual attention?  They certainly can.

 

Interestingly, "immodest" is defined as "lacking humility or decency." - men (and women) can certainly be guilty of that, as well as the reverse of modest, whatever the word is for that.

 

As I mentioned previously, I would hope that long before we get anywhere near porn, we're teaching about the sacred nature of the human body, about the importance of all of us dressing, speaking, and behaving toward ourselves and others in a way appropriate to that sacredness (and that we're not teaching that modesty is just the way women dress).

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Just putting this out there:

These two women are temple worthy members of the Church. They wear these type of outfits to work:

lindseywitney.png

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Just putting this out there:

These two women are temple worthy members of the Church. They wear these type of outfits to work:

lindseywitney.png

 

 

This is something about the church (or its members) that makes absolutely no sense to me.

 

We dress modestly/wear our garments except if we want to take a job where dressing immodestly is part of the job??

 

I guess that means if we want to take a job that requires us to...oh...I don't know...drink...smoke...do drugs...have sex (I hear being a sexual surrogate pays pretty darn good)....then it's all hunky-dory because, hey, it's just part of my job, right?

 

Orthodox Jewish women dress modestly.  They wouldn't dream of dressing immodestly just to make a buck or two.

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This is something about the church (or its members) that makes absolutely no sense to me.

 

We dress modestly/wear our garments except if we want to take a job where dressing immodestly is part of the job??

 

I guess that means if we want to take a job that requires us to...oh...I don't know...drink...smoke...do drugs...have sex (I hear being a sexual surrogate pays pretty darn good)....then it's all hunky-dory because, hey, it's just part of my job, right?

 

Orthodox Jewish women dress modestly.  They wouldn't dream of dressing immodestly just to make a buck or two.

 

Not to defend these particular outfits (the one on the right isn't bad...the one on the left is a bit much) but it's not exactly fair to say that this is what they wear for their jobs as if wearing things like this is a full time thing. Performing is a relatively small part of their job, and these are costumes for the performance. Most of the time they are not wearing this sort of thing for their jobs.

 

There are, certainly, appropriate activities where the wearing of what might be immodest normally is appropriate. Sports comes to mind -- particularly swimming. But I digress... In fact, I'm not, specifically justifying this particular activity (ballroom dancing) as to that. But the general point, I believe remains.

 

BYU has, perhaps, the largest ballroom dance program in the nation. They have standards for the costumes. Both of these costumes would break those rules, (I find that disappointing and wish they would keep similar standards even for professional ballroom shows) but the costumes that are allowed at BYU for their competitions are still way beyond what would be acceptable for a church dance or the like, and certainly could not be worn with garments. The BYU standards, in my opinion, are appropriate for the activity. But the "modesty" is relative to the activity in some ways some times.

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This is something about the church (or its members) that makes absolutely no sense to me.

We dress modestly/wear our garments except if we want to take a job where dressing immodestly is part of the job??

I guess that means if we want to take a job that requires us to...oh...I don't know...drink...smoke...do drugs...have sex (I hear being a sexual surrogate pays pretty darn good)....then it's all hunky-dory because, hey, it's just part of my job, right?

Orthodox Jewish women dress modestly. They wouldn't dream of dressing immodestly just to make a buck or two.

And this is why I posted this.

It seems like for some people (I don't mean you, Leah), a Stake President issuing the temple recommend is not enough. They have to question such judgment.

This is EXACTLY what I meant by unrighteous judgment in that Judgmental thread.

Believe it or not, you can be an Olympic runner, professional volleyball player, Ballet or Hula dancer, Speed swimmer, gymnast, figure skater, MMA fighter, etc etc... And still be a temple recommend Mormon.

So obviously, modesty goes beyond the fabric covering (or rather, not covering) your legs.

Edited by anatess

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Not to defend these particular outfits (the one on the right isn't bad...the one on the left is a bit much) but it's not exactly fair to say that this is what they wear for their jobs as if wearing things like this is a full time thing. Performing is a relatively small part of their job, and these are costumes for the performance. Most of the time they are not wearing this sort of thing for their jobs.

 

There are, certainly, appropriate activities where the wearing of what might be immodest normally is appropriate. Sports comes to mind -- particularly swimming. But I digress... In fact, I'm not, specifically justifying this particular activity (ballroom dancing) as to that. But the general point, I believe remains.

 

BYU has, perhaps, the largest ballroom dance program in the nation. They have standards for the costumes. Both of these costumes would break those rules, (I find that disappointing and wish they would keep similar standards even for professional ballroom shows) but the costumes that are allowed at BYU for their competitions are still way beyond what would be acceptable for a church dance or the like, and certainly could not be worn with garments. The BYU standards, in my opinion, are appropriate for the activity. But the "modesty" is relative to the activity in some ways some times.

 

Funny that you mention ballroom dancing.  A woman (endowed) in my previous ward was obsessed with it and took classes several nights a week.  I went to one of her recitals.  Her performance outfit was decidedly not garment-friendly (and was used as her profile picture on FaceBook).   Yet - several other women - NOT members of the church - wore beautiful outfits that would be completely compatible with garments if they were members.  Each participant had free reign to choose their own outfits.  Kind of ironic.

 

No one is holding a gun to anyone's head forcing them to dress immodestly.  No one "has to" dress immodestly.  These women make a free-will choice to do so. 

 

So basically....the true teaching about modesty (and garments, really) is that we are to be modest..and to wear our garments...except for when we don't want to.    Got it. 

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So basically....the true teaching about modesty (and garments, really) is that we are to be modest..and to wear our garments...except for when we don't want to.    Got it. 

I don't think it's any of your business whether or not her costume would allow her to wear her garments. Why do we care so much? I really don't understand. That decision is between her and The Lord. The teaching about modesty and the appropriate wearing of the garment is compatible with your relationship with Heavenly Father (which is also none of your business). I don't mean to sound crass but this conversation to me is beyond righteous judgment. This is us pointing fingers at those who aren't "obeying" the principles the way we think they should be obeying them. Your opinion about her choice to wear a costume that was more "revealing", I'm assuming, has no bearing on your own salvation or hers. This is beyond righteous judgment to me and goes straight under the category of unnecessary and unkind judgment. Would you be willing to say this to this sister's face? Would you want someone else to approach you with some other sin in which you were falling short? I certainly would not. 

 

I understand that we are trying to discuss that us "LDS" folks don't understand the true concept of modesty and we're trying to make a point out of it. But conversations like this are not the way to do it. How about we look to our own lives and how WE are living the principle of modesty. How can we improve? How can we teach our children this (if applicable)? How can we be better members of the Church? This is worthwhile discussion. 

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And this is why I posted this.

It seems like for some people (I don't mean you, Leah), a Stake President issuing the temple recommend is not enough. They have to question such judgment.

This is EXACTLY what I meant by unrighteous judgment in that Judgmental thread.

Believe it or not, you can be an Olympic runner, professional volleyball player, Ballet or Hula dancer, Speed swimmer, gymnast, figure skater, MMA fighter, etc etc... And still be a temple recommend Mormon.

So obviously, modesty goes beyond the fabric covering (or rather, not covering) your legs.

 

Boy, Mormons sure like to toss out the "judgment" word.  Especially while in the act of judging others.

 

Have I gone to these women and scolded them?  But I guess expressing my opinion (what so many Mormons like to call "judgment") that - yes - those outfits are immodest is verboten in Mormonland.  As is my confusion at the inconsistent and hypocritical messages sent. No wonder people outside the church roll their eyes.  We're supposed to be modest.  Except for when we want to make money?  Except for when we just feel like?  Tell me what are the REAL rules on modesty?  And why are you allowed the "judgment" that dressing immodestly is perfectly okay but anyone who disagrees with you is not allowed to make that "judgment"?

 

I have at least half a dozen personal friends in the entertainment industry - for decades - who have never worn outfits...costumes...whatever you want to call them...that would be considered immodest or incompatible with garment wearing.  So it IS possible.  Just as I knew untold numbers of Orthodox Jews who did the same.  It's a CHOICE.  Dressing modestly is a choice.  Dressing immodestly is a choice.  No one is forced either way.

 

But I am not allowed to scratch my head over the mixed message sent. It comes across clearly that the REAL teaching is that we dress modestly and wear our garments except for when we don't want to.  No showering, swimming or intimacy need be involved. 

 

Or is it just when it involves money, for that is the justification being given here.  I am going to be homeless in a few weeks if I don't find a way to increase my income.  Pot is legal here in Oregon and there's a crap-ton of money to be made in that industry.  Soooo....that would be cool for me to sell pot, right? Or with just a bit of training, I could become a pot "mixologist" and make a cool $90,000 a year.  Heck, I could even make more just trimming the plants than working where I work now.  Because it would be my JOB and that's a free pass.  Or if I wanted to become a stripper.  They make good money and I really need the income.  And it's a JOB, right?

 

Or...as Folk Prophet hinted at in his post....maybe it's dependent on the time involved.  Like if I were a model and I only modeled lingerie part time instead of full-time, that would be cool with the "rules".  Or if I worked only part-time in the pot industry.  Yeah...I just have to figure out what the time limit is that's allowed by the church and then it's all good.

 

And I wasn't talking about any of those other situations you listed.  So nice of you to treat me like a moron. 

 

It was this kind of crap on message boards that was a real turn-off when investigating the church.  It's still a big turn-off.

 

And still....no one has ever addressed the mixed message.  Anyone can use any reason at any time not to dress modestly...not to wear their garments....and it's okay.  ALWAYS.  For ANY reason. That is the reality.  No one is willing to address things like why it's okay for a young, married, endowed woman to post endless photos on FaceBook of herself in various states of undress and partial nudity. That wouldn't be considered modest by anyone.  How that aligns with what we are taught in the temple about wearing our garments.  Oh yeah...right...I can't n think about that much less ask about it. It's "judging". 

 

There are people who have a stroke over the thought of someone not wearing their garments to bed at night, but if someone wants to leave their garments at home because they want to go out in that dress that plunges down to there and slit up to here to make sure they get noticed...well...that's perfectly okay.  Nope, can't have a discussion about the dissonance.  That would be "judging".

 

You know...one of the reasons I was drawn to the church was because the member who first shared their testimony and beliefs with me did it in a way very different from any other Christian addressed me as a Jew.  There was no 'you're bad, you're wrong, you're going to hell".   But - wow - once you're a member, the attacks never end.  No matter what side of an issue you are on, there's guaranteed to be members to tell you how wrong  and bad you are. 

 

But...noooo....THEY aren't the ones judging.

 

People can walk down the street naked for all I care.  (This is Portland. This happens).  But I do care about trying to figure out the logic behind all of this.  Or I did.  Because there really isn't an answer other than the Mormons top the list of religions whose members pick and choose what "rules" they follow.

 

So the next time I pass on buying that cute dress because....whoopsie...it's backless....I won't have to pass on it.  Because it's okay to be modest or not.  And it's okay to wear your garments or not.  Whatever floats your boat, right?

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So the next time I pass on buying that cute dress because....whoopsie...it's backless....I won't have to pass on it.  Because it's okay to be modest or not.  And it's okay to wear your garments or not.  Whatever floats your boat, right?

Alright, well there was a lot of emotion in this post so I'll try to approach this from a more sensitive standpoint. You are exactly right. It is our CHOICE to choose whether or not we dress modestly or immodestly. This choice is relevant to our obedience to the law of chastity. We have a choice whether or not to choose that dress for a night out and put our garments aside "for just one night" for that cute dress. We also have a choice whether or not we choose to read our scriptures every night, to pray, to go to church every Sunday, to be righteous temple recommend holders, to pay our tithing, and so much more.

 

That is the beauty of being on this Earth. We have agency to choose what type of son/daughter of God we will be. There will ALWAYS be members that choose "the wrong". But this cannot have any bearing on our own testimony of these principles and how they apply to our lives. There will ALWAYS be members who are displayed in society as the hypocrite "mormon". Those are the ones who get the media's attention, not the righteous members.

 

The judgment of God is the only one who gets to decide how this individual's choice to be obedient to His commandments will affect this eternal life. Beyond that is out of range of our own judgment. Whether or not you think "Betty's" choice to wear an immodest dress that does not suit the guidelines of garments is just not of importance to your salvation. If this affects your testimony of the principle, then that is a whole different scenario. 

 

We must choose how WE will live these principles and not focus so much on how everyone else is choosing to live them. They have their own agency, as you have stated, and will decide however they want. It is more important that we decide how we will live them, and how Christ-like we will be towards those who do not follow the principles that we follow. 

 

None of us are perfect. No one will ever be a perfect Saint here on Earth. We all will fall short in many aspects (including modesty). We all have our own subjective view on what is modest and what is not (I don't want to go find the previous post about this, but there was plenty of disagreement of whether the "maxi-dress" skirts are considered modest or not). These decisions are between us and The Lord. I may feel modest in a dress that sits above my knee but is much longer than my garments, where you may not feel the same. There are still clear guidelines of what modesty is, but how we choose to apply them to ourselves is where I think this feeling of "mixed messages" is coming from. 

 

We must be concerned for our fellow members, but only as Christ would be. There will always be members who are not following every commandment, but we must love them anyway and not put so much thought into why they chose to wear that one outfit. We'll go crazy trying to figure out why some people follow the principle of modesty in one way and why someone else follows it in a different way. 

Edited by BeccaKirstyn

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Boy, Mormons sure like to toss out the "judgment" word. Especially while in the act of judging others.

Have I gone to these women and scolded them? But I guess expressing my opinion (what so many Mormons like to call "judgment") that - yes - those outfits are immodest is verboten in Mormonland. As is my confusion at the inconsistent and hypocritical messages sent. No wonder people outside the church roll their eyes. We're supposed to be modest. Except for when we want to make money? Except for when we just feel like? Tell me what are the REAL rules on modesty? And why are you allowed the "judgment" that dressing immodestly is perfectly okay but anyone who disagrees with you is not allowed to make that "judgment"?

I have at least half a dozen personal friends in the entertainment industry - for decades - who have never worn outfits...costumes...whatever you want to call them...that would be considered immodest or incompatible with garment wearing. So it IS possible. Just as I knew untold numbers of Orthodox Jews who did the same. It's a CHOICE. Dressing modestly is a choice. Dressing immodestly is a choice. No one is forced either way.

But I am not allowed to scratch my head over the mixed message sent. It comes across clearly that the REAL teaching is that we dress modestly and wear our garments except for when we don't want to. No showering, swimming or intimacy need be involved.

Or is it just when it involves money, for that is the justification being given here. I am going to be homeless in a few weeks if I don't find a way to increase my income. Pot is legal here in Oregon and there's a crap-ton of money to be made in that industry. Soooo....that would be cool for me to sell pot, right? Or with just a bit of training, I could become a pot "mixologist" and make a cool $90,000 a year. Heck, I could even make more just trimming the plants than working where I work now. Because it would be my JOB and that's a free pass. Or if I wanted to become a stripper. They make good money and I really need the income. And it's a JOB, right?

Or...as Folk Prophet hinted at in his post....maybe it's dependent on the time involved. Like if I were a model and I only modeled lingerie part time instead of full-time, that would be cool with the "rules". Or if I worked only part-time in the pot industry. Yeah...I just have to figure out what the time limit is that's allowed by the church and then it's all good.

And I wasn't talking about any of those other situations you listed. So nice of you to treat me like a moron.

It was this kind of crap on message boards that was a real turn-off when investigating the church. It's still a big turn-off.

And still....no one has ever addressed the mixed message. Anyone can use any reason at any time not to dress modestly...not to wear their garments....and it's okay. ALWAYS. For ANY reason. That is the reality. No one is willing to address things like why it's okay for a young, married, endowed woman to post endless photos on FaceBook of herself in various states of undress and partial nudity. That wouldn't be considered modest by anyone. How that aligns with what we are taught in the temple about wearing our garments. Oh yeah...right...I can't n think about that much less ask about it. It's "judging".

There are people who have a stroke over the thought of someone not wearing their garments to bed at night, but if someone wants to leave their garments at home because they want to go out in that dress that plunges down to there and slit up to here to make sure they get noticed...well...that's perfectly okay. Nope, can't have a discussion about the dissonance. That would be "judging".

You know...one of the reasons I was drawn to the church was because the member who first shared their testimony and beliefs with me did it in a way very different from any other Christian addressed me as a Jew. There was no 'you're bad, you're wrong, you're going to hell". But - wow - once you're a member, the attacks never end. No matter what side of an issue you are on, there's guaranteed to be members to tell you how wrong and bad you are.

But...noooo....THEY aren't the ones judging.

People can walk down the street naked for all I care. (This is Portland. This happens). But I do care about trying to figure out the logic behind all of this. Or I did. Because there really isn't an answer other than the Mormons top the list of religions whose members pick and choose what "rules" they follow.

So the next time I pass on buying that cute dress because....whoopsie...it's backless....I won't have to pass on it. Because it's okay to be modest or not. And it's okay to wear your garments or not. Whatever floats your boat, right?

I guess you absolutely missed the part of my post that says... "I don't mean you, Leah".

But I guess since you took such umbrage, you found yourself guilty.

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Hi Leah, I hear you on the apparent double standards we see so often in the church, I really do. I struggle with similar thoughts but on a different issue. I admit I was (and still am sometimes), judgmental when I saw people doing and saying certain things that are contrary to our gospel standards. I confided in my bishop who told me 'don't worry about what you can't control in other people or it will drive you crazy. Just focus on your own choices because for you and the Lord, they are all that matter'. I've taken his advice (even though it's taken every ounce of self-control sometimes) and it has become a easier.

 

I hope this hasn't come across as patronising or anything, I'm just sharing what's helped me not to feel so upset when I see church members (especially temple endowed) doing stuff that I feel is REALLY wrong. 

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There's a reason and strong principle behind why some things in the gospel are not clearly defined and we are left to determine on our own what is and isn't appropriate. A lot of these things come down to wisdom, a heaping of common sense, and paying close attention to the Spirit.

 

The confusion, of course, occurs because common sense is entirely uncommon, wisdom has been discarded in favor of "feelings", and, I guess, some people think that whatever point of view they have developed based on their own efforts to follow the Spirit must therefore apply to the entire church.

 

It really isn't that complicated though. My wife and I ballroom danced all through college. We wore our garments except when it was inappropriate to do so. The fact that some might think we could have and should have figured out a way to wear them while performing or competing doesn't particularly concern me. It also shows a complete ignorance of the activity/sport. That's not to say there are not choices that are inappropriate to it, obviously. Wisdom. Common sense. Follow the Spirit. (I won't even go so far as to claim that all of the choices we made for my wife's outfits when we were young and dumb were 100% appropriate. But many were, and not a single one of them could have or should have been worn with garments.)

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It really isn't that complicated though. My wife and I ballroom danced all through college. We wore our garments except when it was inappropriate to do so. The fact that some might think we could have and should have figured out a way to wear them while performing or competing doesn't particularly concern me. It also shows a complete ignorance of the activity/sport. That's not to say there are not choices that are inappropriate to it, obviously. Wisdom. Common sense. Follow the Spirit. (I won't even go so far as to claim that all of the choices we made for my wife's outfits when we were young and dumb were 100% appropriate. But many were, and not a single one of them could have or should have been worn with garments.)

I love ballroom dance and I think you made some great points here. I don't dance; I'm a klutz. But three of my sons are very serious about it. They dance with a group that is mostly LDS, so the girls costumes don't show skin, but they are form fitting as is necessary for the sport. So I agree with you. :)

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(I won't even go so far as to claim that all of the choices we made for my wife's outfits when we were young and dumb were 100% appropriate. But many were, and not a single one of them could have or should have been worn with garments.)

 

I assume this is a typo, and that you meant "without garments."

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I assume this is a typo, and that you meant "without garments."

 

No. Ballroom dance competition and performance costumes, for the most part, should not be worn with garments. Even if the woman's dress, for example, had enough total coverage to do so (which some do), they are dancing and the dress flies up, often exposing dance briefs. You simply cannot wear them with garments.

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