truthseaker

Asked not to wear pants to church

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Hello

I have been going to LDS church services for a couple of months now, I'm not baptised yet.

Anyway I showed up to church in dress pants, nice pants not jeans or anything.  I was asked by one of the men (who sit at the front when service is on, I don't know his exact position but he is sort of important at church) to wear appropriate dress to church, women should be in skirts or dresses.

It was cold, I wore very nice pants, what is the big deal?

To be honest I was pretty insulted and am not in a rush to go back this week, think I might skip church tomorrow.

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25 minutes ago, truthseaker said:

Hello

I have been going to LDS church services for a couple of months now, I'm not baptised yet.

Anyway I showed up to church in dress pants, nice pants not jeans or anything.  I was asked by one of the men (who sit at the front when service is on, I don't know his exact position but he is sort of important at church) to wear appropriate dress to church, women should be in skirts or dresses.

It was cold, I wore very nice pants, what is the big deal?

To be honest I was pretty insulted and am not in a rush to go back this week, think I might skip church tomorrow.

I am amazed. I have worn workout wear to church after an adventure and no one noticed. (trying to get a clued out friend to the airport in time for a flight, he left his passport at my place so I had to return home and thus did not have time to change). 

I would totally ignore that old fuddy duddy! We have had bishops and stake presidents do some dumb stuff up here. Even if the guy does have an important position that doesn’t mean that everything they do is right. Just have a laugh over it and ignore him.

Edited by Sunday21

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43 minutes ago, truthseaker said:

Hello

I have been going to LDS church services for a couple of months now, I'm not baptised yet.

Anyway I showed up to church in dress pants, nice pants not jeans or anything.  I was asked by one of the men (who sit at the front when service is on, I don't know his exact position but he is sort of important at church) to wear appropriate dress to church, women should be in skirts or dresses.

It was cold, I wore very nice pants, what is the big deal?

To be honest I was pretty insulted and am not in a rush to go back this week, think I might skip church tomorrow.

Welcome!

Mormons tend to be pretty conservative across a spectrum of issues; and “Sunday dress” is no exception.  There’s sort of an unspoken cultural standard that men wear ties and women wear skirts or dresses.  

This obviously can create some incoherence when you see women feeling subliminal pressure to wear—for example—a denim skirt rather than a much more formal pantsuit.  I’ve never known a male church leader to make it A Thing, though; and I’m sorry it was brought up in a way you found embarrassing.  I think, though, that if pushed there isn’t a Mormon who would say that they’d rather you not come at all than come in pants.

If you find LDS teaching correct and find Mormon meetings edifying overall, then I’d encourage you to keep right on going wearing whatever attire you sincerely believe to strike the right balance between respect and comfort.  

If it makes you feel better, there’s kind of a reverse standard currently going on in legal circles.  In the courtrooms I practice in, a woman can wear whatever she wants and the judge won’t say “boo”—but heaven help the male attorney who crosses the bar without a suit jacket.

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1 hour ago, truthseaker said:

Hello

I have been going to LDS church services for a couple of months now, I'm not baptised yet.

Anyway I showed up to church in dress pants, nice pants not jeans or anything.  I was asked by one of the men (who sit at the front when service is on, I don't know his exact position but he is sort of important at church) to wear appropriate dress to church, women should be in skirts or dresses.

It was cold, I wore very nice pants, what is the big deal?

To be honest I was pretty insulted and am not in a rush to go back this week, think I might skip church tomorrow.

The man sounds like he is either crazy or a crank.  Even if you believe wearing pants to church is inappropriate (debatable - I had never heard of this silly custom here in Texas until recently), you don't chastize investigators, who still have fragile, budding testimonies, about such trivial nonsense. 

I remember on my mission some wards seemed to have some moron who decided to appoint themselves as the enforcer of church customs.  It was beyond their comprehension that they were doing far more harm than good, that they were driving honest, good seekers of truth away from Christ over trivial nonsense.  I actually had to protect my investigators from some of these people.

I am sorry I get a little angry about this but I have seen some real damage done by such self righteous people.  Please do not judge the Church by the stupidity of really very very few individuals who are far from perfect themselves.

Edited by DoctorLemon

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 I’ve never known a 

male church leader to make it A Thing, though;

 

@Just_A_Guy my only experience about wearing pants came from a YW President. 

I was like 14 and it was seminary graduation. I was so excited because they asked me weeks in advance to offer the opening prayer. When I reached the stake center, I saw my name printed on the program etc. I was beyond nervous but very happy! Everything was going well until they called my name to offer the prayer.

I slowly approached the pulpit...the Stake YW President saw me, came to me and quietly said: "Suzie, you cannot offer the prayer because you're wearing pants" and then she sat down while talking to other leaders and choosing someone else to pray. I stood there not knowing exactly what to do and I quietly sat down while everyone was just staring at me. It made me feel like I have done something wrong and of course, at that age, concerned that others would think I wasn't worthy to offer the prayer.

When they called someone else to pray, all I did was to look at my name printed on that program...

Mind you, I was wearing some really, really nice dress pants....

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A guy commenting on what a woman is wearing is always a little dangerous. No matter what position you hold, you need to phrase your words very careful. Aside from sounding sanctimonious and priggish, you could come across as dirty, vulgar or just flat out rude. 

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Don't know what to say. Such a comment is so obviously inappropriate that I wonder if there's not something wrong with the gentleman, uh, brother, uh, male human who offered the critique. I hesitate to speak badly of any Church leader, and I refuse to jump on a too-popular virtue-signaling bandwagon that consists of piling criticism on some anonymous guy for a reported infraction. But a case like this, or like @Suzie reports, is so far beyond the pale that I can only shake my head.

For what it's worth, this thing you describe is rare. We're all sinners with our own weaknesses and hangups, but generally not quite as overt as this fellow's shortcomings appear to have been.

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I suspect it was intended as a teaching thing rather than a judgemental condemnatory thing. When and how to bring up some things with investigators is tricky. I'd forgive the guy, try to take what is important in the idea(s), and move on. Getting offended helps nothing and no one. 

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Just now, The Folk Prophet said:

How can you make that assessment from afar? Arm chair quarter-backing is easy. Playing the game in reality is much more complicated. 

I base my judgment on the facts presented. I acknowledge that the OP may have a skewed view of the facts, but if she, an investigator, wore a modest pants suit to Church, I cannot see any situation where a bishopric member or anyone else would be justified in telling her that her choice of clothing was inappropriate, no matter how kind he tried to say it. Of course, there could be more to it than the OP told (or recognized) -- but again, I judge based on facts presented, unless the "facts" seem so utterly improbable that I can't take them seriously.

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24 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

 Yes, I do believe that 'two wrongs make a right' was one of Christ's teachings. 

Wearing pants to church is not wrong, if it annoys some 'old school stuffed shirt' then good, he obviously needs to learn to not be so judgemental.

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Women . . . who wear pants to church . . . make . . . me . . . furious . . .  :D

(a little Mystery Men reference for you)

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5 hours ago, Sunday21 said:

@DoctorLemon.I remember on my mission some wards seemed to have some moron who decided to appoint themselves as the enforcer of church customs.

I have met these people too! What’s up with this?

Oh, you find people like this everywhere, people who make up a bunch of their own rules about how society should be run and then try to enforce them on everyone else.  They tend to annoy others everywhere they go.  While normally one would just roll their eyes and ignore such people, there are some real consequences to this behavior at Church, where these sorts an drive away investigators, drive active members inactive, etc.

The issue here ain't about the pants.  It is about people doing a very poor job being member missionaries.

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3 hours ago, Suzie said:

I slowly approached the pulpit...the Stake YW President saw me, came to me and quietly said: "Suzie, you cannot offer the prayer because you're wearing pants" and then she sat down while talking to other leaders and choosing someone else to pray. I stood there not knowing exactly what to do and I quietly sat down while everyone was just staring at me. It made me feel like I have done something wrong and of course, at that age, concerned that others would think I wasn't worthy to offer the prayer.

@Suzie - that's dreadful.  Just wrong on so many levels.  Things like that cut deep, especially if they were not soundly rebuked at the time - sincerest commiserations.  Regardless, i am sure you will be receiving a very genuine and well-deserved apology from that lady in the next life, if not before.

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@TruthSeeker I'm sorry this happened to you. It always hurts when someone says something insulting to us, especially in an unexpected place like church. Please, don't let the bad behaivor of one man dissuade you from following the truth. Especially about something that, too most of us, is a non issue. Out where I live, no one cares if a woman wears pants. I didn't even know this was an issue in some places until I met my wife (who had dealt with such attitudes in the place she grew up). But, you did learn something. Even though the LDS church is the restored Church of Jesus Christ in it's fullness, it's membership is still made up of fallible human beings who regularly make bad choices. That's why we are at church in the first place☺. But it's still Jesus Christ's church! Keep following the feelings that led you here in the first place, and don't let a random person take that truth away from you. Most of us are happy to see you no matter what you're wearing. 

Edited by Midwest LDS

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5 hours ago, lostinwater said:

@Suzie Regardless, i am sure you will be receiving a very genuine and well-deserved apology from that lady in the next life, if not before.

 

Thanks, but I really don't need one. Even though it affected me at that time because I was young, I quickly realized that she did not mean to be hurtful. Sometimes, members get caught in tradition and they do things like this but they don't mean any harm. Of course it is wrong and I am not trying to justify it, but in situations like this I try to always see the intention behind people's actions rather than the action itself. It helps me to see that just like me,  people mess up sometimes.

Edited by Suzie

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14 hours ago, truthseaker said:

It was cold, I wore very nice pants, what is the big deal?

The real deal: nonexistent.

His pretend deal: doesn't matter to anyone but him.

@truthseaker, I once had to work Sunday morning for a very very messy job.  So I hunted through my closet, and wore the filthiest ugliest clothes I could find.  I went to work, to learn the job was canceled last minute.  I had a choice then: leave right now as I was and make it to church and partake of the Lord's Supper.  Or go home for different clothes and miss the sacrament.  

So I went to church in literally the filthiest thing I own, and partook of the Sacrament.  And it was wonderful.  

 

And that is how Sacrament should be.  This man who spoke otherwise... honestly he needs your forgiveness.  

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Are you all saying that where you live it's not uncommon to see women wearing pants to church?  (I'm not commenting on the OP experience, I'm just wondering, based on everyone's comments, whether this is a common thing in your various parts of the world.)

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34 minutes ago, zil said:

Are you all saying that where you live it's not uncommon to see women wearing pants to church?  (I'm not commenting on the OP experience, I'm just wondering, based on everyone's comments, whether this is a common thing in your various parts of the world.)

In Texas, yes, women wear pants to church from time to time, and no one cares.  I didn't even know there was some (very slight) stigma against it until a couple of years ago.

Edited by DoctorLemon

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26 minutes ago, DoctorLemon said:

 women wear pants to church from time to time, and no one cares. 

I think this is the attitude in most wards. No one really cares. The guy who said it was maybe having a bad day (perhaps he got into an argument with his daughter over clothing) , maybe he wanted to show the world how pious he was. Or maybe he just lacked social skills. Who knows. 

Edited by MormonGator

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