I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon, so I wear clothing that is modest. On Sunday, I wear a dressier outfit for attending church. I wear that same level of attire when attending the temple.

Our clothing expresses who we are. It sends messages about us, and it influences the way we and others act. When we are well groomed and modestly dressed, we can invite the companionship of the Spirit and exercise a good influence on those around us.

LDS Study Manual, “Modesty

I therefore wear clothing that covers my temple garments all the time, unless I’m swimming or exercising excessively -even then, quite prudishly, my workout clothes could cover garments.

I wear a dress or a skirt and blouse each Sunday. I’ll wear those clothes if I go to the temple, attend General Conference (more on that, later), or sit through LDS Church-sponsored meetings that ask for it. The LDS men wear dress slacks and a dress shirt at the least, although most go for a full suit and tie.

The youth (12ish-18ish) in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are given specific guidelines about dress:

Immodest clothing is any clothing that is tight, sheer, or revealing in any other manner. Young women should avoid short shorts and short skirts, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and clothing that does not cover the shoulders or is low-cut in the front or the back. Young men should also maintain modesty in their appearance. Young men and young women should be neat and clean and avoid being extreme or inappropriately casual in clothing, hairstyle, and behavior. They should choose appropriately modest apparel when participating in sports. The fashions of the world will change, but the Lord’s standards will not change.

LDS Study Manual, Standards for Youth, “Dress and Appearance

The LDS missionaries are also given an official dress standard -which, by the way, can be those bright young people knocking on your door, an older couple giving tours of LDS Church sites, or even members of the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.

The missionary dress standards address grooming, modesty, appearance, and attitudes. There are rules for the men and rules for the women.

Those who are not youth or missionaries (the rest of the regular members of the LDS church) simply dress to be modest. The rest of our church dress getup (dresses, suits, ties) is mostly due to tradition and appearing respectable.

©2022 Chel Owens

……

We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many recognize the nickname of ‘Mormon’ and it works with the alliteration so well, however, I will use the term.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.

40 thoughts on “I’m a Mormon, So…

  1. Annette Rochelle Aben September 5, 2022 / 10:06 am

    It only goes to show, that one doesn’t have to share the same religion to appreciate a respectful appearance!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens September 5, 2022 / 11:45 am

      For sure. People all used to dress up to go into town, for example. It’s odd to be different that way now.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Doug Jacquier September 5, 2022 / 11:43 am

    ‘The fashions of the world will change, but the Lord’s standards will not change.’ Hmmm. Not sure where the Bible talks about dress code. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

      • Doug Jacquier September 5, 2022 / 12:04 pm

        “God wants us to dress in an orderly, moderate, reserved and decent way – in a way that expresses our Christian character. Not messy, untucked, wrinkled, unkept; not wild, crazy, outlandish, extravagant, extreme; not sensual, sexually suggestive and enticing such as tight-fitting clothing revealing every curve of the body (e.g. leggings).’ Still doesn’t sound like a dress code mentioned in any of the Bible quotes, which would suggest its origins are a tad more earthly. 😉
        It’s OK, Chel, I get it. I just get tired of people taking it upon themselves to tell people what God thinks, as though He just forgot to say it at the time 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chel Owens September 5, 2022 / 12:36 pm

          Oh sure. I was simply responding sincerely and therefore cheekily to your question.

          Naturally, what God thinks isn’t written in the LDS handbook unless the writer of said handbook quotes Him.

          Liked by 2 people

  3. Nope, Not Pam September 5, 2022 / 2:19 pm

    Pretty much sounds like common sense to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens September 5, 2022 / 6:58 pm

      🤷‍♀️ People dress rather casually these days.

      Like

      • Nope, Not Pam September 5, 2022 / 7:00 pm

        Most people dress appropriately for the situation though

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chel Owens September 5, 2022 / 7:12 pm

          I hope so. I’ve seen some very casual wedding getups.

          Like

  4. rts - Facing the Challenges of Mental Health September 5, 2022 / 3:44 pm

    Chelsea, this was a enlightning post. I was raised “Pentecostal” When I was young preachers taught the very same idea on clothing. Even about women cutting their hair. They called it, “holiness”.
    Sometimes it is refreshing to see ladies and men dressed modestly!
    Thank you Chelsea!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. bereavedandbeingasingleparent September 5, 2022 / 4:34 pm

    What’s the dress requirements for young children.

    My church was always shirts, tie, suit. But it’s all changed now. Even the vicar have worn football shirts for services. That would have been the stuff of excommunication a few years back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens September 5, 2022 / 7:07 pm

      Pretty much the same as the adults. The young men and men participating in priesthood ordinances (leading the meeting, helping with the Sacrament, giving priesthood blessings) need a white dress shirt and tie with dress slacks or a business casual suit with white shirt and tie -so, no football shirts. 😉

      Like

  6. petespringerauthor September 5, 2022 / 10:10 pm

    When I was a kid, people used to dress up quite a bit to go to church. I’ve noticed that just about anything goes these days in our church. I remain non-judgmental about this because I realize in some cases that some have little and might not be able to afford nicer clothes. I would hope religions would welcome anyone, regardless of their appearance. If not, I’d say a religion needs to examine its priorities.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chel Owens September 5, 2022 / 11:02 pm

      Well, the sign outside says, “Visitors Welcome.” It’s not about excluding people because they don’t want to dress up; it’s about showing respect to God by how you dress.

      Liked by 1 person

      • petespringerauthor September 5, 2022 / 11:12 pm

        I can respect that. I’m guessing that the church would try to help out in some capacity if someone was poor and couldn’t afford nicer clothing. Schools do the same for kids who come to school without adequate clothing.

        There was also a food bag program where children could bring home a bag of food once a week if the family’s income were below a certain level. Even though the gesture was thoughtful, I often wondered how the children felt in this situation.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chel Owens September 5, 2022 / 11:25 pm

          Yes, we have programs to help people who are struggling. It’s kind of neat; I don’t know a lot about it since I haven’t had to use it in a while -but, basically, a member talks to the bishop and is able to ‘shop’ at the Bishop’s Storehouse for food (for free) or can be arranged to work a job with one of the LDS church’s programs or can learn skills at classes, etc. I’m all in favor of teaching life skills to people and helping any in need.

          Liked by 1 person

          • petespringerauthor September 5, 2022 / 11:31 pm

            Yes, helping people to help themselves is an excellent approach because people will feel better about themselves.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. CarolCooks2 September 6, 2022 / 5:25 am

    We always wore our Sunday best to church and still would for anyone who doesn’t have covered shoulders or clothing is above the knee then shawls or trousers are provided here…that is being respectful to the place you are in…outside of that clothing is more relaxed…but clothes don’t maketh the man..its what is in the heart

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens September 6, 2022 / 6:51 am

      I think clothing matters more than others do (hot topic, I know). I agree that our hearts matter much more; often, the clothing one chooses to wear reflects that heart, in point of fact, including a refusal to respect a local tradition. Believe you me, the modest-dress tenet is not always well received.
      I want to take the series into what actually living in the LDS community means -good, bad, and humorous. I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep things fairly unbiased so it’s just an idea.

      Liked by 1 person

      • CarolCooks2 September 6, 2022 / 7:07 am

        It will be interesting and I agree that often clothing does reflect whats in the heart to a point with me personally…I do get offended by some clothing especially in public places and would seriously and it has happened where one of our children was told to get changed or she would not be going out..I kept out of that one although I did agree with her father…I think that’s a great idea Chel …we all know you and so far you are doing a great job…agree or not its all about learning, inclusion and living together peacefully side by side regardless 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chel Owens September 6, 2022 / 8:10 am

          Too many parents don’t speak up. I would never support shaming a child or telling her she’s worth less once she’s lost her virtue -but I’m a pragmatic person so all my life lessons to my boys also include the practical reasons and consequences.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Jim Borden September 6, 2022 / 6:26 am

    I always enjoy these insights into your church.

    I am impressed that the Mormon Church has been able to keep these dress standards, since it seems so many other churches have relaxed theirs. Do you ever see this approach to dress changing?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens September 6, 2022 / 6:54 am

      The approach has changed somewhat -officially so by their allowing the sister missionaries to wear dress slacks, for example. I also hear and see many members grumbling the whole “my body, my choice” message and deciding to do whatever they wish.
      I hope to discuss some of this in followup posts about Mormonism, although I’m not sure how to keep things unbiased. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jim Borden September 6, 2022 / 12:06 pm

        I am sure it is hard to meld traditions with changes in the world.

        And I wouldn’t be concerned about having your biases come through; to me that is what blogging is all about; sharing your voice and your opinions.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Gr8BigFun September 6, 2022 / 7:21 am

    Although I am not against modest dress when worshipping or attending social gatherings I do find it interesting that western religions, my Catholic birth religion included, find it necessary to spell out exactly what a woman can and can’t wear in detail and then add lines like “men should dress modestly too.” I’m not saying there shouldn’t be dress codes and a level of decorum and I am anything but WOKE in my beliefs but the sexist nature of these messages needs to be revisited.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens September 6, 2022 / 8:15 am

      Believe you me, that’s an issue MANY people bring up. I’d like to ask clothing manufacturers those questions, honestly. Like, why can’t my pants have front pockets? Why do the yoga pants need sheer windows? Why can’t I put on a shirt without worrying about a ‘wardrobe malfunction?’

      I believe the men’s dress standards *would* specifically mention inches or tightness if that were more common. For example, the boys in our ward were told they couldn’t wear the baggy jeans with their boxers hanging out. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gr8BigFun September 6, 2022 / 9:37 am

        Don’t get me started on clothing manufacturers, perceived beauty and all that goes with that industry, but that does not address the fundamental difference in defining women’s and men’s dress codes not just at church but in society as a whole. Women’s dress codes tend to focus on what parts of their body should be covered, like midrift covered, no belly button visible, skirts knee length or longer, no open back etc… whereas men’s dress codes tend to focus on the types of clothes to be worn i.e. Dress shirt with tie, dress pants, suit or sports jacket and slacks, etc… The results may be look the same in the pew buts women’s codes tend to body shame and cast aspersions on purity that are not present in men’s codes.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Pam Webb September 6, 2022 / 7:35 am

    I notice the men always wear white shirts. What is the significance? And welcome back—hope your break was lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens September 6, 2022 / 8:20 am

      Hi, Pam! Thanks! I’m not a dude so haven’t st through lessons on that, but Kevin’s told me they’re asked to wear the white shirts (and tie) when participating in priesthood ordinances. It’s clean and traditional, and is definitely mentioned when a young man is set apart as an Elder and serves a full-time mission.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pam Webb September 6, 2022 / 9:27 am

        Interesting. I only see white shirts on men when I pass the Mormon church. Does that mean all men are up for priesthood? I like the traditional, tidy look, yet am curious if it has a greater meaning.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chel Owens September 6, 2022 / 1:29 pm

          Maybe it means all of them are dressed that way in case they need to help with something priesthood-related. I’ll ask Kevin.

          Like

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