Mormons and Modesty

Mormons teach that the body is a temple, given to us by God to house our spirits. Because it is a home for a spirit created by God, they’re taught to treat it with dignity and respect. This means, in part, to avoid wearing clothing that is too revealing or extreme. Modesty rules apply to both men and women, and therefore, are not, as some believe, a way of controlling women. Both genders are expected to properly cover their bodies.

Modest Mormon Missionaries SistersYou might not immediately be able to spot an individual Mormon by his or her clothing. The clothing Mormons wear is fashionable and ordinary, chosen by the members themselves to suit their style within the guidelines. However, if you were to observe a group of young LDS teenagers, you might notice that overall, there is a difference. These girls will not have low-cut tops or tops that reveal their stomachs. Their shoulders will be covered and their dresses will reach their knees. Their clothing won’t be tight or suggestive, even though it’s fashionable. They’ll have no more than one set of earrings, positioned in the usual place on the ears.

Boys won’t have overly baggy pants that reveal underwear and their waistlines won’t hang low. They also have their shoulders, stomachs, and chests covered and their clothing is designed to cover them, not reveal them. Neither group will have tattoos.

Modest dress doesn’t draw attention to itself. It can be attractive and should be neat and clean, as well as appropriate for the specific event, but not extreme in any way. What is important about a person is what is inside, and the overall appearance should reflect the depth, character, and values of the person inside. A person who is intelligent, caring, and spiritual will have clothing, hairstyles, and make-up that reflect this. Modest clothing shows self-respect, and the confidence that the wearer knows she can be liked and admired for who she is and not what she wears.

Modesty includes being appropriately dressed for the occasion. A person who is attending church will naturally be dressed differently than a person who is swimming. While less clothing is appropriate for the swimming pool, it would not be appropriate to wear the swimsuit around the front yard while raking leaves. A modest person attending church will wear the best he or she has out of respect for God, whose home is being visited.

A guideline to modesty is to ask if the wearer would be comfortable wearing this outfit in front of the Savior. If not, it might be time to change.

Mormons consider modesty to be more than just clothing. Everything about them should be modest, including their language. They are taught to avoid vulgar language, especially when it concerns the names of God and Jesus. Their language must be a reflection of who they are and what they believe. A person looking at, listening to, or watching the actions of a Latter-day Saint should be able to identify the values of that person.

For more on this subject read Modesty at Mormon Wiki.