Modest are Hottest

“Modest are hottest” was a popular saying among the young men at my high school. They used the slogan to encourage the young women to live and dress in a way that showed that they respected themselves and those with whom they associated.  My girlfriends and I totally bought in to what those guys were advocating because they were the guys who were worth being around.

Modest Prom Dresses

This was especially true when we would help each other get ready for school dances and other group dates and social events. In accordance with the standards in the For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet, we didn’t wear strapless gowns, low cut necklines, belly shirts, short skirts or short shorts, etc. Instead, we covered our shoulders and cleavage, and avoided tight-fitting and sheer clothing.   This freed us up to dance or do other activities and enjoy the company of our dates and friends. We cared about looking fashionable, but also emphasized being comfortable and sufficiently covered.

I loved being modestly dressed on dates in high school because I didn’t have to constantly readjust my outfit. I could simply go from mini-golf to dinner to the dance without worrying about exposing myself. It kept the dates fun and engaging without any embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions.

While it is sometimes difficult to find modest clothing, it is definitely possible. There are all sorts of ways to modify current fashion trends to keep them cute and modest. We have to be creative sometimes! There are some trends, however, that will require personal judgement on whether or not it is acceptable. In those cases, consult with your friends, parents and the Lord to know if following the style would measure up to His standards.

While these guidelines seem targeted mostly at women, men should also keep from wearing clothing that is too tight or too baggy. We have also been counseled by the Latter-day prophets to stay away from tattoos, extreme hairstyles and piercings (one modest pair of earrings for women is fine). Modesty in speech is also important. We are counseled to avoid swearing, gossiping and inappropriate jokes and anecdotes.

5 Browns

I’ve been out of high school for several years now, but the idea that “modest are hottest” has stayed with me. I have  found that dressing modestly helps my dates feel more respected and at ease. They are able to focus on our conversations rather than being distracted or tempted by my body. Being modest keeps me and my friends from objectifying ourselves and giving in to the worldly notion that guys want slutty girls. We know that we are intelligent, humorous and have great personalities–so we put that on display instead!

I dress and speak modestly out of respect for myself, the people I’m around and for God, who created my body in the first place.
See Prophetic Prophets for more on modern counsel

Can Mormons View Pornography?

I was asked to write a response to the question: “Can Mormons view pornography?” Sadly the answer to this is yes they can. (That brings up the agency issue, which is a subject for another time.) But to the question, “Should Mormons view pornography?” I would answer NO! It is seen as sinful behavior that is demeaning to both the viewer and the objectified person in the picture.

An excerpt from the LDS Pamphlet For the Strength of Youth: Fulfilling Our Duty to God, pretty much sums up what Mormon’s believe regarding viewing pornography.

“Pornography in all its forms is especially dangerous and addictive. What may begin as a curious indulgence can become a destructive habit that takes control of your life. It can lead you to sexual transgression and even criminal behavior. Pornography is a poison that weakens your self-control, changes the way you see others, causes you to lose the guidance of the Spirit, and can even affect your ability to have a normal relationship with your future spouse. If you encounter pornography, turn away from it immediately.”

That sums up the church’s attitude toward pornography. There are some policy issues regarding those who indulge. Generally if a person tells their bishop that they are viewing pornography they will be denied access to holy temples and given all the help they are willing to accept to overcome the habit.

They can learn from their bishops how to repent and regain access to the atonement of Jesus Christ, which enables them to fully recover.

Question Box: Does Sin Cause Disease?

What do Mormons believe about illness and causes of illness?

Simply put, Mormons seek to know, understand and believe anything that is true. We are encouraged to seek truth from all good sources. By-and-large, the origin of disease is not something specifically addressed by doctrine revealed through the priesthood. That leaves it up to individual members to decide what they believe personally, with the injunction to “seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” (D&C 88:118)

Mormons tend to accept well-established scientific truths, including truths about pathogens, genetics, nutrient deficiencies and other well-established causes of disease. Throughout recorded history, a common belief has been that disease is a punishment for sin. This idea isn’t entirely refuted by revealed doctrine, but it isn’t completely accepted either. Because many of the natural consequences of sin lead to poor health or disease, it can be said that disease is a punishment for certain sins. For example, illegitimate sex is against the the teachings of Jesus Christ and His servants. Such behavior can lead to sexually transmitted diseases that one would avoid by righteous living. In this sense you can say somebody is “punished” for illicit sexual behavior when they contract genital herpes. However, most Mormons would simply say that the disease was a natural consequence of sin, and not that the sin “caused” the disease.

If I were a Mormon, I would have to stop . . .

In nearly every conversation I have with people about my beliefs, they say something to the effect, “If I were a Mormon, I would have to stop drinking coffee, I just can’t live without coffee.”  Or, “I couldn’t drink alcohol anymore.”  Or, “I would have to get married to my girlfriend.”

Of  course people have things that they love and enjoy.  I do too.  But recently, I have started to think about all of the the blessings that are in my life because I am a Mormon and it has caused me to think about what people say they would have to give up to become a Mormon.  To me the things people say they would have to give up are a couple of pennies in comparison to the millions they could receive.

Lets talk about what blessings are in my life because I am a Mormon and do my best to practice what believe:

  • I have a beautiful wife who loves me and has given me three beautiful children.  She is the best thing that ever has, or ever will happen to me. Our marriage is strong and we have complete trust and faith in each other.  I know that she and I will be together forever and ever if we remain faithful to each other and to God.

  • My wife and I have had to make sacrifices so that she can stay home with the children, but they are growing up happy.  They feel safe and secure in my home and they know that I and their mother love them.  They trust us, their parents.  They like to spend time together and laugh and play with each other.
  • I was able to perform two years of missionary work for my church.  This experience has blessed my life in ways I can’t count.  I grew up and gained experience and perspective that would have taken me 10-15 years to acquire in other ways.  I learned a second language.  I learned how to interact with people.  I learned how to be an effective teacher.  I found out what true happiness is all about.  I went out a boy and came home a man.

  • I am able to run 3-4 miles without difficulty. I eat lots of fruit and vegetables which keep me feeling good. I don’t need coffee to wake me up in the morning, or a cigarette to calm my nerves, and I don’t need alcohol to have a good time on Friday night.    What’s more, I have been promised if I will live the Word of Wisdom, I will be given knowledge and understanding and have strength above and beyond what I would be capable of on my own.

  • I know who I am, I know where I have come from, I know why I am on earth, and I know where I am going.

These are just a few of the things that I can think of at the moment, but when I start to really think about it, the things that I have given up to be a Mormon pale in comparison to what I have gained.  I urge you to think about what I have written about.  These blessings are as available to you as they are to me.  Yes, you will have to make sacrifices initially, but believe me, when you start to see the way God will work in your life, you will realize that they aren’t sacrifices at all.