Modesty Part 1:
I remember a high school dance where a guy friend of mine took a nonmember friend. She wore a beautiful dress, except that it was sleeveless and low cut in the back. That meant there was a lot of visible bare skin. When we were in line for the group picture, her back was to me and the guy looked at me with a slightly uncomfortable/goofy/questioning look as he tried to figure out where to put his hand for the picture. I just laughed as I recognized how awkward it was for him in not wanting to touch her skin, but not really having a choice. I was reminded in that moment of the importance of modest clothing for the sake of others as well as for myself.
Modesty has always been a very important issue to me, almost a preoccupation. I have always been taught and tried to practice to the best of my ability the principles of modesty. I remember discussing in Young Woman's class a story about a girl who had to completely change her whole wardrobe after she went through the temple. I made a personal goal that I wouldn't have to change my wardrobe at all when it came my time.
“Someday you will receive your endowment in the temple. Your dress and behavior should help you prepare for that sacred time.” (For the Strength of Youth pamphlet)
As strict as I thought I was growing up, I discovered that there is always room for improvement. At Ricks College, Sis. Bednar gave an awesome talk to all the girls on campus that very directly and frankly discussed modesty issues. After hearing her fireside, I scrutinized myself even more carefully in the mirror each day to make sure all skin from all angles and movements was hidden. I highly recommend her talk to every female. (Click here to read Reverencing Womanhood).
The "For Strength of Youth" pamphlet gives a clear outline of what constitutes immodesty: “Immodest clothing includes short shorts and skirts, tight clothing, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and other revealing attire.” Perhaps the greatest modesty issue, particularly among recommend holders, is tight clothing. Modesty isn’t just referring to the amount of skin exposed. Clothing, shirts and pants alike, can be revealing without showing any epidermis.
Stay tuned for more thoughts on modesty including controversial issues of rule exceptions and questions of what applies to small children.