Being modest is part of obeying the law of chastity because how we dress reveals our standards. Under the Dress and Appearance section of the, "For the Strength of Youth" pamphlet it states:
"Prophets of God have always counseled His children to dress modestly. The way you dress is a reflection of what you are on the inside. Your dress and grooming send messages about you to others and influence the way you and others act. When you are well groomed and modestly dressed, you invite the companionship of the Spirit and can exercise a good influence on those around you.
"Never lower your dress standards for any occasion. Doing so sends the message that you are using your body to get attention and approval and that modesty is important only when it is convenient."
How we dress does affect how we act. We wouldn't want to wear formal attire when playing sports and who'd feel comfortable going to a formal dance in a swimming suit? Every day we should dress modestly by following the guidelines in the "For the Strength of Youth" pamphlet. Here's the prophet's council:
"Immodest clothing includes short shorts and skirts, tight clothing, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and other revealing attire. Young women should wear clothing that covers the shoulder and avoid clothing that is low-cut in the front or the back or revealing in any other manner. Young men should also maintain modesty in their appearance. All should avoid extremes in clothing, appearance, and hairstyle. Always be neat and clean and avoid being sloppy or inappropriately casual in dress, grooming, and manners. Ask yourself, 'Would I feel comfortable with my appearance if I were in the Lord’s presence?'
"Someday you will receive your endowment in the temple. Your dress and behavior should help you prepare for that sacred time."
Following these guidelines not only shows our faith in the Lord and his prophets but shows our gratitude and respect for our bodies, which are gifts from God. In 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 it says, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."
Let each of us choose to follow the divine commandment to be modest in how we dress, thus respecting our beautiful bodies.
Lesson Activity on Modesty
This great idea, submitted by Shelly Sullivan, is a perfect activity on modesty for any Family Home Evening or other church lesson.
"One great Family Home Evening we had was reading the section about dress standards from the "For the Strength of Youth". We then gathered some old magazines, glue, scissors, and paper and asked our children to cut out and glue modest clothing onto a paper to make a collage. It was actually hard to find modest clothing, but our children were quick to point out what was appropriate and not appropriate for them to wear. They had such a wonderful time and we were able to discuss "why" we wear modest clothing instead of just preaching it to them without an explanation. It was a Family Home Evening where I felt they truly understood the concept of dress standards."
Optional Clipart: You can print and cut out these great Paper Doll Clipart images and use them to help teach your lesson on modesty.
Note: You could also use Church magazines (the Friend, New Era, Ensign, and the Liahona) to find pictures of people who are dressed modestly. Discuss how they are dressed and why such outfits are appropriate.
New Era Posters on Modesty:
"Don't be a Dummy"
"Don't Short Change Yourself
"Shelter from the Storm"