Blog post for Heavenly by Natalie Jonas
Modesty and teaching it is a controversial subject. Here are my thoughts and plans for teaching this subject to my own children. My plan is to focus on individual worship of the Lord, being personally responsible, and following Christ in humility. I think when we are really trying to emulate Christ, modesty and virtue follows naturally.
1. Teach boys and girls to see each other as human beings. All are deserving of love and respect no matter what they are wearing. Their value does not change ever. Their bodies are good. Genesis 1:27 reads, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." "A friend loveth at all times," Proverbs 17:17 reads. "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted." Ephesians 4:32 reads.
2. Teach boys and girls that they are always responsible for their own thoughts and actions—to keep them clean and pure. D&C 121:45 reads, "let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God."
3. Teach boys and girls to wear clothing appropriate for the occasion and to dress in a way that doesn’t draw undue attention to themselves. We want to focus outward and see others as equally important. “Ye shall not esteem one flesh above another, or one man shall not think himself above another” (Mosiah 23:7).
4. Teach boys and girls to wear clothes that communicate that they are disciples of Christ. Alma 5:15 reads, "Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body raised in immortality, and this corruption braised in incorruption, to stand before God to be judged according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body?"
5. Teach them to be clean, well groomed, and to show respect for themselves and their bodies. D&C 42:41 reads, "And let all things be done in cleanliness before me."
Rather than teaching certain rules and lengths, etc, I hope to teach about the heart, the intent, and the overall vision where we should be focused: following Christ. I also hope to communicate the privilege of wearing garments; the blessings of keeping the covenants they represent and how those covenants bless my life. That makes it motivating to want to wear clothes that cover the garment: to have the privilege of making covenants with the Lord in the temple.
What are your thoughts on teaching this concept?