Quotes About Modesty


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No amount of rationalizing can change God's laws

"Dress modestly. You girls go and find the modest clothes and wear them, make them as beautiful as you can and be attractive and make up to your boyfriends in bright intellect and sweet spirit and attractive demeanor that which some girls can only do with their bodies. It is a pretty weak girl if she has only her body to attract somebody."

(The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 285)

"The rapid, sweeping deterioration of values is characterized by a preoccupation—even an obsession—with the procreative act. Abstinence before marriage and fidelity within it are openly scoffed at—marriage and parenthood ridiculed as burdensome, unnecessary. Modesty, a virtue of a refined individual or society, is all but gone."

Boyd K. Packer, "Our Moral Environment," April 1992 General Conference

"Keep your dress modest. Short skirts are not pleasing to the Lord, but modesty is. Girls, do not be an enticement for your downfall because of your immodest and tight-fitting clothes." (See Proverbs 1:10; James 1:14-15.)

Elder Ezra Taft Benson, May 10, 1966, "Safety in the Face of Dangers,"
BYU Speeches of the Year and General Conference, 1964.
Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pg 562"

"In matters of dress we wish neither silk nor rags," President Hinckley said. "We seek for the clean look, call it a wholesome look, the bright and happy look of young men and women who walk with a sense of who they are, of what is expected of them, and of what they may become."

Pres. Hinckley, Church News, 10/22/94, "Behavior Code"

"Since the sanctity of the body is so related to the sanctity of sex, why make the body so common? Why expose to the public eye this sacred thing which is the temple of God? I tell you, girls, when you expose your bodies, whether on the dance floor, or otherwise, you do yourselves a great injustice, and you likewise do your boy friend an injury.

I wish you girls could sit behind the curtain sometimes when we have private interviews with boys, and these boys really express themselves, man to man, about how they feel concerning modesty of dress. I have talked to many of these boys. Some of them have told me that their moral downfall began with a girl's immodest dress. They were tempted, right on the dance floor, just by what they could see, just by what was not properly covered up."

(Mark E. Petersen, Toward a Better Life, p. 125.)

"I do plead with the mothers of Zion to undertake modesty in dress. We may like to follow the fashion, but let us follow it in modesty. The most precious thing that a girl has is her modesty and if she preserves this in dress, in speech, in action, it will arm, and protect her as nothing else will. But let her lose her modesty, and she becomes a victim of those who pursue her, as the hare is of the hound; and she will not be able to stand unless she preserves her modesty."

Elder Melvin J. Ballard, General Conference, April 1929

"President Kimball delivered a great talk many years ago at Brigham Young University entitled 'A Style of Our Own.' He encouraged us not to be among those who would follow worldly, immodest styles, but to have the courage to dress in a way which will send a message that our standards are different.

Our dress will reflect the way we intend to live, founded on principles of the gospel of our Lord and Savior. It is impossible to expect a child who has been taught to love to dress in the immodest style trends of the day, to then change overnight to an entirely different wardrobe when they enter a Church university or a missionary training center, or when they are married in the temple, or even when they dress for the Sabbath day. Modest, proper styles must be taught almost from birth."

Elder L. Tom Perry, "Train up a Child", General Conference, Oct. 8, 1988

"The girl who chooses to be modest chooses to be respected. A boy who is honest with himself will admit that he likes a girl who is modest in speech, conduct, and dress. Modesty is one of the great virtues he looks for in the girl he hopes to marry. Most of us know what is modest, and most of us know when modesty ends and immodesty commences.

We know that nothing detracts from the loveliness of a young lady more than immodesty in speech or immodesty in conduct. A girl fools only herself if she thinks she is impressing a boy by immodest conduct. The young lady who dresses in an immodest manner ceases to be attractive and embarrasses the young man. She has called his attention to the person rather than the personality. The girl who chooses to be modest, chooses to be respected."

Howard W. Hunter, Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, Pg 123

"Immodest clothing includes short-shorts, tight pants, and other revealing attire. Young women should refrain from wearing off-the-shoulder, low-cut, or revealing clothes. Young Men should similarly maintain modesty in their dress. All should avoid tight fitting or revealing clothes and extremes in clothing and appearance."

For the Strength of Youth, p 8

BYU Dress and Grooming Standards:

"The dress and grooming of both men and women should always be modest, neat and clean, consistent with the dignity of representing Brigham Young University and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"Modesty and cleanliness are important values that reflect personal dignity and integrity, through which students, staff and faculty of BYU represent the principles and standards of the Church. These members of the BYU community commit themselves to observe the following standards, which reflect the direction of the BYU Board of Trustees and the Church publication 'For the Strength of Youth.'

"Clothing should be modest in fabric, fit and style, and appropriate for the occasion. Skirts and shorts should be knee length or lower. Clothing which is sleeveless, strapless, or revealing is not acceptable. Shoes should be worn in public campus areas.

"A clean and well-cared for appearance should be maintained. Hair styles should be clean and neat, avoiding extreme styles. Mens' hair should be trimmed above the collar, leaving the ears uncovered. If worn, mustaches should be neatly trimmed. Earrings for men are unacceptable, and beards are not acceptable, except for certified medical reasons."

"Now you sisters, because the world is setting a fashion of lewd dress that makes for lewd exposure, may I plead with you to keep yourselves sacred and not let your dress be an invitation to those who are wicked or those who look with wicked glance upon your person.

"It seems abundantly clear that to follow the extreme fashions of this day is to give credence to the efforts of some who would topple mankind from the pedestal on which we are placed in the divine plan of the Creator. The woman who is too scantily dressed, or immodestly dressed, ofttimes is the portrayal of one who is thus trying to draw the attention of the opposite sex when her natural adornments do not, in her opinion, suffice. Heaven help any woman so minded for drawing such attention. (p. 281)

"Parents and leaders should give early help to the blase girl who is often overpainted and underdressed. She is the picture of an unhappy girl whose physical adornments, to her thinking, don't invite adequate attention. Heaven help the girl who gets the kind of attention she is seeking by being overpainted and underdressed! She will rue the day, of course, when she gets the kind of attention her flagrant invitation is giving."

Harold B. Lee, Teachings of Harold B. Lee

"It was the Almighty who decreed that men and women must cover their nakedness by wearing proper and modest clothing.

No amount of rationalizing can change God's laws. No amount of fashion designing can turn immodesty into virtue, and no amount of popularity can change sin into righteousness."

Mark E. Peterson, General Conference, April 1969

Wear modest, clean clothing. Your clothing doesn't need to be new and [it] should have some fashion of course, but [it] should be clean, modest, and neat. Be dignified in your outward manner and in your inward morality."

Spencer W. Kimball, Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, Pg 379

"Modesty in dress is one of the identifying characteristics of true saints. It is an aid in preserving chastity and an outward sign that the modest person is imbued with humility, decency, and propriety. Immodesty in dress is worldly, excites passions and lusts, places undue emphasis on sex and lewdness, and frequently encourages and invites petting and other immoral practices.

It is an outward sign that the immodest person has become hardened to the finer sensitivities of the Spirit and been overcome by a spirit of vanity and pride. Low-necked dresses and those which do not adequately cover the body, for instance, are obviously destructive of decency.

"Extremes of dress of any kind are of doubtful propriety. Costly and elaborate clothing in general is anything but indicative that the wearer has overcome the world and is walking humbly before the Lord. On the other hand old-fashioned somber, uniform-type clothing worn by fanatical members of some small religious sects is wholly unbecoming in our modern society. Such habits of dress indicate a lack of understanding of sound and true principles of modesty.

"Speaking as moved upon by the Spirit, Paul counseled "that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works." (1 Tim. 2:9-10.) In our day the Lord has spoken similarly: 'Thou shalt not be proud in thy heart; let all thy garments be plain, and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands." (D. & C. 42:40.)

Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, Modesty See CHASTITY, WORLD.

"I do not want to be burdensome to this vast congregation by talking too long but I have another thought that weighs upon my mind, and this is not in relation to the men, but it is with respect to the women, and more particularly with regard to the manner in which they dress. Never, perhaps, at least within the period of my life—and I have lived in the world nearly seventy-five years—never, I say, within the period of my life and experience have I seen such obscene, uncleanly, impure, and suggestive fashions of women's dress as I see today. Some of them are abominable. I lift my voice against these audacious practices and these infamous fashions, and I pray that you who have daughters in Zion will save them, if you can, from following these obscene fashions, that if followed, will destroy the last vestige of true womanly modesty, and reduce them to the level of the courtesans on the streets of Paris, from whence these debasing fashions come. They are the lowest and most degraded specimens of womankind, who have yielded their bodies to crime and their souls to death, if not to perdition, and are devoid of modesty and the sense of shame. We cannot afford to let our women follow such as these or to adopt the cursed fashions they set.

"I need not dwell on this matter, but will say that while crossing the street the other day, I saw a woman dressed to the height of this ridiculous fashion, and she was trotting along with little, short steps, she couldn't go any other way, hurrying across the street to catch the car. She got hold of the rail of the car and tried to lift herself up, but her foot would not go up to the step. By this time there was a crowd of men looking on. All of a sudden she stooped down, caught the bottom of her dress and raised it high enough to climb up. What an exhibition that was to the public eye! Would you like your daughters to expose themselves in such a manner? To do so they must of necessity part with their sense of womanly modesty, if not with all other womanly virtues. God have mercy on our girls, and help them to dress decently!

"I suppose I shall incur the censure and displeasure of many in saying these things, but I do not care what the world has to say, what men say, nor what women say, in relation to these things. In my sight the present day fashions are abominable, suggestive of evil, calculated to arouse base passion and lust, and to engender lasciviousness, in the hearts of those who follow the fashions, and of those who tolerate them. Why? Because women are imitating the very customs of a class of women who have resorted to that means to aid them to sell their souls. It is infamous, and I hope the daughters of Zion will not descend to these pernicious ways, customs and fashions, for they are demoralizing and damnable in their effect."

President Joseph F. Smith, General Conference, October 1913

"Is there any reason why Latter-day Saints, nearly three million strong, have to go around like sheep, following the disgusting fashions of the world? Why should Latter-day Saint women and girls expose themselves by immodest dress, either in short skirts or tight blouses or however else you want to mention it.
I tell you, ladies, you are not made lovely by short skirts; when you stoop over or when you sit down, especially, are you not made lovely by short skirts. It is a very serious matter. Many a boy who has lost his virtue has confessed to me that short skirts and other exposures gave him the temptation that started him on his way down. No woman — certainly no Latter-day Saint woman — has the right to tempt any young man. You don't have the right; and if you tempt others by exposing yourself, God will hold you to account for it...

We are told in no uncertain terms in The Book of Mormon that sex sin is next to murder in the category of crime. These are things that we need to talk about in our homes with our children, and we strongly recommend that as Latter-day Saints we keep faith with our families and preserve the ideals and the standards and the faith that the Lord has given us through the restoration of the gospel in these last days."

Elder Mark E. Peterson of the Council of the 12, delivered at RS Conference, Hyde Park Chapel, London, England, May 27, 1967

"You wonderful girls, dress modestly and keep yourselves physically clean. Be cheerful and happy. Be positive about life. Then the Holy Spirit will cause you to be more beautiful and attractive. And when a faithful priesthood bearer comes to carry you away on his white horse—which might be an '84 Ford—to the temple, you will be prepared in every way."

F. Melvin Hammond, "The Vision of Eternity" - BYU Dev. - Feb. 11, 2003

"You can recognize women who are grateful to be a daughter of God by their outward appearance. These women understand their stewardship over their bodies and treat them with dignity. They care for their bodies as they would a holy temple, for they understand the Lord's teaching: 'Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?' (1 Cor. 3:16). Women who love God would never abuse or deface a temple with graffiti. Nor would they throw open the doors of that holy, dedicated edifice and invite the world to look on. How even more sacred is the body, for it was not made by man. It was formed by God. We are the stewards, the keepers of the cleanliness and purity with which it came from heaven. . ."

Margaret D. Nadauld, "The Joy of Womanhood," Ensign, Nov. 2000, 15