|"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light..."|
The Danger of Immodestyby Spencer W. Kimball
Other things besides cars and darkness encourage unchastity and immorality. One of them is immodesty. The young people today seem to talk about sex glibly. They hear it in the locker rooms and on the street, they see and hear it in shows and on television, they read it in the pornographic books everywhere. Those who do not resist this influence absorb and foster it. The spirit of immodesty has developed until nothing seems to be sacred.
One factor contributing to immodesty and the breakdown of moral values is the modern dress worn by our young women and their mothers. I see young women, and some older ones, on the streets wearing shorts. This is not right. The place for women to wear shorts is in their rooms, in their own homes, in their own gardens. I see some of our LDS mothers, wives, and daughters wearing dresses extreme and suggestive in style. Even some fathers encourage it. I wonder if our sisters realize the temptation they are flaunting before men when they leave their bodies partly uncovered or dress in tight-fitting, body-revealing, form-fitting sweaters.
There is no reason why a woman needs to wear an immodest gown because it is the style. We can be in style yet not be extreme. We can create styles of our own. A woman is most beautiful when her body is properly clothed and her sweet face adorned with her lovely hair. She needs no more attractions. Then she is at her best and men will love her for it. Men will not love her more because her neck is bare. Girls, if the young man is decent and worthy of you, he will love you the more when you are properly dressed. Of course, if he is a vicious man he will have other ideas.
It would almost seem that some phases of immodesty in dress, in both men and women, border on exhibitionism, the perverted behavior in which people satisfy their lustful desires in displaying their bodies to others. One has indeed slipped a long way down the ladder when he resorts to this detestable expression, though fortunately he can regenerate and restore and transform himself with total repentance, and can be forgiven. Still, no one but a depraved person could approve of the practice or grant its acceptance.
But is this ugly displaying of one's private body to others so far removed from those instances of men who do their yard work wearing only pants and shoes, and those who drive about in cars with the upper part of their bodies uncovered? Is this exhibitionism so different and far removed from that of those young and older women who resort to wearing tight-fitting clothes which accentuate the human body, and those who show their backs and bosoms and lower limbs? Style is blamed for these extremes, but we wonder again if there might not be some satisfactions, sexual and otherwise, in what seems a wanton disregard of modest decency. Are the very scant bathing suits worn for style or to shock or stir or tempt? Can there be in all these expressions total innocence and total modesty? There are laws against indecent exposure, but why jail the man who exhibits his body so very little more than the women who show so little less? Is it possible that in all these immodesties there might be at least some of the same desires which prompt the exhibitionist to uncover his body and flaunt it before people?
We cannot overemphasize immodesty as one of the pitfalls to be avoided if we would shun temptation and keep ourselves clean.
The Miracle of Forgiveness, p.227