"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light..."

The Importance of Modesty

by Krystal Workman

There were two important events in my life:

  1. The day I was born.
  2. The day I realized the reason I was born.

As Young Women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, we recite a theme. The introduction to the theme states, “We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us…” Satan would have us believe otherwise. He would like us to think we are not sons and daughters of God but sons and daughters of Wal-mart, with our prices ever dropping!

Sherry Dew, former second Counselor in the General Relief Society Presidency, said, “We need to understand not only who we are but who we have always been.”  This is an interesting statement that parallels with Disney’s Lion King. Picture the following movie paraphrased:

Simba is depressed. His father, Mufasa the king, was killed and life is not going well. He feels his life is without meaning. It’s night. Rafikiki, the wise baboon, encourages him to find out “who he is” by chasing Simba to a nearby pond. “Loooook harder!” Rafikiki says pointing to his reflection. Simba looks into the pond and sees his deceased father’s reflection instead of his own. The father then appears in the clouds and says in a thunderous voice, “Simba, you have forgotten me.” “No I haven’t!” Simba replies surprisingly as he was just morning over him. “Yes you have because you have forgotten your worth,” Mufasa declares and then encourages him to “remember who you are.”

The Lord has to remind us just as Simba’s father reminded him. When we liken the scriptures unto ourselves, we can see this fact in Moses 1:4 and 6,

And, behold, thou art my son [daughter]; wherefore look, and I will show thee the workmanship of mine hands…
And I have a work for thee, Moses, my son [Krystal, my daughter]; and thou art in the similitude of mine Only Begotten; and mine only Begotten is and shall be the Savior, for he is full of grace and truth.

The Lord is comparing us to the Savior. We have potential to be full of grace and truth. Grace and truth can be achieved through the commandments we obey.

If Sherry Dew, Walt Disney, and the Lord are telling us we are worth something, how do we feel when the Lord gives us commandments to help us become something more? If you are thinking “I am okay BUT there are SO many commandments…” Well, the Lord agrees, “…they shall also be crowned with blessings from above, yea, and with commandments not a few… (D&C 59:4). The Lord tells us we will have lots of commandments if we expect lots of blessings. The Lord sometimes refers to commandments and blessings as light. “That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light [commandments], and continueth in God, receiveth more light [blessings]; and that light growth brighter and brighter until the perfect day” (D&C 50:24). I like jokingly to refer to this scripture as “the Lord’s statistics.”
I passed my college statistics class so I feel confident in teaching the Lord’s statistics. See figure below. There is a direct correlation between the number of commandments you obey and the amount of blessings (light and truth) you receive. The more commandments and the quicker you obey, the more light and truth you gain and the closer you become like God, full of “grace and truth.”

Prophets of new and old rejoice in the Lord’s commandments. This is proven all over the scriptures.

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

More to be desired are they [commandments] than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. (Psalms 19:7, 10)

The Lord has given us a commandment to be modest. According to verse 7, it is simple to understand. According to verse 10, modesty should be desired above all other things and the blessings we will receive from obeying this commandment are beyond perception.

As we are to liken the scriptures unto ourselves, here is a silly but interesting interpretation I derived from verse 10 with the modesty commandment in mind:

The commandments are more to be desired than a bikini, yea, than a really expensive Abercrombie bikini; the blessings you will receive are sweeter than an entire box of Krispy Kreme donuts.

How long has this modesty commandment been around? It must be a fairly recent commandment because I cannot remember the pioneers having any modesty issues. Could you imagine a pioneer’s journal entry written like this?

My family and I left our home to travel west during the hottest time in summer. We left almost everything we owned to head west. We only took what fit into our handcart and the clothes on our backs. As we traveled, winter caught up to us almost abruptly. Now, as we push through the snow, I can hardly feel my legs. I should have listened to my pop’s plea to wear more clothing. I think my shorts and tank top will be the death of me!

Of course we do not hear pioneers having those types of experiences. So when did modesty become an issue? For The Strength of Youth, a manual given to Latter-day Saint youth, states, “The prophets have always counseled us to dress modestly.”

Since the time of Adam and Eve, the Lord has asked his children to cover their bodies. Until Eve was tempted by Satan in the Garden of Eden, they did not know they were naked. After eating of the forbidden fruit, they became aware of their nakedness. They tried to cover their most sacred parts with aprons of fig leaves. However, the Lord’s standards for modesty are greater, and He gave them coats of skins to cover themselves- even though at the time they were alone in the world (Moses 4:13,27). (Latter-day Saint Women, Modesty and Chastity)

The most important part to notice is that they were alone in the world, married to each other, and still asked to be modestly clothed by the Lord. The reason was NOT because of visual temptation for another BUT as a symbol of the sacredness of the body. Adam and Eve wore modest clothes to show their respect to the Lord and as an understanding of their individual worth.

I know that when we understand our worth and obey the Lord’s commandment of modesty, we will be blessed. I have already received countless blessings. A significant blessing in my life that I believe resulted from my obedience in modesty is my husband, Jared. I was modest and we were chaste throughout our courtship and at the age of twenty-four we married, pure and clean before the Lord. My husband is attracted to the real me, not just the body I am blessed with (no pun intended). He tells me on a daily basis that I am beautiful. My self-esteem has never been higher. I love the Lord, I love my husband, and I love being modest.


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