Say Yes To The Dress

Tonight we had a special guest speaker, our Relief Society President (mother to one of our laurels and one of our beehives).  She presented a wonderful lesson on the importance of modesty.  I sent her an email asking for a copy of her presentation.  I am so happy she was willing to share.  "Thank you Monique!"
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Here is the outline of the lesson she prepared and presented (in her own words):

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LESSON
I opened the night by talking about a commercial I had just seen for PacSun clothing. I was watching Sweet Home Alabama on "E" Network. When their commercial came on it caught my attention because their current add and tag line is "Dress Immodestly". I was shocked and thought I must be misunderstanding so later I went to their website and sure enough there is was..."Dress Immodestly". They also have a facebook page where you can upload your photo or view others photos of how they interpret that tag line.
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I decided to look up the word Irresponsible on http://www.dictionary.com/. The third definition of the word Irresponsible is: not responsible, answerable or accountable to a higher authority. The girls eyes got big and I asked them if we had a higher authority that we are responsible to. It was cute because one of them said in a whisper as they were all shaking their heads yes, "Heavenly Father".
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From there I grabbed a bag of Mounds & Almond Joys. I took an Almond Joy and then passed the bags around to the girls for them to take one and then asked them if they loved Almond Joys, what was the best part of the Almond Joy???....the Almond! How could we then relate that to us? Like and Almond Joy, we have The Spirit that our Heavenly Father gave us that can stand out and be the best part of who we are. But like the Almond in the candy bar, (I pulled the almond off and ate it) it can be very easy to loose that spirit that is such a vital part of who we are.
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From this point Courtney (Monique's daughter and laurel president) wanted me to focus on Modesty and how it is a vital part of our Spirit within us. So we came up with the idea to talk about Modesty at school, church and preparing to go to the temple. I built a small lesson from questions I found on www.lds.org/youth about modesty. I can't really take any credit for the questions and answers part of my lesson. I just used what I found and then tried to use personal testimony to expound on the answers a little more. Here is what I used:  (taken from here)

What does it mean to be Modest?
  • “Modesty is an attitude of humility and decency in dress, grooming, language, and behavior. If you are modest, you do not draw undue attention to yourself. Instead, you seek to ‘glorify God in your body, and in your spirit’ (1 Corinthians 6:20; see also verse 19)” (True to the Faith, 106).
How can I know if what I am wearing is appropriate?
  • “If you are unsure about whether your dress or grooming is modest, ask yourself, ‘Would I feel comfortable with my appearance if I were in the Lord’s presence?’ ” (True to the Faith, 106).
Besides wearing modest clothing, what other standards are there for personal dress & grooming?
  • “In addition to avoiding clothing that is revealing, you should avoid extremes in clothing, appearance, and hairstyle. In dress, grooming, and manners, always be neat and clean, never sloppy or inappropriately casual. Do not disfigure yourself with tattoos or body piercings. If you are a woman and you desire to have your ears pierced, wear only one pair of modest earrings” (True to the Faith, 107).
Why should other people care how I dress?
  • “Revealing and sexually suggestive clothing, which includes short shorts and skirts, tight clothing, and shirts that do not cover the stomach, can stimulate desires and actions that violate the Lord’s law of chastity” (True to the Faith, 107).
Why should I care about the way I dress?
  • “Your clothing expresses who you are. It sends messages about you, and it influences the way you and others act. When you are well groomed and modestly dressed, you can invite the companionship of the Spirit and exercise a good influence on those around you” (True to the Faith, 107).
Why should I dress modestly?
  • “Prophets have always counseled us to dress modestly. This counsel is founded on the truth that the human body is God’s sacred creation. Respect your body as a gift from God. Through your dress and appearance, you can show the Lord that you know how precious your body is. . . .“Maintain high standards of modesty for all occasions. Do not lower your standards to draw attention to your body or to seek approval from others. True disciples of Jesus Christ maintain the Lord’s standard regardless of current fashions or pressure from others” (True to the Faith, 107).
Why should I dress nicely for Church Meetings?
  • “It offends God when we come into His house, especially on His holy day, not groomed and dressed in the most careful and modest manner that our circumstances permit. . . . Some say dress and hair don’t matter—they say it’s what’s inside that counts. I believe that it is what’s inside a person that truly counts, but that’s what worries me. Casual dress at holy places and events is a message about what is inside a person. It may be pride or rebellion or something else, but at a minimum it says, ‘I don’t get it. I don’t understand the difference between the sacred and the profane.’ . . . You are a Saint of the great latter-day dispensation—look the part. . . .“Acting and dressing in a way to honor sacred events and places is about God.” (D. Todd Christofferson, “A Sense of the Sacred,” New Era, June 2006, 30).
How can I truly feel that I am beautiful?
  • “‘Deep beauty’ [is] the kind of beauty that shines from the inside out. It is the kind of beauty that cannot be painted on, surgically created, or purchased. It is the kind of beauty that doesn’t wash off. It is spiritual attractiveness. Deep beauty springs from virtue. It is the beauty of being chaste and morally clean. . . . It is a beauty that is earned through faith, repentance, and honoring covenants.“The world places so much emphasis on physical attractiveness and would have you believe that you are to look like the elusive model on the cover of a magazine. The Lord would tell you that you are each uniquely beautiful” (Elaine S. Dalton, "Remember Who You Are!” March 2010 general Young Women meeting).
What is the difference between dressing for church and dressing to go to the temple?
  • Wear modest Sunday dress when you attend the temple. Avoid extremes in dress and grooming, just as you would in a sacrament meeting. You show reverence and respect for the Lord and His house and invite the Spirit by being clean and presentable. In the temple there are private dressing rooms where you change out of your Sunday clothing and put on white clothing. This change of clothing serves as a reminder that you are temporarily leaving the world behind and entering a holy place. White clothing symbolizes purity, and the fact that all are dressed alike in the temple creates a sense of unity and equality.
  • I took the opportunity to tell them about how we take off all our jewelry, we don't wear heavy makeup, and testified of how amazing of a feeling it is to sit among the women who are there to participate in ordinances with you and feel love for each and every one of them. You feel equal and the same and that every single woman shines and has no flaws when you are there, clothed in white, ready to participate in the Lords work. You can be a mom or a lawyer or a check-out clerk or a waitress...in the temple those things don't make a difference...just like in real life...they shouldn't make a difference.
How does it make you feel when you see women of RS who are dressed immodestly? 
(I added this question)
  • As the RS President, I was interested in hearing what they had to say.
  • SIDE NOTE:  The young women shared that it makes them feel uncomfortable.  Here are a few of the things the young women said made them feel uncomfortable:  skirts being too short, clothing being too tight, and later someone mentioned tops scooping too low (showing cleavage).
What happens to us when we choose to ignore the counsel of the Lord?
(I added this question)
  • Those who do not appreciate holy things will lose them. Absent a feeling of reverence, they will grow increasingly casual in attitude and conduct. They will drift from the moorings that their covenants with God could provide. Their feelings of accountability to God will diminish and then be forgotten. Thereafter, they will care only about their own comfort and satisfying their uncontrolled appetites. Finally, they will come to despise sacred things, even God, and then they will despise themselves. (Answer from "A Sense of Sacred by D. Todd Christofferson)
My next question for them was after graduating from HS and maybe going to school or serving a mission, what would be the next part of their life they would be looking forward to?
  • Being married in the temple! We talked about wedding dresses and that they have inserts for you if you have a short sleeved dress. We talked about how some women are sealed in their regular temple dress and then change into their wedding dress for pictures outside the temple. Either way works.
SIDE NOTE:  As Monique was talking, my mind kept going back to the Almond Joy.  If the almond joy represents you, with the almond being your spirit - why couldn't the wrapper on the almond joy represent modesty as a whole.  Modesty in dress, in language, and in actions.  Just as a candy bar becomes stale when left open.  Each time you choose to be immodest in any of these areas it is leaving you and your spirit unprotected.  Leaving you open to becoming stale.  Stale as in losing the sweetness that comes from having the spirit of the Lord.  Just a thought.
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The discussion took about 30 minutes and it was definitely a great part of the night.
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ACTIVITY
From there the time was turned over to Courtney who divided the girls into their classes. She gave everyone a giant pack of white napkins and some tape and sent them to different rooms and gave them 30 mintues to design a modest wedding dress. It was AWESOME!!!  The idea originally comes from here.
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At the 25 minute mark, Courtney delivered a small bouquet of flowers to each class and gave them their 5 minute warning.
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After 30 minutes all the girls (except the brides) came back into the main room. Courtney turned on a fun dance song and the brides came in, one by one, with the girls cheering to fashion show their designs.
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A closing prayer was said and then the girls ate "wedding" cupcakes!

They laughed and had so much fun. It was a pleasure and joy to participate in this activity.
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FOR FUN
Here is a yummy recipe for Almond Joy Bars
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2 comments:

  1. Sounds like such a great night. And those homemade almond joy bars look amazing. I can't find a link to the recipe... can you help me?

    Thanks! I love this blog!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sorry about the missing Almond Joy Bar link. It is there now. :)

    ReplyDelete