Scripture of the Month

And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Modesty in Marriage: A Message for Newlyweds

Congratulations! You’re married! All that chastity has paid off with a beautiful temple wedding. But virtue doesn’t stop at the altar—modesty in all areas continues in marriage.

  1. Clothing: Wives, just because your husband now can admire you physically guilt free doesn’t mean all men should. Remain modest in respect for your husband and temple garments. On swimsuit days and date nights, you can still dress attractively without attracting other eyes.
  2. Bedroom: The Church has no official rules on what is and is not allowed in the bedroom, except for obvious behaviors that break covenants, such as infidelity, pornography, and abuse. However, President Kimball advised, “If it is unnatural, you just don’t do it. That is all, and all the family life should be kept clean and worthy and on a very high plane. There are some people who have said that behind the bedroom doors anything goes. That is not true and the Lord would not condone it.”1 When you are unsure of something concerning intimacy, examine your motivation and feelings. Sex should never be dirty, carnal, or worldly and should never objectify your bodies. Pray for guidance from the Holy Ghost in making sexual decisions.
  3. Private talk: Couples are encouraged to communicate their sexual needs to each other. And flirting with one another can be romantic. However, always talk about the body and intimacy with respect. Avoid distasteful slang, crude humor, and profanity.
  4. Public talk: Your sex life is between you, your spouse, and Heavenly Father. Don’t share it with or brag about it to anyone else. If needed, discuss intimacy problems with a bishop, marital therapist, physician, or trusted friend or family member.
  5. PDA: Public displays of affection should be appropriate for all witnesses. Save sexual touching and passionate kissing for the bedroom. Show your love in public through romantic gestures, such as holding hands and kissing sweetly.
Remaining modest throughout marriage will not suffocate the flames of passion. On the contrary,  “The greatest passions of marriage lie ahead, to increase over the years through experience and growth. A truth not generally known to newly married couples is that in virtuous marriages passions increase over the years between the couple. . . .  [A]s we, the children of God, develop virtuously within marriage we will discover ever more profound enjoyments of all his creations, including our own emotions, bodies, and spiritual capacities.”2
Challenge: Continue to be modest in all areas throughout your life.

1.      Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 312. (Quoted in the following source.)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Modesty Means Men Too!

In all the modesty talks, the focus is usually on women. But men can be immodest too.
  1. Extremes: The most obvious immodesty for men is sporting extreme or offensive hairdos, clothing, and accessories. As stated in a previous post, modesty is about being moderate. Being moderate also includes not showing off costly apparel. Set aside pride and don humility, especially at church or in the temple.
  2. Tight Clothing: Men are just as guilty as women for wearing tight clothing, revealing their toned chest (or even gut sometimes) and rear end. Although women for the most part are not visual creatures like men, an immodest guy can bring unwanted immoral thoughts and feelings to many women.
  3. Revealing Clothing: If what you are wearing doesn't cover garments, whether or not you are endowed, then it is immodest. This rule applies to athletic wear as well. Of course some sports require certain clothing that may not allow for garments (such as swimming), but those activities are not excuses to be immodest.
  4. Words (spoken or written): Men are usually the most immodest when it comes to what they say. Repeating crude humor, sharing intimate activities, and using profanity are all inappropriate for a priesthood holder to do.
  5. Other Behavior: Modesty extends to all other behaviors, such as flirting, dancing, and dating. Also, show your appreciation and support for modesty by complimenting modest young women or encouraging your wife and daughters to be modest. 
Challenge: Be an example of modesty in all aspects to your friends.

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Accidental Immodesty

    We may think we are dressed modestly when really we aren’t, even if we are following all the written rules. Modesty is just as much about the spirit of the law as it is about the letter of the law. Here are some ways to check for accidental immodesty before heading out the door.

    1. Sneaky Skin: You may not realize areas of skin that are showing because you cannot see them. Stand in front of a mirror and bend over in all directions. Check for skin showing on your backside, tummy, and chest. If you can see down your shirt, so can anyone else taller than you.
    2. Tight Clothing: Modesty not only means covering skin, but also covering curves. Your clothes are too tight if you can’t pinch them, move around comfortably in them, or put them on easily.
    3. Glamour: Flashy, big, and too much jewelry; heavy, unnatural makeup; and incredible heel height make you look more like a woman of the world than a woman of the Lord. Modesty means not drawing attention to ourselves, obsessing over fashion and makeovers, or focusing on the “vain imaginations” of the world.1 The word modesty is related to the word moderate.2 Sister Tanner said, “A loving Heavenly Father has given us physical beauties and pleasures ‘both to please the eye and to gladden the heart’ (D&C 59:18), but with this caution: that they are ‘made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion’ (D&C 59:20).”3
    4. Underwear (non-endowed women): Does the inside of your underwear drawer look like an adult-store catalog? The purpose of underwear is to cover and protect your private areas, not show them off. Wearing modest underwear, whether or not anyone else sees it, shows reverence for your sexual body parts and  prepares you for all-covering garments. And make sure your underwear doesn’t peek outside your pants, especially when you bend or sit down. That applies to men and all endowed members too!
    5. Church/Temple: You can be modest but still be inappropriately dressed for church or the temple. Avoid casual wear, but don’t overdo it either—church is not a fashion show. Wear clothing that makes you look your best while still helping you and others be reverent and focus on the Savior.
    Challenge: Go over this modesty checklist before going out.
      1. Jeffrey R. Holland, “To Young Women,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, 28.
      2. Susan W. Tanner, “The Sanctity of the Body,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, 13.
      3. ibid.

      Wednesday, April 13, 2011

      Modesty: Beyond Fashion

      We’ve all heard the modesty talk so many times, we could recite it in our sleep. And most of us already dress modestly, so it feels like they’re preaching to the choir. But this time it’s not about the clothes—modesty extends beyond fashion to all aspects of your life.

      1. Conversation: What we talk about with our friends and significant others is just as important as what we wear. If you have nonmember friends who like to share their sexual conquests, tell them that’s private information you aren’t interested in. When on dates, especially when engaged with the honeymoon night on the horizon, don’t talk about sex. Men, avoid crude humor. Women, let men know it’s not funny to you—sex is a sacred topic.
      2. Photos: We all have social media accounts through which we share our everyday lives, vacations, and fun times with the rest of the world. We need to be careful, though, of what photos we post of ourselves. What may seem like an innocent photo to us can be very enticing to someone else. And if it isn’t innocent, then we ought not post it online (or have taken it in the first place). When unsure, just ask yourself, “Would I be embarrassed if my bishop saw this picture?”
      3. Texts: The rules of conversation and photos also apply to texting, since they are in essence the same. No sexting!
      4. Dancing: Who doesn’t love to get down on the dance floor to a good beat? Dancing is a form of fun and self-expression, so make sure you are having clean fun and expressing yourself modestly. Grinding and freak dancing are not types of dancing we should participate in, and even if we are far apart from our partner, we need not shake, shake, shake our booty suggestively.
      5. Flirting: Go ahead and put on your charm when an attractive person is around. Just remember that all the rules of modesty—clothing, words, and body language—are important in making a good first impression of yourself and attracting the right person.
      Remember, modesty is not just a wardrobe, but also a lifestyle. By being modest in our lifestyle as well as in our fashion, we allow ourselves to have an exciting yet regretless dating life that will result in an eternal marriage in the house of the Lord to an equally clean spouse.

      Challenge: When faced with immodest temptations, remember this worthy goal.

      Tuesday, April 12, 2011

      Modesty: At All Times and Places

      Church, school, home—we are modest where and when expected. However, are we using the following situations as excuses to dress immodestly?

      1. Beach/Pool: Summer sunshine and warm water beckon bare skin, but only give in so much. Choose your swimsuit by how much it covers, not by its name—even one-piece suits can be immodest with overflowing cleavage and no backs.
      2. Athletics: Sports, dance, and exercise all require flexible, proper-fitting clothing. It’s possible to find such clothing in modest styles, such as longer shorts and looser clothing, or to wear spandex shorts underneath. Even sports with mandatory uniforms can be worked around; it all depends on how much you’re willing to try. For example, a girl in my stake ordered her high-school cheerleading skirt longer than required with no problem. If you do face problems, cover up when you aren’t playing, dancing, or exercising, such as on the way to and from the place of activity.
      3. Halloween: Often this holiday is seen as the night modesty is scared away. Most women’s costumes revolve around sex appeal and crude humor. There are so many creative costumes out there that keep you covered yet looking cute. If you can’t find any, make an immodest costume modest.
      4. Bedtime/Lounging: One day you’ll be wearing garments, and on hot nights when pajamas are left in the drawer, sleeping in your underwear will mean still being covered from shoulder to knee. If your future underwear will cover that much of your body, your current sleepwear should too. Also, it’s best to be modest in case an emergency happens or you get a surprise visitor of the opposite sex, a common scenario at college if you have social roommates.

      Challenge: No matter where you are or what you are doing, remain modest.

      Sunday, April 10, 2011

      General Conference Priesthood Session

      photo from lds.org
      Now that lds.org posts the priesthood session video online, I watched it. I must say, it was not anything like I expected. I frequently hear from men how stern and scolding it is, but I disagree! The only really serious talk was President Monson's, but even then, President Monson lightened it with lots of humor and love. Other than that, I did not find priesthood session to be any different from the rest of General Conference.

      My favorite talk from priesthood session was by Elder Gibson on the Aaronic priesthood. I think that young men underestimate the power they hold simply because the Aaronic priesthood is referred to as the lesser priesthood. My husband wisely calls it the preparatory priesthood. The only differences between the Melchizedek and Aaronic priesthoods are the responsibilities and keys (authority). The power is the same. Young men can call upon the Lord to produce miracles as well, as Elder Gibbons shared about the deacon's quorum president who reactivated his quorum. Imagine the work that could be done if all young men (and older men who have the Aaronic priesthood) knew that and acted upon it!

      Furthermore, we should respect Aaronic priesthood holders and ask for their service as we do Melchizedek priesthood holders. We need to teach our young men about the great power they hold and the great things they can do with that power.

      If you have not watched or read Elder Gibson's talk, I encourage you to do so. In fact, watch the whole priesthood session! Although for men, the counsel applies to us women as well and is important for us to know so we can teach our sons.

      Sharing Time: What was your favorite General Conference talk?