In September a friend of mine who acts as the Young Women’s President in our Ward, (read: in charge of the 12-18 year old girls of our congregation), asked me to present a workshop for a special activity they were having. The activity focused on the girls’ path to marriage. My workshop was entitled “Modest is Hottest.”
I didn’t love the title…I think because I don’t love when women use that phrase, and my goal is not to be hot but rather to look my best and feel confident. As I explored the topic I learned a lot and gained a greater testimony and conviction about modesty.
The starting point for my research was the MODESTY section of the FOR THE STRENGTH OF YOUTH pamphlet that young people are given in my church as a guide to living. I read several articles written by the General Authorities (read: the higher-ups!) of our church and wanted to record a few of my favorite quotes.
From Elder Hales:
“To be modest is to be humble and being humble invites the spirit to be with us.”
“When we recognize our bodies as the gifts they are and when we understand the missions they help us fulfill, we protect and honor them by how we act and dress.”
“When we know who we are- children of God- and understand that our outward appearance affects our inward spirituality and ultimately our behavior, we show respect for God, for ourselves and for those around us by being modest-in dress and behavior.”
“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.’”
I also had to throw some Betsey Johnson in there when we talked about BOYS:
“[Girls] dress for themselves and, of course, each other. If girls dressed for boys, they’d just walk around naked at all times.”
The most fun part of the workshop was the great visual aids I found, mostly from Humans of New York.
Just this past Saturday I was able to revisit this workshop and add to it, as I was asked to present a workshop entitled BODY BUILDING for boys and girls age 14-15 at a Standards event in Manhattan. I gave my workshop 3 times in a row and we talked about Dress and Appearance as well as Physical and Emotional Health.
I added a few items to my presentation that I thought were really important.
1. Quotes from this talk that was given at our most recent General Conference: Temple Standard. It’s seriously SO GOOD:
7:58: “We are each made of the finest materials, and we are the miraculous result of divine craftsmanship. However, as we move past the age of accountability and step onto the battlefield of sin and temptation, our own temple can become in need of renovation and repair work. Perhaps there are walls within us that are gritty and need buffing or windows of our souls that need replacement in order that we can stand in holy places.”
Battlefield of Sin and Temptation! Windows of our souls that need replacement!
2. Reading Assignments! They had journals they were given and I made them write down some scriptures to visit later on, that I referenced in the class. 2nd Nephi Chapter 2 and Mosiah Chapter 2, specifically verses 21-22 and 41. The best.
3. I reminded them that they were given 2 of the most amazing gifts. 1. A body and 2. the freedom to do whatever they wanted with that body. I encouraged them to make good choices to bring them the most joy.
I ran this workshop PTI (pardon the interruption) style. Meaning, I had 6 topics of discussion outlined and only allowed 5 minutes per topic. My iphone acted as timer and the times-up signal I designed from a snippet of the Lower Lights’ Count Your Blessings.
I am so happy I got the chance to work on these the past several months. Thanks Bianca for asking me. It was stressful but really lifted me and strengthened my convictions.
Want to explore more on Modesty? Check out: