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LDS Church tweaks dress and grooming requirements for missionaries

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  • Mom of 8 Hyrum, UT
    July 12, 2013 5:12 p.m.

    And my son just entered the MTC with all DARK pants AND a black backpack!

    He'll be sent home for sure . . .

  • Idaho Dad Pocatello, ID
    July 12, 2013 5:16 p.m.

    My son enters the MTC in 2 weeks. Looks like we're in the market for a shoulder bag. And I thought we were done shopping...

    These changes overall look great. What a fun time to be a missionary!

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    July 12, 2013 6:01 p.m.

    So glad to see the backpacks go away...

  • Kathy. Iowa, Iowa
    July 12, 2013 6:26 p.m.

    Yep just sent my son just entered and we purchased all those dark pants that hold a crease.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    July 12, 2013 6:38 p.m.

    Great my fish neck stockings are out! Wait I'm a dude.

  • Reader Sandy, UT
    July 12, 2013 6:49 p.m.

    As a former mission president's wife, I am sooo glad the backpacks are gone, especially the camelbaks. They just presented such a poor image. Also glad to see fauxhawks addressed.

  • B.ryce PROVO, UT
    July 12, 2013 7:01 p.m.

    Don't miss the newly approved closed toe sandals! Looks pretty weird for the Elders.

  • BarkforSark PROVO, UT
    July 12, 2013 7:23 p.m.

    Wait a minute... khakis were previously inappropriate? News to me. I wore them on my mission 10 years ago.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    July 12, 2013 7:33 p.m.

    I wonder if a backpack, slung over one shoulder, will be permitted?

  • Reader Sandy, UT
    July 12, 2013 8:16 p.m.

    To samhill - nope!

  • 7UD4 KAYSVILLE, UT
    July 12, 2013 8:29 p.m.

    The FAQ on the church web site says "When possible, wear the nametag on the upper-right side." but all photos show it on the left.

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    July 12, 2013 9:05 p.m.

    Pantyhose were a nasty invention that became standard wear for far too long. They didn't breath or wick moisture so they creating breeding grounds for bacteria, attendant odor, and frankly, often looked awful as well. Thank heaven the younger generation is pitching these in the dustbin of history...

  • bigtommy SACRAMENTO, CA
    July 12, 2013 9:21 p.m.

    Yes! The backpacks really needed to go. They look completely ridiculous and undermine the gravitas of the missionaries' message.

    Next on the chopping block should be bikes for the exact same reason. If your mission doesn't have cars, then just walk. Wearing dress clothes while riding a bike looks absurd.

  • play by the rules SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    July 12, 2013 9:46 p.m.

    Now if we could just liven up the music and lose the funeral marches.

  • Brother Benjamin Franklin Orem, UT
    July 12, 2013 10:19 p.m.

    It's about time! What took the Church so long to finally get around to this sort of thing? They have really been behind the eight ball on these things. The Church shoots itself in the foot way too much on these things. This change should have happened at least five years ago.

    I suppose it is merely what we deal with living here (sigh).

  • 2cents_EM Eagle Mountain, UT
    July 12, 2013 10:25 p.m.

    When I was on my mission, they made all the missionaries in my mission use shoulder bags because they looked more professional. Eventually they went back to the backpacks because there were so many missionaries having back problems.

  • Brother Benjamin Franklin Orem, UT
    July 12, 2013 10:26 p.m.

    It's about time these changes were made, because the Church has been behind the eight ball on this. I am very concerned about the loosening of modesty standards for elders and sisters, though. We need the focus on the message, not the clothing. If missionaries are all dressing up in distracting clothing styles, how do we expect people to join the Church because of the Holy Ghost, and not because of a handsome missionary?

  • MileHighCougarFan Brighton, CO
    July 12, 2013 11:03 p.m.

    I certainly worry about the back problems a shoulder bag will cause for missionaries walking long distances. The human body is designed for equal distribution of weight.

    I was grateful more than once to have a backpack with me while tracting. It was the last line of defense when the dog attacked.

  • joy Logan, UT
    July 12, 2013 11:05 p.m.

    The article said they are encouraged to choose a shoulder bag but did not say they had to run
    out and buy one if they already had backpacks. These changes always are incorporated in as time passes
    and also refers to the new missionaries. Parents should not panic and think they have to run out and or send
    money for the missionaries to make the changes today.
    I'm glad about the lighter suits because in hotter climates dark clothes just make it harder.
    I'm also glad the sisters are not required to look like old maids but happy fun missionaries who love the gospel
    and want to be someone you would want to know. It also shows that you can look great and still be modest. Good example for younger girls.
    It's an exciting time in the church. The gospel is moving forward to everyone throughout the world and we have a righteous generation to move it along. I'm just so impressed with our youth.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 12, 2013 11:49 p.m.

    Does god care what you adorn your body with?

  • MormonMedia Reviews FOUNTAIN VALLEY, CA
    July 12, 2013 11:55 p.m.

    The biggest thing I love about this is no more back packs! I refused to wear one as a missionary because I thought it did not look dignified.

    Thus began my obsession with messenger bags.

  • utahtexan Springville, UT
    July 13, 2013 2:11 a.m.

    I do not understand the backpack issue. How can you ride a bike with a shoulder bag? And like '2cents_EM' said above, there will be more back problems. Plus I think it is strange that this issue is coming up now, when the color of suits is changed. Seems like shoulder bags would have gone with dark suits more appropriately.

    Name tags-- in almost every industry, name tags are worn on the left, not the right. And if a man is wearing a suit jacket, the tag is placed on the outside pocket of the jacket. I don't understand why the church now wants the tag to be worn on the lapel. It just looks dorky to me.

  • SAS Sandy, UT
    July 13, 2013 2:33 a.m.

    Well, there goes Mr. Mac's profit for the year....

  • ute alumni paradise, UT
    July 13, 2013 5:18 a.m.

    benny
    behind the 8 ball? huh? positive thinking will improve lives, try it. if you read the article it says most of these changes were made about three years ago, the website was just updated to reflect those changes.

  • Vince Ballard South Ogden, UT
    July 13, 2013 5:26 a.m.

    Skinny ties are out? What about those elders who went out back in the 1960's?

  • earthquakejake Logan, UT
    July 13, 2013 6:12 a.m.

    I'm loving all these changes in missionary work. I served from 2009-11 and I had a light colored suit, skinny ties, used Facebook, emailed friends instead of just family, avoided wearing a suit coat as much as possible, chose a sweater over a suit coat, never knocked doors in the mornings, etc. It's almost laughable that all these things are allowed now. I do not feel as guilty anymore and I laugh at all my zone leaders who were super anal about everything.

  • TimBehrend Auckland NZ, 00
    July 13, 2013 6:16 a.m.

    If it's gravitas that is desired, you're fighting a losing battle as long as missionaries are so young, and as long as they wear labels or nametags on their shirt or jacket fronts.

  • Digomart Evansville, IN
    July 13, 2013 6:38 a.m.

    I didn't realize light colored-suits were ever illegal. Mine were all dark, but I always assumed most elders (or, more likely, their mothers) chose dark suits because they would not have to be cleaned as often (or at least one operated under the assumption that they were not dirty enough that they had to be cleaned).

    Also, are we talking about khaki as a fabric or a color?

    And I DO recall (20~30 years ago) wishing that sister missionaries were required to wear women's suits (tailored skirt and blazer) instead of being allowed to wear the cotton dresses that so many wore, which made them look like younger versions of Ma Kettle or Minnie Pearl. (If you don't know who they are, check wikipedia--they were WONDERFUL as characters on screen.)

    Of course, since I was in Japan on my mission, no matter what clothing we wore, we were a loveable but dumb circus act anyway, as foreigners in suits on bicycles.

  • Digomart Evansville, IN
    July 13, 2013 7:00 a.m.

    To Brother Benjamin Franklin
    One could argue that suits themselves distract and detract from the mission of teaching the Gospel of Jesus. How odd and distracting it is to most people (north Americans, anyway) to have to deal with young men who are required to dress so strangely (and in a manner so unsupported by the Bible or Book of Mormon) unless we accept, by some uncomfortable stretch of belief, that they are representing something akin to corporate America. I recall thinking as a missionary that dressing in a suit was somehow noble. It is not necessarily so. It is often simply bowing to a fashion of the world that is (in many cases) incompatible with the Gospel of Christ. I am not sure why I spend so many years believing that wearing a tie was the/a mark of a (male) follower of Jesus. It seems so strange now to think that I once subscribed to such. (Especially odd since Jesus is never depicted in LDS iconography as wearing a suit and tie.)

    Tomorrow I will probably wear jeans to church . . . and I want my greatest desire to be to worship the Lord, to love and serve Him.

  • RShackleford Saint George, UT
    July 13, 2013 7:23 a.m.

    Shoulder bags? A rose by any other name is still a purse. So now the elders can carry a purse... Not that there is anything wrong with that.

  • FaifeauSam Lehi, UT
    July 13, 2013 7:25 a.m.

    Glad the rest of the Church is catching up. When I was in Samoa 56 years ago, we were so excited when our mission president allowed us to "bare" arms and wear short sleeves when we wanted. I never tried the lavalava (ia faitaga) but have seen a lot lately.

  • David M Metairie, LA
    July 13, 2013 7:37 a.m.

    bigtommy, Some of the missionaries in our ward are on bike. Having them walk/ride public transportation would make them much less effective in their areas. I do occasionally see businessmen wearing white shirt/tie riding bikes here. If you don't have a car, or need a car, bikes are the next best thing - not public transportation that comes once an hour with long layovers. And walking 10 miles across an area?

    The only issue I have is requiring shoulder bags. I bought one while in the MTC and never used it when biking on my mission. Have you ever rode a bike with a shoulder bag?

  • june Provo, UT
    July 13, 2013 8:01 a.m.

    However, it is so very important to not dress in a way that others will envy and covet our clothing. We should not call attention to our clothing or make a fashion statement. Think about it!

  • mhilton Lancaster, CA
    July 13, 2013 8:34 a.m.

    Joy, unfortunately, mission presidents are "requiring" shoulder bags, even for missionaries who are already out. Moms are panicked. Some missionaries don't have the money for extra thing. I don't understand the issue the church has with backpacks. They are better for your back and easier to deal with when riding a bicycle.

    And the outfit the "sister missionary" is wearing in the picture is absolutely horrible and distracting, in my opinion.

    I also noticed the "typo" about where to wear the badges. Someone didn't do his job well!

  • The Dixie Kid Saint George, UT
    July 13, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    I could not have gone without a backpack on my mission. I was in all bike areas were using a backpack was the only way to carry all of the stuff we had to bring with us.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    July 13, 2013 9:52 a.m.

    Back when I served, I wore nothing but dresses as a rule. We didn't wear skirts and tops or suits. We also wore colorful clothing. Don't know if the rules changed or if it just got easier for sisters to wear black suits. As for the Elders, felt bad that they had to wear those dark suits on hot days and such drab ties. I like the light suits, they look classy.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    July 13, 2013 9:59 a.m.

    @Hutterite

    In some ways no, God does not care what you adorn your body with. He will provide if you are on His errand. I think THAT is the message of the scripture you may have been referring to (see Matthew 6:28). but, in every case, he certainly wants people to dress modestly. In the missionaries' case, I'm sure His gospel wouldn't move at the pace it has if the missionaries wore cutoffs, ratty sneakers, and tee-shirts. So I guess, in a sense, He does care how you dress. There are several reasons::

    1. The public takes them much more seriously when they do.

    2. They show the gravity of their calling.

    3. It is respectful of their Lord and Savior.

    @b.ryce
    Regarding the sandals. What may look funny in one culture might not in another. And the mission presidents have the say on what the missionaries wear in their mission anyway. I would say, if you're serving in 41 degree Celsius heat (106 Fahrenheit) and you are in the poorer parts of the world, you will be more comfortable in these sandals, while still not affecting the impression you make on the native cultures.

  • Mom Johnson West Jordan, UT
    July 13, 2013 10:05 a.m.

    As Senior couples in Cambodia, our mission president reprimanded my husband for wearing khaki pants and for me wearing colorful (Khmer fabric) skirts. I hope he is reading this!

  • Pitt Man New York City, NY
    July 13, 2013 10:07 a.m.

    The skinny ties being abolished is odd, and an example of how Church policy is sometimes a result of Utah's regional culture. For the rest of the country, narrow ties have replaced the wide ties of the 90's and 00's, at least for the under-40 crowd. Utah is very slowly catching on. I'm hoping that the Church only means the extremely skinny ties, and will allow the Elders to wear the type of narrow ties that their slim-cut suits were designed to be worn with.

    As for backpacks, I'm not so sure that this is really a change in policy. I seem to remember when I got my missionary intro packet eight years ago, that it said we were supposed to wear shoulder bags. It wasn't until I got to my mission that I realized that backpacks were just the norm anyway. It's just not practical to wear a shoulder bag on a bike.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    July 13, 2013 10:29 a.m.

    What is wrong with backpacks? They are so functional.
    Now they are going to make them carry shoulder bags, i.e., man purses?

    @Digomart
    You're missing the point entirely. Dressing up in a suit and tie does 2 things--it sets you apart in uniform as a representative of the Church, and it shows respect and reverence to the work.

    You say you are going to show up to church in casual attire to show your "desire to . . . worship the Lord, to love and serve Him." How do you do that when you can't show enough respect and reverence to dress up. If you are too poor, that is one thing, but if you can afford it, there is no excuse to present yourself in your Sunday-best.

  • Nana Sid West Jordan, UT
    July 13, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    Best bag ever was available for my two missionaries in the MTC bookstore. Daughter's bag lasted 10 years--mission, college, young mom... Handles could be changed up to be a shoulder bag or a backpack.

  • DGDENTON Gainesville, TX
    July 13, 2013 11:26 a.m.

    Glad to see the Sister Missionaries will be able to dress more like the other young people and still be modest. I live in Texas and the heat can be dangerous. It has always concerned me that the young men missionaries on bicycles cannot wear straw hats or caps. People die from prolonged exposure to the sun and by "prolong" I don't mean all day. It just takes an hour of so. Those who have to work outside take salt tables to help them retain water and wear some kind of head covering. We've never had any of our missionaries suffer from heat stroke or heat exhaustion, but it has to be because they angels are watching over them. When I see them out, I offer them water and caution them about the heat. This is especially true of new missionaries. They have no idea how dangerous it can be to be outside without a head covering.

  • Ruthey01 Bremerton, WA
    July 13, 2013 11:31 a.m.

    I think this change is wonderful for our young people who are planning to go on a mission. The lighter colors for the Elders and the more vibrant colors for the Sisters are great! They will still "stand out" in a crowd for their modest clothing but they will at least look in-style.

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    July 13, 2013 2:47 p.m.

    If you've already sent your missionary off with the old fashions, just find a way to budget for some new duds. Along with budgeting to have mom stay at home, 10% gross, a generous fast offering, oh, and did you hear that the church is asking for more mission fund contributions as well?

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    July 13, 2013 3:05 p.m.

    Why does a central authority have to determine everything? Why can't individuals make their own decisions as to what they will wear?

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    July 13, 2013 3:30 p.m.

    Carmen-And they looked worse than the pale, veined, blotchy, doughy, ugly bare legs we are treated to now??

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    July 13, 2013 4:24 p.m.

    Hutterite, God may not care, but then, He's the choir. The Elders and Sisters aren't teaching Him, their audience isn't already in the seats. And it never hurts to look like someone your audience wants to be like. As long as our young missionaries are dressed in modest clothing, isn't it nice that it is also enjoyable for them to wear as well? Smile, Hutterite, and be happy for them, and for their enthusiasm to share the Word with others. It isn't the clothes that encouraged them to wish to go on missions, it is their love of the Lord. Be happy that they feel joy in their calling!

  • N Holladay, UT
    July 13, 2013 4:52 p.m.

    These are some great changes and will definitely make the missionaries more approachable as well as comfortable while still being modest. I think the nice colors will simply serve to attract people to them and the message. I think shoulder bags will look nicer, but I do think the backpacks are better because the missionaries can wear them with the weight balanced on both shoulders so it doesn't cause back pain. I think a choice between them would be good.

  • DRay Roy, UT
    July 13, 2013 6:04 p.m.

    Dare to be different. dare to stand alone, dare to have a purpose firm, dare to make it known...what ere thou art dress well thy part...scriptures fit well in an iPod or iPhone, even better , stored in a missionaries memory...be bold, let the Spirit guide.

  • 32843 PROVO, UT
    July 13, 2013 7:10 p.m.

    @Hutterite

    "Does god care what you adorn your body with?"

    Yeah, The Lord does kinda care how you adorn yourself:

    Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.
    1 Timothy 2:9-10

    But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.
    1 Peter 3:4

    I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
    Romans 12:1

    I'm just throwing this one in because this, too, is adornment as well:

    You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.
    Leviticus 19:28

    And my personal favorite:

    Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.
    Proverbs 11:22

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    July 13, 2013 7:41 p.m.

    I am still holding out for tank top t shirts before I go on my mission....

  • bjdoc Boise, Idaho
    July 13, 2013 7:47 p.m.

    having lived in northern Europe and often doing splits with the full time missionaries, I often noted people just walking away when approached with the black missionary name tag. When I approached young people in English, we could at least begin introductions and spend more useful time with students walking the inter-city. Could this be the beginning of changing the name tag.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 13, 2013 8:07 p.m.

    AS to name tags, I see everyone I work with on our mission have a name tag on the right side of their uniform. Oh, We're on an Air Force base. Most name tags also are on the right to facilitate seeing the name when you shake hands. I would venture that the reason most people place the sticky name tags seen at conventions etc. on the left breast is due to them being right handed and it is an easy motion to get it there.

    One way to facilitate elimination of the back pack is to reduce the amount of stuff that is carried. But if you are to carry scriptures, extra copies of the Book of Mormon, pamphlets, some water - it is extremely hot here in Texas and fluid replacement is a critical issue, you will need a back pack. Check out what an active member has to carry to Church on a Sunday: Scriptures; Relief Society/Priesthood manual or copy of Conference Ensign; Sunday School manual if teaching; and a day planner or smart phone.

  • SS MiddleofNowhere, Utah
    July 13, 2013 9:59 p.m.

    I don't think this is going to make as big a difference as everybody thinks it is going to. . . Basically, nothing has changed for the men. You could pretty much wear whatever you wanted when I was out five years ago anyway. The women get to wear brighter colors, big wup.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    July 14, 2013 7:55 a.m.

    For those of us that served in Scotland in the early 70's this regulation is a bit redundant. We were some of the best and worst dressed missionaries in history. I could tell tales for hours.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 14, 2013 8:30 a.m.

    So glad we have a prophet in these times to be able to get inspiration to make these changes!

  • Reader Sandy, UT
    July 14, 2013 9:54 a.m.

    To all of those who think shoulder bags will cause physical problems - The backpacks caused just as many back problems as a shoulder bag(and a shoulder bag should be worn across the body). Missionaries would overload them and then walk all day with that on their backs. The packs missionaries would use were not the hiking type with even weight distribution. They were just the bookbag types most kids use for school. Believe me, I know because I served as the wife of a mission president, and I can't tell you the number of back and shoulder problems that were directly caused by overloaded backpacks. As far as appearance goes, the backpacks on sisters looked even worse than the packs on elders.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    July 14, 2013 10:04 a.m.

    When my father served his mission - towards the end of the 50's, they were required to wear hats. Of course some dress standards change over the years. The trick is to follow the changing trends which display respect, high standards, and a sense of high self respect. Our living prophets don't dress in the same attire as did Moses, Elijah or even Abraham. But like them, they dress appropriately for their era.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    July 14, 2013 11:18 a.m.

    @Moniker Lewinsky

    "If you've already sent your missionary off with the old fashions, just find a way to budget for some new duds. Along with budgeting to have mom stay at home, 10% gross, a generous fast offering, oh, and did you hear that the church is asking for more mission fund contributions as well?"

    You don't have to contribute anything if you don't want to. Nobody is forcing you to donate a dime to the Church. Why would you feel the need to get him new duds now? You don't even have to support your son for the privilege and blessing of going on a mission (which, by the way, is a lot cheaper than keeping him home or sending him to college).

    So exactly, what is your point?

    If you are going to come on here and complain about contributions, just don't contribute.

  • Daniel Leifker San Francisco, CA
    July 14, 2013 11:53 a.m.

    I once lived in a new housing development that a nearby LDS church had targeting for proselytizing. Over the period of four years I had Mormon missionaries ringing my doorbell every few months. I was friendly with them (they sometimes came in on cold nights) and got know a few of them, both elders and sister missionaries. The thing that impressed me first was their clothing. They could have stepped out of the pages of a fashion magazine or a clothing catalog.

    First impressions are important, but you can take it too far. At that time I was working for a large international consulting firm. My manager actually yelled at me for driving a pick-up truck. He wanted me to buy an expensive sports car so our clients would see my wealth and prosperity. He also gave me detailed instructions on what to wear. My goal was to dress just one step above the client. The message to the client was, "We are superior to you but not so much that you would be uncomfortable."

    The Mormon missionaries can keep their nice clothes, but I hope they don't start driving Lamborghinis.

  • Gram Cracker Price, UT
    July 14, 2013 3:15 p.m.

    DOES God care what you adorn your body with. I would think He wants his sons and daughters to dress with modesty, cleanliness, and respect towards one's own appearance and body. Does He care when his children tattoo pierce and defile their bodies? I believe he expects us to be clean, wholesome, and modest. I would expect nothing less of MY children.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    July 14, 2013 3:27 p.m.

    Earnest....this had nothing to do with inspiration. You don't think the brethren can think these things out on their own?

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    July 14, 2013 3:33 p.m.

    I just want to share my opinion and experience regarding the "backpack issue."
    I served before any missionary would have dreamed of using a backpack. The first time I saw a missionary with one I thought it looked... weird. I'm glad to see them go.

    As to how to live without one, it was never a problem. I had a handle-bar bag on my bicycle for carrying pamphlets or copies of the Book of Mormon. Ever missionary that has a bicycle should have a luggage rack on that bike. Strap the shoulder bag to that if a messenger bag is a problem. (Please note that couriers that ride bikes as their transportation use messenger bags, it really isn't a problem.) A messenger bag is really just a briefcase with a shoulder strap. Very much more professional than a backpack.

    As to the back problems, missionaries don't go off on five-day expeditions. They don't need to be carrying around 30 lbs of stuff. Your scriptures, some pamphlets, and a few copies of the Book of Mormon is all you need. The current editions of the Book of Mormon are really light-weight.

  • waterperson Saint George, UT
    July 14, 2013 3:43 p.m.

    To All Missionaries: Please be careful if you go to any of the larger cities in America. Very dangerous. There are some sections of every city you should not even enter. I would not enter these areas myself.

  • RBTJR PLATTSBURGH, NY
    July 14, 2013 3:53 p.m.

    Glad for the updated styles. It was time for the young funeral director look to go. Modest and tasteful don't have to be separate concepts. Definitely an improved missionary image.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    July 14, 2013 4:44 p.m.

    @Mayfair

    "Carmen-And they looked worse than the pale, veined, blotchy, doughy, ugly bare legs we are treated to now??"

    So let me get this straight DN: You allow this offensive statement to be published but you censor my honest and benign response to it? I don't get it.

    I would like to know just who is Mayfair referring to--our Sisters in Missionary service? That is a pretty sweeping and mean generalization.

  • crunchem Cedar City, Utah
    July 15, 2013 10:45 a.m.

    Hutterite - just type in "extreme tattoo" in youtube and watch any of the first videos that hit. You tell me if God is happy with what some people do with their bodies. Sad, really really sad.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 15, 2013 2:27 p.m.

    @GeoMan
    "Your scriptures, some pamphlets, and a few copies of the Book of Mormon is all you need."

    And some water. Preferably somewhere so that it doesn't get any of the other stuff wet.

  • gem2477 Layton, UT
    July 15, 2013 3:32 p.m.

    Is someone is the jungles of South America or Africa going to understand that a suit and tie means gravitas and importance when it is not a part of their culture??

  • gem2477 Layton, UT
    July 15, 2013 3:38 p.m.

    No I don't think God really cares what we wear. There is no commandment about not piercing yourself or tattoos, however the leaders had set guidelines. It doesn't show people in the best light, but it isn't immoral.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    July 15, 2013 4:44 p.m.

    Cool! (What can I say?...I love khaki.)

  • Brother Benjamin Franklin Orem, UT
    July 16, 2013 3:05 a.m.

    I continue to remain very concerned about the seeming indifference about these rule changes. These sorts of things matter and make a difference. I am saddened at how ignorant our world and society has become on so many things nowadays, from religion to politics to simple etiquette and common sense.

    One would like to believe that of all faiths to represent dignified appearance, it would be the LDS Church. They have not done so. They have ignored the feelings of those like myself who would like to see that their representatives not provoke unnecessary problems to their ministry.

    This was a nation founded on high ideals and ethics, a nation united in its belief in divinity. I am grieved that I continue to find rampant denial, widespread wishful thinking, and hearts bolted shut among the LDS Church and its members to these potentially problematic rule changes and friends like myself who would help them. How these good young people can be persuaded to do such things is beyond me.

  • dustman Gallup, NM
    July 16, 2013 8:52 a.m.

    You have to jazz up the dress standards if you want younger kids to go on missions.If it ain't cool or cute, you'll get a lot less interest.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    July 16, 2013 11:52 a.m.

    There is always a need to find a balance between professionalism and approachability. We want our missionaries to look professional, but we need to continue to maintain a current and not an our dated look.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    July 16, 2013 11:56 a.m.

    To be truthful, I think when I was a missionary backpacks were officially discouraged, but riding around on a bike they always seemed to be the most effective way to carry additional copies of the Book of Mormon, pamphlets and such. Maybe we would have done better if we had used shoulder bags, but even during the summer when we just proselyted in white shirt, tie and dark pants and not a suit coat people still at times thought we were the police.

    On another note, it is not like the policy says "no dark pants or suits", it just allows lighter ones, so those with all dark are still OK.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    July 16, 2013 11:59 a.m.

    The attack on bikes is what is absurd. being on a bike allows a connection to the area while still being able to cover a reasonably large area. There are many areas where it is reasonable. Also, considering how congested traffic is in some areas, they actually allow covering more area than a car. There may be some areas where walking is effective, but bikes are useful and workable.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    July 16, 2013 12:05 p.m.

    It is possible that the emphasis on should bags and the like is a result of realizing that the new suit colors look less professional and wanting to counteract that. However my general understanding is that backpacks have never been actually encouraged, but came about because they are more convenient for missionaries on bike. When I was on my mission as I said before they were officially discouraged, but especially when we covered areas on bike while living outside the area the desire to carry sufficient materials to hand out while tracting outweighed other considerations. I do have to wonder if were as effective in our time use and material distribution policies, but that was the way we did things.

  • mominthetrenches South Jordan, Utah
    July 16, 2013 7:09 p.m.

    I served in Seoul, Korea, some 20 years ago and upon arrival to the MTC our batch of sisters were told that we weren't allowed to wear red dresses or clothing, something that back then was considered conservative/preppy attire in the US. Nor were the elders supposed to wear red ties. We couldn't write appointments in red pen, either because red writing meant you were referring to someone who was deceased. It wasn't a Church thing, but rather a cultural thing. It was also during the "pre-Internet" era. I am so happy for those serving now who can look at the website and see everything they need.

    Please don't knock the Church for seeming behind--I think it is amazing with how well they keep up with so much when society and cultures around the world are not only unique to their country, but fashion trends are all constantly changing!

  • Veritdude LaCrescenta, CA
    July 31, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    Right before a Zone Conference, my daughter's mission president sent the AP's to tell my daughter to stop wearing bright, fashionable clothes. Apparently they thought her clothes would cause issues with other sisters and elders. My daughter's modest, yet fashionable style has allowed her to make many more contacts and teach more lessons than any other set of missionaries. A few days after the Zone Conference, the mission office sent photos of the conference to all the missionaries' parents. I was delighted to see my daughter in the middle of one photo wearing her bright pink blazer! Gotta love my self-assured daughter who follows the Lord and the new dress policy!!

  • TKC Centerville, UT
    July 31, 2013 6:05 p.m.

    Brother Benjamin Franklin, you're not getting the point.

    It's true about the shoulder bags causing back issues. I served in Europe ten years ago where we could only have shoulder bags. They worked and looked great, but I did have pain on one side of my body for a year after I got home.

    Love the changes! Truly great moves by a truly great church!

  • xckd123 ,
    Aug. 4, 2013 1:08 a.m.

    For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure I would be dead if my camelbak had been banned on my mission. Tracting in 130 degree weather without one sounds like a deathwish to me. People loved asking me what it was; it was a great conversation starter. It was even a dark, missionary-esque color. I hope the mission presidents in hot areas see fit to make Camelbaks an exception.

  • Zona Zone Mesa, AZ
    Aug. 5, 2013 6:58 p.m.

    @strider303 ... ah, yes, you're right an active person could carry scriptures and manuals with them each week at church ... or just download the Gospel Library App on their smartphone.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    May 19, 2015 5:20 p.m.

    From personal experience, I expect swapping backpacks for shoulder bags to result in several truly epic bike wipeouts.

    Sudden weight shifts will do that.