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[tweetable]But enforced conformity to an arbitrary dress standard does not bring with it a guarantee of the blessings of heaven.[/tweetable] On the contrary, undue focus on levitical concerns such as the precise measurement of exposed flesh between cuff and foot risks creating a people who imagine God as an exacting critic who has little to do with the loving Christ of the New Testament.It might be good for Mormons to remember that Jesus’ words about clothes in the entire New Testament were an admonition for us to stop worrying so much about them (Matthew 6).I’m reminded of the 2011 news story of a BYU-Idaho student being booted out of a testing center when she showed up in skinny jeans.The student was female, the test center employee male; he made a judgment call that transcended even the university’s own policy, which as subsequently clarified, does not explicitly prohibit skinny jeans.
Here are three reasons we might want, as a culture, to think more deeply about Mormon dress codes. ) “If these dress codes were just silly, if they weren’t doing any palpable harm, then this issue wouldn’t matter so much,” Aaron C. There are so many worthwhile causes and endeavors they could’ve pursued.” 2) The code emphasizes obedience as the ultimate good, even without providing good reasons for that obedience.1) The dress code focuses attention on shallow perceptions of appearance rather than larger Christlike goals like community service or education for the common good. Brown commented on Facebook, a Mormon who graduated from BYU in Provo. They’re contributing to the spiritual shallowness of our membership. President Clark’s Facebook remarks yesterday echo almost verbatim his 2006 devotional “Out of Small Things Proceedeth That Which is Great”: Yes, there are examples when faithfulness in small matters demonstrates our willingness to be faithful in large ones, as Jesus suggested when he spoke about being good stewards of wealth (Luke -12).3) Finally, the university’s single-minded concentration on dress code turns Mormon students into their brothers’ -– and sisters’ — keepers.President Clark asks students to “help each other to be obedient in even these small, but important, things” and to “share this message with roommates and friends.” That’s not sharing; that’s policing.
Such an interpretation has been subtly reinforced by the university and the Church; in the 2011 debacle, for example, both institutions responded that the actual standard prohibited clothing that is “sleeveless, strapless, backless, or revealing. But now I know that if I do, I should share with him that his choice is inappropriate, and hope that he exhibits a spirit of obedience about his mistake.It should not have slits above the knee or be formfitting.” In other words, clothing that deserves particular censure is .