Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sorting out thoughts

Recently in RS we were discussing the law of chastity. I admire the woman who taught this lesson as it is not an easy lesson to teach. She was completely up front at the beginning of her lesson and explained that this lesson can be tough, so she is going to grow straight out of the manual. I don't blame her. This is a touchy lesson.

She began. A discussion ensued. It was actually a good discussion...at first. We started talking about how to teach our children. That was when the discussion went straight to modesty. I understand the correlation between modesty and chastity; however, there are more pressing issues to focus on when discussing chastity and teaching it to our children. (For example: Why don't we talk about how to teach our children that just because something feels good, doesn't mean that it is good. Let's talk about how to teach our children to differentiate between lust and love.)

I digress...several women jumped on the modesty=chastity issue. With vengeance. All of the women in RS today have been through the Temple. They are all active and have temple recommends. (This rarely happens in RS which is why I noticed it.)

Modesty is not something that this group of women really need to discuss, but that did not stop several sisters from casting stones. The conversation started with talking about how little girls should not wear spaghetti straps and that mothers should not allow their daughters to wear such things. (This is where I started to zone out...I don't have daughters, and the modesty of toddlers is not something I worry about.) Then, things changed. One sister actually said that modesty is more than just the clothes a person wears. She said that some women in the ward choose to wear immodest "shoes, jewelry, and hair accessories." She went on to say that when women who are "Temple endowed wear such immodest shoes, jewelry, and hair accessories", she can't help but "wonder what they are looking to get."

Is anyone else confused by this statement? I was literally dumbfounded. Speechless. I could not believe what I was hearing. It caused me to wonder what do modest shoes look like? What exactly is a modest necklace? Yes, there are some shoes (thigh high-patent-leather-read boots, for example) that might cause a stir, but no one in my ward is wearing those to church, or outside of church for that matter. And if a woman does wear these "immodest" shoes, jewelry, and accessories, was this woman actually insinuating that there is something more scandalous going on?

There are many women in my ward who like to wear cute, different, and sassy shoes Each of these women are also the epitome of modest in dress. They are fashionable. They are trendy. They are modest.

Looking back I wish I would have spoken up, but I was just so taken aback by the comment. It makes me sad that the discussion focused so much on modesty instead of emotions. It was a lesson on chastity, not modesty. We all know the importance of teaching modesty to our children; modesty is not confusing. Emotions surrounding chastity can be, especially for teenagers. I was so saddened that the discussion took such a nasty turn as to judging accessories of women in the ward and little girls wearing spaghetti strapped dresses.

It made me wonder, have we really digressed so far that we are casting stones over accessories and toddlers? Very sad.

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