The Victory-for-Satan Newsroom announced this afternoon that sister missionaries can wear dress pants.


But as I take a breath between celebrating, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect.

December 2012

A Mormon feminist group called “All Enlisted” invited women to wear pants to Church on a specific Sunday.

Uproar ensued.  The national media picked up the story. Everywhere I turned on Facebook, my Mormon friends were debating the righteousness of this action.  They said dresses showed respect for the Savior.  They questioned the testimony of anyone who balked against church culture.  They said any woman who opposed the Prophet should be excommunicated.  Women received death threats.  Over dress pants.

Whenever threads got particularly heated, I chimed in with precedent.  Like when BYU President Dallin H. Oaks endorsed dress pants in 1971.

But I nonetheless refused to participate myself.  Not because I had a moral objection to pants, but because I bristled at turning a house of worship into a place of protest.

I expressed solidarity, though, by quietly wearing pants a few weeks later.  I was visiting my parents’ ward, and the combination of pants and a new face made the missionaries pounce.  Multiple women who knew me, though, noticed the pants and remarked on my choice — some negative, some positive.

One passive-aggressively judged: “I am impressed by those who show integrity, not those who choose to do what they know is inappropriate.”  Another asked me, in baffled tones, if I had forgotten to pack a dress.

But a third told an incredible story, about how as Temple workers they were instructed to welcome anyone with a recommend.

“Many years ago when I was working at the temple, a woman came in wearing jeans. She passed many workers – at the recommend desk, the office, and various posts.  When she arrived at the locker room, she burst into tears.  A worker put an arm around her and asked if she could help.  She said, “My house burned down yesterday, and all I have is what I was wearing.  I felt I just had to get to the temple before I faced the reality of my loss.  But I was so afraid you would not let me enter in jeans.  Not only did you let me in, but not one person said a word about my clothes.  I am crying for joy.”

All in all, the month of controversy over mere pants was intense.  This cauldron of emotional pants-wearing experience was later memorialized in the beauty of the pants quilt.  Nikki Matthews Hunter shared that quilt-making journey with all of us.  Today, her quilt graces the cover of Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings.

December 2013

Wear Pants to Church Day II arrived.  This time, I vowed to participate.  In the ensuing year my sentiments had shifted.  In an over serious Facebook post, I wrote:

I have realized that the backlash directed at these women was, quite simply, not Christian and not OK.  The blogs I followed last year had tales of women being removed from callings, being told they were a bad influence on the youth, being called apostates, all for wearing pants. That is ridiculous.

Pants have so many positive aspects — women whose legs aren’t freezing during winter, women who are better able to wrestle 2-year-olds without flashing everyone, women who find it easier to play the organ, women whose body types quite simply look better in pants.

But what I find most persuasive is the message of inclusiveness. Visitors to the church don’t even think that there’s a difference between black slacks and black skirts, but when they show up in slacks they feel awkward.  Other times, there are struggling members who feel crippled by enforced conformity.

I don’t want anyone, for anyone reason, to feel like they’re judged based on what they wear to church.  We should all just be happy to see them there, communing with Christ together.  I’m wearing pants to symbolize inclusivity.

Don’t worry, I also made fun of myself.  In another post, my friends and I brainstormed witty one-liners to explain my pants attire.

  • “I didn’t have a skirt that matched my new polka-dotted blouse!”
  • “I didn’t feel like shaving my legs today.”
  • “Would you rather I NOT wear pants?”
  • “How am I supposed to fight the fire lord if I’m NOT WEARING PANTS!?”                        [nb:  that’s an Avatar reference]

January 2015

A friend had been assigned to teach Dallin H. Oaks’s “Women and the Priesthood” talk in Relief Society, and asked me to visit her ward to provide moral support.  So I showed up and introduced myself as “the token feminist.”

Another pants-wearing woman laughed and exclaimed “you’re far from a token in this room!”

I responded:  “I know that, but I figured introducing myself that way would help me make friends faster.”

She and I are still friends today.


I started attending both Catholic and Mormon services regularly after I got engaged to a Catholic.  This resulted in me mentally scrambling their dress codes.  At Catholic services, slacks are 100% ok — in fact, they’re somewhat dressy.  A lot of people show up in football jerseys.  So every now and then, when I’m darting from one service to the other, I realize I’m engaged in a dress code cultural mismatch.  Whatever.

I also started a job at a Muslim nonprofit where slacks are considered significantly more modest than my knee-length dresses.  I’ve never felt so exposed in 50s-style patterns as when I attend a banquet with all hijabi women!  I ended up expanding my suit and jacket collections to match my coworkers’ norms.

On a recent Friday morning, I complained “It’s cold outside.  I need pants.”

“Are you allowed to wear pants to CAIR?” baited my husband.

“You’re confusing conservative religious traditions,” I teased back.  “I’m not allowed to wear pants to Mormon church.  I am allowed to wear pants to CAIR.  But I’m feeling rebellious today.  Maybe I’ll wear jeans, without telling my boss.”

The rebellious streak lasted through the weekend, when the weather still hovered below freezing.  I didn’t particularly feel like stealing my husband’s jacket to cover my legs in Sacrament Meeting, especially when I wouldn’t be able to keep using it third hour.  I was teaching Relief Society.  So I put on black pants and heels.

“Is that how you’re going to smash the patriarchy today?” my husband joked as I emerged from the closet.

If so, I failed. I noticed no judgmental blinks.  And I only received two comments.  One from a good friend about how my outfit managed to be professional and sassy.   And another from a friend who said she admired me for leading the way on what she wanted as a rule:  no suit jackets for men when it’s over 75, and no skirts for women when it’s below 30.

I marveled, after class, at how normalized pants had become in five short years.

Even with that sense of normalization, though, I’m nonetheless stunned that as of December 21, 2018, its come so far as to permit our entire worldwide female missionary force to dress like young professionals.



  1. John Mansfield says:

    Newer missionaries who spent hundreds of dollars on skirts a few months ago could probably use some extra support.

  2. it’s come so far as to permit our entire worldwide female missionary force to dress like young professionals.

    Well, like young professional Americans anyway.

  3. ^^fair. Although that’s how I dressed in Europe too my few stints working there. But now I’m super curious what other dress codes specifically you’re thinking of? I would love a world when the LDS Church didn’t fry quite so hard to impose American culture along with its faith.

  4. But not at church, though. Or the temple. Or zone conference. But whatever. I’m still all YAAAAAAY! It’s about time.

  5. This is a big deal, because of the significance that our culture has placed on the difference between skirts/dresses and pants (which I guess is a function of our commitment to certain cultural markers of gender as proxy for our theological commitment to distinct gender roles), but when you really take a step back, it is just so exceedingly silly that our culture has chosen to care so much about something so eternally insignificant as whether the clothes we use to cover our legs have one or two holes at the bottom. It’s not wrong to be excited about this change, given the cultural context we find ourselves in, but it is so silly that the situation ever came to be that this change would (a) ever even need to happen and (b) be a big deal.

  6. I just had the photos in the announcement in mind when I wrote that (too impulsively, I admit). Then again, an ill-fitting business suit paired with a backpack doesn’t exactly blend into a professional context either, so please excuse the threadjack. Pants are a win and should be celebrated!

  7. A Turtle Named Mack says:

    I agree with JKC. This is a much bigger deal than people may expect, and will have important effects, going forward (as evidenced by the pushback that has already developed). While I often argue that Church leadership is blind to many of the social implications of the policies they enact (or continue to support), I don’t think the cultural significance of this change is lost on them, in this case. Since there wasn’t really an official ban on the wearing of pants (for women) at Church, they really weren’t able to simply come out and say that wearing pants is OK – their pattern hasn’t been to make pronouncements about cultural misconceptions (addressing caffeine/cola would be an exception). But they can change what has been an official policy for Sister Missionaries, which sends the signal. So, while this change has (understandably) been framed as a health issue for Sister Missionaries, they’re aware of how it will spill over to cultures where the wearing of pants is more cultural than hygienic. Now we just need to come up with health-related reasons why men shouldn’t wear neck ties.

  8. I love this paragraph:
    “ don’t want anyone, for anyone reason, to feel like they’re judged based on what they wear to church. We should all just be happy to see them there, communing with Christ together”

    After decades of wearing a suit and tie to church, I plan in a couple years according to my current social transitioning time frame, to start wearing a dress to church. I can’t help but wonder if any brethren would ever do a “wear a dress to church day” in solidarity, or at least compassion with me? I wouldn’t like to see that, both because I also don’t like transforming a place of worship to a protest march AND I don’t think most cis-brethren don’t have a clue how to safely shave their legs – I mean, it might get dangerous with showers being a slippery place to wield sharp instruments without training. (Update your tetanus booster first). Also I had to wonder if the time would ever come where I could make friend by introducing myself as the token trans-feminist in the Sunday School class? Don’t see it anytime soon, but hopefully we might at least one day evolve to where would no one would call me Satan if I came to church en femme (has and does happen to Transgender people at LDS meetings). But in regards to the specific OP issue, I second the YAAAAAAYYYYY!!!!!!!

  9. Turtle, re ties. There is research that purports to show that wearing a tie can cut off up to 7.5% of the blood flow to the brain. Is that a good enough reason to stop?

  10. JR, that statistic! That may explain so much. Aha moment 🤔

  11. Based on the way that many Latter-day Saint men can’t seem to buy shirts less than an inch or two too big in the collar, I doubt that many of us are losing much blood from too-tight ties.

  12. Lona, yeah, well, numbers will testify to anything if you torture them long enough.

  13. A Turtle Named Mack says:

    The sustained lack of blood flow to the brains of COJCOLDS men might explain a lot. But my throw away thought about ties was just that, so let’s throw it away for now and get back to how meaningful this new change is for women. Sorry to distract from the original point. Yay pants!

  14. Lorie Brown says:

    My niece reported to the MTC on Wednesday, literally the day before this announcement was made. I’m still waiting to hear from her mother whether she was given a heads up about this.

  15. I love this so much!
    And proud of a daughter who wears pants to church on a regular basis (cold Canadian winters) – whether in YW callings and now RS Presidency. I’m hoping to be as brave!

  16. What are they gonna do with all those dress pants when they get home from their missions? What _will_ they do?

  17. There was a month of controversy? Seriously?

    Daniel Boorstin was right: the pseudo-event is once again mistaken for reality.

  18. I heard on the radio this morning the change was to help with mosquito bites and biking.

  19. Kevin Barney says:

    Two stories I’ve told before:

    First, on my mission, Colorado, late 70s. We had invited a woman to attend our church services, and miracle of miracles she actually came. As she entered the chapel we were up front and so not physically close enough to do anything about what was about to happen. She was wearing a very elegant pants suit. She gets just steps into the chapel when some officious old fart (not a leader) informs her that her outfit is inappropriate for church. I can still visualize the way she wordlessly spun around on her high heel and walked out, never to return. It took every ounce of self control I possessed not to just punch that guy out right there in the chapel.

    More recently, a visitor came to sacrament meeting, and her décolletage was busting out all over the place. I watched the people sitting near her to see if anyone was going to say something to her, but no one did and she was warmly greeted and made to feel welcome. And to me that’s how it should be. If we want to be a missionary-oriented church, we can’t afford to chase visitors away over our trifling in-house cultural tics. If we can’t welcome people warmly to our services as they are, we should just give up the whole missionary endeavor entirely.

  20. Rachel E O says:

    Lona Gynt: “Also I had to wonder if the time would ever come where I could make friend by introducing myself as the token trans-feminist in the Sunday School class?” I’ve been in wards where you certainly would! I hope that expansive welcoming and befriending will spread to more wards in the church. God bless on your transition, and if we ever cross paths, I’d love to have you sit by me in Relief Society. :)

  21. Troy Cline says:

    Is this what I was supposed to be taking my “vitamin pills” for?? Is this more of that “rush of revelation” that we hear so much about? This is a good thing, I suppose, in some ways but if you read between the lines this is just further affirming the notion that, to be dressed appropriately, females are to be dressed in a skirt or dress when actually participating in a religious observance. Baby steps, I guess, but this barely feels like baby steps. The Mormon church is so very, very odd. To the outside world, we must look like a bunch of backwards freaks. Nice people and all; great neighbors, but certifiable freaks.

  22. Rachel, your kind comment is like a miracle to me this morning! Thank you. Hope is an endless well, thank you!

  23. I think many of the commenters here are forecasting the implication wrong.

    This policy change allows sisters to wear pants EXCEPT to church, baptisms, etc. That is, we have an official policy saying that even if sisters wear dress pants throughout the week for their day-to-day work, they should nevertheless wear a skirt or dress to church.

    This is an obvious win for sisters riding bikes, dressing for weather, etc. But where there was previously only a cultural norm against pants at church, now there is a policy, though limited in scope.

  24. Pants! Pants! Sing the praises of pants!

  25. This is genuinely a big deal. But it’s a big deal because the Church made it a big deal. I could wish for a Church culture that quietly moves along with the external culture, with a slight conservative lag and geographically sensitive, but wishes and 25 cents will buy me a stick of gum.

    I predict:
    (a) the “not at Church” note will be ignored or missed by most people reading about this change,
    (b) as a result pants at Church for women (not currently missionaries) will be normalized within 12 months,
    (c) the next round of changes will quietly drop the exceptions,
    (d) we will then enjoy a reactionary phase where general dress code statements for all members at Church meetings are promulgated (denim, ties, shorts, length, modesty . . . the fill-ins are obvious).
    (e) I will be mightily annoyed at the last, and we will have tough love comments on a BCC post.

  26. This is huge. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Thanks for this post, Carolyn. This seems like an extremely hopeful announcement. I hope Christian is right that pants wearing by women at church will be normalized quickly, regardless of the exact wording of the announcement.

    For Mark B., I guess I should find it comforting in a way that you are ever the curmudgeon, convinced that if it didn’t happen to or affect you personally, it didn’t really matter.

  28. Not a pants to church story, but…

    I was working at the recommend desk of the temple one night just over a year ago. A sister came in whose outfit barely covered her garments, but it did cover them. I took her recommend, scanned it and saw that she had a valid recommend, and I welcomed her to the temple.

    I don’t know if anyone after I saw her said anything to her, but during the meeting to begin our shift the next week, the topic of a woman who was dressed “inappropriately” and allowed into the temple was brought up. I don’t know who the judgmental jerk was that thought I wasn’t doing my job properly by not screening her and rejecting her, but I was hurt that there were people who thought she didn’t belong. I wonder how she would have been treated if she had showed up in pants instead.

  29. @Adano: I understand your point, but I don’t think that will happen. I think people will draw some technicality for a couple months, maybe, but in practice this is a huge phase shift. We’ll see sisters running around in pants and in the church with pants for Book of Mormon lessons and such all the time. They’ll probably forget on some Sundays. And normal relief society sisters will feel more empowered to wear pants other times, too. I predict within 2 years we’ll see about 20% of all sisters wearing pants every Sunday, especially in winter. Whatever the policy caveat says, the broader message is that business slacks are professional to serve God in.

  30. The title of this post should have been: “Mosquitoes accomplish what liberal Latter-day Saints could not.” And I’d bet money that dresses are still the norm in sacrament meeting a decade from now. Sorry people, this is no milestone in the dreamed-of liberalization of LDS culture. It is bugs and disease.

  31. Old man, fifteen years ago as a young woman I remember a letter being read to our class that discouraged flip flops and encouraged pantyhose as a code of dress. Exactly zero change ensued, and the relentless liberalization of our young women dress code continued. Now no one blinks an eye at flip flops and bare legs in the summer. Ten years from now, in freezing weather, no one will (probably) blink an eye at seeing lots of women wearing pants.

    Grant us all the freedom to dress weather appropriate! And that goes for old men everywhere too.

  32. My mother (in her 90s) who had served all of her life in the RS, (president in ward and stake offices) decided in the 2000s that it was too cold in Edmonton to wear dresses, plus it was to difficult for her to put on nylon stockings. She was welcomed, as she always was, with warmth and respect. Until her dying day she wore her dress pants always and was never criticized. I like to think of her as a “Pants revolutionary” up here in Northern Alberta. (Up here we like to think of ourselves as part of the Inter-mountain west since Hugh B. Brown and H.E. Tanner came from here!)

  33. My elderly mother didn’t attend the wedding of one of her grandchildren because it is difficult for her to deal with and uncomfortable. Were she not in assisted living and can attend worship services where she lives, I’m sure she wouldn’t be going to church at all due to the strict “dress code” for women.

    Pants are more appropriate for female children as well because they often can’t keep their skirts or dresses down. (Maybe the 2 hr schedule will help decrease their restlessness?)

    “This policy change allows sisters to wear pants EXCEPT to church, baptisms, etc. That is, we have an official policy saying that even if sisters wear dress pants throughout the week for their day-to-day work, they should nevertheless wear a skirt or dress to church.”

    Ridiculous policy against pants. But what else do we expect when men develop the policies?
    I’m pretty sure women would’ve been wearing pants long ago were men required to wear pantyhose and dresses.

  34. “Old man, fifteen years ago as a young woman I remember a letter being read to our class that discouraged flip flops and encouraged pantyhose as a code of dress.”

    Reminded me of an article I saw some time ago:

    The Proclamation of the Pantyhose:

  35. It’s always been confusing to me when people think dresses are more modest. I often see girls and even young women not pay attention to how they are sitting and flash their underwear at church. It’s just so strange to me that they expected sisters to bike in dresses and skirts for so long, and that pants in that scenario was considered more modest.
    Not to mention it’s a greater risk of being sexually assaulted to wear dresses and skirts. It can happen at any time to any person, regardless of dress- but I think this new policy will also take the target off of our sister missionaries’ backs when they can blend in better.
    It’s kind of weird to me that they are still insisting that Sisters wear dresses to zone conferences. We must see your bare legs for you to be appropriately dressed! Seems to be a backwards standard.

  36. We don’t let the male missionaries dress like young professionals. I’ve never seen a young professional wear dark slacks with a white shirt and a tie.

  37. Kevin Barney says:

    What they meant to say was “young professional IBM salesmen from the 1960s.”

  38. I like skirts more than pants under most conditions, especially when it is hot, and when it is cold enough I wear my long underwear underneath an ankle length skirt. But that is me. My granddaughter leaves on her mission in Jan. She went shopping for her mission clothes today. She said no pants, her legs are too short and she doesn’t like how she or her hips look in them. I don’t agree with her, but that is her. When I was an ordinance worker we were instructed to embrace any who came with a valid recommend. To criticize their clothing was inappropriate. In most situations it is inappropriate to comment on what others are wearing. I doubt God cares one way or another. He loved us when we were naked.

  39. Left Field says:

    A few years ago, I was on business for a couple of days in a city with a temple. I didn’t have room to pack church clothes, but I think I brought a necktie just in case I had occasion to go to the temple. I don’t remember exactly how I was dressed, but it was a notch or two below what is usual for visiting the temple. I think I had a colored semi-dressy shirt with a tie, casual pants, and a light jacket or windbreaker covering my shirt and tie. From where I was staying, I walked more than two miles to the temple, so I probably looked a little sweaty and disheveled by the time I arrived. Now that I think about it, I believe that I was wearing sunglasses when I walked in.

    I don’t think I looked like too much of a scoundrel, but evidently the brother behind the desk thought I looked like someone who didn’t belong there. The moment I walked in the door, he looked alarmed and abruptly asked “Can I help you!?” Well, of course he could help me. The usual procedure would be for me to present my recommend at the desk, and for him to invite me in. I didn’t think I needed to respond until I got to the desk, so I kept walking. I came about two more steps before he looked even more agitated and repeated, “CAN I HELP YOU!” He seemed mighty relieved when I finally got to the desk and presented my recommend.

    I will say that nobody else looked at me askance, and I think that is the only time I’ve had any reaction regarding how I was dressed at the temple.

    Regarding pantyhose, I don’t think I have even once noticed whether someone was or was not wearing them. I always thought the idea of pantyhose was that they were supposed to be inconspicuous–sort of like wearing a wig or a clip-on necktie. It seems bizarre to me that anyone would take the trouble to notice and police another person’s hosiery. What is this, middle school?

  40. “Grant us all the freedom to dress weather appropriate! And that goes for old men everywhere too.”

    Whew, that’s a relief! Come summer I’m breaking out the lava lava.

  41. Bruised, broken, yet at peace says:

    Re: appropriate dress though not necessarily pants…

    I struggle with fairly profound depression at times. One Saturday I was working late in the office after a morning of yard work. I was dressed in a t-shirt, jeans and beat up high tops. While I was at the office, waves of depression washed over me, and the daily suicidal ideation that I manage regularly became acute. There’s a place on my drive home every day that I fantasize about being “the place” where I end it. Yes, even with medication and extensive therapy, I have a plan, a place and a method. Even with daily scripture study and prayer, weekly fasting and checking all the other check boxes, I ache for that release.

    And on this particular Saturday, I knew the only safe place for me from the swallowing darkness was to hide in my bedroom. But that meant driving past “the place.” And on that day, fantasy would become reality if I did.

    Regardless of a family to take care of, in spite of covenants and commandments, I wasn’t going to make it home. I poured my heart out for heavenly help. And the thought that came was to get myself to the temple. But that meant driving past “the place” on my way home to get appropriately dressed. Yet I wouldn’t survive if I did. The impression stayed with me to get to the temple. So I went to the temple – in grungy jeans, a ragged t-shirt, and grass stained sneakers.

    I knew someone would say something. And I didn’t have it in me to stand up for myself. I barely had the inner strength to drive to the temple, much less persuade a guardian at the gates. But when I got there, the young man at the recommend desk smiled, scanned my recommend and said, “Welcome to the temple.” I passed three more temple workers on the way to rent my clothes and head into the locker room. They all smiled and conveyed nothing but encouragement. They didn’t know it, but they saved my life that day. If they had sent me out, if they had simply corrected me, I wouldn’t have made it home.

    For those that haven’t suffered suicidal depression, it’s impossible to describe how hollow, how painful, how close to teetering over the abyss one feels.

    I wasn’t dressed for the proverbial wedding feast. But I was made to feel like I belonged in the Lord’s house. I was in there long enough for the Spirit to reduce my emotional suffering to manageable levels. For all those that look upon the heart instead of the outward appearance, thank you. You helped my kids have their parent for that much longer.

  42. @at peace. I’m so glad you made it!

    I mostly wear denim skirts except for things like riding horseback that really require jeans. So I wear skirts to church too. I rarely notice what anyone else is wearing except for crazy ties, which amuse me, and babies’ tiny shoes, which warm my heart.
    But several years back, on a designated “Wear pants to church day,” I arrived to discover that a young man of Polynesian descent was speaking before leaving on his mission. As a result, there were at least three men in lava lavas. Having men wear skirts to church that day really made me smile.

  43. They did a lot of re$earch and trial programs. Elders and sisters wearing everyday clothing for THAT region/culture made them way more approachable and led to more teaching opportunities. More changes coming…slowly.

    I’m so grateful they finally get to wear sockks!!! Smelly required nylons were so gross!

  44. @Bruised, broken yet at peace: that was the most beautiful and gut-wrenching post I’ve read in a long time. Thank you for sharing it.

  45. @bruised — all I can offer is hugs, love, and gratitude for being willing to share your vulnerable truth.

  46. Ever since the first pants day (I did participate along with a handful of sisters in my ward, FYI, and I personally felt it was a little irreverent, but that wasn’t my intention), I continue to be bothered by the fact that most investigators & visitors wear dress pants to church. Why do we insist on making them uncomfortable with our cultural codification of dresses for women? We should simply normalize women wearing pants. If we are missionary-minded, it’s so obviously the right thing that I can’t see how anyone would disagree.

  47. Thank you “bruised, broken at peace”
    That is an important reminder there are no little distractions from the Spirit, only big distractions. Whenever we focus on the trivial externals rather than the essential humanity we all share, it can be dangerous. Being a lil bit chill can save a life. Be well.

  48. @bruised, I’m so grateful for your willingness to share with us the challenge you face, and the experience you had. I have forwarded your comment to my parents who both serve in the temple. I hope they’ll have an occasion to reinforce in their conversations with others at the temple the importance of welcoming everyone.

  49. God bless bruised.

  50. I cried reading this because I am doing my best to straddle everything and the efforts in the past FIVE YEARS in the church have made me so happy and have been so hard. So glad to see this longer term view. It’s reassuring. I’m not crazy.

  51. Looking at the pants rule, I don’t think too many will choose to wear dress pants. The only ones allowed are the type Grandmother’s wear. They are super picky about the fit. So they “can” wear pants, but I am not sure what stores would sell them.

  52. Also, no “pants suits?” Those are super classy. I don’t get why they wouldn’t be allowed. I can imagine it being a dig on Hillary, honestly. Let them wear pants, but we can’t have them looking like democrats!

  53. Anon this time says:

    Well, I’ll be a lone embittered voice: I remember how much rancor there was during “Wear Pants to Church Day,” with people openly branding women who wore pants as defiant, disobedient, and otherwise wicked. Sisters I cared deeply about were questioned about their righteousness. It was ludicrous and incredibly disheartening. And it was especially odd to me because part of my ethnic background includes people whose regular daily clothing can include a “pants”-like garment for women (sawar kameez) and a “skirt”-like garment for men (lungi)–something that never really struck me as something that bothered Jesus Christ. Therefore it was something cultural that got somehow elevated into “revealed Gospel principles” like so many things before it.

    So no, I’m not really rejoicing at the current policy change–I’m glad it happened, but the underlying problem has not been addressed. Much like the priesthood ban, policy may have changed but there are still members that will mutter under their breath, wonder about “deep doctrine,” or use this as a new excuse for spiritual gatekeeping. And there will never be an admission saying “Hey, maybe this whole thing was stupid and had no divine origin, and maybe it was just some old dudes in charge (and a bunch of women who supported them) who decided they liked skirts on women better. Maybe this doesn’t actually have anything to do with the Gospel and we were wrong to make people feel bad about it.”

  54. I’m confused about the pantsuits. It says “Do not wear floor-length skirts, pantsuits, or baggy or skinny-style slacks.” The accompanying photographs show examples of unacceptable floor-length skirts, baggy or skinny-style slacks, but no illustration of the prohibited “pantsuits.” And the instructions also say that “professional suits” are acceptable. What is the difference pantsuits and professional suits? And two of the photographs of acceptable attire show what I would call pantsuits. Maybe I don’t know what a “pantsuit” is, and the photographs don’t seem to be of any help.

  55. “Victory-for-Satan Newsroom”… LOL :)

  56. Notice that sister missionaries are allowed to wear pants when they’re interfacing with “the world,” but in any context where they’ll be interacting with LDS men (church, temple, mission meetings) they must wear skirts. I’m not sure that’s a coincidence.

  57. Now that sister missionaries can wear dress pants, how about colored shirts for the elders? Or is anything other than a white one another victory for Satan?

  58. nobody, really says:

    I would normally say that colored shirts will always be a VFS, but we’ve had an awful lot of changes to eternal truths and principles as of late. Just imagine, twenty years ago, standing up during the Friends of Scouting drive and giving prophecy that the day would come when it no Scouting information could even be displayed within the building. It would have been grounds for excommunication and having your spouse and children being assigned to someone more worthy.

    I can just picture the High Priest Group Leader from my old ward standing up in testimony meeting, pounding the pulpit, and yelling “The line must be drawn HERE! This far, and NO MORE!”

  59. Bruised, Broken — Prayers for you.

  60. christiankimball, returning to report that your prediction (b) has already come to pass, with no less than three young women sharing with ne their intentions to wear alternative clothing (slacks, dressy jumpsuits, etc.) to church and related meetings where Sunday dress is requested.
    Rumor has it that Elder Uchdorf was the catalyst for these changes. This supports the suggestion that recent changes in church policy and structure are not necessarily original to Pres. Nelson, but rather there is an environment where others feel welcome to bring forward their own ideas.

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