In today’s world, many do not understand or respect the sacred nature of our bodies. Latter-day Saints stand out by dressing in a way that shows we know how precious our bodies are (see For the Strength of Youth [booklet, 2011], 6–8). On pages 20–21 of this month’s New Era, Mary N. Cook, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, discusses this standard:
“As a temple is built, great care is taken to ensure it is protected and beautifully adorned, inside and out. A key to planning temples is the understanding that a temple represents the Lord—it is His house. We respect temples as sacred structures where only those who are worthy may enter. We reverence temples because the sacred ordinances and covenants in which we participate make it possible for us to return to our Heavenly Father.
“Your body is more precious than the most exquisite temple on earth. You are God’s beloved son or daughter! These same principles—representation, respect, and reverence—apply even more so to the care and protection you give your body.”
The following suggestions can help you teach your children correct principles about dress and appearance. Also remember that your example in modest dress will teach your children how important appropriate dress is.
Read with your teen the section on dress and appearance in For the Strength of Youth. Doing so will give you an opportunity to discuss the doctrines, warnings, and blessings of this standard and to answer any questions your son or daughter may have.
Consider holding a family home evening on the importance of dress and appearance. You could ask your family: If the Lord were at church with you, how would you want to be dressed? How would you want to present yourself to Him? How do you feel when you are dressed modestly? You could also discuss how to dress appropriately for other occasions, such as school, work, or social events.
Our dress represents what is important to us. To illustrate this principle, consider holding a family home evening in which everyone dresses like a missionary or wears Sunday-best clothing.
Even at a young age, children can start dressing modestly. Review with your children the guidelines on page 7 of For the Strength of Youth and provide clothing that adheres to those guidelines.