Friend to Friend

by President N. Eldon Tanner

The First Presidency

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    Dear President Tanner,

    I am 10 years old, and we received our Ensign magazine and enjoyed the record very much. I was very inspired by your talk. I agree there are many problems in this world today. There are many things I don’t understand, one of them is wearing pants to school. My mother says that the presidency wouldn’t like young girls wearing pants to school. We play kick ball and all kinds of out door games that are not presentable in a dress. The principle say it’s all right, and even teachers wear them. I know this gospel is true and I do have a testimony and know you are an inspired man from god and I would like to know your true feelings on this matter. I want to thank you for your time.



    Dear Valarie,

    This will acknowledge your very sweet letter. It shows me that you want to do what is right.

    You ask about the proper dress for school. The Church has taken the position that whether youth are at school, attending a sacrament or other Church meeting, at a dance or an athletic or sports-camp activity, at home or away, Church standards require young men and women to be appropriately dressed. Modesty is a protection for the youth of the Church and is one of the Lord’s ways to help them live clean, wholesome lives.

    Girls should try always to enhance their natural beauty and femininity. They should dress appropriately for any occasion. It would seem proper to wear slacks or pants when playing kickball or the other outdoor games that you mention.

    Modesty in dress is a quality of mind and heart, born of respect for oneself, one’s fellowmen, and the Creator of us all. Modesty reflects an attitude of humility, decency, and propriety. Consistent with these principles and guided by the Holy Spirit, let parents, teachers, and youth discuss the particulars of dress, grooming, and personal appearance, and with free agency accept responsibility and choose the right. You should honor your parents, who love you dearly, and follow their advice or instruction after discussing your problems with them.

    May the Lord bless you and give you the desire and strength to do right always. By doing this you will be happy, loved, and respected.


    N. Eldon Tanner

    P.S. Would you or your mother or father have any objection to having your letter and my answer published in the Friend? We feel it may be helpful to others of our youth who have the same question.

    Dear President Tanner,

    I received your letter today. I appreciate the time you have spent with me and my letter. My parents and I both think it would be nice to put it in the Friend, and I will be honored. Thank you again for your time.