Did the Guidelines Apply to Me?

Julie Letner, Arizona, USA

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    Choosing to be modest has always been easy for me. I grew up in a house where standards were high, and when I married in the temple, my garments reminded me to dress modestly.

    Swimsuit shopping, however, turned out to be a struggle for me. Without the guideline of garments, I found myself wanting to wear swimsuits that I would be ashamed for anyone I knew to see me in.

    My husband and I were planning a cruise for just the two of us. I thought the cruise would be the perfect time to wear such a swimsuit. I wouldn’t see anyone I knew, and therefore I wouldn’t feel guilty. No one would know I was a Latter-day Saint, and all the other women on the ship would most likely be dressed like me.

    Because I was already married, there was no real reason for me to have a modest swimsuit, or so I thought. Modesty guidelines were just for teenagers, right? But I had a nagging feeling in the back of my mind. I had been married in the temple. I had accomplished my goal to stay worthy and find a worthy husband. And I wanted to continue choosing the right.

    I decided to look up “Dress and Appearance” in For the Strength of Youth. It had been a while since I had reviewed the booklet, so the words jumped out at me: “Through your dress and appearance, you can show that you know how precious your body is. You can show that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ and that you love Him” ([2011], 6).

    Those words echoed in my head. Was I a disciple of Jesus Christ? Was I willing to be true at all times and in all places (see Mosiah 18:9)?

    Since then I have decided that even in my late 20s, I must maintain the principles I learned in my youth. Those principles definitely still apply to me. I want to be a good example to my children. I want them to know that I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.