How can I choose a modest swimming suit?

The Church encourages modesty in dress for all occasions, including swimming. The dilemma comes when people want pictures or measurements or definitions of exactly what is OK to wear. Since fashions change from place to place and time to time, this is not possible.

For example, several years ago Church guidelines said not to wear two-piece swimsuits. At that time, “two-piece swimsuits” meant bikinis, which are very revealing. Now fashion has changed, and some two-piece swimsuits are actually among the most modest swimsuits you can buy. They are better fitting and have longer tops that cover the torso. The bottoms come in more modest styles too. So the guideline not to wear a two-piece swimsuit is not as helpful as it once was, but the goal to dress modestly remains.

In sports, recreation, and all aspects of our lives, we need to practice the principle of modesty.

“Modesty is a gospel principle that applies to people of all cultures and ages. In fact, modesty is fundamental to being worthy of the Spirit. …

“… When we recognize our bodies as the gifts they are and when we understand the missions they help us fulfill, we protect and honor them by how we act and dress.

“In everyday living, immodest clothing such as short shorts, miniskirts, tight clothing, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and other revealing attire are not appropriate” (Robert D. Hales, “Modesty: Reverence for the Lord,” Ensign, Aug. 2008, 34–35).

Concerning modesty, it is best when we no longer ask, “How far can I go?” but rather, “How well can I follow gospel standards?”

Is it all right to call Church leaders by their first names?

Sometimes we get so close to our leaders that we are tempted to become casual in our relationships with them. While it is good to be friendly, it is also important to show proper respect for them and their callings. In the Church it is customary to refer to adults as “Brother” or “Sister,” a greeting that both shows respect and reminds us that we are children of Heavenly Father. Other more formal titles, such as elder, bishop, or president, are also used as signs of respect. Full-time missionaries set a good example of this by referring to each other as “Elder” or “Sister.”

It is important to be respectful to our Church leaders and remember that although they are our friends, in a Church setting we should honor their callings and show respect by referring to them as “Brother” or “Sister.”

President Monson said that serving a full-time mission is a priesthood responsibility. What does that mean?

Last general conference President Thomas S. Monson said: “To young men of the Aaronic Priesthood and to you young men who are becoming elders: I repeat what prophets have long taught—that every worthy, able young man should prepare to serve a mission. Missionary service is a priesthood duty—an obligation the Lord expects of us who have been given so very much” (“As We Meet Together Again,” Ensign, Nov. 2010, 5–6; emphasis added).

Part of receiving the priesthood is agreeing to take upon yourself the responsibilities and duties that come with it. As with any gift that Heavenly Father gives, He expects you to use the priesthood to bless others. “For of him unto whom much is given much is required” (D&C 82:3).

Holders of the Aaronic Priesthood are “to warn, expound, exhort, and teach, and invite all to come unto Christ” (D&C 20:59). As President Monson stated, serving a full-time mission is a duty of priesthood holders. On a mission you will devote all of your energy, time, and focus to fulfilling that duty: serving, preaching the gospel, and inviting all to come unto Christ. Of course, fulfilling your duty always comes with blessings. Your mission will be a time of great joy and spiritual growth.

From left: photo illustrations by Brandon Flint, Steve Bunderson, and Robert Casey