Monday, February 16, 2009

A Streak of Inspiration...

I remember the precise moment when I knew that it was no longer OK to be naked in public.  I am guessing that I was about 5 years old.  My parents had left us with a sitter for the evening, and I was not pleased when she informed us that it was bathtime, because, being summer, it was still daylight outside.  

Brilliantly, I thought that as payback or rebellion or just for laughs (I'm not exactly sure), I decided that I would slip out of the tub wrapped in a towel and run out of the front door.

In all honesty, it felt good--a thrill really--when I tossed that towel to the wind and ran from the front of my house toward the back yard. 

As I rounded the corner of my house, en route to our back door, I spotted my neighbor, a boy exactly my age, and his father working with wood in their back yard.  Time stopped, as I stood there naked as a jaybird, sawdust flying through the air and the three of us stairing at each other with our mouths gaping.  

In that moment, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the time for being "innocently" naked in public had definitely passed.

I reached for the handle of our back door and found it inconveniently locked.  Luckily, my babysitter or some other merciful sibling decided not to wait too long before unlocking it.

I'm guessing that each of us has similar moments (although perhaps not as dramatically played out) where we come into an awareness of ourselves and what is appropriate and what is not.

It is in part because of this state of awareness that we have a concept called modesty.

In an August 2008 Ensign article, Robert D. Hales outlines the principle of modesty.  He says, "Modesty is not just cultural.  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.  To be modest is to be humble, and being humble invites the Spirit to be with us."

The scriptures indicate that modesty was introduced to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, "Unto Adam...and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them."

Like Adam and Eve we have been taught that our bodies were created in the likeness of God and that they house our spirits.  Of this, Elder Hales says, "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....Our clothing is more than just covering for our bodies; it reflects who we are and what we want to be, both here in mortality and in the eternities that will follow."

The humorous experience I have shared merely clued me in to the idea of the necessity of wearing clothes.  Of course, it took a few more mortal experiences for me to fully appreciate the importance of modest attire.  But those stories will have to be fodder for future (jokes and) blog posts.

You can learn more about Modesty at the following links:

Modesty (Source:  True to the Faith)

Modest Dressing Guidelines From Elder Hales' talk on Modesty


  1. fun post, I love your's interesting that adam and eve didn't know they were naked until after they ate of the apple. reminds me of the innocence of little children.

  2. I am so glad you shared this! Those quotes from Elder Hales are, of course, inspired. :) I work with the YW and sometimes it's hard to talk with them about modesty in terms other than "keep the boys' thoughts pure"... and I have issue with the idea of modest girls being modest JUST for the boys. The boys are in charge of themselves, as are the girls. Anyway... love this. And will definitely be using this with my YW!