Monday, May 23, 2005

Here Come the Judge...

Lisa over at conversation has a post on "modesty and the modern world". I think it is a great post. I have some of the same "judging" issues as she does. I admit to casting a prejudice eye on those who stand on Holy ground, i.e. LDS Temples. I judge.

Perhaps it is because I have had some success in the area of the topic of concern, because I find myself rather tolerant of other things. (yes, I admit to a double standard) Lisa admits to this weakness as well. I think she is brave to stand at the e-world's front and say out loud she is saddened by what she witnessed. So THANK YOU LISA! You have drug me out into the open to stand with you.

I, S'mee, am saying it our loud: I am sick of the sight of inappropriate attire within the grounds of the temple. To be even more snarky (Lisa, I think, would never do this, she is extremely nice from what I have read of her)...on to being snarky... I am tired of the look of (many of) both genders within the hall of my local church chapel. (Thousands around the world now gasping! o.k. maybe just the ten people out there who read this blog)

(Using your best Rod Serling voice...) Imagine if you will, that we have been invited to a V.I.P. dinner at the White House. We will be sitting next to the President and his lovely wife. We have been asked there to represent ourself, our family, and an average citizen for our country. Other dignitaries will be present and will be introduced to us by name. This is their opportunity to see and converse with us -this one time- about how we feel about being an American citizen and what we believe.

Keep in mind these folks are pretty nice and they hail from the great state of Texas, where I presume, they enjoy a great pair of Levi's as much or more than the other guy. What would we wear?

Would we:
a. Knowing they are hunky dory with jeans and nice folks, show up in our comfy jeans. A little shaggy, but the President will know we are a hard worker and not mind our casual nature.
b. Say to ourself, "hmm, he's a nice guy, but hey, this is the White House, maybe I should wear my best khakis and a golf shirt."
c. Hear Cloris Leachman say, "I suggest you put on a tie!" and wear our suit.
d. Rent the best tux we can afford.

This is a State Dinner, think carefully, what would we do? Think about how we will feel with the others in the room. They, we understand, will be dressed in the finest attire their country requires. For some it will be a tuxedo, others it will be perhaps a special fabric tied in a unique way that symbolizes the importance of the occasion. What is the best choice for us?

Another question to think about. The conversation that will be had.
Will we
a. Think the best way to represent our family and self is to "be ourself", in other words, not change a thing about the way weill speak. They will get the same speech and language we would use at a ball game with our buddies.
b. Clean it up a tad. But hey, how will they really know us unless we keep it "real".
c. Watch our speech carefully.
d. Make sure we use clear language, speak a bit slower than we would in normal conversation, enunciate and try to use words that convey exactly what we feel and believe. Perhaps we will even go so far as to try to learn about the other countries that will be there so that we can ask them pertinent questions as well. Try to improve the level of our conversational skills for the evening.

Hopefully, if you think the way I do (yes, I know, I am the epitome of knowledge), you will have chosen "d" in both sections. Not that we want to misrepresent ourself, but rather show respect for the honour we have been given and to elevate those we represent as well.

Now, if we do these things for our president, should we not do these things for our God? I told you in a post that last week we had to find the "perfect dress" for prom. Do you think I expect anything less "perfect" for my daughter to go to worship her God? Granted she does not show up in a formal for Sacrament meeting, but she does show up showered, groomed, and in clothes that show respect for the occasion. She does not wear sandals and tank tops to Sacrament Meeting. Nor does she feel denim is a fabric of choice when worship is involved. Money is not at issue here. She does not need to purchase a suit from Nordstroms, an outfit from home will do just fine.

If all we have is a simple dress or khakis and a golf shirt, make sure they are clean, pressed and in the best repair possible. Bleach white shirts, keep them crisp and tucked in properly. Spot clean the ties so that they are presentable as well. Purchase clothing that fits well and does not cling. Keep all parts of our body between knees and shoulders covered. Keep hosiery in good repair and clean. Polish and dust shoes before worship. Attend to grooming in all areas. Our body should be as clean as possible before approaching the Lord in formal worship. Pay attention to the nail beds and tips, we carry and or pass the tokens of His Sacrament. Our hair should be clean, cut or styled in a manner befitting those who represent the Lord.

Speech is another issue. Acceptable slang is not appropriate for use in worship. Clean it up, think about what should be said in the House of the Lord, and in His chapels. Find out a little about Heavenly Father, His preferences, His choices, His way of thinking, His customs, so the conversation isn't always inward. Think of the responsibility we have as His representative, do we live up to that as best we can? Or do we think, "hey, He's a nice guy, He already has forgiven me and He doesn't expect me to come all dressed up, He just wants me there."

Doesn't He deserve the same respect we would give a concert, prom, or state dinner? Doesn't He deserve more?

add to sk*rt