16 December 2012

Did you wear pants to church?

Did you wear pants to church today? Do you normally wear pants to church? What makes you decide to wear pants to church? Hmm…does it depend on your religion? Or maybe on where you live?

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and apparently there was some hoopla about wearing pants to church today! Did you hear about all this? We have not had TV service or internet service in our home for almost 4 months now and that is a whole other issue and post for another time. Suffice it to say, even with limited access and spending countless hours at the library for free Wi-Fi, I had not heard about this ‘event’ until my husband mentioned it a few days ago. There have been mixed information about the starts of this movement. The knowledge I received on the matter was that it started as an equality movement and bloomed from there.  I had a few friends blog about this and they are welcome to link their posts in the comments below.

As for me, well, I do have to say that with all the hoopla I've seen over the last few days, I did joke about wearing both pants and a skirt today, but I didn't,  I wore the same old tired denim skirt to church with one of the same old tired shirts! This photo is from three years ago, but it has the same skirt I wore today, just to give you an idea, I guess:

 I did not notice any females wearing pants in our branch (in Utah, Wasatch Front even) or in the other two wards that meet in our building. Admittedly, I did not pay extreme close attention because, well, it really just doesn’t matter to me what a person is wearing! I think it is much more important that they are coming to church! This is a bit of a soapbox topic for me, so I will just share a few thoughts/stories/experiences below and let that speak for itself:

My first experience with “not the best dressed” members attending church was in Taos, New Mexico, way back in the early 1990’s. As a member who grew up in the church, basically, this was the first time I made a real effort to attend church while on vacation. My younger sister and I attended, arriving about right on time. It was just before the sacrament was passed, a few men walked in dressed in work clothes (farmers) and they were not cleaned up, not a single person made any comments or gave any dirty looks for arriving in such a condition. I knew, even then, that if this were mainstream Utah, this would not have gone over so well!

On another trip, I visited a ward in St George, Utah where a sister arrived with about only 30 minutes left of church. She was wearing sweats, even! I found out later that she rode her bike to church, over 2 hours; just to arrive for the last 30 minutes. However you do the math, I still think that is very impressive to want to attend church for any amount possible to go to such lengths!

You know, men have dress code issues, too! My husband went through a period where he didn't feel comfortable attending church because he didn't have dress pants or dress shoes! For him, it was definitely a Utah thing, as that is where he has lived most of his life. He has come a long way from those days…don’t know if it is just life experience or my soapbox on the matter…but now when he finds himself waiting to get another suit, he would much rather attend church in jeans than not go to church at all. Of course, even though we live along the Wasatch Front, we attend a Branch, not a Ward, and there is a definite difference in atmosphere. For me, who has more experience with the church outside of Utah than he does, I can see the huge difference in how the members of our Branch treat each other in all kinds of ways, not just dress code acceptance, more like the units I've attend outside of mainstream Utah! This includes the one sister who can only attend periodically due to her work as a nurse and when she does come, she is usually in her scrubs, having come straight from work! I say, GOOD FOR HER!

Personally, it was never a question; you wear a dress/skirt to church, dressing the best you can! 6 Years ago we moved back from Mesquite, NV to Utah. My cousin lived in the ward at that time and she was telling me about a big deal being made in the Stake about sisters wearing denim to church. Well, my most common item to wear to church is a denim skirt! In the 6 years we have lived here, not a single person has said a word to me personally, that doesn't mean they haven’t had issues with it, but I’m an active member of the church that does my part, whatever I may be called to do at any given moment! What more can we expect from ourselves or others than just doing our best, whatever it may be, in our callings or attendance in church!  My cousin also told me of there being a lot of talk, bad talk, about sisters in the area attending the Temple in pants, now THAT is a whole other issue for another post and time! I guess my point here is that I don’t care whether you wear a dress or pants, if you are a member, or investigating or being asked to attend strictly because you want assistance of some sort from the church, it is far more important that you attend church! I just have to wonder how far this movement will go…how far is too far? That’s what it is to me…watsit2u?

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