Today, however, I feel a strong desire to say what is weighing heavily on my heart. It has to deal with a movement I became aware of yesterday "Wear Pants to Church day".
This movement has my heart feeling heavy. I am so sad that this is even happening. Please, bear with me, as I tell you why I will continue to wear a dress to church every Sunday.
I am a woman.
Plain and simple. I wear a dress because I feel, for me, it shows greater respect for worshipping my Father in Heaven. I don't wear a dress every day of the week. In fact, I only wear a dress for special occasions. Every Sunday is a special occasion for me.
Sunday is a day I set aside for the sole purpose of learning and worshipping. A day I focus on my family, and the eternal importance they are to me. It is a day I take to reflect on my Savior and His gift of Life.
When I wear a dress, I feel different, and so do those around me.
Wearing a dress, means I have to be more conscious of how I act, how I move my body, and the care I take in looking nice. A dress gives me the time to ponder on my Savior's life, because I can't go for a run in a dress. I can't sprawl out on the floor and be lazy in a dress. While wearing a dress, I just feel better. I feel closer to my Father in Heaven.
Recently while going out to do my monthly Visiting Teaching (a program in our church, where 2 women visit a list of other women to check on their well being, and leave them with a spiritual message), my partner noticed I was in a dress. It was laundry day at my house, and my skirt was the only thing clean to wear. However she told me "We should wear a dress every time we go visiting. I think it would help us feel the Spirit more."
And you know what? I think she's right. When I visit these women, I want to take with me the Spirit of Christ, that we may be more receptive to what the women may be in need of. It's obviously not just me, but my partner felt that Spirit more as well, just from wearing a dress.
I am not inferior to men.
I am so so so very tired of being told that because I wear a dress to church, or because I can't have the priesthood power, that I must be inferior to men, and therefore am subject to them, and am living an old way of life. I am tired of being told that times are changing and I need to get with them; that somehow because I enjoy the old way of life, I must be brainwashed and am a victim of male domination.
I am here to tell you I am not any of those things. Mark and I work as a team. We both have divine responsibilities set forth from our Father in Heaven. Who am I to tell God He is wrong? Who am I to go against what I feel is the divine role of women? Would you like to know what I feel is my role as a women?
By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.I truly believe my divine role as a mother is to nurture my children. To see to their needs both physically and spiritually. To comfort them when hurt, sick, and afraid. To guide them with an eternal perspective. This is my role, and I am proud of it. I take great pride in teaching my children eternal principles - self worth, respect, love and more.
- The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Given By Gordon B Hinkley (Prophet, Seer and Revelator) in 1995
As the Proclamation states, I am an equal partner to my husband. I help support him in providing our children with the necessities of life and protection. In turn, Mark also helps with the nurturing at home. He is present in our daily family prayers, and embracing the teachings we want our kids to understand. Together we are a team, and without each other, our family life wouldn't be the happy place it is.
In essence, my whole idea of making our house a home, would not happen, if we were competing with each other to be the provider, or the nurturer. I don't feel inferior. I feel divinely inspired to stay home where I can watch over the well being of my children, morning noon and night.
I enjoy feeling feminine.
I actually like being a girl. I've told you before that I'm no girly girl. I don't wear makeup daily, I struggle making my hair and the kids hair look fancy (or even just really nice), but I love dressing up. I love knowing that I'm a girl at heart. I enjoy kisses in the moonlight, Mark holding my hand, wearing high heels and perfecting the poise needed for stilettos. I love crying at sappy movies while cuddling up with Mark. This is who I am.
I like cooking. I enjoy having a warm meal for Mark to come home to. I feel accomplished when I can 6 jars of peaches for my family to eat throughout the winter. The smells of cookies/bread/pie baking are some of my favorites to indulge in. Sewing is another passion of mine. I enjoy making pretty things for my kids to wear/play with. Seeing their smiles because I made something just for them (even if it's not that great), warms me to the core.
My message to the Feminists reading this
Please leave politics out of my sacred time at church. I want to go to church and feel the Spirit. I personally don't care if you want to wear pants. As long as you come ready to learn and worship with me, you could be naked for all I care (OK really please don't go that far, I might blush).
Your mindset is wrong. I truly believe that The Church of Jesus Christ is led by a Prophet of God. I believe Joseph Smith saw God our Father and His Son Jesus Christ in a grove of trees in New York. I have been in that grove and felt something amazing.
God is our Father. He loves each of us equally, because we are His Children. He is no respecter of persons. God looks on the heart.
Making a political statement at church is to me, equivalent of telling God He is wrong, and needs to change. Your heart isn't in the right place. He knows that if you come to church wearing pants, and you feel that is your best dress, then He won't care. He will love you for coming to Him.
But if you come to church intent on telling others they are wrong for wearing a dress, that they should seek "gender equality" because somehow they are inferior, your heart isn't at church. You aren't there to worship. God knows that.
Thank you for reading my thoughts on this subject. I have prayed about writing this. I don't want to offend. I just needed to get this out there. I need the feminists to understand where we women who don't embrace your movement are coming from. Why we feel the way we do. We are happy with our roles, and would very much like you to stop telling us we are inferior. We don't feel that way, and we are sorry that you do.
With that I'd like to end with this quote from church leadership
The Church has not attempted to indicate just how long women’s or girls’ dresses should be nor whether they should wear pant suits or other types of clothing. We have always counseled our members to be modest in their dress, maintaining such standards in connection therewith as would not be embarrassing to themselves and to their relatives, friends, and associates. We have advised our people that when going to the temple they should not wear slacks or mini-skirts, nor otherwise dress immodestly. We have not, however, felt it wise or necessary to give instructions on this subject relative to attendance at our church meetings, although we do feel that on such occasions they should have in mind that they are in the house of the Lord and should conduct themselves accordingly.According to that, you can wear pants to church. So why you must make a big deal out of it, I don't understand. It just shows more that your heart is not at church. Again, I am sorry to any women who feel like they are less, but please don't tell me I must feel that way. I don't. I am happy with who I am, and my divine role.
- Church Policies and Procedures. 1971
*I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Many know us as Mormons. If you'd like to learn more about our church and what we believe, please visit Mormon.org or feel free to ask me any questions. I am an open book.