Trigger word: Modesty

It began simply enough. A single comment amid a sea of cheerful exclamations and emojis.

Blog post featuring beautiful, LDS woman, modeling this fashionable outfit:

Barefoot Blonde

Comment: I’m confused, aren’t you Mormon? Your clothes aren’t really appropriate for a married, Mormon, woman.

OP: That is a personal topic and one that I do not wish to discuss on this public forum. Thank you for understanding.

Comment: It truly makes me sick looking at your outfits and knowing that you are not wearing your garments. Is fashion really more important than the covenants you made in the temple? You should be ashamed of yourself.

Well, that escalated quickly.

One of my mormon-y struggles is the way the LDS church talks about modesty. Maybe this is nitpicky, but Jesus Christ himself never actually spoke on the subject, except in reference to it being a virtue. Modesty, in its most basic sense, actually has nothing to do with what clothes you wear (or do not wear for that matter). Modesty is the quality or state of being unassuming or moderate in the estimation of one’s abilities. Nothing in there about hiding your knee-caps.

Now, one could argue that the argument wasn’t about modesty at all–it was about the commenter’s opinion that the blogger wasn’t keeping her covenant with God by not wearing garments (LDS underwear). Here is the thing though…the blogger is 5″10. I don’t know how much the average reader knows about LDS garments, but I’ll tell you that the sizing is weird. Waaaaaaaaaaay weird. As a tall, slender woman, she could probably wear a pretty short skirt without her garments showing. Of course, if she did have garments on, why didn’t she just say so? Well…probably because it is weird to talk about your underwear in a public forum, which I think her comment addressed. Also, garments are sacred and personal, right? I’m pretty sure we don’t hand out ward callings titled, “garment police.”

Regardless, my beef with the situation is this: as a representative of Christ, why on earth would you ever want to bring someone down about their personal choices? Why did this person feel obligated to criticize her with such cruel, angry language? Jesus was pretty clear about how we were supposed to treat one another, and there was nothing of Christ a-n-y-w-h-e-r-e in her comment.

After witnessing this shocking exchange, I started actively looking for similar encounters online. It was too easy, ya’ll. Way. Too. Easy. I’ll only share one more, because the negativity wears at the enamel of my soul, but you get the picture.

Nevermind that the only skin visible is her hands and neck. Apparently its

Comment: Hey I just wanted to say that i noticed in earlier posts that you got married in the temple. Wearing a dress that short is definitely inappropriate. You are representing a lot of people on this blog. You are even representing your in-laws. You’re not fooling anyone by dressing like this…I’m embarrassed for you.

This type of response accomplishes nothing but enmity.

Life is short and time is fleeting. If you consider yourself a follower of Jesus Christ, then maybe you should worry less about the outward appearance, “for the Lord looketh on the heart.” Samuel 16:7