27 January 2015

Dressing Modestly ─ It's Totally A Plan Of Salvation Thing

NOTE: The words modest and modesty are too often used in an incomplete manner. Modesty refers to a person's character, and not merely to a manner of dress. Clarification needs to take place in discussions about modest dress so we understand that there is more to modesty than making sure your skirt hits your knees. Charity, virtue, humility, constraint, and meekness are all characteristics that make a person "modest". That being said, this post will concentrate only on modest dress.

I've seen several articles and online discussions over the years about dressing modestly, including discussions about the resultant feelings of body shaming, unfairness in the manner in which modest dress is taught to young women versus young men, and the shifting of responsibility of the thoughts and actions of another onto the wearer of clothing that someone else might judge to be indecent.

I'm certainly not the most qualified (or eloquent) writer to throw my two cents into this discussion, but I do have a thing or two to say from my perspective of the debate. While I hope my ability to be understanding and kind to those who may disagree will continue to evolve and grow, I won't ever change this position – namely that dressing modestly is a standard to uphold and is set by modern day prophets who receive guidance and revelation through the Holy Ghost for those of our day and age.

Here is what I believe to be the essential ingredient missing from discussions about modest dress – the plan of salvation. I know you might be thinking, “Huh?”

Hear me out.

We learn from the plan of salvation that this earth was prepared as a place for us to receive a mortal body and to learn obedience so we can become like our Heavenly Father. We also learn that Satan cannot have a body because of choices he made in the premortal existence. (PLEASE, let’s all finally stop saying pre-existence. That's just doctrinally wrong. We existed, therefore it isn't a pre-existence.)

Here’s the really important part – Satan will do everything in his power to get you to abuse your body. He teaches that your body is yours to do with it whatever you want. From one extreme to the other he will make you feel anything from anxiety, shame, embarrassment, disgust, and self-loathing, to exhibitionistic, shameless, vain, and self-obsessed...or any variant of body image across a wide spectrum of descriptors. From self-harm to self-worship, excess to deprivation, nowhere in his agenda is there room for a healthy attitude of indebtedness to our Father in Heaven for the marvelous gift of a physical body.

As in all cases of God's laws versus Satan's counterfeits, a line must be drawn between salvation and destruction. When dressing modestly is taught without the clarifying influence of boundaries that the Lord has set to protect our bodies, Satan is easily able to distort the beautiful doctrine of the sacredness of a physical body into guilt-ridden lists of manipulative restrictions. The learner often still wonders "why", while the teacher often ends up conveying an air of "because I said so".

Once, a young lady came to me and asked why our church taught that shoulders should be covered. “What’s wrong with bare shoulders,” she asked? Of course, nothing is “wrong” with bare shoulders. (That’s a doctrine of shame that comes from Satan.) And though to others her question and tone may have seemed defiant, I could tell she sincerely wanted to know why dressing modestly is a standard of our church. Instead of just giving her a quick answer and sending her on her way, I had a fairly rare moment of inspiration and clarity, and I asked her to give me a week to think and to pray about her question. I asked her to pray as well. I knew that Heavenly Father wanted me to be able to help His daughter find truth, but I also felt that I was unprepared at the time to really be of benefit to her. We ended up talking a week later and had a wonderful discussion about the plan of salvation, where questions were answered, and I learned a lot about the process of asking for and receiving revelation that pertained to my stewardship.

As I stated earlier, a line must be drawn separating salvation and destruction. For our day and time, the line has been drawn for the modest dressing of our bodies to just past the shoulders and at the knees. Those current guidelines aren't restrictions, but are blessings to help us understand the gift of our bodies. Wise stewardship of our bodies is essential to the fulfillment of the plan of salvation. Modest dress, for the right reasons, engenders appreciation for our bodies, and gratitude for our Father in Heaven who has given us our bodies as part of a beautiful gift of progression and joy.

So you see: Dressing modestly ─ it's totally a plan of salvation thing.

PS – Obviously the definition of modest dress is contextual. Different activities such as swimming, cheerleading, playing sports, dancing, etc, require adaptability and common sense in choice of attire. A hundred and fifty years ago, standards of modest dress were obviously very different from today. Even now, different countries and cultures have various standards for defining modest dress. This is why it is essential to have guidance and instruction from modern day prophets and apostles who represent the Lord.

29 March 2014

He Giveth Power To The Faint

Isaiah 40:29 - He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

This has been a favorite scripture of mine for some time, and now that my mom has been diagnosed with stage IV lymphoma this last week, I'm pretty sure it's going to be one of our chemo theme scriptures! I wanted my mom to have a copy of it close by her (one she could see without having to put her glasses on) so I quickly made up this 5x7 printable before I leave to head over to the hospital this morning. (Hopefully her hemoglobin is high enough for this to be Chemo Day 1.)

23 August 2013

Things of No Moment

Wise words: "The tongue is an unruly member—hold your tongues about things of no moment." -Joseph Smith

12 July 2013

Ryan's Mission Call (A Year Ago Today)

I am SOOO terrible about updating this blog, and just realized that I hadn't posted Ryan's mission call video, which, incidentally, was a from year ago today. Of course, since he was working two almost full-time jobs to be able to save enough money to serve, he was at work when the call came. He made us leave it in the mailbox, but that didn't mean we couldn't peak at it!

He's been gone about 8 months. Man do I miss him! But we love missionary work!!! :)It helps that he is always so HAPPY in his emails home, even though I'm sure learning Russian has been one of the hardest things he's had to do in his life.

If you want to read his mission letters and occasionally see photos, click here to go to his missionsite.


“Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G. K. Chesterton

27 June 2013

My Defense of Marriage

Neal A. Maxwell stated (in a wonderful talk, by the way):  
In Proverbs, we read, “For the commandment is a lamp” (Prov. 6:23). Once darkened, a society loses its capacity to distinguish between right and wrong and the will to declare that some things are wrong per se. Without the lamp, our world finds itself desperately building temporary defenses, drawing new lines, forever falling back, unwilling to confront. A society which permits anything will eventually lose everything! Therefore, recognized or not, the public has an enormous stake in private morality!
I can't speak for other people who share my LDS faith, but this is why I choose to defend the traditional, Godly definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman. If we let the light of Christ darken because we think it's none of our business what others do with their agency, or because we are afraid to step on toes, or push our beliefs on others, then how will those who are searching for truth find their way? Who will be their light?

I defend marriage out of a great love for the eternal welfare of mankind. You don't have to agree with me, and you don't even have to agree with my motives, but this is what I believe:

23 June 2013

The Influence of Mothers

A quote from tonight's Worldwide Leadership Training broadcast: 
"The greatest teaching in the church is done by the mothers." ~President Boyd K. Packer

27 September 2012

Wrong vs. Right

27 August 2012

Our Dog is NOT Naked. He Has a Collar.

After a recent trip to the library, Gabby came to me with a newly checked out book and explained that she just COULD NOT read it.

That it was "inappropriate".

And "disturbing."

What, you may ask, was the problem with the book?

"Mom, the animals are... (whispered) naked."

I tried my best to suppress my laughter (which infuriated her). But her face! She was so serious! And she was so appalled! By the nakedness! Of animals! HOW. DARE. THEY!?!

I pointed over to our dog.

Our naked dog.

But before I could even get any words out, she rationalized that our dog is NOT naked, BECAUSE HE HAS A COLLAR.

Well...how can you argue with that?! (More laughter.)

Finally, I got her to explain that it was because they were drawn to mimic people, living in houses, and wearing high heels, and hats, and jewelry. (I don't know how that wouldn't count as much as our dog's collar?!)

---Is it sick that after looking at the illustrations, now I'm craving bacon?

14 June 2012

Hey Girl.

Have you seen those Ryan Gosling "Hey girl" memes? (They're everywhere but some of my favorite are here.)

Well, with my Ryan getting ready to submit his mission papers, he needed to attach a photo, which we took yesterday. And after visiting the Mormon Hey Girl tumblr page, I had to laugh when I thought about what Ryan Harris might say in a "Hey girl" meme, knowing he'll be gone on a mission for 2 years.

Ta da...

PS --- I know our family blog has been horribly, horribly neglected. I am working on doing some major catch up on here. {Soon.}

PPS --- Post mission, remind me to post an update like THIS. ;)

08 April 2012

His Sacred Name

I taught the Easter lesson today to all my Young Women. They are such wonderful girls and I love and admire each one of them and their strengths, talents, personalities and testimonies.

This video that the church produced was perfect for the last part of my lesson. Before showing the girls the video, we spent some time reading each scripture and discussing the different things that either happened to the Savior, or His actions. I made a bookmark (printed just smaller than scripture size) for each of the Young Women and had them fill in the blanks after we read each verse. (The photo in the background was one I took when we did a stake youth service project last December at St. Judes Ranch.)

At first, everyone was excited about Easter, and candy, and visiting amongst themselves, and I was worried that it might be difficult to be able to feel a reverence that this lesson deserved. But after reading just a few verses, there was a peace that settled in over the room and it ended up being a really touching lesson.

The video is so beautiful that I just had to share it here.

15 February 2012

Party Guests in a Tube: Part 2

Corey says: "My family is so creative... they cut some paper and traced themselves, and came to my apartment and celebrated my birthday with me. Hence, the "party guests." :) "

Aw, glad he liked it! (Do you notice anything fishy about the biceps on the silhouette (Ryan) on the far left? Ha!)

13 February 2012

You Decide

Gabby is a very visual child. She often draws pictures to ask me questions.

Don't get me wrong, she is a talker, too. (She isn't named GABBY for nothin'!)

A few days ago she brought me this doodle to explain her need for a nightstand. (FOR MY EYEGLASSES MOMMMM!) ((Yeah right, that's why there's a tiara on your doodled night stand, Gabby.))

But as soon as I saw it, I was confused...was she asking for a nightstand or asking us to tie a ballerina into the bed and set her on fire?

Doesn't it look like that to you???


Oh, well she didn't think so either and was quite upset that the entire family agreed with me.

MOMMMMMM, it's an afghan so of course there are little lines instead of a blanket! And that's NOT fire, that's her really pretty headboard!!!!!!!!!!!!! Humph!

(Arms folded, nose in the air, aaaaand stomp stomp stomp away.)

Well! She won't be getting a nightstand OR a tiara anytime soon.  ;)

08 February 2012

Party Guests in a Tube

Today is the anniversary of the day I became a mother.

Look at all of his HAIR!

At 8:50pm on a Friday night in 1991, our gorgeous firstborn son came into this world. I remember the peacefulness of that moment, when the tears and agony of childbirth were immediately replaced by tears of thankfulness and joy. The pain was gone. The room hushed. The only sound was a newborn baby boy with healthy lungs. I could feel the press of eternity in that moment. It testified to me that this earth life is short, and precious, and oh, so meaningful.

Here we are, 21 years later, anxiously awaiting his return from a two year LDS mission. (48 days, but who's counting.) We especially miss him on specials days like holidays and birthdays. So this year we decided to "join him" at his birthday party.

We got 7 rolls of wrapping paper (from the Dollar Store) and laid down on the floor and traced ourselves onto the white side of the paper. (We did the dog too, sorry no photo, but we just taped the paper up on a wall, held him still and traced him silhouette style.) I cut everyone out using an exacto knife and my rotary cutting mat.

Once everyone was cut out, we put tape on the back, so there'd be no excuse for Corey not taping them up on the wall, and then put pieces of wax paper over the tape...which, by the way, wasn't sticking too well so you may want to try another avenue if you ever attempt this. We stacked them all on top of each other, being careful not to lose any wax paper tape guards, and gently rolled them up around an empty wrapping paper tube. Then we wrapped a heavy weight wrapping paper around it all and labeled it with some instructions. We're hoping they didn't shift too much in shipping, leaving Corey a wrapping paper mess, all stuck together.

We had fun trying out different poses that fit our personality. I didn't get photographs of all of them, and in hind sight (get it, hind sight, ha-ha), some of us (ahem, me) should have taken the opportunity to make themselves a little less life-size. ;) We didn't get too crazy worrying about it being perfect. Sometimes we chopped off feet or didn't get too detailed about fingers, etc. We realized this was a one-time use that we didn't expect Corey to save!

Since our birthday boy didn't want anything for his birthday, we got a large mailing tube, painted a candle on one side and HAPPY 21st BIRTHDAY on the other side, and stuffed it with 21 Ding-Dong cakes, one of which had 21 candles stuck in the top. We wrapped and padded the candle filled Ding-Dong with tissue paper so it wouldn't get smashed.

We also filled the tube with confetti, since that's his favorite (not) and then stuffed some cash in there to make up for the confetti. :) The cake filled mailing tube and the "party guests" tube each fit perfectly in a long priority mailing box. Then we labeled the ends of the box so he knew which one to open first.

And there you have it. A missionary's 21st birthday party in a box with his "family." HAPPY BIRTHDAY COREY!!!!!

(He just posted a photo on Facebook of his birthday "cake". Love it. Can't wait until I see pics of the party guests all up on his wall. He said he was confused a little at first but then thought it was really cool and creative. Yay!)

02 February 2012


12 January 2012

Book of Mormon Reading Chart Printable

I looked a little bit for a FREE Book of Mormon reading chart this morning and didn't find anything I really liked, so I made my own and thought I'd share them with you. The one with a border has faint little chapter numbers. I like it on plain white card stock...it looks crisp and clean. You can get four to a sheet. Happy reading!

Self Explanatory

29 December 2011


With all the buzz going around about "Elf on the Shelf" this year over on Pinterest and Facebook, I realized that if we'd done that when my boys (especially Ryan) were younger, they would have freeeaked out! ---A doll that comes to life at night and gets into mischief while you sleep! Cute in a Toy Story movie...creepy in your own home! Not to mention it spies on you! I think my boys would have flushed it down the toilet. Or at least tortured it with a magnifying glass or push pins.

But now that he's older, Ryan looooves playing practical jokes and scaring people. For example: when we least expect it, he moves our cardboard cutout of Corey all around the house. Rob screams like a girl every time. (In his defense, it's 6 foot tall, and could be mistaken as a stranger in your house...or at least your son who's out on a 2 year mission and shouldn't be home!)

Ryan knows his dad hates sock monkeys so of course he had to buy one. Well, gee, no wonder Rob is freaked out by them! Apparently they show up when you least expect, and with WEAPONS waiting to scare the crud out of Dad when he goes for a toothpick!

19 December 2011


"What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?" I heard this a few months ago, meant to ponder it more and then, as we humans do, completely forgot my resolve to do so. But after a lesson about gratitude in Sunday School yesterday, I can't stop thinking about this. So I decided to make up a printable and post it on the blog, mostly so I can be reminded of it. I tell my kids pretty often that if you aren't happy, then you aren't grateful, and then I forget to follow my own advice. This is the wake up call I needed. (FYI - It's cropped to print 8x10.)

14 September 2011

Tacky Party

So, this was a really fun dance idea we found somewhere online. We changed it a little bit though. It called for using wire and instead we strung crochet thread ($3.47 for 1000 yards!) across the gym with the eyelets that were already in the walls. Wire is a bit pricier and if it were to break, we had visions of wire whipping across a bunch of kids and decided we'd rather have string break than wire. (It did not break, however.)

Then, we very tackily (is that a word?) taped up the words "Tacky Party" with masking tape on one wall using toilet paper and threw some TP up on the strings so the kids would know this was part of the decorations and then mounded up 72 rolls of TP in a pyramid on the stage. (Incidentally, I must add that I thought we should call it an "End of Summer Blowout", get it, TP...blowout...but everyone else thought that was tooooo tacky, haha.)

We instructed the DJ to pick a fun song after a lot of the kids were there (about a half hour into the dance) and to tell them they could TP the gym. Oh my goodness, you should have seen it. First of all, I was worried someone was going to get trampled running to the stage but once they got ahold of the TP, it was SO MUCH FUN to watch them toilet paper the gym. They went through 72 rolls in less than a song though.

Not much toilet paper ended up staying up on the strings, they pulled it down and threw it on each other for the rest of the night. The only two things I'd really change is to make sure you have enough chaperones, and don't serve bottled water. We didn't have enough chaperones show up and the kids were a little crazy because there were too few adults in the room. I heard the next day that some people were complaining about people shoving TP down their clothing. We definitely didn't have enough adults if that was happening! :( Also, a few kids were taking the water from the bottled water and wetting the TP. Yuck. At the end of the dance we stood by the doors with trash cans and asked the kids to scoop up a handful on the way out --- and they did! Surprisingly the clean up was quick and we were out of there about 20 minutes after the dance ended. (Oh, to fit with the "tacky" theme, we didn't have tablecloths, we served water and Capri Sun's in buckets of ice on the bare table and just had bags of chips and ice cream cones (Drumsticks) which we also ran out of...hey, it was pretty tacky. ;) Fun, fun. This is one dance theme we'll do again. A WORD OF CAUTION: The dance floor got pretty slippery with all that toilet paper on the ground. Luckily we had no injuries but it could happen.