I attended a fireside recently in which a female speaker mentioned that she had served in a temple. One of the women came to the temple “with a color of hair not found in nature.”  She noted that the woman had lots more jewelry than most, and that while the dress she wore was white, it was not typical of traditional temple dresses worn by women.  She said seeing this woman took her out of the frame of mind of worship.

I guess I can see her point, but I also remember an old bishop who said his favorite smell in sacrament meeting was cigarettes because it meant a person was either not a member, or was probably trying to repent and get his life in a better spot.  I also remember a few posts by Mormon Heretic in which he described the Church of Saints and Sinners, as well as the Tattooed Mormon.  A few scriptures came to mind from the Topical Guide:

  • for man looketh on the outward appearance: 1 Sam. 16:7 .
  • Judge not according to the appearance: John 7:24 .
  • Do ye look on things after the outward appearance: 2 Cor. 10:7 .

We are often told that we shouldn’t draw attention to ourselves.  But is this woman unfairly judging based on appearance?  Who is more at fault for “interrupting” someone’s worship:  the person with the unconventional apparel, or the person judging?  Should we completely ignore what someone wears, or should we be grateful they are worshiping with us?  Where do you draw the line?  Do you like the smell of repentant sinners in your sacrament meeting as this bishop mentioned?