Wheat & Tares

Modesty as a Matter of Life and Death

She may be drowning, but at least she's modest!

I hate modesty posts.  This is my first modesty post.  I appreciate how it is a big issue with some people, and I think the church often goes overboard, but it’s just not that interesting of a topic to me.  However, I want to share with you a situation that happened with my sister just a few weeks ago.

First a little background.  I have 3 sisters, all 3 very active, temple married, good Mormon girls.  Older two have served in RS presidencies, (one passed away from a brain tumor.)  Third sister just was released as Young Women’s President.  Her ward is a fairly poor ward in Davis County (about 20 min north of Salt Lake City), with lots of inactive young men and women.  It’s all she can do to get these inactive girls to come to church, and she has put in a lot of effort to do that.  Now comes Girl’s Camp, and since the stake is in charge, they make the (stupid) rule that all swimsuits must be covered by a t-shirt, all in the name of modesty.  Mind you there are no boys around, because it is GIRLS CAMP.  No boys allowed, except for the obligatory bishopric/stake presidency members.

My sister is sitting on the beach with one of her counselors and the Stake Young Women’s president.  They notice a girl who seems to be struggling in the water a bit, probably due to this stupid t-shirt that makes it even harder to swim.  They are looking on concerned, and the counselor is a life guard and she thinks it’s probably time to do a water rescue.  Instinctively, she attempts to pull off her shirt to do a rescue swim, and the Stake YW President tells her not to take off the t-shirt in the name of modesty.  Who cares if this young girl dies (or the rescuer) because they are literally drowning in modesty?

If I were in that situation, I think I would not have held my composure and yelled “F-U, I’m saving this girl’s life.”  Feel free to release me after I save this girl’s life.  I mean really, this is a safety issue.  Everyone knows it’s not a good idea to swim with your clothes on, as you get waterlogged and it is much more difficult to swim.  This is especially true if you are trying to save a drowning victim who is likely panicking and thrashing around.  I’m no lifeguard, but jeez, isn’t this common sense?

Now the girl was alright.  No rescue was needed, but my Hell, this is a stupid, and potentially life threatening rule of modest stupidity.  Or to rephrase, this is SEVERE, LIFE-THREATENING STUPIDITY, there’s nothing modest about this t-shirt rule.  It needs to go yesterday.  No a decade ago.  No it should never have been implemented anywhere, at any time.  It’s stupid and serves no worthy purpose.  If you’re going to do a swimming activity, wear a bathing suit without a t-shirt.  Dress appropriately for the activity or don’t allow swimming at all, because people’s lives are potentially at stake.

It seems like common sense, but as Mark Twain once said, “Common sense isn’t always common.”  Modesty should not be an impediment to saving a person’s life.  This is beyond ludicrous.  Please tell me that this kind of stupidity only happens in Utah.  Thoughts?