LDS church allows female missionaries to wear pants

Female missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints walk down a street, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of Intellectual Reserve Inc./The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will now allow female missionaries to wear dress slacks, a move from the previously prescribed dress code that only allowed skirts and dresses.

Women model new dress code standards for female missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints | Photo courtesy of Intellectual Reserve Inc./The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, St. George News

The adjustment to dress standards, which takes effect immediately in all of the church’s missions, is primarily motivated by safety concerns, Dieter Uchtdorf, a member of the church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said in a press release issued by the church.

“Adjustment to the missionary dress and grooming standards have changed over time since the beginning of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in 1830 and will continue to do so in the future,” Uchtdorf said. “As we adapt these standards, we always carefully consider the dignity of the missionary calling to represent Jesus Christ, the safety, security, and health of our beloved missionaries, and the cultural sensitivities of the places where they serve.”

Bonnie Cordon, general president of the church’s Young Women program, elaborated on the changes for what the church refers to as “sister missionaries.”

“There are a lot of vector-borne diseases because of mosquitoes and ticks and fleas,” Cordon said in the press release. “This helps the sisters to prevent any of those bites or at least minimizes them.”

Women in roughly half of the church’s missions were allowed to wear pants previously, but only during the wet seasons when the likelihood of contracting mosquito-borne viral diseases such as dengue fever and Zika increases. This latest change will allow all sister missionaries to do so year-round, based on their own discretion.

Female missionaries on bicycles, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of Intellectual Reserve Inc./The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, St. George News

“This is truly optional,” Cordon said. “The sisters can wear dresses, they can wear slacks, whatever will help them in their service as they’re out amongst the people.”

Female missionaries will still be required to wear skirts and dresses when attending the temple and during Sunday worship services, mission leadership conferences and baptismal services.

In addition to safety concerns, Cordon said the change will make it easier to ride bicycles and help women who serve in cold climates stay warm.

The church’s missionary program is made up of volunteers who serve at their own expense. Young men ages 18-25 serve for two years, while young women ages 19-39 serve for 18 months. Couples in retirement also occasionally serve, with terms running between six months and two years.

Full details of the revised dress and grooming guidelines can be found on the church’s missionary website.

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11 Comments

  • Kilroywashere December 20, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    Ok, seeing this article I cant help but laugh. Not at the LDS Church or its members, rather at the entire idea behind the story. The last time LDS missionaries came to my door, (almost 2 years) it was two teenage girls. They were very friendly,cordial, and bursting with a sense of joy. And now that I think of it, they were wearing dresses. The conversation was short, as it turned towards religious questions etc, and suddenly I had a flash of insight. I told them they were super heroes and would prove it. So I told them to wait, and came back with a mint in-package LDS plastic toy figurines of 2 missionary girls (think late 1990s) that I had bought at Deseret industries seeing it in the glass case a few years back. The funny thing, the figures matched both of the girls to an exact T . They were stunned, and then got excited and wanted to do a selfie photograph etc, which I declined. I gave them the toy as a gift, and they were extremely happy and thanked me. And of course I told them they were indeed superheroes as they left laughing down my driveway.

  • Comment December 20, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    So if the girl missionaries get to wear pants now can the boy missionaries wear dresses and skirts. It’s only fair, right?

  • Real Life December 20, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Congratulations Mormons, what a monumental advancement! Welcome to Utah, please set your clocks back to 1919.

  • Redbud December 20, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    If they can allow a change like this, can we please have our fully-leaded beer, or are we forced to buy in Mesquite still?

  • karensg December 21, 2018 at 7:16 am

    And can we please buy wine in grocery stores?

  • Mike P December 21, 2018 at 9:05 am

    Here we go again. This is not news. It’s not even interesting news. It’s church news. All the LDS’ers already know this. The general public (remember the rest of us?) don’t need to know every time the church changes some archaic “rule”. Let us know when the “church” has to start paying taxes because they can’t seem to follow the “separation of church and state” laws. That would be news.

    • bikeandfish December 21, 2018 at 9:32 am

      Can you name/cite the laws they have broken? Asking as a agnostic citizen with no affiliation to the church who has never seen that claim substantiated.

  • Red2Blue310 December 21, 2018 at 9:20 am

    WOW! What next, different colors?

    • Comment December 21, 2018 at 9:20 pm

      Pant suits are next. Brightly colored barbie-doll-pink pant suits. Get ready for it.

  • theone December 21, 2018 at 9:57 am

    Nothing like having no control over your own existence. I don’t know if I despise the church for ruling peoples lives, or regret that fellow humans fall in line of this kind of mind control.

    • Comment December 21, 2018 at 9:20 pm

      Maybe you’re just jealous? lol

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