Is Swimwear Immodest?

Dear Lily,

My son came to me this week and said he was being invited to a swim party at a neighbor’s house. Even though he is still just a¬†young boy, I figure it’s never too soon to teach modesty. I’ve always been adamant that my children will prepare for the temple by only dressing in ways that would be appropriate when they one day go through the temple. I just had to tell my older son last week that he could not wear a tank top to play basketball at the park.

I’m beginning to doubt myself a little. Our Relief Society President lets her children wear regular swimwear and she even does it herself. It just seems to go so against the standards of the Church and I’m confused.

Can you sort it out for me?

Mortified in Florida

Dear Mortified,

I feel for your frustration. I remind you that we believe in higher laws and lower laws. For example, on Mt. Sinai, Moses was given the higher law first. When he returned to the camp with it, he saw that the Israelites were in no spiritual condition to keep the higher law, so he went back and got the lower law. I think what you want to do is keep the higher law of modesty, but in our modern society, it is certainly difficult.

I take the position that we must be in the world even though not of the world. What that means to you and your dilemma I’ll leave for you to determine. It may be that our society is not ready for the higher law of modesty. You may not be able to hold to your stricter standard.

I admit I may be a little prejudiced in this matter. My son, Jed, is somewhat of a legend in his own time in the local swim meet circuit at high school. I was not thrilled to have him wear such skimpy clothing, but his coach said it would make him faster. I was quite disappointed, because I had designed a more modest version. Perhaps I’ll send you my pattern. When you get it, look here for tips on sewing spandex.

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