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Hi Gramps!
Me again. I was just wondering if there was anything clearly stated in Mormon Church policy regarding dress codes for priesthood ordinances? My husband is quite resistant to wearing anything but a white shirt to church, stating that in case he were asked to pass the sacrament or participate in some other way, a white shirt is more appropriate. I see plenty of good brethren, even bishopric members, who wear very nice dress shirts every week of all cuts and colors, and as far as I know it hasn’t ever been suggested that this practice stops because white is “required” at church. Both my husband and I were born and raised in the church, and I’ve never heard of it making a difference what you wear regarding color as long as it is neat, clean, and proper for Sunday worship. I support my husband wearing whatever color makes him happy, I really do. But we’ve been back and forth on this several times…are white shirts really POLICY or just his own upbringing and family tradition? I ask because we now have a young son who will be ordained someday, and I would like to be able to advise him appropriately in this matter along with my husband, as opposed to the playful squabble we’ve had on this issue between us. Thanks!
Chris, from Maricopa, Arizona

Dear Chris,
It would probably be rather easy to establish written instruction for every aspect of procedures, protocols, norms and activities in the Mormon Church. Of course, it would probably take a small library to house all the instruction manuals, and if that procedure were to be followed, the Holy Spirit would have very little to do. This was the direction that the Pharisees had taken at the time of Christ. Henry Drummond, in his little treatise, “The Greatest Thing in the World,” says of them—

“In those days men were working their passage to Heaven by keeping the Ten Commandments, and the hundred and ten other commandments which they had manufactured out of them.”

If one reflects on the spirit of the gospel, of going to the Lord’s house to worship Him, to be, as it were, in His presence, would we not think to go with clean hands and a pure heart?. Rather than having a dress code manual, should we not be guided by the Holy Spirit, and live as close to the spirit of the gospel as possible, rather than to see how worldly we could appear and still be acceptable? If there were any question on what would be proper dress for a worship service we could look at how the Apostles of the Lord dress when they go to church, and try to follow as closely as possible their example. Do you ever see the Lord’s special witnesses wearing to church anything but white shirts and well kept conservative suits? Wouldn’t it be well to teach your young son to follow as closely as possible, not only the actions, but also the appearance of those who officially represent the Lord to His people?

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