|I really couldn't find a better picture of these two friends. |
They are acting silly or making a funny face in almost every picture!
So proud of these two for doing the hard thing and standing up for modesty
to a High School teacher.
My Mom always tells me that Alyssa, our spunky feisty 15 year old will always have an interesting exciting life. That is becoming very true. She is a girl who was born with a super strong spirit. She is very self motivated and knows who she is and what she wants. She is a lot of fun to just watch and see what she does. My favorite quality about her is she that never backs down from standing up for what she feels is right. She may hesitate ...but eventually she has her moment, and says what she wanted to say all along. You got to love her! I think she is one of the Lord' secret weapons!
Just recently she started her sophomore year and began attending the High School. She was extremely nervous ALL summer long about being one of the newest students at the school. The Seniors scared her and the idea of maybe being picked on or made fun from the older grades gave her a few ulcers. But knowing Alyssa, it didn't really worry her, because, well, she is ALYSSA. She can take care of her own!
On the third day of school, Alyssa called me after Cross-country practice and asked, "Mom, can I try out for "Show Time Uintah"? Show Time Uintah is a Broadway-type show the students put on each year where they sing Broadway musicals as well as dancing. Her secret dream in life is to be on Broadway, mainly because she likes to be up on stage in front of everyone. I asked her if she had a song prepared to sing and had an accompaniment of some kind. She already thought of that, and had been secretly preparing in her room every night. Just in case we let her do it.
She and her friends went to the High School and for several hours they auditioned for Show Time, singing and dancing. Prior to the audition the students all filled out a questionnaire. On this form, they were asked if they would be willing to wear strap-less dresses as costumes. Alyssa checked "no".
The teacher/director pulled her off to the side during the dance auditions and asked her about that question and said the costumes weren't really strap-less, more like spaghetti straps. 'Would she be OK with that?' At the moment, she thought "ya". Teenage brain took over and she was agreeing to something she actually was uncomfortable with.
She came home and explained her problem to us. We didn't tell her she couldn't be in Show Time, or that she had to go talk to her teacher, but instead had her solve her own problem. She knows what is right. We have taught her correct principles. Now she has to govern herself on this one.
Being super concerned about the idea of wearing spaghetti strap dresses, and very immodest costumes, she and her friend went in first thing in the morning to talk to this teacher/director over "Show Time". Their plan was to talk to him about making the costumes more modest so they would feel comfortable. Keep in mind, we are not in the "mission field" where I grew up and went to school where our standards of modesty are foreign to almost everyone. We are in Utah. Mormonville USA. The teacher is LDS and knows full well the standard of modesty lived and honored by many students. In the last few years, we have really seen him push the line on modesty in some costumes. Some years OK, some years not.
These two brave brand new sophomore girls, who, four days ago were scared of being the youngest student at the big High School, were now standing in front of a High School teacher, defending the principle of modesty. Pretty scarey!
They simply asked him, "Could you make the dresses modest because we are uncomfortable in strap-less or spaghetti strap dresses, dresses that are too short, or too low cut?"
His answer shocked them, and shocked us. In a mocking tone he told these girls this was HIS version of modest. He explained he could never make anything modest enough for everyone. Someone would always have a problem. He then went on to talk about our LDS faith, which he knew these girls were members of, and he is also a member of, and the whole principle of modesty taught by our prophets. He said modesty was very very vague and the prophets never say exactly what modesty is. He said he was perfectly fine with spaghetti strap dresses, his wife wears them, and he is fine with them, and she is modest. He went on for 30 minutes in this type of tone and discussion making the girls feel dumb and weak for even wanting to be modest or having a problem with it.
Alyssa said she wanted to say something, but tears were rolling down her cheeks and she couldn't talk. In this moment something ironic happened, this teacher said to her,"Oh no don't cry. You stand up for your values and don't let anyone make you change them. But if you want to be in Show Time you have to wear my form of modesty."
This teacher then told the girls he would have to know by 7:00 PM that night, their decision. Are they going to be in Show Time knowing what they know, or are they not. Let him know by then was the instruction.
These two girls gathered together with their other friends and together they decided to NOT be apart of Show Time. As badly as they wanted to be apart of the production, they were uncomfortable with the lack of principle behind it. One of the girls called the teacher back and gave him their final answer that they would not be in Show Time.
Very sad, as this group of kids are VERY VERY talented.
Here is the very vague, unspecific (insert sarcasm) principle of modesty taught to the youth in the
For Strength of Youth pamphlet
Your body is sacred. Respect it and do not defile it in any way. Through your dress and appearance, you can show that you know how precious your body is. You can show that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ and that you love Him.
Prophets of God have continually counseled His children to dress modestly. When you are well groomed and modestly dressed, you invite the companionship of the Spirit and you can be a good influence on others. Your dress and grooming influence the way you and others act.
Never lower your standards of dress. Do not use a special occasion as an excuse to be immodest. When you dress immodestly, you send a message that is contrary to your identity as a son or daughter of God. You also send the message that you are using your body to get attention and approval.
(Here is the vague part)
Immodest clothing is any clothing that is tight, sheer, or revealing in any other manner. Young women should avoid short shorts and short skirts, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and clothing that does not cover the shoulders or is low-cut in the front or the back. Young men should also maintain modesty in their appearance. Young men and young women should be neat and clean and avoid being extreme or inappropriately casual in clothing, hairstyle, and behavior. They should choose appropriately modest apparel when participating in sports. The fashions of the world will change, but the Lord’s standards will not change
If you are not sure what is appropriate to wear, study the words of the prophets, pray for guidance, and ask your parents or leaders for help. Your dress and appearance now will help you prepare for the time when you will go to the temple to make sacred covenants with God. Ask yourself, “Would I feel comfortable with my appearance if I were in the Lord’s presence?”
Alyssa and Emily do not feel that they did anything that big. It was simple to them. They just had the courage and conviction to stand up for what they felt was right. We need more youth and parents standing up for what they believe in.