SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4NEWS) Sister missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints now have the option to wear dress slacks. The change takes effect immediately and covers all 407 missions around the world.
The adjustment to dress standards was approved by the First Presidency and is primarily motivated by safety concerns, said Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and chairman of the Missionary Executive Council.
“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,” said Elder Uchtdorf. “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.”
Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women general president and a member of the Missionary Executive Council, elaborated on the changes for sister missionaries.
“There are a lot of vector-borne diseases because of mosquitoes and ticks and fleas,” said Sister Cordon. “This helps the sisters to prevent any of those bites or at least minimizes them.”
Sister missionaries in roughly half of the Church’s missions have previously been wearing dress slacks during the wet seasons to help protect them from mosquito-borne viral diseases such as dengue fever, Chikungunya, and Zika. This latest change will allow all sister missionaries to do so year-round, based on their own discretion.
“This is truly optional,” said Sister Cordon. “The sisters can wear dresses, they can wear slacks, whatever will help them in their service as they’re out amongst the people.”
Sister missionaries will continue to wear skirts and dresses when attending the temple and during Sunday worship services, mission leadership and zone conferences, and baptismal services.