The past few weeks there has been a bit of a hullabalo in my church. The question being asked was "are you going to wear pants?". I must admit that I haven't read up on all of the details so I may misunderstand some (or all) of the story, but apparently, there was a woman in Salt Lake City, a member of my church, who was encouraging women to wear pants to church on Dec. 16th. I believe it was about women having the ability to make a choice whether or not to wear pants.
I read the story and didn't think much more about it. And then last Sunday, I was sitting in church and I realized that it was THE day. I glanced around me and didn't see any women wearing pants and went on my way again, not thinking much more about it.
Because I've been reading on some blogs about some follow up stories, I thought I would just share a few of my thoughts.
While I don't criticize anyone, male or female for trying to make a point, I myself have never felt any feeling but respect from fellow members of my religious faith. I have held leadership callings and have been in meetings with male leaders in my church and again felt nothing but respect. I'm not saying this may not happen for others, and if it does, it makes me sad, but that has not been my experience.
Yes, it is common practice to wear a dress or skirt to church. But I've also seen women in pants on several occasions and don't recall them being looked down upon or asked to leave.
And yes, I wore a skirt last Sunday on December 16th to church. But can I tell you about the time I wore pants, not to church, but to one of my church's temples?
Tradeshows are not that much fun - in fact they are pretty low on my list of things I like to do. And tradeshows in Las Vegas are close to last on that list. So about 15 years ago, when I was in Las Vegas at a tradeshow, I was feeling pretty low and lonely. I was looking forward to the end of the work day, but wasn't looking forward to an evening by myself in my hotel room.
While I was feeling sorry for myself, I suddenly had the idea to go to the Las Vegas Temple. I was pretty sure my company wouldn't pay the cab fare all the way out there, so I looked up the bus schedule. It would be a tight schedule, but I could make it...if I didn't go back to my hotel to change into a skirt. I debated and debated and decided that I would just go as I was...in my nice suit pants and blouse even though I had NEVER seen a woman in anything but a dress or skirt in a temple.
I made the bus trip and was a bit nervous as I walked into the doors in my pants, but there was a lovely older woman standing right by the door to greet me. Apparently she could see the nervous look on my face because she walked right up to me, grabbed both of my hands and said, "Welcome. We are so happy you came."
I wore pants. I wasn't trying to make a statement or take a stand, but I was welcomed with open arms. It was one of the sweetest temple experiences I've ever had.
I understand there were some women last Sunday who wore pants to church. For me, Sunday services isn't my venue of choice to make a statement. But if women were there trying make a statement, I hope they were understood. I am sure they felt the same Spirit that they always do. And most of all, I hope they were welcomed with open arms as I was by that lovely women in the Las Vegas Temple so many years ago.