What is the Third Annual Wear Pants to Church Day?
Mormon feminists, women and men, wore dress pants and the color purple to their local LDS Church services on December 16, 2012. People wore pants for many different reasons, but many of those who participated were concerned about gender equality in the LDS Church.
For the 2013 event, we expanded the meaning of Wear Pants to Church Day. Mormon feminists wore dress pants and/or the color purple to LDS Church services to celebrate inclusiveness in the LDS Church. We believe that everyone is welcome at church. This year our event will be on December 14th.
and he inviteth them all to come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile (2 Nephi 26:33)
What is the goal of the Third Annual Wear Pants to Church Day?
We are active and faithful Mormon feminists who want to show that there is more than one way to be a good Mormon woman or man. We believe that everyone is welcome at church.
Relief Society and the gospel should embrace every woman. Every one of you is welcome and needed whether you are eighteen or eighty, married or single, speak English or Portuguese, live on an island or in the mountains, have children or simply love children but have none of your own, have an advanced degree or little formal education, have a husband who is not active or are married to a stake president, have a testimony or are struggling to receive one. You belong here! You and your talents, strengths, and contributions are needed urgently in the Church. (M. Russell Ballard, “Equality through Diversity,” November 1993)
Is this a protest?
No. This event is not about being critical of the LDS Church or changing Church policy. We want to emphasize that there is more than one way to be a good Mormon woman and encourage changes in Mormon culture to support that idea.
Wearing pants to church on December 14th is an act of solidarity. We want to show our commitment to Jesus Christ, the Gospel, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We want to show our belief that God speaks to us through a living prophet. And ultimately, we want to show that we believe that “man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
Wherever you are, whatever you are wearing, whatever language you are hearing, you [women] are part of a powerful force of joy, peace, and goodness. We are here to rejoice together. . . . Rejoice in the diversity of our sisterhood! It is the diversity of colors in a spectrum that makes a rainbow. It is the diversity in our circumstances that gives us compassionate hearts. (Chieko Okazaki, First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, 1993)
Are women going against LDS Church policy by wearing pants to Sunday services?
No. Scott Trotter, an LDS spokesman, responded to the 2012 event by saying “Attending church is about worship and learning to be followers of Jesus Christ. Generally church members are encouraged to wear their best clothing as a sign of respect for the Savior, but we don’t counsel people beyond that” (Dec. 11, 2012).
Who is organizing the Third Annual Wear Pants to Church Day?
Jerilyn Hassell Pool is a wife of one and a mother of five. She lives in Oregon where she has served as a Primary chorister, a Gospel Doctrine teacher, a Sunday School teacher, a member of Primary and Young Women presidencies and currently serves as the accompanist for the local Spanish branch and the sacrament meeting chorister in her home ward.
Nancy Ross lives with her husband and two children in Utah. She has served as a counselor in the Primary presidency, a Young Women’s secretary, an Early Morning Seminary teacher, an Activity Days leader, a Primary teacher, and a Relief Society pianist. She currently serves as a Relief Society teacher in her ward.
When will this event be happening?
Sunday, December 14
Who can participate?
Everyone can participate in this event.
How do I participate?
You can participate by wearing dress pants and/or the color purple to your local LDS Church services on Sunday, December 14.