Mormon missionary dress policy has been revised to provide protection from mosquito-borne diseases.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) recently updated their grooming standards for their full-time missionaries. Previously, the male missionaries had to wear conservative dark trousers, white shirts, ties, and suit coats. For female missionaries, the dress code included mid-calf length skirts and modest and professional dresses or blouses. Then later, the Church gave permission for male missionaries to wear light-colored suits and colored ties. They were also allowed to wear a suit vest or a sweater over their dress shirt.
However, they were still required to dress conservatively and professionally. For sister missionaries, the updated dress code included skirts and dresses that cover their knees. They were no longer required to wear mid-calf length skirts and dresses. As of now, the sister missionaries may wear full-length dress slacks to protect themselves from mosquito bites.The new dress guidelines for missionaries comes in the wake of major government agencies concerned with disease prevention and health care, issuing precautions and alerts regarding the spread of viral diseases caused due to the mosquito bites throughout major areas of the world. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recently announced that they are tracking almost 300 Zika virus cases in U.S. women. Zika virus can cause microcephaly, stillbirths, and various congenital problems.
Thailand's Ministry of Public Health has warned the public to take precautions against dengue fever. The rainy season is about to start in Thailand. Colombia has already reported about 50,000 dengue fever cases. The chikungunya virus that spread through the Caribbean and South America since 2013 is now threatening Southern Europe and the United States.
Apart from the dressing guidelines, the Church has announced several other new policies to protect the health of their missionaries. From now on, the Church would pay for permethrin insecticide solution and DEET-containing repellent for all their missionaries. The Church is also asking their missionaries to avoid stagnant/standing water whenever possible and follow the recommendations of local authorities to protect themselves from mosquito-borne diseases.
About half of the LDS Church's missions are located in countries where there is a significant risk of mosquito-borne diseases. The Church leaders are strongly recommending them to wear clothing that covers exposed skin, especially legs and arms. In countries/areas where it is prohibited for women to wear slacks, the Church is encouraging their sister missionaries to wear long skirts.
It is still mandatory for sister missionaries to wear skirts or dresses while attending the temple and during Sunday worship services.
According to the new guidelines, the LDS missionaries may also wear wide-brimmed hats and conservative sunglasses.
The new policies were announced a couple of days ago in a news release by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
- Mormon Newsroom
- Deseret News
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- World Religion News
- KLS News