I recall an occasion, after my mission, I was attending church in my family ward, being the gung-ho RM as you do, I would help the local missionaries with investigators.
There was one lady who had been attending for a few weeks now, she was timid but active lady probably in her mid-fifties, really nice lady, who wouldn’t say boo to a goose, but really kind hearted. She used to cycle to the chapel, and lock up her bike on the railings outside, she didn’t have bike specific clothing, or much of a change of clothes, but she wore trousers with byclicle clips round her ankles.
One particular Sunday, it was particularly wet (not surprising in England!) and she was just putting her bike away and one of the older members of the ward came up to her and started to berate her for not wearing the appropriate clothing. She looked sheepish, and being the timid person she was said nothing, but that was the last time we saw her for a few weeks.
At the time I remember doing nothing more than giving the old guy who was giving her the hard time a dirty look, and asking him to calm down, but it stuck with me.
How many times in our church have people been asked to leave because they didn’t have the right clothes, or deacons eager to serve denied the chance because they word a plaid shirt instead of a white one.
Are we really that bothered about what clothes someone wears? I have had this argument several times with lots of people over the years, and people often says it doesn’t matter but it shows respect.
IF IT DOESN’T MATTER – DON’T MENTION IT!!!!