Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Be Honest With Yourself: Modesty Is the Best Policy

Be Honest With Yourself: Modesty Is the Best Policy

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 11, 2011

(See here for background)

From 1957 —

Modesty Is the Best Policy

Modesty, like honesty in the copy book adage, is the best policy. It is the best policy because it is best for you.

Modesty is a many-sided virtue. It applies to your manner of speech, your manner of dress, your manner of conduct. And thus it reveals the manner of person you are.

Take speech. One who is modest in speech talks with restraint, sticks to the facts, gives to others the right to their own opinions without compromising his own. His opinions are listened to, his advice is often heeded.

Modesty in dress is another virtue. Smartness of style and modesty can go together, and often do. On the other hand, to flaunt one’s figure, especially before persons of the opposite sex, may excite attention but not inspire admiration. Immodesty in dress is more likely to bring a “whistle call” of dubious compliment than a sincere proposal of honorable friendship.

Modesty of conduct also brings its own reward. In a day when vulgarity is sometimes commercialized to the tune of “off beat” dance steps, it may take restraint to be modest on dance floor or in parked car, but true modesty will pay off in the lasting trust and enduring friendships of your companions.

To these rewards of modesty you can add another – your own self-respect – and without self-respect you can never have the true joy of living which a loving Heavenly Father put us here to find and cherish. So – be modest –




  1. Nice that this defines areas in which modesty applies in addition to clothing. I’m thinking about Tracy’s post on BCC the other day:

    Comment by Ellen — July 11, 2011 @ 6:57 am

  2. Oops. Where’d my link go?

    Comment by Ellen — July 11, 2011 @ 6:58 am

  3. I have to say I love this. It’s clear, broad, and level-headed. I’ve mostly laughed at these things from the past, but this one I like better than much of our modesty rhetoric today.

    Comment by SilverRain — July 11, 2011 @ 7:01 am

  4. I thought it made a nice addition to recent conversations, too. Even when talking about immodest dress and its effect on onlookers, it speaks about what that attention means to the individual rather than making the individual responsible for the onlookers’ reaction.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 11, 2011 @ 7:12 am

  5. This is excellent, Ardis. Thanks.

    Comment by Ray — July 11, 2011 @ 7:52 am

  6. I hope that’s her dad.

    Comment by matt b — July 11, 2011 @ 8:20 am

  7. Like seeing an old friend. Back at Signature Books, in ’94, I had to collect alot of old-time photos for a humor book, “Zion’s Camp”–one of those jokey books Siggy used to do fairly often, like Grondahl and Bagley cartoon books. I won’t repeat the caption for this one, here, because it’s a bit racy. #3’s comment is right on, seeing as this did end up in a joke-book.

    Comment by Brent Corcoran — July 11, 2011 @ 8:25 am


    Is it just me, or does that tight pink outfit draw undue attention to her, ahem, prodigious bustline? That man she’s dancing with certainly isn’t looking at her face, so in this case, I hope matt b is wrong.

    Funny how what we think is appropriate changes over time.

    Comment by Mark Brown — July 11, 2011 @ 8:57 am

  9. “‘off beat’ dance steps?” ¡Ay, ay, ay!

    As I was saying . . .

    Comment by Grant — July 11, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

  10. I totally thought the same way as Mark–just where is that guy looking? But it’s certainly in no way her fault . . .

    Comment by Michelle Glauser — July 11, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

Leave a comment

RSS feed for comments on this post.
TrackBack URI