Of all the churchy things I think about, the one that causes me the most head-scratching, the most furrowed brows is not polygamy, or mothers being told to stay home and raise their kids, it’s the white shirt. As in white shirt, tie and suit.
Not being a man, the white shirt thing has not always been on my radar. But our last Stake President was a huge fan of the white shirt. Anytime he spoke he mentioned how nice it was to see the men wearing white shirts. It got me thinking, “what’s the big deal? What’s all the fuss about?” Is a white shirt necessary so that everyone looks co-ordinated? Is it just a common color of shirt that the Brethren figured everyone in the world would be able to find no matter where they shop? Is there some sort of deeper meaning, like a symbol of purity? (I don’t think so, since they are usually topped with a big, dark sportscoat.)
If a man doesn’t wear a white shirt does that mean that the prayer that he gives in Sunday School doesn’t make it to heaven? Of course not. As long as the guy looks nice, does the shirt color really matter? Are pinstripes really considered disobedient? I’m honestly asking because I have no idea.
Last week my daughter broke her foot. As my husband got out his consecrated oil to give her a blessing I asked him if he needed to put on a white shirt. He laughed, “it’s the priesthood that heals, not the shirt.” That’s what I thought. But that doesn’t seem to be the common consensus.
So what’s your take as a non-white-shirt-wearing woman? Is it a big deal? Micromanagement? Symbol? Tradition? You tell me.