I was called out by one of the regular readers of our blog the other day for focusing on the negative comments that came with the Pantspocolypse.   So, I decided to scan the internet looking for positive remarks that came from Pants-Sunday.  The positive comments I found come from private messages, the Feminist Mormon Housewives blog, and other smaller blogs.  Thanks to Jerilyn Pool, Garrett Hall, and Katie Davis Henderson for pointing me to some  of the blogs.  Most of all, thanks to Larry Day for pointing out the need to focus on that which is “virtuous, lovely, and of good report.”

“…if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8)

  1. No one said anything except my bishop. He congratulated me on wearing pants and said he was a little disappointed no one else wore them. I kind of love him.
  2. I wore a really lovely pair of gray wool slacks. And I was warm enough in my cold building for a change!
  3. I was filled with the most spiritual fulfilling light I can remember. Great day!
  4. One woman surprised me by wearing her pantsuit. She always struck me as traditional-believing Mormon, with being pregnant and 3 other really young kids. So it was a nice surprise. I’m definitely going to add them to my church wardrobe from now on. It was a lot warmer, and I hope by wearing them that eventually people won’t notice or care.
  5. No one said anything to me, but I left after sacrament. I got the sacrament from a boy in a lava lava though, so that was fun
  6. I wish we had thought up some sort of secret phrase to identify those who wore purple on purpose and the accidental purple. (Or pants). I kept grinning widely at people wearing purple and receiving mostly confused looks in return, thereby cementing my status as ward crazy.
  7. I wear pants to church often, so it was an easy choice. But I wanted to do it today in solidarity with my fellow feminists who are struggling with their feelings regarding the church and gender equality. Its not about the pants, its about opening a dialogue about the pain we feel within our church, even though we love the gospel.
  8. After Sacrament Meeting, a woman who I had never considered to be feminist and who had not commented on any of my Facebook posts about the issue said to me, “Wow, pants AND purple; you’re really making a statement! I didn’t have nice pants to wear to church, but I did wear a purple shirt.”
  9. Today not only did I give a talk with a powerful feminist message, but I also did it wearing pants. I got to express my feelings on what the Gospel truly is for me…
  10. I am a lifelong member, fairly conservative in my views, and definitely not one to be involved in anything as attention-drawing as this protest event. However, as the attacks and vitriol increased, the only thing I was convinced of by the opposition to the event was that it was far more necessary than I had suspected. So the three of us girded our loins and went clothed in dress slacks where we were received warmly and without comment — just as all people should be welcomed to our services.
  11. The bishop was wearing a purple tie. One sister asked if I was wearing pants because of the thing on the internet. I said yes and explained why. She seemed really excited about it. And no one made any negative comments.
  12. My 8 year old said she said in Primary “Some of you might be wondering why I am wearing trousers. Let me tell you …”
  13. When I got home, I felt really empowered. And not just because I was standing up for something I believe in. This actually helped me to feel like *I* belong in the Mormon church. Even though I don’t follow all of party line and I have some questions and other things I want to throw out altogether…I have a right to be there, to worship, to feel loved, and to contribute. For me, Pants Day was a very positive experience.
  14. This morning I found that friends who just couldn’t seem to understand what this movement was about, who were angry with us or thought that we were “protesting” inappropriately, suddenly understood or were much more willing to listen when I told them the stories. Notes passed and whispers shared in hallways saying “Thank you”, women afraid of being judged by their Bishops who actually received calls of support, families who hugged and cried upon finding out that moms, dads, daughters, and sons were showing up to church wearing pants and purple, and people who felt welcomed and loved and empowered enough that they will return next Sunday when they wouldn’t normally want to. This sort of thing will leave participants with positive memories, help further explain to those who need it.
  15. …You are a good example to all of us, and especially to your daughters.
  16. I was nervous about participating, but it was the death threat that did it for me. I was still nervous, but I knew that I absolutely should not give into that pressure.
  17. I decided I had no choice but to wear the pants to tell the world that I believe everyone is welcome in God’s house. We have whole meetings where people are free to tell what they believe at the pulpit, so what the heck is wrong with using pants to tell a story about where you stand? Nothing!
  18. But you know what the best part was? A girl who used to be under my care when I was in the YW’s Presidency and recently entered YSA, told me that on my way to the pulpit she first thought I was wearing a long skirt only to realize I was wearing a suit, and then told to herself: How cool! I love it!
  19. A few other sisters were wearing purple but I was the only one in pants. For me it was about not being afraid anymore.
  20. An 80-something came up to me in the foyer and said she had heard about the pants wearing event and wanted to participate but she didn’t have nice appropriate pants but she was so proud of me for wearing pants today. That absolutely made it a worthwhile event. It went great.
  21. Just know that even sisters you saw in skirts/dresses today could’ve felt like me, wanting to make the same peaceful statement, but not having the courage. You inspire me and I’m cheering you on!
  22. I was so moved by how many cared enough to display it outwardly. I was impressed by the men who wore purple shirts and ties, a color not easily ignored in a sea of white shirts. I feel encouraged and hopeful that perhaps a conversation has begun that translates into a “righteous agitation” on behalf of women and those who love them.
  23. What I got from my parents was an outpouring of love and support. What surprised me the most was my father telling me that he was also a Feminist and would be wearing a purple shirt today.
  24. ….I have had a few since then indicate that they’re proud of me for standing up for what I believe in, even if they don’t agree with me. So there’s that. There is also a guy in our ward who routinely wears a kilt.
  25. …This whole experience has renewed my desire to go to church.
  26. …There were investigators there with nice slacks and I hope they felt comfortable and welcomed.
  27. While I was standing out in the hall, one of the men in our ward in a purple shirt came up to me and asked me if anyone else was wearing pants. His wife (who has never been to our ward) said she would only come if there were other women wearing pants.I told him my leggings were my attempt, but that I had to meet with the Stake President after church and had chickened out of my pants suit. I really love dresses and skirts. They don’t bother me, because in Tongan culture, when everyone, men and women, are dressed up they all wear “skirts” that are actually known as tupenus and ta’ovalas. But I joined this movement when I started reading the venomous and terrible comments on Facebook directed at women who chose to wear pants. The hateful rhetoric forced me to take a stand, and I stood where I thought our Lord would. His wife ended up coming. Two other sisters who have never come came in their pants, and all I could think was how happy I was to have them there, even if it was because of the pants.
  28. I’m an Episcopalian who wore purple in support of my LDS sisters.
  29. Only other pants wearing woman at the ward I attended in Napier, New Zealand yesterday was a recent convert, who said she had nothing else to wear. I was so happy to be wearing pants along side her.
  30. One member of the RS Society presidency told me I looked “stellar”!
  31. I got into several conversations with sisters who hadn’t heard about the movement, one of which declared she was going out and buying a pants suit tomorrow!
  32. It was liberating, it was strengthening, it was empowering.
  33. The best comment came from one of our young RS sisters who is home between semesters: she came over to my friend and me (both of us in pants) and gushed, “I’m so glad you guys are wearing pants! I didn’t even know about it until this morning, and I was already dressed!”
  34. The best part of the day was when my former bishop came in to see the nursery kids and told me he was proud that I wore pants that day (he was wearing a purple tie in support)…hope that we can continue the conversation about making church a safe and welcoming place for everyone.
  35. Only 2 men mentioned the fact that I was wearing slacks, and they gave me high fives.
  36. I have a good friend, whose family is in our stake and who served a mission, but is no longer active in the church because he is gay. He hasn’t attended services in over 6 years. The pants discussion gave him the desire to attend sacrament meeting for the first time, knowing that he could easily find allies.
  37. Thank you for reminding me I’m not crazy to be concerned with feminism in the LDS church. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I cannot express my excitement of having people around that contemplate the same concerns.
  38. Thank you so much for Pants to Church Day! I left the Church 30 years ago because I did not feel there was a place for a strong, competent woman who could stand on her own. Seeing you all standing up for women in the Church makes me proud and happy. There are many, many things I miss about the Church. I hope and pray that some day the Church will be welcoming enough that I feel I can return.
  39. About pants in church, according to those whose wisdom I depended upon, it was an absolute no-no. I never knew until today that it was all right according to doctrine. I always believed that women who wore pants would never be in line for a meaningful calling. Or a temple recommend, for that matter. When [name removed] said, “The church should be a hospital where people come to be healed of their pain, not made to feel as if their pain is meaningless or offensive,” I really connected with that.
  40. …the FIRST time in my motherhood experience, I didn’t have to worry about my skirt coming up when my daughter sat on my lap. It was the first time EVER I didn’t spend my time sitting adjusting my skirt. That part was wonderful.
  41. …as I was standing up ready to leave, a lady came up to me, gave me a hug, and said she agreed with everything I’d written on my blog and on Facebook, and wanted to let me know that she’d have worn pants if she’d had any that were appropriate. That made everything – all the drama, all the tears and misunderstandings and frustrations – worthwhile for me, and I have decided for sure that I will wear pants to church again. Not always, but I won’t always wear dresses anymore, either.
  42. One of the young moms came up and asked me “So, I just don’t get the whole pants thing, can you explain it to me?” and we had a good conversation about culture vs doctrine, not looking on outward appearances, women being more visible in the church, having our voices heard, etc. She said I looked nice in my pants.
  43. When when I went to pick up my daughter from nursery, one of the dads waiting said “nice representation of the movement” and I replied “my pants?” and he said “ya.” I just smiled and thanked him.
  44. I think this was a wonderful thing to have happen. It opened up conversations and revealed weaknesses and strengths, collectively and individually, that were perhaps unknown before.
  45. One of the older women at church came up to me and said that she’d heard about Pants Sunday on the radio. [She said] ‘Well, I forgot all about wearing pants! I slept in and didn’t even think about it. But good job! I’m glad you did it!’
  46. My experience at church was a good one–I got several compliments and had a good discussion in my class.
  47. I am the wife of a bishop. I told him Saturday morning that it was “Mormon national pants day” and that I was also using my wearing of pants for my Sunday school class (teacher development) to make the point that as teachers, we should adhere to doctrine–not to “traditions of men, folklore, or social norms”…He honestly thought no one would even notice. My husband called at 4. I didn’t realize that he had an appointment with the stake president today. Mind you, our stake is very spread out–the stake president lives over two hours away. THE STAKE PRESIDENT HAD ALREADY GOTTEN A CALL ABOUT MY DECISION TO WEAR PANTS. My husband told me that he explained to the stake pres. about the object lesson I was trying to do, but also told the stake pres that I had done it because it was “national pants day”. At the conclusion of the conversation, the stake president told my husband that “he trusts him.” I think that was the comment that really shocked me.
  48. My counselor’s husband came in to collect her after Primary and gave me a big smile: “A pantsuit to church? Any other sisters here showing Solidarity?” I knew I could count on him to be “in the know.”
  49. While I was alone in my ward, it was good to know that I was supporting my other sisters out there.
  50. Today I came home from my singles ward in my pants and my mom was dressed in her best purple blouse and wore a pendent her mother had given her with a purple stone it so that THREE generations of women would be represented today to show their support for the movement.
  51. I didn’t see any other women in pants until Relief Society, and it was one of the counselors in the presidency! It felt so good to see her up there, silently united…We had not met before, but our eyes met across the room after I gave the closing prayer. We hugged and introduced ourselves. Pants miracle! I feel more at home at church now than I have for 3 years.
  52. When one of the matriarchs of our ward leaned in to whisper, “I wish we could all wear pants all the time,” I whispered back conspiratorially, “We can. It’s okay!”
  53. My husband and I met with our bishop for tithing settlement afterward and he gave us candy and was as kind as he could be. He didn’t bat an eye at my pants but did tell us that as a teenager he’d been denied the priesthood because of his very long hair, and proudly told us how he’d stood up to the powers and asked the difficult questions. Did he decide to tell this story as a gentle gesture of support for me? I think, yes. He is one of those who doesn’t look on the outward appearance, but on the heart.
  54. BYU prof came up to me…I told her it was part of an outreach and she told me that she wanted to wear pants but had been asked to leave sacrament meetings when she did so before. She told me to keep up the good work and that it is our generation who can make equality happen. It was a wonderful interaction.
  55. No comments — just hugs from the other people wearing pants. There’s something about church here that just won’t allow pants (pants, of all things!) to be a real issue.
  56. By far the best part of my day: Getting texts my my true blue mormon mother with a photo of her in pants on her way to church, and from my no longer a member sister telling me she drove from her own church service to the nearest LDS chapel to support the cause in a slacks and a purple blouse. My mother explained to me: “I don’t feel disenfranchised at all, at all! But I’m wearing pants today because you do. And other people do, and I want you all to know I support you.” All in all, one of the best days I’ve had at church in a long, long time.
  57. It also made me realize how much women could benefit from feeling comfortable with the option of wearing pants on a regular basis, from the sisters whose garments are always showing (whether because of skirt style or rowdy children), to the outspoken older woman who just had knee surgery (and does not like to keep her knees together), to the many sisters who serve in the nursery/Primary. I’m so grateful for all the brave women who did wear their pants.
  58. Lots of hugs and smiles and good will came my way. I’ll do it again. Especially during winter.
  59. The Bishop asked us if we matched on purpose. I replied yes and he gave me a high-five.
  60. …One said “I love your pants, I support you in spirit! I only had yoga pants so didn’t wear any.” The other said “No one has said anything to you, have they?” I said no and she said “Good!”
  61. My wife wore a purple sweater, but claims she didn’t know that purple was a colluding color. One woman wore pants in our ward. She and I high-fived in the hall.
  62. My dad told me an awesome story about working for CES where the dress code is suit and tie. He spent entire years in the 70s wearing a leisure suit and no tie. They told him he was a troublemaker and he had to wear a tie. Apparently the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
  63. An elderly sister told me she thought it was wonderful and she was proud of me. I’m so glad I found the courage to wear pants today.
  64. I wore a purple tie. When I told my father about “Wear Pants to Church Day,” he got very excited. After I told him that men were asked to wear purple, he was half way to his closest to find a tie with purple on it to wear. That was a very fun surprise. On the way, he said: “I was pro this before I married your mother.” He said that since his wife and two daughters are in the workforce, he wants equal pay and opportunities for them.
  65. Two sisters pointedly complimented my pantsuit. One other sister in slacks sat next to me in Relief Society, after which, we had a lovely conversation about Pantspocolypse with 2 sisters in the row behind us. My favorite thing, though, is that today I was extended a calling. In pants.
  66. After sacrament meeting, our male Sunday school teacher came up to me (with a big smile on his face) and whispered, “I’m wearing slacks in support.” He also had a purple tie on. After church, an older single woman put her arm around me and said, “I almost wore my warm wool dress pants today, but I was too chicken. I’m wearing them next week.”
  67. Today was empowering. I felt real and I felt authentic. I felt Mormon, I felt feminist and I felt like myself. I felt a love for my religion and a love for my people. I also felt that I had a voice, without actually even saying anything. For so long I have sat in silence without a way to express my deepest beliefs and feelings. Anytime I have worked up the courage to say anything outside of our memorized rhetoric, it has been dismissed. The pants, the benign and innocuous pants, gave me a voice.
  68. I was able to connect with a new sister in my ward who also wore pants– I think she was relieved that she wasn’t the only one.
  69. …a YW in pale, clean jeans and fluffy boots was leaving the building from the ward that meets before us. She gave me the most welcoming grin and I grinned right back at her!! Plus, my 2 year old totally crawled ALL OVER my lap as usual and I didn’t have to fight my skirt even once. Hoo-rah!!
  70. …a 60-something aged man who is a neighbor and friend noticed my pants and asked if it was for the Pants to Church thing. He gave me a thumbs up and a smiling nod and said “Good for you.”
  71. My bishop wore a purple tie.
  72. It was definitely easier to do an art project on the floor with my CTR 5 class.
  73. The pants and purple situation was discussed by a number of people in my Utah Presbyterian church. There were a few people who wore purple to stand in solidarity with LDS women.
  74. I felt great today. I was comfortable and warm and I could easily lean to the floor to pick things up. My kids sat on my lap without hitching my skirt up. I will definitely be adding more slacks to my wardrobe!
  75. …my bishopric counselor brother posted a picture of himself in a purple tie on Facebook and tagged me in it and said it was for me. Happy tears.
  76. Last January I had basically decided to leave the church…. but I was so strongly compelled to say, I knew I needed to find a place. I’ve worked this year to figure out where that place is and, today, I think my soul started to carve out a niche. One thing I have grieved is that I have felt that nothing I did or said would ever make a difference. I have stopped sustaining people for the simple fact that if I did not agree it would not matter. Somehow, with the silly act of choosing dress pants, I felt a little bit more like what I think might matter. Maybe.
  77. I found out that my autistic daughter feels very uncomfortable wearing dresses to church and was so relieved when I told her she could wear a pair of pants!
  78. If you are undervalued, picked on, misunderstood, hazed for just being who you are, or suffering any like circumstance; [insert name] is going to offer some understanding and help, even if it might bring unpleasant responses to her.
  79. I walked with head held high into the early meeting to find the Relief Society President and the High Priest Group Leader having this discussion: her, “well, she said she would come today but she warned me that she would only come wearing pants. I told her it didn’t matter to any of us what she wore, but that we were just happy to have her come!” My heart did a little jump! Could this be her? As their conversation progressed, I realized they were speaking about an elderly inactive sister in our ward who is typically very difficult to visit or contact and the thought of her coming to church (on any terms) felt like a huge success for all of us on the Council who try to reach out to her. A quiet, confirmation came to mind, “Find this sister today. Seek her out and greet her warmly. Make sure she sees your pants and it will help her feel more comfortable in her first Sunday back in many years.” She ended up sitting a few rows back from me and my squirmy toddler and I had a nice chat with her at the end of Sacrament meeting.
  80. I felt totally at peace in my pants today, thinking of all my sisters taking a risk and standing together and finding each other and supporting each other (in so many ways). It was a super great day for me.
  81. One person who did notice was my bishop, who yelled “Nice pants!” to me as I walked down the hall.
  82. My youth Sunday school class took note and we had a brief, but good discussion about how just because someone’s experience and feelings at church are different than our own does not mean they are unrighteous and that all are welcome at church. One 16-yr boy exclaimed, “I support you guys all the way!” Another girl used the pants example later in a comment about Christ-like love. (And there were several good natured pants jokes through the class.)
  83. So for me today was a simple way to say “hey, I’m a little different and that’s ok.” This whole event has been such a breath of fresh air (horrible response notwithstanding); makes me feel like maybe there is still room in the church for those who are not so traditional.
  84. …Black velvet pants and blouse. Lots of hugs and smiles and one very kind stroke of my sleeve from a neighbor who said, “Oh, that’s so soft.” That was my favorite part.
  85. …as I passed by a ward member and he told me, “You go girl!” No one said anything but encouragement and I got a high five from the EQ president as well. 4 or 5 men wore purple and I saw at least 2 other women wearing purple. As I said, I felt liberated, and as someone else said, I feel like I can be more authentic in my church participation and membership now.
  86. My husband, in the bishopric, said that the first thing anyone said to him was about his purple tie. The man asked him if he was supporting the women. Husband said, “I always have.” I though we would be the only ones, but one of the sisters in a purple shirt walked past me and said, “today is a weird, weird day in Mormondom.”
  87. …wore pants to my little branch in the French countryside. No one noticed and I didn’t expect them too…A few hours later, I saw matching #pantstochurch instagram images from two of my siblings and I was super happy about it.
  88. Then at the end of church, the bishop’s wife (in pants) hip bumped me and ultimately offered to sew my pants for me. Not necessary, but a much appreciated and thoughtful offer.
  89. …I’m so glad I had that conversation with my mom. At her worst, she’s been silent but never unsupportive. After that conversation, I think she gets me and what yesterday was for me. I think she understands that there are so many people who are hurting because they’re on the outside of the predominant culture and this was one way of telling everyone, “We’re here, too.”
  90. …nobody seemed to notice anything…until I was in the hall waiting on my lovely Mrs. A rude and an extremely conservative member in my ward came by and shook my hand and asked if I was participating in the “pants thing”. I said yes and thanked him for asking. He looked at me and I finally broke the uncomfortable silence. I said “Bob, you know me, I’m not happy unless I’m being a contrarian.” He winked at me and we both laughed. I don’t know. Let’s hope maybe somebody was touched.
  91. …The best part of the day was when a lady patted my shoulder and said, “I know why you’re wearing pants today. I almost did, too.” We have since shared several emails and her support touches me deeply.
  92. …My Bishop saw me in the hall and made a casual joke “Oh I see you got the memo.” (he really was being kind) And when he saw me start to cry he stopped to talk. He didn’t have much time and wanted to talk more later but we didn’t get to until I dropped food by his house later for a woman in the ward that is his neighbor. There may be people in my ward that are unkind (not all of them thankfully) but I do have my Bishop’s support which matters to me.
  93. My husband and I have been going through a major faith transition recently, and have decided to stick it out with the Mormons…On Sunday, I wore pants, he wore purple, and we felt an amazing spirit at Church that really solidified my testimony in the Saints…Our bishop called us into his office during the second hour and pretty much told us he was glad we were here and let him know if there is anything he can do for us. The gesture was perfect, and just what we were needing…It was a great Sabbath day!
  94. …the surprising thing was a sister I don’t know well, grabbed me and asked “Are you wearing those for that pants thing?” When I said yes, she said “Will you tell me about it?” So we chatted for a minute about equality and cultural norms and how most of culture is not doctrine. It was great!
  95. I believe that in order to be one, we need to be kind. We need to be aware of those who are struggling or who feel marginalized for whatever the reason may be. When we find that people are struggling, we should not react in such a way that makes them fear to speak up or ask questions or get support. We should not minimize or dismiss their struggles, but try to understand and help them.
  96. However, when a few women who were associated with the group started “wear pants to church day”, I thought very little of it. I like wearing skirts, and I have no problem with it. I didn’t feel like it was a battle I would understand, or one that I needed to take on…There were heartfelt pleas and stories about women who had gone to church in pants and had been ridiculed away. It sparked a memory of my own, when I was first investigating the church and wore pants, one woman my age pulled me aside and told me how disrespectful I had been. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that…So I wore pants. Because I think that the culture can stand to change a little, to be more accepting. I wore pants because I wanted to show love and support to other people who have been judged, turned away, or ever felt uncomfortable. I wore pants because women my age have been leaving the church at an alarming rate recently, and I wanted them all to know that there is a place for them.
  97. Despite some very, very difficult feelings I still maintain, I think this was a good thing for many people. Conversations happened, relationships happened, and in my very darkest moments, people came out of the woodwork and helped.

Miguel is a Guatemalan-American Mormon living in the Northwest with his family. He is one of the proprietors of the Rational Faiths blog.

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