Blue shirts, no ties: New dress code for Mormon missionaries

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The white shirts and ties that have long been the hallmark of young men serving missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will no longer be the only outfit choice as part of a Friday announcement Change of dress code.
Some men will now be able to wear blue shirts and no ties during the religious belief missions for the Utah-based church. While many will still be wearing white shirts and ties, regional leaders are now able to approve the new clothing if it gives missionaries in their regions of the world "security, effectiveness, accessibility, and cultural sensitivity," Church officials said a press release.
It is the Church's latest move in recent years to modernize a mission program that is seen as a rite of passage for young members. Last year, leaders of the faith, widely known as the Mormon Church, changed their rules so that missionaries could call home every week instead of twice a year.
Almost two years ago, female missionaries had the option of wearing pants instead of just skirts and dresses. This is to help women stay warm in cold climates and make cycling easier.
"Missionary attire has changed regularly over time, according to location, style, and custom," said Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a member of a top governing body called the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and chairman of the Mission Executive Council. "These exceptions are a continuation of this process."
Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff said the recent change has been under consideration for some time.
The Church continued its mission program during the coronavirus pandemic. It brought home more than 26,000 young men and women from overseas missions and sent some of them back to their home countries to achieve most of their faith online.
The technological change began with church leaders giving some missionary tablets in 2014. Since then, most young community members have received smartphones for expressing their beliefs. Two years earlier, the Church changed its rules to allow men to start missions at 18 instead of 19 and women at 19 instead of 21, which has resulted in more women serving.
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