Lindsey Stirling, a professional electronic-violinist, went to the Billboard Music Awards in a dress that caused an uproar from some Latter-day Saints.
The dress in question was a tan fabric-lined cutout dress that many members of the Church have commented on as immodest, saying that Stirling set a bad example for the Church and its standards.
I was hurt reading the harsh criticism towards her from people who profess to believe in not judging others.
I do understand why some members of the Church question her choice of dress, but that never excuses anyone to inflict emotional pain through judgmental comments.
I personally think the dress looked great, and I could clearly tell that she wasn’t showing off any skin, but that is not the point.
The point is the effect that the comments of those who criticized Stirling have on her and people who are not members of the Church.
When reading through the criticism, I noticed quite a few anti-Mormons who were pointing out how judgmental and hypocritical members of the Church were. They were even adding links to their websites to steer people away from the Church.
Anti-Mormons weren’t the only ones pointing this out about members either. Non-member followers of Stirling were shocked at the responses her fellow church members were giving her.
Way to go, fellow Latter-day Saints! Instead of providing opportunities to help Stirling direct others towards the Church, these members have given ammunition for others to direct people away from it.
Since the Billboard Music Awards, Stirling responded to hate comments by posting a picture on Instagram of the dress with this comment:
“I’ve received a lot of hate over the last 2 days and I’m sorry for anyone that I’ve disappointed. The dress I wore to the awards was fully lined with tan fabric. But after looking at the pictures, I see that you actually can’t tell that it’s lined. In hindsight, it wasn’t the best choice because modesty is important to me.
However, more importantly, it makes me so sad that people are so quick to judge. Especially all the “Christians.” I make mistakes, and I am definitely not perfect, but I really am trying my best. I tried on racks of dresses before I found one that actually covered me, and I want to thank the designer for making a dress that could make me feel beautiful and still keep me completely covered from head to toe.
For those who say I’ve changed, I still believe in Christ, and although I’m not perfect, I strive to share his love and positivity with those I meet.”
I was impressed with Stirling’s response, and I’m glad she took the opportunity to share her beliefs.
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we all make mistakes, even the famous ones we think are perfect. No matter what kind of figure pedestal we place them or anyone else on, we need to remember that no one, including them, is perfect.
People will make mistakes and maybe even disappoint us, but our responsibility isn’t to judge, it is to lift.
Let us use Stirling’s experience and example as a reminder to raise our own bar and not point out how we think others have lowered theirs.