In reading the LDS Living article (which was a step in a positive direction) I came across this quote from Carol McKonkie.
"Modesty is a principle that will help keep us safely on the covenant path as we progress to the presence of God. Modesty in dress and appearance and in thought and behavior will help prepare us to make and keep sacred temple covenants."
The way she talks about modesty, it would seem to make sense to develop a "testimony of modesty". Modesty guides us on the path to the presence of God. This led me to read more from the talk of Sister McKonkie.
https://www.lds.org/ensign/2014/10/cour ... y?lang=eng
3 Blessings of Modesty: 1) Invite the HG. 2) Protect us from destructive influences of the world ... Protection of chastity and virtue. 3) Modesty helps us stand as witnesses of God.
In reading this talk, I get the strong impression that "Modesty in dress and appearance and in thought and behavior" is code for not dressing, doing, or thinking in anyway sexual and that not reading or watching sexual material in media would be considered part of "Modesty ... in thought." It seems to me to be a "hedge" about the law of Chastity, a buffer to help get our youth to the temple as virgins.
Modesty is a defense against such evil influences and a protection of chastity and virtue. Listen to these words in For the Strength of Youth: “Before marriage, … do not do anything … that arouses sexual feelings.” Immodest appearance and behavior will often arouse sexual feelings and will break down barriers and invite increased temptation to break the law of chastity.
As an aside, I was particularly tickled by the way that Sister McKonkie misused Moroni 10:31.
Moroni records, “Awake, and arise from the dust, … yea, and put on thy beautiful garments, O daughter of Zion; … that the covenants of the Eternal Father … may be fulfilled” (Moroni 10:31; emphasis added).
The beautiful garments are the robes of righteousness, worn by those who have kept their covenants. Are we preparing our children to put on these beautiful garments?
I believe that Sister McKonkie was proof-texting or looking for scriptures that would seem to support her arguments. A full quote of this verse shows that the 'daughter of Zion" is Jerusalem and/or Israel. The covenants mentioned here are in the context of the coming forth of the BoM and the eventual Millennial reign. It is decidedly not about modesty or temple covenants.
31 And awake, and arise from the dust, O Jerusalem; yea, and put on thy beautiful garments, O daughter of Zion; and strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders forever, that thou mayest no more be confounded, that the covenants of the Eternal Father which he hath made unto thee, O house of Israel, may be fulfilled.
The Moroni quote itself ties back to Isaiah 52 and reading that chapter is also helpful for context.
Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.
Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down (NIV adds enthroned), O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.
God keeps his promises and redeems his people from bondage to glory! Halleluiah!
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood
“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223
"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13