SALT LAKE CITY – The iconic look of Mormon missionaries — dark suit, white shirt, tie and black name tag — has just dropped one element — the suit coat.
That is, however, only in hot climates.
Male Mormon proselytizers, known as “elders,” who toil to find converts in scorching, humid regions like Kenya, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico and the Philippines will no longer be required to bring a coat with them on their two-year volunteer service.
“In some parts of world with hot climates,” the Utah-based faith said Thursday in a news release, “suit coats are impractical.”
In addition, the move “will reduce the financial burden,” the release said, “on missionaries and their families.”
Two years ago, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints revised the missionary grooming standards, saying that elders no longer were required to wear suits “during everyday (proselytizing) activities.”
These male volunteers could be dressed as young professionals in white shirts, ties and dress slacks (even lighter-colored ones).
Suits — including light grays or browns — were reserved for Sundays or special occasions, but still required. Now in these areas, they are not.
No exemptions for Mormon proselytizers in Utah, apparently, though the Beehive State had the most blistering June in its history.
(Peggy Fletcher Stack writes for the Salt Lake Tribune.)