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Friday, May 6, 2011

The Uniform

by Scott Heffernan (bio)

I chose not to where a white shirt when I blessed my baby boy a few months back. The point of this post is not to debate whether one should wear a white shirt or not. The white shirt uniform debate has been discussed at length here, here, here, here, and here. I’m just not a huge fan for various reasons and I chose not to.

I was (and still am) totally comfortable with this decision. However, I have to admit, in the back of my mind I was a little worried that the bishop might care or say something. We’re relatively new to our ward so I wasn’t quite sure his level of frigidity (or if this is something some bishops even get uptight about). I knew the bishop would be in the circle along with some of my friends and family, and understood that I’d probably be the only one without the white shirt.

Well imagine my delight when I walk into the chapel, look up on the stand, and see the bishop donning a full-on boy scout uniform. The whole getup! We’re talking green pants, belt, tan short-sleeve shirt, shoulder loops, sewn patches, and yes, a plaid neckerchief complete with slide. I generally get pretty nervous before public speaking, but I was definitely more relaxed after seeing him. The scouting program has never appealed to me (also not the point of this post) and I guess I don’t take it very seriously. I think that’s why I found this so funny.

Our ward has a custom of the father taking the mic and introducing the people in the circle prior to the blessing (I’ve never seen this before, but I like it). I started introducing friends and family and as I got to the bishop I said, “And here’s the bishop...looking sharp.” It got a chuckle, but had I been more on my game I would have thought of something more fitting like, “Here’s the bishop...always prepared.”

Images via Indochino and

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