SALT LAKE CITY – Missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have a very specific dress code, which recently got an update designed to protect proselytizers from the sun.
The new guidelines from the LDS Church now allow missionaries to wear certain varieties of sunglasses and hats.
The guidelines say sunglasses may be worn to protect eyes form over-exposure to the sun, however, unless they serve a medical purpose, they should not be worn when talking to people or while indoors. A spokesperson with the LDS Church said they consistently monitor missionary health and safety, and make those updates where necessary.
Many missionaries spend hours outside proselytizing, and The Utah Department of Health says anyone who works outdoors for so long should consider adding sunglasses and a hat to their summer wardrobe.
“Utah still is number one in the incidents of melanoma, and skin cancer is one of the top two causes of cancer in young adults,” said Joelle Fierro with the Department of Health’s Cancer Control Program.
The approved hat styles are conservative and business-like. The guidelines prohibit baseball caps, cowboy hats and fedoras.
“I can see the hats in like really sunny, hot places, I can see it doing well, and then for sunglasses, I didn't really see that coming,” said Dane Zidek, who is preparing to serve an LDS mission.
While the standards are put out on a general basis, missionaries are still urged to consult the specific supply list that comes with their call to serve in a particular area.