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Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
1 Peter 3:3,4
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
1 Timothy 2:9,10




Simplicity is a Gift!


Simplicity is a rare and wonderful gift! But it is often considered a dreadful curse. To be labeled as plain-looking is akin to being called ugly. Have we been deceived into thinking that God means to harm us by wanting us to look unattractive?

We read in the inspired writings that God does indeed want us to follow the principle of simplicity and plainness:

“Our sisters should dress with simplicity.” {SHM 442.3}

“We should educate the youth to simplicity of dress, plainness with neatness.” {SpTA03 5.3}

“Dress as Christians should dress--simply, plainly adorn yourselves as becometh women professing godliness, with good works.” {CG 421.3}

Why does God want His daughters to be plain and simple in their appearance? It goes against our grain as women. We want to be as beautiful as possible!

Although God created the first woman with exquisite outward natural beauty, the curse of sin has left its mark on the rest of us. Satan tempts us to rebel against God by endeavoring to remove the effects of the curse in ways that are contrary to God's principles. It is good to love beauty, because God is a lover of beauty, true beauty. But we have been mislead as to the beauty that God wants us to have. By our futile efforts to artificially enhance our external appearance in ways that go against God's principles, we may receive the approbation of the world, but we need to consider how God feels about this.

“The pure religion of Jesus requires of its followers the simplicity of natural beauty and the polish of natural refinement and elevated purity, rather than the artificial and false.” {CG 424.3}

Satan is busy bombarding us with the glitz and glamour of the world, in order to conform our minds to the worldly mindset. Without supernatural intervention, we perceive beauty as the world sees it. Our natural eyes are blinded to God's perspective of beauty and holiness. That is why we so much need to experience the transformation that renews our minds.

The wisdom of the world declares that natural beauty is too plain, and must be enhanced artificially, which will increase beauty.

“Many, in order to keep pace with absurd fashion, lose their taste for natural simplicity and are charmed with the artificial.” {CG 421.5}

Consider one way the world programs our minds by its photos of glamour “make-overs.” We see a photograph of a woman in the “before” shot with a clean, natural face and simple hairstyle. Then, in the “after” shot, we are shown the same woman with make-up artfully applied, along with a glamorous hairstyle. Suddenly, she is transformed from plain-looking to absolutely “gorgeous!” The contrast between the two photos is astounding. We are led to believe that the “before” shot is ugly, and the “after” shot is beautiful. The most admired in society for their beauty, the movie stars, utilize the artificial to dazzle us with their charm. Through means such as these, Satan has succeeded in conforming our minds to his way of thinking.

This worldly mindset, which is an image of Satan's thought processes, is deadly. It is saturated with pride. If we love the world—by accepting this way of thinking—we are out of harmony with God's thinking, as they are incompatible.

We need to learn a hard lesson from the most beautiful being ever created. It is said of Lucifer, “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty.” Ezek 28:17. His pride in his beauty led to his downfall, and it will lead to his ultimate destruction. Now, the enemy of God wants to put unholy pride in our hearts, to destroy us as well.

How carefully we must guard against pride. It will kill us! It is so deadly that even one little speck, if allowed to remain, will contaminate our souls, and lead to eternal damnation! God sees our danger, and to guard us from this deadly pride, He gave us the gift of natural simplicity. As we surrender our hearts to His keeping, and humbly accept our natural appearance, He imparts to us a heavenly beauty that shines from within, which will far outweigh whatever natural beauty we may lack.

God wants His daughters to appear in their natural beauty. He desires us to be plain and simple! When we meekly accept His plan for our appearance, we show the world that we have experienced the divine inward transformation, and we are free from the worldly mindset. He wants us to be neat, clean, fit, and glowing with radiant healthfulness. When we start adding the artificial enhancements, we deface the image He considers beautiful. As we let God's love shine from the inside out, we are beautiful in His eyes.

“Simplicity of dress will make a sensible woman appear to the best advantage. We judge of a person's character by the style of dress worn. A modest, godly woman will dress modestly. A refined taste, a cultivated mind, will be revealed in the choice of a simple, appropriate attire. The young women who break away from the slavery of fashion will be ornaments to society. The one who is simple and unpretending in her dress and in her manners shows that she understands that a true woman is characterized by moral worth. How charming, how interesting, is simplicity in dress, which in comeliness can be compared with the flowers of the field.” {RH, November 17, 1904 par. 11}

An externally beautiful woman does not necessarily have inward beauty, which is of true value in God's sight. Often it is the case that those with natural beauty fall into the pride trap, and their hearts get lifted up in vanity. They become conceited and self-centered, and their lives are dedicated to the service of self and sin. A prideful woman is a lost woman, doomed to destruction.

The world looks down on simplicity and plainness. To be accepted by the world, you have to participate in those practices which the world endorses. Would you rather be beautiful in God's eyes or in the world's eyes? You can't be both. By following fashion's tricks to glamorize ourselves or otherwise attract attention to yourself by unnatural means, we look just like the women of the world. People can't see that we are not a part of the world, because we fit right in!

Our appearance and clothing are an index to the condition of our hearts, letting all who see us know if we are operating under the world's mindset. When a woman, whether she is outwardly beautiful or not, follows God's principles of simplicity and modesty, she can easily be identified as a follow of Jesus. Unfortunately, that is a rare sight, because most Christians dress just like the world, and no one can tell them apart.

The gift of modest simplicity contains abundant spiritual blessings. By following these principles, a woman is protected from pride, vanity, immorality and impurity. She is treated with respect and dignity. She reflects the beauty of holiness, and brings glory to God everywhere she goes.

“Chaste simplicity in dress, when united with modesty of demeanor, will go far toward surrounding a young woman with that atmosphere of sacred reserve which will be to her a shield from a thousand perils.” {CG 417.3}

On the other hand, a professed Christian woman who falls into the temptation of accepting the fashions and practices of the world may enjoy the acceptance of the world, but she loses much—too much to be worth it.

“People of discernment will look upon your attempts to beautify the external as proof of weak minds and proud hearts.” {MYP 348.3}

What could be worth the risk of allowing pride into ones heart? What does the world give us, when we follow its ways, that is worth bringing sorrow to the heart of our Savior?

Is God asking too much when He requires simplicity and plainness in our appearance? Is the admiration of the world of such value to us?

“We warn our Christian sisters against the tendency to make their dresses according to worldly styles, thus attracting attention.” {3SM 244.1}

I've heard professed Christian girls say, I'd rather die than go without make-up, or, I'd rather die than wear a long skirt. Perhaps that's just what is needed, a death to self, so we can become alive to God's ways, and find joy in pleasing Him.

“God calls His church to be more separate from the world in their dress than you have thought. God is constantly instructing His people to flee from pride of appearance, from love of self.” {UL 300.5}

The motive of heaven-inspired plainness and simplicity springs from love to God, and a desire to please Him above all else. What a blessing it is to be free from the fear of rejection by the world! If we walk in the light of the approval of heaven, what are a few sneers and snickers from the world? We have a higher calling than covering our bodies with the paint and decorations the world esteems. By dispensing with the worldly trappings of vain fashion, we allow Him to put the finishing touches of glory on our appearance. That is how we present our plain, natural, unadorned bodies as a living sacrifice to Him.

How plain is plain, how simple is simple? Have you ever heard of Puritan plainness? That's pretty plain. No glitz or glamour there.

“Puritan plainness and simplicity should mark the dwellings and apparel of all who believe the solemn truths for this time.” {MYP 315.3}

We're not talking about becoming drab and strange looking. We're just talking about rejoicing in our natural beauty, without fashion's phony additions.

God wants us to make the best of what natural beauty we possess. That includes following the principles of health, hygiene, order, and tastefulness in how we present ourselves to the world. God wants us to be pleasingly plain! We should take care to look as nice and neat as we can, without using artificial means. In keeping with the natural look, it may be appropriate to camouflage some unsightly blemishes, scars or abnormalities that would distract from natural beauty. God will give us wisdom regarding these issues. But as much as possible, nature is best left alone, free from artificial tampering.

As we focus on the inward beauty of Christlikeness by spending time in the Word and in prayer, we are enrolled in the best beauty program available! God's presence puts a joyful, peaceful expression on our face. The grace and dignity of natural beauty, when it is combined with godliness and purity, is admired by heaven, as well as by all those who love God.

But what about our self-esteem? How can we stand feeling ugly in the eyes of the world? The key to dealing with our pride and self-esteem is found at the cross of Calvary. When we behold what our Savior did for us, the suffering and humiliation He experienced because of our sins, pride is dealt a death blow. We come to despise our vain and prideful hearts, and long to be cleansed of self. God's idea of beauty becomes attractive to us, and we long to reflect His character.

Women who have been truly converted, and who follow the principles of simplicity and plainness don't suffer from low self-worth. They understand the value God places on them, and they hold their heads high with dignity and inner strength. True refinement of character brings deep joy and peace that transcends the fleeting pleasure the world offers. By following God's principles, our focus turns from outward adornment to something much more meaningful. Once we catch a glimpse of the glories of eternity, the vanity of the world loses its grip on us.

God sees our hearts, and longs to keep us from falling into pride like Lucifer did. He asks us to keep from doing anything to our appearance that would tend to stir up pride. He never asks us to give up anything that is for our best good. We can trust Him with our appearance, knowing that His approval is beyond price.

He knows that worldly fashions are a snare to our souls.

“We cannot afford to live fashionably, for in doing thus, we sacrifice the natural to the artificial.” {CG 424.1}

The more we love fashion, the less we will love Him. The more we do to encourage the superficial admiration of others, the less we care about His favor. We can't have the world, and Jesus too. If we look like the world, we are of the world. If we allow God's love to illuminate our natural faces, we can radiate true beauty that has the power to transform lives. What a privilege is ours!

“Simple, plain, unpretending dress will be a recommendation to my youthful sisters. In no better way can you let your light shine to others than in your simplicity of dress and deportment.” {MYP 348.3}

This article does not propose to cover all the details of what God considers to be plain and simple in dress and adornment. The Holy Spirit is available to guide each one of us in these matters. Our opinions and preferences must be submitted to His wisdom.

We generally have an idea of what is considered natural and what is considered artificial. We are to "show the beauty of the natural and true, in contrast with the false and artificial." {SSW, January 1, 1889 par. 11} What are some ways that we can do that in our appearance? Did you realize that God loves gray hair? Yes, He does. (See Proverbs 20:29.) It brings rejoicing to His heart to see godly gray-haired women, noble in character, shining with His glory. He loves to see saintly unadorned hands, with unpainted nails busy in service for Him. He delights in holy women with clean, plain faces, their unpainted eyes bright with hope, their unpainted lips filled with praise to His name. His heart thrills at the sight of pure-hearted, simply dressed women who are humble and meek, providing examples of true holiness. He loves to see spiritually-minded women adorned with inward beauty, free from the phony allurements of fashion.

Is it easy to follow God's way? God never said it would be easy to decide to follow Him. But once we take up His yoke, it becomes easy. Jesus said, “If any man [woman] will come after me, let him [her] deny himself [herself], and take up his [her] cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23

“Self-denial in dress is a part of our Christian duty. To dress plainly, abstaining from display of jewelry and ornaments of every kind, is in keeping with our faith.” Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 366. {3SM 245.5}

Part of taking up our cross and following Him is choosing modesty and simplicity in our daily appearance. The cross is that which cuts against the grain of the carnal mind. We need that cross! Without it, self will rein, and we will be eternally lost. Praise God for gift of simplicity and plainness! It is designed to cut away our disgusting pride. It is designed to save our souls.

If we are willing to embrace this gift of simplicity, new fountains of joy will open up in our lives. By following simplicity in our appearance, we find freedom from the bondage of fashion and vanity. We find freedom from pride. We begin to appreciate what God appreciates. We will find new beauty to admire, and the so-called beauty of the world will look cheap and shallow.

This is one of those gifts that you can't enjoy until you grasp a hold of it, and apply it to your life. And when you do, then you will truly become beautiful! Let the Holy Spirit speak to your heart, so you will be able to enjoy the blessed gift of simplicity!

Here are some additional inspired quotations:

From the Word of God:

Prov 31:30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

From the Spirit of Prophecy:

Simplicity is now rare. Instead of neat, unadorned apparel, which the pen of Inspiration has prescribed, almost every style of fashionable dress may be seen. {4T 639.1}

We are nearing the close of this world's history. A plain, direct testimony is now needed, as given in the word of God, in regard to the plainness of dress. This should be our burden. . . . {5MR 404.3}

Our sisters should dress with simplicity. They should clothe themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety. Give to the world a living illustration of the inward adorning of the grace of God. Place yourselves under the discipline of the living oracles of God, subjecting the mind to influences which form the character aright. {SHM 442.3}

In every age, a majority of the professed followers of Christ have disregarded those precepts which enjoin self-denial and humility, which require modesty and simplicity of conversation, deportment, and apparel. The result has ever been the same, --departure from the teachings of the gospel leads to the adoption of the fashions, customs, and principles of the world. Vital godliness gives place to a dead formalism. The presence and power of God, withdrawn from those world-loving circles, are found with a class of humbler worshipers, who are willing to obey the teachings of the Sacred Word. {MYP 354.2}

As we see the love of fashion and display among those who profess to believe present truth, we sadly ask, Will the people of God learn nothing from the history of the past? There are few who understand their own hearts. The vain and trifling lovers of fashion may claim to be followers of Christ; but their dress and conversation show what occupies the mind and engages the affections. Their lives betray their friendship for the world, and it claims them as its own. {MYP 354.3}

How can one that has ever tasted the love of Christ be satisfied with the frivolities of fashion? My heart is pained to see those who profess to be followers of the meek and lowly Saviour, so eagerly seeking to conform to the world's standard of dress. Notwithstanding their profession of godliness, they can hardly be distinguished from the unbeliever. {MYP 355.1}

Pride and extravagance in dress is a sin to which woman is especially prone. We see steadily gaining ground in the church an evil which the word of God condemns. What is the duty of those in authority in regard to this matter? Will the influence of the church be what it should be, while many of its members obey the dictates of fashion, rather than the clearly expressed will of God? How can we expect the presence and aid of the Holy Spirit while we suffer these things to exist among us? Can we remain silent while the teachings of Christ are set aside by His professed followers? These things bring grief and perplexity to those who have the oversight of the church of God. Will not my Christian sisters themselves reflect candidly and prayerfully upon this subject? Will they not seek to be guided by the word of God? {MYP 355.3}

The idolatry of dress is a moral disease. It must not be taken over into the new life. In most cases, submission to the gospel requirements will demand a decided change in the dress. {MYP 358.1}

Demoralizing extravagance prevails everywhere, and souls are going to ruin because of their love of dress and display. The life of nine tenths of those who are devotees of fashion is a living lie. Deception, fraud, is their daily practice; for they wish to appear that which they are not. {MYP 359.1}

Luxurious living, extravagant dressing, is carried to such an extent as to constitute one of the signs of the last days. {MYP 359.3}

Pride and vanity are manifested everywhere; but those who are inclined to look into the mirror to admire themselves, have little inclination to look into the law of God, the great moral mirror. This idolatry of dress destroys all that is humble, meek, and lovely in the character. {MYP 359.4}

Our ministers and their wives should be an example in plainness of dress; {SpTA03 5.3}

Mothers, dress yourselves and your children in modest apparel, clean and neat, but without needless trimming. When you learn to dress with conscientious plainness, you will have no excuse for being ignorant of the Scriptures. Follow Christ's injunction, "Search the Scriptures," then will you gain spiritual strength yourselves, and be able rightly to instruct your children. {ST, January 4, 1905 par. 5}

Let the wearing of useless trimmings and adornments be discarded. Extravagance should never be indulged in to gratify pride. Our dress may be of good quality, made up with plainness and simplicity, for durability rather than for display.-- R. and H., 1878, No. 2.

As I have seen many Sabbathkeeping Adventists becoming worldly in thought, conversation, and dress, my heart has been saddened. The people who claim to believe that they have the last message of mercy to give to the world, are attracted by worldly fashions, and make great exertions to follow them as far as they think their profession of faith allows them to go. Worldly dress among our people is so noticeable that unbelievers frequently remark, "In their dress you cannot distinguish them from the world." This we know to be true, although there are many exceptions. {3SM 243.2}

Those who meet the world's standard are not few in numbers. We are grieved to see that they are exerting an influence, leading others to follow their example. When I see those who have named the name of Christ, aping the fashions introduced by worldlings, I have the most painful reflections. Their lack of Christlikeness is apparent to all. In the outward adorning there is revealed to worldlings as well as to Christians an absence of the inward adorning, the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which in the sight of God is of great price. . . . {3SM 243.3}

We warn our Christian sisters against the tendency to make their dresses according to worldly styles, thus attracting attention. The house of God is profaned by the dress of professedly Christian women of today. {3SM 244.1}

Satan stands in the background, devising the fashions which lead to extravagance in the outlay of means. In forming the fashions of the day, he has a fixed purpose. He knows that time and money which are devoted to meet the demands of fashion will not be used for higher, holier objects. {3SM 244.3}

Satan is wonderfully successful in infatuating minds with the ever-varying styles of dress. He knows that while the minds of women are continually filled with a feverish desire to follow fashion, their moral sensibilities are weak, and they cannot be aroused to realize their true spiritual condition. They are worldly, without God, without hope. {3SM 245.2}

Let the clothing be plain and neat, without extravagance of display. {3SM 245.3}

Young ladies who break away from slavery to fashion will be ornaments in society. The one who is simple and unpretending in her dress and in her manners shows that she understands that a true lady is characterized by moral worth.-- {3SM 245.4}

Conformity to the world is a sin which is sapping the spirituality of our people, and seriously interfering with their usefulness. It is idle to proclaim the warning message to the world, while we deny it in the transactions of daily life.--The Review and Herald, March 28, 1882. {3SM 247.4}

Let us live simply, and work in simplicity. Let us dress in such a modest, becoming way that we will be received wherever we go. Jewelry and expensive dress will not give us influence, but the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit--the result of devotion to the service of Christ--will give us power with God.. {3SM 248.4}

If Christian parents lived in obedience to the requirements of the divine Teacher, they would preserve simplicity in eating and in dressing, and would live more in accordance with natural law. Many dress like the world, in order to have an influence over unbelievers; but here they make a sad mistake. If they would have a true and saving influence, let them live out their profession, show their faith by their righteous works, and make the distinction plain between the Christian and the worldling. The words, the dress, the actions, should tell for God. Then a holy influence will be shed upon all around them, and even unbelievers will take knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus. If any wish to have their influence tell in favor of truth, let them live out their profession, and thus imitate the humble Pattern. --Testimonies, vol. 4, pp. 633, 634. (1881) {Ev 672.4}

Pride of Dress Stumbling Block to Unbelievers.-- Many a soul who was convinced of the truth has been led to decide against it by the pride and love of the world displayed by our sisters. The doctrine preached seemed clear and harmonious, and the hearers felt that a heavy cross must be lifted by them in taking the truth. When these persons have seen our sisters making so much display in dress, they have said, "This people dress fully as much as we do. They cannot really believe what they profess; and, after all, they must be deceived. If they really thought that Christ was soon coming, and the case of every soul was to be decided for eternal life or death, they could not devote time and money to dress according to the existing fashions." How little did those professedly believing sisters know of the sermon their dress was preaching! {Ev 672.5}

Our words, our actions, and our dress are daily, living preachers, gathering with Christ, or scattering abroad. This is no trivial matter, to be passed off with a jest. The subject of dress demands serious reflection and much prayer. Many unbelievers have felt that they were not doing right in permitting themselves to be slaves of fashion; but when they see some who make a high profession of godliness dressing as worldlings dress, enjoying frivolous society, they decide that there can be no wrong in such a course.-- Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 641. (1881) {Ev 673.1}

Dear youth, a disposition in you to dress according to the fashion, and to wear lace and gold and artificials for display, will not recommend to others your religion or the truth that you profess. People of discernment will look upon your attempts to beautify the external as proof of weak minds and proud hearts. Simple, plain, unpretending dress will be a recommendation to my youthful sisters. In no better way can you let your light shine to others than in your simplicity of dress and deportment. You may show to all that, in comparison with eternal things, you place a proper estimate upon the things of this life. {3T 376.2}

The pure religion of Jesus requires of its followers the simplicity of natural beauty in its natural refinement and elevated purity rather than the artificial and false. {PH013 23.1}

While pure religion is looked upon as exacting in its demands, and, with the young especially, is unfavorably contrasted with the false glitter and tinsel of the world, they regard the Bible requirements as a humiliating, self-denying test, which takes from them all the enjoyment of life. But the religion of the Bible ever has a tendency to elevate and refine. {PH013 23.2}

The Redeemer of the world warns us against the pride of life, but not against its grace and natural beauty. {PH013 24.1}

God, who created everything lovely and beautiful that the eye rests upon, is a lover of the beautiful. He shows you how he estimates true beauty. The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit is in his sight of great price. That which God estimates as valuable above costly dress, or pearls, or gold, shall we not seek earnestly to gain? The inward adorning, the grace of meekness, a spirit in harmony with the heavenly angels, will not lessen true dignity of characters, or make us less lovely here in this world. {PH013 26.1}

Let the Sabbath-school teacher be an example in faith, in charity, in doctrine, and deportment. Let him dress with simplicity. Let him show the beauty of the natural and true, in contrast with the false and artificial. {SSW, January 1, 1889 par. 11}

Christ sought to draw the attention of His disciples away from the artificial to the natural: {RH, October 27, 1885 par. 5}

All effort for outward display is unnecessary and useless. We may spend our God-given time in striving for artificial adornment, and yet not bear comparison with a simple flower of the field. Draw the minds of your children from the artificial to the natural. {RH, July 9, 1901 par. 20}

We cannot afford to live fashionably, for in doing thus, we sacrifice the natural to the artificial. Our artificial habits deprive us of many privileges and much enjoyment, and unfit us for useful life. Fashion subjects us to a hard, thankless life. A vast amount of money is sacrificed to keep pace with changing fashion, merely to create a sensation. The votaries of fashion who live to attract the admiration of friends and strangers, are not happy--far from it.{HR, October 1, 1871 par. 8}

If they preserve to themselves sound constitutions and amiable tempers, they will possess true beauty that they can wear with a divine grace. And they will have no need to be adorned with artificials, for these are always expressive of an absence of the inward adorning of true moral worth. A beautiful character is of value in the sight of God. Such beauty will attract, but not mislead. Such charms are fast colors; they never fade. {CG 424.2}

If Christian women would lead out in the good work, and set the example of dressing with neatness and simplicity, and with regard to health, there would be a universal reform. {CTBH 92.2}

We deplore the absence of natural simplicity and the increase of artificial display. {Con 58.2}

A large share of the Christian world have no right to call themselves Christians. Their habits, their extravagance, and general treatment of their own bodies are violations of physical law and contrary to the Bible. {Con 58.3}

No face has true beauty in it that does not mirror the deeds of a noble soul…if the soul that looks out from the eyes be true and pure, the face will be beautiful always, for it has found the true fountain of youth; and though time may fold the hair in silver, and furrow the brow, yet there will ever be a beauty lighting it up that years cannot dim, for the heart and soul never grow old." {HR, October 1, 1871 par. 15}

I think it would also be well for them to present to every Christian woman a pledge to abstain from all needless display and extravagance in dress; {RH, March 20, 1958 par. 12}

I suggest that there be special efforts made by the youth to help each other to live faithful to their baptismal vows, and pledge themselves solemnly before God to withdraw their affections from the love of dress and display. {PH013 29.4}

I must not waste one jot or tittle of my powers in the gratification of appetite or pride of appearance. {PCP 32.1}

Let the carnal heart be changed, and it will not be such drudgery, ye cold hearted professors, to serve God; and all that love of dress, and pride of appearance will be gone. The time that you spend standing before the glass, to prepare the hair, to please the eye, should be devoted to prayer and searching of heart. There will be no place for outward adorning in the sanctified heart. {2SG 262.2} {1T 162.2}

Subdue the carnal mind, reform the life, and the poor mortal frame will not be so idolized. If the heart is reformed, it will be seen in the outward appearance. {2SG 263.2}

Every truly converted soul will carry the unmistakable marks that the carnal mind is subdued. {2SG 263.3}

With earnest, fervent prayer plead for purity of soul. Plead as earnestly, as eagerly, as you would for your mortal life, were it at stake{2SG 264.3} {1T 163}

We may also deny Christ by pride of dress and conformity to the world… {3T 335.2}

The habits and customs of the world, pride of appearance, selfishness, and self-exaltation, too often intrude, and these sins of His professed followers are so offensive to God that He cannot work in power for them or through them. {4T 576.1}

The love of dress and pride of appearance will be gone. It is an alarming fact that the love of the world predominates in the minds of the young, and the things that are in the world, and for this reason the love of God finds no room in their hearts. God is dishonored by the frivolity and fashion, and empty, vain talking and laughing that characterize the life of the youth generally. {ST, May 1, 1884 par. 2}

Words and acts testify plainly what is in the heart. If vanity and pride, love of self and love of dress, fill the heart, the conversation will be upon the dress, the fashions, and the appearance, but not on Christ or the kingdom of Heaven. {ST, May 1, 1884 par. 3}

I was shown the conformity of some professed Sabbathkeepers to the world. Oh, I saw that it is a disgrace to their profession, a disgrace to the cause of God. They give the lie to their profession. They think they are not like the world, but they are so near like them in dress, in conversation, and actions, that there is no distinction. I saw them decorating their poor, mortal bodies… {1T 131.1}

Why is it so hard to lead a self-denying, humble life? Because professed Christians are not dead to the world. It is easy living after we are dead. But many are longing for the leeks and onions of Egypt. They have a disposition to dress and act as much like the world as possible and yet go to heaven. Such climb up some other way. They do not enter through the strait gate and narrow way. {1T 131.2}

I saw that some professed Sabbathkeepers spend hours that are worse than thrown away, in studying this or that fashion to decorate the poor, mortal body. While you make yourselves appear like the world, and as beautiful as you can, remember that the same body may in a few days be food for worms. And while you adorn it to your taste, to please the eye, you are dying spiritually. God hates your vain, wicked pride, and He looks upon you as a whited sepulcher, full of corruption and uncleanness within. {1T 134.1}

If half the time spent by the youth in making themselves attractive in outward appearance were given to soul culture, to the inward adorning, what a difference would be seen in their deportment, words, and actions! Those who are truly seeking to follow Christ will have conscientious scruples in regard to the dress they wear; they will strive to meet the requirements ... so plainly given by the Lord. {TMK 312.3}

Many dress like the world to have an influence. They spend hours that are worse than thrown away, in studying this or that fashion to decorate the poor, mortal body. But here they make a sad and fatal mistake. If they would have a saving influence, if they would have their lives tell in favor of the truth, let them imitate the humble Pattern. Let them show their faith by righteous works, and make the distinction broad between themselves and the world. The words, the dress, and the actions should tell for God. Then a holy influence will be shed upon all, and all will take knowledge of them, that they have been with Jesus. Unbelievers will see that faith in Christ's coming affects the character. . . . {TMK 312.4}

The external appearance is an index to the heart. When hearts are affected by the truth there will be a death to the world, and those who are dead to the world will not be moved by the laugh, the jeer, and the scorn of unbelievers. They will feel an anxious desire to be like their Master, separate from the world. They will not imitate its fashions or customs. The noble object will be ever before them, to glorify God and gain the immortal inheritance, and in comparison with this everything of an earthly nature will sink into insignificance. {TMK 312.5}

And yet the very ones that profess to be washed by the blood of Jesus, spilt for them, can dress up, and decorate their poor, mortal bodies, and dare to profess to be the followers of the holy, self-denying, humble Pattern. O, I wish that all could see this in the light that God sees it, and showed it to me. It seemed too much, too much for me to bear, to feel the anguish of soul that I felt as I beheld it. "God's people," said the angel, "are peculiar, such he is purifying unto himself." I saw that the outside appearance was an index to the heart. When hung with ribbons, collars and needless things, it plainly shows that all this is in the heart, and unless that such persons are cleansed from their corruption, they can never see God, for the pure in heart alone will see him. {RH, January 13, 1863 par. 2}

But it is evident that many who bear the name of Adventist study more to decorate their bodies and to appear well in the eyes of the world than they do to learn from the Word of God how they may be approved of Him. {EW 108.2}

I was shown the pride of the nominal churches. God is not in their thoughts; their carnal minds dwell upon themselves; they decorate their poor mortal bodies, and then look upon themselves with satisfaction and pleasure. Jesus and the angels look upon them in anger. {EW 274.1}

The words of Scripture in regard to dress should be carefully considered. We need to understand that which the Lord of heaven appreciates in even the dressing of the body. All who are in earnest in seeking for the grace of Christ will heed the precious words of instruction inspired by God. Even the style of the apparel will express the truth of the gospel. {Ev 269.1}

Our appearance in every respect should be characterized by neatness, modesty, and purity. But the Word of God gives no sanction to the making of changes in apparel merely for the sake of fashion,--that we may appear like the world. Christians are not to decorate the person with costly array or expensive ornaments. {Ev 312.2}

It is right to love beauty and to desire it; but God desires us to love and seek first the highest beauty, that which is imperishable. No outward adorning can compare in value or loveliness with that "meek and quiet spirit," the "fine linen, white and clean" (Revelation 19:14), which all the holy ones of earth will wear. This apparel will make them beautiful and beloved here, and will hereafter be their badge of admission to the palace of the King. {AG 121.6}

I saw that God hates pride, and that all the proud, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble, and the day that cometh shall burn them up. I saw that the third angel's message must yet work like leaven upon many hearts that profess to believe it, and purge away their pride, selfishness, covetousness, and love of the world. {MYP 128.2}

Jesus is coming, and will He find a people conformed to the world? and will he acknowledge them as His people that He has purified unto Himself? Oh, no. None but the pure and holy will He acknowledge as His. Those who have been purified and made white through suffering, and have kept themselves separate, unspotted from the world, He will own as His. {MYP 128.3}

As I saw the dreadful fact that God's people were conformed to the world, with no distinction, except in name, between many of the professed disciples of the meek and lowly Jesus, and unbelievers, my soul felt deep anguish. I saw that Jesus was wounded and put to an open shame. Said the angel, as with sorrow he saw the professed people of God loving the world, partaking of its spirit, and following its fashions, "Cut loose! Cut loose! lest He appoint you your portion with hypocrites and unbelievers outside the city. Your profession will only cause you greater anguish, and your punishment will be greater, because ye knew His will, but did it not." {MYP 129.1}

It was to save us from the very pride and love of vanity and pleasure that we now indulge which crowds out the love of Jesus, that caused these tears, and marred our Saviour's visage with sorrow and anguish more than any of the sons of men. {PH013 30.1}

Will you, young friends, arise and shake off this dreadful indifference and stupor which has conformed you to the world? Will you heed the voice of warning which tells you destruction lies in the path of those who are at ease in this hour of danger? God's patience will not always wait for you, poor trifling souls. God, who holds our destinies in his hands, will not always be trifled with. Jesus declares to us that there is a greater sin than that which caused the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. It is the sin of those who have the great light of the truth in these days and who are not moved to repentance. It is the sin of rejecting the light of the most solemn message of mercy to the world. It is the sin of those who see Jesus in the wilderness of temptation bowed down as with mortal agony because of the sins of the world. He fasted nearly six weeks to overcome, in behalf of men, their indulgence of appetite, their vanity, display, and worldly honor. He has shown them how they may overcome on their own account as he overcame, but it is not pleasant to their natures to endure conflict and reproach, derision and shame, for his dear sake. It is not agreeable to deny self and to ever be seeking to do good to others. It is not pleasant to overcome as Christ overcame, so they turn from the pattern which is plainly given them to copy, and refuse to imitate the example that the Saviour came from the heavenly courts to leave them. {PH013 31.1}