Dress Standards and Culture

This is part three of my series on the Washington Post Article

The article mentions that the LDS church has fallen from the highest converting Christian church in America.  The official LDS website states the church is the second-highest converting church in America

The article suggests that other faiths are “willing to express the local culture in many ways that the LDS has been slow to do.”  And further asks if it is necessary for people to all dress a certain way to attend church meetings and for missionaries to be dressed a certain way, etc. 

I would love to hear what people have to say about this because from my own personal experience as a missionary in Germany it was very difficult to even have a conversation with the people about religion.  However, when I went back to work as a “normal” citizen in Germany and Switzerland, they treated me with respect and got to know me as a person.  I found it much easier to have gospel discussions after my mission as opposed to before.

Why do you think the LDS church maintains the standard American white shirt and tie approach to missionary work?  Do you feel a change in this would positively affect the ability for missionaries to embrace the culture of other countries? 

In addition to these suggestions, what other cultural issues have you experienced that the LDS church could improve on, if anything at all? 

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