As I was studying I was looking up some definitions because I wasn't sure what temperance is, and while I was at it I looked up the definition of Modesty. I'd always thought of it as not showing too much skin. Don't let things get too tight. As a result, I had been well and truly puzzled by the Prophet's comments on modest earrings.
May I mention earrings and rings placed in other parts of the body. These are not manly. They are not attractive. You young men look better without them, and I believe you will feel better without them. As for the young women, you do not need to drape rings up and down your ears. One modest pair of earrings is sufficient.
It all made more sense when I looked at the definition (courtesy of dictionary.com):
1. having or showing a moderate or humble estimate of one's merits, importance, etc.; free from vanity, egotism, boastfulness, or great pretensions.
2. free from ostentation or showy extravagance: a modest house.
3. having or showing regard for the decencies of behavior, speech, dress, etc.; decent: a modest neckline on a dress.
4. limited or moderate in amount, extent, etc.: a modest increase in salary.
Being modest essentially means not drawing attention to ourselves. So, earrings may indeed be modest or immodest. Interesting. Makes me look at my clothing with a whole new eye. It's interesting as well: this would mean that what is modest here, where I live, may not be modest where you live. Or it may be over the top and extreme, though the Lord has certainly laid out some minimum standards that apply to everyone. But a great deal of it has been left to individual discretion and would be very culturally influenced. That being said, I rather suspect that in this (as in all other things) there is a Celestial Law that is the Final Right Answer that governs the actions of those that live with the Lord.
There are also some really great blog posts out there on modesty. This blog is hosting a whole 10 Days to Modesty event - they're having a fashion show tomorrow. I think that I'm a little late to participate in that, but it's a cool idea. They've also got a giveaway from a modest fashion designer, which is cool. I haven't checked out her store yet, but I'm thinking that I'll go check it out at some point.