Saturday, December 8, 2007

Mormon Temple Garments

Temple Garments

See also "Garments" in Encyclopedia of Mormonism

There has been some talk of Mormon temple garments. So I thought I would say somewhat about them. The Church discourages its members from engaging in casual conversation about temple garments so I will be brief.

After a Mormon has gone through the temple he or she is expected to wear what is called the garment, or temple garment. In form it is usually a two piece undergarment consisting of what looks like a t-shirt and an extended leg brief. See pictures here, here, here, here, and here for approximately what garments look like. The pictures are ordinary undergarments which can be purchased at JC Penny, but they look almost exactly like Mormon garments. In fact if you were in a locker room you probably wouldn't notice the difference. The Mormon garment is about 1 to 2 inches longer in the leg.

In the 19th century the garment was a one-piece garment similar to long underwear--the length went to the wrists and to the ankles. In the 20th century it was modified to a short sleeve one-piece garment that went down to the knee. Sometime during the late seventies or early eighties the church went to the two piece format currently in use. The one piece garment is still available, though; but I don't know anyone who wears one. There is also available a long underwear version which is nice for especially cold winters, but the usual fashion is the two piece described above.

The garment is available is a variety of fabrics. As mentioned it can be purchased as a two piece long underwear form; or (for humid climates) it is available in a mesh fabric. The t-shirt-like part is available in scoop neck, crew neck, or v-neck.
The undergarment for men and women have basically the same form. The church makes available for active duty Army servicemen a kacki green undergarment which conforms to Army regulations. Except for the Army regulation garment, the garment is always white.

The garment serves several purposes. One of which is to maintain standards of modesty: since it it is generally not appropriate to have the garment visible from underneath one's outerwear, standards of how much of the body is shown can easily be maintained. The garment is always an undergarment.

What it symbolizes
An article published in the Ensign magazine (“To Clothe a Temple,” i.e. your body) reads:

Clothing was first fashioned by God himself: “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” (Gen. 3:21.) The Lord knew that the Fall had opened Adam’s and Eve’s eyes to their nakedness, as well as unleashing powerful new appetites and desires. Out of love for his children, he dressed them in coats of skins.

Clothing Adam and Eve was one of the first acts of mercy the Lord extended to mortals. A richly symbolic gesture, clothing humanity foreshadowed the final mercy God will grant his children when he shall clothe them in the “robe of righteousness” and “garments of salvation.” (
Isa. 61:10.)

Other things
The garment is to be worn underneath street clothes at all times. Exceptions are bathing, swimming, or other activities incompatible with the wearing of the garment.

Sometimes people will say that Mormons are buried in their temple garment. That would be easy to misunderstand. When a Mormon is to be buried he will be dressed--if a man--in white slacks, a white shirt and tie, white shoes and socks. His garment will be underneath this clothing, as an undergarment. There are also his temple robes that will go over his outerwear. Except for the differences in male and female clothing the manner of burial for women is the same.

Also important to note: there are the temple garments and then there is a separate set of clothing referred to as temple robes. For example, when I go to the temple I am wearing what I typically wear to church--dress shirt, tie, slacks, etc. When inside I put on a white shirt and white tie, white slacks and white shoes. My garment is underneath this clothing--just as you would wear underwear. The temple robes go over the outerwear.


5 comments:

Noony said...

Concerning "the garments". many people wear clothing that signifies something to them concerning their beliefs. But I have a question--does Matt Romney wear his "temple chastity belt" and boxers or briefs ?
Thank you for your kind attention to this riveting question.

Noony

troywynn said...

I've been a Mormon all my life and have been endowed for over 15 years. My parents and grandparents and great-grandparents have all been devout Mormons. I have never heard of a "temple chastity belt." That is a myth.

Anonymous said...

where to buy viagra purchase viagra women's viagra non prescription viagra generic viagra india order viagra online buy viagra cheap soma and viagra prescriptions free viagra how to get viagra cheapest uk supplier viagra viagra blood pressure viagra cheap viagra reviews viagra jokes

Debra said...

My husbands grandfather was buried in a green robe with gold trimmings. He was just a young boy and would like to know what this represented.

Anonymous said...

Salt Lake Tribune, "Kirby: Hey, Mormons, garments aren’t secret anymore"