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Mormonism LIVE: 079: Mormonism’s History of The Holy Garments

Bill & RFM take a look at Mormonism’s Holy Garments. We look at the history, doctrine, and disavowed theories and spiritual speculation around them. Are they a magical spiritual protection? Were they allowed to have their design changed? Must they be worn all day every day? What super secret sacred details will Bill and RFM uncover?

A.) How Garments came to be

  1. According to two accounts ( Eliza Mariah A. Munson, “Early Pioneer History” n.d.; see also H. Kimball Diary, ), the original temple garment was made of unbleached muslin with markings bound in turkey red, fashioned by Nauvoo seamstress Elizabeth Warren Allred under Joseph Smith’s direction. Joseph’s reported intention was to have a one-piece garment covering the arms, legs and torso, having “as few seams as possible. Ceremonial markings on the garment were originally snipped into the cloth in the temple during an initiate’s first visit.
  1. Strange Rumor about how original markings were placed – “”‘A man behind the veil examined us, as to the passwords and grips Brigham had given us, and to whom we gave our “new name,” received at the first anointing. Holes through the veil enabled him to see us when we could not see him, and also, to cut with a small pair of scissors, certain marks, beside others, the Masonic square and compass, upon the right and left breast of our ‘garments,’ and upon the right knee, a gash, deep enough to make a scar, by which we were to be recognized as Mormons. This gash upon the right knee is now often omitted, because many of the women object to it.’ “(Green, Kelson Winch, ‘Fifteen Years Among the Mormons: Being the Narrative of Mrs. Mary Ettie V. Smith,…,’ Chapter IV, ‘Endowments,’ pp. 48-49

B.) They can not be altered and yet were altered

  1. Joseph Smith taught “Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed. All must be saved on the same principles.” (Teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith)
  2. The Saints should know that the pattern of endowment garments was revealed from Heaven and that the blessings promised in connection with wearing them will not be realized if any unauthorized change is made in their form or in the manner of wearing them.” – President Joseph F. Smith; 28 June 1906.
  3. “The Lord has given unto us garments of the holy priesthood, and you know what that means. And yet there are those of us who mutilate them, in order that we may follow the foolish, vain and (permit me to say) indecent practices of the world. In order that such persons may imitate the fashions, they will not hesitate to mutilate that which should be held by them the most sacred of all things in the world, next to their own virtue, next to their own purity of life. They should hold these things that God has given unto them sacred, unchanged and unaltered from the very pattern in which God gave them. Let us have the moral courage to stand against the opinions of fashion, and especially where fashion compels us to break a covenant and so commit a grievous sin.” – Joseph F Smith
  1. 1924 – After learning that garments and temple clothing were not originally designed solely by Joseph Smith, the committee dramatically altered the style of the temple garment. The committee made some changes: Sleeves were raised from the wrist to the elbow, legs raised from the ankle to just below the knee, buttons used instead of strings, the collar eliminated, and the crotch closed. The introduction of this new-style garment caused considerable unrest among some members. Nevertheless, the pre-1923 style garment was required in the temple ceremony until 1975 when its use became optional. Occasionally minor design changes have been implemented such as lowering the neckline and shortening the legs and sleeves. The most dramatic recent change was the two-piece garment in 1979. Garments are manufactured by the church’s Beehive Clothing Mills, which reportedly consults East Coast fashion designers for pattern considerations. While members are not now permitted to make their own garments… (They can make their own other temple clothing)

C.) Some vintage Advertisements

1.) Lets show a couple of these and move on quickly


D.) Instruction around wearing them and how that has changed

1.) They are to be worn day and night

a.) Carlos Asay “The Temple Garment” “Night and Day”

b.) Russel M Nelson “Prepare for the Blessings of the Temple”  ““Church members who have been clothed with the garment in the temple have made a covenant to wear it throughout their lives. This has been interpreted to mean that it is worn as underclothing both day and night. … The promise of protection and blessings is conditioned upon worthiness and faithfulness in keeping the covenant. “The fundamental principle ought to be to wear the garment and not to find occasions to remove it. Thus, members should not remove either all or part of the garment to work in the yard or to lounge around the home in swimwear or immodest clothing. Nor should they remove it to participate in recreational activities that can reasonably be done with the garment worn properly beneath regular clothing. When the garment must be removed, such as for swimming, it should be restored as soon as possible.

c.) The Temple Question 20 years ago
“Do you keep the covenants that you made in the temple? Do you wear the garment both night and day as instructed in the endowment and in accordance with the covenant you made in the temple? The new question is this: Do you keep the covenants that you made in the temple, including wearing the temple garment as instructed in the endowment?”

d.) The letter Bill had to read to every person receiving & Renewing a temple recommend

e.) First Presidency Letter to Arthur C Smith March 10 1915

2.) Increasing complaints seemed to have once again led to changes

3.) The wording is now more ambiguous

a.)  Today the Temple interview has been changed to  (Question 13: Do you keep the covenants that you made in the temple, including wearing the temple garment as instructed in the endowment? (Read the “Wearing the Temple Garment” statement, included below, to each member.)

b.) statement read today “Wearing the Temple Garment The temple garment is a reminder of covenants made in the temple and, when worn properly throughout life, will serve as a protection against temptation and evil. The garment should be worn beneath the outer clothing. It should not be removed for activities that can reasonably be done while wearing the garment, and it should not be modified to accommodate different styles of clothing. Endowed members should seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to answer personal questions about wearing the garment. It is a sacred privilege to wear the garment and doing so is an outward expression of an inner commitment to follow the Savior Jesus Christ.”

4.) Jana Riess – “The removal of “night and day as instructed in the endowment” from the temple recommend interview resolves a weird problem that was present for years: The endowment ceremony itself didn’t explicitly have people covenant to wear the garment “night and day.” The “night and day” language was added to the TRI process in 1976; 20 years later, the phrase “in accordance with the covenant you made in the temple” was inserted as well. So for at least four decades, round-the-clock garment use has been the expectation as specified in church curriculum as well as in a separate set of guidelines that local leaders were instructed to read to members to explain what it meant in practice to wear the garment “throughout your life.””

E.) How they went from magical to not magical 

  1. They will protect you
    1. “I fear that too many Church members take for granted the promise of protection and blessings associated with the temple garment. Some wear it improperly, and others remove it to suit whims of circumstance. In such cases, the instructions of modern prophets, seers, and revelators are ignored and spiritual protection placed in jeopardy” – Carlos Asay Ensign, Aug. 1997, pp. 19-23
    2. First Presidency Letter dated 3 July 1974, Church members were reminded of the sacred [page 22] nature of the garment: “The sacredness of the garment should be ever present and uppermost in the wearer’s mind; … the blessings which flow from the observance of our covenants are sufficiently great to recompense for any mere inconvenience. To break our covenants is to forfeit the protection and blessings promised for obedience to them.”
    3. In a letter to priesthood leaders dated 10 October 1988, the First Presidency made the following important statements regarding how the garment should be worn: “Church members who have been clothed with the garment in the temple have made a covenant to wear it throughout their lives. This has been interpreted to mean that it is worn as underclothing both day and night. This sacred covenant is between the member and the Lord. Members should seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to answer for themselves any personal questions about the wearing of the garment. … The promise of protection and blessings is conditioned upon worthiness and faithfulness in keeping the covenant. “The fundamental principle ought to be to wear the garment and not to find occasions to remove it. Thus, members should not remove either all or part of the garment to work in the yard or to lounge around the home in swimwear or immodest clothing. Nor should they remove it to participate in recreational activities that can reasonably be done with the garment worn properly beneath regular clothing. When the garment must be removed, such as for swimming, it should be restored as soon as possible. “The principles of modesty and keeping the body appropriately covered are implicit in the covenant and should govern the nature of all clothing worn. Endowed members of the Church wear the garment as a reminder of the sacred covenants they have made with the Lord and also as a protection against temptation and evil. How it is worn is an outward expression of an inward commitment to follow the Savior.”
    4. “The garment represents sacred covenants. It fosters modesty and becomes a shield and protection to the wearer.” – The Holy Temple, Elder Boyd K. Packer
    5. The covenant of sacrifice should willingly be made. The wearing of the garment and the protection it affords, it protects life, morals, virtue, honor and faith. – George F. Richards, Journal, October 12, 1921
    6. Temple garments afford protection. I am sure one could go to extreme in worshiping the cloth of which the garment is made, but one could also go to the other extreme. Though generally I think our protection is a mental, spiritual, moral one, yet I am convinced that there could be and undoubtedly have been many cases where there has been, through faith, an actual physical protection, so we must not minimize that possibility. (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 539).
    7. Bill Mariott on 60 Minutes Time Stamp :21 to :49 – protected in a boat fire
    8. A few years ago, in a seminar for new temple presidents and matrons, Elder James E. Faust, then of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, told about his being called to serve as a General Authority. He was asked only one question by President Harold B. Lee: “Do you wear the garments properly?” to which he answered in the affirmative. He then asked if President Lee wasn’t going to ask him about his worthiness. President Lee replied that he didn’t need to, for he had learned from experience that how one wears the garment is the expression of how the individual feels about the Church and everything that relates to it. It is a measure of one’s worthiness and devotion to the gospel. (Ensign, August 1997, 19)
    9. here is, however, another piece of armor worthy of our consideration. It is the special underclothing known as the temple garment, or garment of the holy priesthood. . . . This garment, worn day and night, serves three important purposes: it is a reminder of the sacred covenants made with the Lord in His holy house, a protective covering for the body, and a symbol of the modesty of dress and living that should characterize the lives of all the humble followers of Christ. . . . The piece of armor called the temple garment not only provides the comfort and warmth of a cloth covering, it also strengthens the wearer to resist temptation, fend off evil influences, and stand firmly for the right. (Ibid.,20-21) – Carlos Asay
    10. Joseph Smith took his off just before carthage –
      1. Oliver Huntington elaborated on this in his journal entry for 22 April 1897 – Among other things both new and old was repeated the fact that the Prophet Joseph pulled off his garments just before starting to Carthage to be slain and he advised Hyrum and John Taylor to do the same, which they did; and Brother Taylor told Brother Willard Richards what they had done and advised him to take off his also, but Brother Richards said that he would not take his off, and did not; and he was not harmed. Joseph said before taking his garments off, that he was going to be killed. . . “was going as a lamb to the slaughter” and he did not want his garments to be exposed to the sneers and jeers of his enemies. These facts all came from President John Taylor’s lips after he was President of the Church. Elder John Morgan had told them to me as stated to him by Brother Taylor. Sister Lucy B. Young said that Brother John Taylor told her in answer to direct questions, the same all except with regard to Willard Richards.
      2. Elder John Taylor confirmed the saying that Joseph and Hyrum and himself were without their robes in the jail at Carthage, while Doctor Richards had his on, but corrected the idea that some had, that they had taken them off through fear. W. W. Phelps said Joseph told him one day about that time, that he had laid aside his garment on account of the hot weather
      3. Heber C. Kimball’s diary for 21 Dec. 1845 kept by William Clayton as cited in The Nauvoo Endowment Companies p. 117  “[Elder Kimball] Spoke of Elder Richards being protected at Carthage Jail — having on the robe, while Joseph & Hyrum, and Elder Taylor were shot to pieces”

  2. They no longer will protect you in any magical/mystical fashion
    1. Video by the Church Time Stamp 3:02 to 3:20
    2. LDS Newsroom – “Some people incorrectly refer to temple garments as magical or “magic underwear.” These words are not only inaccurate but also offensive to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There is nothing magical or mystical about temple garments, and Church members ask for the same degree of respect and sensitivity that would be afforded to any other faith by people of goodwill.”

F.) Quickly explain how they went from don’t show them or talk about them to the Church putting out videos showing them and talking about them

G.) Five Facts about Garments you may not have known

  1. Heber C Kimball 9 Feb 1862 – Jesus and Peter both wore their garments
  2. Paul wore Garments –  21 Dec 1845 William Clayton Diaries
  3. Mormon Porn
  4. You can buy Mormon Garments outside of the Church

Story of Women buying panties believing the standard to wear garments outside the temple was going to be done away

Play

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