Hey guys. So Latter-day Saints are known
for a lot of strange things. We’ve got extra scriptures, we have secret temple
rituals, there’s the whole Kolob thing, oh yeah, and we have magic underwear. “What
now?” I don’t know why people are so interested in our underwear but people
obviously have questions about it so in this episode, we’re gonna talk about what
they are, what they’re for, and if they’re really as magical as everyone, except the
Latter-day Saints, say they are. After a man or woman participates in the
endowment temple ceremony, they wear what we call the temple garment throughout
their lives as an outward reminder of the promises they made with God within
the temple. These undergarments are meant to be a spiritual protection for us in
as much as they recall to our minds our temple commitments and fortify our
resolve to keep them. To help us remember the Savior and those covenants, there are
a few different symbols placed on different parts of the garment. Temple
garments are meant to symbolically mirror the coats or garments of skins
the Lord made and gave Adam and Eve to cover their nakedness after being
expelled from the Garden of Eden. We see similar sacred clothing worn by Levite
priests in ancient Israel for the same reason, “And thou shalt make them linen
breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they
shall reach: And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto
the tabernacle of the congregation…” The temple garment is sacred to Latter-day
Saints just as other religious clothing is sacred to other faiths. In the Jewish
faith, men wear the small tallit under their clothes every day and the large
tallit outside their clothes. On the Sabbath or in synagogue in the Roman
Catholic faith, there’s the scapular along with several different articles of
clothing worn by the clergy. The Buddhists kasaya, the Sikh turban, the
Muslim hijab, etc. I guess people just think we’re extra weird because we wear
the garment under our normal clothes instead of outside them and that makes
it secret or scandalous or something, I don’t know. Anyway, people have a lot of
practical questions about the temple garment so I’m gonna rapid-fire answer
some of the most common ones. Do your regular clothes have to cover your
garments? Well, it’s encouraged, yes. This isn’t doctrine but in our culture the
temple garment acts as sort of a rough standard of modesty. We don’t alter the
garment to fit different clothing styles. That said, sometimes the edges around the
neck or the sleeves poke out a bit, it’s not a huge deal. Do Latter-day Saints
have to wear garments? No. Only those who have gone through the temple endowment
ordinance are encouraged to wear them both day and night. If you take those
covenants seriously, you wear them but even if you don’t, you’re not gonna get
kicked out. Do Latter-day Saints wear garments at all times? Well obviously not
all the time, it’s very practical if you’re going
swimming, you’re probably not gonna wear them or when you shower in the morning. There’s also this rumor that if you and
your spouse are spending some alone time together, you have to wear them and no, of
course not, look now we’re all uncomfortable. There’s another rumor
that’s been going around for almost 200 years now, some people have been under
the impression that we believe the temple garment is meant to provide some
kind of magical physical protection that it’ll stop bullets and such. Unfortunately, as awesome as that would
be, it’s simply not true. This rumor probably started in 1844 when
Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Willard Richards, and John Taylor were attacked
by a mob while in Carthage Jail. Joseph and Hyrum were killed and John was shot
up pretty bad. John later said that he, Joseph, and Hyrum had removed the garment
prior to traveling to Carthage because of the hot weather so at the time of the
attack, only Willard Richards was wearing the temple garment and only Willard
Richards escaped virtually unscathed. This led many people, including members,
to believe his garments physically protected him from harm and it didn’t
help when Hubert Howe Bancroft perpetuated this idea by writing in
history of Utah, “This garment protects from disease and even death for the
bullet of an enemy will not penetrate it. The Prophet Joseph carelessly left off
his garment on the day of his death and had he not done so he would have escaped
unharmed.” This may reflect Mr. Bancroft’s opinion but not the doctrine of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Now is it possible the garments
can physically protect people? Sure, God can do whatever he wants. Heck, he can
heal blindness with mud. But temple garments are meant for spiritual
protection, not physical protection. When worn properly, the garment provides
protection against temptation and evil. Wearing the garment is an outward
expression of an inward commitment to follow the Savior.
That’s quick overview of what the Latter-day Saint temple garment is. If
you have questions, check out the links in the description, leave a comment
and have great day.