Thursday, March 8, 2012

Episode 33: Garments—To Cover Our Nakedness

Right click here to download the mp3.



1927 Garment Ad
Once you're endowed, wearing garments is meant to be a life-long commitment and is a sign of an active member of the church. Have you ever looked at someone to try to determine if they were wearing garments or caught someone checking you out to see if you were wearing them? Beyond their symbolism, garments come to mean many things to women who wear them. In this short panel discussion, Sybil, Jenni B, and Katrina talk about their experiences with garments.

46 comments:

  1. Thanks for an interesting episode. I would love to get more into this topic, as it is one I have been grappling with lately. Specifically the issue of "covering our nakedness". What is everyone's take on this? I personally find it rather unfortunate that in addition to normal clothing, we would need to cover our perfect beautiful bodies that God so carefully crafted for us. What is the need for covering, always covering these bodies we claim to be a gift, and beautiful, but so much of what we do clearly demonstrates a feeling of shame towards our bodies (reference to modesty here as well, obviously). Not to say that we should all be naked all the time of course...

    I also definitely identified with the discussion regarding feeling beautiful in my garments/wearing clothes that help me feel beautiful, and how that can sometimes be difficult with garments. There are times when i wish I could just skip them, but I'm not ready to do that until I come up with a solid argument for why I feel that is okay.

    I just have a hard time reconciling all of this with my current understanding of how the garment is to be worn.

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    1. Austin, I really agree with you about the terrible mixed message of covering our bodies when they're supposed to be gifts. I no longer wear garments, and for me, it wasn't so much that I had a "solid argument" as you say. It was more that I *felt* that this was something that was impeding me rather than helping me to move forward. (I later found the solid argument stuff, but it still did weigh as much as the feeling of being stifled or stuck.)

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    2. I find a much deeper meaning in the covering...as in the Atonement covers our nakedness, the weakness and sin that comes from being mortal. The coats of skins were obviously from animals, presumably those first sacrificed. Adam was shown sacrifice but at first didn't understand it. Over time, he received more revelation and insight into how the rituals he was commanded to perform pointed to Christ. I feel this way about the temple ordinances and the garment. The more I learn, the more I love it all.

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  2. I'm always a little surprised when people say "well, I wasn't given any actual instruction on how to wear them when I went through" because I very clearly remember a stop between Initiatory and the Endowment where we sat with the Matron in a dedicated Instruction Room and she gave us guidance on how to wear and treat our garments. Is that not a universal experience? It was about 10-15 minutes in the middle of my day there. Granted, what's said there is not part of any ceremony and probably varies a little from Matron to Matron, so it's not something you'd be likely to find on one of the sites that catalogs the ceremonies and rituals, but I still find it really surprising that no one ever mentions it.

    As a point of interest, I was told things like: it doesn't matter whether bra is over or under; panties are acceptable during bleeding times; they are not to be worn during strenuous exercise or various other activities (bathing, sex, birth (I HAVE heard of women thinking they couldn't be removed for birth and the baby having to come out the leg, but that was secondhand, so... grain of salt), etc. where they are impractical to the needs surrounding that activity; they're not to show around clothing or be altered or tucked to accomodate immodest styles; they're to be treated with the respect one would give to fine clothing, not to be left on the floor to be stepped on or slept upon by animals; how to "decommission" them and that once the marks are out, the fabric is JUST fabric, nothing special about it, and please destroy the remains in a way that it's not obvious where and what the marks were... I think there were a few other items but the previous is what stuck. Some of it's practical advice, some of it felt, to me, a little like "Crud, so if I don't comply, is that defiling them and rendering the protection ineffective?!" To this day I have some anxiety about where I put them when I take them off.

    Does no one else remember such a conversation when they got Endowed? I know my Mom went through it, too, and as far as I know every woman that goes through Oakland gets it...

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    1. I do remember some type of conversation like this, Jena. But mine was MUCH less detailed than yours. That's quite the list of "rules." And I was present when my sister-in-law was endowed before she married. The talk she was given by the matron was even less detailed than mine, and it mostly focused on telling her that she needed to make sure she took care of her husband's garments as well (the implication being that men don't have the spiritual or practical capacity to take care of their garments ... this really bothered me as I listened; it was insulting to the husband and the wife ... but I digress ...).

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  3. Thank you for allowing me to comment anonymously, as these thoughts are still tender and raw and I'm not ready to share them with the world yet. Although I think this discussion was very needed (practical talk about the garments and how to make them work) I admit I was hoping for a section with someone who would take them off because they are questioning the intention/purpose/meaning, etc.

    I've been making a list, trying to work out the reasons why I want to take them off or leave them on:

    Selfish reasons to take them off
    -feel sexier without them
    -they are uncomfortable
    -in hot or humid weather they are unberable
    -constantly have to adjust them

    Selfless reasons to take them off
    -not sure I believe in the meaning
    -not wearing them for the right reasons (see below)
    -unsure about my testimony of Christ/Gospel/Temple ordinances

    Neutral reasons
    -they don't really work in some cultures\climates and thus are they really just a white middle class visualization of what God wants for us?
    -Moroni wasn't wearing them when he appeared to Joseph(I admit I say this a bit tongue in cheek :) )

    Leave them on
    -others will judge me
    -family will be sad
    -lose temple recommend
    -I was told to wear them

    I keep reminding myself that the actions I take right now, don't have to be what I do for the rest of my life, and that God understands the reasons why I am going to take a break from them. If I'm going to wear them, I want it to be because they have meaning, because they symbolize what God did for Adam and Eve, etc, but right now I'm not sure where I stand about Adam and Eve, or even Jesus Christ and the Atonement. It's hard to separate my selfish desires from the mix, but there is a part of me that really wants to take the break in order to honor them the way they deserve to be treated.

    My thoughts on this are also reflected in my beliefs about the sacrament. Although I am still taking it when I am unsure (I'm too worried about what other people think), I am adamantly against feeding the sacrament to toddlers as a "snack". The representation of the Body of Christ is not a snack or a treat (I have those in the diaper bag already) and it should be treated as such.

    I'm still teasing these things out. I hope that by sharing this comment I will be able to connect with others who can talk about similar thoughts on this issue.

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    1. I just wanted to say, that I understand your feelings. I've had very similar ones myself. You aren't alone.

      If you don't mind me explaining, this is why I decided to stop wearing them:
      1. My Temple experience was traumatizing--garments were a reminder of this experience and the pain I felt in the Temple.
      2. I researched the historical origins of the garments and their various incarnations. I found that the cut, style, color, and fabric have been changed several times. Also, I found that the markings are based on free mason symbols. I came to this conclusion: Garments are like any symbolic reminder of spiritual things. If they help you to be a better person, great. But for me, garments only caused me discomfort, guilt, and fear. They did not help me be a better person or come closer to Christ.
      3. The cut. This is a more "selfish" reason, but it emphasized my feelings of being stifled and trapped--not helpful feelings if you're still trying to give the Church a chance. Anyhow, garments did not fit me like other women. I couldn't wear most of my (modest) wardrobe any more. Also, I already have many ingrained issues about my body, and garments didn't actually help with this.

      I wish you the best with what ever choice you make. It was difficult for me to choose not to wear garments after my marriage, but I believe it was the right one for me personally. If God is truly as loving and as merciful as we are taught in church, I believe he understand our desires and intentions.

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    2. "I admit I was hoping for a section with someone who would take them off because they are questioning the intention/purpose/meaning, etc."

      Hi, I'm going to be anonymous, too, for this. But I wanted to add my response to Taylor's.

      As I learned more about the early days of the church (polygamy and polyandry, specifically, in this case), I found that the garments started to remind me of all the things I have really big issues with. They seemed more like they were marking my participation or acceptance of things I fundamentally disagreed with. So, I very much questioned the intention/purpose/meaning. Truthfully, I began to be sort of "creeped out" by them. Also, like Taylor, I found that with as much as the garment has been changed, I couldn't really see what it was supposed to be communicating. And if I remember correctly, the "meaning" of the symbols was added much, much later on (does anyone have a source for this?). So, I guess it all fell apart for me.

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    3. Just thought I'd add my 2 cents on what I don't wear them anymore. I first took them off after reading some things about the church's treatment of women. I was beyond angry, and wanted a physical way to disconnect myself from a church I felt betrayed by. The garment seems like a good choice because I am disturbed by the sexism in the temple, and do not have any intention of "following my husband;" I can find and follow God on my own. The garments felt like a reminder of promises I do not consider divine and do not wish to be bound by. They garments are often called a physical reminder of temple covenants; I did not want them reminder since I no longer believed them and felt betrayed by them.

      It's been a few months, and I'm loving not wearing them. I get hot easily for some reason, and was always too hot with them on. I also always felt frumpy in them; I felt I couldn't wear clothes that fit well because the garments would bunch up or sit strange. I felt fat and ugly in them. My self-image has improved a ton since I stopped wearing them; I can war clothes that fit and feel good in them. That by itself has been fantastic.

      There's also a part of me that feels I shouldn't wear them because of my lack of belief. There are many who feel the temple is sacred and what happens there brings salvation. I'm not one of them, so wearing them felt disrespectful to my family and friends that love the temple.

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    4. I felt like I was reading my own thoughts while reading your post. Thanks for taking the time to write it out!

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    5. DefyGravity this is the original Anonymous from above. Thank you, thank you for replying. Pretty much everything you said was exactly how I'm feeling as of late. It is so wonderful to know I'm not alone.

      I would love to know how people are navigating their relationships with friends and family as they make this decision? I am wary to take mine off completely because it will be so devastating for my mom in particular.

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    6. "I would love to know how people are navigating their relationships with friends and family as they make this decision?"

      When I told my mom that I no longer wore garments, I think she was very disappointed, but seemed sort of be okay with me. Later, she even bought me a pack of regular underwear when she was shopping with me. However, as time has gone on and I haven't "come back" as it were, she has become less and less understanding. I'm glad I made the decision I did (for many reasons), but you might want to expect and prepare for backlash. I try to avoid conversation, but if my mother bring up church or garments, I try to remain calm, polite, and make every attempt to acknowledge her feelings--although she doesn't do the same. I try to remember that she just wants what's best for me and has been told all her life that her purpose in this life is to raise faithful children. It's very difficult and sometimes painful, and my relationship with my mother has been damaged. However, I am still glad I made the choice that I did. Oh, and I've also found talking with a therapist or a good friend about my feelings and about my relationships with those close to me who do/might disapprove of my decision to be very helpful. I hope that helps. I wish you the best of luck.

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  4. You ladies really have some issues with garments. I can't say I blame you. Your problems seem to dwarf the small discomforts we men have with them. My wife never verbalized to me the issues you raised. I wish I would have been more aware.

    I was endowed in the early seventies and wore one-piece cotton garments all my life until I took them off due to historical issues a few years ago. That was all that was available back in those days. My reasons for taking them off were because once I discovered where the temple ceremony actually came from, I realized I had made my temple covenants under false pretenses and regarded them as no longer valid. However, even after mentally making that connection it was still several months before I was emotionally comfortable enough to remove them. Old habits die hard.

    I found the one-piecers actually more comfortable than the more modern two-piecers. This is probably because I wear coveralls and have to get in all sorts of weird positions that would cause the two-piecers to come untucked.

    I work outside in a extremely hot climate (110+ degrees) and sweat constantly. The cotton garments would become damp from my sweat (underneath my coveralls) and keep me cooler the rest of the day. The other garment synthetic fabrics were much hotter to wear and would stick to my skin when they got damp. Very uncomfortable.

    Glad to have you back Daughters of Mormonism after your hiatus.

    Allen

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  5. Yes, Jena, the matron did a little 'class' with us like that. I don't remember many details about the garments there...certainly not issues like bra/panties over/under... and I don't remember anything about appropriate activities for removing them. It was more "they are an outward symbol of an inner commitment." When I had bra questions, I had to go find the matron myself and ask her in her office (a couple of weeks later). My parents did not remove them for anything except swimming--yard work, exercise, and sports were all done with the garments on. So when our LDS neighbor mowed his lawn without a shirt I thought he was scandalous.

    I have adapted my own wearing patterns to be not quite the same as what I was raised with...I sometimes remove them for exercise, sometimes sleep naked, and usually wear regular panties instead of garment bottoms during my menses. (I still wear the tops. I used to wear panties under my garments but it was very uncomfortable so I just don't anymore.)

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  6. Anonymous, I've had some ups and downs with some of the issues you're talking about--how valid are the garments, how valid is the whole temple ceremony, feeling guilty or judged if I took them off...
    Here are a few things that have helped me:

    1--the Mormon Stories episode (#5) about masons and mormons. It helped me appreciate that even a copied symbol can be a useful and valid symbol.

    2--learning that Joseph Smith did not wear garments daily, but actually probably only to go to the temple, or perhaps for other religious situations.

    3--another podcast (MoSto again I think) talking about the changes in temple worship over the last 150 years. One thing is that the temple recommend questions have changed (significantly). That leads me to understand that they are somewhat flexible... Secondly, when the garments were changed to be short sleeved and knee-length (rather than ankle and wrist) a lot of people flipped out and said they were not real garments anymore. Many of them left for fundamentalist groups who still had the 'true' garment. There was another little exodus when the two-piece style was introduced. In other words, the garment itself is a symbol, and there will always be some people who are stricter about it than others. The key, I think, is not to walk the strictest line you can find, but rather to walk the line that feels appropriate to you.

    So, I will tell you my current wearing pattern.
    I wear my garments to church, and if/when I go to the temple (which is sporadic, as I don't have a temple near me).
    I wear the tops-only when I'm on my period (since panties accommodate feminine products better).
    Occasionally I don't wear the tops--I have one shirt in particular that for some reason just the way it hits always seems to show my garments. The shirt is not 'immodest' by any stretch, but the garment neckline shows, so I just don't wear it.
    I don't wear garments for exercising, and sometimes after sex I get re-dressed and sometimes I don't.
    Some days, if I'm feeling frisky, or if I've been feeling frumpy, I skip the garments and wear cute undies.
    All in all, I wear them more than half the time. It varies a little week to week, sometimes a week goes by when I don't wear them, but then I'll go a month or two of wearing them almost every day. The first time I took them off for the day I did it as an experiment. IT felt VERY WEIRD. However, I felt like it was a useful exercise, to realize how much I was letting this habit control me. I have a more positive relationship with my garments now because it feels like a daily choice, rather than an obligation or a habit.

    I do maintain a TR, I don't think that my garment wearing is inconsistent with the counsel to wear them "day and night" or "throughout my life."

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    1. I really appreciated your comment, especially where you said, "felt like it was a useful exercise, to realize how much I was letting this habit control me. I have a more positive relationship with my garments now because it feels like a daily choice, rather than an obligation or a habit."

      I certainly felt like garments where controlling me in a very negative way. I think you have a very healthy attitude about garments.

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    2. Jenni, I hope you read this because I so so much appreciate what this blog is trying to accomplish. I stumbled upon this blog sunday and I'm convinced it was no coincidence. I like to believe that God is more intimately involved in my life than I realize and that he guides me to what I need. This time it was this site! It happened when my dad was going over a lesson he taught in sunday school. He used a photograph of an iceberg as part of his object lesson. I started looking up photos of icebergs because I thought it was so beautiful and lo and behold your site popped up. It was the episode "An Iceberg Beneath". I have yet to listen to that episode because I jumped right to this one on garments. I just went through the temple for the first time two weeks ago and garments have been a HUGE adjustment for me. I never imagined them being so hard to get used to. It's slowly getting better and I'm learning what garments work with what. It is so nice for me to find a group of women talking openly and honestly about how they feel. As I'm getting older I'm starting to question things more and more. So many members shy away from questions because it seems faithless or challenges the validity of the church. I think it is essential to ask questions and search for answers. I love hearing a diversity of voices on this site. It seems to be a safe place for believers, non-believers and everyone in-between to express themselves and listen to each other. You know the feeling when you grow up enough to realize that your parents are just people with their own opinions that may be wrong? I'm experiencing that now with the church and in a strange way it's nice to know that the church is run by imperfect people who sometimes make mistakes. It's nice to have a group of people to talk to about my frustrations, questions, joys, and beliefs. Thank you for being here!

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    3. Morgan, I'm so glad you found the podcast and that it was helpful to you!I remember feeling just what you describe: that my life had undergone a huge transition in going through the temple and needing to wear garments, but no one would talk about it, not in an open way. I've tried to create a space here where that can happen.

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  7. Okay so I'm just gonna throw this out there and feel free to call me crazy. I totally related to the comments regarding how the garment bottoms go clear up to your armpits. Since my ability to sew only includes what can be accomplished with a glue gun, I started wearing men's garment bottoms when "mom jeans" went out of style. The rise is a lot lower and I figure the symbols are all the same so why not? I have also worn the men's tops when I want a crew neck under another shirt.

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    1. I know several women who borrow their husband's garments (or, I suppose, buy their own mens styles). Sometimes for maternity use, or just because they find them comfortable... Personally I haven't been interested in that, but I don't think there is anything wrong with it. So far as I know, the early garments were totally unisex. :)

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  8. Jenni, this is the first anonymous from earlier. Thank you so much. Your comment has brought me so much hope, and given me several ideas that I can use to make the garment work for me at this time in my life. Coming from a background with very black and white thinking, it's hard for me not to be all or nothing with everything. Either I'm going to wear them (the way that I'm told by the doctrine/leaders/culture, or I'm not going to at all). But what if I make my own rules regarding how they work for me? I can do that!

    I'm going to look more into the development of the temple rituals and things like the garment. Thank you for the peace you have given me.

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    1. You're welcome. I was very (VERY) black and white myself until just these last couple of years. It's freeing. :)
      I think the biggest paradigm shift for me was gaining a testimony of the idea that "he that is commanded in all things is a slothful and not wise servant" (Doc and Cov...I forget where...). Point being, there are lots of people making lots of rules, but just following every rule and every checklist is actually the LAZY way to go. The higher law calls for studying things out for ourselves, and making our own choices.

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    2. D&C 58: 26 For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for s/he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore s/he receiveth no reward.

      *thumbs up* Great verse.

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    3. "The higher law calls for studying things out for ourselves, and making our own choices."

      AMEN!

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  9. Interesting... I had to stop wearing mine for sensory/possibly allergy reasons as well. Once I realized that my feminist angst issues with the temple prevent me from attending right now, I decided to just stop altogether and stop looking for a fabric solution. I also feel that to respect the garment (which is important to me) I had to take them off because they are something sacred. I don't 'defile' mine, they're just waiting in a drawer for when/if I decide to wear them again. Meanwhile, I'm wearing scandalous tank tops. ;)

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  10. When I was a kid, probably eight or nine, I decided that garments were so hideous, and looked so uncomfortable, that I would only wear them on Sundays. I was very disappointed to find out that this was not an option.

    I'm not endowed, so it's not an issue for me. I'll keep my Maidenform boy shorts, which do not ride up. Not ever. It's amazing.

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  11. I really appreciate all the comments here. I too have had ongoing skin problems with the garments for years. The old one-piece cotton ones were actually much better for me. (BTW, we always wore panties over the open-crotch one-piece.) I have always had trouble with the lace on both the one and two piece styles and much prefer the new carinessa tops. I have sensory processing disorder and severe allergies, both of which have become much worse as I have aged. About a year ago, I quit wearing the garments at night. It did feel strange, but I got used to it and can't stand to sleep in them now (though I do when staying overnight with family members just to avoid the whole discussion). In the past couple of years I have become less and less a believing member and would love to just stop wearing the garment completely. However, though my husband of is very understanding of my disbelief and health issues, I think that not wearing the garment at all would be hurtful to him. Thank you for this discussion. It has given me much food for thought. (I'm yet another anonymous. This is very personal and not something I'm ready to discuss with family.)

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    1. Good for you to have the courage to talk about it here, even anonymously. I am glad you posted b/c my daughter has some sensory processing disorder issues (especially with clothing) and I never thought about how garments might be difficult for her. Now I know to have this on my radar as something to be sympathetic to when and if she finds them uncomfortable (she's only 5 now, so we've got a ways to go, but still, thank you!).

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    2. I wonder if you could make your own garments out of fabrics which don't affect you. You could embroider on the symbols as well. I'm not Mormon, but have this on-again off-again attraction to the LDS faith because of Heavenly Mother...so I may be completely off base here. But the artist in me would love to see garments with symbols in the colors discussed in the pod cast.:)

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    3. I love the idea of colorizing the garment symbols. Unfortunately, the LDS church has a policy that members cannot make their own garments.

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  12. Not being LDS myself, but finding myself here reading though your comments for curiosity sake. I have to make a comment. In regards to garments and temple rituals it seems like it would be a good idea to go back to the bible and see that the original temples were not for baptisms or marriages, but for sacrifices for sin. After Christ's death the veil was torn(Matt.27:51) signifying that we had direct acess to God and temples were no longer needed. Also that God does not live in temples built by human hands( Acts 17:24). I am saved by grace and it is nice to know that when I die I will be with my savior.

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Anonymous. Directing Mormons to the Bible to answer parts of their practice and theology doesn't work very well as this religion is based on several volumes of scripture and "continuing revelation." In other words, it's more complicated than you might guess.

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    2. It's my understanding that temples were for several things. Yes, for sacrifices (in times of joy or repentance), but also a place to commune with God.
      Very similarly, modern mormon temples are places for learning and communing. Our sacrifices are no longer animals, but rather (as Jesus taught) "a broken heart and a contrite spirit," or meekness and humility. Willing to put God's will above our own. In the temple we go through the Adam and Eve story, reviewing their process (and mistakes) in learning to obey God. In Genesis, the Lord gives Adam and Eve a garment to cover their nakedness as they leave the garden--it not only covers them, it reminds them of Him. So, too, our garments not only cover us, but also remind us of the things we learn in the temple.
      Obviously, there are things I take some issue with...but I *GET* the idea of the garments, and I see the validity in it.

      Also, Anonymous, Mormons do believe that we are saved by grace. Obviously, since no one could save him/herself! However, we believe that "faith without works is dead" as James taught, and that we should always be putting in our own efforts as well. Actions such as going to the temple and wearing the garment remind us of our covenants and of the way we want to live as we follow Christ.

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    3. I thought this was a very beautiful way to express the importance of the garments. I think it's easy to find many reasons not to wear them. I think it's easy to justify and justify reasoning. It's a slipper slope though. Once you start down that path I feel that soon one would justify breaking much of what the church teaches until soon, you are lead to a lack of faith. I speak from my heart, from my own experience. It's a much harder path back that it is to follow from the beginning.

      I saw someone mentioned wearing tank tops. That slope just gets more and more slippery.

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    4. Anonymous, thank you for taking the time to comment. In the future, please share your own experience (which you mention that you have), rather than judging the experiences and decisions of others. Part of the hope of this forum is to create a space where we can say what we are really thinking rather than what we are "expected" to say.

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  13. One last note--at the end of the podcast I mentioned about finding other meanings for the symbols in the garments--we DID record a podcast about that. It is being edited right now and will hopefully be published in the not-too-distant future. :)

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    1. I'm really excited to hear it. I was so intrigued to hear what other meanings you could find in the symbols! Thank you for all the work you all are putting into this. It is such a great thing for me!

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    2. I listened to that podcast and loved it. I wanted to add that for me, the placement of the marks is very feminism friendly as well. Three of the four are over places of motherhood-my nipples which nurture my children as well as the bellybutton that comes from being born of a woman.

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  14. I really appreciate the open and honest discussion! Garments for me when I first endowed was a horrible experience, no one prepared me... much less helped me get the right sizes at distribution. That has been several years ago, now I volunteer at Distribution and really pay careful attention to new people getting endowed. I still struggle with them being a hot natured person, and remebered specifically being told to wear bra on outside of top. Excited to try it differently.

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    1. Anonymous, I'm so glad this was helpful for you!

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  15. I just went through the temple last week. Im preparing to serve a mission soon, I am a 20 year old girl. You might think Im judgmental, but Im not going to sugar-coat this, I was appalled at the critical attitude and view of Gods holy garments as a burden or inconvenience. I am allergic to the material and Googled my problem to see if anyone else had suffered the same problem...never did I anticipate finding this sad list of excuses to justify worldliness or that so much of the holiness of the temple be divulged in such a casual way. The internet is not the place to express these feelings. If you were truly wanting answers and guidance you would talk to your bishop. And our body is a Temple, Temples are sacred and in order to preserve that holiness they are not shown to just anyone. Garments don't "hide" what's beautiful but adorn us in our symbolic appreciation for the Heavenly Fathers love for us. He gave us these temples, if wearing clothes that are compatible with those that are of Him is too much of an inconvenience for you, you should reevaluate your priorities. I covenanted with my Heavenly Father to put His Will first, so I will gladly choose to wear the garments as evidence of my commitment to Him.

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    1. Anonymous,

      I'm glad to hear that you had a good experience with your endowment. Good luck on your mission! It will be a life-changing experience.

      I'd like to let you know that this podcast is not set up as a place for judgement, so if you wish to make future comments, please keep in mind that this podcast was set up specifically to create a space for dialogue, to open the way for us to understand each other, not to pass judgement.

      As someone who is extremely allergic to the garment material, I offer my sympathies to you. I'm glad that this podcast was here to let you know that you are not the only one with this problem. I did talk to my bishop, as well as the church distribution, but none of the approved avenues offered me any help.

      One of the great powers of the internet is that it allows many people with very specific problems, ideas, etc., to find one another and connect. I wish you the best on your journey, and, if I may also say, I hope you find something of worth in other episodes of this podcast that was a labor of my heart and the hearts of the other women who participated.

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  16. It's very important to be able to openly discuss many things in life, to be able to share our feelings and get things off our chest. I want to share my feelings about wearing garments as well if you will allow a man to post here. First off I think yes, it's important to find something that fits properly, why would you wear the wrong size/shape of shoe? That doesn't make sense. Second, if you have an allergic reaction to the cloth, then that would be very irritating to wear them all of the time.
    I want to say that I am very grateful for my garments. I feel like they are a constant reminder of the temple and what a spiritual experience it was for me. (My great grandfather also recorded some miraculous events that happened while he was wearing his. ) It was actually after my mission that I enjoyed the temple. I think I just was more ready to understand the meanings behind it. No it’s not from the masons. There is a lot of incorrect/partially wrong information out there about the church, so I try the best I can to filter out the poor stuff. If you want to find out more about early Christians, garments and temple clothing please watch “The Israelite temple and Early Christians” on youtube by fairldsorg. It was very informative. A little long, but if you want more accurate information, this is a great place to start. My wife has a hard time wearing garments because they are sometimes very uncomfortable, but I don’t think it’s supposed to be a form of punishment. We’ll work with the church to bring about some positive changes. I thank you all for sharing your feelings and experiences because it was very helpful, and I pray that your testimony will grow of Jesus Christ and that we will all be better disciples of him.

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    1. Hi, Anonymous. Thanks for your comment about how you feel connected to your garments. You are welcome to share your experiences, but in the future, if you could refrain from giving what you think is "the answer," that would be appreciated. You see, this is a space for dialogue, not for correcting views, exhorting others to believe or think as you do, etc.

      I empathize with your wife and how the garments are uncomfortable for her. I wish you luck in moving forward with change.

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  17. I sure am late here - sorry about that. I just found your blog.

    I personally appreciate the opportunity to wear garments. Aside from having anxiety issues (feeling trapped in closely fitting clothing, etc.) I have two main complaints.

    1. Having to wear so many layers to cover them up, especially when living in hot and/or humid climates. I'm not a fan that they keep becoming even more "modest," meaning I have to continually re-buy wardrobes every time I purchase new garments. This is especially expensive when you have to have a minimum of two layers of shirts for every outfit. :-(

    2. The fact that the sizes and styles are always changing. I have to buy sizes much bigger than what is supposed to fit me because if they are not loose, I have scratch attacks and feel like I'm suffocating. When they change the sizes and styles, I have to figure out what works for me all over again - and that gets expensive. I wish there was a way to try on different sizes without markings or something so that we do not have to buy a thousand different styles/sizes to re-find the right combination for our bodies. I literally cannot keep affording to do this. My husband and I have massive student loans to repay which take a large percent of our income. Combine that with 10% to the church and 40% to the government, I'm running out of percents!

    Other than that, like I said, I'm glad for the privilege to wear garments.

    A final note: With the exception of my last distribution center experience, every time I have purchased garments, I have been treated very poorly by the workers. I have been embarrassed on many occasions. I so expect kindness and understanding (this is, after all, the pinnacle of Mormondom and we are next to one of our holiest places on earth) and yet, I have been treated with disapproving looks, announcing of my personal matters so that others might hear, etc. I remember one time when I walked in and took a number. When I was called up, I began asking a question. I was rudely interrupted and asked for my recommend before I was allowed to continue. I have since learned that this is not typical. And seriously, I hate buying my underwear in the same place where men buy theirs. I feel so uncomfortable when men can overhear me discussing my needs with workers. It feels like a violation of my privacy.

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    1. Hi, Anon. Thanks for your comments. I really appreciate the points you brought up. I remember how frustrated I was the first time I tried to buy garments when I found out that I couldn't try them on before I bought them to see if they would fit. How was I supposed to know what to get?

      I'm sorry you've had such bad experiences at the distribution centers. I've had that "violation of privacy" feeling, too.

      Thanks again for your comment and for listening to the podcast!

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