LDS Newsroom Releases Helpful Video on Temple Garments

The LDS Newsroom at LDS.org surprised me with the new announcement and video on the LDS temple garment. It includes views of LDS temple robes and LDS garments, the simple clothing items that our foes love to call “magic underwear” or other offensive terms. The LDS Newsroom resource should help thoughtful people better understand this aspect of our faith, and might help LDS members know how to better answer some common temple-related questions. Nicely done, IMHO.

Author: Jeff Lindsay

80 thoughts on “LDS Newsroom Releases Helpful Video on Temple Garments

  1. Sadly, here's another instance of the Church altering it's stance on an unusual practice in an attempt to conform with other religions. Having been taught for years and found in multiple LDS publications, (as well as the Endowment Ceremony) temple garments were always understood to be more than just a symbol of one's faith.

    “You have had a Garment placed upon you, which you were informed represents the garment given to Adam and Eve when they were found naked in the Garden of Eden, and which is called the ‘Garment of the Holy Priesthood.’ This you were instructed to wear throughout your life. You were informed that IT WILL BE A SHIELD AND A PROTECTION to you inasmuch as you do not defile it and if you are true and faithful to your covenants” –Second Lecturer, Post-1990 LDS Endowment Ceremony, Evolution of the Mormon Temple Ceremony 1842-1990, p.110).

    “The garment provides a constant reminder of the covenants made in a temple. When properly worn, it PROVIDE PROTECTION against temptation and evil” –Church Handbook of Instructions(1998, p. 68).

    “The garment provides a constant reminder of the covenants you have made in the temple. You should treat it with respect at all times. You should not expose it to the view of those who do not understand its significance, and you should not adjust it to accommodate different styles of clothing. When you wear it properly, it PROVIDES PROTECTION against temptation and evil” –LDS Manual(173).

    “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, 539).

    “The garment… when properly worn, will serve as a PROTECTION against temptation and evil” (“The Doctrine of Temple Work,” –Seventy David E. Sorensen. Ensign, October 2003, 62. Ellipses in original).

    “The garments serve as a reminder to them of the covenants they have made in the temple with the Lord, to live pure and virtuous lives. In addition, garments PROVIDE PROTECTION understood by the worthy wearer, and promote modesty in clothing styles” –Mormon Beliefs and Doctrines Made Easier, 112

  2. For actual physical protection, I think you're referring to the Deluxe Kevlar Edition garments with optional ceramic plate reinforcement. Sure, they are a bit thick and stiff but really come in handy here in Shanghai during extremely hazardous events like crossing the street or getting on the subway. You probably can't find them in the States, but in China, you can find almost anything on Taobao (the Chinese version of Ebay, but much superior). 🙂

    But most LDS folks using normal garments know they obviously aren't bulletproof. They know, as Pres. Kimball mentioned in the quote you found, that "generally … our protection is a mental, spiritual, moral one." The garment helps us to remember our covenants, absolutely, and this helps us remember who we are when faced with temptation and evil. Yep, that's genuine protection–though not the bullet-deflecting kind. One could argue that anyone wearing a symbol of their faith–a cross or CTR ring, for example–could serve as protection of this kind. But we emphasize it with the garment and expect people to take it and their covenants seriously, and this reinforces the value of the garment in reminding us of our commitment to the Savior.

    By way of miraculous exception, President Kimball and others have obviously felt that sometimes those with temple garments on may have experienced miraculous protection from harm. There have been people who felt they experienced blessings of that kind, even without the strength of Kevlar to explain the benefit. So be it. I can't rule out that possibility, so I won't condemn President Kimball for not wanting to minimize the possibility, as he put it.

    These symbolic, metaphorical aspects of the garment are not the result of a new LDS departure from our roots. Protection against temptation is the natural result of remembering covenants.

  3. Deluxe Kevlar Edition garments with optional ceramic plate reinforcement"
    HAHA Nicely put. You'd have a nice career in marketing! 🙂

    …or defense attorney

    You continue to spin and reduce another President's teaching

    The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 539 says: "I am CONVINCED that there could be and UNDOUBTEDLY HAVE BEEN many cases where there has been, through faith, AN ACTUAL PHYSICAL PROTECTION"

    You change it to: "President Kimball and others have obviously "FELT" that sometimes those with temple garments on "MAY HAVE" experienced miraculous protection from harm"

    He either taught it or he felt it.
    Maybe if we just change "The Teachings of (insert various LDS President's name here) to "The feelings and opinions of (insert various LDS President's name here) then and it won't come up anymore 😉

  4. Thanks Flying Fig.

    Mormanity's chronic denial and minization is so persistent it has become nothing more than bold faced lying, as you have documented. Hopes for honest responses are in vain.

    with regards to current topic I refer to 60 minutes interview where Marriot was admant that garments provided him physical protect in a (boating fire?) accident.

  5. You two are funny, patting each other in the back for the silliest things.

    If someone is convinced about something it's perfectly fine to say they feel a certain way about it. Fig, you want to show a difference between taught and felt. Have fun with futility. Smith TAUGHT that he was CONVINCED about something. Wow.

    That some have taken the word protection as literal in circumstances of miraculous events is perfectly fine. It's no different than other religious people who tribute 'coincidences' to God. There's nothing magical about it. It's either coincidence or divine, and most religious people choose to give glory to God.

    The statements in this video about the garment are based on how they are described in the temple–not on folk stories surrounding them.

  6. "not on FOLK STORIES surrounding them."

    Pierce, all I've done is simply presente a clear teaching from a PRESIDENT of the Church where he's convinced of a physical protection by wearing temple garments and so far all you and Jeff can do is minimize and spin it into an opinion, a feeling and folk stories.

    Please tell me how this is a silly thing and futile? How many more teachings from your prophets will you continue to tear down?
    Either you or your prophets are losing credibilty, which one is it?

  7. Pierce –

    "You two are funny, patting each other in the back for the silliest things."

    I see you are still having difficulty looking in the mirror. The major difference is Fig's dilligent grounding as opposed to statements of fiat with no backing. At a minimium you are conceding that Mormon culture was broken and the Mormon leadership was powerless to fix until Internet apologist came along. Your concessiones are only then speckled with contradictory ad hominem attacks. If Mormonism is devoid of creeds etc, how then can anyone be anti-Mormon?

    People like you Pierce have convinced me the discussion is over. All the is left is what FAIRMormon calls motive investigation. This is may be a unique opportunity as much like Freud, the conditions he was study in his time are very difficulty to find today, as the social conditions that were the root cuases are rarer in modernised cultures.

  8. I don't think the video denies the teaching that garments are taught to serve as a protection to those who wear them. Only that we don't believe them to be magical. I believe physical protection can be one result of obeying God. As I see it, it is not something intrinsic to the garment itself that protects me, but rather God protecting me as I wear it worthily. "Worthily" is the key word there- it means I am doing my best to follow God's commandments as I understand them. When I am obeying God, He protects me. Does that mean if someone shoots me, the bullet will bounce off? Most likely not (though I think most Christians would agree that God COULD make that happen if He wanted to). Following the commandments will, however, keep me safe eternally. That may involve physical protection as God sees fit, as seen in many scriptural instances, but the spiritual aspect is the more important one. And I note that most of flying fig's quotes specifically refer to protection from temptation and evil, though he did not emphasize those parts. Even President Kimball suggests that that is the main thing. Perhaps the physical aspect was just President Kimball's opinion rather than hard and fast doctrine, but I agree with him on this one.

  9. Fig,

    "Sadly, here's another instance of the Church altering it's stance on an unusual practice in an attempt to conform with other religions"
    "You continue to spin and reduce another President's teaching"
    "He either taught it or he felt it."

    You are not simply quoting people. These are your interpretations of the quotes, and this is what I am taking issue with. My last comment gives complete credence to President Smith's views, yet opposes your conclusions that the church is somehow altering something. You're welcome to address that point. Please don't stoop to Mormography's level and try to say that I am arguing against Smith himself just because I disagree with your conclusions. That tactic is the silliness that I'm talking about.

  10. Ryan, the teachings I've presented clearly state that the temple garments provide protection. Whether spiritual or physical (and Kimball clearly teaches that it is indeed physical) The point is these teachings indicate that there is an ACTION provided FROM the garments while wearing them AND This goes BEYOND the explanation in the video.
    The video clearly states that garments are only used as an expression of one's commitment to their faith, it never mentions the the action provided by the garments while wearing them. Once again the Church is redefining uncomfortable teachings from their past in an attempt to fit in

  11. Pierce, read my response to Ryan. My point is clear, the church has taught that the garments provide an action, Kimball takes it further to an actual physical action. The video states they're only used as a symbolic expression. I find this disingenuous and misleading

  12. I don't think the video says ONLY anything. It says the garment is an expression of commitment to our faith, but does not limit it to that. But regardless, I think you're taking too much license saying that the teaching is that the garment itself provides the protection. You're quotes include things like "being true and faithful to your covenants," "…provides a constant reminder of covenants made…" and "When properly worn…" as conditions for protection. In other words, it is the act of faith, not the cloth, that provides access to spiritual power (ie protection). Remembering and keeping covenants, manifested in part by faithfully wearing the garments, provides access to the protection that God gives.

  13. guess it's just how you look at it. I'm taking the teaching at face value. Put the garments on, do not defile it, be true and faithful, it will then be a shield of protection to you. Kimball includes physical protection. The video simply doesn't mention this. You contend that it's implied, but it doesn't say it. It comes across as the Church trying to minimize these past teachings, thats all

  14. I just don't think the idea of protection would be intentionally minimized, since it is still actively taught. I also think your interpretation is not so much wrong as it is incomplete. I would say something more like "Put the garments on, do not defile it, be true and faithful, it will then be a shield of protection to you as God is a bigger part of your life." I include physical protection too, so long as it is in line with God's will. But again, it is Him, not the garment, providing the protection.

  15. "it is Him, not the garment, providing the protection"

    YOU may personally understand the protection being from God but none of these teachings say what you're saying. Every one of these teachings repeatedly says "IT will be a shield", "IT provides protection", "THE GARMENTS will serve as protection", "TEMPLE GARMENTS afford protection".
    Over and over it's the garments that are the focus and the source of protection.
    I'm not twisting any quotes, that's exactly what's being taught and the video never mentions it

  16. Fig, as is your recent M.O., you've isolated part of a statement and have attempted to wrap our whole doctrine around it (you attempted other statements, but I guess had to drop those since they didn't support your conclusion).
    We have already explained that many members of the church have used the 'protection clause' to explain miraculous events such as being burned everywhere except around garment-covered areas. This is exactly the case with your quote. What you are reading is that people have claimed to have witnessed these types of miraculous events and attributed them to the Lord's protection for being faithful.
    What you are not reading is an authoritative if/then statement in the temple ceremony making some sort of guarantee, which is why this is not discussed in the video. Yet that's how you're treating this.

    It's so interesting to see the lengths that you and your pal have to go to have a criticism over something as simple as an explanation of temple garments.

  17. You have my blessing to ask any member how they interpret that. Including any general authority.

    While we're on the topic of General Authorities, and specifically President Kimball, let's look at another quote from him as well as his two counselors, this one being made when he was actually president of the church:
    "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." (First Presidency Letter, July 3, 1974) That, to me, makes it sound like it is the faithful keeping of covenants that is important.

    In case that is not enough, let's look at another First Presidency statement, this time from President Kimball's successor and counselors, in 1988: "The promise of protection and blessings is CONDITIONED upon WORTHINESS and FAITHFULNESS in keeping the covenant."

    I am certainly not alone in my interpretation.

  18. Let's take a closer look at Fig's quote:

    "yet I am convinced that there could be and undoubtedly have been many cases where there has been, through faith, AN ACTUAL PHYSICAL PROTECTION."

    He is convinced that there could be cases of physical protection, and that there have been cases before, and that this was accomplished through faith.

    His statements seem to derive from experience or anecdotes, and the source of the protection is faith. These kinds of statements stand independent of how the garment is presented to us in the temple and how it is generally described, so it's no surprise that this is how the church would choose to publicly explain purpose of the garment.

  19. Pierce –

    "Please don't stoop to Mormography's level and try to say that I am arguing against Smith himself just because I disagree with your conclusions"

    Haha, just can't get out of the rabbit. Stoop to a level. wow. Why so much anger, hostility, amd contempt?

    Fig isn't drawing conclusions as you obviously misunderstand. He demonstrating that the quotes were always understood at their face value and it is only now with the Internet that revisionist conclusions are being invented AKA lying. Just like when you bizarrely state JS may not have had sex w any the women he was "sealed" to. Even Mormon apologist admit that he did they only debate if he had sex the marrried ones and the 14 year old ones.

    The lengths I go to here have little to do w the garments, ploygamy, or priesthood, but merely the inconsistencies in yours, Mormanity's reasoning. But that has been thoroughly been exposed, all that is left to analysis the emotions behind the behavior.

    "A characteristic of contempt is the psychological withdrawal or distance one typically feels regarding the object of one’s contempt. This psychological distancing is an essential way of expressing one’s nonidentification with the object of one’s contempt and it precludes sympathetic identification with the object of contempt. (Hume, 2002, 251) Contempt for a person involves a way of negatively and comparatively regarding or attending to someone who has not fully lived up to an interpersonal standard that the person extending contempt thinks is important. This form of regard constitutes a psychological withdrawal from the object of contempt.[6]"

  20. "Just like when you bizarrely state JS may not have had sex w any the women he was "sealed" to"

    Never said that, and in fact I stated said the opposite ("Some evidence suggests that a few of these marriages were most likely consummated"). I'm not interested in rehashing it. Away with you and your mis-characterizations.

  21. "this is how the church would choose to publicly explain purpose of the garment"

    Interpret it anyway you'd like, the proof is in the above documents. I have at least six references to a spiritual and/or physical protection provided when wearing temple garments. The church purposely chose the safest, watered down version they could without mentioning ANYTHING about it even though that aspect of it has been CLEARLY taught over and over, has been published in LDS literature and is included in the Endowment Ceremony. They obviously realize that unless they ignore this teaching, any mention of a protective quality, spiritual or otherwise would lend credence to the "magical" stigma this secretive practice already has.

  22. All of your quotes except one mention the reminder of covenants or the importance of acting in faith in order to receive blessings. Add to that my quotes and it is clear the protection is believed to come from God through faithful keeping of covenants, not some sort of magic

  23. Any way you look at it, what's being taught is if you abide by a specific condition the garments will provide a protection. All the quotes say the same thing. That alone is STILL more than what the video is explaining about them, that they are just an expression of faith. The video is leaving out an aspect of the garments, downplaying the original teaching

  24. Pierce – I stand corrected and wish to change state to suggest. Being momentarily reduced to hunt and peck on an iPad is not exvuse. You see how easy that is? I little humility and learn to move beyone the stagnation of immaturity and your defense strategy of hit and run.

    Now that we are on the subject of your mischaracterizations
    "Some evidence suggests that a few of these marriages were most likely consummated". It is matter of undisputed established fact that JS had sex with many, if not all his women. 1 – DC 132 2- affidavits from many of his "wives". And if few is defined ad 3-7, then it may be inSufficent. As many on that thread pointed out it is a matter of fact that there were sexual relations, not just some evidence suggesting.

    What other mischaracterizations? Or was that just another hit and run? You do realize that when you respond to only a few items but none the substantive items you are defacto admitting difficulty, don't you?

  25. I agree that the video does not explicitly say anything about protection, whether from the garment itself or from God as one faithfully wears the garment (the latter being what every Mormon believes). I think it's a stretch to say the church is trying to hide something here, since most of your quotes can be easily found on lds.org. If the church were trying to hide them, I think they would have removed them. What is presented in the video is correct, if not comprehensive.

  26. Ryan,
    While I would like to give the benefit of the doubt that the Church is not purposely omitting information about temple garments, there is a long history of the Church either whitewashing, downplaying, denying or excluding key information about various controversial topics.
    They have only recently made "official" statements about JS polygamy/polyandry and Blacks in the Priesthood. The LDS Carthage Jail tour STILL fails to mention that JS fired a gun before his murder. It's taken years for the Church to admit any involvement in the Meadow Mountain Massacre (http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=3131324&page=2)
    While all this information is out there and is now becoming increasingly more discovered (thus the recent Church statements to clarify) It is still not common knowledge and the Church will not readily volunteer it as seen in this video

  27. Also, to speak to your statement:
    "protection…from God as one faithfully wears the garment (the latter being what every Mormon believes)"
    Every Mormon? Based on the reading of these quotes, you cannot say with certainty that are no members who honestly believe that with God working through the garments themselves, provide spiritual AND/OR physical protection.

    Also, now that we both agree the video is less than comprehensive, it begs the question why? With the protective qualities being mentioned so many times in so many quotes, why would it be be excluded in the video?

  28. This video is not meant to be comprehensive in expounding the temple ceremonies and associated covenants/promises. Those details are still sacred in nature. The purpose of the video is to show what the garments look like, explain that they represent covenants made by LDS, show that they are akin to other religious vestments, and that we ask for a respectful tone when talking about them. This is a far cry from an attempt to whitewash history.

    All you're doing at this point, and especially with your previous comment, is showing that you have an ax to grind.

  29. This is of course Pierce, is your usual out. I've got nothing else to offer "you have an ax to grind" end of discussion.
    The Church has made recent efforts in an attempt at transparency by releasing official statements about controversial/misunderstood topics. In doing so, are they not inviting the discussion?
    I've made a case that the Church, by omission, denial, or reinterpretation continues to spin the way they explain things. To support my case, I've used specific examples of similar past behavior. I'm sorry if it makes you uncomfortable, but it's relevant to the the discussion of whether the Church is capable of hiding something