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consiglieri

The Origin of the Temple Garment

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I was at lunch today and some non-members were making fun of my "magic Mormon underwear."

Not that I had it on display.

Just they found out what "cult" I belong to, and thought they would poke some fun.

It got me to thinking where on earth Joseph Smith came up with this idea.

I understand about the symbols, and their likely derivation, but undergarments?

Is this something he would have picked up from other sources, or is it a Mormon original?

Please strictly avoid the use of temple content in this thread.

Thanks in advance!

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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I would say that Joseph was taught about the garment, and he passed the teaching on to us.

I don't think "Joseph Smith came up with this idea."

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"Paul contends that believers will

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The earliest contemporary mention of the garment comes from John C. Bennett's 1842 book The History of the Saints. Bennett includes a letter from George W. Robinson, dated 8 August 1842:

I have something new to communicate respecting ORDER LODGE, (though I do not expect it is new to you.). After they are initiated into the lodge, they have oil poured on them, and then a mark or hole cut in the breast of their shirts, which shirts must not be worn any more, but laid up to keep the Destroying Angel from them and their families, and they should never die; but Knight's shirt would not save him. No one must have charge of their shirts but their wives.17

Many descriptions of garments have been passed down through the families of Smith's acquaintances. One such recollection came from the family of Elizabeth Warren Allred, wife of one of Smith's bodyguards and, according to family tradition, the seamstress who made the first garment: "The seamstress hired by Joseph Smith had to cut out the garment three times to get it correct." According to the account:

It was while they were living in Nauvoo that the Prophet came to my mother, who was a seamstress by trade, and told her that he had seen the Angel Moroni with the garments on, and asked her to assist him in cutting out the garments. They spread unbleached muslin out on the table and he told her how to cut it out. She had to cut the third pair, however, before he said it was satisfactory. She told the prophet that there would be sufficient cloth from the knee to the ankle to make a pair of sleeves, but he told her he wanted as few seams as possible and that there would be sufficient whole cloth to cut the sleeve without piecing. The first garments were made of unbleached muslin and bound with turkey red and were without collars. Later on the prophet decided he would rather have them bound with white. Sister Emma Smith, the Prophet's wife, proposed that they have a collar on as she thought they would look more finished, but at first the prophet did not have the collars on them. After Emma Smith had made the little collars which were not visible from the outside of the dress, Sister Eliza R. Snow made a large collar of fine white material which was worn on the outside of the dress. The garment was to reach to the ankle and the sleeves to the wrist. The marks were always the same.18

George A. Smith recalled that Jesus wore the garment when he appeared in the Kirtland temple: "On the first day of the dedication, President Fredrick G. Williams, one of the Council of the Prophet, and who occupied the upper pulpit, bore testimony that the Savior, dressed in his vesture without seam, came into the stand and accepted of the dedication of the house, that he saw him, and gave a description of his clothing and all things pertaining to it."23

It is within this context that one can understand the question posed to Zebedee Coltrin at the 1883 meetings of the School of the Prophets. He was asked "about the kind of clothing the Father ha[d] on" at the Kirtland temple epiphany.24 Taylor, who presided over the 1883 school, corroborated:

He said it was the pattern of the garment given to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and it all had a sacred meaning. The collar: My yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Crown of the Priesthood) the strings on each side have a double meaning, the strings being long enough to tie in a neat double bow knot, representing the Trinity; the double bow knots the marriage covenant between man and wife. The Compass: a guide to the wearer as the North Star is a guide in the night to those who do not know the way they should go. The Square: representing the justice and fairness of our Heavenly Father, that we will receive all the good that is coming to us or all that we earn, on a square deal; the navel mark: meaning -------------------------------. The Knee Mark: representing that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ. The whole garment to be a covering and a protection from the enemy. The sleeves reaching to the wrist, and the legs to the ankles. This pattern was given to Joseph Smith by two heavenly beings.25

David John Buerger, The Mysteries of Godliness; p.142

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A nice little article that possibly provides evidence that the garment are not JS's idea: Early Christian Textile Markings from Fayum Egypt

The piece of clothing closest to the body is not usually well preserved due to the destructive influence of fluids and chemicals remaining in the body. In this burial, as well as a few others, however, the woolen garment next to the skin is sufficiently well preserved for us to observe that small rosettes have been woven into the material in particular locations. There is one rosette over each breast and one on the right leg near the knee, but there is no corresponding rosette on the left leg. Across the lower abdomen, the material also has a hemmed slit about six inches long.

And here also: Joseph

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VERY interesting, Cinepro.

Thanks for the quotation.

Was the blank spot after the meaning of the navel mark in the original, or did you delete it in order to keep within the bounds that the board has set?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Margaret Barker speaks of the high priests wearing the garments of the angels or the garments of God. According to Barker, these garments represented divine glory and resurrection. She points to 2 Enoch, in which he is adorned with divine garments and is anointed, thus becoming the "little Yahweh." The process was a transformation from the earthly to heavenly, from mortality to divinity. The temple is a ritualized heavenly ascent or deification.

See her The Great High Priest: The Temple Roots of Christian Liturgy (T&T Clark Ltd, 2003).

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VERY interesting, Cinepro.

Thanks for the quotation.

Was the blank spot after the meaning of the navel mark in the original, or did you delete it in order to keep within the bounds that the board has set?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Sorry, I should have noted that I blanked it out. It sounded too familiar, and I wasn't sure.

While I had heard about the collar and ties in early garments, I had no idea that those pieces were given symbolic significance! That's pretty interesting. Ultimately, if you look at the history of peoples' feelings about the "current" style of garment and any proposed changes, everyone seems to think that they've got the "correct" version, and any proposed changes are blaspheme.

But if we were to suggest to an LDS of 1920 that one day we'd wear 2-piece, short-sleeve garments made of modern fabrics, they would probably react the same as if you told someone today that in the future we might wear tank-top/brief garments in different colors. :P

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With GREAT respect offered (I give you my word on this)

If it is OK (If it is NOT kosher then please simply feel free to ignore this post), for the benefit of folks like me who have no idea what these garmets are like, would someone be willing to explain/describe them.

When they are worn, etc?

Thanks and peace,

Ceeboo

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With GREAT respect offered (I give you my word on this)

If it is OK (If it is NOT kosher then please simply feel free to ignore this post), for the benefit of folks like me who have no idea what these garmets are like, would someone be willing to explain/describe them.

When they are worn, etc?

Thanks and peace,

Ceeboo

No problemo, Ceeboo.

Temple garments are expected to be worn by all members who have gone to the temple and received their endowment.

The endowment is a lengthy ritualistic ceremony in which covenants are made of sacrifice and obedience to God and his Church.

The garment contains symbolic "marks" at certain locations which are to remind one of certain aspects of truth, God, and our humility and subservience to him.

The garment is supposed to be worn day and night, with exceptions for bathing, swimming, and possibly athletic activities.

Other than that, it's a 24/7 gig.

Hope this helps.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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With GREAT respect offered (I give you my word on this)

If it is OK (If it is NOT kosher then please simply feel free to ignore this post), for the benefit of folks like me who have no idea what these garmets are like, would someone be willing to explain/describe them.

When they are worn, etc?

Thanks and peace,

Ceeboo

From a church site:

What are LDS Garments or Mormon Underwear?

One of the things people sometimes hear about members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that we wear a strange underclothing, some kind of Mormon underwear. What they are referring to is the LDS garment, but what is it?

Answer: First and foremost, the garment is sacred, something we reverence and don't speak lightly of. It is a white undergarment that is worn by members of the Church of Jesus Christ who have received their endowment- a personal, sacred ordinance only performed in LDS temples.

Garment Worn Always

The LDS garment is worn under regular clothing, both night and day, and is only to be removed for specific activities such as swimming, sports, etc and should be replaced as soon as possible.

The Garment is a Symbol

Wearing the garment is a symbol of our covenants made with the Lord.

"The white garment symbolizes purity and helps assure modesty and respect for the attributes of God" ("What are Latter-day Saint Garments?," LDS FAQs, BYU Studies).

One way the garment can be seen as a symbol is how Paul taught to take upon us the whole armor of God (see Eph. 6:13 and D&C 27:15). Wearing the garment is an outward expression of an inward covenant.

There is more on the page.

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No problemo, Ceeboo.

Temple garments are expected to be worn by all members who have gone to the temple and received their endowment.

The endowment is a lengthy ritualistic ceremony in which covenants are made of sacrifice and obedience to God and his Church.

The garment contains symbolic "marks" at certain locations which are to remind one of certain aspects of truth, God, and our humility and subservience to him.

The garment is supposed to be worn day and night, with exceptions for bathing, swimming, and possibly athletic activities.

Other than that, it's a 24/7 gig.

Hope this helps.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Thank you kind Sir :P

Very helpful indeed!

If I may ask one more?

At what age do LDS begin to wear them?

Thanks again,

Ceeboo

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Three double bow knots = three wives?

Here's a couple of quotes:

The first garments were made by Eliza R. Snow and Zina Young. They

were cut out by the Prophet Joseph Smith and under his direction. They then

asked him who showed him how, and he said. "An angel of the Lord." He

stood over them while they were cut out. He also said, "The angel Moroni

drew aside his robe and showed his marks."

--George Albert Smith; Univ. Of Utah Special Collections; H. Michael Marquardt Papers, MS 36 Bx 74, Fd16.

I Benjamin Franklin LeBaron, was born in the 15th ward, Salt Lake

City, 22 August 1860...My Father and mother were well acquainted with

the Prophet Joseph. Mother said.., she was at the meeting at Nauvoo when he

(Joseph Smith) presented the garment to the Church, and held it up before

them and said it was the exact pattern of the one the angel showed him, and

was called "The Garment of the Holy Priesthood," and must be worn all

through life, and would be a protection to them against all physical and

spiritual dangers if they were always faithful to the covenants they made with

the Lord. He explained all the features pertaining to it, and told them it should

never be changed from that pattern. She was so impressed that she made union

suits for us children and had us wear them so that we should be used to such

a garment when we became eligible to wear it.

I have always worn the original garment, the exact pattern of the one

an angel showed to Joseph Smith, and have learned to love it, and I felt very

bad when the Church Authorities allowed a change.

--Benjamin Franklin LeBaron, found in H. Michael Marquardt Papers, MS 36 Bx 74, Fd 16.

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Some masons branded the initiate's body with symbols to serve as a reminder of Masonic oaths and teachings.

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At what age do LDS begin to wear them?

It depends on what age they are when they go to the temple for their endowment, which is usually 19 for boys and 21 for girls if they are going on missions.

By that age boys have caught up and surpassed girls on maturity levels.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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By that age boys have caught up and surpassed girls on maturity levels. --Consiglieri

sig, beware of the UMW. Should I send flowers or just make a contribution to a charity in your name?

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It depends on what age they are when they go to the temple for their endowment, which is usually 19 for boys and 21 for girls if they are going on missions.

By that age boys have caught up and surpassed girls on maturity levels.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Ahhhh, I see now (too late) how silly that question was.

BTW, as I think about this, "symbolic" clothing is fairly common in many other faiths.

Anyhooooo, thanks again for sharing.

Peace,

Ceeboo

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With GREAT respect offered (I give you my word on this)

If it is OK (If it is NOT kosher then please simply feel free to ignore this post), for the benefit of folks like me who have no idea what these garmets are like, would someone be willing to explain/describe them.

When they are worn, etc?

Thanks and peace,

Ceeboo

In more general terms, the garments (both men's and womens) are a white T-shirt (with various styles of cut) and accompanying knee-length shorts, available in a variety of different fabrics. There are also long sleeve and ankle-length styles made from "thermal" fabric for warmth.

Until the 1970s, it was a one-piece design. Legend has it that President Kimball's time in the hospital helped him see the wisdom of a two-piece design.

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Some masons branded the initiate's body with symbols to serve as a reminder of Masonic oaths and teachings.

Makes garments seem tame by comparison . . .

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Have you read Blake Ostler's BYU Studies article "Clothed Upon" and Nibley's essay in Temple and Cosmos called Sacred Vestiments? Both excellent.

Kevin Christensen

Bethel Park, PA

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Makes garments seem tame by comparison . . .

My thoughts exactly.

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duplicate

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At about the age of 13 as a Catholic I received my first scapular when I joined the Third Order of St. Francis.

It was two squares of cloth attached by two strings- one was to be worn on the front, one on the back, and I was told that it was a portion of a larger garment which was worn as a token of covenants made. It was to be worn beneath my clothing. When I heard about garments, it was a great testimony to me that they were authentic because of the similarity with Catholicism I saw instantly.

There are many Catholic scapulars - now replaced in many cases by medals which are more durable and less difficult to wash, etc.

The Catholic Encyclopedia says they date from the middle ages, but we know that the idea is much older than that.

Scapular

Name, meaning, and origin

The scapular (from Latin, scapula, shoulder) forms a part, and now the most important part, of the habit of the monastic orders. Other orders and numerous religious congregations (both male and female) have also adopted the scapular from the monastic orders. It is usually worn over the habit or soutane.

Description

It consists essentially of a piece of cloth about the width of the breast from one shoulder to the other (i.e. about fourteen to eighteen inches), and of such a length that it reaches not quite to the feet in front and behind. There are also shorter forms of the scapular. In the middle is the opening for the head, the scapular thus hanging down from two narrow connecting segments resting on the shoulders. Originally the longitudinal segments of cloth were connected by cross segments passing under the arms

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Hello mfb...

How very interesting... thank you.

GG

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Zoroastrian Parsis are invested with a sacred shirt and "sacred string" which they always wear as a token of covenants they have made.

Remember that the Magi who visited Jesus were probably Zorastrians who were looking for the prophesied savior. Remember also that the cult of Mithras was a Zoroastrian sub-group which was arguably confounded with early Christianity in many cases because their teachings were so close.

It is my personal opinion that someday we will find out that these people are (now apostate) descendants of "another fold" which was once a true dispensation of the gospel- or at least an offshoot from a true dispensation.

http://www.avesta.org/ritual/navjote.htm

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