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I need further light and knowledge about the necessity of wearing garments.

 

Perhaps no Mormon belief/practice was harder for me to embrace than the wearing of garments.  In fact, I was so "spooked" by the idea that I delayed going to the temple until a full-year after the probationary period.

 

Now, I know that for you BICers, this was probably never an issue.  You grew up in households with parents who wear them and its just something you put on in the morning.  Why would you even consider wearing something different?

 

However, I grew up in a community where there was only one type of person who wore institution-selected undergarments -- a convict.  And being subject to an institution that picked out your underwear for you was about the most demeaning thing one could imagine.  In fact, whenever my father suspected that I was becoming enamored with the car or status of a neighborhood hoodlum, he would say something like, "Lil' Ray Ray has a nice car, doesn't he?  Well, just remember, son, that in two years, he's going to be wearing somebody else's underwear."  And this little "reminder" would instantly make his car look less shiny because it came with the ultimate price -- the lack of freedom.

 

Of course, as Mormons, agency is all-important.  Yet, on its face, the garment requirement seems to fly in the face of our theological need to exercise our agency to return to HF.  If we can't be trusted to pick out our own undergarments, then how can HF possibly trust us to choose wisely with respect to an eternal companion, living the law of chastity, tithing, etc.?

 

During temple prep classes, I expressed this concern to my bishop.  Perhaps sensing that at my then pace, I'd be taking out my endowments posthumously, he suggested that I "try out" the garments.  If they cause terrible pestilence (or a rash), I should take them off.  Otherwise, I should use them as the reminder they are meant to be.  And while I haven't suffered any physical ill effects, my "cheerful and rosy" demeanor has suffered.

 

I noticed this a few months ago during the Oscar weekend when I Photoshopped myself and my "handler" (my home teaching companion) into the poster for the eventual best picture winner and entitled it, "3 Years a Mormon."  In hindsight that might have been a heavy-handed way to make the point, but I just couldn't shake the feeling that I didn't end up all that different from Lil' Ray Ray ... and, at least, he got a fancy car out of the deal.

 

Has anyone else wrestled with this requirement?  How did you finally come to grips with it?

 

 

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The only time I struggle with garments is when I break out a new pair. They take some breaking in. I've worn garments now for 11 years. You may try a different style. For example, I like the crew tops that feel more like an undershirt because they have a normal collar. Material may also be something you want to vary to find out which works best. But, like you said the most important thing that can help is remembering the reason.

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Of course we have our agency when it comes to garments... when I went to the temple, those of us going for the first time met with the temple matron where we received information about temple worship, and about the wearing of garments... yes, I grew up used to seeing the garments of my folks so  it was not new or odd to me at all... in fact, I love my garments and what they stand for.  Every morning when I put on a clean pair, I think of it like putting on the full armor of Christ at the beginning of each new day.  After 17 years of wearing garments, it still feels the same each morning.

 

GG

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I wasn't endowed until I got to the MTC and so some lady bought me my first bunch of garments. She bought that mesh kind, of which I came to later hate with a passion. Other then that style wearing them has never bothered me. 

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I need further light and knowledge about the necessity of wearing garments.

The Gift of the Holy Ghost helps us overcome the traditions of men that get in the way of making and keeping covenants, and also helps us understand their necessity.

 

It also might be good to ask a member of your temple presidency about the necessity of wearing garments the next time you go there.

 

One thing I can think of is that He calls us (not the other way around), and it is best to use our agency to receive His blessings than to create our own or modify His.

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I'm afraid I cannot offer a lot of insight into the issue of how to adjust to wearing garments.  Yes, you are a free agent.  You can choose your actions, but every action has some consequence (great or small).  Every choice you make will lead you to a place at which you are more free or less free, a place where you either have more options, or fewer.  (For example, Esau chose to solve the short-term issue of his hunger by trading away his birthright for a mess of pottage.)  And even if it seems that a choice leads you to a place where you have fewer mortal choices, it still might lead you to a place where you have more spiritual choices.  For example, if I obey the Word of Wisdom I cannot indulge in illegal (or in some legal) psychoactive substances. While it might seem that this choice makes me less free from a mortal standpoint, it makes me more free from a spiritual standpoint: I'm free of the potential of becoming addicted to any substance of which I don't partake, free of the risk of losing my self-respect, and so on.  When it comes right down to it, though, the only thing you have left to give back to God that He didn't give you in the first place is your will.  (Your mileage may vary, but I say that if that makes one a slave, so be it.)

 

I wish you well. 

Edited by Kenngo1969
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I was the first endowed member in my family.I regard wearing the Garment as a privilege.Sometimes in hot weather it's a privilege I don't appreciate as much, but it's still a privilege.On the subject of Agency: there's still a lot of misunderstanding about it among Latter-day Saints. (So perhaps it's not surprising that Dehlinites don't get it.) ;)I still sometimes hear people say what I was fond of saying as a teenager: "I've got my own free agency! You can't make me do anything!!"I like to define Agency as The power to make real choices and to be responsible for whatever consequences flow therefrom.It is a principle of power. It is the ability to make things happen in the world.Of course, every one of us is perfectly free to choose to keep our covenants -- or not, as we prefer.But I remember that Jesus taught that those who were faithful in a few things would be made rulers over many things.And Jesus himself overcame the world, in part by being classed with convicts.Regards,Pahoran

When we speak of agency, I can't help but to think of Animal Farm's famous phrase: "All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others." To define agency as the power "to make real choices and be responsible for the consequences thereof" means that an 18th century slave had agency, He could choose to go into the fields or he would be held responsible (I.e,, whipped for doing not doing so). Is this the kind of agency that they fought a war in heaven over? Given our definition of agency, the only situation in which a person doesn't have agency is if they are physically restrained or disabled.

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Has anyone else wrestled with this requirement?  How did you finally come to grips with it?

If a person hates wearing garments, then they shouldn't wear garments. Garments should be worn by those members who feel it a privilege to wear them. They should not be seen as a chore. I don't wear garments and that is the choice that I have made. However, if one is an active Mormon, it is best to wear them and see it as a wonderful inducement to remain worthy and to be conscience of who one is on this earth: a child of heavenly parents.

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I'm not sure I'm really understanding your question about agency.

Agency is described as "The ability and privilege God gives people to choose and to act for themselves."

Are you suggesting that you did not get to choose for yourself whether or not you were going to wear garmets?

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I have a love-hate relationship with them. I love material in between the bra and skin now, it's a sweat barrier of sorts, cleaner bra. And I love the newer garment bottom that stays put, they remind me of the bike shorts, before my garments would roll up and I was constantly tugging. The newer top with the same material isn't as great though, super confining and very hot. On the older tops, as much as I love the barrier, I hate how the lace will creep up around my neck area and you're able to see them on almost all my tops unless they're a collar shirt, therefore I wear alot of white shirts underneath, so pretty hot in the summers.

With my faith crisis, I've thought of discarding them but don't feel ccomfortable without them, 30 years is a long time, like my second skin.

I wish I could find it now, but read how someone was able to wear normal underwear and was able to put the markings in the appropriate areas, that were sent to her, with permission. So that's nice for those that might suffer physically by wearing them.

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The temple is about making and keeping sacred covenants. The garment is a reminder of these sacred covenants. In the temple we bind ourselves to covenants in order to be endowed with power from on high. The wearing of the garment is minor in comparison to the covenants we take upon ourselves. So I think you have been right to wait. 

 

When you see additional covenants to serve the Lord as freeing and not restricting then it is time to go to the temple. Then the wearing of the garment will become an honor not a burden. 

Edited by janderich
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2 thoughts:

 

I wasn't sure about the whole garments thing. Yes, my mom wore them most of my life. But I was not a clothes fan. I hated wearing more layers than was necessary. And wearing a pair of garments from here on out seemed like a crazy idea. It wasn't any sense of being forced to do it. It really was, in large part, just my vanity for the most part. But despite my reservations, it was strangely just...easy. I received an immediate testimony of this was what God wanted for me from day 1 of wearing them, both in the temple and immediately after. That's made the transition to them, almost flawless. I've found ones that work for me for different reasons. And on a plus, with the one brand I never have any wedgies....definite plus.

 

And if you think G's are confining to one's behavior/choices, try going on a mission. I mean there's a rule for what bra color you should bring (no joke). And maybe that helped too. I went from G's to mission in a couple months, and suddenly I couldn't wear anything that I would have before the experience. And I think that strangely helped as well.

 

For one I learned the meaning of moral agency. It didn't mean, necessarily, choosing whatever we wanted. It meant choosing between the things of God or not of Him. Garments were the placed symbol of a further covenant (and not a form of punishment, as is prison). And God doesn't want just what's left over of us at the end of the day...He wants all of us. To consciously allow that submission to him, each day, was a nice reminder of it.  

 

On the other note, I also learned what true freedom was on my mission. There were so many rules to follow. So MANY nuanced rules that could easily be confining. But I came to give up my whole heart and didn't seek much reasons to break any rule that I was expected to follow. No one was necessarily monitoring my behavior. But I'd "given up" 1.5 yrs to the Lord to what had been a pretty good life and I wasn't going to do anything to belittle that. And yet midway through, I realized I had never been more free in my life. The pain that I'd buried had been drudged up....and then taken away. Because I sought obedience, He could clean the parts of my soul that i'd kept hidden...even from myself. And He mended me to a point where I realized I was finally completely at peace as a person. By that point I didn't really feel like i sacrificed much at all. I'd received what I truly needed in spades. There was no way I could pay it back....nothing that could have done such a complete job. Nothing. 

 

At this points, I don't like leaving without garments. I feel naked/exposed. It is a temple expectation, but - just like the sense of giving up for my mission - the sense of expectation has moved to gift and reminder of exactly who I am to God.  

 

 

With luv,

BD

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Try reading Clothed Upon: A Unique Aspect of Christian Antiquity by Blake Ostler:

https://byustudies.byu.edu/PDFViewer.aspx?title=hidden&linkURL=22.1OstlerClothed-f861f624-9df4-46cf-8436-350a99493286.pdf

Also Hugh Nibley, Sacred Vestments:

http://publications.maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/fullscreen/?pub=1123&index=6

And of course, there is Tevye, in Fiddler on the Roof, the opening, where his discusses his prayer shawl, and the tradition of wearing it, not really knowing why that item in particular, but because of his traditions "Each of us knows who he is, and who God expects him to be."

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

Edited by Kevin Christensen
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Hopefully, the fact that any endowed person has covenanted with God to wear the garment would be enough motivation. I don't like to break my promises to anyone, but especially not my promises to God. I frankly can't comprehend the attitude that seems to be growing in society that promises, even sacred ones, are only to be kept when it's comfortable or convenient.

 

Not wearing your garments is also a good way to put your temple recommend in jeopardy, as it's one of the temple recommend questions.

 

"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?"

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When we speak of agency, I can't help but to think of Animal Farm's famous phrase: "All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others." To define agency as the power "to make real choices and be responsible for the consequences thereof" means that an 18th century slave had agency, He could choose to go into the fields or he would be held responsible (I.e,, whipped for doing not doing so). Is this the kind of agency that they fought a war in heaven over? Given our definition of agency, the only situation in which a person doesn't have agency is if they are physically restrained or disabled.

 

So, wearing external reminders of our covenants with God is now akin to slavery?  :help:

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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You are confusing agency with freedom. Yes, the right of the slave to choose the fields or the whip is agency and the kind of agency we fought for but you do not go far enough. Even the physically restrained and disabled have agency to choose their thoughts. Their freedom is much more limited of course. No person or circumstance can take away your agency. That is what we fought for. Freedom is a wonderful thing but it is not guaranteed as a part of life and restrictions on freedom are not a violation of agency and they do not diminish it at all.

We won the war for agency. We have it. It is not going anywhere. You can safely ignore anyone crusading for agency because they are misusing the word. Usually they are fighting for a specific freedom and are twisting words to try to make their fight holier then it is.

 

I think what mormonnewb is objecting to is connecting agency with responsibility and accountability. Not a few people these day, particularly on one side of the political spectrum, seem to assume there is no connection, and often their choices reflect the disconnect, as do also the trail of unintended negative consequences they leave in their wake. However, reality can eventually be a hard school master. 

 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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I think what mormonnewb is objecting to is connecting agency with responsibility and accountability. Not a few people these day, particularly on one side of the political spectrum, seem to assume there is no connection, and often their choices reflect the disconnect, as do also the trail of unintended negative consequences they leave in their wake. However, reality can eventually be a hard school master. 

 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

True, I still see conservatives ignoring scientific studies showing the results of their actions and refusing responsibility and accountability for their actions. Though to be fair the other side of the political spectrum is, in my humble opinion, equally deluded regarding responsibility so we should avoid vilifying only the Right.

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I need further light and knowledge about the necessity of wearing garments.

 

Perhaps no Mormon belief/practice was harder for me to embrace than the wearing of garments.  In fact, I was so "spooked" by the idea that I delayed going to the temple until a full-year after the probationary period.

 

Now, I know that for you BICers, this was probably never an issue.  You grew up in households with parents who wear them and its just something you put on in the morning.  Why would you even consider wearing something different?

 

However, I grew up in a community where there was only one type of person who wore institution-selected undergarments -- a convict.  And being subject to an institution that picked out your underwear for you was about the most demeaning thing one could imagine.  In fact, whenever my father suspected that I was becoming enamored with the car or status of a neighborhood hoodlum, he would say something like, "Lil' Ray Ray has a nice car, doesn't he?  Well, just remember, son, that in two years, he's going to be wearing somebody else's underwear."  And this little "reminder" would instantly make his car look less shiny because it came with the ultimate price -- the lack of freedom.

 

Of course, as Mormons, agency is all-important.  Yet, on its face, the garment requirement seems to fly in the face of our theological need to exercise our agency to return to HF.  If we can't be trusted to pick out our own undergarments, then how can HF possibly trust us to choose wisely with respect to an eternal companion, living the law of chastity, tithing, etc.?

 

During temple prep classes, I expressed this concern to my bishop.  Perhaps sensing that at my then pace, I'd be taking out my endowments posthumously, he suggested that I "try out" the garments.  If they cause terrible pestilence (or a rash), I should take them off.  Otherwise, I should use them as the reminder they are meant to be.  And while I haven't suffered any physical ill effects, my "cheerful and rosy" demeanor has suffered.

 

I noticed this a few months ago during the Oscar weekend when I Photoshopped myself and my "handler" (my home teaching companion) into the poster for the eventual best picture winner and entitled it, "3 Years a Mormon."  In hindsight that might have been a heavy-handed way to make the point, but I just couldn't shake the feeling that I didn't end up all that different from Lil' Ray Ray ... and, at least, he got a fancy car out of the deal.

 

Has anyone else wrestled with this requirement?  How did you finally come to grips with it?

 

I wasn't BIC, and my mom for about the first 16 years of my life picked my underwear. At age 20 I became a convert and one year later had my endowments. Wearing the required garments has never been an issue with me. As to how to come to grips with it. They are a reminder of the solemn covenants we have made  with our God.

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I wish I could find it now, but read how someone was able to wear normal underwear and was able to put the markings in the appropriate areas, that were sent to her, with permission. So that's nice for those that might suffer physically by wearing them.

You can ask for custom variations if you prefer a different fabric in a style it isn't made in, such as cotton in the long thermal style. You don't have to pay extra if you have medical reasons (I can only wear cotton for example). The number should be somewhere in the area of lds.org where you order from.

If someone isn't physically comfortable, I would definitely recommend trying different versions in hopes of finding the least uncomfortable and there is nothing wrong with wearing a different type on top than bottom of course.

Edited by calmoriah
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When we speak of agency, I can't help but to think of Animal Farm's famous phrase: "All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others." To define agency as the power "to make real choices and be responsible for the consequences thereof" means that an 18th century slave had agency, He could choose to go into the fields or he would be held responsible (I.e,, whipped for doing not doing so). Is this the kind of agency that they fought a war in heaven over? Given our definition of agency, the only situation in which a person doesn't have agency is if they are physically restrained or disabled.

It is IMO about having the agency to respond internally....do you embrace God (or whatever light and knowledge one has been blessed with) even in the worst of situations or do you choose to curse your life and give into despair?

I find Erich Fromm's Man's Search For Meaning helpful for a nonLDS version.

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True, I still see conservatives ignoring scientific studies showing the results of their actions and refusing responsibility and accountability for their actions. 

 

Clearly, you are being self-referential here, and so I must complement your integrity. By admitting you have a problem, it is the first step towards progress.. 

 

Though to be fair the other side of the political spectrum is, in my humble opinion, equally deluded regarding responsibility so we should avoid vilifying only the Right.

 

I, personally, see no need to vilify anyone, though I can accept that others may be so inclined. Sufficeth for me to merely point out unintended negative consequence and leave the gentle reader to draw their own conclusions about responsibility and accountability. Perhaps as you progress in overcoming your admitted problem, your inclination to vilify may diminish as well. ;)

 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Clearly, you are being self-referential here, and so I must complement your integrity. By admitting you have a problem, it is the first step towards progress.. 

 

 

 

 

I, personally, see no need to vilify anyone, though I can accept that others may be so inclined. Sufficeth for me to merely point out unintended negative consequence and leave the gentle reader to draw their own conclusions about responsibility and accountability. Perhaps as you progress in overcoming your admitted problem, your inclination to vilify may diminish as well. ;)

 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

 

Effort: B-

Grammar: C+

Wit: D

 

Nice try, needs improvement.

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