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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Can You Explain the Undergarments?

This week's question comes from a friend of mine from high school, Billy.  Billy is currently serving in the military, so I'd like to begin by telling him, Thank you for your service my friend!

Here's Billy's question from Facebook:

"Please explain the undergarments.  And will they be making some with a Presidental Seal?"
The second part of the question I'm sure was said somewhat facetiously, and I will just quickly answer that part.  No they will not be making any of the garments with the Presidential Seal.

Quick Overview

For those of you who are not familiar with what Billy is talking about I will give you a quick overview.  Those members of the Church who are active and worthy to attend the Temple wear what we in the church refer to as Garments.  These are worn underneath our clothing.  You probably have friends who are members of the Church that wear these garments every single day and you never even notice it. 

An Analogy

 Allow me to give you an analogy to explain what the garments mean to those of us who wear them. 

Take a look at this picture of a minister.

Photo courtesy of hubertk, Some Rights Reserved
Now, I do not know to which denomination this minister belongs.  But what I do know, is that if you were able to ask him, I'm fairly confident he would tell you that the robe and other vestments he is wearing have important meaning to him.
I don't think he is wearing them simply for their fashion statement.  He would probably tell you that this clothing
  1. Sets him apart from the rest of his congregation.
  2. It is a uniform, of sorts, of his profession.
  3. Reminds him of who he is and what his covenants and obligations are.
  4. They are a constand reminder to him that he is a servant of the Lord.
  5. They are a reminder that he is responsible to live in a way that is worthy of his ordination as a minister.
This is a great analogy to how we, as members of the Church, view the garment. 

What the garment means to us

Like the ministers of many demoninations across the country and the world, the garment is a reminder to us of the obligations and covenants that we have made in the Temple to live our religion.  These are sacred covenants to us, and the garments are a daily reminder of those covenants and how we have committed to live our lives. 
This good minister probably wears this robe during church services, but, if he is like the ministers I have known, he probably wears a white collar throughout the week. This is to remind him of his obligations as well as to distinguish him as a minister. 
Because our church has a lay ministry, almost every member serves within the Church in teaching and leadership roles.  We are not compensated for this work. Because of this, we all have full time employment in addition to our church duties.  The man who presides over our congregation may be a teacher, a carpenter, a farmer, or even a politician.  Because of that we, as members, wear the garment under our clothing, rather than outside our clothing. 
There are also some deeper spiritual meanings that are connected to wearing the garment, but because of their sacred nature, they are not discussed openly and I consequently, will not address them here. 

A Final Thought

As a final thought, the garments that I, and other active Mormons, wear are basically and outward expression of an inward commitment I have made to live certain covenants and follow the example of the Savior.  To me they are sacred and because of their sacred nature, I don't parade them before the world, but wear them beneath my clothing. 
I hope this answered your question, Billy, and I'm grateful to you and all of my other friends for the respect they show towards me and this personal expression of my commitment to my Savior and religion.
Question: What reminders do you have in your life of the commitments you've made to live your religion?
Thank you for reading, please share these posts with those in your social circles!  Also please visit the Ask a Mormon page of this blog to submit questions to be answered in this blog series. 
Twitter: @Skropp2

1 comment:

  1. It is true. People use to wear different clothing for many purpose like for religion, to protect from external environment and for that special stylish, comfort and smooth clothes are made.
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