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Mormon Temple Garments: 101
Friday, September 15, 2006
I have been deluged with comments and reader email about temple garments lately. I was pleasantly surprised that I have not (yet) heard from any militant Mormons bearing me their testimony of the sacred blessings they receive from the Holy Garment of the Priesthood. In fact, if you are reading this and thinking of sending me that email... go ahead. I would love to post it and let everyone see for themselves what a retard you are.
Many readers have questions about the garments. Rather than answer each email individually (though I did read each and every one of them) I will attempt to answer the most common questions here all at once. I promise to be sarcastic as well as informative.
Now for my regular disclaimer. If you are Mormon, uptight, or my sister-in-law you will be offended by just about everything I am about to write. Go ahead and click over to Deseret Book and be done with it.
Ok, now for the Q & A:
Q: What is a temple garment?
A: The temple garment, or Pioneer Birth Control as I call it, is underwear Mormons are
asked commanded to wear during a ceremony in a Mormon temple. There are one and two piece (separate tops and bottoms) models. You can get them in any color you want as long as it's white.
Q: I have a friend who is Mormon but she doesn't wear garments. Do all Mormons wear them?
A: Good question. No not all Mormons wear them. Only the really gullible and brainwashed Mormons wear them. Before you go accusing me of being irreverent and rude let me point out that I was once gullible and brainwashed enough to wear them. Also, as I said before, the garment is given in the temple. Not all Mormons attend or have attended the temple and therefore would not be garment-wearers.
Q: People wear clothes under their bras and stuff?
A: Yes. Mormons are told to wear the garment next to their skin at all times. I even know of some women who will not wear feminine hygiene products under them. I guess feminine goo isn't irreverent but keeping clean is. Go figure. Not all people wear them under bras though. The conservative leadership of the LDS Church generally frowns on men wearing bras at all so they are exempt from that practice.
Q: What is the purpose or spiritual significance of the garment?
A: The claim is that the garment offers the wearer "protection". In one sense I have observed that to be true. It will protect the wearer from anyone looking at them or being sexually aroused. It is a quality prophylactic. Beyond that they have never been clinically shown to be able to stop a bullet, virus, radiation or fire. In short, they are nothing more than a magic lucky charm. There are lots of tall tales about the sacred underoors. All of them are non-surprisingly superstitious and urban-legendish.
Q: Why do women (more specifically wives) have to wear the garments...especially in bed with their husbands?
A: Oh, it isn't just the women. Men are given the same instructions about wearing the garment as women are. It does seem a convenient way for women to avoid lingerie duty. I know of many Mormon women who have never worn any other kind of underwear since being given the garments. I think men simply find it easier to break this rule than women do.
Q: I guess i can see why they would be important for virgin Mormons, or people that are not married yet, but in the privacy of your own home with your husband?
A: Except in rare cases women do not receive the garment until marriage. If someone knows the answer to this question, let me know so I can inform my wife.
Q: How did Joseph Smith (or anyone for that matter) convince logical, grown, otherwise intelligent individuals to do this?
A: Easy, he told them they would go to hell if they didn't. He also told little girls their families would go to heaven if they married him. Really though, the answer is cognitive dissonance. I'm too lazy to explain that but information is easy to find these days.
Q: Garments sound really unattractive. Are they?
A: Yes. I'm sure even Charlene Wells-Hawkes, Marie Osmond, and Larry King's wife look frumpy in them. Imagine long-johns cut off at the knee. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.
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