Proper dress is important to many religions in the world. Some religious people wear robes, others wear special head-coverings, and still others wear symbolic jewelry that expresses their faith. For some religions, only the clergy have special attire, while others are simply to dress modestly. But in other religions, the laypeople have clothing requirements as well. These garments are often considered holy by adherents.
In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (or LDS) and a few other sects of Mormonism, the temple garment is a set of special underwear worn by male and female Latter-day Saints, who have taken part in the washing and anointing ceremony in a Mormon temple. This is a highly reverential aspect to the LDS faith.
Unfortunately, this special clothing has also been the target of mockery and ridicule by non-Mormons.
The temple garment (formally the "Garment of the Holy Priesthood" or informally, the "garment or garments"), symbolizes the "coats of skins" that God made for Adam and Eve before casting them out of the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:21).
Latter-day Saints who have been endowed in the temple are expected to wear the garment under their clothes every day, as a reminder of special promises or covenants to God.
On a practical level, it also serves as a guide to modest dressing — a woman could hardly wear a tank top and a miniskirt while wearing the temple garment, nor could a man go publicly shirtless.
Spiritually, the garment is believed to be a "shield and protection" against the powers of evil (and sometimes against physical harm, according to some Latter-Day Saints).
Latter-Day Saints are commonly clothed in the temple garment and the outer temple clothing when they are buried.
- "Temple garment (Mormonism)." Wikipedia, as of October 2005. Text used under GFDL.
- The Temple Garment - article by LDS elder Carlos E. Asay, 1997
- The Evolution of the Temple Garment (illustration)
- Mormon Underwear - website dedicated to providing information on Mormon garments