1. Gary Batt

    Your comments regarding Emerson Chase is well taken. However, we also need to be careful how one speaks about evangelical attire or even Sunday dress attire. In the same fashion, one could construed that a person wearing a white shirt and tie on Sunday is letting the public know their commitment to God. In addition, we have to be careful not to insinuate that there is a correlation between how clothing is worn public vs private as being “personal and sacred” or not. One could also conclude that the missionary attire is a form of public recognition. Temples being built along freeway’s for public display and recognition could also be questioned. I don’t necessarily agree with my own arguments. The point is, the explanation of how and why the garment is worn should end in your article at “between that person and God.” To continue to say “and the opinions of others don’t count. There is no show-and-tell” does two things. It engages an arguement with other religion’s symbols of faith and can paint itself into a corner. Does that mean anything that is displayed publicly is not personal or sacred? Perhaps shorter statements and less explanations will draw less attention and minimize counter arguments?

  2. The holy garment is inextricably tied with the temple, and we have been asked specifically not to display it or discuss it directly in detail. There are many other areas of our worship which we hold as personal and sacred, but they are not withheld from the public view. Other faiths also have many areas of their worship which they hold personal and sacred which are open for the public to see, and others which are not. Just because the garment is sacred and personal is not the only reason why it is hidden from the public view; it is hidden from public view because it is from the temple.

    Note that the quotation in the blockquote is Chase’s and not my own. I agree with you that his explanations went a little far.

  3. Josiah

    I think, from the standpoint of an interested evangelical protestant, that what has fueled the fire of detraction among non-LDS as to this subject is the purported protective properties. To quote the apostle Boyd K. Packer:

    “The garment […] becomes a shield and protection to the wearer.” – The Holy Temple (1980), 75.

    Stories of faithful, garment-clad Mormons escaping from house fires and auto accidents unscathed abound in LDS folklore. Now, as an evangelical, I will never deny that the Lord can and does place His hand of protection upon His beloved in perilous moments. I have seen this happen. I also understand that, according to modern LDS ecclesiology, the garment itself is powerless outside of faithful covenant relationship with God. However, I think that the great colloquial mischaracterization of the garments as “magic” or something of the like is almost solely responsible for the stigma. Explicitly addressing this aspect of the issue can often calm qualms and foster an opportunity for a longer, in-depth, mutually-edifying dialogue about the issues that truly divide Mormonism and Evangelicalism (worldview, nature of God, the Godhead, plan of salvation, revelation, etc).

  4. Thanks for your comment Josiah. Yes, addressing the protective qualities of the garment can help the conversation. I think most Christians would agree that God can and does protect those who follow Him. Instead of thinking of the garment as “magical” from an occult perspective, we would prefer others regard the garment as we do, a symbol of divine protection.

  5. Josiah,

    Thank you for your objective and humble response to this topic! It is very refreshing to (virtually) meet people of other faiths who are observant, respectful, and considerate enough to engage in thoughtful dialogue about doctrines, instead of resorting to the easy and popular route of sensationalism and attacks. Thanks!

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