1. Blake

    I would humbly submit that perhaps it is the combining the roles of ‘under wear’ and ‘sacred symbol’ into the same thing that is profaning the sacred.

    Separate the two out, then each can function in its intended role to its best measure.

  2. Blake, just because a piece of clothing is worn next to the skin does not mean it cannot be sacred. On the contrary, could not that increase its sacredness for the wearer? Many objects of personal value, even those which hold a sacred meaning to individuals, are worn as closely to the wearer’s skin as possible, such as necklaces and bracelets, so one can be as near to them as they can possibly be. Lockets worn over the heart are a good example.

  3. Thanks Bryce! I was going to write a very similar article, but you beat me to the punch. So much is lost when we lose touch with the sacred. It was also unfortunate that Rock Center chose to show the garments as part of it’s news program last week about Mormons.

  4. The symbolism of the LDS garment is such that separating it from underwear partially obscures the meaning.

    I submit that the problem isn’t the combination of “underwear” and “sacred,” but of the strong modern association of underwear with sex, which is considered dirty and therefore NOT sacred.

    Which is partially why it is such a perfect symbol for us as-is.

  5. Janice

    It escapes me how a scholar who understands something that is holy to a religion that is very personal does not have enough sense/respect not to publish a photo. I appreciate that someone understands but obviously not enough. It seems that the LDS church is the only religion that respects others beliefs and what they consider holy, and we don’t get any respect. How would the Catholics feel if someone published a photo of what the Pope wears under his robes? Or a less than flattering photo of a famous, popular on TV preacher? Notice how these things are never done to other religions.
    I also don’t understand what the hostile ex-members/critics/anti’s get out of making fun of and mocking us.
    I happened to accidentally find a Christian station today and the preacher was saying Christians need to show more respect to other Christians. He didn’t say show respect to “everyone”. So “Christians” are getting the message that they do not have to respect or show respect to non-Christians and those who they think are not Christian, like the LDS and Jehova’s Witnesses. He kept emphasizing those who are Christian.
    What is going to happen to those who mock and tell of our sacred practices and clothing, especially the ex-member’s who used to be temple goers, when Judgement comes? I really would like an opinion, because I have my own but not sure. And by exposing our most sacred ordinances what harm is being done to it, if any? Thank you. Love this site.

  6. It may have been an innocent mistake. From the sounds of her article, I’d give her the benefit of a doubt.

    As for what happens to the temple ordinances that are seemingly “exposed”? Nibley once noted something to the effect that those who seek to expose the temple and its sacred mysteries never truly had them to begin with.

  7. Alece

    I think the main thing for those of us who are practicing, temple attending and worshiping Mormons is to make sure WE are never the ones who reveal these sacred things to others. We can’t control what others do, but we can certainly control what we, ourselves, do.

  8. Lorin Lords

    When difficult subjects like this come to the public’s attention, we need Apologists to help the public to understand the subject. It would seem to be a good role for a University to fill maybe like BYU.

  9. Responding to your kindnesses here, and thank you for your benefit of the doubt without flogging the messenger. Much appreciated. The lack of jumping to conclusions about my intent on writing about temple garments is very Christlike.

    The image of temple garments, this one in particular, but also others, are all over the internet, and in particular as a public domain, creative commons image at Wikipedia. I’m not sure what you might like to do about that. We Catholics have a constant battle to try to keep our sacred images from being profaned. It is unsettling. But, and, I would just say this, the faith rooted in us that comes from Greater cannot be uprooted nor despoiled by those who are less than greater.

    Understand that politics, criminality, whether the person is LDS or Catholic, Protestant or Buddhist, Muslim or Jewish or other faith… in my work as a journalist, politicians, those who flaunt the law are fair topics for investigation and comment. However, the kindly religious beliefs of others, I try to understand, even if my understandings of faith are different. Accordingly I have taken down the image of the temple garments from my article, out of deference. I did not know, and I am glad those of you who mentioned this, again, that you told me gently and without rancor, matters in this world that is so torn in so many ways.

    With kindest regards,

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