My Only Real Regret

I really only have one real complaint about the Church, and it has to do, of course, with women’s fashion. I am talking about temple garments. Now to be perfectly clear: I am completely in favor of temple garments and wearing them as instructed in the temple. I served for more than a year as a temple ordinance worker, and the rituals of the temple with their associated theology and covenants are perhaps the sweetest part of the Gospel to me. I willingly and happily keep the covenants associated with the garment. I just do so with a sense of wistful regret.

The regret comes from the fact that prior to her endowment I used to see my wife (who was then my old friend and later my fiancée) in tank-tops and dresses that exposed shoulders and clavicles. She never wore anything immodest, but she did wear things that are no longer practical with garments. And she looked fabulous.

The garment, it seems to me, is an imperfect arbiter of modesty, and I am not convinced that this is its main purpose. However, de facto it becomes the controlling force in acceptable clothing for endowed Latter-day Saints, particularly women. As a man, I can’t say that the garment places any restrictions at all on my fashion sense, even if I had any. I do, however, regret from time to time the restrictions it places of my wife’s choices.

269 comments for “My Only Real Regret

  1. Nate! Finally we share a soapbox issue! I completely agree with everything you’ve said. Covering garments isn’t the same thing as being modest, nor is it necessarily intended to be. Women can look fantastic and modest, both while wearing things garments wouldn’t cover.

    It’s a crying shame.

  2. My idea for a store: Chieko’s Secret, which sells a new line of underwear for Mormon women. Apparently you don’t have to throw out yours garments when washed accidentally with red items. Why not sell them pink to start with? We’ll also sell some natural fabrics in addition to the standard petroleum-based fabrics. And how about waistbands closer to the waist than the armpits? There’s so much room for improvement, it will be hardest to decide where to start.

  3. Nate,


    A few years back, Mardell sunburned her shoulders very badly at the beach. She had to run around in tank tops (and kind of edgy, spaghetti-strap ones — cloth touching her sunburn was very painful) for several days. And of course, she looked great.

    Perhaps you could suggest that Heather do the same? Then you’ll have a chance to see her in tank tops again. Of course, she might be opposed to the idea of intentionally sunburning herself simply for your viewing pleasure. . .

  4. I’ve always said the Church has it backwards: Make the youth wear garments before they’re married, let married couples wear what they want. The second those high schoolers rip off each others’ clothes in the back of that car and see what’s underneath, it’ll stop their unchaste behavior cold.

    I’ve always thought it was hilarious that women’s garments have lace, as if that somehow makes it more appealing. “Lace! – Now we’re talkin’, baby!”

  5. One more reason to marry someone who converted and baptized less than a year before your wedding.

  6. I would prefer not to, Danithew. Thanks though.

    Maybe I’m missing something about the marital dynamics in the Oman household, Nate, but at least here in Portland I find that I have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the many perfections of my wife’s shoulder and clavicles. It’s only y’all outsiders who miss out. You’ll just have to lump it.

  7. Well I for one dont mind it too much. Consider this. The real difference in men and women’s dress is the world’s view not necessarily ours. LDS garments provide the same coverage of the body for both men and women. Its the world that thinks women should wear less. Just consider the dress code for many offices. Women can wear sleevless shirts, capris etc. Men aren’t allowed. If you think about it like this, then the garments we have really aren’t that different. They are providing an equal treatment of modesty.

    That being said, I would agree that modesty goes far beyond dress alone. Dress is just one component of modesty. Language, actions, behavior and apparel all work together to create a modest persona.

  8. Charles, I don’t know what you’re wearing, but my sleeves are significantly longer than my wife’s.

  9. Adam, I’m confused as to what you’re declining and what you’re thanking me for. I just thought since this post is about women’s clothing, that women’s opinions might be of interest on the matter. No worries though. :)

  10. A funny aside story: A good friend of ours who works in fashion (in Manhattan) went back home to Utah to the Distribution Center to pick up some new garments the day before Halloween. She was wearing her normal New York frock (very conservative judging by Manhattan’s standards) and the lady behind the counter said, “I like your costume!” To which she could only reply in her mind, “I like yours too, what are you? A pilgrim?”

    I second the comments about lace (lace=feminine?) and the bottoms reaching the armpits. I’m convinced that the only people they have designing the things are old ladies who don’t know what to do with the NEW “two-piece” garment.

  11. My recollection from David Buerger’s book on the temple is that there was a recommendation in the 1930s to eliminate the sleeves on the garment, that 10 apostles favored eliminating the sleeves but two voted against it. As Greg points out, the sleeves on women’s garments are shorter than on men’s; I wonder if that represents a compromise worked out over time.

  12. While we are on the topic of garments . . . , is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that the garments for sale in the summer are 2-4 inches longer than the ones you can buy in the winter. What’s up with that?

  13. I don’t know where to start, but the ideas and images that this post and some subsequent replies have motivated have just been too disturbing for me to let this lie.

    If anything, I think the garments – especially women’s – may be too revealing. The men’s tops have a good 4 or 6 inches of sleeve, but the women’s are – for all intents and purposes – sleeveless. Just about a two inch wide strip (including lace) over the shoulder, and a little trianglular excuse for a sleeve. Furthermore, the women’s tops have very dramatic scoop-necks (is scoop-neck the correct terminology?), especially when compared with the men’s. The discrepancy between genders is what I am concerned about. The value on modesty for women that the discrepancy conveys is that to be feminine implies covering less.

    My problem is with the many scores of endowed saints who wear the garment itself in a way that is immodest, bordering on sacrilegious. The most blatant example of this is a woman who is trying to “keep up with the times” in terms of fashion (think short midrift tops), and exposes her garment underneath. There are innumerable examples of modern fashion that are designed to allow a subtle “flash of skin” – even without reaching, bending, or posing outside the range of normal movement. For an endowed saint, this becomes a not-so-subtle “flash of sacred emblem.”

    Another example is when an endowed member pulls, pins, or folds their garment to accomodate a particular worldly fashion, or even foregoes that “bothersome garment” all together. I see this occurring often with men who sometimes want to take their game “to the next level.”

    It’s not because I am religiously indignant – I am not their Bishop nor their judge in Israel. I just don’t like seeing underneath that which should be kept covered. Even if a woman is mindful of the constraints that her garments impose, and wears a top that offers a comfortable margin for the garment to remain covered under normal circumstances, if she leans far forward, another person (we’ve all been here, admit it) can see down her neck and cleavage, without even trying. I deal with this by trying to be a gentleman and look away, but the fact that it occurs – even WITH the garment – is disturbing.

    If a farmer tan is good for a brother, it ought to be good for a sister.

    Incidentally, Nate, you should clarify your term of service in the temple. Were you a volunteer worker called to assist with certain ordinances, or were you a full ordinance worker who rotated between different stations such as Baptistry, Initiatory, Endowment, etc.?

  14. I’ve got to stop wearing t-shirts then. Often it shifts one way and my garment top the other, and suddenly I’m revealing the neckline of my garment.

  15. Jim,
    Are you suggesting that its the garment’s fault that you can see down an endowed sister’s shirt? If she’s leaning over, the only way that is NOT going to happen is if she’s wearing a turtleneck. Besides, who said that part of the neck has to be covered anyway? That part of my garment is exposed EVERY DAY (I wear the crew-neck) and have been told by those selling me the garment that it’s okay for that to show.

    Also, why does Nate have to clarify what his term of service was in the temple? Do those full-timers have a deeper appreciation for the garment that volunteers can only aspire to?

  16. Some of you may be too young to remember the apocryphal tales of President Joseph Fielding Smith’s wife, Jesse Evans Smith, who would wear dresses that she would refer to as her “biblical dresses”–“lo and behold.”

  17. My wife has a shirt that follows the garment borders to the T, and although I enjoy it I consider it to be quite immodest by “temple standards”. It exposes a significant portion of the skin on her back, and her front. If modesty is the intent, shouldn’t a woman’s garment cover her front and back up to her neck?

    I wear tops that come up to the neck because I honestly think the “Celestial Smile” exposes too much of some men’s chests. IMHO I think “Celestial Smile” tops for men should be discontinued, based NOT on the risk of tempting the opposite sex, but in fact not repelling the opposite sex with the visual of Chewbacca-style fur protruding out of the top.

    That, and I abhor the tendency of some Latter-day Saints to make first impressions another not by their actions but by the view of the scoop neck that is almost always visible under the shirts of those who wear them.

  18. Jim: I was a regular ordinance worker and I officiated in every ordinance with the exception of sealings, which, of course, can only be performed by one who is set apart specifically as a sealer. My wife and I spent every Saturday in the Washington DC Temple for about a year and a half. This was back when the DC Temple operated around the clock on the weekends and my wife and I were on the graveyard shift.

  19. I’ve never been able to figure out how some LDS folks develop the uncanny instinctive ability to recognize whether a person is wearing garments or not. It simply never occurs to me to check.

  20. A friend of mine used to wrap tape around his thighs when he was a freshman at BYU. He claimed he couldn’t get a date unless he could pass for an RM, so he counterfeited a garment line on his leg.

  21. For the record: I consider discussion (even flippant discussion) of the clothing that can or cannot be worn with the garmet to be entirely appropriate. When we begin discussing the garmet itself, I hope that people will be more tactful.

  22. Just go to the gym with your wife Nate and buy her some sexy workout clothing… (grin) It’s the one place where one need not wear garments nor follow its fashion dictates.

    Although here in Provo I do occassionally notice people wearing garments in the gym – although I always wondered about the comfort of mesh garments with a workout. Everytime I forget to change from my garments into either “tidy whities” or a jock strap I am very uncomfortable and often chaff.

  23. It’s also an open question whether ballroom dance constitutes a “gym activity.” As I recall back in the 90’s most of the outfits my friends who were dancers wore were definitely not garment friendly. Of course one could always wonder whether all this is simply trying to find a way out of wearing ones garments.

  24. My wife tells me that when she first went to the Temple she was told that the garment had to be next to the skin before the bra, hence the travesty that is Mormon lingerie. Then a friend told me that she was told that this was no longer the case. Please tell me this is the case (but I suspect wishful thinking).

  25. Ronan — I think that everyone is told something different. Every few months there is a thread on the iVillage “LDS Parenting” bulletin board about this and the women posting there are shocked to find out, by comparing information, that they were each given different advice by temple matrons that they had been following as gospel truth for their whole lives. I was told nothing, so just did what I’d seen my mother do. Thankfully I don’t wear garments anymore. The bra and the garment top are an unholy combination.

  26. Ah, what a scintillating discussion.

    I still remember our branch president coming into presidency meeting in Chicago during the 79-80 school year and announcing that we could henceforth “get a suntan and be half righteous.” If that day hadn’t come, the discussion here would be a lot different.

    But, to get back to Nate’s starting point:

    Some of us find shoulders and backs an extremely alluring part of a woman. I don’t know that I’d want my daughters causing that kind of thoughts in young men. Of course, my lovely daughters could wear a deep sea diver suit and still start a young man’s heart racing.

  27. Up here in Alaska my wife and I have found the original one piece garment to be the spiritual wear of choice. The advantages of this style of garment is immense during the winter months especially. The reduction of drafts from the two piece varietal is quite significant during long soujourns in the outdoors. I sometimes wish we could get a longer sleave version but make up for it in layered wear. Now I must admit there are disadvantages when needing to relieve oneself in a hurry but the overall advantage of warmth makes up for that loss. We each have a two piece set for summer but still have found that the advantage of less creep is a nice option. It is also nice to not have two worry about two pieces when washing cloths in the streams. Up here in the north I have never felt my wife unattractive in her wear, function is way more important and our compassion and desire has never waivered.

  28. Perhaps the answer is a built-in bra in garments, like a camisole. Or maybe that would cause more problems than it would solve. Perhaps it’s time to revive the 70’s with some bra-burning parties. There’s more than one way to avoid that unholy combination, Wendy.

  29. clark: “tidy whities”

    I’m sure yours are quite neat and tidy, Clark, but the term is “tighty,” not “tidy,” thus distinguishing them from boxer shorts.

    I like shoulders and backs, especially Sumer’s befreckled wonderparts. It’s too bad that we are so consumed by archaic notions of chastity that such unmentionables are verboten. If Kingsley were here he would doubtlessly make some comment about how the mere mention of women’s shoulders is a sin unto the Lord. In his absence, allow me: what kind of jelly-crotched people are we when women have to dress like they’re from the Victorian Era in the name of respecting their temple covenants? We should grow up and let women dress as they see fit, so long as they can remember and keep the essential covenants of the garment.

  30. Kaimi: I did not sunburn my shoulders I bubbled them. In fact we counted 7 layers of skin that peeled off. I also wore those tank tops for two weeks. Secondly, this is a good suggestion for getting skin cancer, but not to avoid wearing garments.

  31. Nate, back when you were working the graveyard shift at the D.C. temple–did you ever know Matt Fairholm? He’s an old friend of mine (and Glen Henshaw’s too, for that matter), and he often worked overnight as an officiator. I don’t remember when they stopped the 24-hour temple experiment, but it was interesting while it lasted.

  32. Steve – once again my naivete appears. (grin)

    BTW – thermal one piece garments are great for skiing. My dad had an old school one piece garment from when he first got his endowments I used to wear skiing. Unfortunately while I commend the brethren for all the styles they have now, most of the thermal garments are still somewhat lacking. I’d hate them were I a woman since they seem to insist on putting lace on them. (Unless a new style has come out I’m unaware of)

  33. “She never wore anything immodest, but she did wear things that are no longer practical with garments.”

    Nate, I am the only one who’s going to give you a hard time for the way you used “immodest”? “Never” is a bold statement, care to expound on the specifics of your measuring system? You’ve alluded to the idea that tank tops and shoulder showing aren’t immodest… How did you come to this conclusion? I agree with you that clothing doesn’t have to be immodest to no longer be practical with garments, but I’m still curious to find out what your predefined definition of immodesty is. I, for one, still don’t know exactly what it means in relation to clothing styles… Although I love seeing my wife in various outfits that may or may not be modest/immodest depending again on what that means.

  34. Actually I should agree with David. I think one can look very sexy and very attractive in clothing one can wear with garments. At the same time I confess a certain weakness for women in fashion incompatible with garments. I have bought my wife many presents from Victoria’s Secret.

  35. Clark,

    David’s comment seemed to have nothing to do with the clothing worn over the garments. (Joking!)

  36. Larry: Unless you are married how do you know. And the use of the plural… ???

    My use of a plural, generic third person indicator (i.e., “chicks look great in garments”) serves two purposes. First, it creates more stirring imagery. Second, it saves me from having to say something embarrassingly personal about my wife and her underwear.

  37. I don’t care to show my arms or shoulders because they’re just not my best feature, although I don’t see anything wrong with it. I think women can look really classy and modest in the right sleeveless clothes, with the right arms and shoulders. Not me. My clavicles are nice though.

    Frankly I’m a little creeped out by men who get all outraged because they were forced to get a glimpse of clavicle, shoulder, ankle or (gasp) cleavage (my ankles and cleavage are nice too, in case you were wondering). Women don’t get outraged when (gasp) man-hair pops up above the collar or at a bit of crack attack.

    Please, your thoughts are your problem and not the fault of my lovely clavicles.

    What I really want it is a built-in-bra nursing top. The system they have now is not so great and I’m constantly untucked and lumpy and frumpy. And if the bra was built in, with just one hook, just one layer to fight my way through. Brilliant. And if it had just a bit of padding to absorb extra milk before I get those little circles on my shirt. More Brilliant. Anyway, after nursing for three years and three babies I’m telling you this is a really brilliant idea. Did I say brilliant?

  38. Exposed shoulders & clavicles, Chieko’s Secret, Mardell – tanktops – look-eng goood!, marital dynamics among the Omans, garment tops indiscretely on display under T-shirts, a new, suggestive meaning to “ lo & behold,â€? “Celestial Smileâ€? & Chewbacca-style fur, chaffing – Eeew!, bra & garment – insiders vs. outsiders?, alluring female shoulders & backs, young ladies in deep sea diver suits look-eng goood!, bra-burning party revivals, more shoulders & backs & “befreckled wonderparts,â€? chicks in garments look-eng gooood!, Victoria Secret contraband in the Mormon marital bedroom, & finally a brilliant built-in-bra nursing top. Really, haven’t we milked this for all it’s worth?

    (Reaching for my Victorian fan & fanning wildly) “Mercy me, I shant sleep tonight!�

  39. Lisa: Please, your thoughts are your problem and not the fault of my lovely clavicles.

    For my part, I had to go running to the dictionary to find out what clavicles were. I’d gathered from the context that they were not the instrument used by gynecologists, and I was all excited at the imagined prospects of chicks showing their clavicles.

    Imagine my disappointment when I discovered they were merely the collarbones.

  40. I’ve always wondered if there was something in our doctrine or theology that prevents Beehive Clothing from coming out with something in, say, a leopard skin print.

  41. “I see this occurring often with men who sometimes want to take their game “to the next level.â€?”

    What the..?

  42. “Women don’t get outraged when (gasp) man-hair pops up above the collar or at a bit of crack attack.”

    While I can’t speak for the man-hair, outrage is evoked on seeing a plumber in training. Come on. Does anyone really want that view?

  43. I’m still trying to figure out why I find this thread so creepy. (It’s not merely the fact that so many men agree without any apparent irony that women’s underwear should be designed for *their* comfort–I’ve known that for ages.)

    Meanwhile, a question: while it’s indubitably in bad taste blatantly to expose one’s garments beneath clothing, is it really a violation of any sort? When I was a missionary, my garments were almost always laundered by my nonmember landladies, who would dry them on lines strung out her windows for the whole town to inspect. This laundry arrangement was at the specific instruction of our mission president. As far as I understand, there is no obligation to keep the symbols on the garment secret. Am I wrong?

  44. Fun Fact…

    Garments do NOT come in Olive Drab. They come in Army Brown, much to the consternation of endowed LDS Marines and Fleet-Marine-Force Sailors everywhere. (The Marines wear olive green tees.)

    If you want OD garment tops, you have to purchase the green tees, and send them to Utah to have the symbols sewn in.

    More than once, I wondered if we couldn’t do that amount of stitching ourselves?

  45. Rosalynde Welch: I’m still trying to figure out why I find this thread so creepy.

    This is usually the kind of discussion (albeit vastly toned down) that guys would carry on in the locker room or over a lunch with their guy friends. Perhaps its a combination of two things. First, the cavelier attitude that guys can display about these kinds of things (chicks’ underwear, chicks’ clavicles, and the like) when their wives aren’t close at hand. Second, there may be a bit of voyeuristic facination on your part (if you’ll forgive me for practicing cocktail party psychology).

  46. Rosalynde, I had no idea that was ordered by the president. I loved it though. Not sure if you ever served in Porto, but man, Irma Freitas’ austerely ironed garment tops and fastidiously darned socks were wonderful. Wish I still had her around.

    So here’s my thought: There is one instance in which exhibiting garments under clothing is perfectly appropriate, and done all the time: For men at least, when the top is a normal t-shirt neck, it’s often worn beneath, say, a button-down shirt, leaving the neck exposed, and employing the garment as an a visible undershirt. We all agree that’s appropriate exposure, don’t we?

    Well then if that’s appropriate, why would it be unappropriate to let, say, the bottom inch of the garment top hang out below one’s t-shirt? Is there something more sacred about the bottom cuff of the top than the top neck-part? Or how about the bottom inch of the bottoms hanging below the shorts? To my knowledge, these are verboten, but I’m not sure why, given the totally acceptable exposure at the neck. Hints?

  47. I’m not sure why those are supposedly bad, Ryan. I do know those things you describe have to be some of the ugliest things I’ve ever seen, though. That’s why I avoid it.

  48. Ryan Bell: For men at least, when the top is a normal t-shirt neck, it’s often worn beneath, say, a button-down shirt, leaving the neck exposed, and employing the garment as an a visible undershirt. We all agree that’s appropriate exposure, don’t we?

    I believe that the chick’s garments used to have a collar (called the Yoke of the Priesthood, if I’m not mistaken). From what I understand, chicks used to wear this outside their clothing as a status symbol indicating that they’d been endowed (so it didn’t start with the seam visible on the guys’ lower thigh.)

  49. DKL,

    As an aside, I have to say that I find the value of your comments to be unnecessarily lowered by your regular usage of the term “chicks.” (I’ve been biting my tongue for a while on this complaint, and I’ll try not to make this comment into a rant). My own negative reaction is probably caused by two separate reasons. First, “chicks” is a term which some women find offensive, and one that I generally don’t use myself. Second, even absent the offensive possibility, it’s also a very colloquial term. The analog for males (putting aside the first objection to focus solely on the second) is probably “dudes.” The mix of very colloquial language with any amount of substantive content can (unless done by a very good stylist) sound very strange:

    “Jim Faulconer teaches philosophy. Each semester, there are a number of chicks and dudes in his class. He teaches about Heidegger, Derrida, and other important dudes. Some of these dudes explain how we can examine the theoretical ideas of ‘subject’ and ‘object.’ The chicks and dudes in Jim’s class learn about that distinction . . .”

    Anyway, I’ve already spent too much time on a relatively unimportant stylistic quibble, but I really do think that, if you want your comments taken seriously — and if not, why make them? — then you should confine your use of “chicks” to the description of juvenile fowls.

  50. I asked about Nate’s specific role at the Temple only for my own curiosity. A given role does not offer any extra credentials or strength of testimony.

    As an aside, there is a difference in the manner in which different roles are recruited/filled at the Temple. Some positions (e.g. cafeteria worker) are basically voluteer positions. Nate’s calling however, probably came about because he was confidentially nominated by his Bishop/Stake President according to a specific list of qualifications and then called by the Temple Presidency.

    What I was referring to when I said “I see this occurring often with men who sometimes want to take their game to the next level” is to some men who play church sports and are preoccupied with being competitive to the extent that they remove their garments – even to play in the Stake Center. This is inappropriate. There is a huge, clearly recognizable difference between church basketball on Wednesday night, and Steve Young playing for the 49’ers. Coming from a very sports-oriented ward, we have had questions about this in the past.

    A woman exposing her neck is not immodest. However, I do believe that carelessly (or perhaps, flirtatiously) exposing her chest, breasts, etc. when leaning forward is immodest, and such a woman should be more careful. I’m not saying it is necessarily a sin, but depending on intent, it could be. If a woman accidentally leans forward and I happen to be standing there, and she suddenly realizes what has happened because I reacted startled and turned away, (which is exactly what happened in one particular circumstance) then it was only an innocent mistake, and any embarrassment is quickly forgotten.

    I do not feel outraged at incidents when I accidentally see something of a woman that I ordinarily would not. But I do feel uncomfortable, because such incidents are out of place and suggest an invasion of the intimacy that a man/woman should have only with their spouse.

    Believe me, I appreciate the beauty of the human form – both female and male. I do not believe that nudity is automatically sinful. For example, I do not believe that classical sculptures should be draped (think Rodin at BYU several years ago). My thoughts are my own responsibility, and if an attractive and beautiful woman catches my eye, in any state of dress, it is my own problem if my thoughts wander.

    But, if an endowed woman is careless about her modesty, that is her problem. As saints, we can not expect to follow the arbitrary styles of fashion from one season to the next. To paraphrase Elder Hafen, an endowed man or woman can not keep one hand on the walls of the Temple, while touching the unclean things of the world with the other. It is not how viewing a woman’s breasts may affect others that is the problem, but the fact of her publicly flouting her sacred covenants that is the problem.

    It is the same as if I were to see an endowed man or woman smoking. It is not outrage or religious indignation (well, maybe a little) – it is sorrow. Maybe even a sense of pity for a person who at least once in his/her life qualified to enter the Temple, and be endowed with Power from on High, who evidentally now places worldly fashions, “fitting in”, or “being cool” at a higher priority than these sacred covenants.

    Occassionally, especially when teaching youth about modesty, young women have been motivated to be modest in their dress because of the effect that short skirts, sun dresses, spaghetti strap tops, etc. might have on the men. I have heard arguments of this type being offered to justify our “strict” (by the world’s standards) standards even from GAs. I like to believe that they were just not careful when preparing their talks, because using the collateral effect on men as a justification is inappropriate. A man’s purity and virtue is NOT the responsibility of young women. A worthy Priesthood holder should be able to maintain his sense of purity and virtue as easily in Sacrament Meeting as at the beach in the south of France.

    I hope I have conveyed my feeling that a woman does not need to dress like a Victorian or a Pilgram (both sorry examples of societies that took certain values to an extreme) to be modest, but that in all cases, men and women should take into account considerations of modesty (according to Temple covenants first) and worldly fashions a distant second.

  51. Um, Jim, when I was endowed, I was specifically instructed that it was fine to remove the garment for playing sports. I think you’re being more Catholic than the Pope on this one.

  52. “some men who play church sports and are preoccupied with being competitive to the extent that they remove their garments – even to play in the Stake Center. This is inappropriate.”

    Jim, are you saying that we should never remove our garments for sporting activities? I was given the exact opposite direction when I went through the the temple for the first time. Also, I haven’t seen this as a function of people being too competitive- only of wearing appropriate clothing for the activity. I personally find it strange when someone wears their garments at the gym, playing basketball, etc.

  53. Kristine,

    We have already seen from earlier posts how many people receive different instructions when being endowed.

    I may have been to severe when saying it is inappropriate, implying that it is inappropriate all the time. Clearly, Steve Young was well within his rights when playing for the 49’ers, or for that matter, virtually any BYU athelete who has been endowed.

  54. Then why not guys playing basketball? There’s really not a chance of playing, even in the currently fashionable long, baggy shorts, without exposing one’s garments. Why shouldn’t everyone wear the appropriate clothes for athletics, if it’s OK for the BYU football team?

  55. Official instructions in the Handbook say that it is not appropriate to remove the garment for lounging around the house or doing yard work. No mention is made for playing sports. However, I can see a clear distinction between playing sports at a level where the length of one’s hemline could be a factor in the outcome, and a fun, pick-up type game at church.

    I probably should not have mentioned it at all, but in my original post, I wanted to include some example of men altering the garment to fit a certain fashion, as well as the given example for women. The example of men’s basketball at church came to mind because we have brethren who take it way too seriously (IMO).

    Please understand, we have a VERY competitive group of brethren that form the core of a VERY sports-oriented ward.

    Personally, I don’t think any Church-sponsored ballgame warrants the level of competitiveness that we have seen, but I may be in the minority.

  56. Kaimi: As an aside, I have to say that I find the value of your comments to be unnecessarily lowered by your regular usage of the term “chicks.” (I’ve been biting my tongue for a while on this complaint, and I’ll try not to make this comment into a rant)…I really do think that, if you want your comments taken seriously – and if not, why make them?

    With all due respect, Kaimi, perhaps you are mistaken to assume that you should take what I have to say seriously in the first place?

    At any rate, if you insist on refusing to take my comments seriously, please at least take them in good humor. Read, enjoy, laugh sometimes, and try not to bite your tongue too hard.

    Kaimi: The analog for males… is probably “dudes.”

    Earth to Kaimi: dude is totally 70s. The 21st century counterpart for chick is guy.


    “Jim Faulconer teaches philosophy. Each semester, there are a number of chicks and dudes in his class. He teaches about Heidegger, Derrida, and other important dudes. Some of these dudes explain how we can examine the theoretical ideas of ’subject’ and ‘object.’ The chicks and dudes in Jim’s class learn about that distinction…”

    This is actually kind of funny.

  57. The reason for sports is the umm…chaffing element that evoked an “eeew” when I last brought it up. There are very practical reasons for not wearing garments when doing sports – especially mesh or cotton garments. The church does have some light thermal garments which I believe are just standard liners bought from one of the major outdoor producers, but with the symbols sewn on. However they don’t have midweight, only lightweight ones.

    I was actually told by a Stake President here that for such matters one could simply buy the better ones and sew them on yourself. However I suspect that was hardly church doctrine. And policy on garment matters seems to change regularly – not including all the folk tales about garments. (I was told that it was immoral to use bleach on them or to wash them with my regular whites – clearly a confused doctrine arising out of washing instructions on the labels)

    David, Dude! Duuude. Like Dude is totally gnarly surf talk. Seventies? Duuuude. Did you see Bill and Ted back in the 90’s?

  58. >And she looked fabulous

    In the purest sense, the gospel is all about removing focus from yourself.

    Looking fabulous might be fun, however, it draws attention to you and the purest sense of humility and piety in public is to deflect attention from self and focus on the betterment of people as a whole through service.

    Your wife’s shoulders and clavicles can be exposed to you, her husband, anytime privately. That is something to cherish and it’s between you. Consider this, women, even garment wearing women, expose a lot more of their bods now than they did 100 years ago let alone 200.

    That doesn’t mean that we need to all run around in burqas but it does mean that eventually in the non-lds world, the only intimate thing to be revealed to a lover will be about 10 square inches of bod, if that. Everything else will eventually be shown on tv or even playgrounds (and I wish that was just hyperbole but it isn’t).

    I had a roommate who had a penchant for short shorts. She said that her mom told her to “wear them while she could because when she got married those days were OVER”. What a warped message.

  59. Clark: David, Dude! Duuude. Like Dude is totally gnarly surf talk. Seventies? Duuuude. Did you see Bill and Ted back in the 90’s?

    I think the reason why the word dude could be used with humorous effect in Bill and Ted in the 90s because they were so misplaced for that timeframe.

    Of course, the counterpart of guy used to be doll (witness Damon Runyon, for example). But I reserve the term doll to refer to my wife.

  60. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were using terms like Dude, Gnarly and Tubular in the 90s.

  61. David,

    Does your wife prefer “doll” to “chick”? Seems like being referred to as a stuffed and painted piece of cloth, plastic or porcelain that’s used as child’s plaything isn’t much better than being referred to as an immature barn-yard animal.

  62. The real problem, imo, is that there are not many afforadable garment-friendly yet stylish clothes for women in their 20s and 30s.

    If you want a dress that works well with garments you have to go to the frumpy section at JC Penneys or Sears (or — heaven forbid) Dress Barn. Career wear is a little easier — but can be pricey. Not everybody can afford J. Jill, Gap, etc.

    You go to the low/middle-end department stores and discount places (Target, etc.) — and the choices are either hoochy teenager or frumpy housewife — a glitter tank that says “princess” or a sweater with a dog on it.

    What’s up with that?

  63. Jim: You can’t be serious! It is inappropriate to take garments off while playing church sports but not while playing professional sports?! You have got to be kidding. This is a joke right…

    IMHO, the garment is an imperfect arbiter of modesty, but I can at least understand the logic of thinking of it that way. On the other hand, the idea that the garment should become an arbiter of sportsmanship, e.g. folks wouldn’t be so darn competitive if they didn’t take their garments off, is well…bizarre…

  64. Melissa: Does your wife prefer “doll” to “chick”? Seems like being referred to as a stuffed and painted piece of cloth, plastic or porcelain that’s used as child’s plaything isn’t much better than being referred to as an immature barn-yard animal.

    Part of me thinks that’s her business, Melissa. The other part of me wants to invite you to talk directly to her about it. If you are really interested (as opposed to just making a snyde remark) you can reach her by email at slandrith at mac dot com.

  65. yeah, well…

    “My Only Real Regret” is mentioning the sports connection in a post without thinking it through all the way.

    But, actually, now that you mention it… yes, there is a clear and obvious distinction between professional sports and church sports… if you can’t see that, then I fear for your health.

    And, no, the garment is not an arbitor of sportmanship. But given the fact that one’s best judgment should be used when determining when to remove the garment, and given the guidelines in the handbook (e.g. yard work) it would be my judgment that keeping the garment on during a church basketball game is the best course of action.

    That is, unless the “eeew” factor comes into play, in which case it is probably better to reverence the garment by taking it off. But, if you are the only person suffering from the “eeew” factor, then you are either A) taking the game to seriously, or B) you are hopelessly out of shape and/or pathetically fat.

    And, yes, I do believe that brethren wearing the garment could be inspired to play with more sportsmanship, and that the symbolism of taking it off in order to be more competitive in a church game could imply that it is OK to “lay it all on the court”. What the ref doesn’t call isn’t a foul, right?

    And finally, (to avoid anyone taking something else I’ve said out of context), I am not saying that competitiveness is always bad – even in the Stake Center. However, level of competitiveness is a continuum. Gary Crowton probably could have found many ways to increase the sense of competitiveness in his team. But, there is a difference between college football and weeknight recreation, just as there is a difference between college sports and professional sports.

  66. After reviewing some of the other recent comments, I just want to quickly say that I appreciate having a few more comments from women, and that I heartily agree with Renee and Melissa’s posts.

    I think Renee has stated very well what I have tried to say, and I think that Melissa is entirely within her rights to wonder how some women feel about being referred to as “chicks” or “dolls”. I’m certain that these terms are usually used out of ignorance, and without any intent to offend, but it does not change the fact that they are diminutive and derogatory. Young women should be encouraged to dress according to garment guidelines in preparation for their endowment, and not encouraged to “live life while you can.”

    And, who cares if there aren’t any stylish clothes at Target? I suppose I would if I was desperate to stay with the fashion times, gain the approval of strangers, prop up a faltering ego, or hide my association with the Gospel.

    What is it the Lord said about those who are ashamed of Him and His words?

  67. What makes the garment The Garment? In ye olden days, did not the pioneers sew their own (long-sleeved, long-legged) garments with the appropriate tokens? Is it no longer proper for an endowed, temple-worthy individual to do this? — or they can only be bought, anymore? As far as I know, prepackaged garments are not blessed, sanctified, consecrated, or set apart at the garment factory, and they are made of ordinary terrestrial cotton (or polyester). One can be modest or immodest, chaste or unchaste, worthy or unworthy, with or without wearing the standard garment. Is not the intent and worthiness of the wearer more important than the construction of the article of clothing?

  68. Regarding terms like doll, chick and so forth, I think that they can be said with irony and love. What ought to matter is how it is taken. I call my wife babe all the time. Doesn’t mean I’m objectifying her like a stripper or something.

    David, I have to confess, having reached 18 in the late 80’s, that dude and other such surfer talk really was the fad at the time and that it lasted well into the mid 90’s. What was funny about Bill and Ted was how ubiquitous they were. You still hear dude quite regularly among boarders and the like on the slopes. Not as much as when I was a kid, and without a lot of the accessory surfer talk like “gnarly” but it is still there. Interestingly metaphors from the drug world are still ever popular. i.e. when I was younger terms like “stoked” and so forth were popular — most of us didn’t even know what their context was. Of course their application to drug use was metaphoric as well.

    But all that is me grabbing the thread and going off on a tangent.

    Jim, I don’t quite see why you think wearing garments during athletics is only for professionals. (Do collegiate athletes count as professionals?) The only comment by the brethren I’ve heard on this is that on my mission, when most of us took off our garments on P-day for athletics, were told not to wander around without them. i.e. only take them off at the church. We then, for a short time, were told to wear them all the time. But I think this was more because we were missionaries than anything else and because too many elders were making 7-11 or fast food runs without their garments.

    At BYU while there certainly are some people who work out in garments, they are the very small minority. At the gyms I go to now here in Provo, I honestly can’t recall the last time I saw someone in garments. (And I was just there 20 minutes ago)

    As for chaffing only being for fat people. I fully confess to having gotten fat the last year and a half of marriage. (Thus the gifts from Santa that will hopefully help relieve this) However prior to that while I was in great shape, I felt exactly the same way. After stair climbing even 15 minutes in mesh garments I’m extremely uncomfortable, the sweat isn’t swicking away, and I don’t have proper support. I also chaff on my legs and arms. With cotton garments, while having more support, the cotton being that close to the body also causes all sorts of problems and is uncomfortable. (I’m still amazed at being able to have worn them with all the biking I did on my mission in Louisiana — but even then they were amazingly uncomfortable while biking in the heat)

    While doing sports, rather than just working out, I can only speak to the sports I do. For skiing I typically wore garments over top of thermal underware that wicked the sweat away. Same with mountaineering. For climbing I’d occasionally wear my garments, but as often as not did not. Mesh garments in particular cause interesting problems after a while where the harness grabs. (I’ll not be more specific to avoid the eew factor)

  69. “And, who cares if there aren’t any stylish clothes at Target? I suppose I would if I was desperate to stay with the fashion times, gain the approval of strangers, prop up a faltering ego, or hide my association with the Gospel.”


    It’s not solely a question of style — it’s a question of clothes that have a tailored look, are of decent quality, professional in appearance, and are affordable — AND — work with the garment. If anything, the problem is that too much of the clothes out there are ‘fashionable.’

    It’s finding the plain yet un-frumpy, classic stuff that’s difficult for women, in my experience. My wife wants clothes like that (and so do I, for that matter) exactly so she can not hide her association with the gospel or win the approval of strangers, etc.

    It’s not clear to me the problem you see with wanting clothes that are fit well, work with the garments [i.e. are modest], and are of decent quality, but aren’t like what 50-year-old grandmothers wear.

    Have you been shopping for dresses lately?

  70. Jim, *please* don’t answer William’s question–there’s already far too much personal information being shared in this thread!


  71. Clark: David, I have to confess, having reached 18 in the late 80’s, that dude and other such surfer talk really was the fad at the time and that it lasted well into the mid 90’s

    Fair enough. I’ll gladly concede your point. I’ve erred in my dude chronology.

  72. Good points, all. I think (hope) we are reaching an understanding.

    The example with missionaries is a good one. In my mission, playing basketball at the church was not an option. Appropriate P-day activities, as defined by the mission president, probably falls under the same purview as choosing appropriate instances to remove the garment – that is, using our best judgment and as guided by the Spirit.

    Incidentally, I was just informed by a co-worker that Danny Ainge wore his garments during games, including during his professional years. Consider that tidbit unverified as of yet…

    So, my personal judgment would be to keep them on, up to the point where the “eeew” factor becomes a problem. For the brethren in my ward who lose focus of the purpose of church sports (e.g. wholesome recreation, opportunity to fellowship) in favor of winning at all costs, I still think that reminding them of their Temple covenants is one way to respond to the problem. I will not consider it heresy on their part if they choose to remove them during a game.

    The way I look at it, though, removing the garment for a game – like it was for clark on his mission – could turn into a slippery slope. Personally, I want to stay as far from that edge as possible.

    The Handbook says that members can sew their own Temple clothing – meaning ordinance clothing – and in fact, a pamphlet is available from the Church via the Stake RS President to help members do just that, but this option is NOT available for the garment. The only authorized garment is from the Church, and members should not attempt to make their own.

    The garment should be worn next to the skin. There should not be any clothing under the garment, the only exceptions being for women who are nursing or for injuries (as in burn victims).

    To quote the handbook (and, perhaps, throw fuel on the fire… who knows…)

    “Endowed members should wear the temple garment both day and night. They should not remove it, either entirely or partially, to work in the yard or for other activities that can reasonably be done with the garment worn properly beneath the clothing. Nor should they remove it to lounge around the home in swimwear or immodest clothing. When they must remove the garment, such as for swimming, they should put it back on as soon as possible.

    Members should not adjust the garment or wear it contrary to instructions in order to accommodate different styles of clothing. When two-piece garments are used, both pieces should always be worn.

    The garment is sacred and should be treated with respect at all times. Members should keep their garments clean and mended. They should not alter the garment from its authorized design. Nor should they display it or expose it to the view of those who do not understand its significance.

    Members should be guided by these principles and the Holy Spirit to answer for themselves personal questions about wearing and caring for the garment.”

    (page 69 of Book One)

  73. Dude, who cares what the Handbook says. It’s not a document most of us have access to, and its counsel is vague at best for the circumstances you’re describing. The handbook fails to describe the complex realities of practical use, at least as you are using it piecemeal. Its validity as a source of authoritative doctrinal material is questionable.

    In terms of wearing garments next to the skin, there’s a well-established bra exception, explored ad nauseum above.

    As for Danny Ainge, your faith-promoting rumor is total bullsh**. I was with Danny Ainge last night and while I didn’t feel his leg to verify his worthiness, I can tell you that during the games he was not sporting Gs.

    Finally, your slippery slope argument is untenable. No evidence suggests that not wearing garments during sports or other activities where their presence isn’t possible results in some trend to eschew garments in other circumstances. Granted, if that’s the way you feel about it, then by all means you should keep those garments on all the time lest ye stumble. But the Church has been providing consistent counsel for garment use with practical exceptions for years, without much trouble.

    On this one point we can agree — we should use our best judgment and follow the Spirit.

  74. I remember for years when I was growing up that my Mom was encouraging me to wear undershirts, which I refused to do. I always had unopened packets of undershirts in my drawers as I had no interest in wearing them at all. In retrospect I realize she was trying to train me so that I’d be comfortable wearing temple garments later in life. She must have worried my dislike of undershirts would translate into a refusal to wear the temple garment — a problem that never arose as I was eager to take on the temple covenants.

    During my last temple recommend interview, particular emphasis was placed on the importance of the temple garment and a pretty decent portion of the guidelines quoted by J. Richens were read aloud to me during the interview. I get the impression that the leadership of the Church (at least in this case) is very concerned about how these garments are worn. Perhaps I should give this more consideration but I’ve never had any inclination to alter the garments, to sew my own clothes, etc. It seems quite odd to me that anyone would go to those kind of efforts.

  75. This is not intended as a threadjack. Just as an idea. Feel free to ignore it.

    Perhaps there ought to be a post about bleeped out profanity, asterisks (as in bullsh** and F***), and acronyms (as in WTF) and how they are used in the bloggernacle. I don’t normally care about profanity much as I’ve heard tons of it my whole life (not in my home … just in school, work, popular music, etc.). And I myself will casually toss out a hell and a damn and when especially provoked, I’ve said worse. I swear I am not a prude. But it just seems like a topic that ought to be discussed.

  76. Dude…

    The Handbook is what gives specific instructions to leaders on how to manage their congregations. As a lesser judge in Israel over my own small corner of the vineyard, it matters to me very much what it says. The realities of practical use seem to become complex only to those who are searching for loopholes. And, as you said, the Church has been providing consistent counsel for years… via the Handbook.

    The rumor about Danny Ainge was qualified in my post as exactly that – an unverified rumor, but offered as an interesting tidbit. It was not, in any way whatsoever, offered as “faith-promoting.” If anything, it was contrary evidence to my claim that the garment should be removed in situations where the “eeew” factor becomes overwhelming – certainly a professional basketball game applies.

    There is no bra exception that I am aware of, and I certainly don’t feel that it was explored ad nauseum above – it was mentioned with regard to this context at most twice. I did not mention anything about bras in my latest post, but I did offer what was said hoping it would be helpful for anyone who wears thermals under their garments.

    The slippery slope evidence was stated clearly by clark’s post – which I referenced – which indicated that a garment policy changed during his mission specifically because of a slippery slope problem (elders running over to 7-11).

    And, finally, if the best counter-argument you can come up with is to call something “bullsh**”, and then make a tenuous claim that you were “with Danny Ainge” last night, then I suggest you take a few extra minutes to collect your thoughts before committing them to the blogosphere.

  77. Jim,

    If Steve took a few minutes to collect his thoughts before committing them to the blogosphere, there would _be_ no “By Common Consent” blog. . .

  78. FYI, my very modesty-conscious parents were fine with me wearing tank tops (not spagehtti straps) back in my younger days too. Now, however, in the updated “For the Strength of Youth” pamplet it says, “Young women should wear clothing that covers the shoulder…

  79. Gosh thanks for the advice Jim.

    1. As a lesser judge, you should keep in mind what greater judges have said concerning the handbook — that it is not a source of doctrine and that it is provided as counsel. Your reliance on the Handbook — and your (permitted?) copying of its content and use in your post — suggest that you really, really, really like it. Perhaps you should consider more than just the handbook in your lesser judging.

    2. If you’re not aware of any bra exception — ask around. Talk to your local temple president. Talk to your wife, perhaps. That should provide you with the information you lack. Your advice for those who would consider thermals under their garments was, however, valuable.

    3. I can in fact come up with better counterarguments for you. I’m grateful that Ryan could provide photographic proof to help you reconsider your rumor. Regarding my “tenous” claim — are you doubting my word? Thanks, lesser judge. I was in fact at a function last night with Danny Ainge, Jim McMahon, Steve Young, BYU President Samuelson and others last night. I didn’t bring up your crazy, ultra-conservative and paranoid reliance on the Handbook, but I will next time we all get together.

    As for taking some time to collect my thoughts, I once again thank you, Mr. Pot, for calling my kettle black. Adam and countless others have already tried to get me to think before I write, and unfortunately you stand less of a chance in convincing me than even Mr. Greenwood.

  80. Jim, I’m not sure if you were referring to me or not, but just in case I’ll answer. I don’t think it’s a bad thing all. I just cited that quote to show that even though some may not consider showing shoulders innapropriate, we do have current counsel asking us not to which those of us without children in the young mens’ or young women’s programs may be unaware of.

  81. Jim — There are plenty of innocuous shirts that do not completely cover the shoulder. Here is a quickly-Googled example:–pi-1450577.html

    I think it is an extreme Mormon position to believe that anything that wouldn’t completely cover a garment is immodest. I don’t remember every hearing un-endowed, single adults being counselled not to wear something that wouldn’t completely cover the garments.

    Re: the “bra exception” that you are hesitant to acknowledge, I am also familiar with a “menstruation exception” that many women take advantage of. Perhaps you dudes would add that to the “ewww” category.

  82. Kristine, LOL about clavicle implants, I must say I’ve examined my own after reading this discussion. Great, another body issue to feel inferior about. :)

  83. It bears mentioning that one can wear clothing that completely covers the garment that may still be considered immodest. I bought a nice t-shirt for my wife last summer. When she tried it on, it turned out to be extremely form-fitting, to the point where she felt uncomfortable wearing it (although I thought it looked great:) ).

  84. I note that ALL acronyms are banned on T&S (uh, except for that one). They give Kaimi Wenger the willies.

  85. Bryce, sometimes here at T&S there will be collateral damage.

    Steve, from now on WTF will be translated in my lexicon as “Wither the Fries”. Works for me. :)

  86. Steve: “I was in fact at a function last night with Danny Ainge, Jim McMahon, Steve Young, BYU President Samuelson and others last night.”

    Dude, you are such a Utah Mormon!

  87. Kristine, the section on Dress and Appearance is several paragraphs, but the paragraph which I quoted from reads:

    “Immodest clothing includes short shorts and skirts, tight clothing, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and other revealing attire. Young women should wear clothing that covers the shoulder and avoid clothing that is low-cut in the front or the back or revealing in any other manner. Young men should also maintain medesty in their appearance. All should avoid extremes in clothing, appearance, and hairstyle. Always be neat and clean and avoid being sloppy or inappropriately casual in dress, grooming, and manners.”

  88. Thanks, Andrea. I think the feminization of the virtue of modesty is a really interesting phenomenon. The application of the principle is clearly gendered, even when they’re trying to be evenhanded. Why should the instructions for girls be more specific than for the boys? Surely not because we think adolescent boys’ judgment is superior!

  89. LOL. My fries have withered before me and my fry sauce is blasted with the east wind.

    I concede my spelling left something to be desired. But it led to more comments. What greater benefit could there be?

  90. Just to clarify, the thermals next to the skin was for what I’d consider athletics. You wear thermals to wick water away from the skin to keep you warm, to prevent chaffing, and to prevent blisters. It really does make a very big difference especially in the winter.

  91. Can one of you guys tell me what is the pupose of the temple garments anyways?

    As an Evangelical the whole thing seems surreal to us. There is nothing in Evangelicalism that is any way similar.

  92. Uh oh. Ed Enochs is here and is asking us to return to serious thoughtful discussion.

    Between the foolishness we have already begun and the seriousness Mr. Enochs is commencing, this thread could reach 400+ comments. Beware.

  93. Ed, the simplest explanation of temple garments is to say that they represent certain covenants and promises mormons make in temples. We wear them the way ordained ministers in other religions would wear a collar or other religious garb, as a reminder of those promises. We just don’t publicly display them because the underlying covenants are considered sacred and not to be discussed in depth outside the temple.

  94. Kristine, I do think girls are often unfairly singled out. For instance in my last Stake, our young women were not allowed to wear shorts to mutual activities, but young men had no such restriction. However, given the differences between girls and boys it makes sense to me to have different guidelines for them.

  95. I’m not sure what motivates all of your sarcasm, Steve, but it surely doesn’t lend any clarity to what you are saying. In fact, other than your apparent revulsion for me personally, I’m not really sure what you are saying.

    I will clarify what I have tried to say in previous posts, however, and then wait again for any replies:

    The quote from the Handbook was given as FYI, not as doctrine, and since the scriptures don’t include any information on the garment, that was the most relevent, official instruction I could think of for wearing the garment – the topic of this post. I quoted it verbatim and in it’s entirety, from the section that is relevent. The first reason I did this is to answer an earlier question about making one’s own garments, but I hoped the rest of the info might be useful as well. And yes, it is appropriate for me to quote/copy from the Handbook.

    The most important part was the last paragraph, which I already know you agree with, which says that individuals should decide for themselves the answers to specific questions, based on the guidelines given and with the guidance of the Spirit.

    I have offered my own interpretation of these guidelines, which evidentally is so far removed from your own interpretation, that you seem to have been offended – at a minimum, I would say you are “highly motivated” by my posts.

    Since you have assumed that I do not know how my wife dresses herself, I will say that she does not follow any bra exception (although, now that you have mentioned it, Wendy, she does follow a menstruation exception).

    And, since you are concerned that I did not take you at your word when mentioning that you coincidentally were hanging out with a celebrity sports star the night before his name was mentioned as an aside in a random post on T&S, I apologize for using the word “tenuous” but, you didn’t offer any other specific information, so I hope you can see how easy it would be to misunderstand.

    Finally, I will have an opportunity to speak with the 1st Counselor at the Bountiful Temple (President Woolley) on Thursday, since I, like Bro. Oman has had in the past, have the privilege of working in the Temple, and he is the Counselor who is normally on duty during my shift. You can be rest assured that I will try to clarify the bra exception.

    …Although, I’m pretty sure that the answer I will get will be the same quote from the Handbook that I gave before.

    P.S. my “and that’s a bad thing” post was a joking reply to Kaimi, and not a comment to Andrea’s excellent point about the instructions in For The Strength of Youth.

  96. “given the differences between girls and boys it makes sense to me to have different guidelines for them.”

    I disagree. I think that having different guidelines perpetuates really unhealthy gender stereotypes–female bodies are dangerous potential sources of evil, boys can’t control themselves, girls are responsible for boys’ actions, girls’ looks are really important, etc.

  97. Surely garments are not the _only_ factor in dressing modestly. I don’t think anyone said they are. There are definitely things people with garments wear that are not modest. Someone also mentioned that clothes that wouldn’t cover a garment aren’t always immodest. That depends on what they are being compared too, doesn’t it? Would a sleeveless top be modest in 1900? If not then, why now?

    There’s been talk of being stylish. What bearing has this on modesty or relation to the gospel? “Blessed are the Gap wearers (of clothes made in Taiwan in bad factories) for they will be admired by other people?”

    1 : freedom from conceit or vanity
    2 : propriety in dress, speech, or conduct

    Concern for your clothes beyond them being clean and covering you sounds like vanity. Worrying about style sounds like conceit at worst and at best concern about the opinion of people. No doubt we’re all guilty of it to one degree or another but let’s just admit it.

    IMO, modesty as it relates to garments and to us as Christians is about something other than impressing ourselves or others.

    If one doesn’t agree, maybe they can go petition the Church to shorten garments again. Didn’t they used to go to ankles and wrists? How much more do you want?

  98. Thanks folks.

    In present day Evangelicalism, most pastors and ministers of the Gospel to not wear garments. The more liturgical churches such as Lutheranism and some other Protestant Denominations’ clergy where robes. But in general, Evangelical pastorsdo not wear robes in order to convey the principle that they are not to be exalted over the regular person in the church. Many Evangelicals view those ministers that wear robes and such external things as an unbiblical carry over from Roman Catholicism.

  99. I agree wholeheartedly with Kristine on the differences between genders. In fact, if you go ALLLLL the way back up to the top, my first post was talking specifically about the differences in modesty standards between genders.

    And then, I made the mistake of mentioning a specific and transitory concern we have in our ward about church sports which I didn’t think all the way through (Steve is right on that point, my pot is just as black as any kettle), throw in a few other interesting posts, and now here I am, completely removed from the intent of my original post.

    Thanks Andrea and Kristine for bringing me back.

  100. Ed Enochs,

    In reading your comment (thanks, btw) it occurred to me that it might be useful to say that the equalizing factor in Mormonism is that all endowed (and worthy) members of the Church are able to wear garments. This is true for men and women. Also, the fact that they are worn underneath clothing means that garment-wearing becomes a largely private expression of religious devotion and commitment to covenants. But I believe Steve Evans already said that in his reply to you earlier.

  101. The difference is that our garments aren’t usually visible and a great many of our members wear them.

  102. A data point on non-standard garments for warriors, or what my brother calls his “tactical celestial wear.” I think it’s correct that when a marine he had to send t-shirts to SLC to get them garmentified to work with the USMC uniform regulations. But now, as a policeman whose uniform requires a single black t-shirt under his uniform blouse, he has been instructed by the Church to dye his garment black to conform. Don’t try this at home.

  103. I think maybe the garment is more usefully compared to orthodox Jewish tefillin–it’s meant to be an omnipresent and basically private reminder of our covenants.

  104. With all of these new kind of fabrics that have been invented in the last couple of decades; like the fabric that wicks sweat away from your body. Why they still make garments out the the same thing they have been making them out of for the last couple of decades? I also wonder why they have not been able to figure out how to make the tops easy to wear with bras You know they make seamless bras why can they not make seamless g’s with extra room in them.

  105. That’s the Marines for ya. The Church sales Army garments that the Army will let you wear. No special shipments required.

  106. Danithew: Here’s another idea to get over your asterisk problem. Victor Borge had a bit about the pronunciation of punctuation, wherein he would make a different funny noise for each punctuation mark as he encountered it in reading a sentence. Track it down and commit it to memory. I’m not sure how an asterisk was pronounced.

    Try it out on this tidbit: Did you know that the typographical mark we call the asterisk can alternatively be referred to as a “nathan”? It’s true. It’s to honor our revolutionary forebear Nathan Hale, who famously said, “My only regret is that I have but one a** to risk for my country.”

  107. yeah Jim, I picked up on your joking reply. Perhaps you should e-dust your feet in BCC’s direction and hasten our (inevitable) downfall.

    It’s strange how you have me pegged, considering you know nothing about me. Let me try to clarify my post for you, or at least my motivations. Some of these are, as you surmised, personal revulsions:

    1. I don’t like the way that you quote (yes, inappropriately) the Handbook and use it, in this case, to suggest that absent professional sports, garments are always to be worn. That’s just not the case. As a general matter, I believe that throwing the Handbook around in discussions is in poor taste, because it is not a public document and its contents are not verifiable.

    2. I don’t like the way that you throw around minor callings and responsibilities as if they made some sort of authoritative difference: Nate’s temple experience? “Lesser judge”? Why mention these things, if not to try and impress? Perhaps you’d be curious to know about my temple callings and experience, so that you can know what weight to afford my post? You might be impressed!

    3. I don’t like how you’re dogmatically trying to tell other people how to wear their underwear. It’s bizarre how we’ve come to assume in our Church that there is a right and wrong way to wear underwear. It’s even more strange, in my mind, that a stranger in a stake presidency feels just fine asking about how I wear my underwear — when he should be more concerned with how I keep my covenants!


    4. I don’t like how you tragically misuse a contraction in the place of a possessive pronoun: it is in its entirety, not in it’s entirety. Cripes!

    Jim, we’re actually agreeing more than we’re disagreeing on this topic. But I think your approach in this matter is all wrong, and as you point out, it is fostering some genuine revulsion on my part. For the sake of all, I will put forth an effort to gain control of my anger.

  108. Kristine, I see your point, but I don’t agree. I invite anyone who is more your intellectual equal and also disagrees to jump in because I’m completely in over my head to try and aticulate why I disagree. Here’s my best shot:
    1. There are obvious physical differences that require a little different treatment. Females just have more areas to cover. I do agree that boys are often completely overlooked in being taught modesty though and think and as a parent I will encourage my sons to wear shirts, but when swimming they can expose their chests and my daughters just can’t.
    2. While I too want to be careful not to teach my sons that they are incapable of controlling their thoughts and completely at the mercy of whatever girls around them wear, males and females are different with different tendancies and temptations. Ultimately I think boys need to be responsible and accountable for their thoughts, but girls too need to share a little of that responsibility. In other words, I want my girls to be held accountable for what they wear and what thoughts they hope to provoke. Males are certainly capable to control their thoughts, but our girls should be helping, not hindering them. I hope my sons will choose to socialize with the girls who dress appropriately.
    3. I don’t want my girls to feel that their bodies are evil and need to be hidden in shame so as not to condemn every male they see to lustful thoughts. I want them to understand their bodies are beautiful and functional, but not to be used innapropriately to get attention.

  109. Mardell, an even better question: why don’t they make quality garments? I mean, the typical man’s top is shabby work compared to a Hanes t-shirt. I say we bring back the days of make-em-at-home and let me wear comfortable, quality clothing (for less!).

  110. Steve, Jim, and anyone else who wants to argue —

    Bear in mind our comment policies. Let’s have a nice, friendly discussion here. Don’t make me go tell Danny Ainge to hit you gentlemen over the head with a church handbook. Or dust off my boxing gloves and break a few clavicles.

  111. Kristine: It seems to me that the Church’s modesty instructions are primarily concerned with the social meaning attached to particular forms of dress. The basic idea is not, I think, that men are not responsible for what they do (although there may be some of that; I am frankly skeptical), but mainly that how one dresses says certain things and that there are certain things one ought not to say. It is more analogous to swearing, than say fornication. Having sat through numberless young men’s and priesthood meetings in my time, I have never heard anything that would suggest that men and boys are not completely responsible for all of their sexual acts. I have never heard in any church context any message with regard to male sexuality, other than the message that fornication and homosexual conduct is wrong, that women are to be treated with courtesy and respect, and that men are always responsible for the sexual choices that they make.

  112. “It’s even more strange, in my mind, that a stranger in a stake presidency feels just fine asking about how I wear my underwear – when he should be more concerned with how I keep my covenants!”

    Steve, one of the covenants that you make is to wear your “underwear” in a certain manner. As it happens, I think that the instructions given in the ordinances of the temple are quite vague and leave a great deal to our own personal judgment, but it is hardly a trivial matter and not one that is independent of the covenants that we make in the temple.

  113. Andrea, I don’t think we disagree that much, and I’m sure you’re not outmatched intellectually. Really.

    Of course girls have to cover their breasts, and boys can expose theirs for swimming and maybe shirts and skins basketball games. But the example you gave (and defended mildly, at least) was girls not being allowed to wear shorts, while the boys were. I can’t see how that is a defensible position. Similarly, I don’t see why girls need explicit instruction to cover their shoulders, why boys can be given the general instruction to “dress modestly.” We can teach our children of both sexes that their bodies are glorious and excellent creations, to be enjoyed and respected. I want my sons to understand that their bodies are “not to be used innapropriately to get attention,” just as I want my daughter to understand that. (And I have 3 dazzlingly handsome younger brothers, one of whom is especially vain, so I know all the boy tricks for getting attention).

  114. I particularly liked that rumor about Danny Ainge wearing garments while he played basketball. Anyone who knew Danny Ainge would instead have wondered if he wore them at all.

    I also like seeing Bro. McMahon’s name in the list with all those other guys who were at the Waldorf last night. Was he wearing his when he mooned the news helicopter?

    Finally, I find Jim’s (that’s Richins, not McMahon) comments puzzling. Having been in a position to counsel people about the wearing of the garment, and having taken it seriously, I can’t imagine giving this advice:

    If you’re breaking the sabbath by playing professional football on Sunday, it’s ok to play without your garments since that’s your job.

    But, if you’re playing church ball on Wednesday nights, and getting your fat carcase of the couch for a few hours’ exercise, you should wear the garments while playing, even if that means no tank tops and no shorts.

    Otherwise, we may as well go back to full body clothing when we go bathing at the seashore, since, come on, none of us are threatening Mark Spitz or that Phelps guy or even Gertrude Eberle.

    There’s a good solution for winter sports–the thermax long-handled garments. They do a great job wicking the sweat away, and they feel pretty good besides.

    For some of you who speak Spanish: what’s the etymology of “chica”? And, could it be that that word is the origin of the English slang “chick”? If so, perhaps nobody is thinking those feathered peepers. Jeepers, Creepers!

    Finally, there are some things that may deserve barnyard epithets, even if they’re crude. I am reminded of some right-wing nut’s (Gary Allen) “None Dare Call it Conspiracy” that was a hit among the Cleon Skousen set back in the early 70’s. The parody “None Dare Call it Bull****” was dead on.

  115. With regards to wearing your garments and what is appropriate and where can we find this information. I believe it is discussed when you go through the temple. You should wear your garments whenever doing any activitiy in which they are reasonably able to be worn. Shoping, playing sports, working, mowing the lawn. Swimming, okay maybe if you have one of those old one piece swimsuits from back in the day, but overall its up to us as individuals to know if we are keeping in line with the spirit of it all.

  116. Kristine,
    I appreciate your desire not to sell the lads short. I’m certainly better off for having two parents who firmly refused to let me parade around with my nipples saying hello to the world.
    But while your position is a reasonable one, I don’t think that Andrea’s is ‘indefensible.’ It’s only indefensible if you think there aren’t innate differences in the sexes and sexuality, or at least very important culturally engrained ones.

  117. danithew (in response to ADMIN warning) Yeah guys. Don’t get your garment bottoms all in a twist. Relax and be friendly.

    Brown noser!

  118. Wow. Leave for a few minutes and *boom* tons of comments.

    I fully agree with Kristine about the Jewish tefillin. I’d add, for Ed’s sake, that Mormons see our temples related to the Jewish temples and there are many, many points of comparison between our temple clothing and the priests in the OT. I’d add that garments also offer a certain connection to Adam and Eve symbolically. Certain trends within Protestantism, as you mentioned Ed, tend to devalue a lot of symbolism and so forth and most things associated with the Catholic styled churches. I don’t think that quite right, but then part of the disagreement over raiment depends upon your view of the place of the OT. It’s been my experience with Protestant friends that many consider all of that under the old law to such an extent that they think them inappropriate. Mormons clearly disagree.

    Kristine, your latter comments about gender difference in rules are well made. Beyond obvious sexual differences, I think many disparities in rules make no sense. Surely both men and women can’t go shirtless in a sports game, but why not allow sports bras? I also think that while men clearly do sexualize sight more than women, that far too many men think women don’t care about appearances. Yet I’ve been around enough women ogling half naked guys playing sports to have a hard time believing that.

    There is still an unfortunate mystique surrounding women’s sexuality for many men…

    Mark, the problem with the thermax garments (which I wear a lot, btw) is that they are available only in one weight. Likeiwse the women’s thermal garments, unless recently changed, have lace on the sleeves.

  119. I’m glad we are agreeing more than not, and just quibbling over rhetoric.

    1) I’m not sure why you think it is inappropriate to use the Handbook to clarify procedures. The specifics for how and when to use the garment fall as easily under procedures as doctrine. As for the Handbook not being public and verifiable, it is easily so… most of the handbook is available off the shelf at the distribution center, albeit in individual pieces. The specific information I quoted about the garment is available in many different forms, including letters from the First Presidency read over the pulpit. I just quoted from where I did because it was handy and I knew where to find it quickly, due to having referred to it recently.

    2) I would be curious to know about your Temple callings and experience, and I hope to be impressed – but not because you can drop a few titles and names, but because I would know that you have been trained with direct information, and not just synthesizing hearsay and rumor (which we have already established does not serve as very good evidence for any argument).

    I also agree that a person should not infer righteousness from a given calling. Elder Oaks addressed the tendency of members to equate prominence or standing with a calling a few conferences ago with his personal example of Elder Augusto Lim – formerly of the Seventy, now 2 Counselor in a Branch Presidency. However, I do believe that some callings certainly do imply authority – otherwise, you might not have suggested I ask my Temple President about the bra exception.

    3) I don’t think I am dogmatically trying to convince other people how to wear their underwear, but I do feel it is my right to express my opinions on the matter, justified by the best evidence I can find, including official church instructions where appropriate, and share my personal practices as they are relevent.

    Incidentally, how a person keeps his/her covenants is directly a function of how she/he wears his underwear, at least as far Temple covenants go. Specific details are, of course, up to interpretation, but are nonetheless subject to presiding authority review. I certainly can not be characterized as being dogmatically preaching to wear the garment during basketball games when I myself acknowledged that I was too severe, and softened my point. Surely this shows that I have a reasonable and open mind?

    You are correct about my misuse of punctuation. As these posts are by their very nature extemporaneous, inevitably typos or other grammatical mistakes will slip through.

  120. DKL,

    Now I feel nothing but utter and total revulsion for you. And for so many reasons. :)

    Anyone would know that I’d do anything to please ADMIN. The anonymity and power are too much to resist. In fact, if ADMIN weren’t always aknowledging its css coding mistakes, I’d suspect it was a higher power.

  121. You are right, Mark B. As I said waaaay up near the top, I included the men’s sports reference because I was searching for a way to show that both genders have equal opportunity to dress immodestly. I later acknowledged that it was a poor example, and that removing the garment for church games is not heresy.

  122. OK, Adam, if it’s defensible, please present to me a defense of why girls’ shorts are so much more immodest than boys’ that girls should be forbidden to wear them to church activities and boys allowed.

    I’m all ears. (well, eyes, really, I guess).

  123. Regarding Kristine and Andrea’s conversation about boys and girls:

    I have heard it said that boys react differently to visual stimuli than girls. The market suggests as much: compare the photographs in a “men’s” magazine with those in a “women’s magazine.” Or, look how well Playgirl has fared (is it still around?)

    If that is in fact the case, it seems appropriate that girls be counseled that their state of dress/undress may have a different effect on the boys around them than they might expect.

    This is not intended to suggest that boys are not responsible for the way they treat girls, or that girls are to blame for the bad behavior of boys. It simply means that that cute little top that she looks pretty in may elicit a reaction that she never expected. And the boy might have to spend the entire evening looking out the driver’s side window or staring at his withered fries, rather than having his already strong appetite made stronger.

  124. If I may, Kristine, step into Adam’s shoes for a second:

    It’s really the same as the sexualization of the female breast. Which gender treats the legs of the other as “sexy”? Men. Thus, even though there’s nothing more inherently sinful about showing a female leg than a male leg (just as it’s culture more than anything that sexualizes the female breast), yet it seems to stand to reason that those parts which ARE culturally sexualized could bear with more covering up.

  125. Shorts were not allowed at our youth activites not even the boys could wear them. But the boys complained that the girls got to wear skirts that were below the knees.

    About guys looking good. I grew up where wranglers were very prevelant. I have no problem with a nice a** in tight wranglers. I often enjoyed the view. So is that tight and revealing or does that not count because it is a guy wearing them?

  126. By the way, Kristine, I just wanted to point out that I *think* Andrea raised that story of her former stake as an unacceptable disparity. You seem to think she and Adam are endorsing that treatment, but I think that would be a misreading of her original comment. She did not “defend it mildly,” but stated that it was unfair and inappropriate. See Comment # 123.

  127. I just came up with an idea Kristine. I think the reason guys legs are not a sexy as girls is because they have so much hair. Just have the girls not shave and your problem with be solved. The boys and girls legs will have the same sex appeal.

  128. Kristine: please present to me a defense of why girls’ shorts are so much more immodest than boys’ that girls should be forbidden to wear them to church activities and boys allowed.

    Easy: Chicks have sexy legs (e.g., Angie Dickenson’s “Police Woman”). Guys don’t.

  129. Andrea, I’d never claim to be Kristine’s intellectual equal, but I’ll argue your side for the moment. (Not sure how I really come down on the issue yet, though.)

    Adam, you don’t have to believe in essential gender differences to accept the FTSOY guidelines. (Which, by the way, are distinct from ward-specific and gender-differentiated guidelines on mutual attire, which often do seem indefensible.) In fact, it seems to me that FTSOY is clearly and transparently applying general principles to the youth culture of our specific historical moment–which has little if anything to do with essential gender. I suspect the reason for the differential guidelines on modesty are largely pragmatic: present-day fashion sexualizes the female body far more than the male body, and thus more specific language is needed to explain the way in which that sexualization is to be avoided for girls. I have no doubt that the writers of the pamphlet desire equal standards of modesty for the boys, but because specific language is required to deal with the girls, unintended humor (and creepy visions of cross-dressing) would result if the language were made gender-neutral, ie “Boys and girls should refrain from wearing clothing that is low cut in front and back,” etc etc.

    Many a letter to the Daily Universe has indeed argued that girls are responsible for boys’ sexual purity of thought, but I don’t think FTSOY pamphlet does.

  130. Oh dear, and I see Mark B. has joined the ranks of the Daily Universe letter-writers.

  131. Ryan, it was hard to gauge Andrea’s feelings on the specific policy she mentioned–she described it as unfair, but then said different policies were justified. Hence my description of her defense as “mild.” Maybe “oblique” would have been more accurate, or maybe Andrea can clarify. (Then again, she’s probably making dinner, which is what I should be doing!!)

  132. Well, we’re at an impasse, and I think the only way to solve this is to resort to some empirical studies. Therefore, in the sole interest of scientific progress, I volunteer to examine a number of photographs of scantily clad women. I’ll find a female researcher (perhaps my wife ;) ) to do the same with photographs of scantily clad men. We can then report our results.

    I must say, I think that this issue — due to its great importance — will require a _lot_ of study . . .

  133. Rosalynde W.,
    Just for you, I argued that the relevant sex differences could be essential “or at least very important culturally engrained ones.” You’ll find, as other members of the bloggernacle already have, that I am an exceptionally thoughtful fellow.

  134. Well, Kaimi, maybe we should speed things up by using a subject with either more libido or less desensitization to said photographs.

  135. danithew: Now I feel nothing but utter and total revulsion for you. And for so many reasons.

    I don’t have to take this from you—I get enough of this kind of treatment from my Bishop.

    Besides, you’re only saying this to get in good with the chicks.

  136. By the way, Kaimi’s and Nate’s and Adam’s early comments about their wives’ beautiful clavicles and shoulders has made me wonder: when is the “T&S Wives, 2005” calendar coming out?

  137. Wow, I’m so sorry I’m late to this thread. I had no idea I had clavicles that could launch a thousand ships!–er, I mean, comments.

    Mardell, they do make a seamless top garment, which is just lovely to wear when you are very pregnant and feeling huge anyway. It’s not so nice when you are NOT pregnant and not wanting to feel huge anymore. It tends to bunch and look frumpy, etc, etc.

    And for whoever really cares about the bra issue, I know a recently endowed single woman who was told in the temple by the temple matron that it was her decision how she wanted to wear her bra. I know a lot of woman who rejoiced. My instructions 6 years ago were vastly different. We were also instructed that it was a “bad idea” to show your garments to non members, i.e., getting dressed in an open room at the local gym. I have to say that has lead me to seek out some creative solutions at the gym to avoid having them being seen, including not wearing them there in the first place.

    But here’s an issue to toss into the fray that was discussed at length in my book group in Boston. When Mitt Romney was inaugurated as the very Mormon governor of Boston, his very Mormon wife did NOT wear a garment friendly dress. Not even close. I didn’t see the dress, but I’m told that it exposed parts of her body that I believe have been elsewhere described on this thread as “freckled wonderparts”. I think that really means it just exposed her back, and how. So, does anybody think Anne Romney made a mistake? Should she, the first lady of Massachusetts, a self-touted devout Mormon, the wife of a man who certainly has enough money to afford a dress made for his wife that could be beautiful, elegant, make-her-look-like-a-million-bucks AND garment friendly, have worn a dress that was both undeniably ungarment friendly and actually quite revealing?

  138. Dude, there are some funny chicks here! I’m totally stoked on this thread. I’ve been totally cracking up reading through this one.

    The sad thing is, I actually speak like that. (At least I never picked up using the word “hella,” as in, this thread is hella cool. I will say it’s full on awesome, though.)

    My kids love it here in California, where their Sunday School teachers say things like, “it was rad,” and the refreshments at a church activity are described by a Bishopric member from the pulpit as “killer.”

    Once a skate betty, always a skate betty, I guess. That is, if you’re married to a skateboarder.

    I’m still chuckling over “crack attack.”

  139. Heather, my wife was complaining a lot about the choices of garments for pregnant women. They really don’t have a good selection and she found what was available very, very ill fitting.

    Having said that I should add that one thing I’ve noticed the last 10 years is just how many more styles of garments the brethren have introduced. We really do have it quite good compared to prior generations. Likewise, there are stores out there that produce clothing for garments. There’s actually one beside the distribution center here in Provo. I’d also say that the trend of the last 10 years towards longer shorts on guys has made things easier. I’d say the majority of my gym shorts can be worn with garments without much worry.

    Heather, good comments about the gym – especially for women. (I think it is less an issue for guys to be honest) But I confess I always wear my gym clothes to the gym.

  140. Clark-

    The seamless top is actually not advertised as a maternity garment. It is just a super stretchy, super soft top that lends itself very well to an ever expanding body. I’d have to agree with her that as far as actual maternity tops go, the selection is pretty grim. And the bottoms only fit when you are really, really huge. There’s nothing for the in-between stages where the woman is just feeling generally fat, but not really looking pregnant.

    My only real complaint about my clothing choices with the garment is when it comes to black-tie affairs. Admittedly, we go to few of these events, but the few times we have been invited to a banquet, etc, I have been very hard pressed to find formal wear that is garment friendly. I cobbled something together once that ended up looking quite ridiculous once, and another time I bought a beautiful dress with spaghetti straps and threw a matching jacket over it. I asked the woman at the store if they sold any formal wear with short sleeves. She looked at me strangely and said, “They just don’t make dresses like that anymore.” I was also shopping in the spring–perhaps if I went looking for winter formal wear, I’d be more successful. But many woman have complained about similar issues, hence the heated discussion about Anne Romney and her choice of apparal at the inauguration.

  141. I should have made dinner a long time ago. About 20 minutes ago Sullivan came in and anounced that it was dinner time and that he had made pb&js (peanut butter and jelly sandwiches) for everyone for dinner. The only problem was that Kace had decided dry cereal was preferable and would not eat the sandwich.

  142. Jacob told me “I need dinner”. I gave him a pickle and some fruit snacks, and he went cheerily on his way. My excuse is that we are waiting for Nate to come home to have dinner as a family. The real reason is that I forgot to put anything in the oven as I’ve been reading this blog. Oh so sad, but true. Maybe if I hold out long enough, Nate will make dinner for all of us when he gets here! Maybe I’ll flash him some clavicle to sweeten the deal.

  143. well the seamless ones now do not work for large breasted women. By the time they get around my DDD they do not cover my belly button. I guess I could pull my extra long waisted bottoms up far enough to compesate. Any way you think about it it does not work. You need more material in the front than you do the back.

  144. Probably no one will be surprised to hear my position on the Anne Romney question:

    Yes, it was a grave mistake.

    That’s my non-binding opinion.

    Let the feeding frenzy begin.

  145. Hadn’t thought about that issue, Mardell. Needless to say, I don’t have that problem. Let’s just say that my needs don’t quite go up that far in the alphabet.

  146. Jim–

    I actually agree with you that it was a mistake. But I am interested in hearing how other people look at it.

  147. I’m saving my feeding frenzy for the PBJs. I’m inclined to agree with you as a general principle, Jim, but I just don’t know how much Mitt Romney’s wife qualifies as a public figure who’s a legitimate object of criticism. Him, sure.

  148. The Times and Seasons Wives calendar is in the works, but its run into a few roadblocks. Kristine has some niggling objections.

  149. Then have her send up her husband for the photographer– it’s only fair, and then she couldn’t complain about the disparate treatment of men and women.

    You guys need to get this out before Christmas. What a great stocking stuffer.

  150. Adam–

    So Anne Romney is not a public figure? Hanging out at an inaugural ball is not public? Being married to a governor is not public? In what country do you live in where you think that the wives of our leaders are not legitimiate objects of criticism? Did you not have to endure endless articles in the papers about Laura Bush vs. Teresa Heinz like we did here in DC? And even if she isn’t a public figure, she showed up at a function wher she knew there would be lots of Mormons there, and lots of Mormons would be watching and cheering a victory for the faith, and she wore a dress that showed she didn’t care about some of the more sacred aspects of that faith. She MUST know that Mormon woman are looking to her for an example. How could she not?

  151. Thanks for the suggestion, Ryan, but the idea for the Clavicle Christmas marketing campaign is all mine and I’m not sharing the credit.

  152. Someone asked where they can find information on garments. There’s a link to Elder Carlos Asay’s Ensign article on garments (and related temple clothing) here.

  153. Doesn’t anyone here remember the absolutely hideous gym clothes that we wore for our BYU gym classes?!?! Those shorts only hit mid-thigh; nowhere close to what it would take to cover the length of the garment.

    Seeing has how a) we were FORCED to wear only the authorized gym clothes at BYU and b) no mention whatsoever was made of wearing garments while wearing it and c) the gym clothes wouldn’t have covered the garment even if we were expected to wear our garments during P.E. classes I’d have to say that the evidence shows that Jim Richins is off-base on this one.

  154. Whoops, I accidentally posted before finishing my thought.

    The short version of what I was going to write is that in the atmosphere of caffeine-free Coke, covered-up sculptures, and arguments over whether or not going sock-free is immoral: if there was anyplace where a Church-wide garments-during-sports policy would be enforced it would be at BYU, and it is not.

    Does anyone remember if such a policy was enforced/suggested/implied at the old Deseret Gym?

  155. Dear LDS Friends,

    As a Conservative Evangelical, I have to admit that as an outsider to your religion. all this talk about temple garments appears to be a bit frivolous and of a secondary importance to the real issues of substance concerning the Christian faith. As I see the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Apostles, the main thesis of Christianity is that men and women stand sinful and condemed before a holy God. However God is merciful and has provided a way for humanity to escape the wrath and eternal condemnation of God by sending His only begotten Son Jesus Christ who died on the cross and rose again from the dead to give men and women eternal life. Essentially we can be saved from wrath by God and from God if we repent and believe in Christ. God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him. I am not sure how temple garments fit in to the centrality of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and His glorious resurrection from the grave.

    Sincerely in the Lord Jesus Christ,
    Ed Enochs

  156. If lynch mobs could operate online, Jim Richins would be burnt … make that charred … toast right now. Let’s put it to rest. I’d much rather hear about the blessings of the garment and how it has served as a shield and a protection to those of us who wear it. Any takers?

  157. if there was anyplace where a Church-wide garments-during-sports policy would be enforced it would be at BYU, and it is not. Does anyone remember if such a policy was enforced/suggested/implied at the old Deseret Gym?

    Somewhat aside tangent. (Again) When I was at BYU you had to wear BYU issue gym clothing. However the clothing was so old and threadbare that they gave new meaning to immodesty. Everyone ended up bringing their own clothing and wearing BYU gear over it.

    For some reason that always cracked me up.

    Oh – whoops. See Chad made some of the same comments…

  158. Ed Enochs,

    Many of the comments (definitely including mine) have been frivolous but garments are actually quite a serious matter because they are emblems and reminders of solemn covenants that we have made with God in temples. These covenants do in fact take Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection into very serious and direct consideration. Outside a temple it is unlikely that LDS people will talk about the specific wording or details of these covenants, so to a certain degree you’ll just have to take our word for it.

  159. Actually let me completement Jim, Mark. I think he is offering a valuable perspective. If anything I probably condemn myself for wearing gym clothes more than is appropriate. Heavens, the whole issue of ballroom dress, which some are critiquing Sis. Romney on is something I mentioned with the BYU Ballroom team, who most definitely are not wearing garments. (Well, the women anyway) Unless things have changed the last 10 years, if you go to say World of Dance at BYU you will find precious few women wearing garments.

  160. Ed Enochs,

    Just a pointer … you don’t need to sign your posts. Your name appears below your comments on its own, as long as you fill in the required fields (as you have been doing).

  161. Ed, while I can see why an Evangelical would see all this as misisng Jesus in the issue, for us it is something Jesus commanded. So the best analogy is how the Jews viewed the temple in the Old Testament – especially the Holy of Holies. It is very hard for Evangelicals to grasp, because of the way they view ritual as well as how they view the relationship with Jesus. However let us say that an angel appeared to you and told you to do something. Wouldn’t you do it? Wouldn’t you worry about doing it? Would you consider your doing it as somehow separate from your faith in Jesus Christ? Of course not.

    I note that in an other thread you were critical of certain kinds of music. Most of us looked at those comments the way you undoubtedly look at our comments here. To me you were missing the focus on Jesus and getting caught up in superficialities. Yet I also recognze that to you, your worries about music were very much in line with how you felt you ought to act before the Lord. It really is analogous in certain ways.

  162. Evangelicals believe temples and temple garments are inherently retrogressive and obselete since Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the law and the messianic prophecies. The book of Hebrews teaches that Jesus Christ is the fullfilment of Judaism and the Jewish Temple and the entire Jewish sacrificial system has been abolished in with the coming of Jesus Christ. The Book of Hebrews teaches that Jesus is a surety of a better covenant. When Jesus died upon the cross He cried out and said, “It is finished” and gave up the Holy Ghost. At that moment the Temp curtain of the Holy of Holies was rent in two from the top down, signifying now, the truth that men and women have access to God not by expensive temples made with hands but by the person of Jesus Christ, our true High Priest, who now ever lives to make intercession for us, and we can have access into the presence of God through faith in Christ.

  163. Heather, about Anne Romney: from my perspective, it seems as though she made a mistake. But there are undoubtedly all manner of exigencies and pressures in her situation about which I have absolutely no clue, so I’d not want to judge that point. (Note: I’m not accusing you of judging.) Professional politics, particularly the pageantry of it, is largely theater, which requires certain costume, and the benefits of her visibility may outweigh the detriment of her clothing choices. I speaking partly from family experience: my sister was on the Rose Court in the Rose Parade a few years ago, and wore an immodest gown in the parade. There was no negotiating the point–if she wouldn’t wear the dress, she wouldn’t be on the court–and my parents ultimately decided that the benefit of the experience for Rachel personally and the positive exposure she could generate for the church outweighed the immodest gown.

  164. Mardell (referring to her previous comment about seamless garments being insufficient to cover the well-endowed endowed): I may have crossed the ewe line. Sorry

    Yep, you crossed the ewe line all right.

  165. My previous comment: I’d much rather hear about the blessings of the garment and how it has served as a shield and a protection to those of us who wear it. Any takers?

    No takers yet? Okay I’ll start. When I was in high school a missionary was transferred to my ward immediately after he was shot while riding his bike in Detroit. The bullet had to be taken out of his lower arm. When he recounted the story to me a couple of weeks after the fact, he said he hadn’t realized he had been shot but that the place he felt being hit was in his torso. As you can guess that was a very significant event in his life with respect to his temple covenants.

    Anyone else have any good stories?

  166. Rosalynde-

    I appreciate what you said about costume, and the experience your sister had. I had a similar experience this year when I was asked to be a bridesmaid in my best friend’s wedding. She is not Mormon, and the dress she chose for us to wear was not immodest, but definitely not garment friendly. I wore the gown without the garment top, because I knew the peace that I would keep with my friend would outweigh the detriment of not wearing the garment for 5 hours. I did look upon it as a certain costume. However, I still can’t buy that Sis. Romney’s circumstance was one where she had to wear a costume. She had a choice in what she coud wear–indeed, could have even designed a gown and paid for it to be custom made. Performers, actors, atheletes, your sister as a pageant winner, all are subject to circumstances midly out of their control as far as clothing. Anne Romney was not subject so such conditions. She definitely had a choice, and for whatever reason, she chose not to wear her garments.

  167. Just for the record, my wife looked really stunning in her bride’s maid’s dress. How often can you honestly say that about bride’s maids’ dresses?

  168. Re: lace on women’s thermal garments. Any thoughts on wearing the men’s version? Or asking permission to remove the lace?

  169. All I can say is that it is hard to find much today that works with garments. Most shirts are made shorter, it doesn’t matter if you want it that way or not. Pants are also made to sit very low on the hips, another thing that doesn’t work with garments. These aren’t choices that we get to make, stores are making these choices for us, and it is very hard to find anything that works well. Sometimes the garments pop out, or, we have to find things that don’t fit well, are too big so they are long enough, or otherwise are ugly (frumpy).

    We may all have to learn to sew someday, either that, or we need to speak up and get stores to carry things that we like and that are modest by garment standards.

  170. A true story: A good friend called me one day, and in the conversation said that she had suggested to her husband that they forgo the wearing of the garment at nighttime — her hope was that it would increase intimacy in their marriage. It did help — but as she approached her temple interview with her bishop a few months later, she worried about how to explain this to him. To her surprise, and some relief, he did not ask her about wearing the garment day and night. I

    I think that, while anecdotes are not useful for establishing doctrine, they are useful in showing us that sometimes doctrine does not need to be established. The Lord is so aware and so kind — He will guide us as we make our murky, muddled way through our lives. We sometimes get into trouble when we compare notes too closely on exactly how mesh doctrine and personal revelation or simple preference.

    That’s my two cents as we begin the third century of this topic.

  171. Lisa: …when we compare notes too closely on exactly how mesh doctrine and personal revelation

    I find I best avoid chafing (not to mention spiritual angst) when I leave mesh doctrine out of it, and stick to 100% cotton doctrine. ;-)

  172. All right, all right — you are punny. “…how to mesh doctrine and personal revelation…”

  173. Sorry, Lisa. I actually have been looking for a way to bring up the correct spelling of chafing without seeming too pendantic. Oops. Too late.

    For what it’s worth, I completely agree with your first post (#208)..


    Guys & Gals, (or, with a nod to DKL, Dudes & Dudettes), I’m not Admin. Still by the powers not vested in me I bestow the above award on this thread. I stayed up way too late last time to post #47. Now, roughly 24 hours later, there have been more than ONE HUNDRED FIFTY new posts. And I can’t name all the ones with a high LOL value. I’m sitting a a hotel lobby in So. San Francisco & passerbys stare as I burst out laughing.

    On this topic too. Who wudda thunk?

    Then there’s poor Ed Enochs, staring blankly at his screen and scratching his head. Can’t say that I blame him.

    Ed, contrary to rumor & stereotype, Mormons are not always grimly serious & sober-sided. Thus, this thread.

  175. I appreciate your kindness, Clark, comfortingly offered even after I failed to clearly convey the fact that I had been convinced off of the wear-garments-at-church-basketball position long ago. Not being very passionate myself about church team sports, but nevertheless athletic individually, I do not have enough first-hand experience to be knowledgeable, and I should not have included it as an example of how men might mistreat the garment.

    Anyone want to share some burnt toast?

  176. Rosalynde,

    Having not read the Universe for 30 years, I can’t compare what I wrote to the letters there.

    If you would read my comment again, you’d see that I did not attempt to place on women the responsibility for men’s behavior.

    If you think that the premise of my comment is wrong (that boys react differently to visual stimuli than girls), I would be pleased to have you show me how I am wrong.

    If you think that my suggested counsel to young women is wrong, then I’m open to your suggestions. (Perhaps you reacted as you did because I told only half the story–I didn’t say what I thought we should tell our boys, which I should have.)

  177. Dude! What a great article.
    I can’t believe we’re letting stem cells compete with this thread. What haven’t we brought up? Well the infamous eBay garment stories when they try to sell them. Yet, how many think that the day will come when garments aren sold over the internet by the church?

  178. Hah! so much for the “intellectual” nature of the people who post on this Blog.
    …218+ comments about Clothes!

  179. Ahh, Mark, perhaps I’ve discovered the source of your hostility on the other thread (did I read the tone of that comment correctly?). Reviewing the comment in question, your self-defense is exactly right: you did express a more nuanced view than the DU letter-writers, and I apologize for lumping you with them. My first comment posted before yours did, so when I scanned yours I felt I had to add an addendum–but now I see that I scanned too quickly.

    I still feel some discomfort with the distinctions you’re making, but that may be just a residual reaction. No hard feelings, I hope!

  180. Rosalynde

    No hard feelings, although I did feel for a while a little irritated bewilderment.

    Perhaps the distinctions, if there really are any, are just the effects of socialization in our sick society. (Even if not, there is plenty of good reason to try to cure some of that illness.)

    I’m trying to think of that other hostility you allude to–as Henry V says: “Old men forget, yet all shall be forgot . . .” I’m closing in on the “all” part.

    I know I must seem hostile to some on the BYU football thread, but I didn’t think you were wasting any precious time in that one. :)

    BTW, did I have a Shakespeare class from AHKing with your father? We read As You Like It in the class, and maybe Rosalind there was an inspiration to your parents.

  181. By the way Bryce, I loved the dude article. I printed it yesterday and read it a number of times, chuckling over it while being quite interested in the concept of “cool solidarity” at the same time.

  182. Sorry Bryce I., I didn’t mean to step on your story. What’s worse, it looks like I’ve given danithew another reason to feel utter and total revulsion for me (as if he needed another).

  183. Hey, Nate, I haven’t read this whole thread, but I do think I just fell in love with your wife, for saying she was going to flash you a little clavicle to sweeten the deal [IE get you to make dinner]. Wicked funny–you’re a lucky man, dude.

  184. Thanks to admin for editing my comment. Just after I hit “make comment” I realized a portion of it might be (unintentionally) offensive to some. I blame the article about the use of the word “dude.” It predisposed me to that little piece of political incorrectness.

  185. So using terms like “dude” and “chick” are gateway sins? That explains everything.

  186. Judgemental Men,
    I wonder if you realize the frustration of shopping for modest clothing in todays world. Finding attractive shirts that are long enough to cover my midriff is very difficult. Finding cute skirts that are long enough is getting easier but used to be impossible. And reading all of your judemental comments about women and choosing modesty over wordly clothing doesn’t make life any easier. So until you all have walked a mile, no, an inch, in our shoes, I really feel that you have no right to judge us for the clothing choices so may make.

  187. Dear Annoyed Female,

    I don’t think Judgmental Men were being judgmental. I think they (with considerable helpful from the ladies) were riffing on a funny thread.

    I’ve heard a theory about Mormon humor & folkfore. Since It’s taboo to criticize or joke about the prophet or the general authorities, one of our “escapes” is to occasionally tell a joke about the bishop. I think something like that occurred here. The temple and garments are holy. But some of the practical everyday problems of the garment-wearing life are fraught with, well, humor.

    Again my congrats to all. It’s the funniest thread I’ve read here.

    Now someone, please, make a post. I hate it when I make the last post. I feel like such a


  188. I made a silly comment above in which, among other things, I referred to “marital dynamics among the Omans.”

    Ahhh, that should read, “marital dynamics BETWEEN the Omans.”

    Really, I didn’t mean to imply that over at the Omans’ there was . . . menage-a-trois.

  189. I am coming really really late to this thread, and I imagine my post will hasten the end of the whole discussion, since I seem to have a thread-killing effect every time I post. But I DID read this whole darn discussison, and I feel I should reward myself by posting.

    I likes Nate’s point in his original post. . .way way back before the whole Jim Richins / Steve Evans scrimmage. .. before the Kristine / Andrea girls vs. boys clothing discussion. . .
    Nate said that the temple garment places significant restrictions on women’s clothing choices, whereas it doesn’t for the men. And the countless women who have commented on how difficult it is for women to find ANY garment friendly clothing these days only underscores his point.

    Choosing to wear the garment is a much bigger adjustment for women than for men. There is simply nothing that exists in the retail world of “intimate apparel� or underclothing that looks or feels like the garment. Simply dressing modestly cannot prepare you for the huge change of wearing what is essentially a bodysuit underneath your outer clothing. Women have to sacrifice much more than men in order to wear the garment. I have always found this troubling.

    Once when I was at the distribution center in SLC, a woman approached me and asked if I would be willing to “test� out a new garment top they were designing. She gave me an early version of the seamless garment top now available for women. They asked me to wear it a certain number of times and then complete a questionnaire which I then had to send to SLC. It was interesting. Sure enough, months later the seamless garment top was available at Beehive clothing stores everywhere. Unfortunately, they didn’t listen to my point about doing something about the bunchy sleeves on it!

    I know, I know. . .I should consider wearing the garment to be a privilege and not a sacrifice or burden. But for me, it feels very much a sacrifice.

    Also, I missed out on the whole Anne Romney dress thing. I’m really curious. Are there any links with pictures of her in this much discussed dress?

    And, by the way, Lisa, I loved your brilliant idea for nursing garments with built in bras!!

  190. Wow, Rob. We must have been writing our posts at the same time. I thought I was the thread killer! Come to find out it’s really you. Thank goodness.

  191. Just want to apologize for the nasty way I made my previous comment. I was already annoyed at my 20 month old son who was slowly and methodically grinding cheerios into the carpet and kept turning the light on and off giving me quite the headache. Oh and my husband who came home and refused to change my son’s stinky diaper. My comment was directed more at one particular poster than every man here.
    But, I still stand by my comment.

  192. Don’t worry David, it was not your comments that upset me so much. But thanks for the apology anyway.

  193. Having been raised in the Church, I was taught at a young age to be modest in what I wore.

    I remember a Home Economics teacher, who taught us how to sew. At that time the mini skirt was all the rage for young women, and this teacher always wore longer straight skirts, and blouses. Once when asked why she didn’t dress in the style of the day, she replied, ” Fads come and they go…what is important is that a woman wears clothes that is not only modest, but in a style that she is comfortable in and that will always stay in style no matter what the fads are.” She was not a member of the Church.

    I never forgot her advice even though I have never been through the Temple and never worn the garments.

    Today, some 30 odd years since that time, as I look around at women in the malls, grocery stores etc., wearing clothes not suited at all to their figures, either too tight, too short, or too exposing and I am so grateful for the teachings of my youth and that teacher’s advice.


  194. Three thoughts on this matter:

    1) I have a framed picture of Jesus Christ that states, “I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it.”

    2) “Verily I say unto you, all among them who know their hearts are honest, and are broken, and their spirits contrite, and are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice—yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command—they are accepted of me.” Doctrine and Covenants 97:8.

    3) If you feel strongly about your wife wearing more revealing clothing, have her do so at home where you can enjoy this “visual pleasure” without exposing her to the ogling (sp?) of the world and where she is in the safe confines of your protection.

    My family and I recently converted and the temple garments were a surprise. But I love their spiritual and temporal protection. Well worth any “sacrifice” of fashionable clothes, even though I used to love airy sundresses in the summertime…

    Perhaps, as we become more spiritually in tuned, we may not rely upon titillating visual stimulation, but sometimes, I will remove my garments and don some pretty lingerie for my husband. I think it’s a waste as they get promptly removed, too. :)

    Please try not to lament over this small sacrifice. How small it is compared to the eternal sacrifice of our Savior and for the protection of the garments!

  195. The Book of Mormon is the true word of God, which means Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that through the priesthood, Christ’s true church is established upon the earth with prophets and apostles who direct us according to God’s will. If these are the garments the church gives us, then these are the garments God would have us wear, which keeps us a little more unspotted from the things of the world. If we follow every new fashion of the world, where will we stop? I like how after Lehi told his sons about his Tree of Life vision, Nephi went straight to the Lord and inquired about the vision. An angel taught Nephi everything that Lehi was taught and more. After Nephi returned to his father’s tent, very enlightened and full of the spirit, he found his brothers still disputing their father’s words. What a waste of time for Laman and Lemuel. I admire Nephi for going to the Lord and having the faith to get a real answer. “When they are learned they think they are wise and hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not.” (2 Ne. 9: 28) I just don’t understand how someone who loves the gospel so much and to whom the temple ordinance is so “sweet” could “regret” his wife wearing the garment. Makes me appreciate more how wonderful my husband is in that after my endowment, he thought I was more beautiful than ever.

  196. It would be a mistake to think that Nate Oman was airing a real grievance. Read his post with wry whimsy and you’ll be much closer to the mark.

  197. Just a quick thought for the women — per a weeks-ago T&S post, I checked out a post at Mommy Wars, and the women were discussing how to avoid exposing garments with today’s fashions — they mention a couple useful links for “cover clothes”. I haven’t had the issue myself, as I happen to think Dress Barn clothes are totally cute — not to mention great for quasi-casual office dress — and I’m short, so a good portion of the women’s tops at Target are long enough for me. :-)

  198. Kirsten-

    Don’t fret too much. I think my husband still thinks I’m beautiful, no matter what I’m wearing. I mean, there are some outfits he prefers more than others (really, my green choir dress does NOTHING for him), but we were both temple workers in the DC temple for a long time, and we both understand fully the ordinances that surround the garment, and the significance of keeping our covenants.

    But wow, 247 comments later, and this topic is still going. Who knew the power of such clavicles? Maybe I should have these babies cast in bronze or something!

  199. There’s a poem I have somewhere, I can’t remember it exactly, but it’s by a poet from 1800 or something and he’s talking about how he likes his love in her blue dress, or on a summer day or something, then he ends with line “I like my love best in nothing at all.” Paraphrasing.

  200. Haven’t read all the comments, but Beehive clothing DOES take recommendations. (I hope you’ll make the nursing garment top recommendation! The ones they have really are useless.) I recommended a t-shirt for women several years back (hate the cups) and we now have the chemise. And just recently, lycra has been added to some of the women’s garments as a solution to the “ride up” problem. Also, garments can be special/custom ordered for size (like if the waist is way too high for you).

    It does bug me when my husband’s garments show at the bottom of his knee length shorts (when he sits cross-legged, for example), or at the top of his shirt (neckline). I think that’s disrespectful.

    I have been surprised recently by the tight t-shirts endowed women wear. Maybe I’m prudish, but I think even white shirts should be thick enough fabric for garments to not be so obvious through them, but many women wear the garment top as if it’s a camisole.

  201. i wonder what exactly prompted whoever to start wearing garments? i am 20, and just went throught the temple, find these things excessivly uncomfortable, and have given up going shopping. there is nothing for a 20 year old to wear that doesnt make her look like she is wearing her mothers clothes! or looking like you shop where your mother does. can anyone help me with styles for young people? so far, i have just resorted to making my own clothes patterned off sleeveless styles i see in stores and just add sleeves. works ok, but i really enjoy shopping. help!

  202. Courtney,

    My wife has an attractive figure and used to complain about garments all the time. Now she used camosiles to compensate for all the midriff baring tops out there. Not much help with the sleeves but if you can handle camosiles then you can still go shopping. My wife goes shopping all the time for clothes………
    It may not be much help but at least its something.

  203. Sorry…new…just stumbled onto this page with a question about nursing garments…

    How do they work? I’ve just ordered some, but don’t know how they’re supposed to be worn…over/under the nursing bra, etc. I am pregnant with my first baby, and a convert without Mom to go to for these kinds of questions…


  204. Congradulations Liz on the new baby. I nursed all four of mine. This is how I did it. Nursing pad-garment top-nursing bra.

    The first few weeks you are soggy all the time, so be prepared to either wash a lot or have lots of extra tops on hand. It gets better after a month or so. Also another little tip that I did not get with my first that would have been helpful; is wash your garments, bra and tops in the same baby detergent that you use to wash the baby clothes and bedding. They rub their little faces on your clothes and the harsher detergents in our adult clothes can give the little one a rash.

    Good Luck and God Bless.

  205. Congrats Liz.

    You may want to find somebody in your ward that you like and trust to ask these kinds of questions. Agree with JA on the detergent issue. Infants rash really easy. Get lots of tops and make sure your hubby gets up with you at night so its fair!!!! He can change the diaper and be with you and share the experience.

  206. JI tried then gave up on nursing garment tops. Worse than useless for me. Just wore the regular ones. In varying configurations (order of layers) til I figured out what would work best for me.

  207. HELP!!!

    My wife and I are going to the temple early next year and cannot wait. We have heard sooooo much about garments and are just totally confused. No-one seems to want to talk about it!!

    We would just like to know the basics – what types are there (high and low necks for men??), what materials, do you wear them tight, loose, etc, etc, etc.

    Save us from this confusion – pleeeeeeeeeeeease!!!

  208. David: The simplest solution is to go to a Beehive Clothing outlet (if you can), explain your situation, and ask the workers there. They even have samples of the various kinds of fabric. I don’t know much about womens Gs, but I avoid the scoop neck garments for men and simply were the kind that look like a regular t-shirt.

  209. Trouble is we are in England and as far as I know the only place we can buy them is at the temple where the shop is always packed and we think we’ll feel a bit uncomfortable.

    Thanks for your help anyway Nate.

  210. Steve Evans #87 – “Dude, who cares what the Handbook says. It’s not a document most of us have access to, and its counsel is vague at best for the circumstances you’re describing.”

    I haven’t read through the rest of the comments here, so I don’t know if someone else has already responded to this. General members are not supposed to have access to the handbook, but that doesn’t mean its contents are inapplicable to “general members.” The handbook is intended to be a guide for priesthood leaders, who are to pass on the counsel contained in the handbook. Therefore, the counsel on garments contained in the handbook should be the EXACT same counsel your bishop gives you. Should you care? That’s up to you, I suppose. I am convinced, however, that the Spirit won’t be much of a guide to me in my personal decisions if I “don’t care” what my bishop has to say on any given subject (I mean any given subject pertinent to his stewardship over me, for those who want to unnecessarily parse my statement).

  211. I just read through this thread for the first time and since it (the thread) was brought back up, I want to thank Ed Enochs for his (unbeknowst to him) beautiful explanation of how the temple and some of its ordiances and symbols are Christ-centered (#194 & #201–but especially 201). Nice to be reminded that my garments are a symbol of my having “put on Christ” (Romans 13:14) in a concrete/undeniable manner, and that without Christ, I am spiritually naked and unable to re-enter God’s presence. Just last week I was given a significant reminder of the priviledge it is to be given garments to wear as a reminder. I know that doesn’t answer some of the practical questions about how we are to wear them, etc. But it makes me feel better about making an effort to treat the wearing of them with respect and be more willing to work with the limitations they impose.

    I have to disagree with whomever said there’s nothing about garments in the scriptures. Look up clothe, garment, skin, cover, robe, naked & nakedness, mantle…

    David–Because there are many choices in fabrics and styles, it can take a while to figure out which you will like best/ which will work best for you. I’ve found the best time to go to Beehive Clothing is during a weekday, when it’s less crowded (at least in the places I’ve lived), rather than in an evening or on a weekend. But I’ve found those who work at the stores to be very patient and kind, even when there’s a line, when they know it’s your first time. (Even when they don’t! And even if it’s crowded!) I know it’s not always possible to go at a less crowded time, but planning for enough time to not feel rushed about your purchases can help a lot either way. Getting a good fit and comfortable fabric for you can make the transition to garments easier/ more comfortable. The first time I went, I took time off work to go during a weekday, and got several styles to try before purchasing all the garments I would need. I know not everyone has that luxury…

  212. Lisa, I wholeheartedly agree with the comment about the tastlessness of Mormon men in shorts advertising to everyone what their underwear choice is. I saw entirely too much of this at BYU.

    The problems is, these guys look down at their legs and the shorts go to the knee, even when sitting. They think they’re covered. But anyone who sits across from them has a blatantly clear view “all the way to Spain.”

    Personally, I haven’t worn shorts outside of an athletic activity in almost 10 years. Personally, I wish other Mormon men would just go with pants and face the fact that they aren’t in high school anymore. I promise, pants really aren’t that uncomfortable once you aclimatize (even in midsummer).

    But that’s just me personally.

  213. Seth- ever lived in Phoenix? Long pants in the summer is nearly impossible, especially if one works construction, landscaping, or any other outdoor occupation. Shorts are the only option when one is outdoors in 110 degrees all day.

    However, there are shorts that are modest. Steve and Barry’s has shorts that go well below the knee, and for $6.98 a pair, you can’t beat it.

  214. One other thought. I most certainly can not prove it, but according to urban legend, President Kimball is supposed to have said on an occasion regarding modesty that he would rather have the option of imagining what was beneath the clothing than have all questions unwantedly removed.

    While I agree that in certain circumstances the garment is not overly appealing, those circumstances are personal and private, and if my wife wants to tease me with the sexy styles of the day, we do so in private. It certainly is not for the world to see.

  215. #202 Rosalynde said: [speaking of her sister wearing an immodest gown in the Rose Bowl parade] “and my parents ultimately decided that the benefit of the experience for Rachel personally and the positive exposure she could generate for the church outweighed the immodest gown.”

    So, sacrificing one’s values for a brief moment of “fame” is a personal benefit? I’m not sure I understand that. And the “positive exposure” for the church is another one that baffles. Isn’t the message there the same as for her personally: my religion may value modesty, but I’m willing to sacrifice that value for a fleeting moment of fame. Not sure I’d call that “positive exposure” for the church. [As per Comment Policies, I’m critiquing a position, not a person]

  216. “the garment…is an imperfect arbiter of modesty.” Nate, I always have to look up your words and I’m heartened that somebody who uses big words with precision can’t spell.

    But, I digress. I agree with you. completely.

    There is nothing that makes me want to throw up more than a woman in Relief Society telling everybody how she won’t let her little girls wear sleeveless dresses or blouses. Gag a maggot.

    On the other hand, making the transition from very short short (think Daisy Duke) and tank tops to sleeve-d tops and pants was no big deal for me at all.

    As for me and my husband, it takes two seconds to remove garments. And that is as far as I will go with that.

  217. Not to let a dead horse rest in “pieces”, here is a question to all the female posters out there regarding the garments issue.

    Do many of you miss or wish you could at times where more “sexy” underwear for your own sakes.

    My wife recently shared with me that at times she would like to do this for the feeling of confidence that she is attractive thus effecting her confidence in other aspects in her life.

    It isn’t an issue of being revealing or immodest since what she wears under her clothes is her business. It is a matter of instilling a sense of selfconfidence.

    I know that when I put on the suit and tie there is a sense of confidence I feel, and it is transfered over to co-workers, and clients when they associate with me. I can understand my wife having a similar desire for a little boost that clothes can provide even if in her case it is more an issue of how the clothing actually feels on her skin (underclothing) vs how it hangs on my shoulders (my coat).

    Her desire is not borne out of a need to keep up with fashion or caring about how others see her, it is about her own sense of feeling confident around others, and she as I have mentioned before feels that if she is feeling attractive through the sense of touch lingerie provides her, that it instills greater confidence.

    I just thought it was an interesting thought as I had never considered that before. BTW the conversation was inspired by a lingerie commercial being aired on television last night while we were enjoying a little late night sofa talk.

    btw, we have both been card carrying garment wearers since the 1980s.

  218. I have read this thread most of it posted long ago, I feel that the clothing issue for woman is not one of worldly vanity, I feel that we are directed to dress nicely and wearing a baggy t-shirt to church over a baggy skirt doesn’t qualify, frumpy is disrespectful. I am 5’9″ tall and I would challenge anyone to buy me a shirt that I can bend over in and not show some white, I make a lot of my own shirts for that purpose, I just add 5″ to the bottom of my pattern. And as a thin large busted lady I would like to point out to the guy offended by clevage that when you have breasts, they are not that interesting, I go for days without thinking about how great they are, so if I bend over and my every thought isn’t focused on what a great view I am giving you, instead I am more focused on the task at hand, I would like to up front say I am sorry, because when it is summer and hot and humid I am not wearing a turtle neck, (which is the only type of shirt that doesn’t have bend over cleavage on me) and would challenge any man to try it and see how fast that idea gets chucked. as for when it is okay to not wear the garment I was told when I went to the temple, the 3 s rule, sports, swiming, and sex.

  219. I wear garments when I ride motocross, a lot of time the bottoms hang out below my motocross shorts because of constant moving and so I do tend to pull the leg bottoms up but not roll them. I do remove them when I lift weights, go boating, tanning, and occasionally when I worked outside doing construciton in extreme heat climates. (glad those days are behind me) For myself being a male, they are easy to wear and only occasionaly become frustrating with my outfit. (wearing a button up requiring a dark undershirt for example causes 3 layers of clothing.ahhhhhhh) I watch my wife trying so hard to find clothes to fit her and cover the garments and it’s a little annoying. She can’t wear shorts anymore, only capri’s seem to work and I know she is very bitter about wearing them but isn’t willing to go against the gospel and remove them. It’s easy to say that this is personal and needs to be “gotten’ over” but when it’s something a woman deals with nearly every day, it would become frustrating. We just have to keep in mind that they are a lot easier to wear than they were for the early saints and many of the FLDS members (polygamists) faithfully wear their garments which are full length with long sleeve shirts all year round. Look at it like that and it seems ours are suddenly easy to wear. I was told by my stake pres. at time of endowment to remove them in sports because of excess sweating, heat, and because they were not easily covered. I think we each have to use our disgression when to wear and remove them. It’s easy for me to wear them all day now that I work in an office but when I worked in construction up on roofs all day long in the hot summers, I tried but just couldn’t find any peace wearing them the full day. Sometimes you just have to “adjust the garments” slightly to fit, that’s just life but my feelings are they shouldn’t really be rolled and adjusted to wear they don’t look natural. Even in T shirts, I have to sometimes pull the garment sleeves back up my arm or it hangs out the sleeve, this doesn’t mean I should wear xlarge shirts knowing a large is a perfect fit but lacks 1/2 of sleeve. Just my 2 cents guys.

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