Recently, there has been a lot of talk in the media about LDS garments (sometimes referred to as “Mormon underwear” or “magic Mormon underwear”). The recent focus comes mostly from members of the Church of Jesus Christ but also from non-members of the LDS Church. Many members have opinions about the frequency in which one should wear the temple garment, the material of a temple garment, and more. This episode addresses the host’s opinions about the garment. Should the garment be worn all the time? Is the garment magic? Should the garment be removed for specific activities?


Justin: Do you think there’s ever a time where you should modify your garments for fashion?

Kaitlyn: No, I personally don’t think so because- [crosstalk 00:00:14]

David: There are going to be a lot of people that are going to disagree with you on that one-

Kaitlyn: Please don’t hate me guys-

Justin: You’re allowed to disagree. It’s important to have an opinion.

Kaitlyn: That’s why we’re here talking.

David: Hey everyone. Welcome back to Saints Unscripted. All right. So recently a New York Times article came out about a Latter-day Saint temple garments. We are experts in… Okay, we’re not experts but-

Justin: We’ve done some episodes.

David: We’ve done some episodes on this stuff, and we’re going to do another one today. So if you don’t know what temple garments are, and if you think that it’s ‘Magic Underwear’, please go watch the Faith and Beliefs episode-

Justin: Because it is.

David: It gives you superpowers. Just kidding. But as a quick rundown of what temple garments are. So in every religion, well, maybe not every religion, but in a lot of religions, you have sacred, ceremonial clothing. In Judaism, it’s the Jewish Tallit. The Catholics have all sorts of symbolic clothing that they wear. For Latter-day Saints, the temple garment is a top-bottom articles of clothing that you wear underneath your clothes.

David: You’ve probably noticed in lots of our videos, there’s probably a little white thing poking out of our collar here. [crosstalk 00:01:37] That’s the temple garment. And what it is, is a reminder to Latter-day Saints of covenants or promises that they make in the temple. When you go through the temple, when you go through certain temple ordinances, which we’ve talked about before and done other episodes on, you agree to wear the temple garment throughout your life. Now, obviously, there’s nuance to that, right? You’re not going to be wearing it when you’re taking a shower every day. That’s just weird. And there are other situations where it’s not practical, when you’re swimming and whatnot. So, maybe we can talk about… Obviously, this is going to be an opinion based episode. It’s not doctrine. These are just kind of our thoughts on things, but what are your thoughts on this topic, you guys? When is it okay to not wear the temple garment?

Kaitlyn: To not wear it?

Justin: When is it not okay to not wear the-

David: When is it okay to-

Kaitlyn: For me, this is kind of those things that is almost like the Sabbath day. I feel when we try to make a firm list of do’s and don’ts, it’s hard to be, okay, in this situation, yes or in this situation, no. But-

Justin: And then judging other people based off of the personal standards you’ve set also gets messy. We should never judge anyone but-

Kaitlyn: I think sometimes we think that way with them but it is helpful to know. For example, if I’m going to go on a seven mile hike and I know I’m going to get super sweaty, I probably don’t want to wear my garments because I don’t want to get them all sweaty or something like that. And there’s also things that happen, if you get a major surgery, sometimes you got to go out without or if you just had a baby or just like things. I think it’s something more that you take prayerfully with the Lord. It’s more like, are you looking for excuses to not wear the garment or are you grateful to be able to wear it?

Justin: Right. Well, and I think-

David: Great answer.

Justin: I feel it’s different for women than for men because we wear boxers our whole lives. And the garment is basically a boxer. Design wise and material wise, my garments were more comfortable than boxers I had growing up. I liked them a lot. And then tops, lot of men I know wear undershirts anyways. So for me, the transition was super easy. I’ve never had any problems. Maybe the worst that happens to me is I wear short shorts who are in fashion again for men. And I started wearing them and my garments are too long and I’ll sometimes pull them up a little bit more on my waist, just so that they fit a little right. And I’m like, “No, shouldn’t be doing this.”. I don’t know.

David: That’s a good question.

Justin: It is. I don’t know but they look good. So…

Kaitlyn: Yeah.

Justin: But here’s the thing. If I were to garments that are my actual size, waist and length, then they fit great for the shorts. So I’m like, “I feel justified.”.

Kaitlyn: “Petite”. Do they have these sizes in mens?

Justin: Well, they just have small… It’s based off pant length, your waist and… Anyways, so-

David: I think you’re probably hitting on one of the main questions people have about the temple garment, for those who wear them. Is it appropriate to forego the temple garment, if it does not fit well with your fashion choice?

Justin: Sure.

Kaitlyn: And that’s a tough one for… I know women-

Justin: That’s what I’m saying. For men, it’s pretty easy, maybe a few scenarios, but for women, I feel it is… my old scenarios

Kaitlyn: Especially in the summer, you guys know the fashions. Now there’s a lot of crop-tops, you got a lot of the showing your midriff and your shoulders and anyway, in every form basically. So it can be hard to… I’m incredibly grateful for the garment. I have had moments where I’m like, “Am I going to find a dress that works?”, “Am I going to find a shorts that work?”, because you want to be fashionable. You want to look good and be in fashion. So you just got to put some more effort into finding clothes that are that way. But I think that is hard, especially for women who… Growing up, they just wore what they want and a lot of us do that. So I think that is a struggle for a lot of women but-

Justin: Do you think there’s ever a time where you should modify your garments for fashion?

Kaitlyn: No, I personally don’t think so because- [crosstalk 00:06:34]

David: There are going to be a lot of people that are going to disagree with you on that one.

Kaitlyn: Please don’t hate me guys-

Justin: You’re allowed to disagree. It’s important to have an opinion.

Kaitlyn: That’s why we’re here talking, but for me, the temple garment is sacred and as it says, “It’s my outward expression of an inner commitment”. So I just think that as I wear it, I’m wearing the garments as I should. And when it comes to a fashion thing, I can’t find a reason in my mind to justify fashion because I don’t know, maybe it’s just because it’s more of a thing-

Justin: Well, it’s not functional. It’s not-

Kaitlyn: It’s not functional. There’s not really a true reason that I need to, other than I want to look good in this outfit. And that just doesn’t super sit well with me, but that’s me personally.

David: I love that answer. I’m admittedly pretty conservative when it comes to this topic as well. And I don’t speak for women or even men, I speak for myself. But I guess the way I look at it is, I have agreed to wear the temple garment throughout my life. Obviously, there are exceptions to that, there are few and far between, but when it comes to fashion, as you may have noticed, whenever you see me on camera or in real life, I take my temple covenant much more seriously than I take my fashion statement, whatever fashion statement I am making. On my list of priorities, there’s a huge gap between temple covenants and what people think about how good I look in whatever I’m wearing.

Justin: Sure.

David: Again, that’s just me. You may be different. You might have opinions on that. And I’m okay with people receiving different revelation or inspiration for their personal lives on this subject. For me though, I’m more in agreement with you.

Justin: And what’s interesting about this conversation, being our opinions and stuff is that this episode may well within a year from now be dated. Right. Outdated. You have to understand that these opinions, we’re not judging past people or future people or even present people, but the garments when they first were made, they were a full body suit. And they had collar, [crosstalk 00:09:15] all the way from… Is it because that’s what the fashion was then?, because everybody wore full body clothes all the time. And then in 1923, President Heber J Grant allowed women’s patterns to go to the knee and the elbow, which was a significant change, which I imagine then the saints were like, “Ah, scandalous”, who knows. And even the materials and stuff, I’ve gotten more comfortable, more accommodating, the sleeves have gotten shorter and shorter.

Justin: And I’m not saying that someday, it’s going to be, “Well now we just where it in our hearts.” I’m not saying it’s going to go away but just have some faith and trust in the prophet and the leaders that if it changes, then you’re willing to go with it. If it doesn’t change, then you’re still willing to go with it. I think the principle that we’ve mentioned multiple times here about expressing your faith and being willing to just show the Lord that your covenants are important, I think that’s the most important part of it. And if you’re adjusting your garments because you don’t think your covenant is important then that’s the conversation you need to be having with yourself in your prayers with God.

Justin: Because when I go to the gym, my only underwear is garment. So I wear only bottoms to the gym, but not a top. And I asked my Bishop one time, I was like, “Is that okay?”, because I was just doing it. But then I was like, “I guess that’s… I don’t know.” and he was like, “I mean, do you have any other underwear?” I was like, “No, I guess I got to buy some.” and he’s like, “That’s what I do.” and I was like, “Really?”. My leader only wears bottoms when he goes to the gym and I’m not doing it for any lack of disrespect or disregard to my covenants. It’s because I need clothes. I’m not going to go to the gym naked. But then there are people who maybe do, very consciously, “Oh yeah, the garments don’t matter but I want to keep up appearances.” I hope not. I hope that’s not your-

David: I think you bring up a great point in that, we’re a church based on modern revelation and in a church based on modern revelation and continuing revelation, there are relatively few things that are not subject to change in the future.

Justin: That’s very true.

David: And there might be some people out there who are familiar with church history that say, “Well, Joseph Smith in Carthage Jail, wasn’t wearing garments because it was hot. That means I don’t have to wear garments when it’s hot.”

Justin: Right.

David: You know, but I think that we need to be careful, as you mentioned. There are some people who you might call them more fundamentalists that disregard current instruction based on what past leaders have said. And then on the other end of that spectrum, there are people who disregard the current instruction based on what they think, future  prophets would say.

Justin: That’s very interesting.

Kaitlyn: That’s a great point.

David: And I think you need to be careful-

Justin: Either extreme.

David: Not to do that and just to be careful about-

Kaitlyn: What are they saying now?

David: Yeah, what are they saying now?

Justin: Almost as if extremes in any way are bad. Always.

Kaitlyn: Yes. And kind of going off of that, there will be people who want to live more because of what happened in the past or what they hope for the future. And other members see that. Sometimes we tend to be judging each other when that happens. How do you guys feel, when you see something like that, when someone chooses not to wear their garments for something?, because the first thing that kind of comes to my mind is, “Oh, is their faith okay?”, and maybe that’s because I know. Maybe that’s from what I’ve seen with people who have struggled with faith in the past, sometimes, that’s one of the first things to go is the garment. And it’s not that you’re looking at them and being like, “Oh my gosh, they’re horrible.” but based on your deductive reasoning or maybe what you’ve seen in the past, you might think, “Oh, is their faith okay?” I know that’s [crosstalk 00:13:23] But how do you proceed when you have those thoughts about someone? Do you go gossip about them? Do you totally judge them and be like, “They’re horrible person.”?

David: I think it’s hard. I think that’s a great question.

Kaitlyn: It’s hard.

David: I think it’s really hard to avoid those thoughts, but maybe just giving people the benefit of the doubt is best you can. But not judging people is the struggle of humanity.

Kaitlyn: For whatever it is.

Justin: Here’s where I struggle is because interestingly enough, when I see people who consciously stop wearing the garments and then I find out that they did. They have stopped going to church and they decided to leave the church for whatever reason. This has happened multiple times in my life where I’ve seen this happen to a friend. I respect them for recognizing how sacred of a thing the garments are to everyone else who does wear them. And then in my mind I’d be mocking God to keep wearing this if I’m consciously not keeping it. I’ve had some friends who I’ve seen, they’re definitely wearing garments anymore. And then I’ve seen that they’re also drinking coffee and stuff. And I’m like, okay, this is a conscious decision they’ve made.

Justin: Those people, I don’t judge at all because I’m like, you’re living a very intentional life. The people who I see not wearing their garments on a daily basis. And I’m like, “Oh, okay that’s interesting.” and then I see them at the temple and going to church, then I’m like, “Ah.”. I don’t know. If they were a dear friend of mine, I maybe talk just to see if they’re okay, because I’m like, maybe this is that other implications, but I definitely think we have to be careful. That’s where my mind is like, “Now they’re being hypocrites.”. And now I’m being the hypocrite for calling someone a hypocrite. So we just got to take a hundred steps back.

David: Moral of the story. We can, all three of us, be very judgmental people sometimes, but we’re working on it. Okay.

Kaitlyn: The repentance, the atonement, they are real.

Justin: The prayer is that you were better than us.

David: Yes.

Justin: If you have specific questions about the facts, then we have other episodes, we have the links below. But if you have your own opinions that you want to share and/or questions, feel free to leave your comments, reach out to us on social media. We’re pretty good about responding to whatever problems you have. Please subscribe, like our videos and love us.

David: We need your love. We thrive off of it. We’re dependent on it.

Justin: I like attention.

David: All right, see you later.

Kaitlyn: Bye guys.

Justin: Get out of here.