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Does the Mormon Church Control the Underwear that People Wear? Is it dictatorial or cult-like?

Religious vestments have been used for millennia to represent one’s commitment to God. Many people in modern-day wear special clothing as a reminder of their commitment to God: nuns wear habits, Sikhs wear turbans, Muslims wear skull caps or hijabs, Buddhist monks wear saffron robes, and Jews wear yarmulkes and prayer shawls. Mormons wear the temple garment.

Some Mormons, or members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints choose to make promises to God in the temple. Once people make these covenants, they are given an undergarment to wear. It is a responsibility to wear the Mormon garment as a symbol of these commitments to God. A quote from an Orthodox Jew may be helpful here: “I am a traditional Jew. I observe the biblical dietary laws. There are certain foods I don’t eat. I suspect most of you assume I go around all day saying to myself, ‘Boy, would I love to eat pork chops, but that mean old God won’t let me.’ Not so. The fact of the matter is, I go around all day saying, ‘Isn’t it incredible? There are five billion people on this planet, and God cares what I have for lunch. And God cares who I sleep with. And God cares how I earn and spend my money. And God cares what kind of language I use.’” In a similar vein, Latter-day Saints view their covenant to wear the garment as the loving care of God for what they wear and as a way to remember him always.

  • References
    1. Harold S. Kushner, “The Human Soul’s Quest for God,” BYU Speeches, October 11, 1994, accessed January 29, 2024, https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/harold-s-kushner/the-human-souls-quest-for-god/.