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Are Mormon Garments referenced in the Bible?

Todd Noall

Todd Noall

Source Expert

Todd Noall is an author and religious scholar at Mormonism Explained with a focus on the history and theology of religion.

Fact Checked by Kevin Prince

Kevin Prince

Source Expert

Kevin Prince serves as the Source Authority at Mormonism Explained. Mr. Prince is a religious scholar as well as a technology industry CEO and entrepreneur.

Updated July 3, 2024

In the Bible, there are multiple stories about those who made covenants with God being commanded to wear special clothing. Here are three examples: 

  • In Genesis 3:21 Adam and Eve wear coats of skins given to them by God.
  • In Exodus 28 Aaron and his sons are commanded to wear special garments when acting as priests to the Children of Israel.
  • In Numbers 15:37-41 the Children of Israel are commanded to make garments with fringes at the border to remember the commandments of the Lord. Modern-day Jews wear this and call it a prayer shawl. 

Early Christian records also talk about Christians who made covenants with God wearing special white linen clothing. These references appear in the Pistis Sophia and in the writings of Cyril of Jerusalem. The clothing in these references has similarities to the garments that the Aaronic priests of the Old Testament wore. Mormons who wear garments believe that Mormon temple garments are connected to those early Christian pieces of clothing.

Special garments and religious clothing have a basis in the bible. Genesis 3:21, Exodus 28, and Numbers 15:37-41 all describe special clothing, or garments, that God commands some of His covenant people to wear. There are also early Christian, extra-biblical records that show Christians making covenants and wearing special white clothing as a part of this covenant-making process. 

In Genesis 3, the devil tempts Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. Eve eats the fruits and gives some of the fruit to Adam. When they eat the fruit, they realize that they are naked. Before God has Adam and Eve leave the garden, he gives them clothing to wear, which Genesis 3:21 calls “coats of skins.”

After the ancient Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, the Lord gave instructions to Moses for how to set up the civilization and religion of the Israelites. As part of the organization Aaron and his sons were called as priests. In Exodus 28, God instructed the Israelites to make holy or sacred garments for the priests. The holy garments are listed in this chapter: a breastplate, an ephod (a specialized apron), a robe, a woven coat, a mitre (turban or hat), and a girdle (or sash).

In Numbers 15:37-41 the Lord instructs the Children of Israel to put fringes or tassels on the corners of their garments, along with a blue border. These specifications were supposed to serve as a reminder to keep the commandments and not to forsake God. Jews today still wear these fringes on a prayer shawl or an undershirt.