Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Mormons and their Magic Underwear

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In some denominations of the Latter Day Saint cult, the temple garment (also referred to as “garments”, or “Mormon underwear”) is worn beneath the clothing of those who have taken part in the Endowment ceremony. Mormon underwear are worn both day and night and are required for any previously endowed adult to enter a church temple.The undergarments are viewed as a symbolic reminder of the sacred covenants made in temple ceremonies, and are viewed as an either symbolic or literal source of protection from the evils of the world.


Comments

  1. #1 Simon
    February 14, 2010

    Rather like the Kachera worn by Sikhs as part of the 5 K’s?

  2. #2 Ken Shabby
    February 14, 2010

    The shooting test was unrealistic. The Mormon undies work their magic only when worn by an endowed adult. I suggest running around Salt Lake City whacking adults on the ass with a two-by-four. They cannot claim assault if protected by divine intervention.

  3. #3 "GrrlScientist"
    February 14, 2010

    hrm. interesting test, ken.

  4. #4 Phillip IV
    February 14, 2010

    Simon @ No.1:

    Rather like the Kachera worn by Sikhs as part of the 5 K’s?

    Rather worse, actually – as far as I know, the Kachera has never been claimed to have any but symbolic meaning, while a good deal of Mormons ascribe sacredness or even physical powerfulness to the temple garments (the Church’s official teachings are -likely deliberately- vague on the issue..,). Plus, in the case of the Kachera there’s at least a direct link between function and spiritual symbolism, in the case of the temple garments the symbolism is only abstract.

  5. #5 Phillip IV
    February 14, 2010

    Or wait, perhaps these things do work, after all – they’re supposed to ward off evil, and they did prevent Mitt Romney’s candidacy. Go, temple garments!

  6. #6 Jared
    February 14, 2010

    Wow…”cult”…”Magic”…pretty thoughtful and considerate post there. I wonder, do you even know any Mormons?

    The “literal” “magic” you claim is something that has stemmed from a comment made by Mr. Marriott during a 60 minutes interview in the 70′s. Some (and I emphasize “some”) people do believe that. But that is NOT the doctrine as taught by the church. The garments are entirely symbolic in nature. Their only “magic” is in their ability to remind an individual of the covenants they have made and help them to make choices that conform to those covenants.

    I ask this: are the “magic” properties espoused by some any different than those that believe in rituals or clothing to promote good luck (think of your most devout sports fan and a good many players – especially in baseball where ritual plays a significant role)?

    Honestly – a little more research on your part, or even a little more careful thought and this begins to look as offensive as it really is.

  7. #7 Rob Jase
    February 14, 2010

    They may be endowed but are they well-endowed?

  8. #8 Jared
    February 14, 2010

    BTW, I would welcome any even-handed and non-prejudice/narrow-minded discussion of this subject. Feel free to comment or ask anything you like. I’ll respond in the best way I can.

    I’m always open for those interested in learning more – even it if is just for the sake of strictly information.

  9. #9 DesViking
    February 14, 2010

    cult? I resemble that snobbery…haha. Anyway, this shows an ignorance of history and culture, of which I have a degree in and am also former Methodist now Mormon, so asking the source first hand is always a better deal. Most culture do not consider themselves to be “cultish” Most cultures have symbolic aprons, robes, sashes, caps, tartans, or in the case of natives, symbolic relics to remin them of their beliefs. Mormons are Christians but beleive in a Christ for the entire world, and universe, not just for the Middle East. We beleive he visited many lands, and chose other apostles and there are many writings as you cannpt limit God though many try to limit his works and words.”Other sheep do I have,which are not of this fold and I must bring them also and they will become one flock with one shepherd.” JOhn 10:16 Then there is the question of God and miracles, can faith heal? Can belief cause reality? This you will have to discover for yourself.I believe God is a God of Intelligence, compassion, yet order and justice, or nature and the heavens would be in chaos.

  10. #10 Copernicus
    February 15, 2010

    DesViking #8

    Wait, you have a degree in culture? Guess you must have missed the myriad classes concerned with what is or is not appropriate language or value judgment so it must be alright for you to use the term “natives” for those peoples you imply are less civilised or at least wear clothes… and by the way, the only symbology attached to tartan is that introduced by American state or Canadian provincial authorities- any battle or agricultural or social associations is a modern artifice of non-Celtic/Gaelic origins…how pathetically inept and prejudiced! A degree in History, culture? Right…

    “asking the source first hand”- who, you? How utterly arrogant and self-aggrandizing- perhaps you should join the Marines (“be all you can be”- but wait, if my soldiers went off on their own we’d all be off mission and get shot, so maybe that’s not a good idea) or perhaps the Methodist, no, make it the Mormon Church… so much for all being members of the same body…

  11. #11 Seth R.
    February 15, 2010

    Most Mormons, myself included, view the protection as merely a bit of spiritual symbolism meant to serve as a reminder of our commitment to God.

    We don’t think they stop bullets.

    Once again, the secularists prove themselves unable to deal with religion – except in its stupidest and most caricatured form.

    As for the word “cult” – it’s an utterly useless word in polite conversation. It really means nothing more than “that religion I don’t like.”

    Seriously, does this blog just put on the stupid hat any time Mormonism is a topic?

  12. #12 Doug Alder
    February 15, 2010

    Seriously, does this blog just put on the stupid hat any time Mormonism is a topic?

    Given that there is hardly a stupider thing than belief in a mythical sky fairy, and that Mormons take that belief and make it even stupider, it’s not the blog that is putting on the stupid hat

  13. #13 Doug Alder
    February 15, 2010

    Given Mahr’s support of the fully discredited MMR –> autism debacle he should really hold his tongue on calling others silly.

  14. #14 Ron Crossland
    February 16, 2010

    If the garments are symbolic only, then why have prominent Mormons (one a senator) made pubic claims of their supernatural protective properties? Are these Mormons misinformed or do public (what Mormons tell others) and private (what Mormons tell themselves) Mormon statements differ?

  15. #15 Copernicus
    February 16, 2010

    LOL @ Ron, you certainly have them by the “short and curlies”- I assume they made pubic claims because funnily enough it’s totally supported by the forensic evidence!!

  16. #16 Jared
    February 16, 2010

    Ron Crossland: So, statements by “prominent members (one a senator)” should be considered authoritative? Really? So, I should take the statements of any senator who belongs to any particular group as authoritative no matter what? Or if someone is “prominent” I should also believe their statements as completely authoritative?

    Heck of a straw-man there.

    You are also confusing both the language and the idea of “supernatural” protection with “super-powered” protection.

    However, despite all of that, it is fairly obvious that ANYTHING that a religious person says will be denigrated and dismissed automatically and without consideration whatsoever simply because we believe in something that you do not.

    Consider also that quite a few “prominent” scientists and world leaders believe in a God of some sort (differing by strength of belief and religious persuasion)and have stated their beliefs both publicly and privately. By your argument earlier we should consider those beliefs and statements as authoritative evidence of veracity.

  17. #17 JimW
    February 16, 2010

    My experience is that Mormons in general do not believe that temple garments offer physical protection, because 1) it really isn’t taught and 2) virtually every Mormon knows someone who was injured or killed while wearing the garments. The garment “protects” in the same way a marriage ring protects one from infidelity–it reminds one that he/she has made a convenant. Does that protection operate independently of the free will of the individual? Nope. Are they really magic? Nope. Are they sacred? Yes, to the Mormon, because of the convenants they represent.

    Some Mormons may believe exaggerated claims of physical protection, just like some Catholics believe the crucifix offers physical protection, but that is not, in my experience, the rule.

  18. #18 Mkay
    February 17, 2010

    The L.D.S. church is not a cult.But thank you for posting the YouTube video,I never had much use for Bill M. before,no use for him at all now,what an ass…………

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