What is this trend with LDS women wearing workout gear when not working out and using it as an excuse to not wear their garments? I have noticed a LOT of people I know from church who are endowed doing things (and posting pictures on social media) like planting a garden, hosting a birthday party, out to dinner on a cruise, etc. and they are wearing tank tops or other “workout” clothes when clearly not working out. I am not trying to be judgmental; I guess it is just confusing to me.
Thank you for your question. To help answer your question we will refer heavily to LDS Church Handbook 2 in the section listed “Temple Clothing and Garments”. Here we all receive wonderful insight and instruction into the sacred nature of the Garment and its purpose. Handbook 2 states:
“ Church members who have been clothed with the garment in a temple have taken upon themselves a covenant obligation to wear it according to the instructions given in the endowment. The garment provides a constant reminder of the covenants made in a temple. When properly worn, it provides protection against temptation and evil. Wearing the garment is also an outward expression of an inward commitment to follow the Savior. “
What a wonderful blessing! When properly worn… it provides a protection against temptation and evil. The garment is for our benefit, not our hindering. Wearing the garment provides us with blessings. By electing to remove it unnecessarily, we are basically electing to temporarily forfeit those promised protections. I would suggest that faithful members of the Church should be looking for reasons to wear their garments versus reasons to remove them. Handbook 2 continues:
“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.”
While there are some answers that the church intentionally leaves vague for us to find our personal path on, we have been given very specific instruction in this regard. Ultimately, all choices are made individually. The Handbook follows by saying:
“Members who have made covenants in the temple should be guided by the Holy Spirit to answer for themselves personal questions about wearing the garment.”
I would suggest that given the instruction received both in the temple and in Handbook 2, that if a worthy endowed member actually heeded the promptings of the Holy Spirit they would feel less comfortable removing their garments especially for activities in which garments could have been easily worn in the first place. Electing to remove the garments for reasons of mere fashion or perceived comfort does not appear to fit with the spirit of the garment or in the suggested guidelines.
Elder Carlos E. Asay shared his thoughts which I feel summarize things beautifully,
“I believe there is a critical body of knowledge relating to the temple garment. When that knowledge is obtained, Latter-day Saints filled with faith wear the garment and wear it properly, not because someone is policing their actions but because they understand the virtues of the sacred clothing and want to “do good and be restored unto that which is good.” On the other hand, when one does not understand the sacred nature of the temple garment, the tendency is to treat it casually and regard it as just another piece of cloth.”
Thank you again for your question Annabelle,