Symbolism behind Mormon Underwear
When a worthy member of the Mormon Church goes to the temple for the first time, they receive what is most often referred to as the garment. Garments are underclothing that covers the body from the shoulders to the knees. There is a great amount of symbolism associated with the receiving and wearing of the garment.
In Exodus 28 a description is given of how Aaron and his sons are consecrated and anointed to be priests. In this chapter it also describes the priestly clothing; “And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron they brother for glory and for beauty…And these are the garments they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre, and a girdle; and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.”1 From these scriptures and further reading in chapter 29 of Exodus it becomes apparent that the garment is to help remind the priests and symbolize their consecration to God’s service.
The garment also symbolizes Christ’s atonement, which covers our sins. This symbolism can be understood from Genesis 3. When Adam and Eve eat of the forbidden fruit they become aware of their nakedness and seek to hide themselves from God’s presence. This is much what we do when we sin; we are no longer worthy to be in God’s presence. When God learns from Adam what he has done, both Adam and Eve are chastised and told that they must leave the garden, but God also makes them clothes to cover their nakedness. “Unto Adam also and his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”2 This symbolizes how when we sin we must face the consequences, but if we rely on the Lord, he will help “cover” our sins just as He covered Adam and Eve’s nakedness. This same scripture can also be applied to the fact that garments are a reminder that we rely on God for all that we have.
Garments are white, which is also symbolic. In revelations it says that those who “have not defiled their garments [are] clothed in white raiment” as well as scriptures that refer to our “scarlet” sins being washed to white through the blood of Christ. In Matthew 22:11-14 a parable is given of a man who is thrown out into the darkness when he goes to the King’s feast without wearing a wedding garment. Through this parable it is easy to see that the garment symbolizes spiritual preparedness and reminds the wearer that they should prepare for God’s judgment.