|This photo taken from a video provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shows the "temple garment," a white, two-piece cotton clothing worn by church members. (Photo: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints via AP)|
Kate Seamons, Newser | USAToday
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wants to clear something up: The "temple garment" that devout adult Mormons wear is not "magic underwear."
As a rep for the LDS Church puts it, "Because there is little or no accurate information on this subject on the Internet, the church feels it important to provide this resource"—that resource being a four-minute video on the topic that was posted on Thursday on a mormonnewsroom.org topic page and has since gone viral, reports the Daily Herald.
The first third focuses not on the Mormons' holy vestments but on those worn in other religions, from the nun's habit to the Muslim's skullcap: "All are part of a rich tapestry of human devotion to God." As the video explains, Mormons' garments (which also include temple robes "reserved for the highest sacraments of the faith") join that tapestry.
The video includes a shot of the garments laid on a table;looking like a T-shirt and knee-length shorts, they're worn under normal clothing and typically not shown to outsiders.
(The AP notes that members are instructed not to dry the garments in public view, or otherwise show them to people "who do not understand their significance.") The video notes that there is nothing magical or mystical about them: "These words are not only inaccurate but also offensive." Writing for Religion News Service, Jana Riess applauds the move and offers her candid take: "I can understand why it seems strange to non-Mormons that our holy garment is underwear. (Seriously? Underwear?) But to me that is exactly the most beautiful thing ... What could be more tied to the messiness of being human?"
This article originally appeared on Newser: Mormons Explain Their Sacred Undergarments