Whether you grew up in the Church or joined later in life, you may have heard about temple garments before you actually went to the temple yourself. But knowing about the garment and understanding the significance of the garment are two very different things!
The temple garment is not the same as traditional underwear. Wearing this sacred clothing faithfully invites godly power into our lives because it reminds us to live the gospel more fully.
Have you ever wondered why sacred underclothing is given to those who enter into covenants with God in the temple? Here are some points to consider.
Throughout time, God has given His children various patterns, practices, and ordinances to help us remember and deepen our relationship with Him. These include the following:
Passover: a solemn yet joyful observance reminding the Israelites of their deliverance from the bondage of Egypt and pointing them to Jesus Christ, who provides spiritual deliverance for all humanity (see Exodus 12–13).
The sacrament: a sacred ordinance instituted by Jesus in remembrance of His atoning sacrifice (see Matthew 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; 3 Nephi 18). Through this ordinance, Church members also renew the covenants they have made with God.
Each of these serves as a reminder pointing us to God. In a similar way, the temple garment serves as a tangible reminder of our covenant relationship with God the Father, made possible through His Son, Jesus Christ. The garment is a covering for the most sacred of God’s creations: His children.
The First Presidency has stated, “It is a sacred privilege to wear the garment and doing so is an outward expression of an inner commitment to follow the Savior Jesus Christ.”1 Every time we participate in a priesthood ordinance, serve others, engage in prayer, or study the gospel, for example, we are showing an “outward expression” of our own individual commitment to follow the Savior. While the temple garment is not visible to the world, wearing it faithfully can provide a constant reminder to the wearer of sacred temple covenants made with God—a symbol of our desire to become what God knows we can be.
By faithfully honoring the covenants of the endowment, we prepare to receive the precious gift of exaltation in our Heavenly Father’s kingdom. The garment reminds us that we may put off the natural man and become a Saint through the Atonement of Jesus Christ (see Mosiah 3:19).
We can learn more about the symbolism of the temple garment by studying God’s interaction with Adam and Eve. After partaking of the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve felt ashamed at the thought of standing in the presence of God. Knowing they were naked, they made aprons of fig leaves and hid themselves. (See Genesis 3:1–8.)
But when God saw what they had done, He did not abandon them or leave them comfortless. As Adam and Eve faced the realities of spiritual and physical death, God taught them of spiritual rebirth and the gift of eternal life, available to all His children. “Hearken unto my voice,” God said, “and believe, and repent of all thy transgressions, and be baptized, even in water, in the name of mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth, which is Jesus Christ, the only name which shall be given under heaven, whereby salvation shall come unto the children of men” (Moses 6:52).
Adam and Eve began their journey in this fallen world with knowledge of the Savior, with an invitation to come unto Him, and with access to His redeeming power. They entered into covenants with God and were given “coats of skins” made by God Himself to remind them of those covenants (Genesis 3:21; Moses 4:27).
As we attend the temple, we are endowed with power and personally enter into covenants with God. The garment is an emblem of the protection that Adam and Eve received and that we receive and is a reminder of these sacred covenants.
President Russell M. Nelson has declared that “wearing the temple garment has deep symbolic significance. It represents a continuing commitment.”2 This includes God’s commitment to provide a Savior for His children (see Moroni 10:33), as well as our own commitment to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer.
As we honor the covenants of the temple and wear the garment faithfully, we are promised blessings of protection against temptation and evil. We enjoy a constant reminder that our Savior desires to cleanse us from our sins and help us overcome our personal sins, weaknesses, frustrations, and pains.
For Adam and Eve, the garment served as a symbol of their relationship with God and provided a reminder of the covenants that allowed them to receive the many blessings God has for His faithful children. As we navigate the challenges and trials of mortality, the garment can help us remember Jesus Christ, cherish our temple covenants, and remain firm in our commitment to qualify for the blessings of eternal life.