As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I love temples. The main reason is because the temple constantly connects me to, teaches me about, and reminds me of Jesus Christ. There are other wonderful reasons, such as the promise of living together with my wife and children for eternity, but each is simply a result of the central purpose of the temple: strengthening my relationship with Jesus.
One part of the temple covenants we make with Jesus Christ is receiving garments. “Adult members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who receive the endowment enter into sacred promises, known as covenants, to follow the highest standards of moral integrity and dedication to God. As part of entering into these covenants in the temple, members receive a simple undergarment—often referred to as the “temple garment” or “garment of the Holy Priesthood.” Unlike other ceremonial clothing used during the endowment, the garment is worn underneath members’ normal clothing for the rest of their lives, serving as a daily physical reminder of their covenant relationship with God” (Source).
As I have pondered on the symbolism of these garments, I have become so grateful for how wearing them helps me focus on following Jesus every day. It is my hope that these 7 scriptural descriptions of garments will deepen your relationship with your Savior, Jesus Christ.
1. Garments of Praise
Jesus was sent to earth to “preach good tidings unto the meek… to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound… to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (see Isaiah 61:1-3).
Endowed members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can wear the garments that they receive in the temple as a daily act of praising the Savior, Jesus Christ. This private praise, that Heavenly Father sees in secret (Matt 6:4), can help generate feelings of loving connection with God. When you choose to give this meaning to the act of wearing the garment, it can truly help relieve you of any “spirit of heaviness” by reminding you daily of the One who bore all your burdens that they might be light (Matthew 11:28-30).
2. Garments of Light
An Old Testament poem begins: “Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment.” (Psalm 104:1-2)
Jesus Christ is the light of the world (John 8:12, 3 Nephi 11:11). With the temple invitation to receive and wear the garment, the Father and the Son give you the opportunity to be clothed like them in joyful, hopeful, faithful, peaceful, and loving light. Wearing your garments faithfully can remind you of His light, that you are meant to shine forth. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
3. Garments of Beauty
Isaiah calls to us with these prophetic words: “Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.” (Isaiah 52:1, see also Doctrine and Covenants 82:14)
Jesus is currently restoring Zion to the world as He changes hearts, sculpting them into beautiful masterpieces. Zion is an eternal and unimaginably beautiful place where Heavenly Father and Jesus dwell, and they long for you not just to be there with Them, but to feel comfortable there as well. So They work long hours to help you choose to become a truly beautiful being of light, grace, truth, love, and all other godly attributes so you can understand and see the beauty of their heavenly kingdom. Faithfully honoring your commitment to wearing temple garments can help you realize that Jesus has you in His hands, working you gently into the beautiful being He knows you can be. (Isaiah 64:8)
4. Garments of Remembrance
Before Jesus was crucified, “they parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, they parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.” (Matthew 27:35)
Every Sunday, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints partake of the Sacrament, a sacred ordinance where we partake of bread and water in remembrance of the body and blood of Jesus Christ that was sacrificed for all. Eating the bread is a symbol of Him giving a little part of Himself to spiritually feed you with truth and love. Perhaps you can also think of the Savior giving a little piece of His garment to you so that He might clothe you for protection from spiritual storms, winds, cold, or heat. Your garments can be a daily reminder of that eternally significant day when He sacrificed all for you individually and God’s children collectively.
5. Garments of Healing
“And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment for she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.” (Matthew 9:20-22)
The garments that are received in the temple are gifts from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They are ultimately Theirs. Wearing the garment daily as promised in the temple requires you to almost constantly be touching your garments, or the garments of Christ that have been generously gifted to you. Like the woman who was healed, you can open your eyes of faith and allow the touch of your garments to turn your heart and mind more and more to Jesus for spiritual, emotional, social, and physical healing.
6. Garments of Consecration
When the Lord, through Moses, made a covenant with ancient Israel, He commanded: “And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty. And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.” (Exodus 28:2-3)
Giving garments to Aaron was a symbol of consecrating Israel to the Lord, or setting them apart to minister and perform the Lord’s work, which is “to bring to pass the immortality of eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39) Every time you put on your garments, you can choose to remember that you are consecrating yourself to the Lord’s work of leading all of God’s children back to life in our heavenly home with our Heavenly Parents.
7. Garments of Salvation
The ancient prophet Isaiah exclaimed: “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10)
Jesus is the one who clothes you in salvation. No one else can do it. You cannot steal salvation or truly be happy with some sort of cheap worldly imitation. Being clothed in garments every day can remind you of your complete dependence on Jesus for salvation.
Final Thoughts on LDS Garments
Temple garments are a powerful resource that members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are given to feel close to God and the Savior. They are so much more than just pieces of clothing. We hope this article helps you to see just how important temple garments are and all of the wonderful things that they can do for us.