I’m still feeling the effects of being completely humiliated and embarrassed from ward conferences three days ago. We met as leaders of the stake at 6:30 in the morning Sunday to have our leadership meeting, which included all the ward Relief Society presidencies. President Isom also attended with us. We had been assigned the topic of pornography and what we as sisters can do to navigate around and through this hideous addiction and plague. We can see on all fronts that porn is tearing families apart, especially families that are based on morality and covenants. And according to President Isom, it is his #1 concern for the Lyman Wyoming Stake. Ugh!!!
Pornography use of any kind is evil—it is destructive to spiritual sensitivity, it weakens ability to exercise priesthood power, and it harms precious relationships. You know what? Call a spade a spade. Porn is evil. Pornography debases appropriate sexual expression and encourages the expression of sexual feelings outside the boundaries of marriage. Don’t go there. Period.
My part of the meeting was to talk about how we should wear the garment . . according to how we have been taught in the temple. I believe wearing our garments helps us resist ‘Satan’s fiery darts’ and to more fully keep our covenants. When people start to treat garments casually or worse, indifferently, temptations and vices creep into our lives. And before long, we are questioning or ignoring long-held beliefs. Here’s part of what I quoted:
“Practices frequently observed among the members of the Church suggest that some members do not fully understand the covenant they make in the temple to wear the garment in accordance with the spirit of the holy endowment.
“Church members who have been clothed with the garment in the temple have made a covenant to wear it throughout their lives. This has been interpreted to mean that it is worn as underclothing both day and night. … The promise of protection and blessings is conditioned upon worthiness and faithfulness in keeping the covenant.
“The fundamental principle ought to be to wear the garment and not to find occasions to remove it. Thus, members should not remove either all or part of the garment to work in the yard or to lounge around the home in swimwear or immodest clothing. Nor should they remove it to participate in recreational activities that can reasonably be done with the garment worn properly beneath regular clothing. When the garment must be removed, such as for swimming, it should be restored as soon as possible.
“The principles of modesty and keeping the body appropriately covered are implicit in the covenant and should govern the nature of all clothing worn. Endowed members of the Church wear the garment as a reminder of the sacred covenants they have made with the Lord and also as a protection against temptation and evil. How it is worn is an outward expression of an inward commitment to follow the Savior.”
Pretty straight forward, Yes?
But I bawled all the way through because of my own personal life and experiences. There was a time when I was not worthy to wear garments and I’m here to shout, my life was messed up! I was doing many things that I am frankly ashamed of. I was caught up in proving to everyone that I could navigate my own way and didn’t ‘need the Lord or religion.’ Boy Howdy! The day I was able to finally [after many many years . .] put back on my garments, clean and white, right out of a brand new package, was a very happy, even sacred, day for me. And I’ve been wearing them ever since. I even exercise in them. I don’t find reasons to go without. Even when we are camping and kayaking down the river, I’d rather wear shorts and a shirt than a swimming suit.
Anyway, very tender subject for this cry baby.
I’m not looking forward to the next two ward conferences [We do a whole building at a time and thus stay from 6:30 in the morning until the last meeting of the last ward is over — usually 10-11 hours.] Maybe I can trade subjects with one of the other ladies. I think I could talk about media or covenants a bit better than I can talk about the vital import of wearing our temple garments as we are taught.
A story. I love this!
A few years ago, in a seminar for new temple presidents and matrons, Elder James E. Faust, then of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, told about his being called to serve as a General Authority. He was asked only one question by President Harold B. Lee: “Do you wear the garments properly?” to which he answered in the affirmative. He then asked if President Lee wasn’t going to ask him about his worthiness. President Lee replied that he didn’t need to, for he had learned from experience that how one wears the garment is the expression of how the individual feels about the Church and everything that relates to it. It is a measure of one’s worthiness and devotion to the gospel.
Oh, if I could do one thing, it would be to teach my children how very important it is how one wears and regards garments.