‘Magic Mormon underwear’ explained
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has produced a video that exhorts people to stop making fun of their silly ‘temple garments’.
The video, according to this report, seeks dispels the notion that the cult believes “temple garments” have special protective powers and that the much-used reference to “magical Mormon underwear” is “offensive”.
The four-minute video insists that the phrase is:
Not only inaccurate but also offensive to members. There is nothing magical or mystical about temple garments, and church members ask for the same degree of respect and sensitivity that would be afforded to any other faith by people of goodwill.
It compares the white, two-piece cotton coverings to holy vestments worn in other religious faiths such as a Catholic nun’s habit or a Muslim skullcap. Curiously it omits to mention the Pastafarians’ “sacred”colander head covering.
The footage is part of a recent effort by the Salt Lake City-based cult to explain, expand or clarify on some of its battier beliefs, which are legion. Articles posted on the church’s website in the past two years have addressed the faith’s past ban on black men in the lay clergy; its early history of polygamy; and the misconception that members are taught they’ll get their own planet in the afterlife.
The latest video was made to fill a void on the Internet, which apparently has little, if any, accurate information about the undergarments, church spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a statement.
The undergarments are worn daily by devout adult Latter-day Saints as a reminder of their commitment to God to live good, honourable lives.
Members are taught not to hang the garments in public places to dry or display them in view of people:
Who do not understand their significance.
The video comes two years after jabs about the undergarments were lobbed at Mitt Romney in 2012 with the intent to damage his candidacy as the first Mormon presidential nominee of a major political party.
At one point during the campaign, New York Times columnist Charles Blow tweeted:
I’m a single parent and my kids are amazing! Stick that in your magic underwear.
This barb came after Romney decried the country’s rate of out-of-wedlock births.
Cult members seem pleased by the Mormons’ new openness. Jana Riess, who blogs about Mormonism for the Religion News Service wrote this week that she hopes the footage will:
Persuade gawkers that there’s nothing to see here, folks. They [the Mormons] now have something official to point to if people ask questions.I love that they put it on YouTube for the entire world to see. I think that’s very brave.
Hat tip: Ivan Bailey