For centuries, people of many faiths have used sacred clothing to symbolize their devotion to God. Sacred clothing takes a wide variety of forms in different cultures and religions—consider, for example, the nun’s habit, the priest’s cassock, the Jewish prayer shawl, the Muslim’s skullcap, and the robes of the Buddhist monk. For devout Latter-day Saints, sacred clothing includes temple garments, as well as temple robes, which are worn only inside Latter-day Saint temples.
What are temple garments?
Temple garments are worn only by adult members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have made sacred promises of fidelity to the gospel of Jesus Christ in holy temples. The temple garment is similar in design to typical modest underclothing. It is white, comes in two pieces, and is worn daily underneath regular clothing.
For Latter-day Saints who wear the temple garment, it is a constant physical reminder of a personal spiritual commitment (see “To the Point,” Liahona, Sept. 2012, 47). Latter-day Saints believe that the temple garment is “a reminder of the sacred covenants made with the Lord in His holy house, a protective covering for the body, and a symbol of the modesty of dress and living that should characterize the lives of all the humble followers of Christ” (Carlos E. Asay, “The Temple Garment: ‘An Outward Expression of an Inward Commitment,’” Ensign, Aug. 1997, 20). Mocking sacred temple clothing or referring to it as “magic underwear” is highly offensive to Latter-day Saints.
What are temple robes?
Unlike the temple garment, which faithful Latter-day Saints wear both day and night, temple robes are worn only inside temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Also referred to as the robes of the holy priesthood, temple robes are reserved for the highest sacraments of the faith.
The white of temple robes signifies purity. There is no insignia or rank on temple robes—men and women wear similar clothing, and the robes are the same for everyone from the newest member to the most senior Church leader. Temple robes are simple vestments that combine religious symbolism with echoes of ancient priestly tradition, as recorded in the Old Testament (see Exodus 35:19, 21; 40:13).
How can I learn more?
Latter-day Saints believe that temples are among the holiest places on earth. They are houses of the Lord and places of peace, refuge, and learning. To learn more about Latter-day Saint temples and beliefs, visit comeuntochrist.org.
Much of this article is a summary of “Temple Garments” on the Mormon Newsroom website. Please see that article for more information about clothing that is sacred to Latter-day Saints