About Mormon garments - the fact and myth cheat sheet
This is part of the Mormon fact and myth cheat sheet on this website. The main list of Mormon facts and Myths can be found here. This section specifically discusses Mormon belief about garments. Critics often refer to them as 'magic underwear.'
This is a compilation of facts and myths about Mormon beliefs compiled from comments and other resources. I add things to this list as I run into them so this list has more information on it than I have had time to write about in detail. Some of these can be uncommonly random.
Some of these comments may have been collected from someone that is trying to imply that Mormons won't tell you about these things. This is partially accurate simply because we don't actually believe in many of these things. On a similar note, I have pulled some of this information from several "campaigns" which claim that they just want to help us Mormons realize the error of our ways. However, most of these campaigns are not actually targeted to Mormons. They are targeted to those who are not Mormon and may be curious about what we really believe. In war and politics it is known as a "disinformation" campaign and it's used to keep other people in the dark or doubtful of factual information. If these campaigns were intended to target Mormons, they would talk to us directly, instead of referring to Mormons in the third person as "they," and they would use our real teachings to try and convince us of our error.
You may notice that after the first sentence, these descriptions are written in a way so that anyone can quote them if they need to. The disadvantage to this is that there are some things that get repeated in the explanations more than once. It should be noted that this site is not an official source for Mormon doctrine, so if you're going to quote from this site I would recommend that you point out the sources or link back to this page so readers can verify accurate sources for themselves. I have also bolded some things in each statement to help identify the key points.
Speaking of repeating stuff, this introduction is fairly standard on the other fact and myth pages so you can probably skip it on the next one without missing much.
Editing and referencing is still an ongoing process for this page.
About Mormon garments
"Mormons wear magic underwear after they go through the temple":
This is true if you get rid of the fairy dust part.
After going through the temple Mormons wear special underclothing which are called garments. They are usually made from cotton or silk and are a reminder to be honest, chaste, pure, virtuous, and to keep the commandments. Mormons do not believe they are magic or that they can protect the wearer from evil or harm.
"Mormons believe their underwear is magic":
This is false.
Mormons do not believe their underwear to hold any magical or supernatural properties. They are simply a reminder of the promises they have made: to be honest, chaste, pure, virtuous, and to keep the commandments. There are some personal stories of individuals in the Mormon faith that have been protected from harm where their garments were. Mormons believe that God is all powerful and certainly has the ability to do this, but if these events were indeed an act of divine intervention then it was because of the faith of the wearer and not the underwear.
"Garments protect Mormons from evil":
This is false.
Mormons garments are considered a protection as far as they are a reminder of the promises they have made. They are not believed to make the wearer otherwise immune to evil or temptation. You're looking for the chain mail found in Dungeons and Dragons.
"Mormon's have to wear garments while taking a shower or swimming":
This is false.
Mormons take their garments off for activities where underclothing would not be appropriate. Such activities include showering, bathing, swimming, intimacy, etc. The council is that "members should wear the temple garment both day and night. They should not remove it, either entirely or partially, to work in the yard or for other activities that can reasonably be done with the garment worn properly beneath the clothing."
"Mormon's have to wear garments while having sex so their kids can be born 'under the covenant'":
This is not only false, but also a real mood killer.
Mormons take their garments off for activities where underclothing would not be appropriate, including sex. To a Mormon the term 'born in the covenant' means that a child is born to parents who are sealed in the temple. The events of the conception are not relevant.
"Mormon garments are crotchless":
This is false.
Both old and new patterns of Mormon garments were designed very similarly to traditional boxers with a section on the front that could be opened but was normally closed. The idea that garments are crotchless can only be considered true if you can consider your common boxers and briefs crotchless also. Both old and new styles of garments do not leave a persons crotch exposed.