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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: July 11, 2012 01:42PM

"It's perhaps the most awkward question of the 2012 cycle: What's with Mitt Romney's underwear?

"The subject of long-running public curiosity, the subject occasionally pops back into the foreground, as with a widely-retweeted image earlier this year, and footage of the candidate in Florida this week. . . .

"Because garments are considered so sacred, Mormons tend to recoil when they hear non-Mormons make casual reference to their underwear--especially in a political context. But if there ever was a time when discussion of the subject could be contained to LDS circles, now is not it. Anyone who's attended a performance of The Book of Mormon Musical has already seen actors wearing replicas of the underwear on stage. And as the presidential race wears on, there's no doubt it will come again and again.

"So, in the spirit of debunking and demystifying, BuzzFeed is here to answer your questions about "magic Mormon underwear." (This reporter is something of an expert on the subject.)

"What are garments? Who wears them?

"Garments are worn by faithful adult Mormons who've received certain ordinances in one of the church's temples (which are different from the churches Mormons attend on Sundays). In temples, Mormons pledge to obey Biblical commandments, live chaste lives, and serve in the church--and the garments are worn to remind wearers of those promises.

"Mormons begin wearing garments when they 'go through the temple' for the first time--a spiritual rite of passage that typically coincides with leaving to serve a mission, or getting married. Children in the church don't wear garments.
Because wearing them is a personal choice, it's impossible to know for sure if that familiar (to Mormons) neckline in the Romney photo is actually attached to a temple garment. But as a lifelong member of the church who served a mission, married his wife in the temple, and continues to be active in his religion, it would stand to reason that Romney is still a garment-wearer.

"What do they look like?

"Garments today come in two pieces--a white undershirt, and white boxer brief-style shorts--and they contain small symbols meant to remind Mormons of the covenants they've made in the temple. Some undershirts, like the one Romney appears to be wearing, have circular, low-cut necklines, while others resemble crew-cut t-shirts. They also come in a variety of materials--cotton, polyester, silk, etc.--to accommodate different climates (a fact for which Mormon missionaries in subsaharan Africa are grateful). Generally, wearing them takes some adjustment at first, but most Mormons report quickly growing accustomed to them. . . .

"How often are they worn? Where do Mormons get them?

"Garment-wearing Mormons tend to own several pairs, and wear them on a daily basis in lieu of regular underwear. There are obvious exceptions, though: no one keeps them on while playing sports, for instance, or on trips to the beach.

"Because of their sacred nature, garments are not sold in retail stores or manufactured by outside companies; they can be purchased at various church-owned stores throughout the world (often attached to temples), or online at one of the LDS church's websites.

"Are they magical?

"In a word, no. Though it's common in Mormon-mocking rhetoric to use some variation on 'magic Mormon undies' to describe the garment (paging Bill Maher), there's nothing especially mystical about them.

"Mormons are taught that by putting on 'the whole armor of God'--a Biblical metaphor regularly employed in LDS discussions of the subject--they are afforded protection from temptation, in that they have a physical reminder not to sin. But there's no magical guarantee involved. Just as cheating spouses ignore the vows symbolized by their wedding ring, plenty of garment-wearing Mormons sin. The power is in the symbolism of the garments, not any kind of miracles that result from wearing them.

"Within Mormon folklore, there are stories of garment-wearers receiving physical protection--being spared from injury in a car accident, for example--but this isn't part of official LDS doctrine, and it's not widely preached. . . ."

Although the above article did not provide photographs of the Mormon garments (in the name of paying deference to dainty feelings of faith), the general problem with media coverage of Mitt's Mormonism has been its reluctance to go at weird LDS beliefs and practices with a commitment to full disclosure.

Therefore . . .

Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/2012 02:21PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: thingsithink ( )
Date: July 11, 2012 05:08PM

I think Willard Romney was named after a man, Mr. Marriot, who claimed his mormon underwear saved his life or kept him from serious injury in a fire.

Someone did ask Clinton "boxers or briefs." So, it's fair game.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/2012 05:09PM by thingsithink.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: July 11, 2012 05:37PM

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/2012 05:37PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: xophor ( )
Date: July 11, 2012 06:17PM

With the "celestial smile" scoop neckline of mesh garment tops being so identifiably garmentious, why the heck didn't Mittens put his personal textile preferences aside and just go with the standard crew-neck T-shirt style that would lessen/normalize the visibility, and therefore attention, regarding his underwear?

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Posted by: freetimenow ( )
Date: September 13, 2012 04:21PM

That's what I've wondered about all the TBM men I know. They have that ridiculous looking scoop neck that practically goes to the belly button. Why, when normal t or v neck shirts can be used.

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Posted by: onendagus ( )
Date: September 13, 2012 04:31PM

In the morridor its an advantage to have them showing. Plus they probably just don't care and think why hide it by doing a crew or v neck.

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Posted by: mrtranquility ( )
Date: July 11, 2012 06:30PM

People can generally accept religious clothing, but if it comes in the underwear variety, well, that's just REALLY WEIRD! That is a mega turd that cannot be polished.

Get rid of the magic underpants, Mormons. It's nothing but a liability and always will be.

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Posted by: hahahaha ( )
Date: September 13, 2012 03:15PM

The undergarmets...really. A candidate wearing these mormon undergarmets are not a positive image. Sure doesn't turn me politically towards you. A model your not only a wannabe.

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Posted by: inmoland ( )
Date: September 13, 2012 03:33PM

"Because wearing them is a personal choice..."

Is that a correct statement?

I was under the impression that wearing them a requirement to remain in good standing in the church and to get a TR once one is endowed. Is that not true?

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Posted by: AmIDarkNow? ( )
Date: September 13, 2012 06:26PM

"Because wearing them is a personal choice..."

Personal choice to enter into righteous slavery that is.

How exactly does that make it all "not" weird to outsiders?

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Posted by: Glo ( )
Date: September 13, 2012 05:44PM

You are required to wear the regulation temple garments day and night - as a reminder of the oaths you took in the temple.

In other words, they are like a soldier's uniform and the cult tells you YOUR ASS IS MINE

Right there is the reason why Romney should never be president.

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Posted by: anonnow ( )
Date: September 13, 2012 06:07PM

When I was in law school at the UofU, one of my former District Leaders was a classmate. We weren't friends although he was a good enough guy.

One day I walked into class as the room was starting to fill up, said "hi" to him and took a chair behind him.

This was back in the days of the once piecers. It was obvious 1/2 the back of his garments were ripped off.

I said, "jeez, is that the only pair you could find?"

He blushes heavily and said "it's the only pair that was clean."

Everyone behind him in the room was cracking up including me.

He said "thanks for thoroughly embarssing me."

I was laughing too hard to respond. But I think he embarassed himself.

Still laughing.

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Posted by: pigsinzen ( )
Date: September 13, 2012 10:17PM

LOL. I'm so glad I caught my brain back before I got far enough into the madness to actually get "endowed" and wear that crap. One word comes to mind when I think about garments: lunatics.

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