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Mr Moonella Offline
#61 Posted : Monday, March 17, 2014 6:43:02 AM(UTC)

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It was me who started the thread about Bruce R McConkie's comments on naturism. I wonder where that thread has gone!

I found out about it at http://forum.newordermor...rg/viewtopic.php?p=7614 which is a discussion about the Anglo-centric cultural emphasis of the church.

It seems that Elder McConkie had seen a report in the Las Vegas Review Journal. He wrote a letter in response, and this was reported in Sunstone Review, 2:18/13, August 1982, under the news section called "Short Subjects". The forum quoted the Sunstone article as follows (I did try to directly find the Sunstone article online, but couldn't):

For most Mormons, a National Nude Beach Days outing at Lake Mead passed relatively unnoticed. And, indeed, might have escaped any LDS attention whatsoever had an article on the front page of the "Living" section of the Las Vegas Review-Journal not identified the organizer as a Mormon. Although the article described a family scene as innocent and antiseptic as a ward picnic, it prompted a stern letter on the issue of public nudity signed by Church official Elder Bruce R. McConkie. The organizer, a father of seven and member of a nudist group called Las Vegas Naturists, told the Review-Journal that the LDS church frowns upon public nudity but allows members the freedom to practice it if they choose. He explained that "people who haven't been exposed to nudity equate it with immorality or kinkiness." Although there is no federal law against nudity on the lake, the organizer said his group does not want to offend anyone. It is careful to post signs warning visitors that swimsuits are optional. "The lake is big enough for all of us," his wife added. The organizer's nonchalant statements "shocked" and "surprised" Elder McConkie. In a July 20 letter to the editor of the Review-Journal-written in the collective "we" expressed distress that the unidentified organizer "felt that 'public nudity' was neither immoral nor illegal!" "We cannot speak about the laws of your recreational areas," continued Elder McConkie, "but we are in a position to inform members and nonmembers of our church that this type of nude conduct is not moral behavior and is not permissible if an individual is to remain a stalwart member of our faith and religious belief." Elder McConkie then urged the LDS naturist "to immediately contact his local bishop regarding this immoral practice," or to contact Elder McConkie personally "for an immediate interview." "We as representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ," concluded McConkie, "do not approve of this nude swimming and sunbathing or any other form of public nudity, and anyone stating otherwise is falsifying the truth or is just plain ignorant of our Christian faith. In short, we do not permit church members to practice public nudity if they choose . . . ."

I agree that Elder McConkie's views of public nudity would have been coloured by assumptions about 'free love' etc, but I don't imagine he was consciously considering whether or not to distinguish between appropriate and immoral nudity. I feel he would have been opposed to all public mixed-gender nudity, as a result of the culture he grew up in. (As someone says on that forum, 'I would file in the very large "Elder McConkie's Opinions" folder.') I don't imagine that the American General Authorities are all thinking 'Well, naturism is OK, but we can't say that publicly because it would cause a storm'. Most probably aren't thinking about it, but if they do their first reaction is likely to be in line with their cultural predispositions, just like anyone else.

I'm sure Elder McConkie was provoked by the line 'the LDS church frowns upon public nudity but allows members the freedom to practice it if they choose' which makes it sound as though the church had said this. It was a poor quote to give. The church has not said that church members are free to practice public nudity if they choose, because the church hasn't made a statement on public nudity. Therefore, it is also incorrect to say that the church frowns on public nudity. I tried to think what I would have said, but if I were organising a naturist event and were being interviewed by a reporter, I wouldn't have felt the need to tell him my religion and make a statement about the church's attitude about it.
nude_explorer Offline
#62 Posted : Sunday, March 30, 2014 4:15:25 PM(UTC)

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Mormondad wrote:
Oh, they are out there, you probably just wasn't in the right frame of mind to pick up on those verses and what they imply. Most folks skip right over them and never quite make the connections. There are other verses in the Bible that speak more directly about nudity (one being about Peter, and the other Isaiah) but I've seen folks actually read them and then say that they don't actually mean full nudity. Amazing how people refuse to acknowledge what's right before their eyes sometimes.


Not to mention the account in the New Testament when the Lord (Jesus) removed his clothes to wash the feet of the apostles. Talmage in his book reworded it to say outer garments. Interesting how people will change things to suit their feelings.
nude_explorer Offline
#63 Posted : Sunday, March 30, 2014 4:22:52 PM(UTC)

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Mr Moonella wrote:
It was me who started the thread about Bruce R McConkie's comments on naturism. I wonder where that thread has gone!

I found out about it at http://forum.newordermor...rg/viewtopic.php?p=7614 which is a discussion about the Anglo-centric cultural emphasis of the church.

It seems that Elder McConkie had seen a report in the Las Vegas Review Journal. He wrote a letter in response, and this was reported in Sunstone Review, 2:18/13, August 1982, under the news section called "Short Subjects". The forum quoted the Sunstone article as follows (I did try to directly find the Sunstone article online, but couldn't):

For most Mormons, a National Nude Beach Days outing at Lake Mead passed relatively unnoticed. And, indeed, might have escaped any LDS attention whatsoever had an article on the front page of the "Living" section of the Las Vegas Review-Journal not identified the organizer as a Mormon. Although the article described a family scene as innocent and antiseptic as a ward picnic, it prompted a stern letter on the issue of public nudity signed by Church official Elder Bruce R. McConkie. The organizer, a father of seven and member of a nudist group called Las Vegas Naturists, told the Review-Journal that the LDS church frowns upon public nudity but allows members the freedom to practice it if they choose. He explained that "people who haven't been exposed to nudity equate it with immorality or kinkiness." Although there is no federal law against nudity on the lake, the organizer said his group does not want to offend anyone. It is careful to post signs warning visitors that swimsuits are optional. "The lake is big enough for all of us," his wife added. The organizer's nonchalant statements "shocked" and "surprised" Elder McConkie. In a July 20 letter to the editor of the Review-Journal-written in the collective "we" expressed distress that the unidentified organizer "felt that 'public nudity' was neither immoral nor illegal!" "We cannot speak about the laws of your recreational areas," continued Elder McConkie, "but we are in a position to inform members and nonmembers of our church that this type of nude conduct is not moral behavior and is not permissible if an individual is to remain a stalwart member of our faith and religious belief." Elder McConkie then urged the LDS naturist "to immediately contact his local bishop regarding this immoral practice," or to contact Elder McConkie personally "for an immediate interview." "We as representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ," concluded McConkie, "do not approve of this nude swimming and sunbathing or any other form of public nudity, and anyone stating otherwise is falsifying the truth or is just plain ignorant of our Christian faith. In short, we do not permit church members to practice public nudity if they choose . . . ."

I agree that Elder McConkie's views of public nudity would have been coloured by assumptions about 'free love' etc, but I don't imagine he was consciously considering whether or not to distinguish between appropriate and immoral nudity. I feel he would have been opposed to all public mixed-gender nudity, as a result of the culture he grew up in. (As someone says on that forum, 'I would file in the very large "Elder McConkie's Opinions" folder.') I don't imagine that the American General Authorities are all thinking 'Well, naturism is OK, but we can't say that publicly because it would cause a storm'. Most probably aren't thinking about it, but if they do their first reaction is likely to be in line with their cultural predispositions, just like anyone else.

I'm sure Elder McConkie was provoked by the line 'the LDS church frowns upon public nudity but allows members the freedom to practice it if they choose' which makes it sound as though the church had said this. It was a poor quote to give. The church has not said that church members are free to practice public nudity if they choose, because the church hasn't made a statement on public nudity. Therefore, it is also incorrect to say that the church frowns on public nudity. I tried to think what I would have said, but if I were organising a naturist event and were being interviewed by a reporter, I wouldn't have felt the need to tell him my religion and make a statement about the church's attitude about it.


This from an apostle and author of "Mormon Doctrine" which is the same book that President Kimball asked him to edit because it had teachings that were not in line with "Mormon Doctrine" and was never on the approved reading list of the Church.
GBSmith Offline
#64 Posted : Sunday, March 30, 2014 4:49:08 PM(UTC)
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nude_explorer wrote:

This from an apostle and author of "Mormon Doctrine" which is the same book that President Kimball asked him to edit because it had teachings that were not in line with "Mormon Doctrine" and was never on the approved reading list of the Church.


Actually he wasn't asked to edit it, he was told to not publish another edition. It wasn't until about 10 years after the first addition when Pres. McKay was elderly and very frail that Elder McConkie went ahead with a second addition with the support of his father-in-law, Joseph Fielding Smith. I'd be curious to know if anyone took Elder McConkie up on the offer of an individual interview.
Mormondad Offline
#65 Posted : Wednesday, May 9, 2018 12:25:47 PM(UTC)

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From what I see, the church is actually moving further away from hard definitions and standards toward more general guidelines and letting individuals determine for themselves. When it comes to "modesty standards" the GA level leadership tends to be rather general and vague in their statements. It is the local leaders that have put more stringent and defined statements to it. Keep in mind that much has over time been derived from cultural norms, more particularly Victorian (Anglo) cultural norms. This cultural basis has survived and propagated in our day and due to other influences and perceptions formed the basis of the nudity aversion we see today.

Simply, I do not see the church senior leadership making any definitive statement against nudity, it would cause far too much trouble in the worldwide context and membership. Fact is, the US and more specifically Utah LDS culture are on the wain and international cultural influences on the increase in the LDS faith. Thus the requirement to weed out cultural influences and perceptions of doctrine and revert back to the basics and real doctrinal principles. While they have been doing this from the beginning, I anticipate a stronger push towards gospel basics, true doctrinal principles and less in applications of those doctrines and principles.

The Ministering Program announce in Conference last month is a prime example of this. We get away from the Terrestrial concept of Home/Visiting Teaching where you kept a set standard of at least once a month visit (a check the box approach which is actually almost a Telestial application), to a more Celestial principle of actually ministering to the needs as the focus.

As times approach closer to the advent of the Savior, we will see more of this and many will fall by the wayside as they either refuse or choose not to accept these changes.

So no, I don't see the senior leadership making any statement more definitive in regards to nudity or modesty, only in regards to sins which may or may not include nudity.
"Modesty died when clothes were born."
---Mark Twain
LazerusLong Offline
#66 Posted : Wednesday, May 9, 2018 6:39:49 PM(UTC)

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observer BOSUDA wrote:
Sounds optimistic. I also wonder if garment lengths will shorten over time. Not to worldly standards (i.e. impractical coverage akin to thongs or micro bikinis), but to shorter-but-still-reasonable lengths (keeping in mind those who live in hotter/more humid climates). If it doesn't, I'm okay with that. But it's something I've been curious about nonetheless.

In the last... say 100 years or so, garment lengths have shortened. Garments used to be to the wrist and to the ankles, and look where they are now. Women's garments currently run shorter than men's. When I wear my kilt.. it is hard to not "show my religion", because of how long the garment is.

As for what the future might hold...
The ways of God, government, & girls are all mysterious & it is not given to mortal man to understand them. - LazarusLong
Ravenwarbird Offline
#67 Posted : Wednesday, May 9, 2018 7:08:44 PM(UTC)

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observer BOSUDA wrote:
As usual, if I have a thought that doesn't apply to active threads, I like looking for older threads to post in to avoid redundantly making new threads.

So say the Church puts out a new policy where nudity outside of personal hygiene and intimacy between husband and wife becomes subject to Church discipline (basically, recreational and "artistic" nudity gets a blanket ban). Obviously an extreme measure, but I could see it potentially happen if the Church were to take a stronger modesty stance given world trends of becoming increasingly more wicked.

I don't intend this to be me saying "I've turned back to my views towards nudity prior to learning anything from here." That is absolutely the last thing on my mind. But what do you do? Do you seek personal revelation on the matter? Do you sustain the prophet and follow without questioning (this is another topic I've been interested in discussing---maybe we could discuss it here as well)? Do you leave the Church?

[insert other questions that come with finding out about a potential ban on non-hygienic/non-lawful-sexual-relations nudity at will]

But what do you do if Church leadership (Prophet, Apostles, Area Authorities, Stake President or Bishop)come out with a statement on doctrine that is different from your views on the subject or issue?

Do you seek personal revelation on the matter?

Yes.

Do you sustain the Leader?

Yes, as far as they have authority to speak and receive revelation on the subject for you. They have been called to lead groups of people and so must guide according to the group need. You have authority to receive revelation and inspiration for yourself; the trick is learning to distinguish between your will, the Lords guidance and the Oppositions promptings.

And follow without questioning?

No! No Prophet has ever taught to follow their council without question and may have said to do so would be folly and would only lead one into trouble. I have heard it compared to being given a licence to drive after only hearing someone talk about driving; and then getting into a car and thinking you will be able to drive. No, you have to seek training and experience with driving yourself.


Do you leave the Church?

No! Many who have left the Church over precised doctrinal issues or conflicts with Leadership; have said it is far better in the Church than out. The Church will get on great without you or me but without the stability and support the Church can offer, especially in time of faith crisis, is invaluable. It should also be noted that just because someone leaves the Church does not mean we have to pretend they never existed or even harp on them constantly about the errors of their ways and how they need to come back or they will burn in an unquenchable fire. They were your friend in the Church and can still be your friend outside the Church, just be their friend and comfort and support them the same as if they were still in the Church. Christ did not reject the Pharisees and (the ones I can never spell), they rejected him but he still loved and forgave them their trespasses.
Remember the simple things are the fundamentals of life. Choose ye your path this day. Si prima non succederet usus duct tape.
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observer BOSUDA on 5/10/2018(UTC)
CheDawg Offline
#68 Posted : Wednesday, May 9, 2018 7:55:13 PM(UTC)

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LazerusLong wrote:
observer BOSUDA wrote:
Sounds optimistic. I also wonder if garment lengths will shorten over time. Not to worldly standards (i.e. impractical coverage akin to thongs or micro bikinis), but to shorter-but-still-reasonable lengths (keeping in mind those who live in hotter/more humid climates). If it doesn't, I'm okay with that. But it's something I've been curious about nonetheless.

In the last... say 100 years or so, garment lengths have shortened. Garments used to be to the wrist and to the ankles, and look where they are now. Women's garments currently run shorter than men's. When I wear my kilt.. it is hard to not "show my religion", because of how long the garment is.

As for what the future might hold...


The evolution of the garment in my 35 years of wearing them has been interesting to watch. When I was first endowed the bottoms went to well below my knees on the two piece garments. The one piece was even longer.
The last pair of garments I got only come to about halfway down my thigh, and yes, they are the right size for my waist. They’re not much longer than the aaronic priesthood garments (boxer shorts Blushing) I wore before my mission. My wife’s garments have changed even more.
I don’t know the reason for the changes, but I think it’s been for the better.
Mormondad Offline
#69 Posted : Thursday, May 10, 2018 9:28:58 AM(UTC)

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RWB once again nails it extremely succinctly.

I don't see the garments getting much shorter than they currently are. There is a reason for the length of the bottoms. If yours is mid-thigh then you might want to look at the sizes, as I understand it they have made different sizes for tall/short people so you might need to adjust that. A while back I did get a taller size by accident and it comes to below my knee. The proper size comes to just above my knee.

The key part of the garment is to understand and remember its purpose. It is to remind us of our covenants we've made and thus it will then become a protection and a shield from the 'fiery darts of the adversary' and keep us safe from sin. The garment is never the end all of it, but rather the tool to bring us closer to Heavenly Father. It is a symbol of our covenants, much like circumcision was for the ancient Israelites.
"Modesty died when clothes were born."
---Mark Twain
r5ts84n Offline
#70 Posted : Thursday, April 25, 2019 3:32:48 PM(UTC)

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A few questions to hopefully spark some conversation:

1. Why did Satan tell Adam and Eve to cover their nakedness?
2. Why did Father tell the Savior to make coats of skins for Adam and Eve to cover their nakedness?
3. Why are heavenly messengers (including Father and the Son) always clothed in a white robe when they appear to individuals?
4. Other than the symbols sewn into the temple garment to remind us of covenants, why is the temple garment important?
Al_M Offline
#71 Posted : Thursday, April 25, 2019 3:54:00 PM(UTC)
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r5ts84n wrote:
A few questions to hopefully spark some conversation:

1. Why did Satan tell Adam and Eve to cover their nakedness?
2. Why did Father tell the Savior to make coats of skins for Adam and Eve to cover their nakedness?
3. Why are heavenly messengers (including Father and the Son) always clothed in a white robe when they appear to individuals?
4. Other than the symbols sewn into the temple garment to remind us of covenants, why is the temple garment important?


1. Satan wants to turn God's gift into man's possession. He wants men to swing between pride and loathing. Much more...
2. Man made creations cannot protect the soul (body and spirit). Only God can do that. We must rely on his protection which is granted through covenant keeping. Much more...
3. Who knows? Perhaps it is to protect our eyes from the full glory of heavenly beings.
4. It is a reminder that God is our protector. It reminds us what we need to do. It is a physical symbol of our link with all covenant keepers. Much more...
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r5ts84n on 4/26/2019(UTC)
rjmma Offline
#72 Posted : Thursday, April 25, 2019 5:48:43 PM(UTC)

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r5ts84n wrote:
A few questions to hopefully spark some conversation:

1. Why did Satan tell Adam and Eve to cover their nakedness?
2. Why did Father tell the Savior to make coats of skins for Adam and Eve to cover their nakedness?
3. Why are heavenly messengers (including Father and the Son) always clothed in a white robe when they appear to individuals?
4. Other than the symbols sewn into the temple garment to remind us of covenants, why is the temple garment important?



I'll bite:

1. Satan loves to create shame. Shame keeps us from admitting to and correcting what we have done. Would you mind telling others about your past misdeeds if there was no fear of shame? I wouldn't. Shame keeps us from repenting. It is what makes us hide from God.

2. The clothing is symbolic of Christ's atonement. The progression is this Adam and Eve are innocent and pure, symbolized through their nakkedness. They trangress, and now are not able to be in God's presence, so They cover thier sins throught Christ's atonement. The Garment represents Christ and that his atonement can cover our sins if we let it.

3. We only know that Moroni was wearing a robe, and he was naked under that. Other messengers are described as being in white robes, but is that just being clothed in glory? Are they actually wearing white robes? Where in heaven do you buy those I wonder? No they are clothed in glory and appear in a manner that will not be shocking to us.

4. The garment is a reminder of our covenants, and it is representative of Christ and his atonement. I wear my garments in rememberance of Christ, his atonement, and the covenants I have made in the temple. Pretty important to me.

In the end though, we must remember that the garment is just a piece of fabric. It isn't magical or hold any special power. Any power, protection or anything else associated with the garment comes from how much we respect and honor the covenants that that piece of cloth represent.
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Nudedad on 4/25/2019(UTC), r5ts84n on 4/26/2019(UTC)
Ravenwarbird Offline
#73 Posted : Friday, April 26, 2019 4:40:34 PM(UTC)

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rjmma wrote:
r5ts84n wrote:
A few questions to hopefully spark some conversation:

1. Why did Satan tell Adam and Eve to cover their nakedness?
2. Why did Father tell the Savior to make coats of skins for Adam and Eve to cover their nakedness?
3. Why are heavenly messengers (including Father and the Son) always clothed in a white robe when they appear to individuals?
4. Other than the symbols sewn into the temple garment to remind us of covenants, why is the temple garment important?



I'll bite:

1. Satan loves to create shame. Shame keeps us from admitting to and correcting what we have done. Would you mind telling others about your past misdeeds if there was no fear of shame? I wouldn't. Shame keeps us from repenting. It is what makes us hide from God.

2. The clothing is symbolic of Christ's atonement. The progression is this Adam and Eve are innocent and pure, symbolized through their nakkedness. They trangress, and now are not able to be in God's presence, so They cover thier sins throught Christ's atonement. The Garment represents Christ and that his atonement can cover our sins if we let it.

3. We only know that Moroni was wearing a robe, and he was naked under that. Other messengers are described as being in white robes, but is that just being clothed in glory? Are they actually wearing white robes? Where in heaven do you buy those I wonder? No they are clothed in glory and appear in a manner that will not be shocking to us.

4. The garment is a reminder of our covenants, and it is representative of Christ and his atonement. I wear my garments in rememberance of Christ, his atonement, and the covenants I have made in the temple. Pretty important to me.

In the end though, we must remember that the garment is just a piece of fabric. It isn't magical or hold any special power. Any power, protection or anything else associated with the garment comes from how much we respect and honor the covenants that that piece of cloth represent.


I can agree with almost everything that you said; however, I can not totally agree with your answer to #2. The atonement does not cover our sins nor do I believe God gave Adam and Eve clothing to cover their sins. I do not believe Adam and Eve had any sin upon them when they left the Garden of Eden. They repented for their transgression before being removed from the Garden; they took accountability for their actions and confessed them before their Heavenly Parents and Elder Brother who would atone them, thus they were spiritually cleansed and innocent before being made to leave. They also remained in the presence of Heavenly being and no unclean thing can do that, they would have to have been restored to a purer state to be in the presence of God their Parents. They were given clothes not to cover their sin but to cover their bodies and protect them from a harsher environment as well to teach them necessary skills to enable them to survive outside the Garden of Eden. The atonement removes our sins from us, restoring us to a pure unblemished, undamaged state as if we had not sinned; it does not cover out sins like a new coat of paint that hide blemishes and damage.
Remember the simple things are the fundamentals of life. Choose ye your path this day. Si prima non succederet usus duct tape.
3 users thanked Ravenwarbird for this useful post.
LazerusLong on 4/26/2019(UTC), Roamer on 4/26/2019(UTC), r5ts84n on 4/29/2019(UTC)
rjmma Offline
#74 Posted : Friday, April 26, 2019 7:33:08 PM(UTC)

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Psalms 32:1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Psalms 85:2 Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.

I think we are arguing semantics. When I say cover I mean that the Lord "covered" or "paid for" our sins. in the same way I can cover the cost of a meal, he can cover our sins. He doesn't hide them, but takes over responsibility for them and has paid that price.
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r5ts84n on 4/29/2019(UTC)
Emomma Offline
#75 Posted : Sunday, June 16, 2019 1:11:56 PM(UTC)
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Ravenwarbird wrote:


They were given clothes not to cover their sin but to cover their bodies and protect them from a harsher environment as well to teach them necessary skills to enable them to survive outside the Garden of Eden. The atonement removes our sins from us, restoring us to a pure unblemished, undamaged state as if we had not sinned; it does not cover out sins like a new coat of paint that hide blemishes and damage.


I was taught in a sacrament meeting by a member of the stake presidency that the coats of skins for Adam and Eve were made from the sacrificial animals. That helped me understand better the symbolism of the garment.
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r5ts84n on 6/24/2019(UTC)
Mormondad Offline
#76 Posted : Sunday, July 21, 2019 12:23:07 PM(UTC)

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I recently heard/read that the word used in the old Hebrew texts of the Old Testament indicated and undergarment when it spoke of the garment given to Adam and Eve. If this is true then it would potentially shade the understanding of what the purpose of the garment was and not necessarily as an actual covering of physical nudity.
"Modesty died when clothes were born."
---Mark Twain
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