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Elder Carlos E Asay - 1997
Saudin Offline
#1 Posted : Tuesday, June 12, 2018 10:07:39 PM(UTC)

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I just read a wonderful talk given by an emeritus member of the Seventy from August 1997, entitled, “The Temple Garment.”

https://www.lds.org/ensi...ard-commitment?lang=eng

The things that he says in his talk have invited the Spirit’s confirmation to me about the wearing of the temple garment, and I would strongly encourage everyone on this site to read it as well.

One part of the talk that stick out to me is the following statement taken from a letter from the First Presidency in Oct 1988:

“The fundamental principle ought to be to wear the garment and not to find occasions to remove it. Thus, members should not remove either all or part of the garment to work in the yard or to lounge around the home in swimwear or immodest clothing. Nor should they remove it to participate in recreational activities that can reasonably be done with the garment worn properly beneath regular clothing. When the garment must be removed, such as for swimming, it should be restored as soon as possible.

“The principles of modesty and keeping the body appropriately covered are implicit in the covenant and should govern the nature of all clothing worn. Endowed members of the Church wear the garment as a reminder of the sacred covenants they have made with the Lord and also as a protection against temptation and evil. How it is worn is an outward expression of an inward commitment to follow the Savior.”

I, for one, have need to make some changes to show the Lord how much my covenants mean to me. In all seriousness, I invite you to honestly ask yourself if your attitude towards wearing the “garments of the Holy Priesthood” is bringing you closer to Christ, or away from Him and His chosen leaders.

The words of Elder Asay are enough for me to see that as an endowed member of the Church, naturism is not appropriate and should not be practiced by those who have made sacred covenants that have set them apart from the world.
DadinSW Offline
#2 Posted : Tuesday, June 12, 2018 11:33:08 PM(UTC)

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You are (in a way that seems rather self-righteous) assuming that naturism has no benefit that would justify it as an activity worthy of removing the garment. Perhaps for you this is the case. Do not assume that such is therefore the case for everyone, and presume to call them to repentance.

All keys on the piano of the gospel need to be played in harmony and balance. For me, and in accordance with my personal revelation, this means that while I do wear the garment whenever feasable to do so, the benefits of nudity are such that it is acceptable to remove the garment at times to receive them. There is plenty written on this site about what those benefits are.

As for modesty, there is also plenty written here about the proper attitude of modesty. The talk you quote from, while teaching much truth, was also clearly written from the prevailing, but doctrinally incorrect, cultural view of modesty in the church. Everything should be understood in proper context.

God expects us each to learn to make judgments of right and wrong in our lives, and to have good reason to back up those decisions. It is part of learning to become like Him. Just because we do not all make the same decision does not automatically make a different decision sinful for the person making it.
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GBSmith on 6/13/2018(UTC), Zuul on 6/13/2018(UTC), Saudin on 6/13/2018(UTC)
GBSmith Offline
#3 Posted : Wednesday, June 13, 2018 3:51:29 AM(UTC)
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What DadinSW said especially "Just because we do not all make the same decision does not automatically make a different decision sinful for the person making it."
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Saudin on 6/13/2018(UTC)
LazerusLong Offline
#4 Posted : Wednesday, June 13, 2018 6:58:15 AM(UTC)

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I had written a long reply. But, upon reflection, DadinSW Offline said it more succinctly, and eloquently, and with greater generosity then I did, so instead I'll just say amen to what DadinSW Offline said.

I'll add my definition of naturism, however.

My modified definition of naturism is it is a tool to help me overcome some of the unhealthy aspects of the cultural views I've been taught about my body and the human body in general. It is a tool to help me learn to love myself and my fellow man. For me, nudity isn't the point, being naked isn't the goal of the philosophy, it is a tool. In the same way that many other aspects of our church life and practice are tools to help us become better people, to help us become more righteous, to become more like our savior. Naturism is a tool, that I find very effective in helping me become a better man, to be a more open, accepting, and loving (read agape and charity forms of love) man.

For me, I know it is a good, and just, and righteous endeavor. I know this in the same way, and to the same degree that I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that God exists. I don't know that for you, or for everyone. But I do KNOW that for me and my family.

The ways of God, government, & girls are all mysterious & it is not given to mortal man to understand them. - LazarusLong
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DadinSW Offline
#5 Posted : Wednesday, June 13, 2018 5:49:20 PM(UTC)

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OB,
I should have read the article like you did! My response was written rather quickly in bed, with minor edits in the morning.

The garment seems to be one of several things in the church where the doctrine has changed organically over time. The cultural issues with the body are apparent in some of the counsel given around the garment, so personal revelation is required.

NERD Offline
#6 Posted : Wednesday, June 13, 2018 7:52:33 PM(UTC)
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LazerusLong wrote:


I'll add my definition of naturism, however.

My modified definition of naturism is it is a tool to help me overcome some of the unhealthy aspects of the cultural views I've been taught about my body and the human body in general. It is a tool to help me learn to love myself and my fellow man. For me, nudity isn't the point, being naked isn't the goal of the philosophy, it is a tool. In the same way that many other aspects of our church life and practice are tools to help us become better people, to help us become more righteous, to become more like our savior. Naturism is a tool, that I find very effective in helping me become a better man, to be a more open, accepting, and loving (read agape and charity forms of love) man.

For me, I know it is a good, and just, and righteous endeavor. I know this in the same way, and to the same degree that I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that God exists. I don't know that for you, or for everyone. But I do KNOW that for me and my family.



I have the same stated sentiment as LL: I know that the principle of non-sexual coed naturism, practiced alone or with others, is true. I am engaging in it not becuase I want to go naked and discard the garment: I am practicing becuase I know that it (the attitude and principle) saved me from porn, saved me from emberassment - and even trauma - as a missionary, saved me from self-righteousness and pride in regard to my and other's choice of clothing and physical presentation, and makes me better so that I do not look at women in the same objectifying way that I was inadvertantly taught to do since childhood. It also makes things like massages, physicals, medical work, discussion of bodily functions, raising healthy and informed children, and swimming, art modeling, anatomy and physiology study, tanning, and so many other activities (for work, education, or fun/leisure) so much less of an issue than they otherwise are.

And as said before, my and others' personal revelation is just for us (and for those whom we have presiding authority over, to the point and degree we receive such revelation). Thank goodness for that!
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Saudin on 6/13/2018(UTC), BabyJay on 6/16/2018(UTC)
BabyJay Offline
#7 Posted : Saturday, June 16, 2018 5:32:41 AM(UTC)
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NERD wrote:
I have the same stated sentiment as LL: I know that the principle of non-sexual coed naturism, practiced alone or with others, is true. I am engaging in it not becuase I want to go naked and discard the garment: I am practicing becuase I know that it (the attitude and principle) saved me from porn, saved me from emberassment - and even trauma - as a missionary, saved me from self-righteousness and pride in regard to my and other's choice of clothing and physical presentation, and makes me better so that I do not look at women in the same objectifying way that I was inadvertantly taught to do since childhood. It also makes things like massages, physicals, medical work, discussion of bodily functions, raising healthy and informed children, and swimming, art modeling, anatomy and physiology study, tanning, and so many other activities (for work, education, or fun/leisure) so much less of an issue than they otherwise are.

And as said before, my and others' personal revelation is just for us (and for those whom we have presiding authority over, to the point and degree we receive such revelation). Thank goodness for that!


Amen, NERD, thank you. I would echo this same sentiment as well - I know that naturism is what I need because I have received direct personal revelation telling me so, and it has helped me have a much better, more wholesome, and less fearful attitude about the human body. Whenever I am clothed (which is still the usual) I always wear my temple garment and hold it sacred, but I know that I can remove it in order to partake of these benefits.

About personal revelation, again, I know that I have received nothing that can even be construed to direct any other person's life. I make no claim, for instance, that everyone will be nude in the celestial kingdom - I really have no idea, and I kinda expect that most people's clothing preferences would just carry over. But I do claim that I will be, and that it will be OK, it will be non-intrusive, and I will lose no eternal ground over it.
Naturelover37 Offline
#8 Posted : Sunday, June 17, 2018 12:24:50 PM(UTC)
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My only issue is that i cannot participate more in naturism. I wear my garments outside of my home and find joy in it. Sadly i have only practiced nudity occasionally in my home. I wish to do it more but work and home life doesnt allow for that. I believe there is nothing wrong with respectfully laying the garment aside to enjoy the body in a natural state. If there were events during the day i would attend more often.
Diapason Offline
#9 Posted : Monday, June 18, 2018 5:34:10 AM(UTC)
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The statement posted at the top of this discussion is one of the things that has encouraged me to believe in naturism. The wording is very interesting.

Consider this sentence:

"members should not remove either all or part of the garment to work in the yard or to lounge around the home in swimwear or immodest clothing."


Why did they not say this:

"members should not remove either all or part of the garment to work in the yard or to lounge around the home."

What they did say specifically adds words that disinclude nudity. Either they didn't think of the case of nudity, or they were willing to specifically disinclude it. Now this statement:

"...that can reasonably be done with the garment worn properly beneath regular clothing."

Again, to me, this is talking about the garments worn in connection with clothing. The garments are underclothes.

Again, here is another statement which specifically has to do with the use of clothing:

“The principles of modesty and keeping the body appropriately covered are implicit in the covenant and should govern the nature of all clothing worn."

The last statement clearly gives the purposes for wearing the garment. It does not say anything about the body needing to be hidden or covered or that the body is deficient in some way that the garment makes up for.

"Endowed members of the Church wear the garment as a reminder of the sacred covenants they have made with the Lord and also as a protection against temptation and evil. How it is worn is an outward expression of an inward commitment to follow the Savior.”

God created Adam and Eve naked and then pronounced them good, and left them that way in the Garden of Eden. Satan introduced the idea of clothing, but manifestly clothing is a necessary part of our telestial existence. So God has provided a standard for that clothing. This is my interpretation, but all these statements, and others not referenced here, all skirt around the question of nudity, leaving it, in my mind, one of those questions that we have to decide by the spirit.
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LazerusLong on 6/18/2018(UTC), NERD on 6/19/2018(UTC)
Al_M Offline
#10 Posted : Monday, June 18, 2018 10:09:01 AM(UTC)
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I had to come to terms with this before I could participate in nude recreation. I do wear the garment night and day and only remove it for activities that cannot be done while wearing it. This includes swimming and strenuous exercise. Once I have removed it for such activities I don't require any other shield or protection except for social and legal conventions. Activities incidental to the exercise and recreation don't require donning the garment momentarily. When people go to the beach they may swim for a small fraction of the time but most remove the garment before going to the beach because dressing facilities at many beaches are inadequate.

My nudism is not casual or about the house. I go to nudist resorts and swim and exercise. If I stay overnight I sleep in my garments.

But we must always keep in mind that the garment is a memorial of covenants made. Only our memory of the covenants protects us. This is not to diminish our obligation to wear it but rather to make sure we understand why we are wearing it.
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Ravenwarbird on 6/18/2018(UTC), NERD on 6/19/2018(UTC)
rjmma Offline
#11 Posted : Tuesday, June 19, 2018 9:40:40 AM(UTC)

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I have read and love this talk by Elder Asay, and appreciate the discussion, but I want to post something from the churches statement about what is doctrine on the LDS newsroom:

Quote:
Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church. With divine inspiration, the First Presidency (the prophet and his two counselors) and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (the second-highest governing body of the Church) counsel together to establish doctrine that is consistently proclaimed in official Church publications. This doctrine resides in the four “standard works” of scripture (the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price), official declarations and proclamations, and the Articles of Faith. Isolated statements are often taken out of context, leaving their original meaning distorted.

Some doctrines are more important than others and might be considered core doctrines. For example, the precise location of the Garden of Eden is far less important than doctrine about Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice. The mistake that public commentators often make is taking an obscure teaching that is peripheral to the Church’s purpose and placing it at the very center. This is especially common among reporters or researchers who rely on how other Christians interpret Latter-day Saint doctrine.


Like Al_M my activities are typically very deliberate. I go to resorts or beaches where I wouldn't be wearing the garment, but typically wear it night and day. I was thinking just this morning about what is the exact pharisitical time limit of taking it off before a shower until after a shower that you can go without sinning. If I go to the gym (those who know me will laugh at that) do I have to change out of the garment there? and put it on before driving home? what if I stop to buy a drink on the way back. Did I tarry too long?

Farcical examples, but useful in the realization that time spent wearing the garment alone cannot become more important than how you live your life wearing it or not.
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observer BOSUDA on 6/19/2018(UTC), Ddoger on 6/19/2018(UTC)
NERD Offline
#12 Posted : Tuesday, June 19, 2018 6:05:17 PM(UTC)
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Diapason wrote:
The statement posted at the top of this discussion is one of the things that has encouraged me to believe in naturism. The wording is very interesting.

Consider this sentence:

"members should not remove either all or part of the garment to work in the yard or to lounge around the home in swimwear or immodest clothing."


Why did they not say this:

"members should not remove either all or part of the garment to work in the yard or to lounge around the home."

What they did say specifically adds words that disinclude nudity. Either they didn't think of the case of nudity, or they were willing to specifically disinclude it. Now this statement:

"...that can reasonably be done with the garment worn properly beneath regular clothing."

Again, to me, this is talking about the garments worn in connection with clothing. The garments are underclothes.

Again, here is another statement which specifically has to do with the use of clothing:

“The principles of modesty and keeping the body appropriately covered are implicit in the covenant and should govern the nature of all clothing worn."

The last statement clearly gives the purposes for wearing the garment. It does not say anything about the body needing to be hidden or covered or that the body is deficient in some way that the garment makes up for.

"Endowed members of the Church wear the garment as a reminder of the sacred covenants they have made with the Lord and also as a protection against temptation and evil. How it is worn is an outward expression of an inward commitment to follow the Savior.”

God created Adam and Eve naked and then pronounced them good, and left them that way in the Garden of Eden. Satan introduced the idea of clothing, but manifestly clothing is a necessary part of our telestial existence. So God has provided a standard for that clothing. This is my interpretation, but all these statements, and others not referenced here, all skirt around the question of nudity, leaving it, in my mind, one of those questions that we have to decide by the spirit.


This is one of the most helpful observations I have ever seen! Thank you Diapason!

I do not feel excited about these points becuase I want to cling to a confirmation of my own stance, but becuase the examination is an honest one that seeks and locates truth. I had not thought of these points before.

Further, as Al_M said, I have decided that, in order to most closely follow the counsel of the prophets (the wording we are talking about is now part of each temple interview question for endowed members of the church) I choose to wear my garments any time when I am in a situation where I would not normally wear clothing that is not compatible with the garment (certain athletic attire, swimsuits - or lack thereof -, nude modeling, etc). If I can reasonably wear my garments appropriately, then I will.

This is not to say that I am critical of those who choose to wear their garments differently than me. It is your revelation, your decision, your responsibility to learn the truth just as much as it is mine, and my revelation and the decision I make make be different than you.

Happy naturism life everyone!
DadinSW Offline
#13 Posted : Tuesday, June 19, 2018 6:22:35 PM(UTC)

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DadinSW wrote:
You are (in a way that seems rather self-righteous) assuming that naturism has no benefit that would justify it as an activity worthy of removing the garment. Perhaps for you this is the case. Do not assume that such is therefore the case for everyone, and presume to call them to repentance.

All keys on the piano of the gospel need to be played in harmony and balance. For me, and in accordance with my personal revelation, this means that while I do wear the garment whenever feasable to do so, the benefits of nudity are such that it is acceptable to remove the garment at times to receive them. There is plenty written on this site about what those benefits are.

As for modesty, there is also plenty written here about the proper attitude of modesty. The talk you quote from, while teaching much truth, was also clearly written from the prevailing, but doctrinally incorrect, cultural view of modesty in the church. Everything should be understood in proper context.

God expects us each to learn to make judgments of right and wrong in our lives, and to have good reason to back up those decisions. It is part of learning to become like Him. Just because we do not all make the same decision does not automatically make a different decision sinful for the person making it.



My wife said that post was too defensive. So here goes an attempt at a rewrite. She also really likes LL's description of nudity as a tool.



Many on this site have found great benefits to a degree of nudity and/or naturism in helping overcome the shame, isolation, and improper sexuality of the society that we live in. Naturism can help bring much needed healing amd even increased spiritual sensitivity and growth. Given those and other benefits, would it not be even more reasonable to remove the garment at times and enjoy naturism, than to remove the garment for an afternoon in the pool? This is part of playing all keys on the gospel piano in harmony and balance.

It is understandable that some would question decisions about the wearing of the garment, but this is ultimately something to be decided between the wearer and the Lord.


As for modesty, there is plenty written here about the proper attitude of modesty. Modesty does not always imply covering of one's body -- a fact understood anciently, but no longer recognized in contemporary western society. Pushing back against societal norms, no matter how damaging they may be will always invite criticism and may at times appear sinful. I have learned through my own experience and from that shared on this forum and other places that there is wisdom and freedom in carefully judging between culture and gospel doctrine, and then at times shedding restrictive cultural chains while being true to the eternal gospel principles. This is no different than LDS church members already do comapred to the larger society, except that the cultural norms around nudity are so deeply embedded in church culture that they get confused with doctrine.

God expects us each to learn to make judgments of right and wrong in our lives, and to have good reason to back up those decisions. This is part of learning to become like Him. The fact that some individuals choose differently than others does not mean that some of them are necessarily choosing sin.
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LazerusLong on 6/19/2018(UTC)
BabyJay Offline
#14 Posted : Wednesday, June 20, 2018 5:33:09 AM(UTC)
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rjmma wrote:
Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church. ...


For what it's worth, the part of the talk that is being most discussed here is a letter issued by the First Presidency in 1988. This letter has been consistently republished in official Church documents, and its contents are found in Handbook 2, section 21.1.42. The points we've discussed about this piece are still valid, though, and I do want to see them carry on, but we should know that these statements are official doctrine that we're discussing. (And I may, in general, recommend Chapter 21 to every member of the Church - it's really an enlightening read for a lot of stuff.)

That being said, I definitely have had through these specific points in understanding my journey through naturism, balancing things like how I feel when doing it as well as how often the garment needs to be worn, as well as specific personal circumstances, such as my autism. I'm also lucky to have both an understanding father and an understanding bishop that I could talk about those things with, and they helped me recognize certain things that enhance my decision that naturism is compatible with my worship, including the specific omission of the nudity case from the Church's statements on the garment that Diapason mentioned.
rjmma Offline
#15 Posted : Wednesday, June 20, 2018 12:24:27 PM(UTC)

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BabyJay wrote:
rjmma wrote:
Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church. ...


For what it's worth, the part of the talk that is being most discussed here is a letter issued by the First Presidency in 1988. This letter has been consistently republished in official Church documents, and its contents are found in Handbook 2, section 21.1.42. The points we've discussed about this piece are still valid, though, and I do want to see them carry on, but we should know that these statements are official doctrine that we're discussing. (And I may, in general, recommend Chapter 21 to every member of the Church - it's really an enlightening read for a lot of stuff.)

That being said, I definitely have had through these specific points in understanding my journey through naturism, balancing things like how I feel when doing it as well as how often the garment needs to be worn, as well as specific personal circumstances, such as my autism. I'm also lucky to have both an understanding father and an understanding bishop that I could talk about those things with, and they helped me recognize certain things that enhance my decision that naturism is compatible with my worship, including the specific omission of the nudity case from the Church's statements on the garment that Diapason mentioned.


BabyJay, When doctrines change, they are announced in conference, or by letter, and then the entire conference is asked to sustain the president of the church. This happened when the priesthood was given to everyone. Now you could argue that the proscription was never really doctrine, but the effect of racism and misunderstanding of doctrine of the time, but that is a different discussion.

Policies change often, and come out often as letters from the first presidency. Even handbook 1 and 2 are revised and updated frequenlty, and do not represent the official doctrine of the church. Same with the Ensign and conference talks. Not doctrine.

They are typically doctrinal, but generally they are policies that are based off of experience and the best effort of leaders to understand and enact doctrine.

There have been many letters from the first presidency that have later been changed, or pulled back. This is a general misconseption, and examples have been given of this on this forum and other places.

I agree that the points brought up are still valid and important, but Doctrines, principles and policies are different things, and Elder Bednar has a great book (not doctrinal btw) on this subject.
NERD Offline
#16 Posted : Wednesday, June 20, 2018 1:41:53 PM(UTC)
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I just want to thank everyone who has made honest efforts to contribute to this topic by offering their best in honest and sincere effort to establish correct points about the various facets. By our efforts together in kindness we are establishing an understanding that invites good knowledge and leaves each person to determine and ponder and pray about what is true. That is the point of these efforts, and I think we will be blessed if we keep going with truth and the Spirit.
BabyJay Offline
#17 Posted : Wednesday, June 20, 2018 9:54:16 PM(UTC)
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rjmma wrote:
Policies change often, and come out often as letters from the first presidency. Even handbook 1 and 2 are revised and updated frequenlty, and do not represent the official doctrine of the church. Same with the Ensign and conference talks. Not doctrine.

They are typically doctrinal, but generally they are policies that are based off of experience and the best effort of leaders to understand and enact doctrine.


That is a good point, thank you. I didn't mean to, but I do see how my words could be taken to mean that the content of the handbooks was "doctrine" - what I was just trying to convey that since instructions about the garment appear in the Handbooks, they do carry more weight than if they resided only in conference talks or the Ensign/Liahona, which is worth studying out more dilligently, as I have done. I do agree, though, that they don't carry nearly as much weight as the standard works, to say nothing of the doctrines of salvation they teach and what the Spirit indicates to you.
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