Tales from a Garment Wearer
These days, I wear my garments. Almost every day. It’s been about 5 months since I decided to put them back on, after a year long hiatus. Last year’s pregnancy combined with breastfeeding defeated my longstanding garment wearing habit.
In the past, my attitude about garments reflected my attitude towards lots of things in the Church. I tried to make it work. I adjusted, I tucked, I pulled, I rolled. I made it individual. I didn’t sweat the small stuff. I did what I could to make it tolerable. To a large extent, I still feel like this. And I still do all the above. But 5 months ago, when I put them on again, I decided to try to endow them with new meaning – a meaning that reflected my own personal beliefs about Jesus’ inclusive love, and our Heavenly Parents’ all encompassing compassion and concern. I can’t say that I’m always successful at viewing them with this new symbolic meaning, but I love the idea of wearing them because of what they symbolize to me, not simply out of some sort of desire to be obedient.
I’ve been thinking about garments because I recently got an email from someone who was struggling with garments and was worried about the temple recommend interview, as well as what friends and family might think of her, if she was clearly not always wearing them. Her questions made me wonder if there might be a lot more flexibility about garment wearing than some of us assume. I was heartened once when a friend told me that her bishop didn’t even pursue the question when she admitted that she struggled with garments, but that she was doing her best. This made me hope that, amongst our leaders – and perhaps among the general LDS population – there is perhaps a large segment who don’t take a hard line about such things.
I’d love to know about others’ experiences with garment wearing. Do you wear them traditionally or have you found a need to make adjustments? Why? Do you sense that people are judgmental towards those who don’t wear garments traditionally?