AN OUTWARD EXPRESSION of an INWARD COMMITMENT
A few years ago, in a seminar for new temple presidents, Elder James E. Faust, told about his being called to serve as a General Authority. He was asked only one question by President Harold B. Lee. "Do you wear the garments properly?" He then asked if President Lee wasn't going to ask him about his worthiness. President Lee replied that he didn't need to, for he had learned from experience that how one wears the garment is the expression of how the individual feels about the Church and everything that relates to it. It is a measure of one's worthiness and devotion to the gospel.
I believe there is a critical body of knowledge relating to the temple garment. When that knowledge is obtained, Latter-day Saints filled with faith wear the garment and wear it properly, not because someone is policing their actions but because they understand the virtues of the sacred clothing and want to "do good and be restored unto that which is good." On the other hand, when one does not understand the sacred nature of the temple garment, the tendency is to treat it casually and regard it as just another piece of cloth.
Paul counseled: "Wherefore take unto you the whole Armour of God, that ye may e able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand." There is, however, another garment, or garment of the holy priesthood. This garment, worn day and night, serves three important purpose; 1 it is a reminder of the sacred covenants made with the Lord in His holy house, 2 a protective covering for the body, and 3 a symbol of modesty of dress and living that should characterize the lives of those who follow the savior.
I have often been asked, when and what activities can I take the garment off? The fundamental principle ought to be 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 recreations activities that can reasonable 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.
In the D&C 84:20,21: "Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest. And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh." When we go to the temple and receive our own endowment, we are put under covenant by an ordinance in the "washing and anointing". We have placed upon us the sacred garments of the Priesthood, to be a reminder of this great ordinance.
I is my prayer and counsel to all you marvelous missionaries to remember, that the ordinances and covenants we participate in, in the Temple are precious to us. They are a part of the restored Gospel given to us through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Maybe the most important part of our "Temple experience", is not what we do in the Temple, but what we remember and do with our lives as we leave the Temple.
(Some of these thoughts and words come from a talk by Elder Carlos E. Asay of the Seventy)
Till we meet again!............... President Burtenshaw
Letter given to Missionaries of Philippines Olongapo Mission.
News letter #3: November 20 - 27, 2006 Philippines Olongapo Mission
Posted by: Jerry Bustillo