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Jun 13 2012

When Mormons change their underwear

A Mormon woman describes what happened when her husband told her that he had stopped believing in god. It is a poignant story of the tensions that can arise between believers and non-believers in the same family.

But despite the story being a serious one, there were some passages that made me laugh out loud, as in this one about what pushed her over the edge and made her decide to confide in a Mormon neighbor about her husband’s apostasy.

When Sean replaced his temple garments — the sacred underwear he’d promised to wear day and night — with boxers, I couldn’t take it anymore. It was too much betrayal.

But her Mormon neighbor and the church could not help her and as she too slowly relinquished her Mormon faith, the couple discovered some advantages to abandoning the Mormon lifestyle.

Whoa, we suddenly have 10 percent more income. Whoa, our weekend free time just doubled. Whoa, we can try alcohol, coffee and tea — the trifecta of forbidden drinks.

And for her too the final sign that she had left her Mormon beliefs behind involved changing her underwear.

When I shed my garments for slippery Victoria Secret panties, my self-esteem skyrocketed, and our late nights shifted to other things.

I wonder how many Mormons are secretly abandoning their prescribed underwear?

I don’t want to trivialize her story. It is actually one of a serious struggle of strong religious beliefs being slowly relinquished. But it is also the story of how religious allegiances can cause people to worry about the silliest rules, down to what undergarments one can and cannot wear. It makes one to wonder how long the Mormon church can survive if its beliefs can be undermined by everyday items such as coffee, tea, alcohol, and underwear, all of which are ubiquitously consumed and advertised all around us.

12 comments

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  1. 1
    Alverant

    I read the article too. Yes, it is a serious story about a woman’s crisis of faith then how she lost it too. It had a happy ending with the two of them being a more devoted couple and remembering that life should be a joyful experience and not endless begging for a nice after-life.

    Ironically, the Mormon Church teaches that marriage can only thrive if God is an equal part of it. But when we left God out of it, we were free to love each other completely, to share the burden of our grief as two individuals with no one else.

  2. 2
    schmeer

    Wow! I really didn’t believe the Mormon underwear thing. I assumed it was like polygamy; there weren’t any modern people who did it aside from a few extremists. Wearing some nice underwear is a natural right. Fight the oppression! Panties and boxers for everyone! (I’ll even let you get really fun and wear either one independent of your sex.)

  3. 3
    raven

    It might be a common story.

    The Mormons outrageously inflate their numbers to appear more powerful than they really are. Which is quite common among xian sects. Usually they just count baptisms and if people leave later, they still get counted.

    One of my Catholic relatives is a mid level lay official in a Protestant church. He is still counted as…a Catholic even though he hasn’t been one for decades.

    Some estimates are that up to 1/3 to 1/2 of the Mormons are either apathetic, inactive, or just plain gone.

  4. 4
    raven

    These sorts of stories are indeed amusing but only superficially.

    Religion is a reliable way to split families and friends apart forever.

    When you leave a mind control cult like Mormonism, you quite often leave all your family and friends behind, forever. It’s a high cost.

  5. 5
    JustKat

    One of my brothers-in-law is a Mormon and one thing they are very used to is being thought kooky on some level, so there is the “they just don’t understand us but we know we’re right” thing. They expect to be misunderstood and ridiculed but still believe their religion is the correct one, magical underwear and all.

    This particular brother-in-law is a Dr. Pepper fiend but has decided that the caffeine in this soft drink doesn’t count somehow. ;-)

  6. 6
    raven

    This particular brother-in-law is a Dr. Pepper fiend but has decided that the caffeine in this soft drink doesn’t count somehow.

    When I was in school, the Mormons wouldn’t drink coffee. At all. They all took caffeine pills instead, No Doz and similar.

    Mormons are taught to feel superior to gentiles.

    1. They are god’s chosen people, the Real Jews and The One True Religion.

    2. The men are the One and Only True Priests and have magical superpowers. They will be gods after they die.

  7. 7
    wanderfound

    Incidentally, Utah is popular amongst psychopharmacology researchers (like me). It’s one of the only places where you can easily find “pure” drug users, i.e. people who use cocaine but not alcohol/caffeine/etc. It’s very handy when you’re trying to avoid confounding variables…

  8. 8
    wanderfound

    Re: Mormon underwear, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEPv4VEeYUo

    (it’s a clip from John Safran vs God; the whole series is very much worth a look…)

  9. 9
    Ex Patriot

    ¸To think the repugthugs want an asshat like this to be president. Do they think his magic underware will solve all the problems. I am not a fan of Obamas but he is a hell of lot better than magic underware

  10. 10
    Jared A

    Mostly correct, except for the “Real Jews” part.

  11. 11
    Jared A

    This is true. It’s quite difficult to get your name taken off the LDS records. If you are interested, I never miss the chance to plug the account where someone had his name officially removed after the passage of Prop 8.

    http://doctorideas.blogspot.com/2008/12/ideas-man-and-mormons-act-v-scenes-i.html
    http://doctorideas.blogspot.com/2009/01/ideas-man-and-mormons-act-v-scene-iii.html
    http://doctorideas.blogspot.com/2009/03/ideas-man-and-mormons-act-v-scenes-iv.html

  12. 12
    Michael Butler

    I was pleasantly amused this morning, reading many comments about mormonism, and magic garments. Wow! I am a covert to mormonism after having been raised in the Christian Scientist faith in childhood. I love my relationship with my creator and his son Jesus Christ! The bible is true. The Book of mormmon was written as a second wittness to the bible and provides a history lesson about Christ’s comming to the Americas. There are so many today, who are all trying to get back to the same place, with God, and our families who died before us. So much of the knowledge of God that was left for us on earth, is open to interpretation. That can be a large source of confusion, and mis trust today, and has been. I was asked by the Mormon missionaries to bring to church what I already believed. That was the reason I agreed to go to church with them on one Sunday. The gospel that was presented from that day forward, never attempted to take away from me what I already knew was true. The gospel added to what I already knew, and mabey didn;’t know so well. I wear garments. They have a scared purpose of a reminder of physcial virtues. They are a protection against the viccicitudes of the world today. No one sees them outwardly, so they don’t ask to be recognized by anyone in this world to boast their significance. Worshipping in private. One on one with your God. I just wanted to say these things. We are all the children of God. The onlky path back to him is thru his son Jesus Christ. That’s what we believe.

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