Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Crossing The Line

I debate with myself sometimes with how personal I want to get on my blog. While this is my sounding board and my place to document my feelings…there are certain subjects I will never discuss. However, there are other subjects that fall in a gray area. This is when I can spend days, weeks, months or even years deciding whether or not I want to write out my thoughts.

This particular post is something I debated about writing, for a long time. It’s a very personal subject not only for me, but my husband. However, with his blessing, I’ve decided it’s time to write this.

When I joined the Church of Latter-Day Saints and became LDS, it was a very personal decision. I come from a Catholic family and I knew that converting would upset some of my family. Thankfully, they choose to basically ignore my decision and let me live my life the way I see fit. A year after converting, Josh and I were sealed as a Forever Family in the Salt Lake Temple. As part of this process, I took out endowments and made certain commitments and covenants, including the promise to wear garments. I’m not going to get into the details of all of this. This post isn’t meant to educate anyone on the processes of the LDS church, I’m simply making it clear that yes, I knew what I was getting into.

A couple years ago, Josh and I went through a very difficult time. This is one of those subjects that I will never discuss, nor post about. It was our personal hell, but continues to be something that we learn and grow from. During this time, I made the very difficult and personal decision to stop wearing my garments. The only explanation that I will give, which quite honestly isn’t really even necessary in my opinion, is this: during this time, things were brought up and discussed between Josh and I that made me feel as though we were not prepared to go through the Temple when we had and as such, I no longer felt worthy enough to be wearing garments. However, this decision does not make me a less worthy human being, as some seem to view it.

To someone who is not a member of the Church, they would probably question why I would dedicate a post to the type of underclothes I choose to wear. They probably question why in the world it is such a big deal to anyone else. Well…I don’t have a good answer. It is a personal decision to choose to start wearing them and it should be a personal decision if someone chooses to stop wearing them. But, in the Church culture…it’s not.

Recently, it seems that my decision has caused some jibber jabber (yes, even two years later) among the peanut gallery. Typically, when I am around family and Church friends I still tend to dress as though I have garments on, although I will admit that I’ve become more relaxed lately. However, I recently went on a date with my handsome husband and posted this photo of the two of us on facebook.

I bought a new outfit to go out that night and it was very obvious that I was not wearing garments. I thought I was careful about who got to see this photo; however it became apparent the next day, as calls and texts started coming in that people were questioning what I was wearing. It got to the point that I removed the photo from public viewing.


I am almost 30 years old. I thought the days of being questioned about my apparel ended 13 years ago, when I moved out of my parent’s house. In all honesty, even then I was never questioned about my clothing choices, because they have never been excessively immodest, flamboyant, inappropriate, ect. Even if I had chosen an outfit that was “inappropriate”…I’m. A. Grown. Woman.

I don’t feel that my choice in clothing should cause such an upheaval. There are far more pressing matters to worry about in the world. Nor do I feel that my choice to not wear garments should cause gossip, whispering, speculation or questions about my spirituality, morality or judgment. I didn’t make the decision lightly, but regardless, it was personal and didn’t change who I am as a person.

When I see that photo, I don’t see a woman not wearing garments. I see a woman who feels beautiful for perhaps one of the first times, in a long time. I see a woman who has never had a healthy body image, but through hard work, years of frustration, too many tears and an understanding husband, has begun to heal. I see a woman who is becoming comfortable in her own skin. I see a woman who is radiating happiness from inside her soul.

Those who view this photo and choose to focus on anything else need to reevaluate what is truly important in this life. We are counseled to “Love Thy Neighbor”, not “Love Thy Neighbor’s Garment Lines.”


Wendi said...


bequi said...

Obviously it's no one else's business whether you do or don't wear garments. That is definitely a very personal thing. But I do want to point out (and I hope you believe me when I say I'm not judging AT ALL, but just sharing information) you might be being to hard on yourself.

My sister was in a VERY similar situation. I don't know your details, but after she got sealed, she started drinking, stopped going to church, etc. So she stopped wearing her garments. After a year or so, she decided to start going back to church. She went to see her bishop, explained everything she was and wasn't doing, and the first thing he said was she should be wearing her garments.

Like I said, you are possibly being too hard on yourself. I don't know if you're still going to church, and I don't particularly care. That's your choice, too. I don't know what happened to make you feel unworthy, and it's none of my business. But if you do still have a testimony, I'd recommend having a talk with your bishop.

In the meantime, I thought that picture was super cute.

Lacey Sue said...

Gossip, rumors, back-biting is a sad part of daily life. Mormon or not. I have never chosen to ask you the details or the why's. Simply because, as you said, it's a none of my business. Your choices are yours to make. I do, however, agree with "bequi" in that, I KNOW, you are too hard on yourself. Your a good woman. God does not expect any more than that.
I hope you don't feel judged on my part. I have many family members that have chosen, through their own reasons, to stop wearing their garments...also...none of my business. I chose to love people regardless of their choices and love them because they are my fellow brothers and sisters trudging through the trials of this life with me, and I, in my own imperfections, have no right to pass judgement on anyone.

shyfexy said...

I love this post, and your picture is beautiful. I was raised in the LDS church as well and although I never went through the temple to get my endowments I too was gossiped about for my choice of clothing. Rumors flew around about me, sad part was, I was only a teenage girl who was already struggling with a poor body image. I respect your decision and agree that people need to stop talking. Live and let live. Sadly I have seen too many people who are so unhappy with their own life so they pull others down. As Elenore Roosevelt said, "no one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Don't let anyone make you feel less of a person based on you decision of what to wear, or what not to wear. You are amazing and don't ever forget that.

DBswoot said...


Anonymous said...

Let it all hang out!! You look fan-freakin-tastic!!5 kids too!! I'm Catholic still so I don't know anything about the undergarments.All I know is that I'm so thankful to be a part of your life from all these miles away! Love you, Janine

Lmdrape said...

Wow, I just want to say that I think you are gorgeous. My husband and I both were raised LDS and we have never worn garments. I really dont see anything wrong with your picture and you do look very happy. All the people judging you probably should take a step back and realize that they are being very unchrist like by acting that way. You are your own person and can make your own decisions!

Whitney said...

I agree with so many on here. You can't be that bad of a person! It is your decision however and you shouldn't have to think about what others think. Hopefully you can hear the sarcasm in my voice when you read this... Your top was so immodest that I had to look away. :) It's not like your boobs are hanging out for everyone to take a gander at which you see a lot sometimes in the church anyway. I think you're gorgeous in it and you shouldn't have to explain yourself to anyone.

Aceneth Warner said...

Leean, I love you and I love your honesty. I have felt the same way. I hope you never forget how you feel right now and continue to focus on your and your happiness and the happiness of your family.
I love ya!

Coby said...

Wow...sometimes you do hear me!! It's not the two letters I suggested that you send out but very nice..I'm very proud!!

Andrea said...

Okay, so my faith background is different so that I know nothing about the garments you are referring to. But I do know YOU and I know that you don't make flippant decisions about serious things. You obviously didn't just toss the garments aside because you didn't care about them. To think that you are getting judged from that picture is just heart-breaking.

I love you. I love your determination. I love your honesty. I love your smile. I love your humour. I love your intelligence.

And I sure as heck LOVE how you look in that picture! It sucks that you felt you needed to remove it from facebook - but I'm so happy you re-posted it here. You look happy, relaxed, confident, and beautiful.


Amy said...

Great post. With everything happening in your life, ups and downs, and just day to day mommy "stuff", it must be really frustrating to have to spend time dealing with others who may view your choices as wrong.

I think you look amazing in that photo! What a cute couple! You should be very proud - you have a wonderful family and a great life. That is quite an accomplishment. :)

PS - thanks for the answer on your 1000th post. It just may have motivated me..............

Candygirlflies said...

You are beautiful, both inside (and that is what REALLY matters) and out!!

Follow your own heart, my friend.

xo CGF

DizzyMamma said...

I am not a LDS and having done some reading up on the subject of garments, I see many non-LDS find them an amusing quirk of the religion, but as wih all religions, some people believe in the minutae and some people do not. I was raised christian - attended both catholic and protestant churches, and even within that, there are jokes made about catholics wearing a "wee man" on their cross etc.

How you chose to follow your religion is up to you, and no one, within or without of the church should judge you on what aspects you strictly follow and what aspects you do not.

I believe some aspects of the catholic church, I also find some aspects quite laughable in the modern age. Those of a Jewish, Islamic, Sikh religion, amongst others, wear certain religious garments when they are more orthodox, while more liberal Jews, Muslims and Sikhs may not.

It does not make them bad people, it does not make you a bad person. It simply makes each person an individual with their own values, beliefs and need to follow their own conscience.

I do not believe God will judge you on your underwear! More on what is beneath that "mystical" garment, a loving heart of a wife, mother, daughter and friend.

McKell Anderson said...

You make me smile! You look so beautiful in this photo! I hope you put it back up on facebook!

Jamie Richmond -James said...

Let me just say-- you look beautiful in your picture!