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“In those days [the 1970s] garments were one-piece, made of thick nylon, and cut like very loose teddies; they had a scoop neck and little cap sleeves and they came to the knee. The amount of coverage wasn't accidental: One of the purposes of "garments" is to make sure that Mormons eschew daring clothing. The other is more directly theological: The underwear's holy nature is expressed by small markings sewn into the cloth over each breast, the navel, and one knee. (The markings signify comforting homilies like "deal squarely with your fellow men," and areintended to serve as reminders of temple covenants. The symbols themselves derive from the fact that Joseph Smith was a newly initiated and enthusiastic Freemason when he originated the Mormon temple rites in 1842, and so the Masonic compass and square appear on the left and right breasts of the Mormon garments.) The garments had one other characteristic that, if not actually biblical, did have something to do with creation: Women's garments were slit in the crotch,very generously, so that they flapped open and left a girl's greatest fascinations exposed.”
- Deborah Laake, Secret Ceremonies: A Mormon Woman's Intimate Diary of Marriage and Beyond
"It was while they were living in Nauvoo that the Prophet came to my mother, who was a seamstress by trade, and told her that he had seen the Angel Moroni with the garments on, and asked her to assist in cutting out the garments. They spread unbleached muslin out on the table and he told her how to cut it out. She had to cut the third pair, however, before he said it was satisfactory. She told the prophet that there would be sufficient cloth from the knee to the ankle to make a pair of sleeves, but he told her he wanted as few seams as possible and that there would be sufficient whole cloth to cut the sleeve without piecing. The first garments were made of unbleached muslin and bound with turkey red and were without collars. Later on the prophet decided he would rather have them bound with white. Sister Emma Smith, the Prophet's wife, proposed that they have a collar on as she thought they would look more finished, but at first the prophet did not have the collars on them. After Emma Smith had made the little collars which were not visible from the outside of the dress, Sister Eliza R. Snow made a collar of fine white material which was worn on the outside of the dress. The garment was to reach to the ankle and the sleeves to the wrist. The marks were always the same."
- Diary of James T.S. Allred; Letter to Col. Williams; [Microfilm d.1021/f.92, end of roll #2 (July 10, 1844)] LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City