Reader Question Box #11: Panties with Garments and What To Do on a Missionary Split

Reader Question Box is a series where we answer questions and just generally respond to Google search terms from our website traffic monitoring statistics that led people to us. Copious oddities are to be found in the search term logs, and some worthwhile questions. (In case you missed our previous editions: #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9, #10).

Question: “Wearing panties with LDS garments.” 

Answer: We recommend that you not do this, particularly if you are a man. However, if you feel that wearing panties with garments is for some reason necessary, just keep in mind that there is a kind of order you should follow when donning both, or certain results are likely to follow.

Just a word to the wise.

Question: “What to do on missionary splits?”

Answer: Often it is the missionary who decides what to do when taking a non-missionary along for an afternoon or evening. But you actually have a lot more say than you think regarding how best to maximize the Split Experience, which, for all you know, you might never get to experience again. Considering, then, that this might be your one and only chance to participate in a split, think about doing the following:

  • Hide and Seek. Believe it or not, missionaries almost never play this on P-days, even though it’s cheap and requires little planning. And it’s good as a warm-up for the real work that will follow. But remember that missionaries like a challenge, so when you hide, make sure there’s a good bit of distance between you and your companion, and then simply go home. He or she will figure it out eventually, and in the meantime, time to cut the apron strings, know what I mean? They’re big boys and girls. They can take of themselves and will be all the better for it when they finally catch up to you. 
  • Catch a movie. Most missionaries haven’t seen a good flick in quite a while. They’re with their regular companions all the time, so it’s not like their companions can tell them what’s out and worth seeing. A good romance usually does the trick, something to really grease the wheels and get them thinking about what the purpose of the gospel really is, which is eternal relationships and making babies to have families, while simultaneously helping them to really focus in on the potential life that awaits them if they’re really good missionaries. They can sometimes lose sight of that fact, but you can play an integral part in reminding them what it’s really all about.
  • If you’ve already already tried both of the above suggestions, it might be time to visit with an investigator or part-member family. Remember, though, that you’re not there to just be a silent babysitter! The teachee really needs to know what the Mormon world is like. Speak up as much as possible, let the investigator or inactive member really know what the ward is like, who’s in what clique, what to do to get invited to the bishop’s private social gatherings. Share that enormous list of What Not to Say in Sunday School or Priesthood/Relief Society you’ve been meaning to print out, and elaborate in detail how to conform as closely as possible to Mormon cultural norms and how to most publicly demonstrate your faithfulness. Just be yourself!

Question: “Is it bad for someone in the LDS bishopric to carpool with sisters other than his wife?”

Answer: The answer is clearly yes, but there are levels. At the lowest level, boys can mostly be alone with their mothers, but only if a sibling is somewhere in the general vicinity. Young men should limit their contact with the opposite sex to mutual activities that are designed to be gender neutral and always only involve full body sack racing. Men in general should act as if women don’t exist at all so as to not fall victim to overtly trying to have sex with every woman they see, as we all know they are wont to do. If you are in a bishopric, ignoring women isn’t entirely possible, so bishopric members are simply to act as if women are men and proceed accordingly. On that note, it would be silly to not carpool with or offer a ride to a non-spousal female, as long as she rides in the trunk.


  1. What to do if you encounter the panties-garments ensemble while on a split is, of course, a separate post altogether.

  2. Remember, the mere presence of walls or other barriers is not an adequate excuse for fraternizing with, or seeming to fraternize with, members of the opposite sex after marriage. That means establishing an appropriate distance between, for example, you and your neighbor’s spouses if you and they are home alone simultaneously. It is recommended to maintain a buffer of at least one house or two apartments/town homes between you and others of the opposite sex when not in the immediate presence of your spouse. If necessary, coordinate your schedule with other individuals with a bishopric member present..

  3. Fabulous Jacob! (However, I think that the first question should have been left for a woman to answer.)

  4. Kevin Barney says:

    Oh man, I used to hate splits, because we never had enough to do for just us, much less double the fun. We liked babysitting the regular ward members about as much as they liked going out with us.

  5. Also, don’t be afraid to take some serious initiative! Telling wen what to wear is ineffectual and requires men to look at them in order to judge the appropriateness of their apparel. Obtaining a female Female Fashion Appraiser is just too expensive (and the Appraisers themselves often ironically dress in appropriately!) The Eagle Forum and Church Education Essential Accessories has relatively inexpensive goggles you can purchase to turn the offending woman into something wholly modest and pure. Don’t be a victim. Begin today and turn your debilitating weakness into an alternate reality that conforms to your worldview.

  6. *women. “Wen” is code so guys don’t get turned on by the word “Women.”

  7. Julia, you’re right (I assumed my female co-bloggers were to busy to help me out this time). Feel free to offer your own ideas. I’m sure there are much more creative ways to wear panties and garments.

  8. I would think one would have to wear panties with garments at least during one 3-8 day stretch every month. Wouldn’t one?

  9. That’s an excellent point, EOR (didn’t someone say something somewhere about a woman needing to write that part??) FTR, I asked my wife about this and she said she didn’t, so I just let that part of the post stand. Surely not fully representative of all LDS women of course, but there you go.

  10. The point of course, is that this is a fully serious article written by an expert who should not be questioned about anything, since he is an expert in anything.

  11. I’ll be honest, sometimes there are blessings to be had in being un-endowed…

  12. My oldest daughter just entered the MTC, and she asked the matron at the temple specifically about wearing underwear beneath her garments – even after I told her not to ask and just do it. She was told directly that it’s completely up to her.

    I’ve never been limber enough to do splits with anyone, much less missionaries.

  13. Left Field says:

    I once found myself sleeping alone with the wife of a coworker in a motel in Toronto. Long story. But I was single at the time, so I’m sure it was okay.

  14. What’s wrong with the Mrs. Incredible look?

    On a personal note, I have found the panties-garment ensemble to be an uncomfortable one that produces twice as much laundry. And I hate doing laundry. That is all.

  15. I was going to make what started out as a witty comment about being alone with my male children (one of whom is in his mid-20’s). But after typing it up it seemed too icky to post.

  16. On my mission I had a companion who would wear “tighty whities” over is garment bottoms. I never could figure out why and I never dared ask.

  17. oops, his, not is

  18. Re: .6 – Jacob, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen that publicly pointed out, (not counting nasty inuendo from weird little aliens on star trek) though I’ve always suspected it. I admit to a complete state of bafflement.

  19. So long as you were sleeping alone, or actually sleeping, Left Field, there’s no problem.

  20. Aspirate your haitches, andrew.

  21. NewlyHousewife says:

    From a health standpoint, it is better to ditch the garment once a month and just wear the panties than to double up on underwear.

    I always wear panties during my cycle and can not understand how other women go about just wearing garments. Can someone explain? Maybe I’m just not righteous enough to figure it out on my own.

  22. Left Field says:

    I woke up, took passing note of the situation, and then rolled over and went back to sleep.

  23. 21 NewlyHousewife – (firstly, MEN, LOOK AWAY! Feminine hygiene!) Pads and pantyliners stick to (and stay in place on) garments just as well as they do when using panties. If you’re really brave and just go for tampons, softcup, or Diva Cup without the liner, then there’s nothing to worry about anyway.

  24. not saying says:

    Brooke — based on 20+ years of experience, no, they do not work as well on garments as they do with more traditional undies. Of course, your experience may differ, but such blanket statements presume we are all alike in our perceptions and clothing choices.

  25. I’ve never had luck getting pads to stay in place in garments, especially pads with wings. I always wear panties under my garments during Eve week.

  26. Casey, #2 – That is the best (hopefully?) misplaced apostrophe I’ve seen in some time. . .

  27. Haha, great catch #26

  28. Dang, how did this funny tread turn into the Aunt Flo thread?

    I always understood missionary splits to be two scoops of missionary and a banana. Is that wrong?

  29. #28 – Where’s MikeinWeHo when you need him to answer a simple question?

  30. Sharee Hughes says:

    I had a great time reading this and all the past posts in this category (1-9, as I had already read 10), and the links in the various comments. I want to comment on the “How Not to Drink in Bars” post from a few years ago. I once worked for a company where a number of the employees in my department would go out for drinks after work every so often (it may have been every Friday or something like that). I was the only LDS employee ever invited to go along. On day, one of the other women told me that they invited me because they knew I would go and have a good time and keep my standards without looking down on them and they appreciated that.

    In my early 20s I moved to Hawaii, where I worked in a shop in the Hilton Hawaiian Village. My co-workers were fun gals that I liked to hang out with. We used to go quite regularly to Duke Kahanamoku’s to see Don Ho. A couple of these girls were only 19 (drinking age in Hawaii–at least then–was 21), so they somehow had fake IDs. The were pretty heavy drinkers. On Wednesdays we wold go to the Blue Goose bar near the University of Hawaii, as that was ladies night and women got their beers for five cents. Since I just had soft drinks, I got them free. I never had any flak from my friends for not drinking. In fact, when a women from another shop chided me at the hotel employee Christmas party, suggesting that I should have a drink, one of my under-age alcoholic friends told her to leave me alone. “She has her standards,” she said. “Let her keep them.” Another time, at a friend’s home for a party, I was dancing with a guy and he asked if he could freshen my drink. I said sure and told him I was drinking 7Up. He said “7Up and what?” and I replied “Just 7Up.” He brought my drink back, saying he couldn’t understand why I was having just as much fun as everyone else without drinking. It turned out, he had asked the hostess about me and my drink preference and she told him I was a Mormon and didn’t drink.

    One time I was in New Orleans on vacation by myself. I wanted to order a virgin Margarita. Several different flavors were offered, and I thought I would try a melon one. My server told me that one wasn’t very good without alcohol and very courteously helped me select a flavor that i would enjoy virgin.

    I don’t have a problem going to places where there is drinking. I am able to keep my standards without making a big deal out of it. Let your light so shine.

  31. Apparently the rules were way looser back in the day: I (as a young man) was taught the discussions by a pair of awesome (and rather cute) sister missionaries. After I was baptized, they invited me to go out with them on splits, and I’m pretty sure I blushed mightily before asking for clarification. (The real thing was not nearly as productive or uplifting as my brief misunderstanding suggested.)

  32. I'll do this anon says:

    I’m not super straight-laced, so it’s probably not wise to do as I do, but almost always wear panties under my garments. This keep my garments from riding up uncomfortably into various crevices and I feel like this arrangement actually cuts down on laundry because I don’t have to change garment bottoms every day. Furthermore, since my husband doesn’t think my temple garments are remotely sexy, the underwear underneath strategy allows me to shed clothing and garments more gracefully without interrupting a cozy moment.

    On a related note, the elderly wife of a member of the bishopric attended my bridal shower and I remember her looking increasingly confused as I opened box after box of lingerie. Finally she half-whispered, “But once you go through the temple, you’re supposed to wear your garments all of the time! Those are pretty but they aren’t going to look very good with garments.” We hastily explained to her that there were times when it was alright to ditch the garments and she stared at us like this was a revelation.

  33. One of the first things my mom told me after she went with me to buy garments was that it was completely appropriate to wear panties under my garments. And I must also disagree with Brooke. In my experience, feminine products do not stay in place as well in garments at all. Plus, tampons and menstrual cups were forbidden by my OB in the weeks after giving birth. So what’s up with “We recommend that you not do this,” BCC? I’m disappointed.

  34. “I’m not super straight-laced, so it’s probably not wise to do as I do, but almost always wear panties under my garments.”

    Just to repeat, my daughter went through the temple for the first time last month, and she was told directly and unambiguously when she asked that whether or not she wears anything under her garments (top and bottom) is completely her decision. She chooses to wear whatever she wants, and part of that is, for her, the symbolism that adds to the garment when it doesn’t look and feel like old people underwear – or “underwear” at all, in the traditional sense.

  35. anon this time says:

    I do the same as NewlyHousewife, 2 waistbands that time of the month (plus outer clothing, so really 3) is just cruel. And no, Brooke, pads and garments don’t work well for everyone.

  36. I’m as conservative as they come. I cannot fathom the child bearing year without panties and in general being very flexible with that whole subject. just no. I’m glad if someone has found some way for it to work for them…great.

    I remember being asked by a family member why I wasn’t wearing my garments AFTER my water had broken, before I had my baby…for the hour of labor in between. bwahaha. uh no. really people?

  37. NewlyHousewife says:

    bitt, When I was expecting my daughter it was a regular discussion among friends whether or not we were going to wear garments when we went to the hospital. I said no and some of the gals looked at me like I were a heathen. *face palm*

  38. Pads + garments = horrible mess. Carinessa 2 is a little tiny bit better in this dept. But with any garment bottoms there is the simple fact that the fabric wants to drape down the leg, creating this cross-section: ∧. A flat pad balancing on top of that point is obviously just not good. It will be bent with both edges pointing down, creating a nice slide down each side for the blood to flow right off, if it can even hold with the adhesive at all. Whereas a panty has two elastic edges that draw up, creating a cross-section like this: U with the pad held snug in the bottom of that U, edges slightly upturned, which is exactly what you need for catching all and preventing leaks. There’s just no comparison.

  39. Left Field says:

    “2 waistbands…”

    Which brings us to one of the most comfortable characteristics of one-piece garments: No waistband!

  40. Cynthia! Really????

  41. You’re welcome.

  42. Britt and NewlyHousewife,

    My daughter is a nurse. Nurses often know the religious affiliation of the patients in their care. She began her career outside of Utah. When she moved to Utah Valley, and later to SLC, she had to deal with the (Utah Mormon) culture shock. She said that a lot of people have very strange ideas about the wearing of G’s in hospitals. Some people wear their G’s (without a hospital gown over them) during their entire hospital stay, as if that’s a normal thing to do in full view of strangers. It is not even unheard of for a woman to keep her garments on during birth, tied around one leg, having been told that the mother and child will be protected and blessed. Strong opinions (largely folk doctrine) get perpetuated from generation to generation. The whole discussion about whether or not to wear G’s in hospitals was a matter of discussion a century ago among Church leadership. You can read about it in Devery Anderson’s book.

  43. People, this is not going to work. The FMH readers are devoted. All this talk of menstruation and labor is not going to draw them over here. Well, maybe their facebook devotees…

  44. madhousewife says:

    Jacob started it.

  45. I blame the impropriety and ignorance of the natural man, rather than myself.

  46. Is this part of the ongoing FMH – BCC Wheaties War? Because occupying a thread with a detailed discussion of the perils of Mormon menses is yet another genius move.

  47. Look, Cynthia is 100% right about the whole pad thing. Pads + Garments = Disaster.
    Also, I was told specifically by the temple matron when I got my endowments that you are not supposed to wear garments when you are in the hospital. She was a sweet lady who said “Now when is the one time when you think you might really want to wear your garments, but you should NOT?” And everyone was raising their hands, and the correct answer was, when you are in the hospital.

  48. I really wonder about the occasional tales of Latter-day Saints wearing their garments in the hospital, even during childbirth. It’s usually presented as a holdover from some distant past. But both of my parents were hospitalized several times, some of it at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake, during the 1960s and 1970s. I was well aware that both of them changed into what they called their “civilian underwear” for both doctors’ visits and hospital stays. Anything is possible, but I wonder how much urban legend there is to this claim in recent decades.

  49. Heywood Jablome says:

    I know that for extended hospital stays there are special garments that are just hospital gowns with marks sewn in them.

  50. @42: I bet your daughter has some good stories! I don’t like wearing hospital gowns in front of strangers much less my underwear, even if they are doctors and nurses and LDS or not.
    I never wear garments to doctor appointments because they get in way of exams, even with LDS doctors; I never wore them to the hospital to have my children and immediately after birth (usually about 2 weeks); never wore/wear them to the hospital for either outpatient surgery (put them on when I get home) or surgery requiring hospital stay (I wear simple clothes and easy to put on because of grogginess – have had 32 major surgeries and many procedures requiring the OR); never wear them during that time of month because it just does not work even though I do use various types of products. I do not wear them during above mentioned times out of respect and because of what they represent. I think our Heavenly Father and our Savior understand.

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