SHIELDS header banner /w logo

42 Questions


Question 36
"fig-leaf apron"

God rejected the fig-leaf aprons which Adam and Eve had made (Genesis 3:21).  Why is the fig-leaf apron used in the temple ceremony to memorialize the Fall?

Response: (by Stanley D. Barker and Malin L. Jacobs)

The Fig-leaf Apron And The Temple

The LDS hold the things they learn in the temple to be sacred.  Rather than discuss sacred things, we will comment on two incorrect assertions that appear in the question.  With the elimination of these incorrect assertions, the question becomes irrelevant.

Incorrect Assertion Number One

"God rejected the fig-leaf aprons"

Genesis 3:21 says:

Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

There is nothing in this scripture about God "rejecting fig-leaf aprons."  It is simply the critic's opinion that God's making the coats of skins for Adam and Eve constitute his "rejection of fig leaf aprons."  It could easily be argued that this scripture teaches that God provided a better long-term solution to the covering of Adam and Eve's nakedness than they did, especially given that they were about to be driven from Eden into the harshness of the outside world.1  As John Tvedtnes has pointed out, coats of skins were certainly more durable than the fig-leaf aprons mentioned in Genesis 3:7 (see Responses to CARM).

Incorrect Assertion Number Two

"The fig-leaf apron" is used "to memorialize the Fall."

The definition of memorialize is:

To honor or keep alive the memory of: A plaque at the base of the bridge memorialized the workmen killed in its construction. Syn: Commemorate.2

The use of "memorialize" in the question seems to imply that the purpose of the fig-leaf apron in the temple ceremony is to commemorate Adam and Eve's disobedience (the Fall) as something that the LDS honor.  This is simply not the case.  One purpose of the temple ceremony is to remind us of Adam and Eve's disobedience in the Garden of Eden, how God dealt with the situation, and how we can progress to become more like our Heavenly Father.  The aprons serve as a small reminder of the fig-leaf part of the story as described in the Bible.

Earliest known discussion:

John Tvedtnes, 1996


1. Gen. 2:16-17; 3:6-7, 23-24.

2. Roget's II: The New Thesaurus, (The Berkley Publishing Group: New York, NY, 1984), p. 297.