Temple Worship

We love how this Broadway actress explained temple garments to her castmates

Natalie Hill Jensen

Natalie Hill Jensen has had an illustrious acting and singing career. She received her Bachelor of Music degree at New York University and performed on Broadway in popular musicals, including Grease, Bye Bye Birdie, and Wonderland. While living in New York City, Natalie also became known for her popular blog, “The Mormon in Manhattan,” which she wrote in the early 2000s.

Today, she is married to Alex Jensen, assistant coach for the Dallas Mavericks, and they have three young girls.

Natalie was recently a guest on the All In podcast with host Morgan Pearson. They discussed what it was like for Natalie to be a single Latter-day Saint when she lived in New York City and worked on Broadway. As part of their discussion, Natalie shared how she would explain temple garments to her castmates who were not members of our church.

“The first day of rehearsal, I’d be like, ‘Hey ladies! … These are called garments. I wear them under my clothes. They’re super sacred to me. They remind me [of] the covenants that I made, and they remind me of Jesus Christ. I feel like they are a protection to me and they’re really special, and I love wearing them, so you’re going to see them a lot,’” Natalie would say.

She would also point out to her new castmates that many religions have religious clothing, and the garment is similar. She said that “literally everyone” responded positively.

“I think the more open you are about these things, the less weird it becomes,” Natalie says.

She and Morgan discussed how for endowed Latter-day Saints, it is important to understand for ourselves why we wear the garment. While developing a love and appreciation for the garment may not come easily to everyone, it’s always something we can work on.

“I feel like a more fullness of myself when I am wearing the garment. I really do. And I know that not everybody feels that same way, but I think that through lots of wearing them and praying about it you can come to [that],” Natalie says.

“And listen, … it was 109 degrees the day I moved [to Texas]. So I get why it’s challenging. And when I lived in New York it was hard too, but I think that the benefits really outweigh the challenges for me. I just I love them, and I wish we talked about more about just what a blessing it is to have them.”

Natalie says that when she was on stage, she would wear what the costume designer asked to in order to play her part. But whenever she was on a red carpet or appearing as herself in “any sort of capacity,” she always wore the garment.

“It was a chore to find dresses that work, and it’s always like a little bit more obnoxious, but you know what? It was totally worth it because I was more comfortable,” she says.

So what are the blessings Natalie has experienced from wearing the garment?

“I can see where I have been calm in situations I shouldn’t have been calm in, and I can tie it back to wearing the garment,” she says. “I feel like I have extra help from heaven when I am all in line, and part of that is honoring the garment and honoring my body.”

She also sees blessings from the temple garment that extend beyond her own life.

“We take these covenants upon ourselves in the temple, and it’s not just for us. It’s hard to remember that when you’re single, but it’s for your generations, for your posterity. These are Abrahamic covenants that we are covenanting for our lineage. And I feel like when I wear the garment, it blesses me immediately in such beautiful ways, but it’s also blessing my children,” she says.

“I feel bummed out when people don’t totally understand, [that] it’s not about a hemline. It’s not about, you know, the modesty thing; it’s not about where the clothes fit. It’s more of a how you live your life.”

▶ You may also like: ‘Trust the Savior will bring your loved ones home’: Why a world-class cellist returned to her childhood faith

Listen to the full episode in the player below or find All In wherever you get your podcasts.

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