The story of the woman with the ‘issue of blood’ is an interesting one in the scriptures:
25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. (Mark 5:25–29)
Nothing special here–one of many miraculous healings that happened during the Savior’s ministry. Next, though:
30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
Many times in the past, Jesus had avoided public acknowledgement and ‘credit’ for miracles, but here he purposefully called attention to the woman and her healing where by doing nothing, no one except the woman herself would have known what was going on.
Why? Because an important lesson was in order–the woman needed to know that her healing was a deliberate gift from God according to her faith, not some automatic manifestation of spiritual power caused by touching a (supposedly) holy object. (The difference between obtaining a can of soda from a lifeless machine by pushing a button, and someone deliberately handing you a can of soda instead…)
Had this lesson not taken place, an abstract detachment might have formed between the woman and the source of the miracle. She might have assumed ‘The Garment’ was what healed her, not ‘God’. As people heard the story, others might have assumed ‘The Garment’ inherently had some great healing power attached to it, perhaps leading to someone stealing it one day, when Jesus changed into other clothes. People might have then started to worship the great healing power of ‘The Garment’ without Jesus attached to it, and someone else might have started selling pieces of it as "holy relics" on the 1st century equivalent of eBay.
And, yet, ‘The Garment’ is nothing but a piece of cloth. The woman was healed because (1) she believed, and (2) God wanted to heal her. Jesus called attention to her specifically to teach her this lesson, although we read in the next chapter that, afterwards, "whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment…" (Mark 6:56)
(Mark notes that they were also healed by doing so, according to their faith, but it seems obvious that this separation of the power of God versus the power of "The Garment" had already started taking place in the minds of many people…)
One example that comes to mind of this same detachment of God’s power into physical objects comes from "Raiders of the Lost Ark". You’ll recall (you have seen it, right?), that the Nazis are on a quest to find the ark because the army that bears the ark is "invincible" in battle.
Okay…let’s hold on a minute, here. The ark was just a box made of wood. It has no ‘power’, certainly not to help armies win battles. Any ‘power’ that the ancient Israelites obtained from the ark is because God deliberately gave it to them…and the thought that God would deliberately give the Nazis the power to win battles simply because they possessed a box made of wood is laughable. The Nazis (and perhaps the filmmakers too–the same concept applies to the Holy Grail in the third Indiana Jones movie as well…) made the mistake of thinking holy objects are creators of God’s power, versus just inanimate receptacles for God’s power…when He chooses to use them. There is nothing inherently special about the staff that the Israelites had to look at to be saved from the poisonous snakes, nor of washing seven times in the river Jordan to healed from leprosy–those were just excuses for man to show their faith and be (deliberately) healed by the Lord.
In our day, we have the equivalent of ‘The Garment’ in the temple garments of endowed Church members. We’re promised that by respecting the sacredness of the garments they will be a protection to us. And yet, they are just pieces of cloth. Any blessing obtained from wearing them comes directly from God, not from "The Garments" themselves. (Likewise any punishment for disrespecting them…) Garments are an opportunity to fulfill covenants and show reverence towards sacred things–not in themselves holders of godly power.
That’s why the angry uproar from members over mistreatment of garments around Temple Square and the selling of them on the 21st century equivalent of eBay is a little misplaced. They’re just pieces of cloth. They have no more inherent holiness than a picture of Christ does. We can respect the garments by being cognizant of what they represent and by personally fulfilling our covenants. Getting in fistfights over pieces of cloth (as some overzealous members have done around Temple Square) is going overboard. (If God wants to ‘defend’ His garments from misuse, He is more than capable of doing so Himself…)
There are many symbols and objects that play important parts in the gospel, but learning that objects have meaning and power if–and only if–God wills it is an important principle. (This is one reason why the LDS Church de-emphasizes the cross. The cross is just two pieces of wood lashed together. The cross doesn’t forgive sins, nor create miracles–Christ does…) Not ascribing mystical powers to inanimate objects helps us keep our focus on the true source of holy power, and the real reason for obtaining blessings…our faithfulness.