Mormon Tattoo - Piercing Controversy

For years, decorative tattoos and piercings are not a real problem for members of the Mormon Church. Until 2000, there was only one reference to a tattoo in all of Mormon teaching and in 1965 the unofficial personal publication Mormon Doctrine by Mormon Apostle, Bruce R. McConkie. It states: "Tattooing is a desecration of the human body and should not be allowed, except for all those involved is to place the blood type or an identification number that is not clear where Latter-day Saint soldiers are specifically counseled to avoid. Trap tattoo. People with tattoos are not, however, denied the ordinances and blessings of the temple. "

In the General Conference in October 2000 the first of many "council" of the tattoo was announced.

"We - the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve - have taken the position, and I quote, that" the Church inhibits tattoos. It also discourages the piercing of the body other than for medical purposes, although it does not take a position on pierced ears by women for at least one pair of earrings "President Gordon B. Hinckley.

At that time my husband and I are very active, temple recommend holding members of the congregation and has been operating a tattoo studio without prejudice for many years. We never treated badly or shunned by members of our Ward or Stake. Stake President's wife more than once to bring our children into our studio to get a tattoo. It's a non issue that one way I billed myself in the ad are we kazoo Mormon Girl Tattoo Artist.

Since then we both have experienced a lot of discussion and debate about right or wrong way to get and do tattoos and piercings. At first I will defend my choice of professions use the scriptures, but eventually I got bored and started asking those who questioned me to explain to me what a terrible thing that will happen in our society if everyone has a tattoo? After all, sin is the things that violate the golden rule and keep us from loving one another, instead of things like, what clothes we wear or how we do our hair.

Now, eight years later the subject of tattoos and piercings all have I think made it out of hand. Now it is not so surprising to find that the local church authorities, such as bishops, stake presidents and temple presidents who took it upon themselves to punish members who choose to get tattoos. Not just in Utah, but throughout the world. This became such a big issue that people leave the church over it.

Some people who have tattoos are told to not take the sacrament and others are not allowed access to the temple. Some were advised not to marry those who have tattoos and piercings. As having been a student 30 + years of Mormonism and its history I feel that this behavior is inconsistent with the teachings of Mormonism, or Christianity in any way.

Mormons are not the only religion that superstition to believe that tattoos are evil and should be avoided because they are expected to result in a worse sin. Christian churches and Jewish rabbi did as well. And there is good reason for a religion to not want to herd them to get tattoos or piercings.

Getting a tattoo is not only change how you look but also change the way you think and feel about yourself. This is a clear message that you feel that you are the owner of your body and worse of all (religious leaders), mind you!

Historically tattoos have been used as an expression of faith and commitment. One would think that getting a tattoo symbol you confidence in yourself to be driven. However, because the history of American tattooing and popularization of tattoos, the tattoo is being presented by the media and politicians as harmless entertainment. This is not new to the counter-culture of decoration is seen as repulsive to many of the elders of our society.

When I heard at the General Conference that President Gordon Hinckley (the current President of the Mormon Church) do not like tattoos and piercings, some I'm not surprised. Tattoo he has exposed in his youth are usually not very well done, or artistic. Unlike today, tattooed men of his generation, especially in social Utah may come back only to attract criminals or abusive military men, ordinary people are not flush with the family and living a good account.

For further injury to one's personal opinion that states fashion as if it is the law of God, President Hinckley allows for a kind of permanent change to the appearance of decorative and not others, which seems hypocritical to me. Mr. Hinckley allow the church for women to have their faces with permanent cosmetic tattooing and piercing wearing earrings, (but only one pair - one in each ear) as being socially acceptable in its peer group.

I feel that religious leaders do not know the history of tattooing as a spiritual exercise and generally underestimate the tattoos and piercings as immoral behavior and reckless rebellion because they do not want their followers to look like everyone else. This is a game of power and nothing more. If they can control the way you see them going to control the way you think and feel.

I suspect that the exclusion of people with tattoos and piercings is really a part of the whole elitist mindset Mormonism in Utah. Those who do not do their homework are sure to believe that if you look like Gentiles (all non-Mormon), you will act like a Gentile, which means that you are a Mormon without God and basically led by the devil.

However it has been my experience that the tattoo does not lead to sin. Being ill-informed and willing to blindly follow without question is what causes sin and personal disgrace.

If you are LDS and are still considering a tattoo, you should first ask yourself this question. Is my tattoo choice reflect my beliefs or they would distract from my message of who I am. Do I get a tattoo because I wanted to capture an event in my life, beliefs, or to rebel against mainstream culture? Is this going to tattoo or piercing to prevent my being a good person? The answers to these questions will tell you if you do the right things or react badly to your community. It is my opinion that if you feel you have a tattoo would be a positive thing that is healthier for you, then by all means do your own good judgment and free choice and get one.

Keep in mind that in reality "is Tattooings not only ornaments ... they are not just a symbol of royalty and a symbol of rank in the social hierarchy: they are also full of messages with spiritual and moral significance ... not only to embed the image into the meat but also to cap the all the traditions and philosophy of the mind "-. Claude Levi Strauss

Personally I believe that tattoos in and of themselves can not be bad and I do not believe that God cares one way or another if you have one or not, unless you have a tattoo that alienate and hurt others. Then the real problem is how do you feel about other people and not the tattoo itself.

People have the right to adorn themselves how they want. Some people like to put a picture on their body and some people do not. It is all a matter of personal taste. I feel it is wrong to subject my taste on other people and I expect the same in return courteousness.

This attitude is healthy and normal. This is how the great world in which the Mormon lifestyle is not done by the majority. Would not the world a perfect place if we could all live our own mind and appreciate the good things out there rather than pick on other people for being different?

You can do good or evil with everything on this earth. As the weight of the tattoos I have many more opportunities to love and serve others through tattoos and has a tattoo of them before me. I should be more patient and tolerant. Especially have I had to learn to be more patient and tolerant with those who claim to be "spiritual leader" because they put the words in the mouth of God rather than follow what they claim God has spoken.

I have found that most people who have tattoos more open and friendly towards others. I have found that for most people who wear tattoos are part of the people are very nice. There are some people I met to whom their tattoos serve more as a warning to stay away from an invitation to meet them. What I think is also a good thing because it has saved me much time to help me to avoid an unpleasant interaction with them.

Most people have a personal philosophy of their spiritual tattoos on them and it became a way to open the opportunity to talk about spiritual things. In a world where we are taught to be afraid of our neighbor's good to have a way to really get to know people around you. It is nice to have a bond together despite all the other social differences.

If you already have a tattoo and are having problems of social rejection is wise to remember that things change quickly in the church. I would not be surprised to find that in 20 years of having a tattoo will not be a problem at all. Music that evil preached against in the 60 and 70 are now playing regularly at church dances and Coke and Pepsi drinkers who denied temple recommends in the 1970s can now go to the temple although their soda habit. It is all a matter of perspective generation, which will inevitably change as parents eventually die.

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