The Mormon Tattoo & Piercing Controversy

For many years tattoos and ornamental piercings were not a real trouble for participants of the Mormon Church. Until the yr 2000, there has been most effective one reference to tattooing in all of Mormon teaching and that turned into within the 1965 unofficial non-public book Mormon Doctrine by using Mormon Apostle, Bruce R. McConkie. It states; “Tattooing is a desecration of the human frame and have to now not be approved, except all this is concerned is the putting of a blood type or an identity wide variety in an obscure location. Latter-day Saint servicemen specifically are counseled to keep away from the pitfalls of tattooing. Persons who are tattooed are not, however, denied the ordinances and blessings of the temple.”

In the October 2000 General Conference the primary of many “councils” towards tattooing become announced.

“We–the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve–have taken the position, and I quote, that “the Church discourages tattoos. It additionally discourages the piercing of the frame for aside from medical functions, even though it takes no position at the minimal piercing of the ears through girls for one pair of earrings.” President Gordon B. Hinckley

At the time my husband and I were very lively, temple advise conserving contributors of the church and had been operating a tattoo studio with none prejudice for decades. We have been in no way dealt with poorly or avoided by means of the contributors of our Ward or Stake. Our Stake President’s spouse greater than as soon as introduced her children to our studio to get tattoos. It was the sort of non trouble that one of the methods I billed myself in advertising and marketing become Kita Kazoo will people with tattoos go to heaven the Mormon Girl Tattoo Artist.

Since then we both had been subjected to many discussions and debates on the proper or wrong of having and doing tattoos and piercings. At first I could shield my preference of profession the use of the scriptures, but subsequently I were given bored with it and commenced asking folks who questioned me to give an explanation for to me, what terrible aspect could take place in our society if anyone had a tattoo? After all, sins are the ones matters that violate the golden rule and preserve us from loving one another, not things together with, what apparel we wear or how we do our hair.

Now, eight years later the entire concern of tattoos and piercings has for my part gotten out of hand. Now it is not so unexpected to find that the nearby church government, consisting of bishops, stake presidents and temple presidents are taking it upon themselves to punish individuals who pick to get a tattoo. Not simply in Utah, however everywhere in the global. This has come to be such a huge problem that people are leaving the church over it.

Some human beings who have tattoos are instructed not to take the sacrament and others aren’t allowed get admission to to the temple. Some are being advised to not marry those who have tattoos and piercings. As having been a 30+ 12 months student of Mormonism and its history I sense that this behavior is not consistent with the teachings of Mormonism or Christianity in any way.

Mormons aren’t the best religion that superstitiously believes that tattoos are an evil and to be averted as they supposedly will lead to worse sins. Many Christian Churches and Jewish Rabbi’s do additionally. And there are desirable motives for a faith to no longer need their flock to get tattoos or piercings.

Getting a tattoo now not only adjustments the way you appearance however it additionally adjustments the manner you observed and sense approximately your self. It is a clear message that you are feeling which you are the owner of your body and worse of all (to religious leaders), your thoughts!

Historically tattoos have been used as an expression of religion and commitment. One might suppose that obtaining a image of your beliefs tattooed on ones self might be recommended. However, because of the recent records of American tattooing and the popularizations of tattooing, tattoos are being provided via the media and politicians as a risky leisure. It isn’t new for counter-lifestyle decorations to be regarded as repulsive to many of the elders of our society.

When I heard at General Conference that President Gordon Hinckley (the modern Mormon Church President) does now not like tattoos and some piercings I turned into no longer amazed. The tattoos he has been uncovered to in his teenagers have been typically now not thoroughly executed or artistic. Unlike nowadays, tattooed human beings of his technology, specifically in socially backwards Utah may have seemed appealing simplest to criminals or rough military men, now not average everyday humans with households and lives of good account.

To similarly the injury of 1’s non-public opinion of style being stated as if it is a regulation from God, President Hinckley permits for one form of everlasting decorative exchange to ones look and not another, which seems hypocritical to me. Mr. Hinckley lets in inside the church for ladies to have their faces tattooed with everlasting cosmetics and wear pierced jewelry, (but one pair handiest – one in each ear) as the ones are socially proper with in his peer organization.

I feel that those non secular leaders are unaware of tattoo records as a non secular practice and typically trivialize tattoos and piercings as immoral and frivolous behaviors of riot because they do not want their followers to seem like anyone else. It is a electricity game and nothing greater. If they can manage the way you look they’ll manipulate the way you believe you studied and sense.

I suspect that the shunning of folks with tattoos and piercings is truely part of the complete elitist thought pattern of Mormonism in Utah. Those who have no longer performed their homework are sure to accept as true with that if you seem like a Gentile (any non-Mormon) you may act like a Gentile, which means that to Mormons that you are with out God and are basically led by means of the Devil.

However it has been my enjoy that tattoos do now not lead to sin. Being uninformed and inclined to blindly comply with with out question is what results in sin and personal disgrace.

If you’re LDS and nevertheless considering a tattoo you ought to first be asking yourself those questions. Does my tattoo preference reflect my ideals or will they distract from my message of who I am. Am I getting tattooed due to the fact I want to immortalize an occasion in my lifestyles, a belief or to riot in opposition to the mainstream subculture? Will this tattoo or piercing prevent me from being a good character? The answers to these questions will will let you recognize if you are doing the proper issue or reacting poorly to your society. It is my opinion that in case you feel having a tattoo might be a healthy high quality aspect for you, then by using all approach workout your very own good judgment and free organization and get one.

Keep in thoughts that in fact “Tattooings are not handiest adorns…They are not most effective trademarks of nobility and symbols of rank inside the social hierarchy: they’re also messages fraught with religious and ethical significance…No longer only to imprint a drawing onto the flesh but also to stamp onto the thoughts all of the traditions and philosophy of the institution.”- Claude Lévi Strauss

Personally I accept as true with that tattoos in and of themselves can not be evil and I don’t consider that God cares one manner or every other if you have one or now not, unless you obtain that tattoo to alienate and hurt other human beings. Then the actual hassle is the way you feel in the direction of your fellow guys and now not the tattoo in itself.

People have a proper to beautify themselves how they want to. Some human beings like to position pictures on their our bodies and some human beings do not. It is all a depend of private taste. I feel it is incorrect to situation my flavor on others and I count on the identical courteousness in go back.

This mind-set is healthful and regular. This is how it is within the huge international where the Mormon life-style isn’t practiced by most people. Wouldn’t the arena be remarkable location if we should all mind our very own lives and appreciate the great things obtainable in place of selecting on others for being one-of-a-kind?

You can do properly or evil with the whole thing in this earth. As a heavily tattooed character I have had many greater opportunities to love and serve others through tattooing and having tattoos than earlier than I had them. I even have had to come to be greater affected person and tolerant. Especially have I had to discover ways to be greater patient and tolerant with individuals who claim to be “spiritual leaders” as they put words in God’s mouth rather than comply with what they declare God has already spoken.

I actually have determined that the general public who have tattoos are more open and friendly closer to others. I actually have found that for the maximum component those who put on tattoos are very high-quality humans. There are a few people that I even have met to whom their tattoos serve more as caution to stay away than an invitation to satisfy them. Which I experience is also a good thing because it has saved me a whole lot of time through helping me to keep away from an unpleasant interaction with them.