The Mormon Tattoo & Piercing Controversy

For many years tattoos and ornamental piercings were not an actual difficulty for participants of the Mormon Church. Until the year 2000, there was the most superficial connection with tattooing in all Mormon teaching, which changed into the 1965 unofficial non-public ebook Mormon Doctrine through Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie. It states, “Tattooing is a desecration of the human frame and must now not be approved unless all that is involved in the setting of a blood kind or an identification number in a difficult understand place. Latter-day Saint service members specifically are suggested to avoid the pitfalls of tattooing. Persons who are tattooed aren’t, but, denied the ordinances and blessings of the temple.”


In the October 2000 General Conference, the first of many “councils” towards tattooing turned into 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 other than medical purposes, even though it takes no position at the minimum piercing of the ears with the aid of girls for one pair of rings.” President Gordon B. Hinckley

At the time, my husband and I were very energetic, temple-endorses preserving church members, and I was running a tattoo studio without any prejudice for many years. We have been in no way handled poorly or kept away from by using the members of our Ward or Stake. More than as soon as our Stake President’s wife delivered her children to our studio to get tattoos. It becomes any such non-issue that one of the ways I billed myself in advertising changed into Kita Kazoo, the Mormon Girl Tattoo Artist.

Since then, we were both subjected to many discussions and debates on the right or incorrect of getting and doing tattoos and piercings. At first, I might shield my preference of profession the usage of the scriptures. Still, subsequently, I were given bored with it and started out asking folks who questioned me to explain what terrible thing could appear in our society if absolutely everyone had a tattoo? After all, sins are the ones things that violate the golden rule and hold us from loving each other, not matters which include what garb we wear or how we do our hair.

Now, 8 years later, the entire issue of tattoos and piercings has, in my opinion, getting out of hand. Now it isn’t always so surprising to discover that the neighborhood church authorities, inclusive of bishops, stake presidents, and temple presidents, are taking it upon themselves to punish contributors who pick out to get a tattoo. Not just in Utah, but everywhere in the international. This has emerged as any such big issue that human beings are leaving the church over it.


Some human beings who’ve tattoos are informed not to take the sacrament, and others cannot get admission to the temple. Some are being cautioned to no longer marry those who’ve tattoos and piercings. As has been a 30+ year pupil of Mormonism and its records, I sense that this behavior is not in step with Mormonism or Christianity lessons in any manner.

Mormons aren’t the most influential religion that superstitiously believes that tattoos are evil and averted, as they supposedly will cause worse sins. Many Christian Churches and Jewish rabbis do additionally. And there are appropriate reasons for religion not to want their flock to get tattoos or piercings. Getting a tattoo now not best shapes your look, but it also changes your think and feelings approximately yourself. It is a clear message that you feel that you are the proprietor of your frame and, worse of all (to spiritual leaders), your mind!

Historically tattoos were used as an expression of faith and commitment. One might think that getting a symbol of your beliefs tattooed on one’s self might be encouraged. However, because of the current history of American tattooing and the popularization of tattooing, tattoos are being presented with media and politicians’ aid as risky entertainment. It isn’t always new for counter-lifestyle decorations to be considered repulsive to a number of our society’s elders.

When I heard at General Conference that President Gordon Hinckley (the cutting-edge Mormon Church President) does now not like tattoos and some piercings, I turned into no longer surprised. The tattoos he has been exposed to in his childhood had been typically not very well completed or artistic. Unlike today, tattooed humans of his technology, mainly in socially backward Utah, may have regarded appealing only to criminals or brutal army guys, now not ordinary everyday people with families and lives of precise account.

To further damage one’s personal opinion of style being said as if it is a law from God, President Hinckley permits for one form of permanent decorative trade to one’s look and now not another, which seems hypocritical to me. Mr. Hinckley allows in the church for girls to have their faces tattooed with everlasting cosmetics and wear pierced earrings (but one pair most effective – one in every ear) as the ones are socially suited within his peer institution. I sense that those non secular leaders are unaware of tattoo records as a religious exercise and typically trivialize tattoos and piercings as immoral and frivolous behaviors of rebellion because they no longer need their fans to appear like each person else. It is an energy game and not anything more. If they can control how you appear, they’ll hold the way you believe you studied and experience.


I suspect that the shunning of persons with tattoos and piercings is actually a part of Mormonism’s whole elitist idea pattern in Utah. Those who’ve no longer accomplished their homework are positive to trust that in case you seem like a Gentile (any non-Mormon), you will act like a Gentile; this means that to Mormons which you are without God and are basically led by using the Devil. However, it has been my revel in that tattoos do now not cause sin. Being uninformed and willing to comply without question blindly is what leads to corruption and private disgrace.

If you are LDS and nonetheless considering a tattoo, you should first be asking yourself these questions. Does my tattoo preference mirror my ideas, or will they distract my message of who I am? Am I getting tattooed because I want to immortalize an occasion in my life, a perception, or rebel towards the mainstream way of life? Will this tattoo or piercing save me from being a good man or woman? The solutions to those questions will help you realize if you are doing the right or reacting poorly to your society. It is my opinion that in case you feel having a tattoo might be a wholesome excellent component for you, then using all manner, exercise your very own suitable judgment and unfastened organization and get one.

Leah Leonard

Coffee expert. Troublemaker. Typical music guru. Friendly beer fanatic. Introvert. Web specialist. Uniquely-equipped for implementing bullwhips in Ocean City, NJ. Spent a year importing licorice in Hanford, CA. Have some experience licensing cigarettes for the government. Once had a dream of selling toy monkeys in Las Vegas, NV. Spent the 80's working on hula hoops in Minneapolis, MN. What gets me going now is working with action figures in the government sector.

Related Articles

Back to top button