Thursday, October 30, 2014

The beautiful, yet sinister aspect of the priesthood...

The Mormon church really does a number on its members, especially the men.  They men are taught from an early age they are an elite army of God.  God's chosen men for the earth in the last days. They hold or possess God's own power, the priesthood.  Through the priesthood, God created the universe and everything in it.   From;

The word priesthood has two meanings. First, priesthood is the power and authority of God. It has always existed and will continue to exist without end (see Alma 13:7–8; D&C 84:17–18). Through the priesthood, God created and governs the heavens and the earth. Through this power, He exalts His obedient children, bringing to pass “the immortality and eternal life of man” ( Moses 1:39; see also D&C 84:35–38).

In the Mormon paradigm,  12 year old teenage boys actually have the power and authority of God.  Interesting, since most 12 year old's can't even brush their own teeth properly.  WHO CARES,  I MEAN THEY HAVE THE SAME POWER AS GOD.  THE SAME POWER HE USED TO CREATE EVERYTHING.  THE SAME AUTHORITY--GOD'S AUTHORITY ON EARTH.   Isn't that amazing.  Men can now act in God's name to do His will.  To help others, to bless others, to heal others.  Because every "worthy" male can have that power it is completely different than some  Christian religions.  Normal dads can perform ordinances or  ceremonies for their family members and friends.   Fathers can perform baptisms,  give the Holy Ghost,  give faith and healing blessings.  That is truly remarkable and empowers individuals.  Who wouldn't want that, to be able to act for God is a big ego boost.

But before we get to hyped up on the prospect of wielding the same power that created the universe,  let's come back to earth.  This same "power" that blesses others is a major control mechanism of the church.   From the church's website we read where the control begins; 

John Groberg in April conference 2001;

Fellow bearers of the priesthood everywhere: I hope we appreciate the priceless privilege of holding the priesthood of God. Its value is unfathomable.
Through its power, worlds—even universes—have, are, and will be created or organized. Through its power, ordinances are performed which, when accompanied by righteousness, allow families to be together forever, sins to be forgiven, the sick to be healed, the blind to see, and even life to be restored.
God wants us, His sons, to hold His priesthood and learn to use it properly. He has explained that:
“No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned.
“By kindness, and pure knowledge.” 1
For if we “exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men [especially our wives and children], in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.” 2
Thus, we see that while the power of the priesthood is unlimited, our individual power in the priesthood is limited by our degree of righteousness or purity.
Just as clean wires, properly connected, are required to carry electrical power, so clean hands and pure hearts are required to carry priesthood power. Filth and grime slow or prevent the flow of electrical power. Unclean thoughts and actions interfere with individual priesthood power. When we are humble, clean, and pure of hand, heart, and mind, nothing righteous is impossible. An ancient Oriental saying declares, “If a man lives a pure life, nothing can destroy him.” 3

Again from the;

 Because God wants his children to find joy in life (2 Ne. 2:25), he grants blessings to them as a result of their obedience to his commandments

In the Duty to God handbook;

  How does worthiness affect priesthood power?
Priesthood authority comes through ordination, but priesthood power requires personal righteousness, faithfulness, obedience, and diligence. Even if we receive priesthood authority by the laying on of hands, we will have no priesthood power if we are disobedient, unworthy, or unwilling to serve.

Elder Oaks in October 1998;

 This principle of non-distraction applies to things unseen as well as seen. If someone officiating in this sacred ordinance is unworthy to participate, and this is known to anyone present, their participation is a serious distraction to that person. Young men, if any of you is unworthy, talk to your bishop without delay. Obtain his direction on what you should do to qualify yourself to participate in your priesthood duties worthily and appropriately.

And of course Elder Bednar, April 2012;

As we do our best to fulfill our priesthood responsibilities, we can be blessed with priesthood power. The power of the priesthood is God’s power operating through men and boys like us and requires personal righteousness, faithfulness, obedience, and diligence. A boy or a man may receive priesthood authority by the laying on of hands but will have no priesthood power if he is disobedient, unworthy, or unwilling to serve.
“The rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and … the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.
“That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man” (D&C 121:36–37; emphasis added).
Brethren, for a boy or a man to receive priesthood authority but neglect to do what is necessary to qualify for priesthood power is unacceptable to the Lord. Priesthood holders young and old need both authority and power—the necessary permission and the spiritual capacity to represent God in the work of salvation.

Interesting with the recent essay on Joseph Smith, what happened to his priesthood power when he covered and lied about his relationships with "his wives"? 

What if  a member is behind on tithing?   A friend of mine is currently going through this situation.  The couple got behind on their tithing.  Their youngest is turning eight.  He is excited to get baptized.  Dad wants to do it, but because of their "sin" of omission, they had to pay up on tithing before the bishop would okay the dad to do it.  It was complete coercion.   Because of their "transgression", not paying a full tithe,  the father was not worthy to perform his priesthood duty.

What ever happened to free agency? What happened to the aspect of the church being there for the member, not the other way around?  The Mormon church is based on two things, authority and obedience.  Once one is taken away, the whole system falls.  That is why the leaders push priesthood worthiness and obedience.  The priesthood is a control mechanism for keeping the men in their place.  If they are not strictly obedient to the leaders, then they lose that special power,  the power to create worlds.  The whole system is genius.   The members begin policing themselves and others.  Once you feel guilty about a mistake, the system has done its job.  It isn't about offending God or the spirit, it is about obeying your leader.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The highest calling a woman can have....

One trend, I have seen among the members of the church,  is the drive to have lots of children.  Most Mormons get married at an extremely young age.  I feel this is a result of being sexually repressed, so they jump into the sack, I mean marriage very early.   Many times the members become engaged to an individual they barely know.   "The spirit told me she was the right one for me".   The real story is that the two have hormones, and a common interest--the Mormon church.  After that,  the rest is history.    The church is the third member of the marriage.  It is like a triangle.

Remember the church has blurred the line between it and God.  Meaning, a member cannot have a relationship with God without the church. They are one and the same.  This diagram is kind of creepy.  I mean, who wants some ET guy on Kolob,  watching my spouse and I go at it.   Maybe He is addicted to porn.

 The highly touted "Proclamation of the Family" emphasizes the different roles for the husband and wife;

 By divine design, Heavenly Father gave men and women different responsibilities to help them fulfill complementary roles of husband and wife. “Fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.

In other words, men are the "bread winners" and women are like June Cleaver.

The Young Women program drills this into the minds of the women.   A woman's role, in fact her highest achievement or purpose,  is that of a mother.   The church's own website states;

It’s the highest, holiest service assumed by humankind. It’s the definition of selfless service. It’s both a daunting responsibility and a glorious opportunity. The divine role of motherhood is a gift from God, and key to His plan of happiness for all His children.
 Also, from the personal progress website for young women;

Welcome to Personal Progress pink flower

You are a beloved daughter of Heavenly Father, prepared to come to the earth at this particular time for a sacred and glorious purpose. You have a noble responsibility to use your strength and influence for good. Your loving Heavenly Father has blessed you with talents and abilities that will help you fulfill your divine mission. As you learn to accept and act upon the Young Women values in your life, you will form personal habits of prayer, scripture study, obedience to the commandments, and service to others. These daily personal habits will strengthen your faith in and testimony of Jesus Christ. They will also allow you to recognize and develop your unique gifts.
Always use your influence to lift and bless your family, other young women, and the young men with whom you associate. Honor womanhood, support the priesthood, and cherish faithful motherhood and fatherhood.
As you participate in Personal Progress, you join with thousands of other young women who are striving to come unto Christ and “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9). Counsel with your parents, and prayerfully choose goals that will help you cultivate feminine attributes, strengthen your testimony, and reach your divine potential. Take advantage of your time in Young Women by preparing to receive the sacred ordinances of the temple, to become a faithful wife and mother, and to strengthen your home and family.

I don't have a problem with mothers.  Hell, we all have one.  But I wonder how many women in the Mormon church have given up personal goals or dreams to raise children.  It is burned into the minds of these young women.  They are taught over and over that their calling and greatest attribute is that of being a mother.  In the lesson on "individual worth";

  In your journal make a list of your hopes and dreams for your future home, family, and education and some important things you would like to accomplish in your life, including becoming a wife and mother. Then write a plan that will help you achieve your goals.

Make a list of your dreams and goals, but don't forget to put in there mom and wife because that is what we (the church) really think you should do.  What if the young lady wants to be a physicist, or a neurosurgeon, or pharmacist?   Why does the manual leave out those goals.  It is all about taking the individual's desires and replacing them with a Stepford wife mentality.   

Think of the impact,  women have had on society. Would Watson and Crick have determined DNA was a double helix without the data from Rosalind Franklin.  From;

 Rosalind Franklin
1920 - 1958

Rosalind Franklin always liked facts. She was logical and precise, and impatient with things that were otherwise. She decided to become a scientist when she was 15. She passed the examination for admission to Cambridge University in 1938, and it sparked a family crisis. Although her family was well-to-do and had a tradition of public service and philanthropy, her father disapproved of university education for women. He refused to pay. An aunt stepped in and said Franklin should go to school, and she would pay for it. Franklin's mother also took her side until her father finally gave in.
War broke out in Europe in 1939 and Franklin stayed at Cambridge. She graduated in 1941 and started work on her doctorate. Her work focused on a wartime problem: the nature of coal and charcoal and how to use them most efficiently. She published five papers on the subject before she was 26 years old. Her work is still quoted today, and helped launch the field of high-strength carbon fibers. At 26, Franklin had her PhD and the war was just over. She began working in x-ray diffraction -- using x-rays to create images of crystalized solids. She pioneered the use of this method in analyzing complex, unorganized matter such as large biological molecules, and not just single crystals.
She spent three years in France, enjoying the work atmosphere, the freedoms of peacetime, the French food and culture. But in 1950, she realized that if she wanted to make a scientific career in England, she had to go back. She was invited to King's College in London to join a team of scientists studying living cells. The leader of the team assigned her to work on DNA with a graduate student. Franklin's assumption was that it was her own project. The laboratory's second-in-command, Maurice Wilkins, was on vacation at the time, and when he returned, their relationship was muddled. He assumed she was to assist his work; she assumed she'd be the only one working on DNA. They had powerful personality differences as well: Franklin direct, quick, decisive, and Wilkins shy, speculative, and passive. This would play a role in the coming years as the race unfolded to find the structure of DNA.
Franklin made marked advances in x-ray diffraction techniques with DNA. She adjusted her equipment to produce an extremely fine beam of x-rays. She extracted finer DNA fibers than ever before and arranged them in parallel bundles. And she studied the fibers' reactions to humid conditions. All of these allowed her to discover crucial keys to DNA's structure. Wilkins shared her data, without her knowledge, with James Watson and Francis Crick, at Cambridge University, and they pulled ahead in the race, ultimately publishing the proposed structure of DNA in March, 1953.
The strained relationship with Wilkins and other aspects of King's College (the women scientists were not allowed to eat lunch in the common room where the men did, for example) led Franklin to seek another position. She headed her own research group at Birkbeck College in London. But the head of King's let her go on the condition she would not work on DNA. Franklin returned to her studies of coal and also wrapped up her DNA work. She turned her attention to viruses, publishing 17 papers in five years. Her group's findings laid the foundation for structural virology.
While on a professional visit to the United States, Franklin had episodes of pain that she soon learned were ovarian cancer. She continued working over the next two years, through three operations and experimental chemotherapy and a 10-month remission. She worked up until a few weeks before her death in 1958 at age 37.

 What about Irene Joliot-Curie;

Irène Joliot-Curie (12 September 1897 – 17 March 1956) was a French scientist, the daughter of Marie Curie and Pierre Curie and the wife of Frédéric Joliot-Curie. Jointly with her husband, Joliot-Curie was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1935 for their discovery of artificial radioactivity. This made the Curies the family with the most Nobel laureates to date.

The list could continue.  I do think  Mormon women today are breaking the  Stepford mold.   With the notoriety of Kate Kelly and the Ordain Woman movement,  to Jerusha Hess, it is becoming more accepted to step out of the LDS norm.  Certainly the latest movie,  Meet the Mormons, shows a different side of some unique members.  I'm sure that James Faust would recant his words from general conference in April 2000 when coming face to face with Carolina Munoz Marin;

Unfortunately, we see some very poor role models of womanhood in today’s society. We see women boxers and wrestlers as we flip through the television channels trying to find something uplifting. I believe the women of our time need to be strong, but not in that sense. In my opinion, these activities demean the nobility of womanhood. Young women need to be strong in righteousness, and, to quote your current theme, “to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places.” 5

The Mormon church drills into the young women that their whole purpose is to get married and have children.  This programming produces very young brides who immediately begin having children.  Many drop out of college, quit vocational schools and stop pursuing personal dreams.   This stifles the personal growth of the woman.  They place their dreams on hold to follow the church's definition of who they should be, a modern day June Cleaver.  


Thursday, October 9, 2014

You're not crazy...

After listening to some of general conference this weekend,  I feel that my family who are still believers, are digging their faith heels in deeper.   The church does such a great job confounding all of the issues and problems with the doctrine and history.   The blame always gets passed on the member who leaves.  It is the individual, not the organization or even the current leadership, who is at fault.  It is their problem they lost the faith or believed non correlated information about the church and its leaders.  It is their fault for not giving the leaders a free pass for their past deeds.  From Joseph's skirt chasing to Brigham's race issues, it is the member's problem they didn't just continue believing.


The recent talk by Neil Anderson continues this rhetoric.  This kind of discussion will proceed in ripping mixed faith Mormon families apart--just as the Mormon church has always done.  It causes a rift between a believing spouse and the apostate partner.  Let's take a look at that talk.

Neil Andersen's talk is a discussion about Joseph Smith, who according to him, was God's chosen vessel to "restore" His church to the earth.  Neil claims that Joseph was a holy and righteous man.  He takes off the gloves right in the first few paragraphs; 

The Lord told Joseph of his destiny:

“The ends of the earth shall inquire after thy name, and fools shall have thee in derision, and hell shall rage against thee;

“While the pure in heart, … the wise, … and the virtuous, shall seek … blessings constantly from under thy hand.”7

So according to revelation from God, which was received by Joseph himself, fools or unbelievers will disrespect or criticize him.  While the virtuous, believing, wise and of course the pure in heart will follow him.   This is very convenient for Joseph.  This passage, from the Doctrine and Covenants,  reinforces the old Mormon standard of "blaming the victim".

Mr. Anderson continues;

Many of those who dismiss the work of the Restoration simply do not believe that heavenly beings speak to men on earth. Impossible, they say, that golden plates were delivered by an angel and translated by the power of God. From that disbelief, they quickly reject Joseph’s testimony, and a few unfortunately sink to discrediting the Prophet’s life and slandering his character.

Again, he blames the victim.  Grouping many of the people who don't buy into Joseph's story as "not believing" is simplifying the issue.   It is slightly more complicated than that.  Another point, what gold plates?  They weren't even used in the translation process of our present day Book of Mormon.  The final "dig" at the non believer/ex Mormon is the suggestion that those who discredit or become vocal about Joseph's flaws are "sinking" or lowering  their morals. 

Neil then brings up the White Salamander letter, which is very strange.  He does do a good job in spinning the story to make it faith promoting.  Ignoring the blatant  lack of inspiration by the prophets and the burying of it in the church's vault. 

Years ago I read a Time magazine article that reported the discovery of a letter, supposedly written by Martin Harris, that conflicted with Joseph Smith’s account of finding the Book of Mormon plates.14

A few members left the Church because of the document.15

Sadly, they left too quickly. Months later experts discovered (and the forger confessed) that the letter was a complete deception.16 You may understandably question what you hear on the news, but you need never doubt the testimony of God’s prophets.

Gerald and Sandra Tanner reported on a talk given by Dallin Oaks to church educators after the public became aware of the letter;

    In any case, it is interesting to note that on August 16, 1985, the Mormon Apostle Dallin Oaks tried to ease the fears of Mormon educators with regard to the Salamander letter by claiming that the words "white salamander" could be reconciled with Joseph Smith's statement about the appearance of the Angel Moroni:

    "Another source of differences in the accounts of different witnesses is the different meanings that different persons attach to words. We have a vivid illustration of this in the recent media excitement about the word 'salamander' in a letter Martin Harris is supposed to have sent to W.W. Phelps over 150 years ago. All of the scores of media stories on that subject apparently assume that the author of that letter used the word 'salamander' in the modern sense of a 'tailed amphibian.'
    "One wonders why so many writers neglected to reveal to their readers that there is another meaning of 'salamander,' which may even have been the primary meaning in this context in the 1820s.... That meaning... is 'a mythical being thought to be able to live in fire.'...
    "A being that is able to live in fire is a good approximation of the description Joseph Smith gave of the Angel Moroni:... the use of the words white salamander and old spirit seem understandable.
    "In view of all this, and as a matter of intellectual evaluation, why all the excitement in the media, and why the apparent hand-wringing among those who profess friendship or membership in the Church?" ("1985 CES Doctrine and Covenants Symposium," pages 22-23)
    Dallin Oaks' conjecture concerning the real meaning of the word "salamander" certainly shows the lengths Mormon apologists will go to try and explain away anything that challenges Mormonism. Oaks would have us believe that the news media suppressed the true meaning of the word. Actually, the news media were claiming that the context of the letter showed that the "salamander" mentioned there referred to one of the "elemental spirits" of magic. The confession of Mark Hofmann makes it clear that Oaks was way off base and that the news media were right all along. The reader will remember that when he was speaking of the word "salamander," Hofmann said: "At the time I chose it only because it was commonly used in folk magic. I didn't realize until later all the implications other people would associate with it as far as being able to dwell in fire." 

Mr. Anderson conveniently left out that information.  

His talk continued with the witnesses to the gold plates.  Unfortunately, there are some questions regarding the validity of their claims.  

The Book of Mormon witnesses wrote, “We declare with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and … we beheld and saw the plates.”18 We could quote many others as well.19

A sincere inquirer should see the spreading of the restored gospel as the fruit of the Lord’s work through the Prophet.

Bill McKeever gives an excellent synopsis of this topic.  Here is the link to his website;

He follows this line of thought with the classic "by their fruits" scripture. Quoting Matthew 7;

“A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. …
“… By their fruits ye shall know them.

Again creating this black and white mentality.  Either he was all good or all bad.  I think that when everything about Joseph Smith is weighed, it may not be as favorable as Neil Anderson thinks.

It seems that is his talk is about placing Joseph Smith on a pedestal.  Anything that does not come from the LDS is only a "half truth".  Don't look or trust the information on the internet.  Evil and foolish ex members are spreading lies about him.  I find it ironic that he is talking about half truths while at the same time speaking in half truths.   I think Neil Anderson is telling the truth "as he sees it".



Thursday, October 2, 2014

Your body is like a temple...

This phrase is commonly heard throughout the church.  It is very popular to use during lessons on modesty, especially in the young women program.  It comes from the scripture in 1 Corinthians 6:19;

19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  

Or Mary Cook quoting Elder Hales;

  Regarding our preparation to attend the temple, Elder Hales taught: “Just as the temple grounds
portray the sacredness and reverence for what takes place inside the temple, our clothing portrays
the beauty and purity of our inner selves. How we dress portrays whether we have proper respect
for temple ordinances and eternal covenants and whether we are preparing ourselves to receive

Our bodies are not our own, they are God's--kind of creepy.  The verse from the New Testament has been the cause of a lot of judging in the Mormon church over the years.   The image of our bodies as God's temple is evident in the LDS rhetoric about tatoos.  I remember hearing how bad they were when I was younger.   Bruce McKonkie stated;

But I regret to say that so many of our young people fall between the cracks. They try one foolish thing after another, never evidently satisfied, until they are pulled down into a pit from which they cannot extricate themselves. In some cases it may be too late...It is sad and regrettable that some young men and women have their bodies tattooed. What do they hope to gain by this painful process? Is there "anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy" (A of F 1:13) in having unseemly so-called art impregnated into the skin to be carried throughout life, all the way down to old age and death? They must be counseled to shun it. They must be warned to avoid it. The time will come that they will regret it but will have no escape from the constant reminder of their foolishness except through another costly and painful procedure. I submit that it is an uncomely thing, and yet a common thing, to see young men with ears pierced for earrings, not for one pair only, but for several. They have no respect for their appearance. Do they think it clever or attractive to so adorn themselves? I submit it is not adornment. It is making ugly that which was attractive.

And from in the "Questions and Answers";

I have been thinking about getting a tattoo. Is there anything wrong with having a tattoo?

New Era
The world is a diverse place with many cultures that regard things differently. In some Pacific Island societies, for example, tattoos have special meanings having to do with leadership roles in those societies. But you are most likely asking about tattoos that have no purpose other than as a fashion statement.
Yes, there is something wrong with getting a tattoo. Right now, tattoos are a fad. But the thing that makes tattoos a bigger consideration than most fads is that they are permanent. The consequences of trying to be fashionable with a tattoo is a lifetime of trying to hide or get rid of it. You shouldn’t choose to permanently scar or mark your body just because your peers think it looks “cool.”
The Lord has given some instruction to his children concerning how they should treat their bodies. We have the Word of Wisdom giving us instruction on the things we should avoid consuming. We have been encouraged to feed our minds by reading “out of the best books” (D&C 109:7). We have been instructed to care for our bodies and to remain morally clean. Our bodies are a gift from our Heavenly Father to house our spirits. The scriptures teach, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Cor. 3:16–17).

A different topic, ear rings.  Gordon Hinckley stated;  

 "You do not need to drape rings up and down your ears. One modest pair of earrings is sufficient" ("A Prophet's Counsel and Prayer for Youth," Ensign, January 2001, 7).

Or this example given by David Bednar;


Sister Bednar and I are acquainted with a returned missionary who had dated a special young woman for a period of time. This young man cared for the young woman very much, and he was desirous of making his relationship with her more serious. He was considering and hoping for engagement and marriage. Now this relationship was developing during the time that President Hinckley counseled the Relief Society sisters and young women of the Church to wear only one earring in each ear.
The young man waited patiently over a period of time for the young woman to remove her extra earrings, but she did not take them out. This was a valuable piece of information for this young man, and he felt unsettled about her nonresponsiveness to a prophet’s pleading. For this and other reasons, he ultimately stopped dating the young woman, because he was looking for an eternal companion who had the courage to promptly and quietly obey the counsel of the prophet in all things and at all times. The young man was quick to observe that the young woman was not quick to observe.
Now before I continue, I presume that some of you might have difficulty with my last example. In fact, this particular illustration of the young man being quick to observe may even fan the flames of controversy on campus, resulting in letters of disagreement to the Daily Universe! You may believe the young man was too judgmental or that basing an eternally important decision, even in part, upon such a supposedly minor issue is silly or fanatical. Perhaps you are bothered because the example focuses upon a young woman who failed to respond to prophetic counsel instead of upon a young man. I simply invite you to consider and ponder the power of being quick to observe and what was actually observed in the case I just described. The issue was not earrings!

These are two examples that fall under the umbrella of modesty.  The church is  pushing modesty lately.  The recent post by the BYUI president about short pants is really telling;

 The three things that caught my eye yesterday were pants that did not make it down to the ankle (some hemmed off 4-8 inches above the ankle, some pants rolled up that far); faces of young men not clean-shaven; and shorts on campus (mostly BYU-I shorts—just remember to wear warm-ups)."

Clark wrote, "The dress and grooming standards are one of those small things on which big things depend. Obedience in small things creates a spirit of obedience in all things."

These aren't modest?

This whole drive is really beginning to annoy me.  Exposed shoulders are bad.  Now, exposed ankles are too revealing.  I feel we have stepped backwards about 150 years.  With all the talk about immodesty, tatoos,  and double piercings, I wonder when the brethren will begin to address this;

Now I must be clear, I'm not against having plastic surgery.   In fact, more power to the individual.  To quote Sheryl Crow, "If it makes you happy, it can't be that bad".   But I must ask the question--why is it wrong to alter your body with a tatoo or ear rings but no mention of boob jobs, tummy tucks, etc..?  What is the difference?  Is it because most plastic surgeons are LDS in Utah--tithing source, while most tatoo artists aren't.  I can't wait to see who talks about it during the upcoming general conference.   I don't know,  but before you cast the first stone make sure you have on your sports bra.