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.


No comments:

Post a Comment