LDS, what say you about tattoos?

LDS, weigh in on this topic.

How do you feel about tattoos? Do you have tattoos? Did you get them before or after President Hinckley’s denunciations against tattoos? Do you have any regrets about the tattoos you have or do you intent to get more? If an LDS goes against this council from the Prophet, is it akin to drinking Pepsi or Coke, or is it the sure road to apostasy? Does being anti-tattoo or pro-tattoo have anything to do with your faith or testimony?

Salt Lake Tribune – Sunstone Symposium: Tale of Mormons and tattoos:

2004, a Brigham Young University media guide used the wizardry of computers to scrub tattoos off photos of their Brazilian basketball star, Rafael Araujo.

BYU allows students to enter with a tattoo, but getting one while there violates the school’s honor code.

Though some church members bear such body art, especially non-Americans, it is clear church leaders do not approve.

LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley called such permanent art “graffiti on the temple of the body.” Some members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, though, have a hard time following that edict and logic. …[Read more]

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Posted on August 11, 2006, in Mormonism/LDS Church. Bookmark the permalink. 138 Comments.

  1. I don’t have tattoos and would not recommend them to anyone, but also don’t personally care if others have them. it’s their choice to mutilate their own bodies.

    • It can mutilation to an extent but for those who have significant or meaningful tattoos it is not mutilation whatsoever. And seeing the people in my church and, I am only going to guess from your picture, they mutilate their bodies even more so by being obesed. Moderation is the key to living a healthy and full life and the church needs to do more preaching about that. Hell, even drinking too much water or milk can be very detremental to one’s health. And using such a strong word as mutilation, you obviously do care or you wouldn’t be judging with such strong of a word.

  2. Another authority said … and you shall not place a tattoo on yourselves.. [Leviticus 19:28]. That settles it for me.

    • Leviticus 19:28 says not to make cuttings in your flesh for the dead or print any marks upon you.
      This is the Lord giving the law to Moses. If you are a believer in Christ than you don’t believe this law is to be followed anymore, for one. For two, it is talking about the Jews public greiving for the dead. For three, just a few verses earlier it says to not wear clothes made of wool and linen! What? That’s just stupid. For four, if your scripture says that that verse has anything to do with tattoos than you probably aren’t Mormon and don’t believe in modern prophetic revelation. If that’s the case then who changed your bible and by what authority?

    • Well let’s let Mormon church leaders lead us around with a rope. It is so much easier than thinking for yourself.

  3. I think a lot depends on the attitude with which one gets the tattoo. I think those who do it merely to rebel or whatever are misguided, but someone who does it as a way to remember, for example, a deceased loved one can’t be judged too harshly. I certainly don’t think it is inherently sinful, in that I think a non-member who gets a tattoo without meaning to rebel against God is not sinning, the same as a non-member drinking an iced tea.

    I know tattoos are frowned on in Mormon culture and to that extent, it clearly is more ‘sinful’ than drinking a coke, which probably most Mormons do (more than have tattoos, at least). But you can get a tattoo and subsequently go to the temple, right? That was the last I heard, so I don’t think you can call it a sure road to apostasy either. BTW, can anyone clarify that? I am certain that someone who previously got tattoos can go to the temple, but can a temple recommend be revoked (or simply not renewed) for getting a tattoo subsequent to getting a recommend? I don’t think so, but admittedly cannot think of a situation where that actually was an issue.

    Since you asked, I have 5 tattoos, and probably will not get anymore. None are visible unless I want them to be.

  4. rod, great scriptural reference, thanks.

  5. anon, thanks for the insight. My reasons for not having a tat are practical: if I changed my mind I’d have to live with something I can’t easily eradicate.

  6. I am LDS and do hold a Temple Recommend. 15 years ago I lost my sister in a car accident and last year my little brother died. I have had a desire to get a tattoo in memory, and of course I keep remembering what Hinkley said about grafiti on the temple! My Husband is a convert and has 5 tattoos and does not understant why its a problem. I REALLY WANT IT!!!!! Nothing grand, something small and not for all to see. Am I crazy???

    • Absolutely not!!! You should not feel the bit wrong for honoring the memory of you family. Some will say honor them by not doing it, living the gospel, some will say that is more honorable. But that is the reason we have free will, agurably the greatest gift God had bestowed to us, so we don’t have to worry about what others may think, how others may judge. Too much in the church do I see people worried about what there neighbor might think, even if that member is not LDS! You have this deep feeling to get a tat and we honestly are taught to search our feelings that this is the one true church. Why not search your feelings and see if this is an amazing idea for YOU, not Hinckley, not your parents, not your spouse, BUT FOR YOU!!!

  7. I have often thought about getting a tatto…I was 18 when the prophet anounced the formal decision that it was a bad idea. I took out my superfluous ear rings, changed my mind on the tat and never looked back. Since then, I have served a mission, finished school, started a career, got married, got divorced and lost a child….
    So tonight I am forever changing my body by getting a tattoo.
    Not to rebel or offend or shock anyone…but for me.
    It is a flower of sorts, a reminder that even something so beautiful starts in the mud.
    I don’t want to justify or excuse my choice…but is it any different from breast augmentation for vanity purposes?
    Surely there are people who get plastic surgery for valid reasons, returning them to a state of normalcy…but there are those who do it just because they want to. Why must this be so different?

  8. I recently met a man and have become engaged to him. He is a tattoo artist and also has many tattoos. He will be baptised very soon and wishes to be sealed in the Temple soon. I also have tattoos. Most of mine are done in memory of my daughter who passed away 6 yrs ago. I have been a member all my life. He has changed his thoughts on which tattoos he will do. He also gives his insite to the person receiving the tattoo. Such as what the tattoo is and where it will be placed on the persons body. While having a discussion with the missionaries, it was brought up that if he continued to be a tattoo artist, he would not be in good standing with the church. This man has a bigger spiritual heart than most people I know who were raised LDS. Can he be in good standing and still be a tattoo artist?

    • I think that he has to remember that the gospel is true, the church is true, but the people are not. Yes he will be frowned upon by church members, but if they can’t see his heart well then shame on him. Many prophets have said that members of the Mormon church are unfortunately going to be some of the biggest sinners, because they are so judgemental and loose sight of the big picture. Stay strong to the gospel and overlook what others think or say at church, if he is a gifted artist I would surely not tell him to give it up.

    • definitely, its all about whats in the heart to me you dont take your body to heavin anyways so the tatoos arent eternal but whats in your heart is eternal

  9. I think this statement fits this situation well. Sometimes we have to grit our teeth and hang on to what the apostles say.

    “Sometimes we will receive counsel that we cannot understand or that seems not to apply to us, even after careful prayer and thought. Don’t discard the counsel, but hold it close. If someone you trusted handed you what appeared to be nothing more than sand with the promise that it contained gold, you might wisely hold it in your hand awhile, shaking it gently. Every time I have done that with counsel from a prophet, after a time the gold flakes have begun to appear and I have been grateful. We are
    blessed to live in a time when the priesthood keys are on the earth. We are blessed to know where to look and how to listen for the voice that will fulfill the promise of the Lord that He will gather us to safety. I pray for you and for me that we will have humble hearts, that we will listen, that we will pray, that we will wait for the deliverance of the Lord which is sure to come as we are faithful.”

    Topics: prophet, counsel,
    priesthood authority, faith

    ( Henry B. Eyring, “Finding Safety in Counsel,” Ensign, May 1997, 24)

  10. Am LDS and have two tattoos. I got them in the Navy. It is very expensive to have them removed. Insofar as a tattoo can be tasteful, I believe mine are. I have an anchor and a swordfish. They are not visible in a short-sleeved shirt. I would like to have them removed, however, our family has more impotant financial needs.

    My free advice…don’t get one. It always seems like a good idea at the time. Trust me almost everyone regrets them. Listen to President Hinckley.

  11. Robert G. Nielson

    To get or not get a tattoo is nobody’s business but your own. Tattoos can be an excellent way of dealing with pain and traumatic situations in life. I am LDS, tattooed, and a tattoo artist and think that the missionaries that said the gentleman who is a tattoo artist can’t be in good standing in the church are full of s***! tattooing in many native cultures is seen as a rite of passage and a highley spiritual experience. There is no reason that recieving a tattoo necessarily pulls you away from God it is your own heart and feelings that do that. Some people would be well advised to worry about their own salvation and relationship with their Savior and God than look down their Holier than thou noses at someone who chooses a path different than their own. If getting a tattoo helps you deal with a given situation or just pleases you by all means, DO IT. Don’t let someone who has no idea who you are tell you what is appropriate for you. Talk it out with the Lord and come to your own understanding and peace with God on the subject then stick to that like it’s the personal revelation that it is and don’t let some manipulative, self serving hypocrite make you second guess and think you’re less righteous than they are. Free Agency and personal revelation are alive and well, USE THEM.

    • I appreciate your comments Robert. I am lds, have had a temple recommend and I have 3 tattoos. Two before I went through the temple and one after. No one can see them unless I show them. I think they are beautiful and too me they are inspiring. I don’t think it makes me a bad mormon to have tattoos. I am not looking to go get a ton of them or have big huge ones all over but I think the few tasteful ones I have are pretty and i don’t think it affects my relationship with my Heavenly Father.

    • AMEN to you Robert G. Neilson!!!

  12. If I go out today and “tag” temples will it also be a highly spiritual expreience?

    • You are an idiot. Tattooing ones body is totally a personal choice. If it is so sinful, then the church should start discouraging breat augmentations and tattooed make-up and laser hair removal also. Members who judge others are only hypocrites.

    • @Gnosis

      If it’s your temple we dont really care what you do with it. No one is going around tattooing people against their will. Thats just silly.

  13. Robert G. Nielson

    Of course, the spirit comes in all types. You are exactly what turns people off of the church. Many non-members think of the church as a bunch of hypocritical fools that value others only as a potential convert to be dropped like a used kleenex as soon as conversion is refused. We have here a gentleman in a previous example who is ready to be baptised but is told by two well meaning but misinformed Elders that his legal honorable and artistic occupztion will place him in a position of poor standing in the church. Need I mention that Joseph Smith and Brigham Young frequented and owned Bars or that after moving to the Salt Lake Valley that Brigham Young and Porter Rockwell both operated Breweries. The point is, if you want a tattoo go for it, If you don’t don’t bother. I’ve heard nobody say that you’ll be excommunicated or denied a Temple recomend if you do. The Lords plan is about free agency. and love for one another not splitting hairs over opinions. If you don’t want a tattoo don’t get one but don’t ridicule those of us who decide that for whatever reason it is the right thing for us to do.

  14. I have recently got a tattoo. I do not think that having my tattoo changes my thoughts towards the church in anyway and I enjoy it very much. I must also agree with some of the posts up above that it is a personal choice and a way to use your free agency. Robert G. Nielson, I really appreciate your messages, they really put things in more, perspective for me and I appreciate that and agree with everything that you have said. My brother is serving a mission right now and I have also been considering it, I dont believe there is any rule that you can serve a mission if you have a tattoo is there? I remember when my brother was filling out his papers on the web, you need to send in a picture for evaluation. So, I am looking forward to going on a mission possibly in the future! So my message is, if you want a tattoo, go for it, if not, dont worry about it and don’t judge those who do. I love the Church!!

  15. I almost got a tattoo when I was younger but ultimately decided not to. Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t do it.

    I don’t think it’s the “tattoo” or the “coke” in and of themselves that will keep me out of “heaven.” I think my ultimate destination will be based on how I act when I discover God’s will for me. Of course, I have to have a testimony that President Hinckley is a true prophet of God before I can follow him as though he were telling me God’s will. As I follow and see the results, my faith increases.

    How I react to His will is really just a manifestation of my faith in the prophet and ultimately God Himself as I let Him guide my life. I trust that He knows better than I what is best for me because of my experiences up to this point in my life.

    The real act of agency here is choosing whether or not to follow the prophet, which is based on how much I trust that he is a prophet and how much I trust God to guide my life.

    Will I follow even seemingly insignificant directions or not? I think these small things are what fill the proverbial lamps with oil, one drop at a time, that we will need in the coming difficult times.

    P.S. I don’t hate or judge people who have tatoos or do anything else I don’t do. We’re all in the same boat. Judging other people will get me farther from heaven faster than just about anything I can think of.

    • Thanks rcronk. I am not a Morman. I do have several Morman friends. I appreciate and respect your comment about having a tatoo or a coke will not keep you from Heaven; but rather how you act once you recieve God’s will for you will determine your final destination.

      I do not judge others openly often. I immediately recognize it when I do (conviction in my spirit) and ask forgiveness. I am not God, nor do I even attempt to be in the same category. I am a sinner, seeking grace.

      I have a tatoo that I got at 38 yr.’s old. I survived a terrible disease, and God gave us a child. I have her initials with the icthus, as a reminder of God’s grace.

      I am comfortable with it.

      Thank you for giving me the answer I was searching for. I am invited to a Morman baptisim, and I was going to cover it up with a bandaid. It is on my inside ankle. I won’t now. I will go, rejoice in their family celebration with my friends, and be a peace.

      Blessings to you!

  16. Robert G. Nielson

    I don’t remember the exact reference but there is a scripture which states that it is not good to be commanded in all things. I think that exercising your own intellect and spiritual discernment is something expected of us by God. President Hinckley stated that “we discourage tattoos, multiple earrings, piercings…” that doesn’t look like a commandment to me. When the General Authorities state an opinion I have as much right to disagree with that opinion in clear conscience as with the opinion of any other person. I respect what Gordon B Hinckley has to say but I respect the opinions of the people responding here equally as much. I don’t always agree with the General Authorities opinions nor in the way that they interpret Scripture. I believe that we need to come to our own understanding or testimony of everything. When it comes to Eternal salvation we should study everything available on a given topic both religious and secular. Then pray and study more until we find our answer. Never trust anyone blindly! There is a reason that Utah is the fraud capitol of the world. I’ll be the first to admit that tattoos aren’t for everyone but if your interested find a good artist that uses good sterilization and the tattoing experience can be a rewarding one.

  17. I agree that we must get our own testimony of things and not follow blindly. Sometimes we must follow blindly for a time and then gain a testimony of the item in question afterwards. The pioneers had to follow blindly until they actually got to the Salt Lake Valley but after they settled, then they got their own testimony that it was the right thing to do. Faith preceeds the miracle.

    The practice of following and trusting a prophet shouldn’t be applied to following and trusting other people – which is probably where the “fraud state” comes from. Luckily I have, through my own mistakes, usually had a testimony of the things the prophet has said before he has said it, and so it ends up just being a welcome reminder to get me off my rear end and do what I know I need to be doing anyway.

    Certainly we are not commanded in all things – in fact we’re on our own for about 361 days of the year when you take general conference days out. And we are on our own for the vast majority of the hundreds of decisions we make each day. One of the prophet’s callings is to wake us up when we as a church are unaware of our slipping or straying. I’m ok with that and don’t consider it being commanded in all things.

    I think that the issue of what is scripture and what is opinion is an interesting and important one. I personally think that cherry picking the prophet’s words opens up a door to follow him only when we agree with him. I have found that I don’t grow much by doing what I already think is right and I don’t end up flexing my faith muscles much in that situation either. It takes very little faith to follow what I already agree with. However, it takes a lot of faith to follow when I disagree only to find later that it was actually the best thing for me to do.

    “I say to Israel, the Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as president of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the program. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so he will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty. God bless you” (Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, pp. 212-13; see also Official Declaration 1).

    I found a first presidency message given on February 26, 1980, by President Ezra Taft Benson. The full article is here:

    Here are some excerpts from that message that I think are relevant to this discussion:

    First: The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything.

    …in section 21 verses 4–6 [D&C 21:4–6], the Lord states:

    “Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me;

    “For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.

    “For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.”

    Sixth: The prophet does not have to say “Thus saith the Lord” to give us scripture.

    Said Brigham Young, “I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call scripture.” (Journal of Discourses, 13:95.)

    Seventh: The prophet tells us what we need to know, not always what we want to know.

    “You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may conflict with your political views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life … Your safety and ours depends upon whether or not we follow … Let’s keep our eye on the President of the Church.” (Conference Report, October 1970, p. 152–153.)

    But it is the living prophet who really upsets the world. “Even in the Church,” said President Kimball, “many are prone to garnish the sepulchres of yesterdays prophets and mentally stone the living ones.”

    Why? Because the living prophet gets at what we need to know now.

    How we respond to the words of a living prophet when he tells us what we need to know, but would rather not hear, is a test of our faithfulness.

    Said President Marion G. Romney, “It is an easy thing to believe in the dead prophets, but it is a greater thing to believe in the living prophets.” And then he gives this illustration:

    “One day when President Grant was living, I sat in my office across the street following a general conference. A man came over to see me, an elderly man. He was very upset about what had been said in this conference by some of the Brethren, including myself. I could tell from his speech that he came from a foreign land. After I had quieted him enough so he would listen, I said, ‘Why did you come to America?’ ‘I am here because a prophet of God told me to come.’ ‘Who was the prophet?’ I continued. ‘Wilford Woodruff.’ ‘Do you believe Wilford Woodruff was a prophet of God?’ ‘Yes, sir.’

    “Then came the sixty-four dollar question, ‘Do you believe that Heber J. Grant is a prophet of God?’ His answer, ‘I think he ought to keep his mouth shut about old-age assistance.’

    “Now I tell you that a man in his position is on the way to apostasy. He is forfeiting his chances for eternal life. So is everyone who cannot follow the living prophet of God.” (Conference Report, April 1953, p. 125.)

    Fourteenth: The prophet and the presidency—the living prophet and the First Presidency—follow them and be blessed—reject them and suffer.

    In a general conference of the Church, President N. Eldon Tanner stated:

    “The Prophet spoke out clearly on Friday morning, telling us what our responsibilities are…

    “A man said to me after that, ‘You know, there are people in our state who believe in following the Prophet in everything they think is right, but when it is something they think isn’t right, and it doesn’t appeal to them, then that’s different.’ He said, ‘Then they become their own prophet. They decide what the Lord wants and what the Lord doesn’t want.’

  18. Tattoo’s here are only the symptom. Will a tattoo keep you out of the kingdom? I am not the judge. But if we rationalise on one thing the Prophet teaches us, what other things will we rationalise upon? The man who found the pearl of great price went and sold all that he had in order to purchase it. When we find the gospel, sometimes we have to give up all that we have for a greater thing. But what blessings we will receive for doing so. I attend the temple on a regular basis, and some of the workers have tattoos on their hands that they had done before they found the gospel. Ask them if they would have them now and the answer is no. Many wonderful and good people have tattoos, it doesn’t make them bad. If it said in the book of mormon that we shouldn’t have tattoos, we wouldn’t have them because it would be scripturally proven as doctrine. (personally, I believe it tells us just that, when it talks of nephites who put a mark upon them selves when they jopined the lamanites, but I am not teaching this as doctrine, it is my opinion.) But let us not forget, the words of modern day prophets and Apostles as written in the Ensign are also scripture – let this be your guidance. One thing I do know, President Hinckley is a lot closer to The Lord than I am – follow the Prophet, for he knows the way….

  19. Robert G. Nielson

    This raises several points which scream for attention. First, is there ever a situation where you are right and the church is wrong? Think very carefully before you answer. If there is not a time, then you have absolutely no valid reason to refuse a calling, miss a meeting, have any opinion contrary to the stated position of the church. In other words why did the good lord give you a functioning brain in the first place. This situation leaves you in the unenviable position of waiting for someone who has no idea of your situation to tell you that this is what you must think and do to find acceptance and salvation. If you can’t twist your mind around to this way of thinking then you can consign your rebellious soul to Hell. Then the next little monster pops in to view. Brigham Young, as you said above stated that everything He spoke could be considered scripture. His Adam-God theory is considered false doctrine now. I would hope his theories of blood atonement are now considered false doctrine. If not, Our opinion as a church slaps Jesus in the face and tramples on the atonement. How also do you explain Joseph Smith Marrying other Mens wives when section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants states that plural wives must be virgins and pledged to no other man. Before you launch into a tirade about how Prophets are human and make mistakes as well notice that this handily proves my point that you should study and ask God about everything and it’s relevance to yourself. This is what personal revelation is for. I’m not suggesting that we have a right to preach our personal revelations as church Doctrine but to use your terminology it also isn’t correct to go through church history and “cherry pick through the revelations” and say, Aha! here he was acting as a prophet and seer but here He was obviously speaking as a man because, this with our current knowledge is without doubt false doctrine. There are many more situations just like this from other prophets which are also recorded in tne journals of discourses. All I’m saying is use your brain and your God given right to discern right from wrong and truth from bullsh*t before it atrophies and you’re left with nothing but the ability to follow along by the tugs on the ring in your nose or the swift kicks in the a** from those behind you. Brigham Young also counseled that you should prove things for yourself, even his own words and to gain your own testimony and follow no one blindly. Of this I have a firm testimony built on years of personal proofs and hard won facts. I’m not attempting to speak for God either The scriptures do that extremely well. If there is a conflict between what Jesus said and what some revelation of a man says even if that man is the Lords prophet, I’m going to have to side with Christ every single time until I can come to a testimony of that new revelation. The way someone wears their hair, how many earrings they have and whether or not you have tattoos are very minor issues in the Eternal scheme of things. Be thankful that Jesus died for our sins and praise God that we have a way to return to him. Find your peace with God through our Saviour Jesus Christ and encourage all people to do likewise. Then live your life the best you can and have faith that Jesus has saved us and that we will all meet one day before God.

  20. Robert G. Nielson

    I didn’t think you’d have enough backbone to print my response to the above post. If anyone would like to hear it I’ll be glad to E-mail it to you. To those who don’t have enough courage to question and search for their own facts and knowledge. I apologize for wasting your time and you can put the blinders back on and believe the party line as usual

    • Could you e-mail me your thoughts about tattoos as I saw them on the LDS Patriot site? I am in the process of conversion and, naturally, I have many questions. Your comments about tattooing and of free agency are very comforting, as I am concerned about how it all works. Thanks in advance.


  21. I agree with everything said about seeking personal revelation and knowing for ones self. The Lord will not tell his prophet one thing and tell a sincere seeker of his will another. But here’s a point; He has already spoken to us through his Prophet. The Lord will not allow his Prophet to lead us down the wrong path. I am grateful we have such a prophet as President HInckley, I know he speaks on behalf of The Lord Jesus Christ and I will follow his counsel rather lean unto my own understanding.

  22. It’s all good. I’ve spent much of my life as an atheist – amongst other dysfunctional behaviors and beliefs – and so I’ve seen many sides of life. I don’t believe I fall into the category of being a “blind follower” with “blinders” on.

    I have learned from my own experience that God knows everything – even more than I do – and so I follow what He tells me through His prophet because I trust Him and I trust that the prophet in General Conference is telling me the will of God. For the other 98% of my life, I rely on my own brain power and personal revelation.

    If the prophet tells me something in general conference or through a printed letter to the entire church, I’ll do my best to follow that counsel first and then gain a testimony of it for myself afterward.

    If it’s not in general conference, then I’ll figure it out on my own first and if I find that it’s good, I’ll do it, if not, I won’t. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the examples you have brought up of questionable doctrine were outside of general conference or outside of a printed letter to the entire church so they’re not part of official doctrine and are not the prophet acting as a prophet to the entire church and they fall into this category of opinion.

    Again, it’s not as much about the tattoos specifically as it is about giving up something that is dear to us when God tells us to give it up. It is often extremely difficult to do, especially when we have a huge vested interest in the thing He tells us to give up. That’s where we get to see the level of our faith being manifested in our works.

    I do agree that it is possible for God to tell us to go against the prophet, though that would seem very rare – as Nephi went against Moses (thou shalt not kill) when he relieved Laban of his head – and going against the prophet could take even more faith in that case. So, is that what you are saying? Did God tell you to go against the prophet’s counsel and keep giving and receiving tattoos? If that’s the case, bless you – you have more faith than I.

    I guess we might need to agree to disagree at this point. Definitely no hard feelings though. I’ve enjoyed the conversation.

  23. Robert G. Nielson

    I’ve never talked to God face to face and I seriously doubt that there is anyone on Earth that can honestly make that claim. But I do know when I have a peacefulness of heart or a stupor of thought. The false doctrinal passages were stated over the pulpit in the tabernacle as far as I remember. And Joseph’s wives came from statements directly from the women involved. Again our leaders are human and imperfect. Trust in God not in the arm of flesh. Remember George P. Lee.

  24. Robert G. Nielson

    I may be going straight to Hell but if so, so be it. I seriously wouldn’t leave my chosen profession and means of support for my family just because someone expresses a differing opion. I thought, studied prayed, and agonized through other employment to get where I am today. If someone thinks they know me and my situation and my state of knowledge and testimony on a given subject they can with all respect [EDIT]

  25. I have thought about the new member aspect of this, or, the recently returned to church. I have thought hard and feel that as we learn line upon line, we will come to know what to do. It is a huge adjustment to come into the church as a new member, we can not in anyway compromise on the teachings of the Lord, but we can support our brothers and sisters who have come into the gospel as new converts and help strengthen tham as they make decisions that will alter their life styles completely. I am sure, that those who sincerely seek to do the Lord’s will as they come into His church, will find joy and happiness as they progress, and what seems hard to understand now will in time be so natural for them. I wish all those who come unto Christ a warm welcome into the chruch and hope that they find the love, support and fellowship they need along with the wise counsel and instruction from loving teachers and priesthood leaders as they begin their journey back to our Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ.

  26. Robert G. Nielson

    I don’t believe all life styles must change. Why in the world can’t we accept people as different but totally acceptable before God. Of course there are the big Ten commandments we must measure up to but interpretaion of scripture and revelation changes as quick as the weather. What happened to God is the same yeterday, today, and forever. We set ourselves up for failure if we follow Men blindly. Make sure that what they say is really from God by searching it out for yourselves. If you were a firm believer that Adam is God which was preached as doctrine by Brigham Young you are now told that , that statement is false doctrine, or that President Hinckley says that he doesn’t know that we teach that God was once a man as we are. I also find it interesting that if you find uncomfortable questions when studying to learn more about the religion you have served in and believed in all your life, that you are told that we don’t need to know that, “you’re not prepared to understand it”, “that was all in the early days of the church it doesn’t matter now. Why are people so terrified of a different opinion than their own, or that someone chooses to mark a special occasion with a tattoo? And why is history that doesn’t reflect well on the church treated as if it never happened or the person bringing it up is treated like an antichrist for having the audacity to state fact. Unfortunately, unlike the previous post ,life is not a neat fuzzy little package of faith promoting experiences nor are people perfect Barbie and Ken dolls marching happily along to do whatever is asked of them whether it makes sense or not. There’s a fine line between being a good religious follower that doesn’t have to think and a Ron or Dan Lafferty who will commit murder in the name of religious blood atonement. Watch carefully, prove all things, trust none but Christ for he is literally ,figuratively, and factually the only way to return to God. Always remember Jesus has taken our sins and nailed them to the cross and paid the cost in full. Let us rejoice in our salvation in Jesus Christ and in the celebration of his birth.

  27. I don’t consider my post fuzzy, in fact it is very straight forward. To answer your question, yes, we can accept people as they are, but it is the Lord Jesus Christ who asks us to change our selves from the natural man who is an enemy to God.

    If all life styles do not have to change, what is the cut off point? Who then, is appointed to decide that line when we can cut off? We are then back to the intital point of my post, listen to the prophet and follow him. I can’t say anymore and do not wish to enter any argument. When the Prophet speaks in his capacity as the Lords spokesman, the debate is over.

  28. Tattoos are against the commandments. That is it. You cannot change a commandment because that particular commandment causes you stress. Admit the mistake, repent and “go and sin no more”.

  29. Robert G. Nielson

    Just because Gordon B Hinckley states an opinion doesn’t make it a commandment. And to the uptight ,holier than thou editor that didn’t have enough guts to leave my reply to post 27 by Mark Fahey, you better do a little studying of scriptures and true church history so you know when someone is speaking fact. And to “dutch” I’ll confess to and repent under Jesus Christ not some self styled expert. You really need to figure out what a commandment is and isn’t, but then it sounds as if you would rather have someone else do your thimking for you. The facts remain Christ payed for our sins an you must make your peace with him. Be mindful and careful of who you place trust in. Gain your own testimony of everything don’t blindly follow men first prove all things. A good case in point is the comment by Dutch He has just decided what is commandment and passed judgement as to who needs to repent. Are all of us who have or don’t have tattoos alright with this? My point is, don’t take what he says or what I say, or what anyone else says as fact without studying it out and praying heavily and inquiring of God for wisdom. I’m just a sinner that needs Christ for salvation but I’m also wise enough to know that everyone on earth is a sinner as well and we’d be wise to make sure of what we do and who we follow. This includes God’s elect because they’re just as human as we are. Just because someone on a church website says something is a commandment doesn’t make it so. Go forward find your truth with prayer fasting and diligent study and faith in our saviour Jesus Christ.

  30. why follow after the trends of the world, I think saint s of god are to reach higher and be better then the norm. and getting a tatto is something one can regret later on

  31. Robert, it sounds like your post was interesting to say the least.

  32. Happy new year every one – tattoo’d or otherwise!!


  33. Robert G. Nielson

    Happy New Year to everyone from Me and my family also. and no hard feelings toward anyone on either side of the tattoo discussion.

  34. Happy New year too – no hard feelings at all.

    I think there are two separate issues here:

    1. Your own personal inspiration and decision to give/receive tattoos. None of us has the authority to say anything about your personal decision because you could be like Nephi killing Laban – receiving inspiration that goes against a commandment (opinion, whatever). I think we can all agree that only a prideful person could judge you for following your own personal inspiration – and they would have probably also judged Nephi. Who knows what people you might influence for good as a tattoo artist who might not have otherwise had that influence?

    2. The preaching of your own personal revelation to others – calling those who disagree with you “blind followers” of the prophet and telling those who exercise faith in the prophet that they shouldn’t follow him if they don’t already have a testimony of what he’s saying because they can’t trust him. I think it’s these things that are rubbing most people the wrong way. It doesn’t work to give your own personal inspiration as general counsel for others to follow. It is faulty logic to tell others to not follow the prophet until after they know for themselves – exercising no faith in the prophet. Why have a prophet? The pioneers were following the prophet out west through “faith in every footstep” without knowing for themselves where they would end up. I think 99% of the time, people (from their own experience) already have a testimony of what he’s saying as he says it. Calling those who follow the prophet by not getting a tattoo “slothful servants” – needing to be commanded in all things – is a bit insulting and judgemental though.

    I think exercising faith the the prophet of God will only end up blessing my life since that’s what God has told me to do. I can get a testimony of the counsel as I follow him – if needed.

  35. P.S. I really have enjoyed this topic – it has made me think and I’m glad LDSPatriot brought up the topic and that Robert has stood up for what he believes in – hard as that can be when it’s so easy to misunderstand and judge. Thanks all.

  36. Robert G. Nielson

    I am glad the topic was brought up as well because I have seen a totally different way of dealing with prophets and general authorities than i’ve been taught in my 40 plus years in the church. If you find it insulting so be it, but there are as many ways of following the prophet as there are members and all are valid in their individual circumstance. It’s a little dangerous though to believe that every word spoken by a prophet is perfection and truth. Moses was chastised, Joseph Smith was chastised by the Lord. They are men just as we are, all be it far more worthy than most but they do make mistakes and statements of personal opinion which are not God given revelation.

  37. Robert G. Nielson

    P,S. I never said anything about pre existing testimonies. I stated that after the prophet speaks you should study out his words with prayer study and meditation and seeking out your own testimony of the truthfulness of the statement and not just blindly follow without an internal anchor to base your action on.

  38. Robert G. Nielson

    I won’t say more after this but I worry for the salvation and sanity of some people. Why would anyone in their right and healthy mind turn over their precious ability to have independent thought to another human being, “when the prophet speaks the thinking is done”. How many of you would have been willing to give your wife to the prophet if asked? Joseph Smith made these requests. How many would have slit someone’s throat to allow them to atone for their sins that Jesus’s atonement was unable to cover? This was preached and practiced by Brigham Young. Anyone who asks you to suspend further study or thought, or to cease studying questions that you have of church topics is asking you to deny your God given right and ability to learn and gain knowledge. Why should anyone be afraid of someone researching and studying anything involved with church history, the gospel, doctrinal changes? I would say this is just being a responsible member of the church and trying to gain a solid base of knowledge to base good decisions on later. If we are supposed to be Gods in training we are going to have to develop a deep and extensive knowledge of all things in order to progress to the point where this is possible. If any man other than Christ could be trusted entirely then by all means put your total faith and trust in them, but if they have human frailties and imperfections we would be well advised to make damn sure were willing to put the eternal life and salvation of ourselves and our children on the word of a man no matter how holy and well represented. We are given the gift of the holy spirit and can easily discern right from wrong unless we have stifled this invaluable gift. I am far from saying don’t follow the prophet I am saying follow the scriptures which state prove me in all things whether I be true or false. It’s far easier to say I’m just going to follow than to come to a strong resolve and testimony of the truthfulness of any statement. I’ll be the first to admit that I am a lowly sinner and through nothing I do am I worthy to live with God. I don’t care how hard I work to become perfect I cannot of my self make it. This beimg said, we can through the miraculous grace and love shown by Jesus in dying for us to pay our debts,be made totally clean and acceptable before God. I wish you all well and I hope we will all find our way to God and that we can then know the truth of all things.

  39. I had heard that Joseph Smith had asked for certain people’s wives to test their faith and loyalty since there weren’t many he could trust back then. He would then tell them to go back home and would nullify the offer because he had then found out if they were loyal to him or not. This is kind of like God telling Abraham to kill his own son and then once he saw that he had the faith to do it, he basically said, ok, you have proven your loyalty to me, don’t actually kill him – killing him wasn’t the point in the first place.

    I have never heard the Brigham Young thing. That sounds like a quote from anti-mormon literature or something taken out of context like the Joseph Smith one above. Or it could be an opinion of his stated outside of general conference, where he’s not acting as a prophet but as a man. Only God knows for sure, I guess.

    I think you’re taking the opposing point of view of following the prophet to an extreme and knocking down that extremist strawman argument. Please stop doing that. Nobody here is blindly, robotically, turning off their brains and following as you are accusing. I also don’t think that you are saying don’t follow the prophet. So it ends up that we’re all closer to agreeing than we had originally thought. Don’t blindly follow, but don’t mentally stone the prophet either. The truth is somewhere between the two.

  40. Robert G. Nielson

    Statements like “when the prophet has spoken the debate ends” which were quoted above, sounds exactly like shutting off the brain to me. As far as the Brigham Young reference it was preached on several occasions. Search into the “danites” for a little more information. Porter Rockwell, Bill Hickman etc. You can find it in LDS approved histories not anti-mormon literature. Just look and study a little deeper than the popular surface material. Journal of Discourses, the earliest editions of Joseph Smith’s journals.

  41. Robert G. Nielson

    Some of the Women were actually married by their own admission in journals and later interviews to Joseph and to their original husband as well. I think some people are becoming latter day pharisees and worrying to much about insignificant little letters of the law when they should be more concerned with Their relationship to Christ, current world events, Family etc. Since no-one has stated “be tattooed and be damned” I think we’ve got carte blanche to do whatever our spirit tells us is proper and if someone else thinks differently than you do that’s just as good, just don’t impose that opinion on me.

  42. Fair enough. None of this was in general conference addresses to the entire church, so I think I can consider it non-prophetic.

  43. What is your feeling about cosmetic tattoos? I know many LDS women that are getting their eyeliner, lipstick, etc. tattooed on. Doest anyone know of the Church’s standpoint on this type of tattoo?
    Just curious.

  44. cindy, interesting question! Hey, anything that helps a women’s feel more beautiful and confident and takes the tediousness out of daily care sounds like a plus to me.

    But you raise a good point, what about breast augmentation and face lifts; plastic surgery in general? On these I don’t believe the church is silent. My concerns about plastic surgery are about health issues, not ethics or moral concerns.

  45. It would seem to be ok if it’s just a matter of saving some time. I think the underlying issue here may have to do with where people derive their self worth.

  46. Robert G. Nielson

    Possibly it’s a matter of percieved aesthetics. Tattooed or not, makeup or not, bigger breasts or not. They are all individual perceptions of improved beauty. Where you bolster your self worth or confidence is for every person to arrive at themselves. If something as simple as a tattoo, cosmetic or artistic, or involved as plastic surgery improves your percieved self worth or lessens depression, or makes you more confident then I don’t see it as sinful. If something doesn’t draw you away from Christ I don’t see a problem. To me tattooing has been a cathartic experience that each time I’ve been tattooed or tattoed myself I’ve felt a release of pent up tensions. To each their own though, there’s plenty of room in the church and the world for diversity.

  47. In my experience, when I try to derive self-worth from anything other than the Atonement of Jesus Christ (i.e. the Love of God manifest through His sacrifice), I have ended up moving away from Him and toward the thing I am deriving my worth from. Since that thing is not eternal, the worth is temporary also.

    My worth comes from being a child of God and trying to derive it from anywhere else is temporary and has left me more empty than when I started. That’s just been my experience.

  48. Robert G. Nielson

    Excellent statement! I must say I would have to agree. What better way is there to find yourself and put everything in perspective. Again, very well stated.

  49. Robert G. Nielson

    Just one last thought. Do you really think Jesus cares in the slightest whether you have a tattoo or not. Our sins have been paid for by Christ and we just have to accept his gift in faith and humility and continue to the end. No-one gets out of this life without committing numerous sins. There are many things vastly more important in life than whether you have tattoos or not, or the number of earrings you wear. I don’t know if discouraging tattoos is a revelation directly from God or not but I’m tired of tormenting over every little tidbit of doctrine to the point of anxiety and depression. I’ll live my life as I see fit and I’ll place my whole trust in the Lord Jesus Christ to take care of my mistakes and shortcomings.

  50. According to the scriptures, I believe that Gordon B. Hinckley speaks for God when he’s speaking in general conference especially when he speaks in unison with the first presidency and the quorum of the 12 apostles. Based on their comments, therefore, I also believe that God and Jesus care whether or not I have a tattoo. I also believe in and of myself that I shouldn’t have one – see, I used my own brain! 🙂

    But I think it’s my willingness to follow that will matter more than a tattoo.

    Again, you can feel free to follow your own personal revelation if it goes contrary to what the prophet says (just like Nephi and Laban), but I don’t think you should preach it as general doctrine to all.

    That’s my opinion and we’ve already agreed to agree on some things and disagree on others so I don’t know why you dug this back up. Oh well – God bless.

  51. Robert G. Nielson

    I found that Brigham Young’s statements on blood atonement and Adam being our God come directly from the journal of discourses which are preached in conference and were stated as coming from God. I guess that means we better follow what the prophet said. Wait, thats been declared false doctrine now. How about the fact that beer was never mentioned in the word of wisdom as prohibited. In fact it’s recommended. Barley for use in the making of mild drinks (beer), but no,Heber J. Grant put the prohibition on that (pun intended). In other words some of our major tenets have been changed, sometimes multiple times. It seems to me that we worry and are told to worry about things that don’t even begin to approach the top 10. I come from a much more rebellious and bohemian background than many I guess. I don’t trust anyone and question the motives of everyone, prophets included until I know something is in my best interest. God, Jesus and the Holy ghost are the only personages I trust totally, all others must be proven.

  52. I don’t think we’re disagreeing as much as you think we are.

    Follow the prophet and get your own testimony of the thing you’re following. We’re both saying that, I think.

    I have a testimony that, for me, tattoos are one way of rebelling and praise of the world seeking. I know it for myself and so I don’t even need the prophet to tell me. But if I didn’t have a testimony of it, I’d follow him and get a testimony of it as I went along. I think that’s reasonable and I think we both can agree on that. Tattoos and adam-god theory are quite a bit different from each other.

    So I guess the difference is that you consider what the prophet says as suggestions from just another broken person like you and me and I consider it commandment from God through a broken person like you or me, but we both consider it worth while to gain a testimony of it either way. Does that sound reasonable?

    When Christ comes, all doctrines will be known as being true or false and we will know if we only have part of the doctrines or a limited understanding of the doctrines, etc.

    None of the doctrines you’ve mentioned (blood atonement, adam-god, for example) affect me personally and so I’m willing to wait for Christ to come and clear it all up. I disagree with you that these are major tenets though – faith in Christ, repentance, baptism by immersion, and the gift of the Holy Ghost are the core doctrines of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I do my best just to get the whole faith in Christ and repentance things down. Those two keep me busy enough without having to delve into these other doctrines. In fact the doctrines of the Gospel of Jesus Christ have everything to do with my salvation and are really the main point of my probation. Will I believe that my Heavenly Father loves me enough to sacrifice His own son for me (and then start to love myself?) or will I chose another way?

    If President Hinckley gave a speech about blood atonement or adam-god, I’d get my own testimony of it before blindly accepting it – my faith in him isn’t as strong as my faith in the Holy Ghost. So I think we’re the same there. Tattos again are in a totally different league. For me, it requires no faith to follow the prophet when it comes to tattoos where in your case it might require a lot of faith to follow such a command simply because of our different experiences. Again it would take even more faith to go against his counsel and follow the Holy Ghost’s guidance as Nephi did. Again, that inspiration is for you, not for me or anyone else here – if you pretend it is, then you make yourself a prophet for the rest of us. If that’s the guidance you got, go for it, but do not preach it to everyone else as though it is for them also.

    I do have a testimony about beer. It’s as destructive as any other alcoholic beverage or other drug or activity designed to compel the body to escape from or cover up pain, stress, depression, etc. It halts my ability to progress as a human being by preventing me from dealing maturely with the realities of life. It’s simple – if I’m using something to escape or cover up, I end up worse off than I started and my emotional progress is halted for a time. Of course, if I truly believed Christ loves me and will take my burden and that I don’t have to be perfect all by myself, most of this self-inflicted depression, etc. disappears. So I have chosen to use Christ to get rid of these negative things instead of covering them up. Hey, that’s just what the prophets have been telling me this whole time. And it works – it’s pretty amazing actually.

    I also don’t trust many people in this world, but I do believe that through the Holy Ghost, I can know who to trust and when to trust them. I also believe that President Hinckley is a true prophet of God and therefore when he is acting in his role of prophet, he’s telling me what God would tell me if he were in his shoes – that’s what the scriptures say. I know through the Holy Ghost that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. To be honest, I don’t know much more than that when it comes to trusting people and I think proving all things is generally a good idea.

  53. Robert G. Nielson

    Unfortunately depression isn’t always treated by repentance and belief in Christ alone. I wish it was that easy. mind or perception altering substances are then needed to allow an individual to proceed or pull them back from the edge of despair and suicide. I have too much personal and family experience along these lines. Suicide and alcoholism run fairly prevalent in my family so I know the pain of excesses from a personal point, having O.D’d on certain substances myself. My point was that what was doctrinal at one point doesn’t always stay doctrinal for the long term. The doctrine doesn’t really matter, be it word of wisdom, temple ceremonies, polygamy, etc. They tend to change. I think we really are closer to agreement than I originally thought, but I still wonder sometimes when the latest hot topic will be discarded and thought of as outdated or false when there is another prophet calling the shots.
    I have a bit of work to do on trust issues I’ll admit. In my background if you wind up trusting the wrong person you could wind up in jail or very rapidly dead so I tend to be a little too defensive and cynical sometimes. I can’t say that I know without doubt the church is true or that Joseph Smith was a prophet but I sincerely hope so. I’ve spent 43 years in the church and sometimes I feel like the more I learn the less I am sure of. I wish us all luck and help from God that we will all reach peace and salvation by whichever path we choose to follow.

  54. Amen – I know that there are crutches to help people get stabilized for a while, but in my experience, ultimately faith in Christ’s Atonement (which translates into love and self worth) combined with repentance are the only way to get completely and permanently out of depression, etc. and find lasting and increasing joy. According to my understanding of the scriptures, there is no other way. According to the Bible Dictionary under “Faith”: Faith in Christ is increased by 1. righteousness and by 2. hearing testimony of those who already have faith in Christ. That’s what church is about – all of us helping each other increase our faith in Christ so that we’ll have the capacity to repent (change, turn, etc.) from our temporary gods of sin to the real God of righteousness. It’s working for me finally. Oh, and church also gives us the opportunity to learn to forgive others and to learn to work with and love broken people so that we can learn to love our broken selves.

    Man are we off topic or what? LDSPatriot – should we be quiet at this point?

  55. WOW!!! this was a waaaay cool discussion. I have been toying with the idea of getting a tattoo for a long time. My husband says no but i know at one time he wanted a tattoo himself. (he wanted the CTR shield on his chest LOL) He was even offered a tattoo artist job once when someone saw his art. LOL We are not sealed but plan to be. We want to be sealed to our children. We have 5 total. Two living, two deceased and one on the way. We have been married 5 years and yes i’ve been pregnant practically our whole marriage LOL. Its tough on me but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. My kids are a blessing. Anyways… This is in no way related to tattoos but it falls in line with a really heated discussion i had with a friend on yahoo yesterday.

    We were casually chatting and i mentioned i had a couple weddings coming up (one a temple) and how i often got “marital aid” gag gifts for my friends when they got married. She went livid on me. Telling me that was a big no no and how it was so unnatural and all this other stuff. Now I know porn is extremely harmful and dangerous but i’m not talking about porn. I’m talking about massage oils, toys, and i even told her about coupon vouchers for things like romantic dinners, back rubs, and yes even sexual favors. I tried to explain to her that if a MARRIED couple wants to explore with each other, other methods of lovemaking and pleasure they can and it can be VERY GOOD for your marriage. At my cousin’s bridal shower she told me of a friend of hers who when she got married her and her spouse struggled with sex. They went to the bishop for counsel and he told them to get some marital aids to help them. She said that bishop should be removed and all this stuff. Now I have seen alot (some in my own family) of marriages fail because the couple didn’t take care of their sex life. I respected her opinion that she didn’t agree with using things like that but she judged me for even thinking that was ok. She called me Satan and told me to talk to her when i could talk more cleanly. i did not use profanity and didn’t even mention any body parts or nothing. Also we got on the subject of alcohol and I told her that i don’t drink (though i have in the past) but i do enjoy cooking with liquor. I boil brauts in beer, cook roasts in wine, and cook fajitas in tequila. She scolded me for that and said what if my children see it. So what if they do??? I’m not gonna give it to them geezo peezo. She said it would be too much of a temptation and i should not have it in the house at ALL. I said I know my limits and there are certain things we don’t keep in the house for that reason. Boy talk about your prudent self righteous holier than thou attitude.

    I just wanted to let youall know that this discussion really helped me out. I even bawled at some of the posts. (maybe its the spirit talking to me and maybe its just my pregnant hormones LOL) Thankyou for having this discussion.

    If the editor or moderator wants to start a new topic with this thats fine. I just wanted to leave a comment and vent a little.

    Jamie 🙂

  56. Sometimes the Lord is looking for obedience when he councils us through his prophets. From a personal experience I learned that the Lord doesn’t always give us a reason for prompting us to do something, but I am expected to obey that prompting. We are headed for perilous times and even the elect willl be deceived. If we can’t obey the little things how will we ever endure to the end. It was not known by science that tobacco and alcohol was harmful to the body when we received the Word of Wisdom but it was known by the Lord who revealed His word to the prophet. Perhaps our attitude shouldn’t be we don’t care what the world thinks about what we do with our bodies but, we do care what the One who created are bodies thinks.

  57. Well said. Hey Robert, just out of curiosity, what is your stance on alcohol consumption as a member of the church? Is it against the commandments or is it something that we need evaluate for ourselves to see it we agree with it? I’m not expressing any opinion as to what I believe, I’m just curious as to what you think. That goes for the rest of the Word of Wisdom as well- do you live it in your life? and if you do, do you do it because the prophets say to or because you prayed and came to that conclusion yourself?

  58. Thanks – I think amidst my thread drifting rants, I covered alcohol earlier on this very page. Yes, I have a firm testimony of alcohol being a bad thing. Fortunately, I only had to throw away 6 years to figure that one out.

    Same goes with the rest of the word of wisdom. I have found it all to be good – both the shalt not’s and the shalt’s. I live all the listed shalt not’s and I’m trying to eat meat a little less and more grains, etc.

    I know for myself that I feel better when I live it and I have also seen the promises made in it come to pass along with seeing their converse come to pass when it’s broken – to the point of friends on drugs comitting suicide, etc.

    I always told my people on my mission that it’s called the word of wisdom because you need to use wisdom when it comes to the details that are outside of the guidlines. Drinking 5 gallons of milk in 1 hour, for example, is not in the guidelines, but I think it would qualify as breaking the spirit of the law. 😉

    P.S. So to answer your question, I disobeyed because I didn’t care, wrecked my life, and thereby found out the word of wisdom was absolutely true by my own experience. Had I been obedient from the beginning, I could have saved myself years of wasted time and pain.

  59. Robert G. Nielson

    It becomes a factor of how the word of wisdom is interpreted. If interpreted as it is originally revealed you will notice that strong drinks are mentioned which was interpreted as hard liquor(whiskey, rum, gin, etc, but mild barley drinks which would easily be interpreted as beer which has a very low alcohol content, are recommended. If you remember that Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Porter Rockwell, Hyrum Smith and the others that were in Carthage Jail all partook of alcohol, some, including Joseph Smith enjoyed a bottle of wine on the very day of the martyrdom. The total prohibition on alcohol came far later. This happened far closer to the national prohibition on alcohol. As far as the church is concerned all alcohol is verboten, but is this what God really revealed? I’m not sure. As far as do I follow the word of wisdom? No, I don’t in it’s entirety. No hard alcohol, no tobacco, but a few beers in moderation. I’ll be the first to admit as far as the church is concerned I’m a sinner and I don’t claim otherwise. I will state that in collosians we are told that we are not to allow ourselves to be judged according to what we eat or drink. Our Lord Jesus Christ also stated that we are condemned not by what goes into our mouths but what proceeds out of it. If you can control your alcohol intake there are definite medical benefits to moderate alcohol use over abstinance. I’m not what many would consider a saint. I’m a long-haired, bearded, tattooed, foul mouthed, rock and roll loving biker that would rather kick some goody goody metro-sexual’s ass than talk to or look at him let alone hang out with him. I do have a deep testimony that Christ lives and paid for our sins with his own blood. A harder core man never lived. He hung out with what polite society considered beneath contempt. Coming from a family history of alcoholism I know what abuse of alcohol can do. Notice the word abuse, but that doesn’t mean that everyone that takes a drink is an alcoholic.
    Yes drinking alcohol is a sin by church standards. Joseph Smith said that any member that couldn’t keep the word of wisdom should not hold any calling in the church. All the above stated gentlemen should have been booted out of their high positions Joseph Smith included, by means of this statement. Were they removed from their positions? No. Hypocrisy? Maybe. Before you say it was different then. It wasn’t a commandment till later. You better read church history a little closer. All this said, alcohol is still a sin in the LDS church. Do I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet? Hell no, but I’ll admit to learning a lot from him. Is Gordon B Hinckley a prophet? I don’t have a clue, but he does have some good points. I’ll take my chances with Jesus’ teachings and have faith in him and his atonement. Alcohol serves a helpful purpose for me, sin or not, for the time being. I’m beginning to think that after 43 years of depression and anxiety and judgemental people in the church that it’s time to move on to a more accepting, christian way of dealing with life.

  60. My own experience with the word of wisdom has taught me that the spirit of that law is what’s important. If I’m taking something to escape or cope instead of solving my real problem, then I end up happier giving that thing up.

    The church is full of broken people. It’s a great opportunity to see how I’ll treat broken people. Will I judge and condemn the judgers and condemners? Or will I learn meekness and be kind and loving to the broken people? It’s easy for me to be kind to kind people. It’s also easy for me to condemn the condemners. And since I’m broken too, it’s also a good test of my level of hypocracy.

    The church is a mixed bag, just like everywhere else. It’s a great opportunity to interact with wonderful people, be kind to jerks, and serve everyone.

    I have learned for myself that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God through the Holy Ghost. I could never find that out any other way. I’m pretty sure Gordon B. Hinckley is a true prophet of God, but I’m working on that testimony through obedience to his counsel. Uh, and yes, I keep my brain on as I follow that counsel, don’t worry. 🙂

  61. Thank you everyone for your honest and thoughtful responses. I have enjoyed reading them. They have helped me some questions I had.

  62. You’re welcome, Kancie. Uh, that is if I was one of the helpful ones. If so, I’m just glad that my experiences can be of help to others. If not, then I guess I helped others to be helpful to you, maybe. 🙂

  63. Robert G. Nielson

    Unlike others here I have felt better and far less confused and depressed with a little beer or wine in my system. I’m not saying it’s right for everyone but it works for me. Tattoos make me happy and give me an outlet for my artistic expression. Others I’ve tattooed have expressed very similar feelings. I may be a sinner but that’s between me and God not anyone here on earth. Don’t you find it ironic and comical that you can confess minor sins to the lord but major issues have to be confessed to a man? Also it seems God forgives and forgets but humans have the memory to shame elephants when it comes to sin. Especially other’s sins. If you love and believe the LDS church that’s great but don’t impose your beliefs and values on others. If someone asks, tell them what they want to know then back the Hell off. If you believe in Joseph Smith read the articles of faith and pay particular attention to, “…and allow others to worship how where and what they may. Judge not that ye be not judged. We all have our share of skeletons in our closets that would absolutely sicken and horrify someone somewhere. Thank goodness God loves us all. Never cease to study and be yourself even if someone tells you not to. If someone is afraid of you studying something in depth from all angles they’re hiding something. It’s better to find out what it is before you commit your life and eternity to it.

  64. Paul-London UK

    When I read this small whirlwind argument about tattoos I really despair about the Mormons and the their supposed “inspired” leadership. It seems to again demonstrate a mindset that appears to be all about having, “windows into other peoples souls” and with the Mormons it seems like magnifying glasses are used through that window into the souls of others! I have never come across folks so pre-occupied with other peoples’ sins! It appears to me to be so much like the mindset of the Pharisees in Jesus time. We all know what Jesus thought of this preoccupation with other peoples’ sinfulness. He advised it better to look at your own soul and sin, to forgive others and let God sort out the wheat from the chaff.

    Getting back to tattoos. I personally do not like tattoos and do not have any. The idea that to have tattoo is somehow sinful is simply a nonsense. Probably silly but not sinful. Yes, I know that you can find comment about tattoos in the Old Testament but that same Testament advocates stoning and other ritualistic / tribal practices. Yet those that quote from the OT to support some fatuous nonsense conveniently skip over such lines of scripture. It is either all the revealed word of God or not. Unless you also support the public stoning of all adulterers, fornicators, homosexuals etc. etc! You cannot pick and choose!

    With all that is going on in this world can the Mormon’s inspired leadership comment on matters of world concern and substance instead, of dabbling in the stuff of other peoples’ souls.

  65. Robert – you’re not alone. I also felt better with a little beer in my system. I felt worse afterword though and all of my problems were still there waiting for me afterward too. I’m happy to be 14 years clean and sober and I truly am the happiest I’ve ever been.

    I also agree that people should have enough to work on with their own shortcomings that they shouldn’t need to worry about other peoples’ issues. I have found that worrying about others’ sins is yet another form of escaping one’s own problems.

    It’s funny. The general authorities spent 99.9% of the past years speaking of world-class important things – like war, divorce, family values, the effects of pornography, etc. and so I guess if you just looked at this thread, you might end up thinking that they just talk about insignificant stuff all of the time.

    Also, the general authorities don’t go around telling people what to do. People come to them in meetings like general conference in the spirit of looking for guidance in life according to what God wants for people in general (that’s if you believe these guys are prophets – as I do). Once I hear what they have to say, I can take it or leave it.

    I have found that I’m quite a bit happier in my life when I listen to their counsel (as well as the counsel of ancient prophets) instead of just doing what I want to do. I tried “my will” for many years and found depression and dispair between moments of temporary “happy” escapism. Who knows, maybe I just sucked at it.

    If you read carefully, you’ll see that this thread isn’t about tattoos as much as it is about attitude. And in my experience, attitude IS a big deal in this life.

    One last thing – I found that sometimes I would do things that I know other people would judge me for (long hair, earrings) to give me an excuse to feel outcast or judged and then I could feel justified in leaving and doing what I wanted to do instead of what God wanted me to do. That didn’t work. What works for me is seeking God’s will for me and not judging the judgers.


    The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve have declared that we discourage tattoos and also “the piercing of the body for other than medical purposes.” We do not, however, take any position “on the minimal piercing of the ears by women for one pair of earrings”—one pair.

    I don’t have much to offer, but to refute the idea that the counsel to avoid tattoos was Gordon B. Hinckley’s opinion. The counsel came from the entire first presidency and quorum of the twelve.

    To try to diminish it, calling it an opinion, is disingenuous.

    Now I realize that some people on this board may not believe they are prophets. But when the leaders of the Church come out and issue a unanimous statement it is more then an opinion expressed in private.

    That being said, we shouldn’t focus on this so much that we lose sight of the fact that the gospel is much more then a system of do’s and don’t’s. It is a system for us to become better and eventually like God. Lets focus on improving.

  67. Robert G. Nielson

    Try using a dictionary and see what discourage actually means.I think you’ll be amazed that it doesn’t mean a commandment. It amounts to strongly advising against something, not commanding. Did they say God has revealed that… No. So the General authorities are expressing a personal opinion unless every time they open their mouths they spout the word of God. If you’re saying this then we have some serious problems with some of the things that have been said by prophets through history. The fact remains, whether I choose to get tattooed or not, whether I drink or not , whether I go to church, on a mission etc. is between me and the lord. By my understanding all these things are covered under the atonement. Do what makes you feel closer to God and don’t appologize to anyone who thinks differently. Paul- London UK has it dead on the head. I totally agree with all of your statements. I seriously don’t think your external appearance has anything to do with your spirituality. I think the church as a whole is so worried about the members’ external appearance that they make the church very uncomfortable for anybody but the most uptight conservative types, which is fine if that’s what they want, but what is wrong with individuality. I guess we should all march along happily changing to be exactly like the rest of the LDS community. Heaven forbid we have a difference of opinion or a serious question about the validity of doctrine. You will often be told that it isn’t important or that we don’t talk about that if we don’t want to be excommunicated. I’ll say it again, If something can’t stand intensive study from all angles to prove it’s truth or can’t be challenged for an explanaton that shows that it agrees with the other revelations of God then we have a very serious problem and should research and study as deeply as possible to make sure we’re not being taken for a ride.

  68. I believe D&C 1:38 and Amos 3:7 apply here:

    D&C 1:38 – “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.”

    Amos 3:7 – “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”

    My current view on this is that if the entire First Presidency by itself (or in unison with the quorum of the 12) issues a statement, I trust it to be the word of God as is and will follow it and then get my own testimony of it, if needed, after the fact. I think any important statements I’ve seen coming from the church have come from the whole quorums. It is interesting that “servents” is plural in both scriptures above.

    If a prophet says something by himself, I’ll get my own testimony of it, if needed, and then follow.

    See my comment above about what the general authorities have said about following their counsel:

    Do you have any statements by the whole First Presidency that you have had issue with? If so, I’d like to see them so I can see what I think about it. I want to challenge my beliefs and see what they’re made of.

  69. Robert G. Nielson

    This all comes down to one point. Does the president of the church speak as a prophet always or is he also a man who is subject to fallibility. Joseph Smith said some pretty strange things and said they were prophecy. Telling young women they and their whole family would be saved if they married him and destroyed if they didn’t seems totally assinine if you believe what Jesus taught. And what of Spencer W. Kimball stating that there are no archaeological proofs of the book of mormon so we should all quit looking. How about stating that no one who is unable to keep the word of wisdom should be allowed to hold a position in the church and then order and consume a bottle of wine at Carthage jail. How about stating that you should rather see your child in a casket than lose their chastity? How about the book of Abraham where Isis is labled as Pharaoh and Osiris is labeled as Abraham, Anubis as Pharaoh’s slave? How about that our sun recieves it’s light from the star Kolob? How about that the book of Abraham papyri were actually funereary texts dated from the time of Christ? These are in our standard works and have been translated and proven to be in error by Egyptologists. For some proofs look up hypocephalus, Book of breathings, Isis, Osiris, Anubis, Canopic jars, Egyptian embalming and mummification, and Egyptian Deities. I truly believe that what you are on the inside is what matters to God, not external looks and other peoples opinions and perceptions of what you are. I couldn’t care less whether anyone on earth thinks I am worthy or conversely that I am Satan incarnate. That’s not what matters. The only opinion that counts is that of God.

  70. I asked for statements made by the entire first presidency and/or quorum of the 12 apostles. I think the ones you just mentioned were from individuals. Let me know – I’m trying to test my belief process.

  71. Robert G. Nielson

    So now we have to havw agreement of the whole first presidency to constitute prophecy? The fact that the Pearl of great Price is accepted as scripture would show agreement of the entire list of general authorities from Joseph Smith on. Answer this if you will. Is there ever a time in the church when a general authority is wrong even when stating divine revelation? Can an individual be correct in their opinion and the church wrong? Can the general authorities state things as doctrine that disagree with Jesus’ teachimgs and be considered correct? These men are supposed to speak for God. If so, anytime they are talking publically it should be taken as the word of God. There shouldn’t be any second guessing as to whether they were acting as a prophet or not. If they’re aprophet in one thing then they should be considered the final word in all things. This leaves alot of unfulfilled prophecies or just plain wrong info from Joseph Smith on to present day. If you want statements originating with the whole first presidency or quorum of the twelve you can throw out most conference talks, D&C revelations, book of Mormon, Articles of faith. Let’s get realistic and look at revelations as a whole without splitting hairs as to whether they fit our jacked over ideas of what constitutes prophecy by the number of limiting factors they meet. You can’t have it both ways. Either they are prophets and you follow everything regardless or they can act as men or prophets and we have to discern what the hell is going on in every situation.

  72. You’re absolutely right.

    I’ve been trying to find common ground with you on this instead of sticking to principles.

    I know through the spirit that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and that the things he spoke while in that position are scripture – things he spoke outside of that calling are opinion. Also, he was learning and having doctrines revealed and clarified to him line upon line and so they were refined over time.

    I don’t have spiritual confirmation of any other prophet specifically and so I take their counsel on faith and then get my own testimony afterwards.

    Honestly, most of the flaws/errors you have brought up are out of context and really have nothing much to do with my salvation. 99.9% of what the general authorities say is just scriptural reminders and practical applications of principles in a modern wicked society.

    As I have said before, I believe (and therefore agree with the first presidency) that in general, tattoos are the wrong thing to do. If you received personal revelation that says it’s fine for you, great – just stop being your own prophet to the rest of us by taking your own personal revelation and preaching it to the rest of us.

    Faith is an essential part of this life. As I have followed the path of faith I have described above, I have become truly happy and have been freed from the addictions which held me down. It has helped me move toward my goal of becoming ever so slightly more Christlike. It works, and that’s what really matters.

  73. Robert G. Nielson

    I truly am glad that you have found your way and that it works well for you. I have found my way also and it works equally well for me. I’m not attempting to convert anyone to my ways. I couldn’t care less what anyone else wants to do or even less than that what they think of me or my choices. My main thing was and is to tell my situation and some of my studies in the hope that it will help someone who is being wrongly judged by some holier than thou, dumb ass missionaries who don’t have even a clue about what they are saying. I’m saying make serious as death, damn sure that what you’re betting your life and salvation on is coming from God and not someone elses idea of what is the best marketable image for the church. I’m no prophet and don’t claim nor want to be. I also have very little to no trust of anyone outside of my immediate family or a couple of long time “brothers”, not the church type but the to the death, do anything for each other at any time day or night, tested under fire type. I’m truly sorry to have wasted the time of you who are offended by my statements, But may you all go to Hell. To those who my statements helped, I wish for God’s greatest blessings and guidance to be with you always.

  74. I’m glad that I have not have been offended by your statements so that I don’t fall into the group that you have just condemned to hell. Whew. 🙂

  75. I have been a Mormon for 42 years. I once asked a bishop if I could drink Coke or Pepsi products and he said, “Absolutely! No where in the Word of Wisdom does it mention the word caffeine; it’s members of the church trying to pick something apart to make sense of it.” I used to attend the temple quite regularly and drank coke products all the time. It’s not a sin to do so. Also, as far as the tattoo thing goes, I don’t believe in following the Bretheren TO THE POINT of no longer having a say in my own life. Following their counsil for GUIDANCE purposes is fine, but I don’t believe in following their counsil with BLIND faith. I encourage you all to study your faith so you can make informed choices in your life and use the Bretheren’s counsil as a guidance tool. I used to follow their counsil to the letter of the law, so to speak, and have learned the hard way that they are mortal men that make mistakes. They have wonderful intentions, but mortal non-the-less. Having faith in the Bretheren is one thing, following ANYTHING with blind faith is detrimental. I’m not trying to get anyone ticked off, just that I have 42 years of experience in the LDS church and have learned a thing or two. I agree with what Robert G. Nielson (scroll up) wrote: “Again our leaders are human and imperfect. Trust in God not in the arm of flesh.”

  76. This has been a great reading experience and as I expected a great difference in opinion. My wife is a life long member and I am a convert of 13 years. Being raised in another faith that doesn’t give publicized opinion on tattoos that I was aware of; I wanted one as a younger adult. Once I became a member of the church I was told it was pretty much forbidden to do so as we are to treat out bodies as temples. I have read all the arguments in this post and although I may not agree with some, they are all valid points. It is, in my mind and my wife’s up to your own personal belief. If you feel that a tattoo is something that is not sacred, then you shouldn’t be getting one. For those who obtained them due to remembrance of lost loved ones, I personally happen to agree with that. I think if there is something such as a tattoo that would help a person to get past a painful part of their life and at the same time give them some peace and bring strength and remembrance to that loss that it can indeed be a spiritual and sacred thing. I do not agree with people getting tattoos for the heck of it, just cuz that “looks cool” but I am not their judge either. If they choose to do so, it doesn’t make them less of a spiritual person in my eyes but in some LDS communities I think that a person with tattoos may be stereotyped as a rebellious person with few values that are in accordance with the church and that is unfortunate. Being raised in Utah and then moving to several other states all the while being the LDS community I have been able to see many different core values that have differed. There are some areas that are far more judgmental and strict than others. That part is also unfortunate yet, human. I agree with the earlier posts that state the prophet and his apostles are here to give us guidance. Do I think that every word that comes out of their mouth is doctrine? No, but, I do think they just about every word that comes out is meant to help protect and guide us as we go through this struggle of life. I personally think that if someone chooses not to follow their guidance it is not another humans place to judge them. We are SUPPOSED to be a very accepting and non-judgmental society as a whole. Having converts come in all the time that struggle with some of life’s temptations makes our faith stronger rather than weaker. We aren’t a clean cut – specific class members only club. We are full of wonderful variety and I am very happy to have the LDS faith in my home. I thank those who felt inspired to post their opinions on this subject and to sum up mine, and my wife’s. We think getting tattoos is up to the individual as far as their reason behind it, and even if their own reason is not really a spiritual own in my mind, it’s not my place to judge them.

  77. I realize I’m coming to this discussion a little late, and I apologize for that.

    I don’t condemn anyone who has tattoos or multiple piercings, or makes their living by providing either service. The reason I’m not covered in tattoos has nothing to do with prophetic counsel (or opinion) and everything to do with my fear of needles. This fear is only a problem when donating blood or visiting the dentist. Otherwise it serves me quite well.

  78. As to the comments about using alcohol or drugs to mask problems, I’m surprised more people in the church don’t condemn chocolate! 😉

  79. Alrighty then Robbie!

    No offense but from what you have written above I find you to be less than sincere and your manner more along the lines of someone who cares a great deal about which way others view the Church. Put succinctly you seem to be the sort of person who can leave the church (as you have stated you did above ) but just can’t leave it alone and now have made a part time disingenuous mission of sorts attempting to combat the faith of others in the Church.

    Having cut my teeth on individuals such as you I find your posts amusing. Good luck in your “I was one of you” quest but I would bet that most people can see right through you.

  80. Death isn’t sincere, it’s just inevitable.

    As everyone now sees your purpose is to destroy faith in the LDS Church and not anything else.

    Notice I didn’t use any vulgar terms to describe you.

    Keep on studying Robbie, far be it from me to interrupt your important studies on religion and maybe now that you’ve studied yourself out of the LDS Church you clearly need something to do aside from posting in places like this disguising attacks on the LDS Church and its community as heart felt advice.

    Here’s a radical thought, instead of attacking the LDS Church which attacks constitute a sort of religion of the anti-LDS rather than any sort of belief system, why not propound what you do believe without such attacks?

    I’m all for belief but disguised attacks are not belief, they’re just attacks. *yawn*

  81. Robert G. Nielson

    Of course I want to destroy faith in the LDS church. Who wouldn’t want to destroy faith in a lie. None of my attacks are disguised they’re all plain and open. I would be interested to see if your superior intellect *yawn* can refute with facts any of the anti- Mormon points without resorting to the old cop-out of bearing testimony. If you can, where the General Authorities haven’t, I’ll be astounded. If desired I can back up my statements with bibliographic listings and would be glad to do so. I’d gladly have a scholarly discussion of doctrine and discrepancies thereof if you’ve got anything new to add other than the already discredited apologetics of numerous professors and intellectuals.

  82. Wow – I turn my back for a few months…

    Robert, it’s been a long time! Interestingly enough, I’ve been having a conversation with someone online about the Book of Abraham too! I’ll point you to for a general place to find answers to all kinds of anti-Mormon points. Specifically, look at for several papers about how the anti-Mormon claims about the Book of Abraham are incorrect or only show half of the evidence ( is a good one to start with). It’s been an interesting read. They also address Book of Mormon and DNA, etc.

    One last point, you mentioned that “you’ve been psychologically abused by a church.” I think I remember talking to you about that about 945 posts back on this page. The abuses you describe are not part of LDS doctrine and in fact go directly against it. Broken people in the LDS church abused you. I am saddened by these people’s actions and I wish I could have been there to support you and give those people a piece of my mind, but I wasn’t. I left the church once and then came back about 6 years later, pierced, almost tattooed :), and broken. I have hurt others in my path through life and I hope they can forgive me as I forgive those who have hurt me. I found broken people both inside and outside of the LDS church – it’s not about the church, it’s about people in general. I’ve also found amazing people who have helped me through the hard times.

    I’ve been poking around the site for a while now so if you need help finding anything or have any questions at all, let me know. Take care.

  83. Robert G. Nielson

    Thanks man you are truly a gentleman and a scholar. I’ll check out the sites you recommend. Good to hear from you again. Good luck to you.

  84. Robert G. Nielson

    I checked out these sights and they all have one problem. they focus on whether the papyri which have been recovered are really the ones used to translate the text of the book of Abraham. They conveniently avoid the problem of the facsimilies being incorrect in the printed version. Isis is listed by Smith as Pharoah, Osiris is listed as Abraham, Maat is listed as male rather than a goddess, anubis is listed as a slave of Pharoah. Canopic jars are considered Pagan Gods. We won’t even consider the ridiculousness of terms like “klifosesis” etc.
    Believe what you want but God doesn’t work that way. He doesn’t ask you to believe confusion and contradiction. The way to salvation is simple, accept Jesus as your saviour and proceed in the faith that He has saved you and you have eternal life. All this other worrying about tiny details is just so much sweeping up of mouse shit to quote J. Golden Kimball. If you want true peace and understanding get out of the LDS church and find the true Jesus. There is no other way to return to our father, Christ is the only way, we can’t earn our way there no matter how good we think we’ve become. Don’t worry about someone elses opinion of tattooing or anything else. Find your own relationship with God then endure to the end.

  85. Good points. Interestingly enough, the issues concerning the facsimiles are discussed at the site I linked to.

    For example, they discuss how the Hebrews/Jews and Egyptians have shared symbolism in many documented cases and how Joseph Smith got the Hebrew symbolism of the Egyptian facsimiles exactly right – which is quite astounding. (see this link for more detail)

    God didn’t create this confusion, men did. I believe that satan is also actively involved in creating the confusion that keeps people from the truth that will save them.

    All of these “tiny details,” when taken at face value, combine to give people an excuse to make huge life-changing decisions like leaving the true church of God. So it turns out that they do matter – they matter a lot.

    By the way, I did “get out of the LDS church” once for several years and tried atheism along with many religions and I subsequently returned to the LDS church after gaining a testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, among other things.

    The only place I have found the true peace, understanding, and salvation of which you speak is within the church that Christ himself restored to the earth. He authorized that church to perform the saving ordinances of which He himself set an example for us to follow. He also commanded us to follow Him and be baptized by immersion by one possessing the proper authority of God.

    There were people in the New Testament who were baptized by someone who did not hold the proper authority of God and who were subsequently re-baptized by one holding that authority.

    So finding this proper authority is vitally important. If I were satan, I’d do everything in my power to cloud the waters that lead to salvation through Christ and His commandments. Since I’m not satan, I try to do the opposite of what he’d do – I try to clear the waters the best I can. I do this for myself and my family, but if others can benefit from it, great.

    Robert, you are a choice son of God. I know that He loves you and hears every word of every prayer you pray. You have been treated very poorly by those professing to belong to the church of God. Try with everything that is within you not to associate the horrible things that have been done to you with the Church and Gospel of Jesus Christ – a Gospel, a Church, and a Savior who has nothing but mercy and open arms for you – to heal every pain and comfort every loneliness you have ever endured. I have felt of this healing in my own heart and pray for you to experience the same. I pray for you just as people prayed for me when I was away for a time. I will never turn away. I will always treat you with the respect and civility you deserve as a son of God.

    ldspatriot – sorry for the further hijacking of this post.

  86. cronk, nice post but you are wasting your time. he’s a troll and that’s all he is.

  87. Robert G. Nielson

    Eric you’re a perfect example of what’s wrong with the people in the church. Your way is the only way, won’t see facts, and most of all they get flustered and angry if pressed on points of doctrine or history. You could have all the evidence in the world in front of you, including the word of God but you’ll still trust a man you never met with your eternal salvation. Nevermind the fact that many points are in direct contradiction to Christ’s teachings. Contrary to your thinking, all people are worth the time to educate, but many like yourself lack the mental capacity to process information and test ideas and theories without being told what to think and what is appropriate. I think like I stated at first that tattoos are just an example of micromanagement by the General authorities and that there are far more important things to be pontificating on than whether someone wants to get inked or not. Good luck all and hope you find Christ and salvation. Do yourselves a favor and study church history in depth to see where you are really coming from and why the persecution took place and that the church isn’t viewed favorably by many of the world’s population.

  88. Robert – I was hoping for a response to my last post.

  89. Robert G. Nielson

    Sorry about that, your post is spoken like a true christian and is much appreciated. Christ is the rock to build our faith on. Unfortunately the church doesn’t follow Christ’s gospel to the letter. Racism isn’t a part of the lord’s gospel, it was for much of the history of the church. Faith in Joseph Smith doesn’t save you, Joseph Smith doesn’t say who gets in to heaven,in other words he isn’t Jesus. If something doesn’t draw you away from Christ it shouldn’t be considered evil.

  90. OK – I just wanted to make sure you had read it and got the information about the facsimiles, etc. From your posts, it’s sounding like you’ve been exposed to some standard anti-Mormon material that’s been floating around for many decades – whether it’s related to the Book of Abraham, racism, etc.

    If you return to the website and do some searching, I think you’ll find that most of that information is dealt with quite thoroughly.

    Yes, the gospel is simple and once I sifted through the confusion of anti-Mormon (and anti-theism) material combined with the weakness of humans in general, I was left with the simple pure gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Many of the points the anti-Mormons bring up as being evidence against the church ends up being evidence for the church being what it claims to be – the restored church of Christ preparing the world for the Second Coming – as was prophesied in the Bible.

    I know that the Book of Mormon (and the Bible, of course) is the Word of God and is true. I know it through the Spirit of God and objective evidence confirms its truthfulness – see

  91. Robert G. Nielson

    It’s nice to find a rational person who isn’t afraid of questions. Anti Mormon though they may be I’ve discovered them and questions on these points by reading and praying about LDS Published works and websites. Apologists make some interesting arguments but they many times raise more questions than they solve. The limited geography theory for example makes certain parts of the Book of Mormon make sense but it makes Joseph Smith out to be false. You can’t have it both ways. Either Joseph’s right or the apologists are either way proves to be a problem.

  92. Anyone who takes you seriously after your “heartfelt” posing is an idiot. You are nothing but cyber troll Mr. Nielson. And not a particularly bright one at that.

  93. Robert G. Nielson

    Fuck You Eric you no-balled wonder. You don’t have enough brain power to pursue a legitimate discussion so you resort to character assassination to make your emasculated self feel like a man. Par for the course for Mormons you can’t prove or disprove a point so you get pissed off and attack the person asking a question. I started out possibly wanting to help people stay in the church despite the oppression they get from assholes like you, but I would do anything in my power to discourage someone from joining or staying in this pathetic excuse for a religion. Eric you are a perfect example of Mormonism at it’s best, Pompous, arrogant, and full of self righteous indignation that someone can see through the lies and covered up histories of the church. Call me what you want but it doesn’t change the fact that you are a deluded member of one of the most blasphemous and lidicrous institutions on the face of the Earth. To R. Cronk, I wish you well in your life and thanks for some very interesting discussions. You are truly a christian gentleman. Others would do well to listen and learn from you. Even though I disagree with you on many points I’d consider you a friend and fellow seeker of truth. We’ll see what happens when Christ returns and all things are revealed. I am eagerly awaiting that day.

  94. Right because sincere people typically go to LDS sites to attack their beliefs, right? Sincere people never go create their won sites to expound their beliefs. You are a classic troll.

  95. Robert G. Nielson

    When I started posting on this subject I was a functioning believing member with some questions. In the nearly years time I’ve had people tell me I’m everything from Apostate to Satan himself for even thinking of questioning things to do with the church. The more I’ve studied the church’s history from their own books I might add, the more I see lying, deceit, and abuse as a common denominator in their dealings. I’ve never met a group of people who refuse to answer questions like the LDS people. Ask the wrong question and you will get a full frontal verbal attack. Thanks to all you holier than thou, sanctimonious, back biting, self deluding idiots who won’t look facts in the face. I’m happy where I am I hope you’re happy in your fantasy world. I’ve asked for a scholarly discussion of questions with conflicts in the church in many venues and have met with the same apologist theories or out and out anger and violence. I’ve since found the answers myself through extensive study. the mormon church doesn’t have them. Tattoos, piercings, hair styles, white shirts, facial hair, are non issues. Come unto Christ and be perfected in Him.

  96. Break it up.

    Eric – regardless of Robert’s motives, your approach doesn’t seem to be bearing any good fruit.

    Robert – please remember to distinguish between imperfect, broken people and the doctrines of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as found in the LDS church. I have found the negative attributes you have listed everywhere I go – every religion, in atheism, everywhere.

    I would be happy to go through any anti-Mormon literature with you in full detail if you want to – but not here. If you’re interested, let me know and I’ll send you an email so that we can converse. I’m a co-author on this site and so I have access to people’s email addresses who post here but I will not email you unless you request it. I think such a conversation would be beneficial to both of us. Let me know if you want to do that or not.

  97. Robert G. Nielson

    That sounds like an excellent idea. I appreciate the offer. Drop me a line and lets talk.

  98. Robert – I have sent you an email. Hopefully, this will help un-derail this post and allow us to seek and find some truth on our own.

  99. Yeah well the motives aren’t difficult to discern. You can appease people like that all you like but they aren’t sincere in the sense generally reserved for the word in this context and instead are sincere in the sense that Islamists are sincere.

    All you need to do is scroll up and read the relatively recent posts consecutively and check out other commentary. It’s completely transparent.

  100. There was an employer who wanted to hire someone to do a dangerous job where the employee would be driving a delivery truck on a very curvy and narrow road that went up a mountain, there was no guardrail at the edge of the road.

    He spoke with three potential candidates about the opening and asked them one simple question… “How close to the edge can you drive safely?”

    The first candidate got into the truck and showed the man how close he could drive the truck on the edge safely… the driver’s side wheel was just barely over the edge… the employer thanked the candidate for his time and told him that he would contact him later when he had come to a decision.

    The second candidate got into the truck and drove up the road right down the center, she was careful not to get too close to the edge, but just close enough to prove to the employer that she was not afraid of danger. The employer thanked the candidate for her time and told her that he would contact her later when he had come to a decision.

    The third candidate got into the truck and drove up the road as far away from the edge as he could get. The employer thanked the man for his time and asked, “When can you start?”

    I think the issue here should not be, “will getting a tattoo necessarily prohibit me from the blessings of the gospel” I think the issue should be… how close to the edge can you drive safely without going over.

  101. Hmm. After reading almost this entire page of discussion I think it’s very interesting to see how there are all kinds of people everywhere you go. I really wish I could further see the presentation of facts & well thought arguments between you two (Robert & rcronk) I’m deeply interested in the “meat” of the gospel (I am LDS, born & raised) & have recently come across our deep history that does tend to be excluded and frowned upon. I’m about to the point where I just decide this is too much trouble & give up…but I’m somewhat of a perfectionist & it’ll never happen. It’ll just keep eating @ me til I find out for sure. Any websites, advice, etc? I’ve already been all over the web & searched through LDS books, biographies etc. Now my biggest Q is this; if the LDS church is NOT the true one, but Jesus clearly taught we need baptism etc, which religion SHOULD we be baptized into? =/ I really want to believe in the LDS religion, but it’s truly getting ridiculous- all the history we don’t teach etc, crazy! & I find it very deceitful. Any advice for a girl just lookin for the truth?!

    Thanks, love to all


  102. Check out for a thorough addressing of anti-Mormon claims and LDS church history. They have some common topics listed on the left side of their home page and a search box on the top right. The site is not official or associated with the LDS church. It’s just some members of the LDS church who got tired of sitting back and listening to half-truths and misrepresentations made by anti-mormons and so they started a website to refute those claims and set the record straight. They don’t whitewash church history or gloss over things, they are fairly objective and unbiased and give references, etc.

    Most of what I have found out on the Internet is a bit one-sided and so it’s been nice to find a site like that will give a more complete picture. I’ve looked into a lot of anti-Mormon issues and other church history and at this point I have found inspired imperfect people.

    The core of my testimony comes from reading and praying about the Book of Mormon – I know it’s the word of God without any doubt. I will not have my testimony rely on or anti-Mormon arguments, but I think it’s OK to go look at both sides of the arguments anyway, knowing that in the end, I have to nurture my testimony through continuing to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, following and praying about the counsel I receive from the General Authorities, and keeping the commandments to the best of my ability. Good luck and I hope you find a lot of good useful information at

  103. Are tattoo artists and tattooed people truly unwelcome in the House of the Lord? I had considered conversion, but won’t hear a word of it if my children are to be told I’m a sinner because of my tattoos and because I tattoo others. Funny how one man’s “graffitti” is another man’s decoration. What must President Hinckley have thought of Michaelangelo’s work on the Sistine Chapel? Darn taggers!

  104. Robert G. Nielson

    To answer the questions of the woman proceeding the last comment. You should seriously study Gnostic Christianity. These are the true teachings of Jesus that the Roman Catholic church saw fit to have removed from the bible. Mainly because they didn’t support their beliefs In a church that had all the power and decision making lying with the pope and the priests. If this sounds similar to the LDS church it is. Christ taught that the kingdom of God is within us and not external and we have to reach a personal joining with God, and He showed us the way to achieve it. Why do we insist on following the teachings of the Romans, the ones who crucified Christ and persecuted the true followers of Christ throughout history. A point for Eric Selin. Lds missionaries are the ultimate trolls they invade peoples privacy and tell them there is no way to get to God without mormonism. Why do I look at LDS sites and attack beliefs? To make people think. A knowledge gained all from the source at question is inherently flawed. There are no archaeological proofs of battles at the hill Cumorah. There were no horses in the Americas before the Spaniards. No possible way for the numbers of Nephites and Lamanites to proliferate as quickly as stated. without pre existing population. No Jewish blood has been found in Native Americans a.k.a. Lamanites. Parley P pratt was killed because he stole another man’s wife and children not because of some unruly mob. The Mormon meadows massacre was a retaliation for this General Authorities death. Christ showed the way. Quit following men and start following the son of man. An evil tree cannot bring forth good fruit and a good tree does not produce evil fruit. There’s a reason that Utah has the highest anti depressent use in the country. The church. There’s a reason that the leading cause of death for young too middle aged men in Utah is
    suicide. The church. Study deeper and see the truth will set you free but you have to look from numerous angles to make sure you have the truth. Why would a church that touts honesty truth and openness hide it’s true history? Why can’t you question the bretheren? It’s obvious, they’re afraid that you will see the man behind the curtain and not the great OZ. Christ taught us to think and find truth for ourselves. Listen and follow the true teacher and master. Christ taught that his word would not fade away and that the gates of hell would not shake it. There’s no need for a restoration of something that will not fade away. It comes down to one simple question do you trust our Lord Jesus Christ the son of the almighty I Am or Joseph Smith a known perpetrator of bank fraud, adultry, and manipulating and seducing underage girls for sexual purposes. I have died and been revived and I’ll tell you plainly Joseph Smith is not checking names and faces at the gates of Heaven. I’ve studied prayed and meditated. I’ve lost my wife and children to divorce. and alienated myself from my LDS family members by finding the truth. I believe this with all my heart and strength I wouldn’t have made a choice to go through this pain if I figured the LDS church was a benign and harmless institution. It’s not. As Jesus said be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Be intelligent, wise and seek peace and lead others to it when you find it. Use your mind and question every single syllable that comes out of the mouths of your leaders. What is their motivation. Why was Jesus a poor travelling teacher and the LDS church is a multi billion dollar commercial enterprise. It’s the Roman catholic church of ancient times all over again complete with inquisition. Psychological torture as opposed to the physical torture of earlier times. Search for Gnosis! If you don’t know what this is, study out gnosis, sophia, pistis sophia, gospel of Thomas, The gospel of Mary Magdalen. Study the Cathars and the albigensian crusade. study the inquisition and heretics. study Paganism and discover that Jesus was considered a Pagan. If you are intersted this is a good start. Look up inner teachings of Christ. Eventually you will achieve gnosis and will become set free by the real unerring truth not a facsimile.

  105. Maybe I have misunderstood the teachings from the last twenty-eight years of my life, but is one of the fundamental pillars of this faith free will, or not? Do we not all need to exert this free will in our lives if we are really to be members of the Church? Otherwise may we not just end up, as other denominations have, being led down the wrong path? The whole basis of the raising of the Church was that ‘flesh is fallible’; people are sinful, we get things wrong, we sometime use things for our own devices and ends (even if that is not what they are meant for), people are sometimes corrupt; even Latter Day Saints.

    Three words for you ‘choose the right’. Nice and concise. First word being? That’s right CHOOSE… Not follow blindly! If you consider that I have this wrong then I, obviously, believe something completely different from you and that is fine so long as it is YOUR CHOICE. Otherwise what the hell are we all doing here and why was Jesus our saviour, and why the hell were we given free will in the first place?

    A stubborn, dogmatic attitude will get us all nowhere. It is perfectly healthy and worthwhile questioning ones faith and beliefs. This is the only way that we can be sure that we have real faith. We should all be happy to talk to others and listen to their views and this includes those with views that are completely different to our; and even those whose views may at first seem offensive to us. These are things that we can ponder and if we have true faith it will only serve to deepen that faith. I would go so far as to say that those who are unwilling to question their own faith do not have faith at all but rather have been indoctrinated with a set of principles, that although they may have embraced them completely, they do not understand fully.

    Blind, unquestioned faith is not a healthy thing and I am glad that Robert G. is here to help us. I am sorry that he has been subject to some of the people who do not embrace these ideas. I would suggest that those who have no better argument than some childlike name throwing should think about taking a little look closer to home… do you somehow think that you are better than him? Because you follow without a question? Quite honestly, what a prat! Who are you to throw names at another of His children? If someone wants to have a beer or a glass of wine every now and again I would say that it is their choice and they should do it. However if that person tries to push this on others I would have a bit of a problem, but that is not what Robert G. has been doing anywhere one this post.

    As for the initial argument – I was a professional athlete for a few years before joining the military and I do feel very strongly that my body should be treated as a temple, and I like tattoos; no scratch that – I love tattoos and as a result have a lot of them. Now I still get up every morning and go for a run and go to the gym at least five times a week. My question for all of those people using the body temple argument is – would you rather that I had sat on my butt eating cakes for the last twenty years and not getting tattooed? Would this bring me closer to my Heavenly Father than I am at the moment? It is my choice and one I would never ever choose to change; every morning when I look in the mirror I see (amongst other things) the words ‘Lord Show Me The Way’ on my stomach. It makes me smile every single day and has done for the ten years that it has been there. People have tattoos for different reasons, as people come to faith for different reasons. Just because a group of men from a very narrow demographic have said that they do not like tattoos does not make me feel at all as if it is against the will or the teachings of the Lord; it simply means that they, rather unsurprisingly, do not like them. My parents don’t like them either but that has never stopped me and does not stop them loving me, of this they assure me!

    Has all been a very very interesting read though!! Thanks

  106. We’ll all be perfected in the end anyways won’t we? And doesn’t that mean tattoos gone? I’ve never seen the hard in getting tattooed….ever, yes our bodies are our temples…but like i said i’ve never understood why it was such a big deal if our bodies would be perfected? People bring up the argument of someone being overweight is that taking care of your own temple? I think not, there are soooooo many things that every single person does to there body that is not “taking care” of there temple in one way or another, and to single out specific things just irritates me, you can be morbidly obese but not get tattoos? never made sense to me.

  107. NEIL S! I love you! I think I just get tired of hearing everyone cast judgements on others. I’m tired of living my life in fear of what my ward members or family will think. I love the Lord and Jesus Christ and I love the gospel, but I am REALLY tired of the closed minded way of thinking. Thank you for sharing!!! I love your insight.

  108. I don’t know how active this page is but I was Googling Mormon’s attitudes towards tattoos and well, here I am! ^_^ I don’t think tattoos should be frowned upon.. As an active member of the Church, I don’t think tattoos should be viewed as “fads” or “the rebel thing to do”.. If anything, it’s something sacred my culture has done for centuries (I’m half Samoan). I have always wanted to get a malu (leg tattoo done the traditional way – not with a needle that is! It goes from the bottom of a girls’ knees up to their thighs.. The boys ones go from the bottom of their knees up to their navel area) not because I want to rebel, but because like Church, my heritage is important.. I feel more strongly about getting a malu now that there are no more non-English speaking wards here in Australia. I and many other Polynesian YSA will be looking to get their tattoos done – something to hold onto our culture.. Unfortunately I cannot get my ink done before I serve, but I will get it after my mission.. This doesn’t make me any less spiritual than the next non-tattooed person. I know God lives and that Jesus is the Christ – I also know that my decisions are my decisions and I know without a doubt that when we return to our Father in Heaven and He asks me about my choices, I will answer him wholeheartedly.

  109. What are peoples opinions on getting the fluorescent tattoos that are not visibly with normal light only when using a blacklight?

  110. Robert G. Nielson

    Through some strange pathways and heartfelt study ,meditation, and prayer I’ve come to a spot where I can say I don’t hate the church anymore. and that prophets can make mistakes and still be a prophet. The cost of this statement has been extremely high, but I am coming to grips with it. I still say you have to find the truth from the holy spirit within you but you don’t have to fight everything that seems hard to understand. I’m not all the way there yet but I’m getting further. Thanks for your patience with my angriness. However you find God is a good way. Some are just far harder than others. obedience and faith can be a much easier way than battling it out for yourself. Look for truth and nothing else matters. Jesus lived, taught, died for us, and was resurrected that is truth.

  111. I imagine this post is fairly dead but I found it and will write what I feel.

    As far as tattoos go, or any doctrine of the church whether stated or unstated, the question should never be should I automatically obey, rather, now that I have heard someone state something I should go ask the Lord in humble prayer why or if I should obey.

    Look personally tattoo’s are not for me. That is a personal choice. But if a prophet said we should get tattoo’s I would weigh his words against the spirit and decide with God what was right for me.

    I believe I am a fairly faithful member of the LDS church but I like many of my brothers and sisters are not tied to the prophet. We listen to his counsel and follow what is testified to us by the spirit but we follow Christ and his spirit. Not a prophet though he CAN guide the church as a whole.

    I think many people confuse the institution of the church with the doctrine of Christ. The true doctrine of Christ is simple, the institution of the church is a necessary evil, or when everyone in church executes their responsibilities perfectly (as though any of us are perfect) an example of perfect government lol…

    Contrary to what others may think, I or for that matter, any other LDS person believes I believe in Christ, he is my King. Joseph Smith was a great man, but he is but a small flame in comparison to Christ.

    • Thank you so much for write your post. As a new LDS member, I have been a little confused on the “rising up” the prophet to the level of Jesus. Not all members do it but a lot. I love Jesus and he is who I pray to and ultimately get my answers from.

  112. Hey, nice tats!

  113. I have never been found of decorating the body with multiple tattoos that make you look like a clown. It seems that there are more people that have tattoos than don’t . I have never wanted one nor will I ever get one . Saying that I also believe that it is our own personal decision whether or not to have one I don’t think of anyone less of a person if they have a tattoo. Use your free agency and the freedom that Christ has provided for us in his suffering. Make your decisions soundly and with prayer and in the final days when we are judged you will know how wise your decision was to aquire a tattoo.
    Just remember, it’s the church that is perfect not the people.

  114. I think tattoo’s are beautiful. My husband and I are about to convert and be baptized in two weeks. We both have tattoos. I have noticed though that some of the men and women look at us different. One member and friend said to us that tattoos are bad because you are supposed to treat your body as a temple. My husbands response was that he just has a very colorful temple. As a previous art history major, it made me remember that temples used to be painted in the very old days. More importantly though, God sees what is in our heart not only skin deep.

    • Dead post, but I loved the comments from both Robert & Cronk. Very insightful. I went through the temple a few years ago. Since then I’ve found that all 3 children have autism. If that’s not something hard on a testimony of God & Jesus… anyway, I’m getting 3 puzzle piece tattoos on the inside of my left wrist to spread awareness and represent each of my children. No one should judge others with tattoos.

  115. i love the comment above me haha im 18 and have a tattoo, im still hoping i could go on a mission, but my tattoos have meaning, i hope i could go.

  116. Proper Spirit prevents foolish criticsm.Latter-day Saints are counseled to avoid the pitfalls of tatooing.Persons who are tatooed are not,however,denied the ordinances and blessings of the temples.Ask and you shall receive let the Spirit guide you.Prove all things.Judge not lest ye be judged.Christs attonement was for all mans sins

    • It boggles my mind that churches are so bent on control of everything that a person does even weather they put tattoo’s on their body or weather they drink a coke. I mean to compare coke or tattoos being condemned by god or to drug abuse or alcohol abuse is ridiculous. This is a group of leaders who are just men in the need of control over every part of a persons life and nothing more. They are not gods and didn’t get any orders from god to do that. This universe that we live in is a big and complex place. I find it absolutely asinine that people think that because a person has a tattoo or drinks a coke that eternity will punish them for that. It may be the 21st century but we still want to believe in the monsters under the bed or divine intervention is going stop bad things from happening. Everyone grow up and smell the coffee. O, wait, you can’t even drink that.

  117. Harlan Carpenter

    To the author of this article: Take a deep breath and look at the world again. A pause or lull in growth is not a sign of stagnation. You need to update right now. We surpassed 14,000,000 last year. When I was a little boy, I remember LDS members excitedly anticipating our first million milestone. When I completed a mission in New Zealand, we still were just shy of 2,000,000. Those are vivid memories–just yesterday. When I am gone and you are my age it is very likely that someone else will be ridiculing fellow members for what he perceives as unwarranted enthusiasm. Neither of us will live to see the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints become the dominant Christian movement on earth–but it will happen. The prophet Daniel’s vision of the “stone” rolling down the mountain to fill the earth will become reality…! Find another way to channel your negativity…!

  118. A few years past the initial start if this whole thing, but here goes. Why does it matter?? When we are all resurrected or bodies will be made whole. Unblemished.perfect add the day we were born.
    The Churches council on this matter is way more centered on public relations. They don’t want members looking like hoodlums, they want to portray a cln, family oriented way of life for investigators. Would you jump at the chance to join a church that was full of heavily tatto oed outlaw biker types? You would probably think twice about it. It’s the same reason why BYU requires clean shaven students and a dress code . They want to look appealing to the public eye! I was born a member, grew up following everything blindly and was miserable. Now I see the church for what it is. It is the Truth, being guided by men. Last time I checked, men aren’t perfect, and neither are the Church Leaders. I have two tattoos, and many more will be coming. They strengthen my personal faith. They tell my story, my hardships, my losses, my happiness and joys and triumphs. They are for me.I don’t care what people think about them.

    To many times have I seen members judge people harshly or say rude, and ignorant, comments to them and then cover it with ”doctrine”. If that were the case, then why did that person that was just judged feel terrible? The Gospel is meant to bring peace to our fellow man. It is not a shield to hide behind while you throw mad accusations at other people based on your own interpretation of it.

    The advice given by the Prophet was just that, advice. In the professional world it can be very difficult to find a job if you have ink. People also pa judgment on you based on their own perceptions of what tattoos mean. This is caused by ignorance and closed mindedness brad into the very fabric of American, and LDS, life by our forefathers. Did the Prophet give good advice? Yes he did for the majority of the LDS community. His advice helps the Church as a whole look more appealing to the rest of the world, which helps bring the Gospel to them. Does it matter if you get a tattoo? No, because it isn’t a sin. In fact, a lot of stuff people grow up being taught is a sin just plain isn’t. It’s human nature, and like all things in life, moderation is key.

    Tattoos are a huge decision. They will have affect on the rest of your life, that is the true point of the Church’s warnings. They want you to think on your decisions before you act on them. I thought long and hard before my first tattoo, twenty eight years to be exact. I am content with both my decision, and my personal standing with the only thing that matters. Him.

  119. Do our temples not have significant symbols on them? Those symbolic markings are of importance to Heavenly Father. Do our garments not havr symbolism? Our religion is surrounded with symbols and markings. While I do believe that MODERATION and the reasons behind the “art” is important I do not feel it is our business to judge or even truly meditate on someone elses temple. We should be concerned with our own temples/bodies. I have 3 tattoos. They are all symbolic of times in my life where I had huge failures and have made me the strong LDS member I am today. My father is a church authority and so is my husband, they both along with others comment on how strong a testimony and good member I am. Those symbols are but a small part that make up the masterpiece the world sees. I do get looks from those that don’t know me but when they get to know me the look past any of that, bc it’s personal and doesn’t define the type of person I am. My kids ask about them and I do advise them to not get any and to inquire of HF and themselves if its just a moment or lasting want. My honest thought mind your own business, keep your eyes on you and the eternal goal. LOVE ONE ANOTHER!!!

  120. Its sad to see how many people are willfully wanting to rebel against scripture and the words of the apostles and prophet. If you want to do whatever you want, than leave the religion. Religions have rules and guidelines. If you are not willing to follow them, then you are of no charavter to remain in.
    Just because Jesus loves you does not mean you get to do whatever the heck you want. Jesus still believed in sin amd having standards.

    • No argument from this ex-Mormon atheist. Being able to get tattoos is one of the many reasons I left. I’m all inked up and have no regrets. I have to say it’s quite nice being free and being able to do whatever I want without having to answer to some fictitious entity that the ruling class made up to control the minds of the masses. 😀

  121. There is a difference between a guideline or opinion from a Church authority and a directive from God. It is not a sign of rebellion against God to get a tattoo unless you intentionally get one that has profanity or an obscene image. And I generally notice that people who get tattoos are treating their bodies more like temples than the average person; these people tend to be far more into physical fitness and eating right. If I had a choice of my son dating a member, if all other factors involving personality and testimony were equal, in which one gal was overweight and didn’t care to exercise, but had no tattoos, and another gal had multiple tattoos and held to a strict exercise routine I would absolutely choose the latter.

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