Body Piercing/Tatooing

The Apostle Paul taught the value of our bodies and the danger of defiling them: "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."1

The teachings of Paul are valued today in the Mormon Church, just as they were in ancient times. The Mormon Belief is that members should avoid such fads and fashions since they do not portray an attitude of respect towards one's body and towards the One who created them, that being, our Father in Heaven. Showing one's love for God and the respect we have for Him and for our self is not just in the mind, it shows in the attitude as well as the dress that is worn. "…glorify God in your body, and in your spirit"2 Following the Saviors standard of modesty in spite of current fashions and pressures from others, are true disciples of Christ.3

Members of the Mormon Church have been counseled with the following: 'Do not disfigure yourself with tattoos or body piercing. If you are a woman and you desire to have your ears pierced, wear only one pair of modest earrings…Do not disfigure yourself with tattoos…those who do show a lack of respect for themselves and for God.'2 Mormons do believe that ignoring the counsel given by the prophets shows a lack of respect for oneself and for God.

Mormon Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley counseled the youth of the Mormon Church, "May I mention earrings and rings placed in other parts of the body. These are not manly. They are not attractive. You young men look better without them… As for the young women, you do not need to drape rings up and down your ears…How truly beautiful is a well-groomed young woman who is clean in body and mind…How handsome is a young man who is well groomed…He does not need tattoos or earrings on or in his body."4

Mormons believe that the body is a sacred creation and a gift from God. Our responsibility is to keep it clean so that the Spirit can reside within. Keeping it clean inside and out shows reverence to God and the gift He has given each of us.

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Mormon Beliefs
Body Piercing/Tattooing

1 "Holy Bible", 1 Corinthians 3:16-17

2 "Holy Bible", 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

3 "True to the Faith" 2004, p27, 106-107, 167

4 "LDS Youth Fireside", Hinckley, Nov 2000