This may make my family reunion this summer interesting...But if they wish to judge me because I have put the cross of Jesus on my body instead of judging me on whether or not my heart is right with God, then on their own heads be it. I just hope that any disapproval will be expressed to me personally instead of my mom having to defend me again, as has happened in the past.
Interestingly, when I looked up "tattoos" on lds.org, this is the first link I got:
- • Your body is a gift from God; it is the temple for your spirit. Tattoos are like graffiti on the temple.
- • Getting a tattoo has spiritual and financial costs.
- • Not getting a tattoo shows you follow the prophet’s counsel.
- • People who get tattoos regret it sooner or later and often go through the expensive and painful process of trying to have them removed.
Thousands of years ago, the Lord told His people, “Ye shall not … print any marks upon you” (Lev. 19:28). Today, President Gordon B. Hinckley has given the same message: “You are a child of God. Your body is His creation. Would you disfigure that creation with portrayals of people, animals, and words painted into your skin?
“I promise you that the time will come, if you have tattoos, that you will regret your actions. They cannot be washed off. They are permanent. Only by an expensive and painful process can they be removed. If you are tattooed, then probably for the remainder of your life you will carry it with you. I believe the time will come when it will be an embarrassment to you. Avoid it” (“A Prophet’s Counsel and Prayer for Youth,” New Era, Jan. 2001, 11).
Embarrassment. Regret. Permanent. Painful. Getting a tattoo doesn’t sound like much fun. Besides being expensive and painful, a tattoo can affect getting a job or even your eligibility to serve a mission (see “Tattoos and Your Mission” on p. 44 of this issue).
Some teens who responded to this question have parents or grandparents who have lived with tattoos for many years and wish they hadn’t gotten them. Even if a tattoo seems cool or seems like something that would help you fit in with certain people, sooner or later you will regret having it.
To learn what’s wrong with tattoos, read Alma 3. It doesn’t say “tattoos,” but it talks about the Amlicites, who “marked themselves” to show that they had left the faithful Nephites and joined the Lamanites. That mark was a sign of their “rebellion against God.” That’s the problem with getting a tattoo. Those who get tattoos disobey the prophet and, instead, follow the fads of the world.
Your body is a sacred creation (see 1 Cor. 3:16–17). Keeping it clean invites the Spirit to be with you and shows reverence for Heavenly Father and the gift He has given you. Those are some of the reasons the prophet has asked us not to get a tattoo.
If you are still considering getting one, pray for guidance and talk to your parents about it. One thing is for sure: you will never regret following the prophet’s counsel."
Notice the scriptures that are referenced. The first is from the Old Testament and is part of the Law, and is in the same section that requires beards to be kept a certain way and other things we aren't required to follow today. The next is from the Book of Mormon, and equates tattoos to rebelling against God. They misuse the final New Testament scripture by implying that defiling the temple means getting a tattoo. Elsewhere in the New Testament, defiling the temple of the body means participating in sexual immorality and other similar sins.
Also, its interesting and ridiculous that they say you will always regret and be embarrassed by having gotten a tattoo. I know people in their fifties who got tattoos and have no regret. I've seen many tattoos that were gotten with a purpose. One friend of mine got his tattoo in memory of his best friend and best man at his wedding, who passed away from cancer. I see no reason why he would ever regret that. I s
I see no reason why I would ever regret or be embarrassed by having the cross of Jesus in a discrete place on my body. Its not huge. Its easily covered. It is in a place that I will eventually not show to people even on warm summer days, when I get very old. Its in a place that is slow to get wrinkles and will probably never get stretch marks. And it represents my faith in Christ. As my husband pointed out, if I live to see the end times, there's no way I will be able to pretend to believe in anything other than Christ, and I'm okay with that.