I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon, so I don’t have any tattoos or excessive body piercings.

Photo by Wilson Vitorino on Pexels.com

Our bodies -everyone’s- are created in the image of our heavenly father. Our bodies house the spirit that makes us a child of God. As such, we’ve been asked to keep ourselves clean in many ways: avoiding alcohol or recreational drugs, keeping to healthy habits, maintaining an appropriate sexual purity, and ensuring our bodies are free from permanent inking or extra piercings.

An appropriate number of body piercings has been defined as one pair of earrings, in the lobe of each ear, for females. Naturally, a person may have preexisting tattoos or holes; he or she is not expected to pay out to remove these. Everyone is expected to honor his or her covenants to Heavenly Father to keep him- or herself clean, as outlined, moving forward.

©2022 Chel Owens


We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many recognize the nickname of ‘Mormon’ and it works with the alliteration so well, however, I will use the term.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.

20 thoughts on “I’m a Mormon, So…

    1. One of my favorite stories on the matter is in a “Sideways Stories” by Louis Sachar. One of the boys is allowed to pick a tattoo for his birthday; his classmates all suggest things like a dragon or angels or wings… the boy ends up with a tattoo of a potato on his ankle.

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    2. Two of my three tattoos are okay. I got what I thought said strength in Chinese as a testament in memory of my Mom, turns out it means “little pig” a bit of a permanent joke played on me by the tattoo shop. Years later in order to rectify the situation I got a tattoo beneath it of a samurai pig character from a comic I like.

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      1. Ha! I often worry about that in repeating words from other languages. You can be happy knowing that many, many people use English words as names for their children that really shouldn’t be. 😀

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  1. “Appropriate” is interesting. It isn’t appropriate for a male to have ear piercings but it is for females. So what would be the appropriate reason for the piercings?

    I think I know what it is for most non-LDS societies but this would seem to cut across your tenet on modesty and sexual behaviour. In contrast, tattoos are much less associated with expressive sexuality, more to do with self-identity. 🙂

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    1. I’m no authority so my answer would be speculation. No piercings would be best, but most women get their ears pierced and don’t see it as an odd custom. …I hadn’t considered modesty’s being associated with it.

      My growing up in an LDS environment means I was not around people with tattoos; I therefore feel I can’t give an unbiased opinion on what affect ink has on a person’s appearance.


      1. The earlobes are erogenous; it could be advertising the fact though they may simply (naively?) be seen as handy places to hang jewels.

        I can’t remember where I read it – it might have been one of Dickens’ journalism pieces – but sailors were said to wear a gold earring to pay for a decent burial, and tattoos so they might be identified if their bodies were washed ashore after a wreck. It’s a nice idea even if it isn’t true.

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  2. Tattoos on others is their expression…. for me the thought of ink in my body… scares me. Medicine is bad enough. Society is becoming more accepting of folks with tattoos.

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  3. I must say this is one area where “traditional” Judaism and Mormonism may intersect. I’m not an expert and haven’t done much studying or research and this is just based on personal recent family experience where I was surprised to learn that a Jewish tradition that I thought was immutable over time has actually been updated, even if only in a limited context. All of this is based on my late mother’s words still ringing in my ears.

    First, she gave my sister a lot of grief when she got a tattoo. Thought it was in honor of our late father and of course Mom’s late spouse, Mom still said it was “against our religion” to mark up our bodies like that.

    Then, during Mom’s time in hospice, her boyfriend’s son passed due to Covid. I attended the funeral and Mom never heard anything about it. Of course we didn’t want her to stress over Norman’s additional loss after his other son passed as the result of a mountain bike crash just the year before. She and I had attended that funeral together in which I protected her from getting Covid because the whole service was outdoors and in a very open area.

    That last statement leads to the changing Jewish belief I mentioned. The remains of the second son were cremated and interred in the crypt already occupied by his late mother. This shocked the heck out of me because Mom, and even some older printed materials I found in her house, both specifically state that cremation is not an accepted Jewish practice. As I was more recently making Mom’s funeral arrangements, the rep at the same Jewish cemetery assured me that it is now an acceptable practice.

    Since I’m now divorced and don’t really expect anyone to visit my remains, I’m considering going in there with Mom and Dad when my time comes. That seems almost comforting to me, though I still don’t understand the Mormon practice of burying all family members in a family plot. I imagine there may be a similar comfort factor involved, even it is not directly addressed by the LDS church. Or is it?

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