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Comments about ‘Al Fox: Tattooed Mormon’

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Published: Saturday, April 6 2013 10:45 a.m. MDT

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ShakenBake
Orem, UT

"But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." -1 Samuel 16:7

"How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked?" -Psalms 82:2 (The wicked referred to are not necessarily those people covered in tattoos...)

Two scripture we all need to memorize and ponder.

KristinD
Saratoga Springs, UT

Great blog and greatly needed. I would add, also, that it is my vast experience that those who feel they do not "fit it" or who feel judged are usually only judging themselves. I know there are those few who may be judgmental. But the vast majority of us are understanding, compassionate, and not judgmental. And sometimes people stare just because they are seeing something unusual. That does not necessarily mean they are being judgmental. People continually say that we here in Utah are closed, judgmental. I have RARELY seen or experienced that. I think it is more of an urban legend than reality. And I have lived here for years and years as a child, young adult, and adult.

hubbardesquire
Alabaster, Alabama

Such times as when people judge us might be a good time to remind them that Jesus said that he was sent to earth to find those in need of a physician, and not those who were already whole in body and spirit. Also, how Jesus sought after the outcasts and not the "in-crowd". I think that the most wonderful thing about the Gospel is that the Lord judges by what is in our hearts and not by outward appearances. I might also smile at such people and tell them, see how I am an example of how the Lord and his Restored Gospel can change a person. I might also ask them if they want to hear my story.

The Caravan Moves On
Enid, OK

Article quote about what the stranger in line at the restaruant said to the author: "You know ... it's pretty ironic you look the way you do holding that book."

What's offensive about that?

The sky is blue. The grass is green. And, typically, though not always, but, yes, typically, someone who walks around clutching a Book of Mormon does not have their arms covered in tatoos. That is simply a fact.

Now, does that mean that someone who has tatoos all over their arms can NOT gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon?

Of course not.

Does that mean that every story of a Utah Mormon being unkind to new people/outsiders (or those who may appear to be outsiders) is false?

Of course not.

But I, for one, am tired of those who oppose the LDS faith and its members (as many will here) claiming that every single Utah Latter-day Saint is unkind, judgemental and just generally a jerk.

You think they don't claim that?

You should read what they post here and, especially, on the Trib.

I applaud this young woman's courage to follow the Lord. Keep up the good work!

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Great article.
Hang in there, and stand by those thoughts and words.
You will need them.

Don't tell them know you are not a Republican - or might even be "Liberal".
It's the un-pardonable sin here in Utah.

mream
Parker, CO

Very well said, sister.

I believe there is altogether too much judging and bad feelings all around. Maybe I should stop reading the Trib's message boards. ;-) but it's everywhere, especially on the internet.

"Don't judge me because I sin differently than you!"

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

I have a daughter with tattoos. My other kids are model LDS - missions , temple marriage etc... My daughter with the tattoos has come a long long way - a personal journey from anorexia to other personal struggles and she has now found her Savior Jesus Christ and The Book Of Mormon simply because of some returned missionary home teachers in her student ward who looked past the tattoos and treated her like a daughter of God - thank goodness for home teachers and thank goodness for missionaries who themselves have worked with people - cultures of the world that are far different than Happy Valley. We all do it here in Utah - we judge quickly without much thought - it just happens like a habit that is engrained within us since we were small. I have certainly done it and I have to catch myself often times and try to think how the Savior would think - with compassion and charity. I wish the tattoos would get removed - I have to be honest - and one day maybe they will be but I have learned that the Holy Ghost is more than skin deep and so is the worth of a soul.

Rick2009
MESA, AZ

It is interested to see people with tattoos in the church. However most of them are converts and i am sure now wish they hadn't gotten them or maybe they are people who got them during a time of shall we say rebellion. They should be looked as people who are trying to repent or have repented. Unfortunately the tattoo shows out very loudly where most of our sins are hidden or covered up. None of us are perfect except one.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"They should be looked as people who are trying to repent or have repented. "

Rick, maybe you are missing the point.

Why cant a believing Mormon like tatoos? Nothing wrong with a little rebellion.
And a tatoo does not signal the need to repent.

Tatoos have nothing to do with sin.

AFCoug
Colorado Springs, CO

While new to my mission in Germany in the early 90s my companion and I were randomly talking with people on the street, he on one side and I on another. I stopped the scariest guy I could have as a new, barely German speaking Elder. Was one of the best expierences of my mission. The guy was never baptised but we became great friends. I placed a BofM with him and later visited his trailer in the middel of a junk yard. He talked of leaving the book out so his friends would ask him about it and he could tell them how true it was and what a great book it was. Had he been able to make a few changes he would have been a great member. As it turned out he was a great person who loved the BofM, loved the gospel, came to church several times (black leather, shaved head, tattoos and all). Great Story!

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

I would dare say there are many in Utah whom are LDS who mistakenly think you can't get a temple recommend with a tattoo. You can. I would also venture a guess that the same bunch think drinking Coke is against the Word of Wisdom (Sec 89 D&C). It isn't. So many members of the LDS church build up there own version of the gospel and they live by it religiously. The Savior taught "judge not that ye be not judged for with that same judgement that ye judge ye shall also be judged". Yikes!! In other words there are going to be a lot of surprised faces come judgement day. Behold not the mote that is in your brothers eye but overlook the beam that is in your own eye (paraphrased). Christ taught extensively about hypocrisy and the incident with Mary Magdalene is case n point. We all need to be careful about judging wrongfully.

donn
layton, UT

RE: JoeBlow ", Why cant a believing Mormon like tattoos? Nothing wrong with a little rebellion. And a tatoo does not signal the need to repent. Tattoos have nothing to do with sin.

Leviticus 19:28 (NET) You must not slash your body for a dead person or incise a tattoo on yourself. I am the LORD(YHWH).
There was to be no disfiguring of the body like the pagans. Tattoos was a sign of morning to secure attention of their diety(gods).

lovemy4kids
orangevale, CA

arent you just stinkin adorable! can't wait to share this with my YW!

Civil
Salt Lake City, UT

Always ironic when people judge others for judging...

Or assume the person stating a fact is judging -- or LDS.

It IS ironic, on many levels, that someone covered with tattoos would be reading the Book of Mormon. Take 10 minutes, and you can probably think of several:

- The Prophet taught not to have them, yet this tatted woman loves the same book as they do, and loves them, too!
- The Nephites in the Book of Mormon who rebelled put a "mark" upon themselves to be distinguished from the faithful, perhaps not unlike a tattoo.
- The Lord never gives up on anyone, tats or not. The woman's tattoos may be evidence of this -- and THAT, my friends is the story. He did not give up on her, she chose Him, and continues to do so by choosing to love His Children.

SportsFann
Bountiful, UT

Still don't find this interesting.

U 90
Corona, CA

We need more people like Al in our church. She doesn't look like the typical Mormon on the outside, but perhaps looks better than the typical Mormon on the inside. Way to go Al !

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

re:JoeBlow

Agreed - tattoos do NOT signify sin. Unfortunately there are too many LDS and other Christians who do associate tattoos with sin. I suspect it has to do with the fact that they see gang members with tattoos and therefore deduce anyone with a tattoo has the values of a gang member. I look at gang members or rappers and their tattoos are usually pretty bad - profanity or nudity or a violence or a combo of all three. On the other hand a tattoo of a beautiful sun flower may be symbolic of some inspiration for a person or perhaps a tattoo of the name of some special family member that gives them inspiration. Big difference.

Red
Salt Lake City, UT

Great job! Thanks for taking the high road.

You made the same decision that most of us try to make everyday when we face our own accusers.

Keep up the good work.

Life is for all of us to learn from.

Don't give up.

Shawnm750
West Jordan, UT

The simple message of this article is: None one should judge anyone else by their outward appearance. The guy in the restaurant probably didn't mean any offense, and Al handled the situation the best way possible. We've all made mistakes, we all have faults, the results of which are sometimes evident in our appearance. But ShakenBake's comment hits the nail on the head. Too often we dismiss or judge people unfairly based on their appearance, or because of things they say or do. I've found that by taking the time to get to know the person beneath the clothes, or by listening to the voice under the profanities, I've found there's often a wonderful person whose ideas and feelings aren't all that different than my own. I don't have to agree with all their choices or support their decisions, but by showing a little empathy and mutual respect I've formed some strong friendships.

That being said, variety is what makes relationships exciting and shows us things in a new light. Some people are the salt of the Earth...some are the sugar...and a few of us are the cayenne pepper!

Counter Intelligence
Salt Lake City, UT

Fitting in is an issue regardless of anyone’s religious persuasion
I am not LDS but I don’t drink very much - which means I don’t always fit in very well with many of my drinking acquaintances – who accuse me of either being a religious freak or an AA member because I don’t act like they do
I am homosexual but have no patience for extreme gay politics - so I don’t always fit in with my gay friends who expect inflexible orthodoxy to a cause
Learning to be your own person is part of growing up: Most of the comments about acceptance or judging apply pretty much to anyone and all groups; Mormon or not

Then on the other hand: I am always confused by people who wear things that are designed to attract attention – then act surprised or wronged when they are actually noticed

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