Comments about ‘Ask Angela: The tattoo I never want my parents to see’

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Published: Monday, Feb. 24 2014 5:00 a.m. MST

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San Bernardino, CA

If your parents freak out then they are the ones with the problem. I'm not a fan of tattoos at all, and I would never think about getting one, but what good does it do to get upset with you? This may be a good opportunity for them to know you better, and for them to learn how to deal with your own adulthood and personal agency. Write them a letter and tell them first why you are so afraid for them to know, and then let them know. At least the dust will settle before your trip, and it will hopefully improve your relationship with them. If you're that scared of them then tattoos are the least of your worries.

Far East USA, SC

There are lots of reasons to NOT get a tattoo.

But I would not consider "council from my church leaders" as one of them.

layton, UT

RE:116 Alecias Wayc, “ does not mean we are heathens because of those choices”?

"Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the LORD=(Jehovah)." Leviticus 19:28.(NLT)

Leviticus, and the surrounding text, is specifically dealing with the pagan religious rituals of the people living around the Israelites. God’s desire is to set his people apart from other cultures. The focus here is prohibiting worldly, heathen worship and witchcraft. God forbids his holy people to engage in idolatrous, pagan worship and sorcery which imitates the heathens. He does this out of protection, because he knows this will lead them away from the one true God.

The N.T. does not command against tattoos or body piercings, but it also does not give us any reason to believe God would have us get tattoos or body piercings.

Romans 14:23 says that anything that does not come from faith is sin. Christians need to remember that their bodies, as well as their souls, have been redeemed and belong to God.

Cardston, Alberta

I try not to judge. Usually I can avoid over-reacting. However if someone is considering a tattoo the following scripture should be considered: 1Cor 19-20: your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost...ye are not your own. Ye are bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit which are God's.

Salt Lake, UT

My husband of seventeen years decided to give himself a father's day present and got a tattoo without telling me. He was 64. When I noticed the blood on his shirt he said it was a zit and he didn't want me to look at it. He had given little hints, like when I said look at that motorcycle and he went on to tell me who it belonged to and he was a famous tattoo artist. Like I cared! I felt betrayed by the lie and the deceit. His only explanation was that he'd always wanted one. Had he already had one before we got married, I could have accepted it better. To do it behind my back was hurtful, even if he is an adult. It was a stupid thing to do.

San Diego, CA

We all need to respect the decisions of those we love. I got a tattoo a few weeks ago. I was inspired by the woman who calls herself "the tattooed Mormon." I figured that as long as there are no temple recommend questions asking about tattoos, then I would get one and could still remain worthy to enter the temple.

Since getting my tattoo, I have been to the temple several times, and have not regretted my decision.

Heber City, UT

Man, these comments make me ashamed as a latter day saint. The question wasn't "I got a tattoo help me" or "do you think I should have gotten a tattoo", but rather how do I tell my parents about it. The majority of the comments on here are simply passing judgement. Why don't you check yourselves before passing judgement on a person who simply got a tattoo?
It's frustrating to be surrounded by people who worry about watching glee or survivor because it's not righteous and chases away the spirit and then are selfish and judgemental, but that doesn't seem to bother them at all. The main thing is that they don't have a tattoo or drink coffee etc!
The Gospel is still true though...I believe in the tentants of the Gospel, but I sure would love to change the culture as it is hurtful.

Leo Femedlers
El Paso, TX


To understand what a prophet is and does one must first believe that there are prophets. And there is a spectrum of belief and non belief. I have found that the words of prophets past and present are essential to spiritual and temporal safety. Faith in their words is a key element of subsequent obedience to their words. Unless there is faith, obedience rarely follows. Which is what my original point considered. The seed that is never planted will never bear fruit. What matters in the end is what you know and how well you lived up to that knowledge.

San Diego Chargers Fan
San Diego, CA

I would recommend talking to her parents before the vacation. I was considering getting a tattoo a while ago, but decided to "test the waters" with my ultra religious in-laws before I did it. I sent an email telling my in-laws I was considering a tattoo, and all Hades Fire broke loose after that. I had to quickly tell everyone it was a practical joke, just to stop all the impassioned phone calls and emails pleading for me to reconsider.

When I finally did get the tattoo, I kept it a secret. I guess I will either need to tell them before the next swimming-related vacation, or just wear a shirt the whole time.

sandy, ut

Leo Femedlers

I understand fully what prophets are supposed to be. I was a member for 28 years, grew up in the church, went on a mission. I just don't get how one could take council of not getting tattoos, more then one ear piercing, or watching rated R movies seriously. You think those without tattoos are more spiritually and temporally safe then those with tattoos? Same thing with multiple piercings. If you can still do those things and get a temple recommend then what is the big deal. The bad thing with this council is that certain members start to not only make the decision for themselves whether or not to do these things, but start to judge those who choose different then them. This is a huge problem that will never be solved as long as 'prophets' give advice that has no doctrinal bearing or any affect on whether or not somebody can get to heaven. Why avoid getting a tattoo or multiple piercings if you can still get to heaven just the same with them? Makes no sense.

1.96 Standard Deviations


You stated, "I figured that as long as there are no temple recommend questions asking about tattoos, then I would get one and could still remain worthy to enter the temple."

This kind of attitude is very worrisome. We are to live in the world but not of the world.

Tattoos are actually covered in the temple recommend questions as well. The tattoo question in the form of (paraphrasing) "Do you sustain the general authorities as prophets, seers, and revelators?" How can you sustain the Brethren while simultaneously rejecting their counsel?

Here are some examples:

President Monson, April 2010 conference, "Preparation Brings Blessings" -- "Avoid extremes in clothing and appearance, including tattoos and piercings."

President Hinckley, April 2007 conference, "I am Clean" -- "Do not permit yourself to be tattooed."

Elder/President Packer, April 2009 conference, "Counsel to Young Men" -- "[...] Do not decorate your body with tattoos or by piercing it to add jewels. Stay away from that."

For the Strength of Youth - "[...] Do not disfigure yourself with tattoos or body piercings."

Someone knowingly rejecting the Brethren's counsel on tattoos, yet professing to a bishop or bishop's counselor in a recommend interview that he/she sustains the Brethren, is very troubling.

1.96 Standard Deviations


Another thought:

The "tattooed Mormon girl" got tattoos before she was converted to the gospel. Her situation is very different compared to someone else who has been already been church member for a while, is well aware of the church's doctrine against tattoos, but gets a tattoo anyway. That is the important thing about not judging -- the tatooed mormon girl wasn't always a member and was taught the gospel after she got the tattoos!

Also, the church's "True to the Faith" manual states the following regarding tattoos:

"If you have a tattoo, you wear a constant reminder of a mistake you have made. You might consider having it removed."

There is no room for tattoos for LDS church members who are aware of the doctrine. I recognize we cannot always righteously judge someone's circumstances or reasons for getting a tattoo (being non-member even a church member), so we need to be merciful. However, the church's doctrine against tattoos is crystal clear.


To those using Al Fox Carrington as an example of someone having tattoos and also living the gospel should remember she had these tattoos before she joined the church. For anybody else who has heard the prophetic counsel against tattoos ought to consider they are willfully disregarding counsel given to us. If the Lord can’t trust us on the small things, how can He trust us on greater things? No, we shouldn't judge others, the person getting a tattoo nor the parents or spouses who feel they have been betrayed. Yes, we have our agency to choose and there is the gift of repentance, but we should also remember at what cost this gift was given to us. A cautionary note, a tattoo can affect missionary service and a promise made by President Hinckley that one day you will regret getting them.

South Jordan, UT

Ian: You may be comfortable passing judgment on posted comments (I find that ironic) and you may or may not have included my comments in your rebuke. However, I'm not trying to pass judgment. I'm just trying to find our what is the allure of a tattoo. Seriously, I just don't get it.

Is pleasing our friends, or creating a certain "image," or even doing just what we want to do really so important that we would put aside our most precious relationships with our family and, if one is religious, with God? And, if something as insignificant as a tattoo is that important, what other things will we choose over family and God?

Leo Femedlers
El Paso, TX


If I read your last post correctly, "was" a member may mean that you no longer are. If so, I'm sorry about that. You mentioned counsel about tattoos, multiple piercings, R Rated movies couldn't be taken seriously. I disagree. My understanding of prophets and their role is quite different. You may remember the verse I mentioned in my first post about the people of Ammonihah not receiving the words of Alma (a prophet). His words were not received because their hearts were hardened. They were spiritually desensitized to the point that they could not recognize or accept truth. There is much in the world today that can cause this. As members of Christ's church we have the privilege and blessing to have individuals who can see what is coming before it hits us. If we follow their counsel we will be safe. If we do not we are left unto ourselves. I wish you all the best.

reno, NV

Machado -

I don't why people like getting their ears pierced... so what. Do I care if they do it?
I don't get why people like to golf, seriously I just don't get it.
I don't get why people like to buy expensive cars. seriously I just don't get it
I don't get why people drink soda and are out of shape and obese but still claim they obey the word of wisdom, seriously, I just don't get it.
I don't get why people like to go to lagoon. Seriously, I just don't get it.
I don't get why people like to worry about what other people do to their bodies. Seriously, I just don't get it.

I could do this all day. People have different reasons for what they like. If you don't like it, don't do it. It doesn't harm you or affect you in any way.

San Diego, CA

To 1.96 Standard Deviations:

You make an important point, that sustaining the Brethren as Prophets is a temple recommend question, and you suggest that anyone who is not following each and every point of counsel from the Brethren should not be worthy to hold a temple recommend.

The Brethren have consistently and unmistakenly counseled against incurring excessive debt. President Hinckley was adamant in warning of the dangers of getting into debt. So, by your logic, any member of the Church who (aware the Prophet's warning) ran up a credit card debt should consider himself unworthy of a temple recommend?

Gilbert, AZ

Explain to your parents that tattoos are like bumper stickers. Only people with cheap cars have them.

layton, UT

RE: DocHolliday “It doesn't harm you or affect you in any way?”
A couple of questions for the Tattooed”. ...Will I cause a weaker brother to stumble because of my tattoo? Is a Tattoo glorifying to God?

The LORD=(Jehovah) commands “no” Tattoos or body piercing. (Lev 19:28, NLT).

Christians should honor Christ in their hearts and bodies they don’t plaster graffiti on His sacred temple. 1Cor 6: 19-20.

.. give your bodies to God. Let them be a living sacrifice, holy—the kind he can accept. When you think of what he has done for Christians, is this too much to ask? Romans 12:1 LB.

Christians need to remember they have been redeemed from Mortal and Spiritual death, and belong to God.

Laser removal is one option

West Jordan, UT


So, "only cheap cars have them." Interesting. I have a bachelors degree, an MBA, am a devout Catholic and a devout family man. I also have numerous tattoos. I read this article as a cry for help from a woman who wanted to tell her parents about a choice she made, fearful of a reaction like most I have read on this board today. How does anybody claim to be a Christian and judge the way I have read? Especially about a little ink on a person's body. Perhaps everybody should remember one thing: Matthew 7: 1-3.

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