“Your body is God’s sacred creation. Respect it as a gift from God, and do not defile it in any way. Through your dress and appearance, you can show the Lord that you know how precious your body is. You can show that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ” (For the Strength of Youth, p. 14).
When I was a kid, my next door neighbor pierced my ears. She froze my earlobes and then stuck a needle through them with some attached thread. Unfortunately, the holes were uneven so when I was a little older, I had them pierced a second time hoping to get an even set of holes. Since I then had two holes, I wore a diamond stud that belonged to my mother in one of my ears along with a pair of earrings.
My father had given my mom the almost-invisible-speck-of-a-diamond earrings when they were a young married couple. Even though they couldn’t afford the earrings, my mom treasured them, especially after my father’s death. When my mother passed away, my sister and I inherited those earrings. We split the pair and each took one to wear. I wore that stud for years. It made me think of my parents and somehow helped me feel a little closer to my mother.
When President Hinckley asked us to only wear one pair of earrings, I was distraught. I didn’t want to give up wearing my mom’s earring. It was tiny and hardly noticeable. I reasoned that I wasn’t all pierced up or anything and surely a little earring wouldn’t keep me from my eternal salvation. After I gave it much thought, though, I decided to remove that earring.
“Do not disfigure yourself with tattoos or body piercings” (For the Strength of Youth, p. 16). If our bodies are our temples, then it makes sense that we shouldn’t defile them, either with our dress (or lack of it) or with lots of piercings or tattoos. Personally, I would never be interested in getting a tattoo because I hate needles and it looks far too painful. Besides, I’d be the only one ever to contract AIDS or something from the needle.
As a result from the fallout after voters in California passed Amendment 8, one of our temples in Washington was vandalized. We were all horrified at the thought of someone physically defiling one of our temples. Even when we see graffiti painted on other buildings it seems wrong. How is it any different with our bodies? Heavenly Father has blessed us with incredible physical housings for our spirits. I’m sure he is just as bothered to see some of us “decorate” the outside of our bodies with inappropriate and immodest attire. We should be vigilant in adorning our bodies, or temples, with that which is good in the sight of God.
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