I have heard that we shouldn’t get tattoos because our body’s are temples and we should defile our temple. Could playing a sport where serious injury is very likely result in “defiling” our temple? I played football in high school and tore my knee to shreds. Its never going to be the same. My damage is permanent. Is this the equivolent of taking a sledge hammer to my temple? Is there a difference? Thank you. I appreciate your site.
This is something I had never considered before, and it’s a refreshing situation to consider.
Here’s my take on both situations, then.
Our bodies are places wherein the Holy Ghost may reside. As such, we must conduct ourselves so that our spirits are always welcome and inviting to such presence and guidance, much as how the temples themselves must also be maintained. Consider, then, the outward appearance of the temples around the world. They are each unique in their own way, yet they all unite in proclaiming the holiness to the Lord and the reverence with which we regard his name.
Now picture a temple of the Lord with graffiti on it’s walls. At first graffiti was regarded as mere social defacement of places and things, yet now has become an art form in its own right. Nevertheless, such artwork really has no place on the walls of a temple devoted to the Lord. It truly does deface and detract from the intended purpose of the temple to be a place apart from the world while yet in it.
We ourselves are instructed to be ‘In the world, not of it’ and part of that is keeping our bodies as clean inside and out as possible. At the same time, those who seek membership in the church that already have tattoos are more than welcome, as any others would be. The reason is very clear in Christ’s lesson to the Pharisees of his day;
25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
Of course the Lord wasn’t speaking of literal cups and platters, but the ‘cup’ of one’s person. In regards to the tattoo, the inner cleanliness is what the Lord is concerned with first and foremost. This is why tattoos are very definitely frowned on in the church, but certainly not deal-breakers when one approaches membership already having them.
From the very beginning, it was known that our bodies would become damaged and worn out due to the nature of mortality itself. The fact of the resurrection supports this, that it was already planned from the beginning to assure we would retain our bodies at the conclusion of this part of our eternal progression.
Whatever injuries we recieve during this life, then, I see as already anticipated. When looking at sports related injuries, surely you knew they could happen, but it would be wrong to assume you deliberately planned to have such damage done to your knees.
Rather it is assumed that despite your knowledge of how hard the game of football is on the body, you planned to maintain your physical health and integrity to the best of your ability. There’s no way for any of us to anticipate and avoid all, or even most, of the pain and injury we experience in this life.
So don’t worry about your football injuries in regards to your worthiness in God’s eyes. They were all but planned on from the start. Because of this, physical injuries are not regarded as defiling of the body in any way, whatever the scarring is. The only situation I can see they would be frowned upon is if such traumatic injury were deliberately planned in specific. I doubt your injuries even approach this situation.